Surfing in Sri Lanka, riding a motorcycle across Chile, riding horses in Wyoming — we do all sorts of traveling here at Gear Patrol, and it’s undoubtedly a great perk of the job. The handful of staff writers we have here at the office are as varied in personality and style as the adventures we get to call “work.” Which got us thinking. We all travel, and we all most certainly have carry-ons (since laptops and cameras are an extra appendage at this point), so what does that common denominator look like for each of the staff writers? We polled the writers, then laid the contents of our carry-ons out on the floor. What we saw was a mosaic as multifarious as the motley crew we call co-workers.

The Travel Essentials

What We Can’t Fly Without

AJ Powell

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“I almost always check a bag, so my carry-on tends to consist of my tech essentials and a few necessities. Most are your standard air-travel essentials (noise-canceling headphones, extra batteries, a magazine), but there are also a couple unique items that I never travel without. Nemo’s Fillo pillow and Sea to Summit’s Thermolite Reactor sleeping bag liner have saved me enough times that they have a permanent place in my bag. Whether making a redeye flight more comfortable or acting as a safety net after a canceled flight, they are invaluable. The Ibex Woolies Crew has become a new addition to my carry-on thanks to its breathable merino wool, which minimizes sweat and keeps you at a comfortable temperature if it gets a bit chilly on the plane.”

Dakine Heli Pro 20L $90
Enerplex Jumpr Slate 10k $100
L.L. Bean West Branch Tech Case $59
iPad Mini $340
Persol PO0714 $148
Bose QC25 $299
Ibex Woolies Crew $57
Nemo Fillo $40

Travis Smith

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“This is a bag packed for a very specific type of trip. Some trips require that you land ready to jet to a business meeting. Other times, this being one example, the key word is comfort. I show up in sweats, comfortable shoes and a wrinkled white t-shirt, because I have a certain OCD about immediately taking off and washing whatever I travel in. I think it stems from that one woman who coughed into the shared air of a cramped twin-prop plane as it chugged down to Baton Rouge. The Maker’s Mark bottles are there in case of emergency and the sunglasses in case I need some shut-eye, but most likely I’ll be reading my book the entire way. It’s an old one, from 2008, but my mother has been hassling me to read it, and it’s always good to maintain talking points with her, otherwise she might ask why I always show up to her place wearing sweatpants.”

In the Woods $11
Sony A7 $1,098
55mm Lens $898
Ray Bans Aviator Classics Polarized $200
Arc’teryx Beta LT $349
J. Crew Classic Zip Pocket Sweatpants $70
Vans Authentic $50
Mini-Bottles of Makers Mark $3 (each)

Tucker Bowe

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“I travel with doubles of two items: headphones and shoes. The latter is self-explanatory, as I can’t workout in slip-ons. When it comes to headphones, over-ears crush my ears, so I opt for the noise-canceling ability and affordability of the ATH-ANC23s when traveling (Bose QC20s cost six times these), and the classic Apple pods for running. (Sweat-proof headphones are next on my “Must-Have” list.)”

iPhone 6S $750
Audio-Technica QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones $57
Apple EarPods $29
Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera $798
DSPTCH × Gear Patrol Standard Camera Strap $44
Smith Questa Sunglasses $129
Ignoble Stilwin Seedpod Backpack (Learn more)
360fly 4K $500

Bryan Campbell

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“A wise man once said, ‘Simplify, then add lightness.’ And I try to follow that mantra when I pack for any trip. For short trips I’ll always try to pack everything I need in my carry-on — because anything outside of that feels like a burden. You might also notice the minimalist motif is paired nicely with a theme of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ since half of what I travel with is outdated. But, as long as my passport never falls in that group, I don’t mind.”

32 oz. Hydro Flask $60
Rustic Ridge Leather Notebook $20
Canon 5D Mark III $2,499
Seagate External HD (Learn more)
Remington PG6025 $20
Knockaround Premiums $15
Tumi Backpack (Learn more)
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H3 In-Ear Headphones $177

John Zientek

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“For a short trip, I bring just the essentials in my Day Pack by Joshu+Vela. A neutral cashmere sweater by Brunello Cucinelli is perfect for long flights and a light Kapital jacket is always welcome for chilly evenings. I pack necessary toiletries in Eagle Creek’s Bi-Tech Trip Kit, and bring a baseball cap along to keep things casual. The LX5 is a camera I don’t have to stress about and it doesn’t take up much space. I like to unplug when traveling and prefer light reading, like Takemitsu’s Confronting Silence, to digital music or tablets.”

Joshu+Vela Day Pack $230
Toru Takemitsu Confronting Silence $26
Brunello Cucinelli Sweater $1,495
Kapital Jacket $179
Eagle Creek Bi-Tech Trip Kit $41
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 $150
SF Giants Hat $12+

Jack Seemer

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“I’m one of those guys that actually enjoys air travel. It’s refreshing, an opportunity to catch up on my reading, eat junk food, watch a dumb movie. As for my belongings, I’ve learned to appreciate clothes that can go several wears before washing — things, for example, made from hemp or merino wool. And I always bring a white button-down shirt. More times than not, I need it.”

Away The Carry-On $225
The New Yorker $9
Smartwool Trekking Heavy Socks $19+
Nikon F3 $150+
Jungmaven Original Short Sleeve Tee $35
Levi’s 510 Skinny-Fit Jeans $11+
Uniqlo Oxford Slim Fit Long $20