Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough- Charles Dudley Warner.
Excess baggage- a term to describe baggage weighing more than the allowed amount- could also describe the modern-day epidemic that is luggage with excessive amounts of features. I am talking briefcase size bags with wheels , rucksacks with back harnesses resembling fighter-pilot seats and straps, buckles and more straps. Finally a bag comes along that strips away the unneccesary and keeps only that which is truly needed leaving one to, simply, travel.
I have been through Copenhagen airport many times in the last few years. I know its layout well now and head straight to where they have plenty of machines to print-out one’s own boarding pass. Checked in, I remove my bag from my back, take a seat and drink my tea.
My bag now sits below my feet. Its shaped like a tube, is sunflower-yellow, has one chunky diagonal zip and two wide black webbing straps connected to the bag at three points. That’s it- no padding, no compression straps, no buckles. It also, absolutely has not got any wheels or a telescopic handle. The bag is a Hummingbird Carry-On 40 Litre. After a year of use it has become my cherished do-everything bag. All my other bags gather dust as this gathers air-miles and memories of adventures. I pick it up, place it rucksack-like on my shoulders and head towards the security gate. The queue is short and moves quickly. At the x-ray machine I unzip the bag, the YKK waterproof zip opens with a slight resistance that has a reassuring quality and the diagonal placement gives it a wide-mouth opening that makes for easy access to the gear inside. I take out the neoprene sleeve containing my laptop and my washbag. Inside everything else is bathed in a happy yellow glow from the light shining through the bags reinforced vinyl fabric- it looks nice in there- running shoes, mesh cube containing my clothes, camera and my bag of chai-tea all relaxing in the eternal evening-sunlight of the bags interior.
Security cleared, I pack my things. I close the zip almost all the way but leave a small gap at the top. I push down on the bag and hear it exhale the trapped air inside through the unclosed zip. I then close the zip fully and the airtight design means the bag has compressed. No extra straps needed. I go to the gate, board the plane and slide my bag into the overhead compartment. The plane is fitted out with the new Sky interior. Its airy and bright although the overhead compartments look smaller than normal. Not to worry, the bag fits perfectly…
The Hummingbird Carry-On 40 is a true minimalist bag and huge kudos must go out to Cascade Designs for resisting the temptation to add more features- they are not needed. The beauty of the bag is in its simplicity. Vinyl material, welded seams, diagonal watertight zip, and three-point strap system- a super-lean four features that combine to make one of the best, most durable, versatile pieces of travel luggage on the planet.
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