What’s in My Bag, 2018 Edition

  1. SDR Kashmir Travel Folio, made with this super-cool material called Dyneema, which is twice as strong as Kevlar and 15 times as strong as steel, but virtually weightless.
  2. Garmin Forerunner 935 which is a triathlon watch, so it can tell me how much I don’t run, how much I don’t bike, and how much I don’t swim. Crazy sensors on it, and it’s lighter than an Apple Watch, which I tried again to use this year but wasn’t able to handle another device in my life that I had to charge daily. It has a weird charger, pictured next to it, but only needs charging once every few weeks so I don’t mind at all.
  3. This is the latest 15” grey touchbar MacBook Pro, customized by Uncover to have the Jetpack logo on it. I like the keyboard quietness and performance improvements of latest generation.
  4. Fit Pack 2 from Aer is the same I wrote a whole blog post about last year, and I still love and adore it every day. They have a few bigger and smaller packs, but the quality is just fantastic and I love all the pockets. Mine is starting to tear a little bit by one of the shoulder straps, but I do keep ~18lbs in it regularly.
  5. This is a grey wool buff, which works as a scarf, a hat, or an eye cover if I’m trying to sleep. I tried this out because of one of Tynan’s also-great gear posts.
  6. Passport, because you never know when you’ll need to leave the country.
  7. Kindle Oasis with this random case on it. I dig that this one is apparently waterproof — which I’ve never tested — but doesn’t feel like we’ve found the perfect size and weight balance yet. Reading is my favorite activity right now so this is my most-loved item.
  8. Imazing 10k charger. Great capacity, charges via USB-C. (2nd year)
  9. I’ve started carrying around some stationery so I can write notes to people when I’m on the road. Now I just need better handwriting…
  10. Delfonics is a funky-cool Japanese stationery, and this 3”x4” Rollbahn notebook is tops, and actually fits in my pocket. The Amazon one linked might be larger, I found it at Paper-Ya on Granville Island.
  11. A small leather bracelet I got in Seoul, Korea.
  12. Two things here: a rolled-up chamois cloth for cleaning glasses, inspired by my late friend Dean, and a WordPress ring I wear sometimes.
  13. Three pens here: A cool customized one we did for Automatticians; a Lamy Accent 4pen which has red, blue, black, and a mechanical pencil built in; a Sharpie for signing stuff.
  14. Have gone away from the carbon fiber clip and now using this small Paul Smith card wallet.
  15. Apple Magic Mouse 2. When this one breaks I’ll switch it out for a black one.
  16. Charger for the MacBook Pro.
  17. A super small international adapter, which is also nice for converting the 3-prong in the next item into a 2-prong. It’s Lenmar but I’m not going to link Amazon because they’re charging too much, just picked up in an airport store.
  18. Probably my favorite new item of the year: I have given Native Union a hard time in the past but super love this combo extension cord and USB charger. It is an 8-foot extension cord, which is remarkably handy, has two AC outlets, 3 USB ports, and one USB-C. Total life-saver.
  19. A dyneema accessory pouch, retaW aoyama / tokyo fragrance lipcream, Aveda Peppymint breath refresher, Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy roller, a spray hand cleanser, and Mintia COLDSMASH.
  20. District Vision makes these these running sunglasses in Japan, which I found at the Snow Peak store in NYC.
  21. These sunglasses are a collaboration between Salt and Aether.
  22. A single-use packet of Sriracha. Hot sauce in your bag? Swag.
  23. A palo santo smudge stick, smells great when you burn it. I’m turning into a hippie.
  24. Hermes business card holder.
  25. iPhone XS with a Jetpack Popsocket.
  26. Pixel 2, now replaced by a Pixel 3 XL.
  27. This is a bag with some small opals I gave as a Burning Man gift.
  28. iPad Pro 10.5 and Apple sleeve with Pencil holder, which is still one of my favorite gadgets of the year. Everything about this device just works and is a pleasure to use, and I’ve already ordered the new 11″ Pro and related accessories.
  29. Half meter (the perfect size) lightning cable.
  30. Apple USB-C dongle.
  31. Cool multi-function USB cable with lightning, two micro-USBs, and USB-C. I give these away all the time now and it’s nice to pair with the battery in #8 because I know I can charge anybody with this thing.
  32. Short USB-C.
  33. Combo micro-USB and Lightning.
  34. Short lightning cable, just like 29.
  35. Velcro cable ties, great for tidying pretty much anything. I just take a few out of the big pack and roll them up to travel with.
  36. Retractable USB-C, don’t love these as they break but it’s the best of what’s out there.
  37. USB-C to Lightning, great for super-fast charging.
  38. My favorite USB-C hub so far, the Satechi Aluminum Type-C Multimedia Adapter with 4K HDMI, Mini DP, USB-C PD, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, Micro/SD Card Slots. Pretty much everything you could possibly need.
  39. A pretty handy Ventev dashport car port charger that’s small and light. (2nd year)
  40. A few spare SIM cards, some SD cards, thingy to poke SIM card holder, and combo USB-C / USB-A 64gb stick.
  41. Lockpick set. (4th year)
  42. Bragi Pro custom earphones. For many years I had custom in-ear monitors, but the convenience of wireless overcame that, even before they started taking headphone jacks out of phones. Bragi now allows you to send in ear molds from an audiologist and they’ll make these custom true wireless headphones that fit and sound great, but I have trouble recommending because the case is so heavy and once got so jammed I almost thought I’d have to throw the whole thing away, and the app has never been able to “connect” for me because it gets stuck on turning on some fitness sensors. If it could connect I think I could turn off the other feature that is annoying, which is the touch controls that I find get triggered by my hat or when my head is against a chair. So, a qualified “maybe try this.”
  43. Sennheiser Culture Series Wideband Headset, which I use for podcasts, Skype, Facetime, Zoom, and Google Hangout calls with external folks and teams inside of Automattic. Light, comfortable, great sound quality, and great at blocking out background noise so you don’t annoy other people on the call. I’d love to replace this with something wireless but haven’t found one with as high fidelity audio.
  44. GL.iNet GL-AR750 Travel AC Router which I use to create wifi networks different places I go, which is often faster than hotel/etc wifi, and I can also VPN encrypt all my traffic through it. Pretty handy! But not user-friendly. Often keep it in my suitcase and not my backpack. I have a retractable Ethernet and micro-USB attached to it.
  45. Matte black Airpods. I love Airpods and these look super cool, I think these were from BlackPods which looks shut down now but Colorware has some alternatives. (2nd year)
  46. Westone ES49 custom earplugs, for if I go to concerts or anyplace overly loud. (4th year)
  47. An ultralight running jacket I think I got at Lululemon Lab in Vancouver. They don’t have anything like it available online right now but it folds up ultra-tiny, weighs nothing, and is a nice layer for on an airplane. My only complaint (as with all Lululemon products) is the low quality of the zipper. (2nd year)

That’s it for this year. As a bonus I’ll link some of my favorite other-bag items including toiletries: Muji dopp kit bag, these amazing travel bottles for creams, travel atomizer, Elysium Basis, Muji q-tips, Aesop Two Minds Facial Hydrator, Sunleya Sun Care SPF 15, folding brush / comb, Philips Sonicare Brush, Aesop toothpaste, Tom’s SLS-free toothpaste, Orabrush cleaner.

If you’re curious, here are the previous years: 2014, 2016, 2017.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments!

26 thoughts on “What’s in My Bag, 2018 Edition

  1. Thanks Matt, so good travel tip items there for sure. Have you tried Tom Bihn’s bags? Incredible quality and they just work, and no nasty zipper issues like the LuLu Lemonzips. Tom’s in the PNW and I’ve been toting his bags around the world for almost 20 years now, my original is still in service, passed on to my son who’s carried it through 5 years of university. Best. Robert in Vancouver

    1. I have not! But will keep that in mind when I try a new backpack. The Aer has really great zippers, it’s just the Lululemon jacket which isn’t good.

  2. Some seriously cool things in here – thanks for sharing!

    1. Love the Wapuu Pride sticker, was elated when a colleague gave me one at least year’s GM.

    Question: How’s the transition from Pixel 2 → 3 XL? I currently have the 2 XL, have been contemplating switching to the 3 or 3 XL. Concerned by the notch.

    1. It’s ginormous! Definitely still getting used to the larger size, but the screen really is beautiful, I don’t notice the notch already, and the camera is fantastic.

  3. I always wonder how do you even find the right stuff when you need it from that massive list of stuff in your bag? I can’t find the charger in the bag even when I have less than 10 items in it. 😆

  4. The black Apple Magic Mouse was a big disappointment for me, it looks much better in photo than in real life 😀

  5. treat! Always enjoy these posts. You have great, well reasoned, tastes!

    Any additional light jacket recommendations? Something that didn’t quite make the cut or is your alt?

    Julia recently switched from Fitbit to Apple watch, but like you the daily charging is a real turn off. She likes to wear it all night to understand her sleep, and there Fitbit also has the best UX. She has a separate Garmin watch for swimming. I’ll keep waiting to ditch carrying my phone, waiting for better voice call experience and podcasts, audio books, and other heavier storage based experiences.

  6. Yay! I love these posts. Some of my favorite gear has come from your recommendations over the years. I always get compliments on audio quality wearing the Sennheiser headset.

    Question: Does the Native Union hub work well with the international adapter? I learned the hard way (blowing out the power in our Airbnb..twice) that USA surge protectors don’t work with 220v adapters.

      1. Fair enough. I’ll see about doing some hands-on testing. 🙂

        If I can make a suggestion, now that you’re becoming a hippie…I keep a little hacky sack in my travel bag. It’s a great way to make new friends a get a bit of exercise out on the road.

  7. Have you considered the CARD CA* travel adapter series as a replacement for the Lenmar adapter? I have a CA1 and adore it. It’s not the smallest adapter you can buy, but it’s easily the smallest with its featureset: a replaceable fuse, USB ports (1, 2, or 4 standard ports, or 3 standard ports + 1 USB-C port), and a super high build quality. I even use it when I’m traveling within the US as a passthrough outlet and USB charger.

    You can get them online in a few places, in person if you’re ever routed through SIN (most of the electronics shops stock CARD products), and I believe TUMI also sells a white-labeled version at a higher price point.

    Never thought I’d basically fall in love with a travel adapter, but here we are!

  8. Reading this in the airplane, flying to WordCamp Seattle and just realizing I did NOT pack my international adaptor. I’ll blame you for it Matt! :))
    But once I land I’ll look for a Lenmar one, if you say it’s so good.

  9. Woot!

    1 – Love the twenty-nineteen theme thus far 😉

    2 – I really did go through this post and add no less than 5 items to my Amazon wish-list–especially that extension cord + USB charger combo. I need that ASAP.

    3 – Thanks for coming on the podcast this morning, Matt!

    As soon as we hung up, I took the subject of Gutenberg back to my blogging group in an attempt to sell them on switching over! It’s a work and progress. Lots of folks still a bit scared/hesitant, partially due to what it’ll look like to update *existing* content that was built with the classic editor.

    I’m stoked for the 5.0 release though 🙂


  10. I love these posts! Thanks for doing them each year. If you want some pen recommendations let me know 🙂 I’ll have some nice fountain pens with me at WCUS too.