A source of pride for many adventure travelers is the ability to pack light. For minimalists, it comes naturally. For people who would gladly fill a full-size roller bag for a three-day trip (cough cough, me), it can be a bit tough.
If you’re not just parking it poolside though, the reality is that backpack-style travel packs are the most practical option–they’re lightweight, usually carry-on compatible (no more lost/damaged luggage!), and allow you to be nimble on the go. Our version of that minimalist dream pack? The Allpa 35L Travel Pack.
When it comes to the actual packing part, it can be difficult to narrow down what you'll need on a trip wherein a single day you might hike a mountain, visit an art gallery, and check out happy hour at a sea-side cocktail bar. Feel free to take this advice with a grain of salt, but here’s what I’d pack for a two-week warm-weather trip.
Keeping it Casual
For any trip state-side or abroad, it’s nice to have casual apparel that you can dress up or down. A basic tank, t-shirt, and/or long-sleeve tee can get you just about anywhere. As for bottoms, I like to pack a pair of shorts, jeans, and casual (non-jean) pants. A simple t-shirt dress is also a nice bonus, and a classic cotton button-down acts as a versatile piece for dinner, or as a swimsuit coverup.
Pro tip: Try to find a color scheme to stick to when you’re packing so it’s easy to mix-and-match.
Sport-Mode Like a Pro
If you’re anything like me, most trips also include some sort of hike or walk outside the city center. For activities like these, I pack a quick-dry tank and tee, a pair of active shorts, and movement-friendly pants or tights. Whether you’re doing yoga in your hotel room to start the morning or you’re hiking Italy’s Sentiero degli Dei trail, it’s great to have something lightweight and easy to wash between uses.
Pro tip: Use packing cubes! They can help you stay organized by dividing up your gear. You can also use them to keep your dirty shoes or laundry separate from your clean stuff.
If you have space, it’s always great to bring a few layers–even in the summer. I try to cover most of my bases by packing a casual jacket that matches just about everything, a mid-weight fleece for chillier moments, and a packable, water-resistant or waterproof jacket like the Cielo in case of rain.
But What Would I Wear: Shoes Edition
This is where decision-making gets tricky. Shoes can take up a good amount of space in any bag, and in this case, just 2 pairs of shoes take up about a quarter of the entire Allpa 35L. With that in mind, I love a pair of sneakers that can easily go from trail to town. To go with my sneakers, I pack 4 pairs of socks—two mid-calves and two ankle—all merino wool.
Another great shoe option is a cute and casual yet supportive sandal like Tevas, Birkenstocks, Chacos, or something similar.
Pro tip: Try to shake up what shoes you wear on the regular. It’s a great way to avoid sore feet during non-stop trips.
Packs on Packs
In addition to your actual travel pack, there are some other packs you won’t want to leave behind. I like to bring a hip pack like the Coso or Allpa X (fits inside the top front pocket of the Allpa 35L) so I can keep my essentials with me all day long, and a bigger bag like a tote or lightweight backpack for longer adventures during my trip or for days that might require an on-the-go outfit change. When it comes to carrying two packs at once, you can rock the frontpack-and-backpack look, or with Allpa’s grab handles, you can carry your Allpa briefcase-style and toss the other pack on perusual. And for keeping all my toiletries organized, the Nido Accessory Bag is great and also fits easily into the top front pocket of the Allpa 35L.
Pro tip: Pack your packs (or other essentials) within your packs to save space! Don’t be afraid to go full nesting dolls with your gear.
Minimalist Doesn’t Mean Missing Out
Pajamas-wise, a comfy t-shirt and shorts are my go-to. As for delicates, I’ll leave those decisions up to you, but it’s always a good idea to pack a swimsuit–you never know where you might find a magical watering hole. It’s also a great idea to pack a hat and sunnies to stay protected on bright days.
Other items that I like to bring along when I need some entertainment on a train or bus include a book, journal, playing cards, and headphones.
Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to pack a reusable water bottle when traveling. The last thing you want is to miss out on an epic excursion because you’re dehydrated.
Is 35L Really Enough Room?
If you’re wondering if all of these things actually fit into an Allpa 35L Travel Pack, the answer is yes. Traveling with a lightweight pack like this can help you save on baggage fees and backaches wherever you travel. Happy packing!
Full Packing List as Pictured Above:
- Jean shorts
- Casual non-jean pants
- Basic t-shirt
- Casual long-sleeve
- Casual tank
- T-Shirt dress
- Cotton button-down
- Jean jacket
- Quick-dry tee
- Quick-dry tank
- Athletic shorts
- Movement-friendly pants or tights
- Rain jacket
- Fleece jacket
- Merrell neakers
- 4 socks: two mid calf, two ankle
- Swim suit
- Toiletries kit
- Pajama top
- Pajama bottoms
- Water bottle
- Journal or book
- Hip pack
- Backpack or tote
Caroline Maahs is a writer based in Salt Lake City, UT. Follow along on IG @carolinemaahs