Tom Bihn Tri-Star bag and 3D Organizer Cube
In my mind, travel bags are personal choice with a wide and varying view by travelers. Some swear by 4 wheels, others insist 2 wheels are best. Some like backpacks, others like messenger bags. Then of course, there is the hard-sided/soft-sided debate. For me, I draw a distinction between business travel and personal travel.
For business travel, I have a older ballistic Tumi carry-on (2 wheel) that I have had for years. It got destroyed on Delta onetime that I had to check it and then rebuilt very nicely by their contractor. I also have a larger ballistic Tumi I can check. For my business pack, I have a few to choose from but my main large backpack that is my workhorse is the Everki Atlas that is big but gets the job done for me. I also have a great older Briggs & Riley Verb brief and a backpack.
For personal travel, however, I am a huge Tom Bihn fan (made in Seattle). When my family and I went to Europe a few summers ago, we each used a Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 to maximize our use of carry-on luggage and but still carry it as backpacks. Those bags were great. Before we purchased, we looked at everything from Rick Steves bags to a bunch of more traditional backpacks. We were focused on quality and durability and think that we chose right by selecting Tom Bihn. Warning, Tom's bags are not inexpensive but I think you would be very pleased with the quality material and build. The Aeronaut 45 is not built for real backpacking but the straps are to get you through airports and to hotels. If we were doing heavy use of the backpacks on our backs, we would have probably chosen a different brand but this really fit our needs.
On my recent trip to China, I needed a smaller personal travel bag than the Aeronaut 45. I chose the Tom Bihn Tri-Star (pictured above). This is 33 liters instead of 45. The size is much better for shorter personal trips. The other thing that I love is the various compartments to pack things so this is your only bag. With the Aeronaut 45, it is not designed for carrying everything like your passport, etc. so there are fewer small storage locations. For me the size, quality, and compartments made it the perfect travel companion for a shorter personal trip. I am very glad that I purchased it.
One last thing that I use (both in personal and business trips) is a 3D Organizer Cube from Tom Bihn for my 3-1-1 TSA liquid bag. It is the maximum size you can use for this purpose. I chose a bright orange (so it is easier to find in my bag if I need to pull my liquids out). The plastic is very thick so you can expect great durability and wear. Plus, there is the Tom Bihn Lifetime Guarantee.
So there you have my bags and a quick review of a few of them. What do you carry?