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Leader of The Pack

A blog by a carry–on obsessed frequent flyer with a focus on backpacks, EDC (everyday carry), on-the-go tech, travel hacks, tips, tricks, guides, and more. Follow Leader of the Pack on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Recent Articles

RiutBag Crush, Lego Safety, Freitag City Guides and more

RiutBag Crush, Lego Safety, Freitag City Guides and more
The RiutBag Crush

This edition of the Pack List features a very packable daypack, two airline safety videos (trust me, they are worth watching), an interesting take on the city guide and an iteration of the popular Aer Travel pack.

Read The Pack List Issue: 004 →

Airline Design

Airline Design
The TWA Flight Center

I’ve been fascinated by the power of graphic design and branding for as long as I can remember — especially airline branding. From liveries and in-flight magazines to the coffee stirrers and uniforms, airlines present their image and values to us at every turn. Thankfully there are a number of books out there that delve into this very topic. Here are four that I have enjoyed.

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The Travel Line from Peak Design

I’ve tried, and own, many backpacks and am constantly amazed how much innovation occurs for what is seemingly a pretty standard piece of luggage. Each month it seems the latest pack offers a little feature here, a nice touch there, that all add to making travel (especially one bag travel which I am a big fan of) that little bit easier.

The Travel Line from Peak Design
The Travel Line from Peak Design

I follow Kickstarter and Indiegogo pretty closely so it was hard to avoid the latest campaign from Peak Design.

To put it mildly, they are “big” on Kickstarter. This is their eighth campaign, earlier ones focused heavily on camera bags and accessories, and since 2011 they have raised $15M+. At the time of writing, they’ve almost doubled their goal and there are 58 days to go. There’s plenty on their site as to why they love crowdfunding but to sum it up they say “we raise in our campaigns allow us to focus on our customers and products, and not on achieving growth goals that traditional investors often demand”.

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Notabags, A USB–C Charging Station, Air France Amenity Kits and more

Notabags, A USB–C Charging Station, Air France Amenity Kits and more
The David Ortiz Paper Bag Backpack Combo

In this third edition of The Pack List I share five finds from the world of bags and travel including an artistic take on the classic brown paper bag by Timbuk2!

Read The Pack List Issue: 003 →

Macheto Travel Pack by Chrome Industries

A few weeks ago I highlighted the Macheto Travel Pack by Chrome Industries in my Carryology Awards round-up. I was quite taken by the backpack so thought it deserved a more in-depth look.

The Chrome Macheto Exterior
The Chrome Macheto Exterior

Long before I became a backpack guy it was all about the messenger and a Chrome messenger was very much on my wish-list. They were hard to find, especially in the UK, but were everywhere in the US. Working in the web industry work often took me Stateside and many friends and colleagues were owners of the bag with the quick release strap buckle. They seemed the perfect size for laptops, clothes, daily carry and of course ideal for bike couriers.

Ultimately I never came to own a Chrome but that might change with the Macheto — an all black clamshell backpack which looks perfect for a sub-seven-day trip use.

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The Monocle Guide to Hotels, Inns & Hideaways

Many of you will be familiar with Monocle — the magazine launched by Tyler Brûlé in 2007 as a monthly title covering global affairs, business, culture, and design. Since launching Monocle has branched out into radio, multiple travel and home-related products, and in recent years a series of travel, business, and lifestyle books in association with Gestalten.

The The Monocle Guide to Hotels, Inns & Hideaways
The The Monocle Guide to Hotels, Inns & Hideaways

Together they regularly publish packable travel guides, previously featured on Leader of the Pack, as well as a range of larger books including ,The Monocle Guide to Better Living, The Monocle Guide to Good Business, The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes, How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide, and The Monocle Guide to Drinking & Dining

Released in June (Europe) and July (International) 2018 The Monocle Guide to Hotels, Inns & Hideaways is the sixth publication in their large format series. However, the first thing you notice when cracking the spine is a new size. If you, like me, own any of the other Gestalten published “Monocle Guide to …” titles you’d have probably been expecting a larger format coffee table book. The new Mezzanine format is slightly smaller and as a result much easier to hold and read.

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A New Tortuga, A Transparent Suitcase, Ultralight Packing Tips and more

A New Tortuga, A Transparent Suitcase, Ultralight Packing Tips and more
The Upcoming Tortuga Setout Divide

In this second edition of The Pack List I share five finds from the world of luggage and packing!

Read The Pack List Issue: 002 →

Tactical is Practical

There are a lot of competing approaches when it comes to luggage. You may want your luggage to be a status symbol, or as effortless as possible, or as big as possible, or maybe even smart.

I took a different approach: I want my luggage to be a tool for relieving my travel worries. A tool that allows my belongings to be literally thrown into a metal sky tube, then jet-propelled across the globe at 300 miles/hour without breaking anything. My luggage goals were:

There is one conspicuously absent item from the list and that’s weight. With any luggage, weight and price are inversely proportional. Because I worry less about my luggage knowing I can afford to replace it, I’ve gone with a cheaper but heavier setup here.

The Kurt Elster Pelican Roller
The Kurt Elster Pelican Roller

At its core, my luggage is a Pelican 1510 case. The 1510 uses the classic Pelican case design, sized to the limit of carry–on restrictions, and with the addition of a collapsible pull handle and wheels. If you’re not familiar with Pelican, they make cases that are waterproof, practically indestructible, and have a rugged appearance that has captured my imagination for two decades. It checked all the boxes:

Even though I immediately loved the 1510 as–is, I knew I could readily improve it.

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Hand-Made Backpacks, One-Bag Travel, A Berlin Hotel, and more

Hand-Made Backpacks, One-Bag Travel, A Berlin Hotel, and more
The Bellroy Travel Wallet

In this first edition of The Pack List I share five things that have recently caught my eye including The Radian by Mission Workshop, news of a new project from Taskin, and a fun hotel in Berlin.

Read The Pack List Issue: 001 →

The Just Porter Logan Square Backpack

I discovered Just Porter thanks to friend and Chicago resident Kurt Elster after he left a comment on the LOTP Facebook page. Kurt’s packing the Sable backpack for his everyday use but the bag that caught my attention was the Logan Square.

The Logan Square Backpack by Just Porter
The Logan Square Backpack by Just Porter

Named after the Logan Square neighbourhood in Chicago, Just Porter bill this as the ideal backpack for artists, creators, and the city’s most vibrant innovators! It looks like another great choice for those of us who work from a variety of locations and need to pack a laptop, cable bag, notebooks etc.

Read More →

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