Packing Tips & Product Review #1

Organizing your clothes inside a duffel bag is an art form.  A lot of variables come into play, including the length of your trip, the destinations and forecasted weather patterns, your planned activities, the size of the bag & modes of transportation, and even accessibility. Each unit of luggage has to act like a cell, supporting you entirely should another unit get lost in transit but also being protective to its contents and light enough to carry in one arm. Luggage and backpacks have always been one of my favorite purchases (and not coincidentally one of my favorite categories to design) because luggage can incorporate utilitarianism into fashion and fashion into utilitarianism. Carrying a fresh bag garners as much interest as any item of clothing, as any fashionable lady can attest to.  This bag from Poler is no different.

I had a stepdad when I was younger who was a complete asshole and mentally unstable, a Vietnam veteran from Mississippi. The only thing I learned from him was how men in the military pack their bags.  Most items are rolled, as opposed to folded, purportedly to both save space and prevent items from wrinkling.  I’ve worked on it over the years and come up with a combination and an order that keeps everything protected and organized while maximizing interior volume and keeping your clothes fresh.  For the record, the contents of this bag (as mentioned in an earlier post) comprise half of my entire wardrobe and a majority of my material possessions.

I started with a single bath towel and laid some tough jeans on top, folded in half.  This lays a nice foundation for the bag’s length and width and protects the insides against spills & surfaces from the bottom.  Then comes t-shirts (strictly Polo, for the record) and underwear, each individually rolled to provide padded spaces for artifacts, electronics/chargers, cologne, etc. On top of that I lay a few button-up shirts, acting as a vertical barrier and ensuring that each item stays put. On top of that goes more rolled-up or folded shirts, a light hoodie, some tights and a baselayer.  Capping off the puzzle are some khakis, a light cotton jacket, a thick hoodie, some windproof gloves, and a tank-top - items I want quickest access to.  Click here for a full product inventory.

This new bag of mine, the Poler Duffaluffagus, has a lot of strong points.  It’s lightweight enough to pack and fold up into another bag without sacrificing much space. It has straps on the bottom to carry a skateboard, killing two birds with one stone - transforming the duffel into a rolling bag and freeing up your other hand for some other whatever.  It has hidden backpack straps built into the bottom, which are an excellent idea but unusable when a skateboard is attached.  The bag is structured in the right spots, utilizing stiff piping to add shape to an otherwise floppy material, and it has plenty of sturdy handles.  It’s also pretty minimalist on the inside.  It’s a great bag.

On top of all that, the “fuzzy camo” pattern is sick as fuck, the company is run by skaters, and the pricing is perfect.  If I could suggest amendments to the design I’d add at least one flat pocket (zippered or not) to the inside, maybe a keychain clip too.  I’d also say that the metal fasteners to which the shoulder-strap attaches are too slippery - I bought the bag about 5 days before I moved, and I could tell immediately that using the shoulder strap would be tricky.  This is a small detail but caused me a lot of stress during my trip, both when shouldering the bag and when pulling it on a skateboard through my entirely car-less trip from Richmond, CA to SFO then from JFK to Newark, NJ.  Although I plan to perform some sort of workaround for my next trip, I am otherwise completely satisfied with the purchase. It’s an excellent, high-quality and beautiful piece of luggage that shows an outstanding knowledge of the customer. I look forward to seeing what’s next from the brand.

Buen Viaje!

  1. aelextranjero posted this