What is a Total Travel System?

May 24, 2018

What is a Total Travel System?

In creating our No Borders Bundle, our goal was to provide you something that was more than just luggage.  You can buy luggage anywhere.  We wanted to do better.  So, we created what we call a Total Travel System.  It's a complete set of travel gear that provides you the foundation to travel pretty much everywhere.

To create a Total Travel System, we broke the purpose of travel gear into 3 main functions: Transport, Organize, Connect.  We evaluated all sorts of luggage and travel accessories to see which ones fit best in each category.  Then, once each category was covered, we made sure each piece worked well with the other items in the Bundle.  Through this process we assembled a baseline set of travel gear, or what we call a Total Travel System.  

The benefit of such a system is this - its the one thing you need to buy.  Instead of a long list of items to research, review, and purchase - we've done all of that for you.  Plus, everything included is has been thoroughly tested by us, and is backed by our lifetime guaranteeOne set of high-quality gear, one purchase, one Bundle, no limits to where you can go.

Now you can travel with confidence, because you know that you have the gear you need for a great trip abroad.  When you travel with confidence, you can focus on your experience, and not your stuff.  That's our mission - that's why we created the No Borders Bundle.  

Read on to find out more about each category, and how each piece fits into it.  

Transport - Total Travel System

When you travel, you need to transport the stuff you bring along.  Seems like a no brainer - but stick with us for a minute.  We classify transport into 2 different categories.  The first, is when you need to move everything you packed from one point to another.  For instance, when you need to transport everything from home to your international destination.  The second, is when you only need to carry a small portion of your stuff between locations.  Think of this as packing for a day trip while abroad.  You don't need everything, but will need a few key items.  

In evaluating the gear that makes up our No Borders Bundle, we made sure both types of transport are possible.  That's why we included a smaller backpack, the Matador DL 16, alongside the larger Nomatic Travel Bag.  Use the Matador for those day trips, when you don't need to bring everything.  And the Nomatic functions best when used to transport everything you bring between destinations. 

Now, in choosing a bag to suit each of these transport types, we had a ton of options to choose from.  The luggage industry is huge, and quickly evolving.  We took the time to evaluate options to see if they met our 3 key criteria: versatility, durability, and comfort.  Based on these criteria, the Nomatic Travel Bag and Matador DL 16 were by far the best fit for our No Borders Bundle.  Lets dive into why below.

Matador & Nomatic

Versatile

In assembling a Total Travel System like the No Borders Bundle, having versatile gear is a must.  Versatile gear gives you numerous packing options, and the ability to carry in different ways - allowing your gear to function how you want it to.  Which is important, as each traveler has their own personal preferences in terms of packing and carrying.  And, each trip is different, requiring different gear and arrangements.  You want luggage that is adaptable to who you are, and where you are going.  

The Nomatic Travel Bag is one of the most versatile and sleek looking bags out there.  The main reason is - it can be carried as a duffel or a backpack.  The strap system was designed to allow a quick change between these carry styles, so you can switch on the go.  Personally, we always carry as a backpack, as we believe in a hands free transport.  But, having the option to carry as either is a huge bonus.  Adding to the overall adaptability of the bag are the removable hip belts.  These are key for when the bag is heavy, as it distributes the load to both your hips and shoulders.  But, some people don't like the look, and prefer the clean appearance of carrying without them.  Or, your bag might not be heavy enough to need them.  So, hook them on when needed, or stow them away when not.

Nomatic Travel Bag - Duffel or Backpack Carry

And further, the Nomatic Travel Bag can be slid over the handle of a rolling suitcase.  If you find yourself needing to pack both a rolling suitcase and the Nomatic, this option gives you the flexibility to combine two separate pieces into one.  These 3 main features - backpack or duffel carry, removable hip belts, and rolling suitcase sleeve - all make the Nomatic Travel Bag a perfect demonstration of the versatility needed in your travel gear.  Plus, it packs all of that versatility into a great looking bag.

The Matador DL 16 is versatile due to it's ability to be a 'packable' backpack.  The lightweight Cordura material used in its construction allows the Matador to pack itself into a small pouch, about the size of a can of Coke.  The ability to function as a backpack and then having the option to pack itself up when not needed, provides you so many options.  Let's say you are trying to take only one bag (bravo!), you wouldn't want to wear your Nomatic Bag around for a walking tour through Madrid.  There would be only water, snacks, your phone, and jacket inside.  The Nomatic is too big for that.  That's where a second, smaller daybag comes in. 

Since you can pack the Matador down so small, you were easily able to fit it inside your Nomatic during transport.  So now you have the flexibility to use a smaller backpack for day trips when you need it (like the Madrid walking tour), but still only ever have to carry one bag during transport.  Or, if you packed a bit heavy, you can wear the Matador on your chest in front, and the Nomatic on your back when transporting everything.  Another option, another way to customize the gear to fit your needs, and another reason why we choose the Matador as part of the No Borders Bundle.

Matador DL 16

Durable

Let's face it, travel gear is expensive!  To offset that initial high cost, the gear you purchase should last a long time.  Otherwise, its a waste of money.  Think of your luggage purchase as investment.  Something that you will do once, and have it last through many years of travel.  When deciding what to include in the No Borders Bundle, we made it a priority to choose quality made, durable products.  Plus, life on the go is tough for a bag.  Being tossed by baggage handlers, dragged across floors in customs lines, rolling around the under-storage area on buses - our bags take a beating over time.  You want bags that will hold up to the wear and tear a life of travel inflicts.  Invest in a bag that won't break down on you while you traveling.  Besides missing your flight, its hard to think of anything worse happening.

The Nomatic Travel Bag is constructed out of Tarpaulin material.  Tarpaulin is a strong, waterproof material, traditionally used in the construction of outdoor tarps.  Recently, it has found its way into the world of adventure backpacks for its lightweight, durability, and waterproof qualities.  Using Tarpaulin in the construction of the bag, ensures this bag can handle all the rigors of travel.  While the material is waterproof, due to the zippers and seams, we would qualify the bag as a whole as very water resistant.  It's going to keep your stuff dry, but don't expect it to keep out all the rain from a monsoon in Southeast Asia.  The seam stitching is also reinforced in the right areas.  The backpack straps and carry handles are all securely fastened, adding to the overall durability of the bag.

Nomatic Travel Bag - Water Resistant

The Matador DL 16 is made out of lightweight Cordura.  This material is puncture resistant, waterproof, and durable.  Cordura is so widely recognized for its durability, that its most often used in military grade products.  So, it's able to have all of these great features, while still being so lightweight that you can pack the entire bag into a small pouch.  The Matador is also constructed with water resistant zippers, so the bag as a whole is very water resistant.

Not only are these two bags made to last, they are both covered by our lifetime warranty.  Rest assured that you are buying these bags for the long haul.  Their durability ensures they will be around, transporting you and your belongings as you explore the world!

Comfort

Carrying your stuff during transport shouldn't be a chore.  If you dread having to carry your backpack or wheeling your suitcase about - you're doing something wrong.  The whole purpose of traveling is to focus on your experience.  You shouldn't be wasting time thinking about your stuff, or the effort needed to transport it.  One of the main reasons transporting gear becomes a hassle is due to a lack of comfort while carrying.  When in transit, you have to carry everything through long security lines, in line to board the plane, and then through customs.  But, once you leave the airport, your transport isn't over.  You still need to get to your hotel.  Most times this requires walking there or taking public transit - again this would require carrying everything.  This is why comfort while transporting is so important.

We are big advocates of hands free transport, and a downside of that is that we must lug everything on our back.  But, the Nomatic Travel Bag has the needed features to make carrying comfortable.  First, it comes with padded and adjustable shoulder straps.  Plus, there is an additional sternum strap.  Which, when combined with the shoulders straps, allows you to adjust the carrying position to your size, keeping the bag close to your body and comfortable to carry.  As mentioned in the Versatile section, there are hip belts included.  These hip belts are key for dispersing the load between your shoulders and hips.  By evening out the load, you lessen the strain on your shoulders, making transport less burdensome.

Nomatic Travel Bag Out Exploring

Look - there are a ton of luggage and gear options out there.  If you search long enough, you head will start spinning.  We put in the time to evaluate the best options out there.  Plus, we used our extensive travel experience to help select only the best gear- and we have actually used all of it!  The best options for Transport are those which are versatile, durable, and comfortable.  

We carry the Nomatic Travel Bag and Matador DL 16 because they rate the highest in these categories.  They are solid, well built, and together provide options for both types of transport - making them the perfect bags for the No Borders Bundle.

Organize - Total Travel System

Organization is a key part of the No Borders Bundle because when everything has a place, more time can be spent enjoying your travels.  And helping you squeeze more out of your travel experience is our mission! No more time wasted emptying your suitcase trying to find that one thing you need.  And, who wants to repack after all your stuff is strewn about the room?  Not us.  By staying organized, you find what you need, and get on with your travels.  

We chose to include the Nomatic Travel Bag as part of our Bundle because it's an organizer's dream.  There is a pocket and place for everything while traveling.  And, packing cubes were a non-negotiable when designing the Bundle because they force you to organize your clothes.  Plus, the 3-Piece Cube Set from Standard Luggage fits perfectly inside the Nomatic Travel Bag, so you make the best use of limited space. 

Nomatic Travel Bag

This bag is built with organization in mind.  It has well designed and cleverly placed pockets for everything you could possibly need while traveling.  Sometimes, we don't even use every available pocket on each trip - just depends.  

For starters, there is a great sized shoe bag located on the bottom.  This self-enclosed bag keeps your nasty shoes separate from all your clean clothes.  The bag is big enough to fit men's size 12 shoes.  Tip: since the shoe bag juts into the inside space of the main compartment, pack your smallest shoes.  So, I always wear my tennis shoes, and then pack my smaller slips-ons, which take up very little room.

For your computer or tablet, there is a separate, padded sleeve made just for them.  We are able to fit our 15 inch laptop in there, no sweat.  

On each side of the bag, there are more organization pockets.  On one side are pockets for journals or books.  On the other is a pocket for valuables (locks included), and a well designed cord management system.

On the top, there are 3 more compartments.  The first is a quick grab pocket - think phone, wallet, boarding pass - perfect for valuables you need to quickly access.  The second is a self contained, waterproof pocket made for water bottles.  We love that it buries the bottle within the bag, instead of hanging on the outside.  The last is a compartment for a jacket, or socks and underwear.  We prefer packing cubes, but it works well in a pinch!

All of those organizational features - all within one bag.  That's why we chose the Nomatic Travel Bag to be the cornerstone of our No Borders Bundle.

All the organizational features of the Nomatic Travel Bag

3-Piece Packing Cube Set

We swear by packing cubes, and won't leave home without them.  They are essential for organizing your clothes and your luggage.  By keeping your clothes contained in each cube, packing and unpacking is easy.  Step 1: put clothes into a cube.  Step 2: put cube into travel bag.  See, simple!  When packing, you can switch up what you put in each cube.  Put an entire day or two worth of clothes in each cube, or put shirts in one, socks and underwear in another, or all of your nice clothes in one - however best suits you and your travel plans. 

When you arrive at your destination, just pull the cubes out of the bag - unpacking complete.  And, since you can see inside each cube, you know where everything is.  Now you can easily find what you need and get on with traveling!  And the best part, each cube is made with a durable loop-hook, so that you can actually hang them on a hanger in a closet, out of sight and out of the way.

This 3-Cube set fits perfectly inside the Nomatic Travel Bag, with room to spare.  The extra room can be used for shoes, jackets, or toiletries.  By fitting so nicely into your travel bag, you are making the best use of space.  This means you can fit as much as possible inside, utilizing every square inch.  Plus, using cubes provides order and structure to the main compartment.

The ability to organize, hang in the closet, and fit perfectly inside the Nomatic Travel Bag made the packing cube set from Standard Luggage an easy choice for our No Borders Bundle.

Packing Cubes in Action!  

Connect - Total Travel System

Our electronic devices are such an important part of our daily lives  - our computers, tablets, phones, cameras, Kindles.  Unless you are going to a silent yoga retreat, you need these devices to stay charged up abroad, the same as they do at home.  But, travel introduces different circumstances that might catch us off guard.  Outlets aren't always readily available, different countries have different outlets, and we often need to go longer between charges than we are used to.

The No Borders Bundle includes an outlet adapter, portable battery, and icon-based phone case to stay connected while traveling.  The OREI M8 allows you to plug into outlets in different countries, the Jackery Giant gives you portable recharging power, and the ICONSPEAK helps you break down language barriers.  By including each in the No Borders Bundle, you can travel with confidence, knowing that you can stay connected as much, or as little, as you want.

Connect - Total Travel System

OREI M8 Outlet Adapter

This adapter makes it possible for you to plug your devices into electrical outlets in different countries.  Each country has a different outlet type, so your plugs from home won't necessarily fit.  We included the M8 in the No Borders Bundle, as it is compatible with outlets in over 150 countries thanks to its innovative spring loaded design.  This design allows 4 different outlet adapters to neatly fit inside this 1 device, giving you so many charging options in a incredibly compact design.  Equipped with 2 additional USB charging ports, you can charge multiple devices at once.

Jackery Giant Portable Power Pack

The only thing Giant about this power pack is the amount of charge it holds.  The Jackery was included for when you need to recharge and an outlet is not available.  This happens often when traveling.  From long flights, train rides, or even a full day of exploring - you might not have an outlet handy to recharge when you need it.  It's small size means you can take it anywhere, just drop it in your Matador backpack, and never worry about your battery life again.  Even though it's as small as a deck of cards, it's still able to recharge most phones multiple times.  Plus, it has two outputs, so you can charge 2 devices at once.  Or, share one with a traveler in need, who didn't bring their Jackery along with them.

ICONSPEAK Phone Case

This phone case from ICONSPEAK helps you stay connected in a different way - by breaking down language barriers.  You might be traveling to a place where you don't know the local language. In fact - we hope you do, as being out of your comfort zone makes for the best experience.  With a well thought out collection of 30 internationally recognizable icons on the back of the case, be able to communicate a basic message to anyone, anywhere.  Need the bathroom, just point to the no-nonsense icon.  Or looking for Wi-Fi so you can stay connected, there's an icon for that too.  We included this phone case to protect your phone, to give you the ability to communicate a basic message to someone no matter where you travel, and because it looks cool too!

Jackery Giant in Action

TL; DR

You made it this far - or you just scrolled to the bottom for a summary - either way, we are thankful that you are here and reading this.  A quick recap of what makes a Total Travel System: 

  • Transport - your bags need to carry all your stuff, and provide the option to carry only part of it (think day trips).  We rate bags on versatility, durability, and comfort. 
  • Organize - when everything has a place, your travel experience is easier.  Your gear must keep you organized.  
  • Connect - your gear must keep you charged up in different countries, prevent dead batteries during long days of exploring, and help you break language barriers. 

By having a set of travel gear that covers all of these functions, you can travel with confidence knowing you have what you need.  The No Borders Bundle was created to be a Total Travel System, making your life easier.  One set of high-quality gear, one Bundle, no limits on where it will take you.

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