Weighing the contents of my carryon

Before a recent three day trip to New York I decided to do an experiment. See, I before I started traveling for work on a regular basis I was one of weighing laptopthe dreaded over-packers. I would make lists three pages long of all of the things I needed for a one week vacation, then bring two suitcases stuffed to the brim. It was a long process to train myself to only pack the essentials, but has only become more important as airline carryon rules get stricter.

Even after almost a decade on the road I have to occasionally rein in my over-packing tendencies. So I weighed my luggage and the contents inside, wanting to see what the heaviest items were and if I could do something about it.  I thought surely my clothes, or the luggage itself would be the top of the list, but I was wrong.  The winner (or loser depending on how you look at it) was my laptop and charger.  5.3 pounds!

I took weight into consideration when purchasing my laptop a couple of years ago but I guess my expectations weren’t realistic.  I chose a slightly bigger screen (14 inch) than my previous computer (12 inches) because I found it easier to navigate, and that’s where I went wrong.  The bigger screen is nice when I’m using it, but the other 90 percent of my trip when I’m just hauling it around the bigger screen becomes a burden.   It’s big, bulky, and fragile, not ideal for carrying on a crowded plane. Plus it contributes to a heavy carryon! Ugh.

I have an iPad Air and external keyboard but I find myself most productive when using my laptop (which is a shame because the iPad Air, case, keyboard, and charger weigh 2.3 pounds!).  Occasionally I can travel with just my smartphone , but for most trips it’s just not practical. I need the darn laptop!

In case you’re curious, here is a list what things weigh:

  • Laptop & Charger- 5.3 pounds
  • Empty luggage- 4.5 pounds
  • Clothes- 4.13 pounds
  • Toiletry bag- 2.6 pounds
  • Boots- 2 pounds
  • Makeup bag- 11 oz

Reader, what is the heaviest thing you pack for your business trips? Any way to go without it?

Be sure to check out my page with the best travel toiletries according to readers.

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Comments

  1. You should look into the new Ultrabook-type computers. I have had my personal one for a year and it weighs just under 3 lbs, add another 6 oz or so for the charger. My boss was so impressed, he managed to get some of us upgraded to similar machines (weighing in at 3.2 lbs without the charger).

  2. I travel to the same destinations frequently and have a corporate office in those locations. I’ve bought several cheap ($5-8) versions of my laptop power cord and leave those in each office with an assistant. It really helps cut down weight and bulk!

  3. @Jason I use the Eagle Creek Adventure Pop-Top Carryon. I’m working on a review right now and hope to have it up next week. In a nutshell, I love it for short trips.

    @Darth Chocolate My work computer is 2.5 years old and I think I’ll be eligible for a new one in a year. At that time, I am SO getting an ultrabook. For a lot of reasons, including the weight.

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