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?

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  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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