Packing Lite Videos, Reviews, How To Pack Light Tue, 16 Oct 2018 01:13:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Packing Lite 32 32 Quechua Arpenaz 10 (3 Year Update) Thu, 30 Aug 2018 07:38:48 +0000 So today we’re revisiting the Quechua Arpenaz 10. I’ve been seeing this bag around a lot recently and the previous review of this bag is my most popular video. So I felt it was time to give you an update on how its holding up. I’ve been using this bag as a daily work carry for the past year. Not every single day but several times per week. This bag has also been my one bag for a road trip I took it to Melbourne and back over about a week. I packed 3kg total into it.

At 10 litres it is quite a small bag but it’s simple and well built for the price. It can be bought from decathlon stores for AUD $4.50 (or about £2.50 GBP) which is probably why it’s such a popular bag. One of my favourite things about this bag is the expanding front pocket. It allows quite a lot of extra room for packing extra things into the bag when the main compartment is full.

In my first review of the bag I noted that it was water repellent. It no longer repels water and I think that it originally did perhaps because the material when new is more stiff and water naturally repels from it. But as the material softens with use the water will soak in. There’s a few small scuffs on the front of the bag although no holes yet. The zipper is starting to come off at the top corner too as you can see here. Although it still functions, albeit a bit less smooth. Finally one of the straps is starting to fray although it still have a solid attachment to the bag.

Overall it’s still holding up well and I’m still going to use it as my daily bag until any further major damage occurs. And in that case I’ll probably replace it with another Aprenaz 10.

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Hardvark Merino Review Fri, 24 Aug 2018 07:44:29 +0000 Hudson T-shirt

The hudson t-shirt is made from a 100% 17.5 micron merino wool that is quite lightweight at 145gsm. You can see through the fabric when brought up to the light but thankfully the shirt is not see through when worn. This means that it’ll be an excellent summer piece as it will be extra breathable and wick moisture. I have found it to be slightly lighter weight than I’d like for a baselayer for winter. But overall the fit is quite nice. I’m wearing a size Small and colour “Gunmetal”. The t-shirt starts at 70 GBP (AUD123 or USD89)

Pique Polo

Its hard to come across 100% merino wool polo shirts which is a shame because I really like polo shirts to break the monotony of tshirts. This particular polo is made from a pique fabric which refers to the way it is woven. A kind of gridlike mesh pattern that you can see here in the closeup. The means that it also breaths very well and will wick moisture effectively especially in the summer. The fit is also really nice and the material is quite stretchy. The price of the Polo is at the higher end starting at 120 GBP (AUD211 USD153)

Overall some really nice merino pieces from Hardvark and if you’re after a 100% merino wool pique polo you should definitely check it out.

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Popov Driftwood Flat Wallet (ID window) Review Sat, 04 Aug 2018 05:59:06 +0000 This is the Driftwood Flat Wallet from a company called Popov. There are two versions, one called ‘quick draw’ and this one called ‘id window’. The only real difference being the size of the hole here. When you order you also get a choice of stitching colour and an option to add custom engraving. I chose the brown stitching and no engraving on this model.

This wallet is very similar in design to my current daily wallet which is the Saddleback Front pocket ID wallet. However the Popov is slightly taller which is good for certain international currencies because some notes are quite a bit taller than Australian or US notes. The other main difference I noticed is that the Saddleback has an inner lining whereas the Popov doesnt. Finally the Popov has one less pocket for cards behind the ID window which is something I really like about the Saddleback wallet. This does mean that the Popov wallet is slightly less thick overall than the Saddleback wallet though.

The Popov wallet is made from high quality full grain leather and is looks and even smells great. I’m sure it’ll last for a very long time too. I’ve found that it holds my cards firmly and keeps everything in a nice flat profile like you’d expect a front wallet would. Overall for a price of $44 USD (AUD$59) its a really nice wallet that I expect I’ll still be using many years from now. If you’re in the market for a nice quality front pocket wallet I would definitely recommend checking out Popovs range.

So thats it thanks very much for watching and be sure to let me know in the comments what kind of wallet you use and be sure to subscribe to keep up to date with future videos.

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Mid 2018 Update Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:08:39 +0000 I wanted to give you a quick mid 2018 update and let you know where things are at. First of all, a big thank you to all of my subscribers, I’ve finally hit my original goal of 5000 subscribers and I really do appreciate all of your support and comments. I guess my next goal is 10k and then ultimately 100k.

I have also opened an instagram tv account on the Packing Lite instagram account. So I’m looking for suggestions of what kind of content to show on it. I’m thinking maybe spur of the moment food reviews or something. But please do let me know your suggestions down below.

There are many more products I have planned for review in the coming weeks and months. I also plan to do a ‘daily’ pack list of what I carry every day to and from work.

Finally I am planning to relaunch the ‘KeepFold’ backpack which I developed last year but which failed on kickstarter. I’m planning to mostly keep it the same with minor tweaks and perhaps launch it together with a 30 to 35 litre version as well for those who need a bit more room. Do let me know in the comments if you have an suggestions for that too.

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Olivers Convoy Tee Review Sun, 08 Jul 2018 07:24:03 +0000 The Olivers Apparel Convoy Tee is a 100% merino wool t-shirt made with a 165 GSM merino. Which means its great as a baselayer in winter and not too hot to wear in the summer as well. Its also a 18.5 Micron merino which means that its super soft and feels great in the hand and against your skin. Olivers also use a unique reverse raglan sleeve shoulder construction which make the shirt very comfortable and unrestrictive. It also just looks pretty good in my opinion.

In terms of fit, Olivers are probably the first company whose shirts I’ve tried that actually fit me perfectly in the small size. The Convoy Tee is listed as a slim fit (and they do make a Convoy Tee 2 which is a relaxed fit) and so the small fits a bit more like an extra small in other brands. But that works great for me because this is the best fitting t-shirt I’ve ever worn.

Another great thing about the Olivers t-shirts are that they come in a wide variety of very nice colour shades from the Cobalt (that I’m wearing here) to a hard to find (in merino wool) natural white. In addition to a regular t-shirt, Olivers also offers a great looking long and short sleeved Henley and versions of the t-shirt with a pocket.

In terms of performance the t-shirt works just as well as other merino wool t shirts that I’ve tried and it feels like it will be a very durable piece. It is a slightly thinner merino than the Wool And Prince  100% merino t shirts (which are 205gsm) but they perform just as well and come in more colours.

Overall I really don’t have anything bad to say about this t-shirt and I’m definitely going to buy a few more colours because I love the fit, colours and the unique shoulder design. For $68 USD (or $91 AUD) you really can’t go wrong with this t-shirt. I highly recommend checking it out.

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Naturehike 18L backpack review Wed, 27 Jun 2018 05:47:51 +0000 This is a review of the naturehike nh17a012-b packable 18L backpack. The nice people at banggood were kind enough to send me a sample to review. The first thing you’ll notice about this bag is that it is strikingly similar to the Matador packable backpack. This one however is just a fraction of the price and still feels very well made.

Speaking of the price, this bag is currently about AUD$22 (USD$16). The Matador bag is about AUD$70 (USD$50). This naturehike bag has water resistant zippers and a durable water resistant nylon construction. And although the inner seams are not tape sealed but it is very water resistant. It also features two mesh bottle pockets on each side and an extra pocket on the front.

The straps of this bag are made of a mesh material that make it more breathable and lightweight. They make the bag very comfortable to wear even with a heavy load. The 18L capacity is quite spacious too. I could easily pack enough for a weekend in here or enough for a long hike. The only real downside is that there’s no padding on the back of the bag, so you’ll have to pack the bag in a way that will make it comfortable against your back.

My only other nitpick about the bag is that the zips are slightly firm. They don’t slide open and closed as easily as I would like. But overall I do like the water resistant zip and the bags overall design is really nice. It’s going to replace my SeatoSummit daypack for sure. It may even become my daily commuting bag. I’d definitely recommend checking this bag out especially if you’ve been put off by the Matador bags pricing.

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Mangrove Mini review Mon, 25 Jun 2018 01:33:48 +0000 The guys at gearbest were kind enough to send me a Mangrove Outdoor mini backpack to check out. This backpack is made from a water resistant polyester material and has a capacity of around about 10 litres. The first thing you’ll notice about this bag is that it bears a striking resemblance to the Arpenaz 10 from decathlon. This bag however has a few subtle differences.

This bags zipper into the main compartment has two zips and the zip actually is not parallel to the edge of the bag which I actually found to be a bit jarring while packing and unpacking it. I do prefer a straight parallel zip especially for smaller bags like this. It has light padding on the back and on the straps which keep it comfortable for most situations which is good.

Unfortunately one of the downsides is that the front pocket isn’t pleated like on the Arpenaz 10. Which means it doesn’t expand outwards to fit more in. But overall the build quality is really good and the colour is nice too. In terms of pricing this bag comes in at around $12 AUD ($8USD) but you can use the coupon code: Packinglite on the gearbest site to get it for $5.99.

Overall a solid backpack which is just the right size for everyday carry and well built at a good price but it will probably come down to personal preference and budget with which one you prefer more between this and the Arpenaz 10.

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Sea to Summit Pocket Umbrella Tue, 12 Jun 2018 07:34:03 +0000 Today I wanted to do a quick hands on review with the sea to summit pocket umbrella. I bought this online for about $24 AUD (18 USD) and had fairly high expectations given that it’s a bit more expensive than I’d like for and umbrella.

The umbrella itself is quite good quality and comes with its own little travel bag. It weight 155 grams (about 5 oz) and has a span of 84 cm (33 inches). The handle is telescopic and the arms of the umbrella automatically unfold when you open it. There is a plastic cover over the clip that secures the umbrella in place while open. Although it’s hard to tell when it’s been pushed up enough to click into place without feeling like it’s your pushing it too far.

The biggest problem I had with the umbrella was actually with the handle. As soon as I first took it out of the bag for the first time the handle actually came straight off. It doesn’t appear to be glued on or attached in any way. It just pops on and off a bit too easily and make its feel less than sturdy.

Overall the build quality and lightweight design is really nice and it is a solid umbrella that fits in with my lightweight ideals. It’s just a shame that the handle is as flimsy as it is especially for the price.

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Allbirds Wool Runners Review Thu, 15 Mar 2018 02:16:20 +0000 I had been wanting to test these allbirds ‘wool runners’ since I first hear about them years ago. However they originally only shipped to NZ and USA. Fortunately shipping opened up to Australia within the last couple of months and I got a pair just after Christmas.

So I have been wearing these shoes to work where I do a lot of standing and walking. In terms of comfort they are very nice to wear. I have found that they’re very breathable and lightweight as you would expect with wool. This means that they’re also quite suitable to wear without socks. Although I mostly wore socks with them.

The wool is quite thick and although it does not repel water they do dry quickly even if they were to get wet. But I would have liked to see some kind of hydrophobic coating to better repel water.

In terms of pricing they are pretty expensive, at $95 usd (or $140 Australian) although this pricing is comparable to some nike running shoes. But I wouldn’t suggest running in these allbirds. They’re running shoes in name only.

Which brings me to some of the negatives. The grip on the shoes is fairly limited and on wet surfaces can be slippery. Due to the wool construction the shoes also don’t retain a lot of the shape over wear as they get more pliable. My final complaint about these shoes is that they initially did not offer a black upper and white sole version. However they are now offering a version with a black upper and ‘light grey’ sole so I guess that is satisfactory.

Overall a nice pair of shoes that are comfortable and versatile for everyday wear. And perhaps even a contender for an ‘all in one’ travel shoe.

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Tronnovate Swift Bag Review Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:37:54 +0000 This is a hands on first look/short review of the Swift Bag from Tronnovate. The first thing you’ll notice about the bag is that it features quite an interesting and unconventional design. The zip goes across the front of the bag in a Zed shape theoretically giving you easier access to all areas of the bag. And behind each of the two flaps are additional zippered mesh pockets.

What I do like about this bag is just how lightweight it is. It comes in at around 300 grams (10oz) and is water resistant but not fully waterproof. A few other useful features it has are: a sternum strap, adjustable straps, built in drybag, 2 drink bottle pouches, and several internal pockets. In terms of pricing it’s quite affordable at around $90USD for the retail price.

It terms of real world use I found parts of the design a bit awkward in practice. The Zed opening zipper isn’t as quick or convenient to open as you’d think and you have to be careful your stuff doesn’t fall out while opening it. The built in ‘dry bag’ is also quite awkward because its attached only to the bottom of the bag. So stuff in that can move around or fall down while the bag is open. My final nitpick about the bag is that the material is quite loud and when holding or opening the bag it rustles quite loudly.

Overall though I think that it’s refreshing to see such an interesting new design. It would make a good day bag especially for short day trips or perhaps even for cyclists.

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