Packing to be a Digital Nomad

Deciding to permanently live out of a 22-inch Osprey Ozone Convertible Wheeled carry-on comes with certain wardrobe consequences and requirements. It means packing for exactly one climate zone. It means accepting that clothes will be worn and re-worn and re-re-worn. It means carefully curating clothes as well as electronics and accessories.

The best piece of advice we got came from digital nomads Erin and Simon at (their blog is a must-read for anyone thinking about adopting this lifestyle) who wrote:

“Lay everything out and ask yourself what you plan to use it for. If it’s for a “just in case” scenario, then ditch it. Everything needs to earn its place in your bag by being used regularly. “

We took this advice to heart and it really helped in the paring down process.

In the end here is what I packed:

6 t-shirts
2 collared shirts 
3 shorts
1 bathing suit
1 Bluffworks quick-dry travel trousers (hopefully Erin and Simon got a nice referral credit!)
1 jeans
2 pullovers
8 socks
7 underwear
1 flip flops
1 trainers
1 hat

digital nomad wardrobe
This is my entire wardrobe.

Here are some more details about the exact clothes that I packed.

I’m no math genius but I’m pretty sure that means my entire wardrobe is made up of 34 articles of clothing.

After reading infinity reviews and watching some youtube videos of nomad bloggers using them we decided to invest in some Eagle Creek compression packing cubes:

The zipper compression technology does really save some space!

I also made use of one of Lisa’s old Coach zipper bag as my third packing cube. It works!

digital nomad packing cubes
The packing cubes not only save space, they keep my clothes organized and easy to find.
digital nomad packed bag
He’re my bag loaded up and ready for action!

But the hard work of paring down really does pay dividends! Both of our Osprey roller-backpacks weigh approximately 8 kilogram, making them cabin baggage on nearly every airline in the world. And there is no struggling to lift or carry them.

My bag fully loaded and ready for the road!

In fact, we were just walking through Hong Kong airport and Lisa was raving about how awesome it is to have such small, light and functional luggage. It was a lesson we learned the hard way on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala: our European-sized Tumi carry-ons made boarding and disembarking boats a nightmare.

With these 8 kg when fully loaded Ospreys we can navigate any travel situation…and even making our way through a world-class airport is less of a chore.

Lisa was equally successful – in fact her bag is a few tenths of a kg lighter than mine!


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