Packing the Perfect Bag
Tumi Super Leger International Carry-On: Lighter than most midsize rollers (which weigh around 15 lbs).It has an abrasion- and water-resistant nylon shell, an aircraft-grade aluminum handle, and easily maneuverable in-line skate wheels. Weight: 6 lbs, Height: 19.5", Width: 15", Depth: 9", Price: $395
Zero Halliburton Hybrid Wheeled Boarding Tote: Escape the tyranny of jammed overhead bins with this half-poly, half-ballistic-nylon roller. Its well-protected interior holds suits, shirts, and shoes but the bag still fits under the seat. The 39.5-inch handle works for tall travelers. Weight: 7 lbs, Height: 15.5", Width: 13.5", Depth: 8", Price: $250
Matt Singer Weekend Bag: A classic roller alternative. The tightly woven shell keeps its shape and develops a rugged-looking patina with use. Handle grips flip for different weights, and there are three slip pockets and slots for two pairs of shoes. Weight: 3 lbs, Height: 11.3", Width: 20.7", Depth: 10.5", Price: $225
Moore & Giles Gravely Garment Bag: For the dapper frequent flier, this lasting carrier has a black twill shell oiled to resist the elements and soft full-grain-leather trim. The surprisingly spacious main compartment has ample pockets and a fastener that holds hangers tight. Weight: 3 lbs, Height: 40", Width: 23", Depth: 2", Price: $515
Portable Office Necessities
Tumi Mobile Power Pack: Contains enough energy for five charges of your phone, iPod, camera, or Kindle ($130 at tumi.com).
Verizon MiFi 2200: This pocket-size mobile hotspot connects with up to five devices ($270 at verizonwireless.com).
Yuento Music Balloon: A 1.5 oz., golf-ball-size speaker for your computer, phone, or MP3 player ($48 at Flight 001, New York).
The Dopp Kit
The ultimate in unisex, TSA-approved, high-maintenance-sustaining essentials
J.W. Hulme Green Canvas Travel Kit: ($120) Water- and mildew-resistant with a cognac-colored leather trim.
Benadryl Allergy Quick Dissolve Strips: ($6) Assuages allergic reactions and/or helps you fall asleep.
Living Proof No Frizz Conditioner: ($10 for 2 oz.) Perfect for humid climes. Plus, a few drops of water turn it into a light hair gel.
Ms. & Mrs. Stain Remover and Deodorant Towelettes: (part of Hemergency kit, $25).
C.O. Bigelow Peach Nut Oil Liquid Soap: ($5 for 2 oz.) Use as a body wash, shampoo, or gentle detergent for laundering in the hotel room sink.
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle 10 ml Refill Spray: (three for $90) A fancy, concentrated French scent (Géranium pour Monsieur) for a fraction of the big-bottle cost.
NPW Shaving Paper: ($6) Add water to two sheets to create a thick shaving lather.
Preserve Toothbrush and Razor: ($3.29, $8.49) Send these back once you're done (print postage on preserveproducts.com) and they'll be recycled to create picnic tables or park benches.
Frais Hand Sanitizer: ($3.50) Tiny (at .2 oz.) and made with botanicals to be less drying than traditional antibacterial gels.
Simple secrets to keeping business suits wrinkle free *
Hanger: Must be wood, with a rubber bar to hold pants in place without clips. Try the Container Store's Walnut Suit Hanger with Ribbed Bar, $10.
Tissue Paper: Crumple into arm-shaped tubes and slide into sleeves from the top. Kreinik Acid-Free Tissue Paper won't fall apart. $8.25 for 12 sheets at Kmart.
Garment Bag: No dry cleaner cellophane, please. Heavy-gauge plastic—like the PEVA Clear Suit Bag, $13 at the Container Store—protects clothes when bags are thrown around.
* Advice from Colin Heywood, Anderson & Sheppard Bespoke Tailors, London
The best way to pack four days' worth of clothes: We tested three methods
How to: Fold pants and lay at the bottom of your case. Next, shirts (arms bent behind, body doubled over) and then jackets, front shoulders together, facing inward, with the arms wrapped around one side. Packing Time: 10:23 minutes. Wrinkle Factor: 4 out of 10. Pronounced, hard creases; few small wrinkles. Takeaway: Packs the most in, but the wrinkle factor makes this risky for quick trips.
How to: Roll dry-clean items (suits, shirts) loosely from the collar or waist down, then place in middle of the bag. T-shirts, sweaters, and jeans can be rolled tightly and placed on the sides like a firewood pile. Shoes, socks, and dopp kit go at bag's ends. Packing Time: 9:44 minutes. Wrinkle Factor: 3 out of 10. Erased by a quick shower steam. Takeaway: Easy, efficient, and with the fewest wrinkles: the all-around best.
How to: Wrap clothes around a "core object" (dopp kit and/or shoes). Begin by aligning pants to the top of your core and wrapping legs around the top. Follow in alternating directions with suit coats (collars lined up with the core), sweaters, shirts. Packing Time: 23:24 minutes. Wrinkle Factor: 6 out of 10. Small and easily steamed away. Takeaway: No hard creases, but takes time and suitcase space.
Most Travel-Friendly Clothes
ExOfficio Boxers: Wash them in the sink and they take only a few hours to dry. $25 at rei.com.
Vilebrequin Solid Classic Morea Trunks: For swimming or running. $170 at vilebrequinonlinestore.com.
Unis Ian Blazer and Gio Chinos in Marine: Light, classic, and inexpensive for Italian twill. $800 at unisnewyork.com.
Fox River X-Static Xpanse Socks: Silver-coated nylon eliminates odor and cools sweaty feet. $13 at foxsox.com.
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Slim Fit Shirt: Wrinkle-proof but still soft. $80 at brooksbrothers.com.
Ultimate packing read
The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton (tip from Idlewild Books, New York)
Perfect pre-takeoff songs
Stillness Is the Move, The Dirty Projectors, Maybe We Can Slip Away, Barbara Lynn (Other Music, New York)
(Works abs) While sitting, inhale deeply. Exhale and lift thighs off your seat (Satori Yoga, San Francisco).