As my second time traveling to CES, I wanted to make sure that I packed light while bringing all the essentials. The unique aspect of my setup is that I’m taking full advantage of USB-C; a universal port on a lot of new devices that can handle charging and connectivity. This allows me to bring fewer cables and chargers because everything works seamlessly together.
Even though I’ve “simplified” my backpack, I’m still carrying more than enough gadgets to help me cover CES 2018. I’m sparing my back from the pain and possible injury of carrying an excessive amount of gear, much like I did last year. Most of the gear in my back I carry year round, but I do have some extra stuff.
Check out what’s in my bag during CES 2018 and let me know what you think about all of it!
The Bag: Timbuk2 The Authority Pack
This is the backpack I use to keep all my gear secure and within easy access. Timbuk2 makes very high-quality bags, and I like how much stuff I can carry without making the bag look or feel bulky. I chose the jet black color which helps keep the bag looking clean and also makes it easier to match any outfit.
These are core to my USB-C ecosystem.
Google Pixel 2 XL (128gb)
I’m rocking Google’s flagship phone which has a spectacular camera. I spec’d it out at 128gb to be able to store a lot of offline media. I’m also not a fan of cases, so I installed a matte black skin from dbrand.
Apple MacBook Pro (15 inches, 2016 model)
A very lightweight yet capable machine which is great to travel with but also powers my home office setup as well. The four USB-C ports are crucial to my setup, and I love the space gray color. I only spec’d out the graphics card which has been enough for my daily workflow.
While I’m not an audiophile, I do strive for the best audio quality even while traveling.
Bowers & Wilkins PX
A great sounding pair of wireless headphones. Out of all the nice features like noise cancellation and a wear sensor, my favorite is the USB-C port. This means I can charge my headphones with the same charger as my laptop or phone. My color choice is space gray, which of course pairs nicely with my MacBook Pro.
JLab Audio Epic2 Wireless Sport Earbuds
These are my current wireless pair of earbuds, but I am looking for an alternative. They sound excellent but are not comfortable when laying down with the cord on the back. This is also a terrible design for phone calls because the mic is on the back as well. Hopefully, I find a pair that charge over USB-C.
Portable battery banks are a must while traveling. As you might guess, mine are both focused on fast-charging USB-C devices.
RAVPower 26800 PD
This behemoth of a battery pack keeps all my tech charged multiple times over. With USB-C PD, I can charge my laptop, phone, headphones, and more without needing different cables.
eeco 5000mAh slim charger
For something more portable that I can carry in my pocket with my phone, I have this slim charger. It has a short cable, and a grippy texture to keep the phone from sliding off. It’s also hard to beat the price.
Specifically while traveling, file transfer speed and size are critical factors. And of course, USB-C for fewer cables.
Glyph BlackBox Plus 1TB Hard Drive
Since I don’t have a lot of storage on my MacBook Pro, I carry this external hard drive. Its 7200rpm speed is perfect for video editing and connects over USB-C for the fastest file transfers. The aluminum casing gives it a premium feel.
Samsung 128 GB Flash Drive
A super tiny USB-C flash drive I can use to offload files from my phone or laptop.
I usually take digital notes, but there are still many benefits to writing on paper. Unfortunately, there’s no USB-C compatibility here.
Field Notes Leather Journal
A simple moleskin-style journal for taking written notes. It’s just a cover so I can always refill the paper which is nice.
Sharpie Grip Pens
My pen of choice for taking written notes. These are also refillable.
Some extras. Can’t guarantee USB-C on these either.
BUBM Double Layer Electronic Accessories Organizer
I like to be prepared with cables and adapters, so I have an organizer for easy access. I keep my hard drives in here as well.
Icare Windproof Travel Umbrella
I hate being stuck in the rain, especially when I’m rushing to get somewhere. I always carry this umbrella on the outside bottom straps of my backpack, and there is a button to both open and close the umbrella.
Fugetek Premium Mini Tripod
A simple way for me to take different angled shots with my phone, or to better stabilize my phone while recording.