I’ve done this in the past, the last one in 2020 and have recently had a number of requests to update what I carry when I’m on the go. Typically I’ve got review devices onboard, as well as everything people normally need in their daily tech lives which includes a decent water bottle.

The bag: OnePlus Travel Backpack

For a while, I was using a single bag for work and personal, but that started getting cumbersome. So the Booq Boa Nerve has become my work bag and the OnePlus Travel Backpack is my personal carry bag. I don’t need to carry as much stuff these days, so the reduced size of the backpack also reduces the temptation to carry more than I need.

There are plenty of pockets for what I need, including slip pockets for my phones, charging brick, cables etc. I really like the fact it’s so simple and sturdy, I can carry just about anything I need to comfortably and if I need to carry more, I’m probably in the car.

My Laptop: 13-inch Macbook Pro Retina

I’ve been using Macbooks for a number of years and that hasn’t changed. I like the physical size and power combination, it meets my needs on the move and most of the time as a home-based (with a desktop dock) solution.

Being an SSD storage device, I find the battery life is really good particularly following the battery replacement I had done last year. I’m still considering my options for an upgrade and whether to stick with Mac, or head for one of the many outstanding Windows-based options recently released.

Tablet – Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Yeah, I know it’s about three and a half years old now but for the most part, still does what I need it to. I consume a lot of media on the go with it, particularly streaming sports through Kayo and Netflix when I’m watching stuff the kids don’t want to or shouldn’t. Previously I had been producing a lot of content for Ausdroid on there also, but that functionality has waned as the performance dropped.

The fact is though, it is getting on: Running Android 10 and OneUI 2.1 so it feels dated and the performance isn’t really there anymore. The sad reality is, it is time for an upgrade but what do I do? There aren’t really any truly affordable, good Android tablets these days. I need the keyboard functionality and the stylus is a definite bonus: Is it time to give up and buy an iPad?

Phones I carry

As a general rule, I have at least two phones with me, for a variety of reasons. During the week that is primarily because I don’t want to have my work SIM in my personal phone. On the weekend there’s a mixture of reasons, one being that it’s often handy to have two cameras available, the other is battery and streaming while still using my primary device.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Following the review we did on this, this one shouldn’t really be a surprise. It’s an outstanding device with — for me at least — very few issues to report. The main drawbacks are the speed of charging isn’t great and the fingerprint sensor is slow.

It’s one of, if not the best Android devices on the market right now for all-around performance, a great screen, blisteringly fast 5G and an affordable price: It’s a winner in my book.

OnePlus 9 Pro

It’s the first device that saw OnePlus partner with Hasselblad and the last one before OnePlus and OPPO joined forces. While we’ve not yet (coming very soon) seen the results of this, it will almost certainly have an effect on the Australian market. Hopefully, it will result in OnePlus utilising the distribution channels OPPO have established and officially bringing its devices to our shores.

Despite it being my secondary device, I still find myself reaching for the OnePlus when I want to stream something on the go (not to my tablet) and keep my primary device available for other purposes. It’s got a really good camera and the charging time is lightning quick on this thing, even 12 months on, it’s a good phone.

Audio equipment

For me, this is actually quite important for a number of reasons primarily productivity. When I’m in the office, I need a noise-cancelling headset because open-plan offices can be a bit noisy and full of distraction. I also make a lot of calls, so that requires me to have a decent noise-cancelling microphone that removes the background chatter so in that setting I use the EPOS Adapt 360.

For personal use though, I carry two listening options:

Bose QC45

Without spending a lot of money, you’re not going to get a better set of headphones at this time. They’re lightweight, the audio quality is excellent and the noise cancelling is among the best.

One of the genuine points for me that won’t necessarily win me over but will sway me if it’s absent is a decent case. Bose has delivered this with its QC headphone range for years now and when you’re on the move it’s important to protect your investment.

Huawei Freebuds Pro

While I don’t use them heavily, they’re a smaller and lighter option if I’m making a few calls and don’t want or need the over-ear option. This also provides me with a bit of versatility and comfort in hotter weather, as well as long term listening if I forget to charge my Bose headphones.

Cables, Chargers and other useful tech

I’m steadily finding that I carry less and less of this type of equipment. Now with the dominance of USB-C, I don’t feel the need to carry any other connectors. With a good quality portable battery onboard with enough juice to fast charge any mobile device, or my Macbook I’m pretty sweet for a couple of days if I leave home without a charging brick.

But, given their physical size and the capacity to provide fast charging, I carry a Belkin charger too. Specifically, it’s the Boost Charge 30W USB-C GaN wall charger. It’s so physically small and light, I really don’t notice if it’s there or not. That is, of course, until I need it so it just stays in my bag along with a nice, long USB-C cable.

One of the biggest changes I’ve made over the last year or so is the portable drive I carry. No longer am I carrying a 2.5-inch portable monster with an internal spinning platter. I use the Extreme Pro V2 from Sandisk and there’s a number of reasons for this. Primarily that the portable drive I had was really giving notice after years of use and abuse…

The other reasons include:

  • The storage speed which makes my backups really fast
  • Ruggedised case for protection
  • Compatiblity with all of the device I use regularly

All in all, it’s just a fantastic upgrade that’s well worth the money.

I’m becoming more and more conscious of whether I need to be carrying as much as I have previously. The simple answer is no, I don’t need to and I’ve reduced the amount of stuff and weight I carry. At this point, I’m pretty happy with the balance of weight and functionality that I’ve got in my bag when I head out.

What do you carry in your bag that you couldn’t do without?

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JeniSkunk

Phil, what stuff goes in my carry everything tote bag absolutely wherever I go: Carry everything tote: Strandbags, Laura Jones, Casey Business Bag. Main cellphone, currently a Nokia 6.1 on Optus. 10.1in tablet, currently the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6Lite 4G. It’s also my secondary phone. Wacom S Pen stylus for Samsung. Power bank and a pair of USB A to USB C cables, so I can charge both my phone and tablet at the same time. MOBiLE CLOTH smart device screen cleaning cloth. Yes I still have my packs of them I’d bought, following Ausdroid reviewing them way back when.… Read more »

Adam M

Hi Phil, can the EPOS Adapt 360 connect to a PC and a mobile simultataneously? I could use a new headset for the office (or working from home in close proximity to the kids) and the ability to connect to both the laptop or PC for Teams calls and the mobile for calls on that would be most helpful.