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A great travel bag: A review of the Journey System from Idea Mountain.

I have developed a taste for travel bags! I don't collect them - I only buy what I need. But I do analyse bags closely, with a slightly nerdy approach! 

I was generously gifted a bag by Tys Sniffen, the owner and founder of the Journey System at Idea Mountain. Tys asked me to give the bag a go. 

I was worried that I wouldn't like it, and I didn't want to do a bad review. My whole focus is very much about being honest and upfront with the people that follow me. I need to believe in products and know the people behind it. 

I need not have worried - this bag system is so clever, and the more you use it, the more you realise that.

I took the bag on our recent trip to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, and then recently I did a road trip down to Christchurch from here in Hamilton. So I've given it a good road test...and here's my review.

Please note: I am an affiliate of Idea Mountain (yes, I loved it that much!). This means if you click on my link and buy the bag you get a 10% discount if you  purchase through here.

Test driving the Journey System - #nocheckedbags.

This is a travel bag designed by a traveller for travellers.

When I started looking at the bag it didn't take long for me to realise that this bag was made by someone who has travelled... a lot!

Someone who knows the frustrations, the inconveniences, and the things that a lot of travel bags are missing. Tys has put so much knowledge into the bag. 

It's not just what we travel with, or why we travel, but HOW WE TRAVEL.

The smart looking Journey System.

So what does this travel bag system look like?

Let's get the numbers out of the way:

  • It weighs in at 1.7kg (3.7lbs)
  • The main bag is 20L.
  • The day bag is 13L.
  • The waist bag is 1.6L
  • So a total of around 35L. 
  • The dimensions are 28 x 25 x 50cm (11 x 10 x 20 inches). (Always check your airlines specific requirements for their carry-on size dimensions.)

Plus it includes:

  • A toilet bag with a handle for hanging.
  • Two large vacuum sealed clothing bags.
  • A shoe bag.
  • An electronics bag. 
  • A laptop bag.

"Hang on, Katherine, you said it's just one bag. What's all this extra stuff?"

Well, it all comes with it, and you can carry this all as ONE BAG! So it really is a Journey System.

Here's my husband wearing the whole bag at Rarotonga airport. No, he wasn't carrying it for me! Yes, he has his eye on it!

This travel bag has some clever design features.

This travel bag really does have some clever design features, But there is one design feature that elevates it to rock-star status...

The day bag unclips from the main bag!

Why is this so incredible? Because of the versatility this offers you. 

It means you can unclip the day bag (with it's magnetic clips) and:

  • Go to a meeting with your laptop, paperwork, business stuff etc.
  • Leave the main bag at your accommodation.
  • Leave the main bag in the car like I did on the ferry crossing, and just use the day bag.
  • Carry it as your personal item on a plane and put the main bag in the overhead locker.

The clips undo in 10 seconds and to reconnect takes about 20 seconds - so, very speedy.

The two bags unclipped.

Putting the unclipping of the bags to the test.

When we flew to Rarotonga, I placed the entire bag up in the overhead locker. I had what I needed in the waist pack.

But on the trip home I figured out that I could carry the day bag as my personal item and put the main bag up in the locker. 

The main bag alone, weighs 800g (1.8lbs), which means you could pack 6.2kg (13.7lbs) of clothing and shoes into this bag to stay within your airline luggage allowance, which is often 7kg (15.4lbs).

So that means, that technically you can carry more. With a 7kg main bag and a 2 or 3kg day bag, the entire bag once clipped together again would weigh 10kg (22lbs). 

That's IF you wanted to carry that much in a bag.

I put this to the test coming home to New Zealand. I put the main bag away in the locker (it only weighed 4kg (9lbs), and I carried the day bag.

When we landed I got the main bag down and clipped the two bags together and walked off the plane with ease.

I was like, "holy mackerel - this is a game-changer!"

On our road trip, I used the day bag for shopping and carrying stuff we needed during the day. I enjoyed having the option of just taking the smaller bag. 

But wait... there are more design features!

Here's a run down of the further cleverness...

  • The comfortable harness straps of the bag can be clipped either onto the day bag or the whole bag.
  • The toiletry bag clips into the top of the main bag. This makes it super easy to reach in and grab toiletry items without opening the whole bag. It also has a handle for hanging up.
  • It has a clever magnetic keyholder that can be attached in several places to what works best for you.
  • The waist bag has it's own pocket in the top of the day bag. This means you can put the bag and its contents straight into its space, and it doesn't need repacking when you go to use it. 
  • The main bag opens up completely like a suitcase so everything is very visible.
  • It has a detachable chest strap.
  • It has lockable zips.
  • The bright green electronic and shoe bags are hard to leave behind. I placed important but small things like glasses, jewellery and chargers on these so I didn't forget them.

It doesn't have a hip belt, which I personally like for hiking. But this bag is not targeting that market. It's more about moving between transport, accommodation and work. In this case, it works very well. 

Some people find hip belts can be bulky and flap around, making a bag look untidy. The focus here is on the bag being smart looking and having smart features.

The vacuum-sealed bags are a clever addition also. I've avoided using compression bags and packing cubes as I figure I never have enough gear to fill them and they are extra weight. The bags included here are lightweight and really do hold the seal.

The main bag opened up. Photo Credit: Tys Sniffen.

The internal view of the day bag. Photo Credit: Tys Sniffen.

Watch this video to see what the bag looks like in reality.

So that's a wrap.

The Journey System is a great option for travellers who want to travel lighter. It is very clever and well thought through in its design. 

This is a premium priced product at $US325. 

Tys, at Idea Mountain, wants this to be the last travel bag you buy! It certainly is a high-quality travel bag and a lot of travel experience has gone into its design.

The bag comes with a lifetime guarantee, and for every bag sold they plant 10 trees 


If you want to learn more about Tys - the man behind this clever bag - click here to read about what inspired him to design the Journey System.

I can hand-on-heart say this is a very clever travel solution. A great response and an excellent summary of the bag from a digital nomad and blogger was,  

“This bag system will TEACH you how to travel lighter”.


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