A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to Madrid for my company’s annual marketing meeting. All 37 of us, across all of our divisions, get together to do trainings, work on initiatives related to our overall corporate brand and hold breakouts for each business stream. It’s intense, but there is also time for fun! I got to do a bit of exploring and wanted to share some photos and places of note with all of you.
The beautiful location for our meeting, about an hour outside of Madrid.
And, as promised, I also wanted to let you all know what I think of the Pakt One duffel, which I’ve been using for my travels this summer. (Please note I was gifted the bag, but am going to give you my honest thoughts!)
My Pakt duffle ready to go earlier this summer!
Trying to look semi travel-cute.
The Pakt One duffel has a fun story behind it. Industrial designer Malcolm Fontier’s Getaway bag had been out of production for several years when it was featured in the 2016 documentary, Minimalism, as the travel bag of choice of The Minimalists. After receiving hundreds of requests to bring it back, Malcolm and The Minimalists decided to collaborate on a new, improved version of the bag. So, the Pakt One was born.
It is made of eco- and animal-friendly materials, and is shipped in 100% plastic-free packaging designed by SeaHive. SeaHive fights plastic pollution before it enters our oceans by eliminating plastic packaging and educating consumers.
My thoughts on the Pakt One
What I love
My favorite feature of this bag is the zippered, outside pockets. It makes it so easy for me to access my passport, boarding pass, phone charger or book while still keeping those items secure.
Coming in at a close second is the laptop compartment. I always travel with my laptop, even if it isn’t a work trip. And it has always been frustrating for my laptop bag or tote to count as my “personal item” – meaning I have to pack my purse. My laptop is easily accessible in this bag, unlike in a suitcase, but is still packed away neatly and securely.
The dual-compartment design is nice as well. I personally like to put my clothes in the mesh section, and my shoes, undergarments, toiletries and bathing suit in the more private compartment.
It also comes with a zippered laundry bag, so I don’t have to use the plastic laundry bags from hotels. I need to keep my dirty clothes separate because I sweat a lot, and when I travel for extended periods of time I want to keep my clean clothes separate and fresh. It’s nice to be able to eliminate that plastic usage from my life.
What I don’t love
Shoes are hard to pack in this bag if you’re going on an extended trip. I could really only fit one pair of sandals easily with all the clothes I needed, so I’d say this bag is best for trips that are under a week long. And, since I needed both sandals and heels (I wore my sneakers to travel, PLUS also brought a pair of mules), things got a little tight. You can definitely fit a bit more in a standard carry-on suitcase.
My biggest challenge with this bag is that it doesn’t have wheels. I mean, it’s a duffel, I get it. For me though, that proved a bit more difficult than I initially anticipated because I hurt my right shoulder a while back, so I always have to carry this on my left. And, if my things are a bit heavy, it is tiring to not be able to switch shoulders. For me, this bag is definitely better for domestic travel or traveling by car, rather than longer trips through multiple airports. But, I had to go all-in with it this summer to be able to review it! I would say that’s more of my personal experience and travel needs though, rather than anything negative about this bag.
Overall, this is a fantastic travel bag, largely because it makes your belongings so easily accessible. I loved being able to always find my boarding pass, passport, what have you. And the way the interior is designed kept me organized throughout my trip, whereas with a suitcase my clothes tend to explode all over the room as I dig through looking for things.
So back to my trip…
We stayed at La Finca El Bosque for our meeting, which was a beautiful and unique venue! In addition to all our meetings and workshops, they had so many activities on the property and we were encouraged to feel at home. They had board games, archery, hammocks, a pool, horseback riding, billiards and even a karaoke bar on site. We did some serious singing on our last night there.
I am obsessed with this photo.
This one too! It’s currently my phone background.
These Mejuri disc drop earrings were on repeat this trip.
To call the meeting venue “dreamy” would be an understatement. This was my favorite horse on the property. He was so sweet.
After the meeting, I stayed a few extra days in Madrid with some of my friends from work – one Brit, two Norwegians, and myself! One of the things I love most about my job, besides that it is in the sustainability industry, is that I’ve been able to make friends from so many different places.
Sidebar, my friend Kristine, who is wearing the blue cami and white shorts in the below photo, is an eXXpedition crew member. She has sailed through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as part of an all-female crew to research microplastics. Which is awesome.
We only had about two days in Madrid (we stayed here), but we ate plenty of food and saw quite a lot of eco-fashion!
My Madrid Recommendations:
Honest Greens for a great assortment of plant-based food.
Mercado San Idelfonso is a phenomenal street food market. Don’t miss Mad Mad Vegan for the best vegan chick’n sandwich ever.
Superchulo for colorful breakfasts! Get the avocado bowl, hold the egg.
Lefrik for cute and functional backpacks made from plastic waste.
My new slogan.
Pardo Family is a concept store that includes home decor, clothing and gifts, much of it locally made. The interior is stunningly beautiful.
Rughara is a gorgeous shop with independent, sustainable and fair fashion. I bought this beautiful vest there, by Verde Moscú.
Walk With Me makes bags and wallets of recycled leather, right in their Madrid studio. I normally don’t advocate for leather, but I find what they’re doing really cool.
Here are some additional scenes from my trip that I wanted to share but couldn’t decide where to put them in this post.
Thanks for reliving my trip with me! Some of these photos are among the best I’ve ever taken, I think, so I hope you liked it!
Denise Kidd says
Hi, Kellie! Thank you for your review. I have watched several YouTube videos on how other folks pack the Pakt bag, but yours resonated with me. Perhaps I’m biased because I follow you, but it seems that you and I might have some personality traits in common (as much as one can feel that via the interwebs anyway). The one thing that was a dealbreaker for me is that there’s no backpack option for this bag. I am very petite, so having evenly distributed weight is very important for me. I, too, have a shoulder thing, so having to carry a duffel on one shoulder is not something I will be doing – and we all know shifting from one shoulder to the other just doesn’t feel quite right!
Thanks so much for reading here and for your kind words! 🙂 I’m glad my review was helpful to you! Picking the right travel bag is an investment, and I’m glad to have been able to help you learn more about this bag (knowing when something won’t work for you is just as important!)
What a fantastic-looking trip, Kellie!
I selfishly have been waiting for this post for some Madrid recommendations – I can’t wait to visit next month!
Thanks Krystal! Since it was mostly for work I know my recommendations list was a bit small, but I hope it helps you in some way! Please let me know if you check out any of the places on my list! 😀