Traveling with your laptop

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by C5dad, May 9, 2017.

  1. C5dad

    C5dad Man on the Run!

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    So, how does everyone protect their laptops from damage while traveling. This question came to mind last night as I am contemplating a RTW trip, but thinking about only soft and waterproof luggage. I dread the potential of dropping my bike (not that it EVER happens, LOL) and destroying my work.

    I appreciate the assist.
    #1
  2. Boricua

    Boricua Been here awhile

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    I protect mine by keeping it home. However, if I'm forced to carry one it will bring one with a small solid state drive and everything goes to cloud storage. Laptops are expendable data is not. Some will say, what if there is no internet connection to access the cloud. I say use your phone as a wifi hub or get a tablet. They are a bit sturdier and almost as functional. If none of that is an option, then pelican sells pretty sturdy and water resistant cases. If what you have in the laptop is that precious. Then zero halliburton is the case. They'll cost you.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. anydavenow

    anydavenow Been here awhile

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    I haven't taken mine RTW yet, but I usually keep it in my backpack inside a small, light dry bag. Agree back-ups are important, reliable cloud access on RTW might not be there all the time, but should be at least every couple of days, however it's likely to be slow and not appropriate for media back-ups (photos, videos). For those, suggest backing up the cream of the crop to USB keys and mailing them home, though more experienced travellers might have a better trick.
    #3
  4. Bugzy

    Bugzy 2014 VStrom DL1000a

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    I brought a laptop on my last trip. Had it in a padded sleeve, and slipped it in behind my clothing backpack in my pannier. There were no issues with it other than it was almost completely useless to me. I took it out once to type my day trip and offload some pictures, then put it away, and the next time I pulled it out the battery was nearly flat. I camp a lot with no access to power, and going through the hassle of charging it didn't really work for me.

    If someone spends a lot of time in Motels, or AirBnB then sure, unlimited power is nice, but for remote traveling it was wasted space. I won't be bringing it again.

    I have a NextoDI to store pictures and videos on, and that can be charged from bike power as I ride.
    #4
  5. RDX*

    RDX* Adventurer

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    I placed my small netbook in my camel backpack. I backed up all important data to a USB-hard drive, just in case I landed on my back in an crash. This system has worked well for several trips. I believe the backpack has the least G-forces acting upon it due to the additional damping of your legs and arms.
    #5
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  6. justrider

    justrider Been here awhile

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    Pelican Case hands down. They come with the tear out foam padding and they are 110% waterproof
    #6
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  7. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I've just kept my laptop, with a regular hard disk, on my regular Givi top case inside some soft clothing and packed tight, so it doesnt get to move around. And never had one problem with it. Done this way through most parts of Asia, for example. It seems like bad roads are not a problem, although dropping the bike into a river or something would certainly be.. Not so sure how smoothly a cloud storage would work on a RTW trip nowadays, better and better I guess, but still in many places I would expect transfer to be sloooooooooow..
    #7
  8. C5dad

    C5dad Man on the Run!

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    Thanks everyone!
    Pecha - that is the Beta I was looking for. Fact is, if I am on the road, not sure if I want to be using an internet cafe or not. Processing pics on my day(s) off is just part of the plan, along with updates and emails, etc.
    Justrider- Pelican cases are bombproof for the most part. Can always look to Hardig for the military grade for sure (haha). And spot on for protection.

    I like the idea for backup to the cloud, though in many places this could be kinda dodgy. In NA and Europe, no worries. Other less civilized areas (where i prefer) not so.

    I am still about 18 months out of chucking all and spending my time on the road for a RTW expedition. Its about self sufficiency and keeping everyone up to date at the same time.

    Cheers!
    #8
  9. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    I went on a two week trip with my laptop in a backpack made to carry a laptop. The bag being padded doubled as a pillow when I camped. It worked fine for that trip but I don't believe I'll ever take it again, perhaps the smallest netbook that I can get with a full size keyboard, but I don't think I'd want the weight penalty of a laptop again.
    #9
  10. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I lugged a lenovo T55 around before tablets and most smartphones. Always backed up stuff like photos to a usb stick. The more copies the safer your data.
    I swapped out the old hard drive to an ssd. Much faster, and no read head to bugger up or disc to scratch - less power required too.

    My partner is the one who does all this, her phone, her tablet - which get used more on the ferry to France than at any other time.
    It has been brought into play when we are away in winter and staying in appartments, used for watching movies from a hard drive - sometimes it can be hacked into a tv.
    #10
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    This may not work for an around the world trip because it takes up the entire top rack, but my wife has a Givi satchel that was sold in Europe (I ordered it online for her birthday). It snaps onto a Monolock plate just like a top box. I suppose you could attach the Monolock plate to the top of a metal top box. You could put a padlock on the zippers, but in practice you would have to take it with you.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Jolly Roger

    Jolly Roger Been here awhile

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    I took my laptop up to Prudhoe Bay and Inuvik a few years ago on the back of my GSA. I purchased one of the pelican cases which were really sold, bombproof and watertight. However, it was a fairly heavy case and added a fair bit of bulk to my laptop. I found it to be overkill for the trip and subsequently, I've just used a padded sleeve sandwiched in-between clothes in my panniers. This has worked well for me . . . but again . . . I haven't gone around the world with it.
    #12
  13. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    I've traveled with an Apple Air laptop...and a Dell laptop. Each has gone into a padded sleeve then sandwiched into carried clothing either in top case or pannier. No problems with either...and they have gone to Alaska (and cartwheeled in top case during bad accident) as well as all over North America. Of course...I wasn't doing river crossings or riding down hills with boulder sized rocks either.
    #13
  14. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    My MacBook Pro with solid state drive goes into a neoprene sleeve and is sandwiched between soft bags containing clothing. I use it only for uploading photos from my cameras while on the road, and back those up to USB sticks. A two panel PV solar charger helps keep it topped off, and occasional stays in a hotel let me fully charge everything and get myself showered. I've never had an issue with the laptop, and the storage space needed is minimal - a very important consideration when traveling far from home
    #14
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  15. Bindlestiff

    Bindlestiff Adventurer

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    My crash-tested solution is to wrap the laptop in the sleeping bag. I had my bulky gaming laptop wrapped in a cheap department store sleeping bag in a heavy-duty trash sack strapped to my KLR when I hit a deer and went down at about 45 MPH. The sleeping bag was pretty shredded, so the thing obviously came loose and bounced down the road a bit, but the laptop was just fine. I would think a smaller laptop wrapped in a sleeping bag inside an actually attached piece of waterproof soft luggage would be pretty darn safe.
    #15
  16. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    #16
  17. bykergrrl

    bykergrrl Been here awhile

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    Thule makes a laptop case that has worked well for me. I traveled for work all over California by motorcycle and had to take my laptop with me. I used a neoprene sleeve inside the case and then make sure it is not stored on the outside of the panniers. THTMPA-115BLK_1000-2.jpg
    #17
  18. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    I have a Macbook pro with a solid state drive.

    I put it in one of the black foam sleeve and it still runs 12 years later with 160,000 KM on it.I now use a macbook air same Solid state drive and it is bullet proof

    I jam them down the side of my Jesse bag with my clothes
    #18
  19. LifeScribe

    LifeScribe Canadian

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    I swiped the padded laptop sleeve out of a cheap laptop bag and put this + the laptop inside my side cases (I use the one opposite the muffler). I've done more than 25k miles this way with at times multiple laptops. Never had an issue.
    #19
  20. Moggs023

    Moggs023 Adventurer

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    I have always traveled with a small (10.5") netbook blogging and uploading photo's each day. I exclusively motel it, throwing the netbook in my top-box (BMW) without any undue care or resultant damage.
    #20