I need advice on a new EDC/Travel/Work pack. The issue is I love my GoRuck GR2, it is my go to travel backpack and I'm not giving it up. The problem is I still need something to keep my laptop in when I go to conferences and maybe something a little smaller when I go hiking/exploring. I've been hiking with my GR2, and it has been working well, I just leave the stuff I'm not using in the motel and load it down with water, food, and my ever growing array of camera lenses, so the capacity is nice (I just wish they hadn't nixed the compression straps). The hiking part isn't that big of a deal, it is really access to my laptop/edc on the plane and a smaller bag to carry when I'm in cities/conferences that is driving this.
I tend to pack a lot of stuff, I'm sure some of you can relate, but I keep it mostly with the GR2's capacity (which the lenses are making harder and harder). I'm not going back to the backpack with the briefcase/messenger bag awkward setup. Looking like I'm going on vacation with Princess Vespa is out. I'm looking specifically for something I hopefully can either compress down really tiny and fit inside my GR2 (second choice) or something flat I can piggyback on the outside (first choice) like a HPG tara that I can attach and detach from the back of the GR2 when I get on/off the airplane. The small pack needs to at least maintain the "young professional who likes outdoor activities" look at the very least, maybe more professional if possible. Has to be as civi as possible (i.e. no molle) and I like backpack straps over doing the briefcase strap. My laptop is an old ACER Aspire and measures 3.0 x 34.2 x 24.5 cm = 1.18 x 13.46 x 9.65 in. Basically the same size as a old mac book pro. I realize this may not be practical, but I'm trying to think of a better way of traveling. USA/close ally made is a big point. I'm over 6'4" so the GR2 fits like a dream.
Has anyone done this? The Vertx Gamut looks cool, but probably too big and I don't think I can get it on the back of the GR2 (and that would be too thick). I the HPG Tara might be too small to fit the laptop and they don't make the Highlander anymore. Any thoughts? Help is appreciated!