I didn't get a chance to write much while living in NYC for a month, but now that I'm back I wanted to relay my experience of a single backpack in the big apple.
My packing list wasn't very large: /blog/2012/7/14/one-month-one-bag.html. I mostly brought with me clothes, camera gear, and computers. Let me start by saying that the experience was very good. I not only enjoyed New York I enjoyed not having to carry much with me.
Most people pack more than they need because they worry about needing something that they don't have. There were a few things that I missed, but none of them were major items. I managed to forget finger nail clippers and cough medicine, but thankfully there was a pharmacy next door where I could buy some.
If I had it to do over again, the main change I would make is to swap a few shirts for extra jeans or shorts. I ended up having to do laundry about twice a week. That wasn't hard, since my hotel had a washer/dryer, but the extra jeans would have been convenient to have.
There were a few things I brought that I could have done without. I did use my 70-200mm lens, but only a few times. Surprisingly enough my camera battery lasted a full month! If I won't be taking many pictures I could probably survive with just batteries and no charger. I could also have left my second pair of shoes and only taken my sneakers. If you are walking a lot in a big city it makes sense to only bring and wear your most comfortable walking/running shoes.
On the performance of my Goruck GR1.
The GR1 is certainly the best pack I've ever owned. Carrying it everywhere in the city was a great experience. it's comfortable to carry and safely holds my laptop and camera for long walks to central park or various coffee shops. Highly recommended.
The only problem with my scheme was I didn't account for bringing back items from my trip. I managed to squeeze in the t-shirts I got at WWDC, but when it came time to bring back the growler I bought at the Gingerman in Manhattan I was completely hopeless. I ended up carrying it on in a large shopping bag, but lugging it through the airport on the trip back wasn't nearly as enjoyable as being bag free on the trip there.
All things considered, I'm now hooked on traveling with one bag, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who travels for business or pleasure.