The Perfect Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads

February 6, 2020

I’ve been working as a digital nomad for about four years now, and during this time, I’ve been collecting advice on travel-friendly gear that would help me have a decent setup without breaking my back.

Recently, I spent two months traveling around Europe with just a small backpack. And part of the reason I was able to bring so little with me, was the nomadic setup that I’m going to share with y’all here. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: All links to products are Amazon affiliate links.

Hynes Eagle Cable Organizer

Hynes Cable Organizer Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads by Ed Orozco Design Strategy & UX Consulting
Keeping all your cables tidy while on the road. Photo by

This bag helps me keep all my cables tidy during my travels. It’s super lightweight and compact, making it suitable for carrying around it around in your backpack.

It has six elastic bands for cables and even pens. The rubber is flexible enough to secure regular in-ear headphones and charger cables. However, they are a little too small for the charger cable of my Macbook Pro, though.

It also has two mesh pockets with zippers allowing you to see their content but keeping smaller items secure. I keep the charger block of my Macbook Pro in one of them, and my Magic Mouse 2 in the other.

One of the mesh pockets also has a tiny SD card pocket where I keep a SIM card key tool and some sim card from various places. It’s worth mentioning also that the quality of the materials feels top-notch, and the price is very affordable.

View the Eagles cable case on

Roost Laptop Stand

Roost Laptop Stand Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads by Ed Orozco Design Strategy & UX Consulting
Roost stand. Photo by Amazon.

Having your monitor at eye-level helps you keep a good posture, especially while working long hours. Many nomads suffer from chronic back pains generated from extensive periods of slouching over their laptops. Sitting for so long hurts our bodies.
I was recommended this stand by some nomad friends and I couldn’t be happier. It’s extremely lightweight and very tough. It’s rubber pads, and sturdy construction hold your laptop in place, and when you're done crushing it, it folds into a slim shape that you can slide inside your backpack or into a side pocket.

View the Roost Laptop stand on

Magic Mouse 2 & Magic Keyboard 2

Magic Mouse 2 Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads by Ed Orozco Design Strategy & UX Consulting
Magic Mouse 2. Photo by

I’m not an Apple fanboy, but I shall give credit when credit is due. The Magic Mouse and Keyboard are small, reliable, and lightweight. They also go up to a month on a single charge. All great attributes for a nomadic setup. And if they ever run out of battery, a few minutes of charge will give you hours of use.

View the Magic Mouse 2 on

View the Magic Keyboard 2 on

Bose QC35

Bose QC35 Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads by Ed Orozco Design Strategy & UX Consulting
Bose QC35 in black matte. Photo by

I’ve been rocking these since 2017, and they’re as reliable as it gets.

The battery still lasts a few days on a single charge, even after using them intensively for the past three years.

The noise-canceling is excellent when you need to get into deep focus in a noisy cafe or co-working space. So good, I sometimes find myself short of yelling while on the phone because I can’t hear myself (is it a bug or a feature? 🤔)

View the Bose QC35 on

2017 Macbook Pro (non-touchbar)

2017 Macbook Pro Non Touchbar Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads by Ed Orozco Design Strategy & UX Consulting

Whether you use Windows of Mac depends on your preference and the type of work that you do. I mostly use my laptop for Zoom, Slack, Chrome, and Figma. None of which are resource-intensive apps.

I guess what you should factor in when shopping for a travel laptop should be the right balance between weight and performance. This one does the trick for me.

In 2019, Apple discontinued the non-touchbar version of these and replaced them with the 2019 Macbook Air. They look pretty slick, but I haven’t found a good reason to switch.

View the 13'' Macbook Pro on

Personal Nomad Setup Lightweight Setup for Digital Nomads by Ed Orozco Design Strategy & UX Consulting
Here's an actual picture of my setup.

Bonus Track

I’ve been using a Regus membership that grants me access to hundreds of co-working spaces and business lounges across most major cities around the world. I have yet to visit one city that hasn’t had had at least 3 locations available.

The experience is as smooth as it gets. Just show the app membership at the reception, and you're good to go. You get a comfortable place to sit and wifi. Check them out.

I hope you found this list useful. I’m always curious about what other nomads are using in their travels. If you have any suggestions on gear, tweet me at @eddzio, and I'll make sure to update this post.

Happy travels! ✈️

Update November 26, 2020 - I just put together a Kit of the gear I use in my home office because, you know, 2020... I'll leave the link here if you're interested.

← Back to the Blog

Other Articles

Ed Orozco's Blog is a collection of Insight-packed articles on how to grow your UX agency.