Whether you’re a flashpacker or a business traveler that wants to keep the load light, this Digi Hauler convertible backpack by Eagle Creek could be your ultimate carry-on.
As a laptop or tablet has become as common for travelers to carry as a toiletry kit, and legacy airlines do their best to make you pay up to check a bag, a carry-on bag that can hold your clothes and your electronics is now vital. While some rolling bags have a laptop pocket, those wheels subtract vital space you could be using for packing, plus they add a lot of weight. The lightest rollaboard bag I’ve used is a 6.8-pound one from Delsey I’ll be reviewing later. This one without wheels comes in under two pounds—and has a higher cargo capacity.
So unless you’re a 98-pound-weakling and can’t carry your bag, this Digi Hauler allows you to pack more and be more mobile, especially in places where you can’t wheel your bag down a sidewalk. This one works as a backpack or you can stuff away the straps and use the grab handles for a suitcase/duffle bag. It holds 44 liters, or 2700 cubic inches. Probably not enough for a year-long round-the-world journey for all but the lightest packers, but plenty for a week’s vacation or long weekend break. All you need, with no baggage fees to pay. (Unless you’re on Spirit Air, Ryanair, or Allegiant that is.) That’s the same capacity, by the way, of the much-loved Tom Bihn Aeronaut I’ve used on countless trips.
This Eagle Creek one is considerably lighter than that one, but thanks to thinner ripstop nylon fabric. I’m not really worried about the durability. I have yet to wear out any Eagle Creek bag ever, over a period of close to 20 years now, so the lifetime warranty is not just a marketing ploy. The laptop section doesn’t have much padding, so you might want to put your computer in a sleeve, but it sits right next to your back instead of being accessible to thieves on the other side. There’s also a hook at the top for locking the zipper in place.
There are three other pockets: one on the front flap, a mesh one inside the flap, and a lined side one that can be used for a water bottle. All the zippers have pulls that are easy to grip and there are external compression straps to hold everything in place. It comes in three colors, all with reflective areas for safety.
Want one for $10? Our sister site, the Cheapest Destinations Blog, is participating in the annual Passports with Purpose charity drive to raise money with Water.org to build wells in rural Haiti. You can bid a $10 donation on this item that Eagle Creek so generously donated and you could score. (Open to North America recipients only.)
Want to bid on some other things to improve your odds? Perceptive Travel is giving away a weekend getaway in Texas and our contributor Amy Whitley pulled in a stay at a Ritz Carlton in California. But you ladies might be more interested in what our blogger Jill Robinson put up: a nice merino wool Realfleece 260 jacket from Icebreaker.
There are probably a dozen other things you’ll drool over. Visit the Passports with Purpose donation page before December 11 to see the whole list and try to win.