Posts Tagged carry-on bag
This innovative, four-wheeled Getaway Under-Seat Tote carryon bag from Magellan’s quickly caught my eye. Not that I have thrown caution to the wind and decided to slum it aboard Spirit (which charges for overhead baggage), but that thought crossed my mind when I saw this item. Both Spirit and Allegiant charge for baggage in the overhead bin adding to the need for suitcases to maximize that underseat storage space. This would be great for those that travel aboard ultra low-fare airlines.
That kind of bargain hunting is perfect for those looking to save money and willing to fly those ultra low-cost airlines making this bag ideal for them. However, it could also be of interest to Southwest or Delta passengers concerned about passing the nosy gate agent scruff test.
I decided to try it myself and had no problems on any of the ten flights I traveled on with this bag. To be fair, I did not stuff another large bag on top of it (although my narrow briefcase was always present). And the bag may appear to tall to fit under the seat at first, but it does with ease.
The four-wheel rotation of this bag made it simple to maneuver within the airport although it was smaller in storage size meaning it is best left for short trips.
The main compartment has ample space for a small stash of clothes and a pair of tennis shoes plus some handy pockets, including a padded iPad sleeve, zippered water bottle pouch, and 3-1-1 pocket. It weighs less than seven pounds overall and is just about 15 inches tall.
The lightweight nature of the bag and lack of a bulky appearance make this an ideal travel gift for frequent flyers and is available on Magellan’s website for $149.
You can’t go wrong with a classic. If you need a waterproof, rugged, all-purpose duffel bag and want to pay a bit less than you would for most adventure-gear brands of a similar size, Helly Hansen’s 50L duffel is for you.
Helly Hansen offers their duffel bags in 30L, 50L, and 90L for $75, $90, and $110 respectively. I don’t usually open my reviews with the price, but it bears noting the value here: you get all the features you’d expect in a high-quality duffel for a price that makes you want to buy two. Or three. I’ve been putting ours through its paces for eight months now, and it shows literally no sign of wear.
It’s pretty, too. When the 50L duffel arrived in our household, it caused an argument between my teen and tween sons; each wanted to claim it as their own new carry-on bag. I settled things by taking it for myself. In the months since, my oldest has reclaimed it, putting it to use as a ski gear bag. It’s so versatile, it’s been pressed into service as a day bag for snorkel gear, too.
Let’s go over features: don’t expect a lot of bells and whistles on the Helly Hansen duffel. Like others in its category, the genius is in its simplicity. But it does deliver on details. The bag is made of tough nylon tarpaulin, with extra flaps to fold over zippers and keep moisture out. Its water-resistency is what makes it a great ski or snowboard gear bag. You get compression straps to tighten everything down (and fit into airline overhead compartments) and a zippered pocket both inside and outside. There’s a name tag holder and a padded shoulder strap, but I’ve saved the best for last: hideaway backpack straps that allow you to carry the duffel on your back. As mentioned, you can tuck these straps into the bag, but we keep them out full-time.
The duffel features a nice U-shaped extra-rugged zipper to completely open up the bag, and stiff end panels makes it possible to stand the duffel on one end (great for easy storage or for resting between your knees on a bus, shuttle, or plane). It comes in a nice variety of shiny colors including orange, white with red accents, blue, red, black, or purple. Buy straight from Helly Hansen for $90, or pick one up on Amazon for a few bucks less or look at Moosejaw.
Ever need one suitcase when you start out but two when you come home? Or have limited space to store luggage where you live? This Eagle Creek Morphus Bag can be one suitcase, two suitcases, or a suitcase and a backpack. But it’s not that short and simple…
I mentioned this bag back in my January gear trends recap because it was like nothing else on the market. It’s got a hard shell back, a soft waterproof front, and two bags hiding in what looks like one. On top of that, it’s got wheels or you can put the whole thing on a backpack for a daunting flight of stairs—but the straps are on the front, so no wheels digging into your back.
Already pretty cool, but the real magic happens when you need two suitcases, as I did recently when I went on a trade show trip and had a bunch of things to bring back. I did a quick unzipping that turned this Morphus bag into two bags and checked one of them for the trip back.
“What’s the catch?” you’re probably wondering. Well apart from the price, which is nosing up against $400 for the carry-on, you do lose a little cargo space since there’s an extra layer of bag in there. I can’t pack quite as much in one of these as I can pack in some other Eagle Creek 22-inch bags I’ve tried. A 47-liter capacity is not always apples to apples.
The Morphus comes in at a rather average 7 pounds 14 ounces when you’re wheeling along with both of them together. Obviously that drops a lot if you’re just using one.
When it comes to features and versatility though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any carry-on bag anywhere that has such a long list. This thing has all kinds of handles, straps, and grabs to enable you to haul either section multiple ways, comfortably. It’s got lockable zippers, multiple pounches, a padded laptop section, a tablet sleeve, even an emergency whistle. Yes, a whistle!
If you can’t get your head around all this, there’s a good video demo on the Eagle Creek website.
I mentioned the hefty price earlier, but I do have to point out that besides this being for two bags, it comes with Eagle Creek’s “no matter what” warranty. If you buy this and like it, you’ll probably still be using it when you’re 15 years older. Get the Eagle Creek Morphus Bag in a 22-inch carry-on or 30-inch version to check direct from Eagle Creek, at REI, or Moosejaw.
It’s hiking season, and whether you’re hitting the trail for a long trek or short jaunt, you’ll want one of the four day packs below accompanying you. Of course, day packs aren’t only for hiking: no matter what sort of traveling you have planned, chances are you need a backpack to store your stuff. Whether you need a backpack to put into service as a carry-on, touring pack, or cycling pack, one of the below will likely fit the bill.
MountainSmith Mayhem: Mountainsmith’s Mayhem has the look and feel of a larger backpacking pack with the size capacity of a large day pack. You get all the bells and whistles, including multiple loops for trekking poles or tools and compression straps for attaching extra gear. Like a backpacking pack, the Mayhem comes equipped with a hip belt and chest strap, and lumbar support to the back panel. You get a hydration bladder sleeve, side water bottle pockets, and a removable safety whistle. The fabric is ripstop nylon made with 420d Nigh Tenacity Nylon Duramax, and a zippered top pocket stores car keys and other valuables. Pick up the Mayhem in black and yellow at Mountainsmith for $129, or Amazon or Backcountry for as little as $90.Best for serious day hikes and short-term backpacking.
Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack:
The Patagonia Travel Pack boosts a 35L capacity like the Mayhem, but has a nifty party trick: it packs down into its own internal pocket to become he size of a large fist. Store the Travel Pack in a larger bag or suitcase, and have it on-hand for situations in which you find you need an extra carry-on or additional day pack. In this day and age of luggage fees, it’s great to pack this Patagonia away for travel en route. And it’s no flimsy thing, either: the Travel Pack is made of nylon double ripstop, and while thin and lightweight, it includes a waist belt and padded shoulder straps, a chest strap, and wide top-loading opening drawstring closure and snap-down compression strap. Pick up the Patagonia in Tupelo yellow, Larimar blue, or black at the Patagonia for $79 or at Backcountry or Moosejaw for the same price. Best for travel days and multi-sport outdoor adventure.
The KEEN Aliso pack has a 22 L capacity, and while it performs adequately on the trail for short hikes, it’s a far better commuter pack and travel pack. You get a laptop sleeve compartment inside which can convert to a hydration sleeve, and thickly padded shoulder straps so that heavy laptop doesn’t give you a neck ache. There’s no waist belt, but the construction is rugged, with a wide exterior zippered pocket and several organization slots internally. The Aliso is a nicely sized pack for when you need or want a streamlined look. Pick one up in bright chartreuse or forest night at KEEN for $80 or Amazon on sale for under $50. Best for air travel and work commutes or shorter day hikes.
Kelty Shrike: The women’s Kelty Shrike carries 26-30L in a very roomy main compartment, with a nicely sized zippered top pocket for valuables. With external loops for attaching extra gear and a wide top-loading mouth, the Shrike acts more like a 35L pack. With a shoulder strap system designed especially for women’s frames, the Shrike is the most comfortable day pack I’ve tried. (There is a men’s version too for the guys.) The waist belt is lightly padded and you get a chest strap as well. Inside, a roomy laptop sleeve doubles as a hydration storage compartment. Pick up a Shrike for $99 in light green or black at Kelty or at Altrec for the same price. Best for longer day hikes and serious road trips with outdoor adventure stops.
As these bags tend to be, this is a durable and solid contender for best bag out there from luggage expert Delsey. Its sturdy hard wheels spin in all directions making it easy to twirl around any airport or train station no matter how heavy.
It comes in a variety of colors to match one’s personal style, but the spacious interior remains the same in all. With a separate compartment to keep items wrinkle-free, the bag can be used for storing business suits while also keeping souvenirs and workout gear free from irritating one’s formal clothes. There is also a strap that locks certain items into place in the larger compartment, which is another measure for keeping things separated. Zippered pockets hold smaller items and keep them in place.
A sturdy top and side handle make the bag easy to lift no matter how heavy, and the retractable handle is strong allowing you to pull heavy weight. The similarly priced Brookstone model of this bag features a cheap handle with screws that loosen the second you pack the bag full of clothing and gear.
Another commendable feature of this bag is the excellent wheel casing that protects the rollers from getting stopped up with mud or dirt, which is a common problem with some of these bags that can affect their wheels. Most unique to some versions of this bag is the exterior pocket that zips open from to store paperwork, laptops, or other devices. This is not something typically available in hardside luggage giving this bag a significant edge. The lack of an exterior pocket on other bags is one of my biggest gripes, but it depends on which version of the Helium Shadow you buy.
Style-wise, this bag wins with attractive corner patches that protect it from the bumps and bruises of baggage handlers while also serving an aesthetic purpose. It is lightweight, which is important for international travelers often subjected to weighing their carry-ons, but also expands with the addition of a zipper as needed. A TSA-approved lock keeps contents safe and secure.
It is available from a variety of retail outlets including Macy’s or on Amazon for a very competitive price of less than $120, which is a nice surprise for a bag of this high quality. It’s also available at eBags or LuggagePoint.