Posts Tagged travel bags
For travelers, the art of choosing a day bag that’s big enough to fit the items you need without adding unnecessary bulk isn’t always easy. With a look similar to a scaled-down messenger tote, the OverLand Equipment Maisie Bag does it nicely.
The super-roomy bag weights less than a pound (0.90 lbs, to be exact) and is made from 840D and 1680D ballistic nylon—sturdy enough to take plenty of adventures with you. The lining is 210D ripstop nylon, and the computer pocket has a fleece liner.
The large main compartment fits all sorts of things, from a handful of magazines to a huge lunch to a DSLR camera. The computer pocket fits up to a 13-inch laptop, so even the smaller tablets will fit just fine. I tried, but just couldn’t get my behemoth DSLR camera and my 13-inch laptop in the bag at the same time. The front compartment has a handful of organizer pockets (including two with zippers) to fit your cell phone, pens, notes, keys and nearly any manner of smaller items that would clutter up your pockets.
Grab your bag by the adjustable strap, and wear it cross-body or as a shoulder tote. You can also pick it up by a handy top handle. Just remember to watch yourself on the plane, and notice that you’re not whacking anyone with the bag when you walk down the aisle.
The Maisie Bag comes in an assortment of colors: moss green with tan accents, red-violet with tan accents, denim with tan accents, wheat (light khaki) with tan accents, dove (light gray), blackberry (dark gray-blue) with dusty blue accents, and black with dusty blue accents.
I’ve used this bag on a few recent trips, when my DSLR camera and laptop didn’t have to do battle, and definitely plan to bring it along on many more this spring and summer.
Sometimes you just can’t pack light for a long or gear-intensive trip. When that happens, you need luggage that can fit everything in the most convenient way possible, to avoid that multi-bag “yard sale” feeling. One of the best bags that gets it all in without struggle is the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior.
This duffel on wheels is lightweight and has multiple carrying options, depending on the terrain. Grab the handle and wheel it along when things are smooth, or use the side and top haul handles when you’re hiking stairs and getting between tight spaces. The durable lockable zippers, reinforced material blocking, bumper protection, and the sturdy wheel and handle system will keep this bag from falling apart easily on your multiple adventures.
The gigantic main compartment has interior compression straps and a side zippered mesh pocket. The secondary compartment allows for a dedicated space to put your gear so that it’s separate from your clothing. Use the additional laundry chute to keep your dirty clothes away from everything else. Traveling companions will thank you.
There are also plenty of attachment options for exterior loading, when you can’t get absolutely everything into the bag. The stowable equipment keeper secures clothing and gear (like that helmet) on the outside, and includes the handy Porter Key bottle opener. Hey, why spend time digging for a bottle opener when you need one? Some things require speed. In addition, you can use the exterior front compression straps to lash gear to the bag.
If you’ve got any of Eagle Creek’s Pack-It folders, cubes, sacs, or kits, they’ll integrate easily into this duffel so you can spend less time digging around for that essential item.
I’ve used the bag on a couple of longer road trips, but am especially excited to use it for a variety of ski trips this winter. Now that’s a sport where I have a lot of gear.
See more reviews of Eagle Creek travel gear.
Despite the flexibility of expandable suitcases, it always seems more difficult to cram everything into your bag for the trip home. If it’s always when you’re packing for a trip that you remember you keep meaning to buy an extra, packable bag, get ahead of the game with the High Sierra Pack-N-Go Duffel.
The duffel has a large main compartment, useful for fitting your excess gear, as well as a smaller, side pocket. The adjustable shoulder strap plus the handle straps (which convert into backpack straps) allow a few ways to carry the bag, just in case you cram it with a bunch of magazines and have to switch your carrying strategy to keep from losing the feeling in your hands. Hey, it’s been done.
Best of all, the duffel folds up and packs into a matching toiletry pouch, so it doesn’t take up too much room in that expandable suitcase. When you’re using the duffel, the toiletry pouch can stash your extra items as well.
The Pack-N-Go Duffel comes in four sizes: 20 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches and 36 inches. Match the size of your bag to how much stuff you need to haul around, or get a small one and a large one, just in case. For the purposes of this review, I have listed pricing for the 20-inch duffel.
The duffel came in handy for me on my recent Australia trip, when I flew in a small plane and there was a luggage weight restriction, which meant that I had to leave some of my gear behind until I returned. I just picked out what I thought I needed for four days and packed into the duffel.
The 20-inch High Sierra Pack-N-Go Duffel lists for $22.49 to $35.95 (price depends on color) at Amazon. The same size bag is priced between $19.99 and $22.49 at Altrec or eBags, again depending on color.
For some, it’s the eternal travel question: backpack or shoulder bag? There’s usually only room for one, but not both. With the Nau Lightbeam Tote, you actually get a chance to have a bag that morphs into both possibilities without having to go back to your hotel room.
The Lightbeam Tote’s recycled polyester fabric is soft and lightweight, and the bag compresses into a mesh organizer bag, which makes it easy to pack along on your travels. Spend less than a minute threading the carrying strap into a new configuration, and the bag becomes either a backpack or tote to carry on your shoulder.
A huge main compartment can be stuffed with nearly anything you need. The bag also has a handful of separate pockets ensure that there’s a place for your gear. I used this bag as my main city bag on a recent trip in Wales, as well as the one I stowed under my seat for the flight over (containing the essentials: headphones, wallet, book, phone, etc.). The bulky backpack that kept my laptop and DSLR remained in the overhead bin.
The Lightbeam Tote is not the ideal bag for carrying heavy things, like your laptop. The roomy main compartment’s lack of structure means that your laptop slides around a lot, which isn’t optimal for easy toting. Also, when using the bag as a shoulder tote, it was difficult to adjust the length of the strap without it slipping back a few minutes later.
That said, the bag is a great, lightweight option for those who don’t carry too much with them when they travel, and also want an option for how to carry their essentials.
The Lightbeam Tote lists for $96 on the Nau website.
Sometimes, it seems like there’s a different daypack for every day of the week—for an entire year. Some are better for certain types of hiking or trekking, but I’ve found a great all-arounder in the Kelty Women’s Redwing 40.
The pack isn’t new. It’s a tried-and-true classic Kelty design, but has recently gotten a facelift. One of the things I like the most about is that it balances the need for a variety of organization pockets with a super-roomy main compartment. I feel like I have plenty of ways to stash items I need to keep separately, in a place I’ll (mostly) remember where I put them. And then, I still have tons of room in the big compartment.
The 41-liter pack’s suspension system is tailored for a women’s frame, and includes a LightBeam aluminum stay, plus well-padded shoulder straps and waist belt. The back panel wicks moisture away from you, and is ventilated as well, so you don’t have to bathe in perspiration on those warm hiking days.
Aside from all the awesome pockets, the pack is hydration compatible (you need to provide the water container, however) and includes side compression straps and ice-ax loops. I was initially skeptical of the big carry handle on the front of the pack, until using it and realized it’s much more handy than carrying the pack around by the top loop.
I’ve been wearing the Redwing 40 around the floor of the gigantic, and sometimes overwhelming, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show in Salt Lake City this week. I’m on my feet here all day, and having the pack along has been a great help.
Considering that I’ve lamented girly colors in travel gear in Practical Travel Gear reviews in the part, I think it’s worth noting that my Redwing 40 is the bright turquoise (called “jewel”) color. See? I can do color.