By Cacinda Maloney
Luggage and backpack review
One of the things that has changed the most over the years with my travel is how much and what I take with me. Today my goal is to pack less, which is easier said than done, but here I will try to outline some of the luggage gear products I love and take with me on my travels. When I really think about it, I am shocked at how much I used to bring with me on those international trips, whereas today that amount seems almost ridiculous! Even five years ago, I would bring 4-5 pairs of shoes, to match each outfit! My how times have changed.
I have divided up this article of my favorite gear based on the way in which I travel:
Two weeks or less, international travel by air: The goal here is only one carry-on and one backpack as my personal item. Of course, depending on where you are going and what you are doing (gear specific trips), this can be challenging. But once you start to pack this way, you will wonder why you never did it before.
For this trip, I need my PacSafe Carry On and my eBags backpack:
Carry-on luggage: The PacSafe 21” Toursafe carry-on is a must. I chose it because it is compact and contains a hidden mesh frame that prevents theft by slashing, which is like an internal padlock for your property. It also has puncture-resistant zips with smooth roller wheels. The semi-collapsible exterior hides a deceptively large capacity with external adjustable straps that allow for it to be “sucked in” or tightened so that even an overstuffed bag can be compressed and not look so big to those eagle-eyed flight attendants at the gate. It also has an internal narrow mesh compartment, which makes it easy to organize small items. It retails for $250, but I found it as low as $131 on a Google search.
Backpack: eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible is my go-to backpack for this type of travel. Since I carry electronics everywhere I go, this is the perfect bag. It has a laptop pocket that is easily accessible for removal. It also has multiple carrying options, like regular shoulder, carry straps, but they are detachable if you want to carry it like a piece of luggage and has 3 padded handles. It also opens like a suitcase. There is so much room in this backpack that it literally could be another piece of luggage since it has the expansion zipper, but don’t tell the airlines that! Also, the zippered pockets in the front of the bag make for easily accessible liquid bags when going thru security, plus it has a zip out bottle holder, that can easily be tucked away when not in use. One last thing, this is a great bag for small regional jets, so that you do not have to gate check it because many times the stewardesses will gate check anything with wheels. It retails for $99, but I have found it as low as $85.
Domestic Trip by air or vehicle of less than 1-week duration:
Luggage: For this trip, I love to take my Delsey Chatelet Trolly Case (Carry-On), I have written about it before here, but wanted to mention it because it is my go-to luggage for domestic travel. It is of the harder case variety and since I feel like I can have more room domestically, I always use it. I like it mainly because it is elegant and gives me the feel of a luxury entrance where I can dress more like who I really am in my daily life at home. What I mean by that is that when I am on international trips, I have to compromise the way I typically dress. I tend to like to dress up when going out domestically with matching and good quality products, so this fits the bill perfectly, and it is gorgeous too! It retails for $450, but can be found on the internet for as low as $195.
Computer Bag: For my day bag, I prefer to use my Rivara leather shoulder bag from Maxwell Scott, as again, it is much more elegant upon arrival than the backpack. I always feel funny when I arrive at a luxury resort with a backpack on, so this is just more about appearance, so fashion and function all rolled into one! It is sturdy and made from the finest of Italian leathers. I wrote more extensively about it here. It retails for $302.
Other backpacks I love:
eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior: This is a new edition to my backpacks, as I recently acquired it. I love it as much as its senior mentioned above, only this one is about 2” smaller overall, which makes it perfect for when you need a backpack that is not as big as the other Motherlode. I have been using it for more local staycations when I have to work a lot and working domestic trips less than 5 days or less. It retails for $99.00., but I have seen it as low as $85.
The Granite Rocx Tahoe Backpack: It is more for a day hike, picnicking and beach use and is not considered an overnight backpack. It is quite unique in that it has a strapping system to carry any type of chair, from a folding chair at a campsite to a beach chair for the beach. I use it for day trips with my sons. It also has an insulated cooler system that can detach, that can hold a 12 pack of cans, which again is perfect for day camping or the beach. It retails for $65.
If you didn’t find anything here you might like, My friend Sher Sg of SherSheGoes posted this article about the best carry-on luggage.
Disclosure: The luggage gear products on this page was given to me to use and review. I love each product as mentioned. One thing a good travel writer needs is good gear.