The hunt for the perfect travel bag started with our first big trip to Italy. We were going to spend two weeks throughout central and northern Italy spending sometimes no more than one night in a town. We had to be as mobile as possible for easy transport between destinations and not look like a ridiculous tourist lugging suitcases on cobblestone.
My goal was to find a suitcase as a backpack. I did not like the traditional concept of a backpack where you need to back down and up. This format would make it difficult to get items in the bottom of the bag and require complete unpacking at each destination.
The search for a zip around backpack proved longer than I expected but then I found it- the EBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible.
For the traveling we currently do, this is the perfect bag for us and I recommend it to everyone. Here are the reasons why I love my Ebags backpack:
Reasonably Priced -This bag is often on sale and can be purchased at or under $100 which is a great deal! For how many times we have used this bag for travel, we have certainly gotten our money’s worth. In comparing to other backpacks and suitcases, it is definitely on the affordable side.
Suitcase Compartment – The large compartment zips completely around the perimeter of the bag to open like a suitcase. This makes packing easy with the help of packing cubes. You do not need to completely unpack as everything stays organized. There are straps to help condense the packing cubes as well which saves space. I put the large and medium sized packing cube here as well as any additional shoes.
Storage – There are tons of storage and pockets both inside and outside of the bag. There is also a separate laptop space outside of the bag for easy access. The front compartment is deceivingly large allowing for a small packing cube and all the miscellaneous items you may need.
Carry-on Approved – Of course it is important for an advertised carry on item to actually be carry on approved. The bag is sized at 22″ x 14″ x 9″ and weighs 3 lbs, 15 oz.
Security – All of the zippers have a loop for locking capabilities. While we do not lock when going through airport security, we often use this when traveling between destinations or when storing our bags. Most of the pockets are also accessible from the inside and there are straps that lock the sides into place. While these are mostly to condense the bag down, it also secures all compartments of the bag.
Sturdy – Since purchasing these bags in 2014, we have used these bags for every trip both internationally and domestically. So basically, this bag has gone to every destination listed in the itineraries! We have not had any issues with the bag in terms of holding up or performance. And these bags have been through quite a lot! Also, the bags come with a lifetime warranty- confidence behind the product.
Relative Comfort – While this bag does not have the typical support of a framed backpacking bag, it does offer support with thick shoulder straps, cushioned portions for the lower back, and a strap for around the waste to help distribute the weight of the bag off the shoulders and to the hips. When having to walk several miles with this bag, it is good incentive to keep the packing light. More intense backpacking may warrant a traditional framed backpack.
After multiple trial runs for not only being under the weight requirement (often less that 8 kg or 17.6 pounds), but for how to get everything to fit efficiently, I developed a system on how to pack the bag as well. I have multiple packing tutorials and videos on how to get the most space out of this bag!
See a theme? Having done multiple variations of packing this bag, I now have it to a science that I am sharing with you! There are many reasons to pack in a carry on and different ways to learn to pack light and I hope these are all helpful tips for you and your next adventure!