After years of business and personal travel, I’ve gone through my fair share of luggage. I’ve coveted the expensive designer luggage from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. I’ve purchased cheap stuff from no name brands. I’ve owned lightweight “hiking-like” pieces. And, I’ve built a collection of high quality luggage from Briggs & Riley (which is amazing quality, but quite heavy).
After all this experimentation, I’m really enamored with the lightweight soft backpack from eBags called the Weekender Convertible. Maybe it’s that I’m older, wiser, and happily married, but I no longer care if I look smooth walking through the airport. It took me a while to get over the poor aesthetics of a backpack, but I’m glad I did. First, having it centered on your back keeps you from having one arm tweaked behind you. And, you don’t have to worry about the 3-4 feet behind you anymore. Secondly, most airline staff don’t give your bag a glance. When the overheads are full and they are asking people to check their bags, you can just walk right by with your backpack. Finally, the soft construction means that you can squeeze it into almost any spot. For those times when you collect too much while traveling, it easily expands to fit your new found stuff.
This bag is similar to Rick Steves’ Convertible Carry-On bag. It’s a little bit heavier, but the construction is much better and it has a few more compartments for logically dividing your stuff up. Personally, I think the Rick Steves’ bag is really poorly constructed, even for the low $99.95 price.
So thousands of dollars of luggage later, I think I might have just found the perfect bag. And it costs just $69.99. Go figure…