Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wheeled carry-on backpacks

After traveling to six cities and staying in nine different homes over the course of a month with my bargain bag, I've identified things I want in a travel bag.
  • wheels
  • backpack straps and hip belt
  • can be carried on and fits in the overhead bin (typically airlines limit carry-on luggage to 22" x 14" x 9")
  • can be checked. This means that I want to be able to cover the backpack shoulder and hip straps.
  • as big as possible
  • as light as possible
  • not hard to look at
Here are my candidates:
  • Rick Steves Autobahn 21" Rolling Backpack, $140, 7 lbs , 13 oz. I think it's ugly and the straps don't look very ergonomic.

  • Eagle Creek Switchback Max 22, $300, 9lbs, 6 oz, detachable daypack. It’s not horrible looking, reviewers like it, it has Eagle Creek’s fantastic warranty, and I like the daypack option.

  • Osprey Meridian 22”, $300, 8 lbs. 14 oz. Fantastic looking, technical reviewers love it. Zip-off backpack.

Not considered:
Victorinox E-motion 4.0 22" Trek Pack Plus. It's too deep (22" x 14.5" x 10.75").

So the products I like are in the $300 range. That seems like way too much to pay for something I'm not sure I'll like. Maybe I'll find that the combination of backpack straps and wheels takes up too much space to be able to fit my stuff in it. Maybe the combination will be too heavy. I'm considering buying a less expensive one to get a feel for the combination, but even a relatively inexpensive one will be a commitment. Hmm.


ml said...

I am a big big fan of osprey packs!! Maybe you can get one from somewhere like REI and return it if you don't like it?

Manduca said...

ML--You are a great/terrible influence. REI didn't have it in black any more, but I got it from EMS, which seems to have a similar return policy. Thanks!

ml said...

will be interested to hear how you like it!! I have absolutely loved both of my (expensive) osprey backpacking packs. I think EMS does have a very extensive return policy like REI