As a frequent traveler, I know that different people like different bags for their travels. And, if you're like me, different trips call for different bags, though some bags are great for all trips, including this new weekender backpack from Travelon. It can be used as a weekender, but you can also use it as a briefcase or commuter bag. It has so many uses and so many different ways to carry it. It's a powerhouse of a carry-on and I can't wait for you to see everything it does.
If you're looking for a classic looking bag that'll work for a variety of situations and can carry your giant laptop (or a smaller one), you need to look into this backpack, because spoiler alert, it doesn't have to be worn as a backpack!
So, I packed this thing up like Eric was going on a weekend trip, since his clothing is larger than mine and you can see how two pair of pants and two shirts fit within the flaps. You could probably fit another one of either in there without having to sit on it to zip it up. I love that it still has tie-down straps, plus the flaps make it impossible to get clothing stuck in the zipper when closing your bag, because that's the worst, right? Because there was so much extra side space when the clothing was "locked up", I just shoved a few pair of socks in that open space (which you can see in the lower right corner up there). If I were packing this for me, this is where I'd shove a pair of sandals and my flat iron. Obviously, you don't have to fill it with anything, but I like to fill in what available space I have if I can.
While your clothing is not sliding around getting all wrinkled, you also have two nice pockets to use for undies, socks, ties, toiletries. One has a stretchy top to keep everything in and one is a mesh zipper pocket, which is where I have used for a large battery backup for charging a phone and a tablet at once. I love that the main compartment completely unzips on three sides, so you can lay your bag flat for packing and unpacking.
In front of the main compartment is a smaller zipper compartment that has two smaller slot pockets, which are perfect for your phone or other little electronics or necessities. There's a padded slot pocket for your tablet and an RFID-blocking zipper compartment in front of that for your passport. It has card slots for your credit cards as well, so you're completely organized and no one can steal your info
And you know that no Travelon bag is complete without a tiny flashlight so you can find everything inside. You never know when you might need this elsewhere too, plus it's on a clip leash, so you can also always find your keys.
Behind the main compartment is a huge padded slot pocket for your laptop. I have a giant 17" one and it fits with room to spare. Awesome! Oh and you know what's twice as awesome? This bag is checkpoint friendly. That means you can zip it open and lay it flat on the conveyor belt to go through the x-ray instead of taking your laptop out and putting it in a gray bin.
There's a little zipper compartment in the back that you can use for change or other items you want close at hand. It fit my laptop charger in there, which is nice, because there's often no place for it that's convenient.
And in the very front is a great pocket for other necessities. Since you always need to be able to get to your 3-1-1 liquid bag easily at security, I put mine in this pocket. It fit! (Also, that means any spillage would be contained to one pocket and not ruin anything in your bag.)
Last, but not least, is the zip out beverage (or umbrella) holder. I have this huge thermos that I take everywhere, but it fit just fine. You'll always have hydration within easy reach.
Okay, now lets talk about the outside of the bag. The inside is large, bu the outside makes it seemlike it's much smaller, because it's very compact and isn't overwhelming, even when packed full.
The backside of the bag is all business and convenience. It has a pass-through slot for your carry-on handle (yay!), a padded mesh panel so your back doesn't get all sweaty or beat up while carrying it, and a big pocket that hides your backpack straps (which clip to the bottom when you want to use them
#1 way to carry it: Like a briefcase with this awesome padded side handle. I love the look of it like this, and sometimes you just need to grab your bag and toss it in the overhead.
#2 way to carry it: Like a backpack with the hidden straps. Need to run through the terminal, hike up the steps on the Underground or get down the tiny airplane aisle? This is the way to do it. Plus, now your hands are free for coffee and snacks...oh and your boarding pass or phone. Your straps are adjustable, so little people can wear it just as well as big people, plus you have strap belts for your chest, so there's no slippage if your bag's a bit too heavy.
#3 way to carry it: As a crossbody bag. For the most part, this is my favorite way to wear my carry-on, because I can get to things inside if I need to. It also distributes the weight better for me than a shoulder bag. The Classic Plus Convertible Weekend Backpack has a removable padded shoulder strap that doesn't hurt your shoulder or dig into your neck. Love it!
#4 way to carry it: As a shoulder bag. Your shoulder strap is adjustable! So, if you're tall or short or want to carry it this way or another way, it adjusts to suit you. That's pretty awesome, right? That means I can carry this comfortably at 5'1" and my husband can carry it comfortably at 5'10".
Want to carry this backpack around your destination or just make it practically impossible for anyone to steal your goods while in the overhead? This bag has locking zippers all the main compartments: the large one, the laptop one and the smaller front one. No one's getting past those without some time to figure it out. The bag (and removable shoulder strap) also has slash-proof construction, so they aren't getting your stuff another way either. None of these features make the bag bulky or heavy. It's very lightweight empty, so the only bulk is going to come from what you add.
Here's another great gift for the traveler on your list, or go ahead and put it on your own wish list. I'm headed to Las Vegas again in February, so this may fit everything I need for four days of conferencing and sightseeing. I'm not that strong, and even though I can lift my normal size carry-on into the overhead, I panic and can't do it when there are people waiting for me to get out of the aisle. This will fit right under my seat and I'll be a lot more confident in getting out of everyone's way. And hey! There's that awesome top handle for pulling your bag out of the overhead or from under your seat. So. Many. Convenient. Features.
How much it costs: $124-175
Colors it comes in: Black
Other specs: Size: 14"x20"x7", Strap Drop Length: 12” – 21”, water-resistant 1260 denier nylon with top-grain leather accents
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Disclaimer: I received the Anti-Theft Classic Plus Convertible Weekender Backpack from Travelon for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.