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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Travelon (New) Boarding Bag

Check out this lovely blue color

By now you know how super-excited I am by Travelon's products, so when they asked me what items I liked from their new collection, I jumped on the boarding bag. I bought their original one at least 6 years ago and have taken it with me on a bunch of trips and events around town. It's great, because it is cross-body and helps free up my hands for taking pictures and other stuff. Obviously, an upgrade was in order, and boy did they upgrade this bag! 

Old boarding bag

Last weekend we headed out to Portland's Eat Mobile where I was going to be spending a few hours juggling food cart samples, a bottle of water and stashing postcards in my bag. The perfect situation for testing out the Boarding Bag! I made sure to get a pic of me while waiting in line before I had my hands full and surrounded by hoards of people. (For comparison, I also added photos of the old boarding bag.) It's a great size and very comfortable to wear with the wide, adjustable strap. Let me show you what I was carrying around in there. I think you'll be pretty surprised by how much fit inside it.

  • Makeup bag where I keep hand lotion, a brush, band-aids and other girly necessities all in one place.
  • Actual makeup: powder, concealer (you never know) and lip balm
  • Keys: so I could get back in my car and into my house when I got there
  • 2 cameras: you only see one, because I needed the second one to take this picture
  • Smarty phone: so I could check-in and make everyone on Facebook jealous
  • Pen: again, you never know when you'll need one
  • Business cards: in my Moo keychain holder
  • Card case filled with credit cards, cash and driver license
  • Pullover - for when evening turned chilly
  • Two sets of bamboo utensils: we didn't realize they were providing Bambu sporks this year
Main compartment: Both cameras were in this mesh pocket before we got there, too
Amazingly, all that stuff fit in the bag and there was still room for postcards, pamphlets, an extra beverage bottle, my sunglasses and I could have put several more items in there. While the old bag was roomy, this clearly has twice as much space and the items are easier to get to, because the wide mouth of the compartments has more versatility and convenience instead of only being able to access items from the top. Even though the zippers go 3/4 of the way around the compartment, nothing falls out, because they have extra fabric to keep the flap from falling all the way open and from your items dropping out and getting lost.

Smaller compartment: easy to grab items
While it can be nice to have your smart phone on the outside of your bag, that also encourages theft. With the larger phone sizes now, it would also make this bag wider, so there's a handy dandy slip pocket in the smaller compartment where your phone doesn't get wedged in and you don't have to fight to get it out when you hear it ringing. It's cool that the pocket is near the top, too. No fishing around in the bottom of the compartment to get to it, no matter what else you have in there.

And here I am making use of the mesh beverage pocket
I don't know about you, but when we go anywhere, I always have a bottle of water with me. If it's not me that's thirsty, Eric thinks he's dying of thirst. This zip-open mesh pocket for bottles is genius, and most other day bags aren't that innovative. It stretches to fit different sized bottles (or your sunglasses) and allows the bottle to breathe if it's cold and sweating, so you don't have a pocket full of condensation. It's the only thing from the old bag - besides the great adjustable strap - that they kept, because they obviously know a good feature when they come up with one! When gorging myself on endless samples, some better than others, it was imperative to keep something on-hand to wash down food. 

After such a successful venture out with the Travelon Boarding Bag, I came home and repacked it how I would if I were getting on the plane. (Imagine that soda bottle is a bottle of water or a travel mug.) Besides my phone, there is room in there for some snacks. Probably, quite a few more than my one little granola bar. And if I pack a bunch, there is a snazzy little keychain light in this compartment to help me find stuff in the dark. It stays in place with a snap, but can be unattached to use elsewhere. Love it!

My makeup bag fits neatly in the bottom of the main compartment, then my sweater (because it's always either sweltering or freezing on the airplane), my iPad mini and power cords. As you can see, there's still some room at the top for anything else I might need to carry with me (or stash tiny bags of pretzels I procured on the plane).

I also love that the smaller of the compartments meant for credit cards is easier to maneuver and you don't have to unzip the whole thing to get to your money. another plus is the addition of RFID blocking material, so thieves can't steal your info. this part of the bag, where all your important stuff is, is on the backside of the bag and is against your body, foiling those sneaky pickpocketers. 

And yes, while you could use that mesh pocket for more electronics, I think it's also awesome for cash and spare change you will inevitably need at the airport or once you get to your destination. It's easy to get to that way and the mesh makes simple to see what you're grabbing, so you don't end up fishing out a handful of change and sifting through it and wasting time. This compartment would probably also be home to my sunglasses and possibly my DS, because not all games I play are compatible with the iPad.

Need convincing that this bag is not just for the ladies? Eric said he would use this on trips and found it comfy as a cross-body, too. It fit nicely on him and this is without the strap being fully extended. If you are a lady, you can even wear the boarding bag as a shoulder bag.

It's a great size for anyone and carries all your essentials, and then some. It frees up your hands to take photos while sightseeing, wrangling your kids, dragging your carry-on or handling your passport and other travel docs. There's also a nice handle on the top of the bag for pulling out from under the airplane seat, too. 

Do you love it? Learn more about the Boarding Bag below and then enter to win your own!

More information
Where you can buy itTravelon online
How much it costs$55.00
Colors it comes inblack | sand | steel blue (shown)
Other specs420 D. Polyester fabric that is easily wiped down if you spill on it 7 x 9.5 x 3.5

Now you can win your own Travelon Boarding Bag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Travelon Boarding Bag for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own


  1. The Stowaway messenger bag looks awesome.

  2. I'd love http://www.travelonbags.com/bags/wheeled-carry-ons/wheeled-underseat-carry-on-with-back-up-bag

  3. Uhm, how do we enter?
    I'd love one of these. Seems perfect for a day trip!
    In black, pretty please:D

  4. Looks like a great idea. A Mary Poppins bag only smaller and neater!!!

  5. This would be perfect for those day trips my husband and I love to take!

  6. While it seems roomy enough, it doesn't seem to have as many pockets or slots for organization like the old version did, which to me completely defeats the purpose of it. I loved the old bag because it was small yet allowed for really good organization. I don't want a slightly bigger bag at the expense of all the organizational features that the old one had *sigh*

    1. I disagree and have both the new and the old. I find it a bit tricky to get stuff out of the old one now and tend to grab one of my other Travelons, but if you feel like the organization-factor is gone, luckily, they have a bunch of other styles that will probably work for you that are similar in style and size :)


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