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The Best Carry-On Backpacks Available in 2019

Several reasons make carryon backpacks a favorite for many travelers. For starters, they are pretty convenient, and some of the added features such as locks, padding, and extra pockets make the business of traveling pretty easy.

We have reviewed a few options for you to make the decision of choosing one a bit easier.

#1: eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible


This is probably one of the best carryon backpacks you will find around, and the rave reviews are sufficient proof. The bag is constructed of the durable 840D & 900D polyester making sure that the pack does not bulk under constant use – you know how frustrating this can be. And to make organization a breeze, the carry-on has several compartments for different items. The bag can easily convert to a suitcase especially if you feel you need to carry more items.

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Pros

  • Made of the durable 840D & 900D polyester material giving you years and years of service
  • Several compartments for more natural organization of your items
  • Has a laptop compartment so that you can take your job with you wherever you are headed
  • Easily converts to a suitcase should you need to bring a lot of items with you
  • Can fit into the international airline requirements of 55x40x20cm

Cons

  • Cannot fit under your seat when fully packed

#2: Outlander 20L/33L- Most Durable Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack


The standout feature of this backpack is its attractive design – it is something that you will actually feel proud of carrying around. It is made of durable nylon fabric – water and rip resistant material. The bag is quite compact that it comfortably folds into a zippered pocket and so can fit anywhere. And at only 0.46 Pounds, this bag is probably one of the lightest.

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Pros

  • Attractive design that you can quickly take on all the occasions
  • Made from the durable water and rip resistant material
  • A compact bag that quickly folds into an inner zippered pocket
  • Weighs only 0.46 Pounds making it one of the lightest
  • An adequate 20L capacity for your travel stuff

Cons

  • The interior lining may start peeling off after a period of constant use
  • Inadequate padding and ventilation

#3: eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack


This appealing carryon is made from the durable 840D & 900D dobby. And for the technology-savvy, the bag has a laptop and tablet compartments, fully padded to ensure enhanced protection for your devices. This product is also convertible and can change it to a briefcase should you need more space.

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Pros

  • Made from the durable 840D & 900D dobby to last long
  • Has a laptop and tablet compartments for the technology-savvy
  • Easily converts to a briefcase for more space
  • Well-padded for maximum comfort
  • A zippered pocket for the water bottle
  • It is a water-resistant backpack for the protection of your devices
  • Perfectly fits under the seat and overhead bin

Cons

  • Only two significant compartments and may not fit anything else

#4: Earth Pak Backpack


The backpack is made from a durable and water-resistant material. It has easy to adjust buckles, chest straps and padded shoulder straps for your comfort. The bag has a 30L capacity with zippered pockets for more natural organization of your items. And for your safety, the bag comes with a whistle and reflective strips.

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Pros

  • Made from a durable and water-resistant material
  • Has chest straps, adjustable buckles and padded shoulder straps for comfort when carrying
  • Adequate 30L capacity with zippered pockets for easier organization of your items
  • Comes with a whistle and reflective strips for added safety
  • The backpack has an appealing design and can comfortably fit in any occasion
  • Lightweight and compact size making it easy to carry

Cons

  • Has a thins and noisy material which can easily attract attention

#5: OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L


At 50L, this bag has adequate capacity to hold all the stuff you may need while on travel. It is a pretty versatile backpack as you can use it on a variety of activities such as hiking, camping and on a weekend upcountry. And should weather decide to pull a fast one, you are well-covered with a rain cover. The backpack is made from a durable and lightweight material providing you with a significant number of service years.

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Pros

  • A versatile backpack that you can use for a variety of activities
  • Comes with a waterproof rain cover for sufficient protection of your items
  • The bag has plenty of room for all the stuff you consider necessary for the trip
  • Made from lightweight and durable material
  • Several pockets and features that help you organize your stuff

Cons

  • Has no space for water bladder, necessary for most hikers
  • May be too high and hence uncomfortable for short people

Why Choose a Backpack?

Backpacks have always been the most practical solution, especially for budget carriers. Most of them tend to be lighter and are constructed of sturdy material. And what’s more, their compact size means they easily slip under your seat – it couldn’t be any more convenient than this.

Carry on backpacks also let you pack everything you have in one single bag. This might seem impossible for some people, but nothing could be further from the truth. You can squeeze everything into one bag, but they have to be the items you will actually need – not that extra bottle of shampoo you have lying around in the house and think that you may need it.

Also, you can easily carry a backpack from the airport to the beach or any other place without much hassle. Some of them have wheels you can use to roll it along making it even easier to bring along. You, therefore, can convert your backpack easily to a suitcase.

For the tech-savvy amongst us, there are now backpacks with smart features like the USB ports and solar panels. This allows you to stay connected sharing the fun with your friends wherever they are.

It is also quite liberating to have only a carry on while on travel. Waiting for the processing of your luggage can sometimes take a considerable amount of time proving an inconvenience if you have an appointment to keep. With a carry-on backpack, you just toss your belongings on your back and head out leaving countless fellow passengers fumbling about.

Having a single carryon also makes you flexible. You can efficiently squeeze in the street among the crowds. Luggage can really slow you down in busy “people traffic”.

Then there is the issue of security with your luggage. There are horror stories of travelers leaving their luggage behind at the café only to rush back and find someone has claimed ownership in their absence. It is hard to forget a carryon as it is something that feels stuck on your back. It is easier to notice there is something utterly missing the moment you rise from the chair.

A carry-on is also secure at your back than a suitcase on your hand. You may not know which specific streets to avoid, and coming face-to-face with a petty bag snatcher is sometimes a reality. They will shy away from the more secure carryon and opt for your luggage on your hands as it is easy to snatch.

How Big Should your Backpack be?

Most of us, especially keen to stick to a budget try to squeeze everything into a single backpack, and it is for good a reason. The check-in fee is not anything that everyone is too fond of paying. Furthermore, no one fancies the bundling of their backpack with electronics and other variables with others at the baggage carousel.

Airlines are pretty strict when it comes to carry-on backpacks. Different carriers have different dimensions they allow, and the bag you choose may be too big.

Basically, if around Europe, your backpack dimensions should be around 22 x 16 x 9 inches. It should also not exceed 22lbs in weight. However, these requirements may be a little different in the United States.

US airlines prefer something smaller. The ideal dimensions are 20 x 14 x 8 inches meaning that most of the backpacks that are okay in Europe are not in the US.

Economy flyers in Southern China in the People’s Republic of China have 5kgs as the limit – pretty low.

The default carry-on weight in most business class airlines is between 12 and 14kgs. While most carriers are quite rigorous on their carry-on weight limits, it does not come as a surprise that budget airlines scoop the award in that aspect – being strict.

There are several reasons why carryon backpacks make fantastic travel companions. They are easier to carry, and all you need to do is toss them on your back and be off to wherever you are going. Carryon is easier to move around with, and most of them come with several compartments for more comfortable organization. All the above bags are pretty decent, but eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible is the real deal for us.

If the convertible feature where you can quickly turn it to a suitcase will not convince you, then others such as the durable material it is constructed on, attractive design and several compartments including the one for the laptop surely will.

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