Rated 5 out of 5 by MomAPB Beginning 1-Bag Travel? Perfect Bag!
I bought this bag in the hopes that I could begin to consolidate my packing down to one, easy-to-carry-on bag. I think this is a winner! I bought it with an 11-day trip to Europe in mind, but took it on a week's trip to Florida last month to test it out (in a place where I knew I could get anything I'd forgotten).
First of all, I love using it while traveling on flights. It's just as large as my wheeled carry-on bag is, but without the added weight or bulk, which makes it easier to carry onto the plane (without worrying that I'll hit people in the aisles) and pop it into the overhead bins. The soft sides make it much easier to fit in one of those bins than the standard suitcase, and the handles on the top and side make getting it out of the bins easy. I bought the dusty olive color and love that it isn't black but doesn't scream "notice me," either. This makes it easy to spot when looking at the baggage claim area, as I checked it on my way home.
Second, I love how much room it has! Packing it was not an issue-- the base compartment is surprisingly deep, and the straps inside help to stabilize everything. I wanted a bag large enough to fit my clothes, toiletries, and my Nikon camera and gear, as the camera is not something I would ever check through to a destination. I was able to fit one large packing cube (14 x 10), one medium packing cube (10 x 7), a Mountainsmith camera cube (4.5 x 11 x 7.5 inches), and two pairs of sandals in the base compartment with room to tuck extras around the sides, and still had the top zippered compartment to fill with 2 pairs of pants, my small L.L.Bean toiletry case, and a pair of swimsuits. True, the bag weighed more than I'd normally like (due to all the camera equipment), but it was still comfortable when worn as a backpack, and the added knowledge that I wouldn't lose anything on our way to vacation made it worth it.
Because I was pretty sure I'd want to check the bag on the way home and have some space for souvenirs, I also placed a folded, large L. L. Bean Everyday Lightweight Tote on the bottom half of the bag, and packed my camera and clothes on top of it. When we were ready to leave, I simply put the camera cube in the tote, along with any breakable purchases, put the rest of the souvenirs in the backpack, checked the backpack through and carried the tote on. I was a little worried that the toggle pulls on the Expedition pack might cause a problem once it was checked luggage, but it came through the two flights home without any damage.
I'm very much looking forward to using it on a trip to Europe next month-- I plan to bring less clothes than I did on the last trip, which should make the bag even more comfortable. While it does take a minute to zip away the backpack straps at the ticket counter or at baggage claim, being able to wear the pack while walking around a terminal is so convenient-- it's nice to have free hands instead of pulling a bag. I imagine that will be even more convenient in Europe!
March 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by panorambler Solid travel pack.
The expedition travel pack is a perfect blend of carry-on and backpack. Lightweight and well made. Opens like a suitcase, nice feature. Works as a backpack or duffel with duffel strap. Breaking this in on trips to Haiti and Malaysia in the next couple months.
January 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by CohoFishman Quality
The travel pack is made very well and being on sale helped make it even nicer. It will get a good work out the year with all the fishing trips that I have planned. Perfect size for the overhead compartment in an aircraft and has nice pockets for my fly reels. No straps on the side for fly rods.
January 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by oggiedogls Most versatile bag
I bought this bag to take on a 4 day trip to Naples Florida. I was amazed at what I could fit into it. It's comfortable and easy to carry on a plane and when we got here it was transformed into our day-beach bag. I absolutely love it.
January 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by tbjs Backpack Suitcase
Before buying this particular backpack suitcase I looked at 3 or 4 similar items from other suppliers. There were pluses and minuses to all of them. I chose this model for its size and a few specific features.
Pros: Zips completely open with 2 inner compartments that divide the pack into two nearly equally-sized sections. When open, the main bottom section has two straps to clip across the contents. However, they seem to be placed too close to the top and bottom edges of the pack to work as well as they might have. I used them diagonally as a work-around. The top one has a mesh enclosure to help divide and hold things in place, but no straps.
The website description isn't as clear as it could be. There is a very nice outer zipped pocket that is fully as deep as the pack itself. This is in addition to the semi-open outer pocket that is useful for stuffing a jacket, book or other stuff. There is also another nice generous zippered pocket that runs up one side of the outer pocket. A plus is the ability to lock together paired zipper ends, a feature missing on some models I compared.
Cons: The outer ribbon of loops down the middle of the pack seems fairly useless, at least for my purposes. It would be more useful if it was somewhat adjustable along its length. What was missing was some sort of side mesh pocket for water bottles or other small items. This would have been a nice feature. There is no waist or hip belt option and the shoulder straps are OK but not especially generous or comfortable for long hauls. There are two diagonal side compression straps that are helpful to secure the semi-open outer pocket. A few side compression straps would be more useful, especially if the pack is not full. A few inner dividers or open pockets would also be useful for small items, as well as someplace to keep an ID tag and such.
All in all, this pack holds a lot more than I expected. With the addition of a few things mentioned above, it would be even better.
A 2/3-sized sister model would be a nice feature for smaller-framed persons. There is a smaller day-pack model, but something in-between would be a great addition to the line.
January 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Kinger64 The Best Carry On
A bag you can cram full, carry one of four ways and fit overhead. What more can you ask for?
January 5, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by wrassler cavernous
Excellent bag for a weekend or week, surprisingly seems as though you cannot fill it! Comfortable to carry and the feature of storing the straps when not needed is great. Love the zip pulls! Its the details that count!
January 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by NewLLBeanLover2013 Greatest Travel Pack!!
I bought two of these, one for my boyfriend and one for me. We often travel on small trips. I was annoyed that I had to carry like three different bags to fit everything I needed, but this last week I had to leave for three days and packed for a week in case. All fit in my backpack beautifully!! And I had to hike like 45 min each way, straps were so comfortable and the contour shape fit my body like a glove, strong and smooth back, nothing poking my back from objects in the main compartment. MUST BUY!! Thanx LLBean for making my travels way more enjoyable, no luggage hassle. Keeps me organized, and I bought the medium LLBean personal organizer that fits like a glove in this backpack. I'll pack for two weeks nxt time!
December 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by StuB Holds a ton and still able to carry on airplane
I grabbed this bag as I needed a carry-on for a flight. I was very impressed with how much it held. I was able to pack 4 days of clothes for my son and I in this bag. The shoulder strap is very comfortable and I also like the fact that I can wear it as a backpack if needed. This bag is practical, durable, and holds much more than you would think. A keeper for sure!
December 6, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by GoingGoing Yes and No
I wanted something super lightweight as a carry-on for long trips. This bag was almost perfect, but in the end I decided it was a little too big for me to lug around fully loaded. When I filled it up, it was over 15 pounds and too bulky for my purposes. For a bigger, stronger person it might be great, but I reluctantly returned it.
September 12, 2013