Product reviews are not something we’ve really done to date, aside from a glowing recommendation for the Aeropress, but if we get the opportunity to review something that seems highly applicable to the single dude traveler, we’re happy to do it. It was for this reason that we agreed to review Standard Luggage’s Carry-on Travel Backpack.
At first glance the $179 USD purchase price seemed a bit steep for a soft, nylon carry-on bag, but after further research we saw that competing products such as the Minaal Carry-on 1.0 ($299 USD) and the Tortuga Travel Backpack ($199) were priced higher. eBags does offer some cheaper alternatives within their line of self-branded travel backpacks but most look to be considerably smaller than Standard Luggage’s bag. Standard’s free world wide shipping also helps to justify the price tag. One caveat though, some countries may screw you with an import tax as was the case in Thailand where we received ours, they hit us with an 856 THB (~$24.25 USD) tax due upon delivery. For this reason you may want to do some research on international shipments before you order.
What’s in the box? Standard’s 35 to 45 liter expandable travel backpack (obviously), a full set of interchangeable orange and teal leather accents, a shoulder strap and a rain cover with its own separate carrying case.
At first glance, everything about the bag appears to be as exactly as advertised. It’s a soft nylon bag that appears to be well-constructed with high quality zippers and fasteners. We will have to add an update after some time has passed, but it looks to be built to last.
The design and convenience of this bag are nothing short of outstanding. It truly is an all in one solution for short trips or an almost perfect complimentary carry-on for longer trips. For tech geeks like us that struggle to carry all of our electronics and other gadgets, this bag really excels. It has an easy-to-access compartment on the back designed to store up to a 15″ laptop, a full size tablet, a cell phone, passport, pens and a zippered mesh pocket which is appropriate for cash, keys, bank tokens or other small valuables you want to be sure do not fall out of your bag when going through security. This compartment makes it a snap to pull out your laptop and tablet when the mouth-breathing, child molester TSA agents demand it.
The larger compartment has plenty of room for several days worth of clothing, particularly when expanded. It also sports two front pockets, built-in compression straps and an separate interior compartment for keeping things like button-up shirts wrinkle free.
The bag is comfortable to wear, easy to use and fits easily into the overhead storage compartment of all but the smallest planes and even fits lengthwise or sideways on most planes. We used the bag almost exclusively as a backpack because it is a bit large and potentially heavy to use with a shoulder strap but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the option. The backpack straps easily conceal completely within seconds if you need a more professional look. Overall this bag is a real joy to travel with and easily replaces a standard laptop bag plus a small carry-on. We have almost no complaints.
Pros: Convenient, lightweight, well-constructed and with endless compartments to accommodate almost any need you might have. The rain cover is also a nice and useful touch. Fast international delivery in just 3-4 days.
Cons: $179 USD is still a significant chunk of change for a soft, nylon bag even if there are plenty of competitors charging more for similar products. We would prefer to see the accents in more of a natural brown leather or black rather than orange or teal. It would be nice to have a bit more padding on the back of the laptop sleeve; we’re always paranoid about some idiot cramming something too big into the overhead and inadvertently crushing our gear.
Wish List: Optional camera bag style Velcro dividers for the main compartment. We would love to be able to section off one-third to one half of the large compartment and use it to carry camera gear. An option with wheels would be nice too, when fully loaded, the bag can be a bit large and heavy to carry any other way than as a backpack.
Overall, a solid 4 out of 5 thumbs up for this bag. If the price seems fair to you, order it, you won’t be disappointed!
Disclaimer: We were provided with a complimentary bag in exchange for this review, but we did not receive any additional compensation. The links above to Standard Luggage’s site are not affiliate links. This review represents our honest view and appraisal of this product.