A couple of weeks ago I came home from a trip and collected my little pink suitcase from the baggage claim, only to find the handle broken and the suitcase impossible to use again. I normally ALWAYS bring it on board as carry on luggage, rarely check things in these days (that’s what happens when you’re a magnet for lost bags), except of course this time… bummer!
Then the other day I messed up my flight departure times leaving Dublin (the more you travel, the more stupid you get, it’s a thing), meaning I had to run for my flight like my life depended on it. I did make the flight on like two seconds in the end, but let me tell you that running with a heavy trolley (I borrowed Nick’s -and stuffed it to the max) and another handbag full of press-kits and camera gear is NOT fun to do!
So in my search for a new carry on bag, I was looking for a solution that would take care of my main problems when flying with hand luggage only:
- Something that will fit everything from clothes to shoes and camera equipment to computer gear… so even Easyjet with their ridiculous one piece carry on luggage only rule has nothing on me;
- Something that’s still light and easy to carry somehow
- Something that’s not pink, because while it’s great for checked in baggage as you can easily spot it on the conveyor belt, for hand-luggage I don’t always necessarily have the need to feel like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde…
Can you imagine my curiosity when opening my email inbox and finding a request for a review of an “all-in-one backpack, suitcase, shoulder bag with focus on utility and style”? Uhm. Yes please.
Standard Luggage’s carry on backpack VS our own trolley… What’s it going to be?
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Standard Luggage: 3-in-1 Suitcase
Standard Luggage Co. is a Canadian luggage and travel gear company that launched their first product, a 3-in-1 travel suitcase/backpack, through crowd-funding. In March 2015 they launched their campaign on Kickstarter and probably wouldn’t exist without the support of people believing in the product.
Their mission is, according to their website, “to help global travellers be happier and more efficient by developing innovative travel products“. Their stylish carry-on-sized travel backpack was designed to help people save time and money without the need to check a bag and pay excess airline fees.
Sounds promising, right?
Add on the fact that the bag is the maximum-sized legal carry-on that conforms to airline travel standards, that you get a lifetime warranty and online satisfaction guarantee AND free world-wide shipping… and you have me listening.
7 Reasons This Carry On Luggage Makes Me Happy
Because of the size (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inch [54.61 x 34.29 x 19.05 cm] or 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inch [54.61 x 34.29 x 24.13 cm] when expanded), you can take it on board most international airlines as carry on luggage.
For example, RyanAir has maximum dimensions of 21.65 x 15.75 x 7.87 inch [55 x 40 x 20 cm], so when not expanded, this fits well!
The bag is also light (3.7 lbs / 1.68 kg), as it doesn’t have the weight of construction materials such as metal frames, rolling wheels, and retractable handles that you’d have on a trolley. Definite bonus as well with all those weight restrictions these days.
But there are some other cool features that I really enjoy so far, even though I haven’t taken the bag on an actual trip yet, let’s have a closer look at some of these to show you what I mean:
1. Three Functions in One
For whatever reason you’re travelling, this carry on suitcase (or carry on backpack? Perhaps it should be called a suitpack or backcase? I don’t know) can be easily transformed to however you like to use it.
Carry it as a Backpack
This is probably the option I will be using the most. The bag straps are hidden in the pocket on the back of the bag and can be easily attached to the two clips at the bottom of each side of the bag (also neatly hidden for when you don’t use them)
The straps are nicely padded and feel comfortable. They also have an extra clip on the front for extra comfort and there’s even a hidden safety whistle in it, how clever is that?!
On the side, you’ll find a small hole for your headphones
The clips can be hidden and take a second to attach to the straps
See the light-grey part? It’s a safetly whistle! I only discovered that just now, haha!
Carry it as a Messenger Bag
For when you feel a bit smarter and perhaps use the bag on a business trip (or when you already carry a backpack and want to bring a second bag), you can clip a strap to the bag and carry it as a messenger bag.
Carry it as a Duffle Bag
The bag has two grips: one on the top and one on the side, which I always like when putting it above your head in the luggage compartment of the plane. Nick’s trolley doesn’t have a grip on the side, so when it’s heavy it’s hard to lift!
On the back of the suitcase, there is a slot, so when you also bring a trolley, you can slide it over the handle and don’t have to carry the bag at all. Nice!
2. Laptop Slot
This is one of my favourite features, especially because the laptop is in a different pocket as your clothes, so you can quickly open it at customs and take it out.
We tried the pocket with Nick’s massive old-skool 15″, super fat laptop and it fitted easily, so anything that’s more modern (that’s pretty much anyone’s laptop, I’m sure) will fit too.
Next to the laptop sleeve, you can add all your other electronic equipment, pens, notebooks and all that.
3. You Can Change Colours
First of all, the bag is not pink, which is nice to start with :) But you can also change the accents on the bag, as they give you one orange and one teal set of zipper straps, luggage tag and handle covers. I personally like the teal one better, so I changed them right away.
I can imagine if you’d want an even different colour, you could attach anything you want, really. Or perhaps that’s one of Standard Luggage’s next moves and create custom colour sets for you to get, who knows?!
4. Lots of Pockets & Space
If you’re a fan of organising your life like me, then you’ll love the amount of pockets on this bag.
There are two front pockets: one for full sized documents and a smaller pocket for smaller items. Then there is a large flat pocked on the clothing-side of the bag (perfect for important documents and magazines, etc.).
And of course you have the pockets at the laptop-side of the bag as I showed you above.
5. Rain Cover
The exterior fabric of the bag is made from 1680 denier luggage fabric with tight stitching and sealed polyurethane backs. Sounds fancy, it means it’s been designed to be water resistant (I’m still having to test that).
In addition, you will get a nylon elastic rain cover for an extra level of protection. It comes in its own pocked and you simply slide it over the top, sides, and front of the bag when worn as a backpack.
6. Opens Fully & Expandable
My first backpack ever could only be opened from the top, which meant that if you want anything from the bottom, you’d have to take out. My second and current backpack opens with a zipper over the length of the bag in the middle, which is a lot easier, but I always said I would like a bag that just opens around the bag instead.
Well, this one does just that. It opens like a clam and lies flat, so it’s super easy to get to all your stuff without making a mess.
The bag has a volume of 35L (45L when expanded), you can easily fit a long weekend worth of clothes, or even up to a week, depending on your packing style.
Is this travel backpack perhaps the best carry on luggage I’ve found?
You know, it might actually very well be. At least, I’ve never been so excited about a piece of luggage before, that’s for sure! It seams this bag has been created by people that travel a lot themselves and I can’t think of any feature they haven’t included. It’s all there!
To find out for real, of course I have to take it on a trip to test it fully. Take it through customs, through the pouring rain and see how I go with overhead lockers. And I will for sure!
But as I was so pleasantly pleased after just opening the box and taking photos of the bag with pillows in it, I didn’t want you so miss out on adding one to your Christmas List, so I decided to tell you about it already.
When I’ve done the full review, I will make sure to also make a video like I did for my Fjällräven Backpack and if you have any questions left, I’ll be happy to answer them.
Yes, it is YOUR turn now, because one of you has the chance to become a Travel Tester yourself and win a Standard Luggage carry on bag!! OHW YEAH! (Christmas has come early!)
All you have to do to win is leave a comment below and tell us WHERE you would like to take this bag and HOW you would use it. (don’t forget to fill in the Raffle copter form to be eligible to win -and earn more entries!)
Good luck to you all!
Ps. If you win, feel free to send us a photo of you travelling with the backpack or post it on social media using the hashtag #STANDARDLUGGAGE to share your experience (not necessary to win, but we would love to see if we made you happy with it!)
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary bag from Standard Luggage to review and they kindly accepted our request for a second bag to give away to you! All photos and opinions are, as always, our own.