If you’re anything like me, you’d rather spend your money at your destination than on the tickets and gear to get you there. Sure I love a new piece of travel gear every now and then, but what I really love is scoring a deal on that new piece of gear. The following carry-on bags are proof that you don’t have to spend a significant amount to get a feature-packed, fabulously functional pack.
When looking for a new carry-on bag, make sure your bag has a nice and cushy spot for your laptop, plenty of pockets and pouches to keep you organized, and the space for at least one change of clothes in case the rest of your luggage sadly doesn’t make it to the same destination as you.
STM Bags Scout Laptop Shoulder Bag
STM solely makes laptop bags so they are totally focused on creating the most comfortable, secure, and styling computer bags out there. The Scout Laptop Shoulder Bag fits up to a 15” laptop in its highly cushioned felt lined pocket. A one-click buckle opens up to reveal the laptop pocket, main compartment for books and magazines, two pouches for your charger and other small items, and a small zip pocket that nicely conceals your iPhone or PDA. It looks rugged because that’s what it is. Made from rugged, water-resistant canvas with a water-resistant nylon lining, the Scout will hold up to the perils of the road.
Timbuk2 Freestyle Netbook Messenger Bag
A smaller version of Timbuk2’s popular messenger bag, the Freestyle is perfect for toting your netbook, eReader, or iPad. A cozy, felt lined sleeve offers plenty of protection for your netbook and plenty of internal pockets and slots keep you well organized. Timbuk2’s super rugged ballistic nylon outer and water-resistant inner lining keeps your goods well protected too. Great for traveling light, the Freestyle is the perfect home for your small travel computer.
Eagle Creek Tarmac Flight Bag
Eagle Creek’s Tarmac Flight Bag is a small duffel with plenty of organizer pockets for all your travel needs. A large U-shaped opening makes packing easier especially when you use Eagle Creek’s nifty packing cubes. Padded shoulder straps make for a comfy carry and a back slip lets you easily stack the pack on wheeled luggage. Two side pockets are perfect getting to those in-flight necessities and a front organizer panel keeps your travel documents nicely organized. The Tarmac fits the carry-on requirements for most airlines and it should slide easily under the seat in front of you.
Dakine Getaway Bag
The Dakine Getaway Bag has a lot more going for it than just its pretty looks. A large main compartment is big enough for a 17-inch laptop and a weekend’s worth of clothing and toiletries. The shoulder strap is totally adjustable or you can remove it and carry it like a tote. An outer pocket keeps your phone and travel documents in quick reach and an internal zip pocket is great for stashing away your other small items. The Getaway Bag makes a styling book holding, snack carrying, odds and ends toting bag for any flight.
JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Daypack
The JanSport Driver 8 is a fabulous wheeled daypack at just barely over $70. If your back needs a break from all those books and techie toys you’ve been carting around the airport let the Driver 8 take a load off your back. Just grab the retractable handle and tuck away the shoulder straps and your travel backpack quickly becomes a wheeled travel piece. The Driver 8 has all the features you need in a daypack: a padded laptop compartment that fits up to 15.1-inch screen, two main compartments, large front compartment with organizers, front zippered stash pocket, and side water bottle holders.
Outdoor Products Power Pack Glide
Outdoor Products new Power Pack Glide will literally glide you through TSA. The checkpoint-friendly design meets the screening requirements for not having to remove your laptop at security checks and at this point one less thing to not have to worry about at security is well worth the purchase.
The Power Pack Glide’s sweet design lets you slide your laptop out of its compartment along tracks without having to remove it from the bag, although it can be disconnected from the pack if you’d like. A main storage compartment keeps your large items like books and binders organized and a front organizer pocket offers many pockets and pouches to keep your small goods organized too. The top fleece lined pocket keeps your sunglasses well protected and a shoulder strap pocket and secret stow pocket in the back panel keeps the essentials close at hand.
eBags Mother Lode eTech Mini 21-inch Wheeled Duffel
Is it a duffel or a small rolling suitcase? The eBags Mother Lode is both – it is seriously the Mother Lode when it comes to packing versatility in a carry-on compliant size. The upper compartment opens just like a duffel with a U-zip opening and the smaller compartment unzips just like a suitcase. If you prefer, you can unzip the divider between the upper and lower compartments and have one super huge compartment. Plenty of internal zippered pockets and exterior pockets keep your small items organized and exterior compression straps condense your overflowing contents down to carry-on size.
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