You Live and You Learn
In the past, we used full-blown backpacks rather than a carry-on suitcase to haul our clothes and other essentials. As it turned out we only went backpacking once while on the road. It was really great to have our own packs, but most of the time they were used as inefficient suitcases. It would have been a better idea to take a suitcase and just rent backpacks when needed. Sure we looked cool and tough, but rolling our clothes and jamming them into stuff sacks got old in a hurry.
A Better Mousetrap
This time around we are using the eBags Mother Lode Weekender Convertible. It looks and acts like a carry-on suitcase, but it has hidden straps like a backpack and an over-the-shoulder strap if you prefer to use that. It’s really quite clever.
The main compartment can be fit with eBags Packing Cubes specifically sized to fit inside. I like to use three medium cubes. One for pants/shorts, one for shirts and one for undies/socks. A fourth medium cube could easily fit too and if you limit your clothes to four medium cubes and don’t stuff the front pocket, the Mother Lode will easily be carry-on legal.
A neat, but dangerous, feature is that if you start collecting gifts and souvenirs and need more room, you can unzip the gusset and gain about 10% more volume. My unwritten rule is to initially pack with the gusset zipped so when I find that sweater that I just can’t live without, there will be room for it in my bag!
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