As most everyone here knows, I try to keep my eye on trends in the one bag world especially when it comes to luggage. There is definitely a move towards smaller and lighter weight bags.
One of the most popular bags among onebaggers is the Ebags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible. It’s well built, has lots of bells and whistles and is very durable. About the only complaint many had was its heavier weight. It’s no wonder that this bag is the number one selling item at Ebags.
A few months ago, Ebags came out with the junior version of the above mentioned bag. It was exactly the same as its larger sibling except for length which was reduced to 19.5 inches. The weight was still high for a smaller bag at 3 lbs, 5 oz.
And now Ebags has added yet an additional bag to its repertoire. Or should I say a redesigned one. The new Ebags Weekender ETech 2.0 Convertible. is a move further into the world of lighter weight bags. Made of a lightweight nylon, as compared to the heavier polyester used in the TLS Motherlode bags, the Etech 2.0 is 22 x 14 x 9, has less bells and whistles than the Motherlode series and is not expandable. But it weighs in at 2 lbs, 12 oz. Definitely a step in the right direction.
The one thing I haven’t mentioned, and is the key to these bags, is their cost. Considering that Ebags always has a sale going on, each of the three bags can be had for under $80. As of today’s writing, the TLS Motherlode is $80, the TLS Motherlode Junior is $72 and the Etech 2.0 is $64. And that includes free shipping, free returns and a lifetime warranty. (Prices and sales change daily at Ebags so don’t hold me to those prices.)
I’m not here to push anyone to buy any of these bags. What I want to show is that good quality, convertible style, carry-on bags are available and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get one.
Does that mean you should never buy a more expensive, better built bag? Of course not. Always try to get the best you can afford. The higher price bags have better workmanship and will, more than likely, withstand the rigors of travel than some of the lesser priced bags—but not necessarily. Let’s face it, just because a bag has a lifetime warranty doesn’t mean much when that same bag has a malfunction, or worse, falls apart, in the middle of a trip.
For those of you outside the U.S.A, I realize that getting one of the above bags is nearly impossible due to ridiculous shipping costs. I’m always on the lookout for affordable, carry-on size bags available in other countries. If you see any we haven’t discussed, especially those that are following the trend of lighter, smaller bags, please let me know. I’ll do my best to find out about them.
Addendum: After posting this article, it was pointed out to me that the new Etech bag doesn’t have connections for a shoulder strap. I’m truly surprised they would leave out such a simple item that would add versatility to the bag. I can only think of one other convertible, the Rick Steves Basic Back Door Bag, that doesn’t have shoulder strap attachments.
(All photos courtesy of Ebags.)