OBOW Light Travel Forum > REI Overnighter

First of all - hello! Fellow bag-obsessed lurker here.

I've been doing a ton of research for my "perfect" bag. I have a Patagonia Fuego 32L that I love everything about except that it is top-loading. I am a light traveler and don't generally need more than that pack and a camera case/purse when traveling for any length of time.

My searches led me to this REI Overnighter bag, which seems similar to the MEC Shuttle II, but has one large compartment instead of two. It is also only 18" tall (a huge plus for me as a petite female), a feature hard to come by on these packs. Was wondering if anybody has seen this or has experience with it. I've found very little info online outside of the video provided by REI. I ordered it since they're having a 30% off sale and will report back when it arrives (backordered).


December 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjenn
Looks nice! Anxious to read what others think. Hope that it works out as your "one" bag :-)
December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCoCoYoYo
That bag looks really interesting! I think I could use it for major trips to Europe. The only drawback, for me, is the lack of exterior compression straps otherwise, it looks great and the weight is good too.
December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarry
I believe that the current sale price is $59.93, per the current sale E-mail.
December 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan B

Did you ever get your bag? Have you tested it out? I saw the bag at my local REI today and was checking one out. I really like the dimensions since I am 5' as well as the one main pocket. It seems like it would fit in almost any plane overhead or under the seat. My only complaint is it seemed a little over-built with the amount of padding, straps and handles for an 'overnight' bag.
February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKF
I guess I looked at it too quickly after the original post. Having reviewed it further the back pack straps can be stowed. Originally I didn't realize that was possible. In addition to the large storage area it seems to have another zipped pocked that could hold some gear etc.

Based upon the stated specs it has essentially the same capacity as the TB Tristar, but is one third of the price.

I would also be very interested in hearing about the experience of others with this bag.
February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
Sorry, I haven't been checking the forum as regularly. I did get the bag at the end of January. It looked great and seemed sturdy, the perfect size, etc. However I opted to return it because I couldn't justify the cost of another bag since I have a very functional backpack already.

I would recommend it based on the day or so that I spent with it, but can't fully recommend it since I didn't take it anywhere.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjenn
@ jenn
Since you returned the bag, it went into their returned items room and if you are an REI member on their Member's Only sale all of the returned items go on sale at a reduced cost. Another great reason I have been an REI member for over 30 years.
March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike S
Has anyone ever travelled with this bag? What is the actual weight?
March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBH

Specs and video


Even Rei has no reviews of this bag. Spec wise it seems to compare quite favorably with the TB Western Flyer.

Given that it may not be selling well, perhaps they will reduce the price.
March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
While I don't own the bag or have traveled with it, I did spend some time checking it out at my local REI store a few weeks ago.

It's a fairly new bag that weighs 2 lbs, 3 oz. The packing capacity is more than the Western Flyer because it is a one compartment bag whereas the WF is two compartments.

I was fairly impressed with the bag. It is smaller than most carry-ons so the person using it would have to be very good at packing. The zippers aren't ykk but they seemed okay.

For the same weight, an L.L. Bean Quickload is larger and has more packing capacity.

The "hide-away" backpack straps do tuck away into their own compartment however there is no zipper closure. It's open.

I even considered purchasing it but then remembered how many bags I own and stopped myself.
March 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
I did check the bag out both in store and brought one home, but I ended up returning it. I did like the overall look of the bag and it's dimensions, particularly the 18" length. Since I am 5', the majority of the lightweight convertible bags such as LL Bean's Quickload and Patagonia's MLC are simply too big (really long) for me to carry comfortably on my back - and that's how I generally like carrying my bags. I did like the layout with one main large compartment rather than the 2 of the WF and a few smaller compartments for pens, documents, sunglasses and the like. I could see someone using this for day to day commuting to work, particularly if they had to carry a laptop. In the main compartment there are tie-downs to compress/secure your load.

It's a pretty well thought out design, but it also seems overbuilt. There are two grab handles (top and side) which are over-padded when you have small hands like mine. The backpack straps were reasonable, the panel to hide them was a little to thick for my liking and just seemed to add bulk. The other big negatives for me were the price - if it were $65-70 I might have considered it, and the fact it's made in China. Also for me, it wasn't much bigger than the rucksack I already carry.

The pack I can't wait to check out though when it is available:
Maybe not the most practical, but it has a certain beauty and character to it.
March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKF

The lack of reviews of the Rei Overnighter lead me to, nonscientifically, conclude that it may go on sale to get it moving. Additionally I believe that Rei has a major annul sale towards the end of May, so that may also present another opportunity to consider it at a better price.

The bag you linked to is a really good looking bag. For that price other bags would seem more appealing even if not so attractive.


Would you judge the Overnighter to have as much carrying capacity as a Tri-Star. It's 2075 ci rated volume is a little bigger than the Tri-Star.

Your point about the Quickload is a good one. Perhaps LLbean will hold an attractive sale.
Given the soft construction of the Quickload would it require packing cubes or being full to make it manageable?
March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
The Quickload may or may not go on sale. Almost every year, they actually run out of stock for awhile. Right now, they are backordered on the bag in black until next month.

Although I use packing cubes, I believe you could go wiithout them for both the Quickload and the Overnighter. Both hold enough shape.

It's hard to compare packing a one compartment bag with a three compartment bag. I personally prefer one compartment bags.
March 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW

Thanks for the info!

Actually the 3 compartment bag vs the 1 compartment bag, is another question that I have.

Would you care to elaborate on your view of the pluses and minuses of each, and whether a 2 compartment bag would be a good compromise?

On a separate note it seems that when I receive a follow up email about thread postings that they seem to often be at least 3 copies of the same emai. Not sure if the problem is at my end or with the email system used by OBOW.
March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
About the emails, I have no idea. That's done by Squarespace which is the platform we use. It's possible they have you registered three times.

Regarding different compartments, it's really personal choice. Most people I know use multiple compartments to separate personal and work...as in one or two compartments for personal belongings and the third for work.
I prefer a one compartment bag because it's easier for me to pack. It also has less weight since there aren't dividers between compartments.

In reality, it's really just personal preference.
March 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
The Quickload has enough stiffness to hold its shape without packing cubes. I use one for all my trips now and have never had any problems with it. I bundle pack my clothes and put loose items in Eagle Creek pack it sacks ( medicine, clothes washing stuff, toiletries etc.) At least for now, it's my favorite bag.
March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

Thanks for your input. I admit that I am somewhat intriigued by the 3 compartment concept. But I don't own and have not seen one. I suppose we sometimes are facinated by what we see as different or exotic. We meaning I at least.


The reviews on the Quickload at LLBean seem to be positive. Some people have been disappointed at the structure of the front zippered compartment with the somewhat inaccessible organizer.

The main benefit of the bag to me would be the light weight. I have some Eagle Creek stuff but have not tried the pack it sacks. I have used the ziplock bags and small EC cubes for some odss an ends.
March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
Three compartment bags require more construction materials and are therefore heavier than their equivalent one compartment counterparts. They can work nicely if you have a real need to separate, say, your business documents form your gym attire. But outside of very specific circumstances, one compartment bags allow for more flexibility. Often you can pack them like traditional suitcases or divide the space as you see fit with packing accessories. Forthe average lightweight traveler without those specific needs, one compartment bags are often the more effective solution.

Contrary to Frank, I don't think it's a simple matter of preference as the approaches both have measurable pluses and minuses when evaluated in the context of different use cases and personal values. While I'd argue than the one compartment bag comes ahead most of the time, it's possible that three compartment bags offer you that subjective something that ends up outweighing the negatives. There's no denying that psychology plays a huge role in bag selection. The popularity of decidedly overweight but satisfyingly "bullet-proof" or "heavy duty" solutions among self-identified lightweight travelers is a good example of this.
March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKalle

Very inciteful. I had't noticed or thought about the apparent contradiction between relatively heavy bullet proof multi compartment bags (HMCB) and onebag lightweight travelers.

So in a way you and Frank are both correct. We can choose the heavier sexier multi compartment bag or the possibly lighter less pretty one compartment bag (LOCB). As intelligent beings we can find lot's of ways to justify whatever decision we make. The reality will be what choice works for us by whatever yardstick (OK or meterstick) we choose to employ.

Kalle, now that you have forced me to actually think about this, what bag works best for you and why? Or if you are choosing a new bag what are you considering?
March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
I think there's a lot of design space to explore in the two-compartment bag. I'm talking about a design similar to the Packcloth Overnight Briefcase [1]: one suitcase-like compartment for clothing and one for your laptop and business accessories, a 75/25 or so split on volume. On the outside there could also be a smaller, zippered and gusseted pocket for small items.

I'd like to see someone make this style of bag in two sizes. The measurements for the smaller could be in the 40 x 30 x 17 cm territory, something that could pass as a large laptop bag and fit under your seat. The larger one might be a tad bigger than the Tri-Star with tuck-away backpack straps and an expansion zipper to add an inch or two of maximum thickness. Materials for both should be some sort of lightweight nylon weave. Waxed canvas and leather, while nice, are too heavy.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Hartmann-Packcloth-Overnight-Briefcase-Khaki/dp/B00509D0TY
March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKalle
Just a bit of advice, if you want the LL Bean bag, sign up for their mailing list. They send coupons all the time. I think I got one recently that was like free shipping and a $10 gift card with any order over $50. They are always doing 20% off ones and free shipping. I usually get about one email a week fyi. :)
March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDarbi

I see what you mean regardiing the 2 compartment style. In a way, though not as good looking as the Packcloth, the eBags TLS Motherlode weekender is in that style. I only wish the bag was l lighter.


I have been on the LLBEAN mailing list for some time and get daily or weekly offers. The Quickload seems to have gone up in price.
March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon
Ron, the Packcloth Brief has a very rectilinear shape and the two zippered openings are on the far opposite edges. This makes the bag look very clean and suitcase-like. The Motherlode, on the other hand, has one clamshell opening closer to the center line of the longer side. The secondary pocket is a lot smaller and the zipper doesn't trace the bag's edges like that on the Brief. As a result, the Motherlode looks a lot more like a backpack and this perception is further strengthen by the fact that the secondary compartment is clearly designed to be used when the bag is upright.

Because of their different pocket configurations, the bags pack differently, too. With the Motherlode, you fill the main compartment, close the zipper and then fill the other compartment like you'd fill a side pocket on a roller. With the Brief, you pack the larger compartment like a suitcase, zip it shut and then flip the bag on it's side. From there, you can pack it just like you'd pack your briefcase. Here is short product demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8iO42kmfjQ

While there are numerous ways to make a bag with two main sections, I'm most interested in the Packcloth Brief approach. I've seen it implemented in some Tumi bags but not in anything suitably light.
March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKalle

It's a good looking bag. Maybe easier to pack, but I haven't had a problem packing the motherload.It's the weight of the bag packed that can be challenging. I also feel that backpack straps are essential. I have found shoulder carry very uncomfortable- that's what lead me to backpack style bags. Actually convertibles.

The TLS seems well designed. One of it's features which I do not see on other bags is the additional grab handle on the front which is an aid in getting it up and into an overhead bin.
March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon