Category Archives for "Reviews"

Best Carry On Luggage For Men 2017

Having the right luggage can be the difference between a seamless business trip and a struggle. Be it having to squeeze slightly-over-sized luggage into the overhead compartment, dealing with wheels that just don’t want to roll smoothly or not having the right dimensions to fit in your items, there are a series of small issues that can add up and cause frustration.

But not anymore! Find the right luggage for your needs to our comprehensive guide!

Best Carry On Luggage For Men

Below are 3 of the best options for 2017:

Delsey Helium Aero

Source: PriceWatch.com

Source: PriceWatch.com

This model from Delsey comes with internal mesh pockets and protective straps. It lacks some of the exterior storage of other items, but still packs a punch when it comes to storage capacity.

Key Features:

  • Easy to close zip
  • 29 inches in height
  • 100% Polycarbonate
  • Multi-directional wheels
  • Very light-weight

Delsey Helium Shadow

Source: ebags.com

Source: ebags.com

This one is a bit more expensive than some other models, but it is one of the best on the market. It’s very well made and durable with many features included.

Key Features:

  • 360-degree rolling wheels
  • Zip closing system
  • 25.2 inches in height
  • Lined with fabric
  • 100% Polycarbonate
  • 10 year warranty

Samsonite Dkx

Source: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003UR2WUG

Source: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003UR2WUG

This is one of the top sellers for people traveling regularly for business. It is spacious, sturdy and really is quite luxurious. Find out more here.

Key Features:

  • 85% Polyester/15% Nylon
  • Zipper closing system
  • 29 inches in height
  • Multi-directional wheels
  • Mesh interior pocket on the inside panel along with a wet pack pocket
  • Ability to expand for extra capacity

How To Choose Carry on Luggage

Carry on luggage dimensions:

Make sure the item can fit into overhead compartments. This is a must! 22″ x14″ x9” is the ideal dimensions to look for as this will be compliant with the majority of North American carriers. Read more here.

Comfort: You’re going to spend quite a bit of time lugging this one around so be sure that it feels nice to touch and handle.

Handles: It’s very helpful to have a handle on-top plus a side handle. This makes lifting the case on and off of the plane or in and out of the overhead compartment much easier.

Rotating wheels: Not all models will have wheels that can swivel and although this is not essential, it make life a whole lot easier when the wheels can pivot and swivel when you change direction.

Telescopic handles: You want to make sure that the handles can raise to sufficient height. This one is for all the tall guys out there. Anything lower than your waist and you’re stooping. That’s going to turn into a nasty backache during the flight.

Padding on the handles: That weight can certainly add up after a while, so where possible, aim to get a comfortable grips and padding around the handles.

Weight: 
Choosing a light weight bag will make it easier to lift into the overhead compartments.

Happy traveling with your new luggage!

Founded in 1978 by Richard “Ricardo” Gibbs, Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage quickly earned its place as one of the most highly respected luxury luggage companies in America. These elegant suitcases bring the highest quality fabrics and zippers together with a sensible design and a classy selection of colours.

If you want to invest in a high quality suitcase that will be the envy of everyone you meet on your travels, a Ricardo Beverly Hills suitcase is the way to go.

Try out one of these suitcase lines:

roxbury_grp

The Roxbury 2.0 Hardside Collection is made out of an extremely lightweight but high impact material called Makrolon. This keeps even your fragile souvenirs safe without weighing you down. Combined with four-directional wheels(wheels that spin in every direction so you can turn more easily), the light weight of the Makrolon makes this suitcase far more manageable than your standard hard shell suitcase. Roxbury suitcases also feature multi-locking extendable handles to make it easier for you to traverse the airport.

It’s worth noting that the different suitcases available in the Hardside Collection all have drastically different features. Make sure you read through the specific specs of the suitcase you’re considering before you actually make a purchase.

You can get the Hardside Collection in 4 different sizes and it also comes in silver, purple or red.

crystal_city

This elegant luggage collection features a particularly sleek design and features hard shell protection in key impact areas to keep your things safe. Soft front and back panels maximize packing room and help keep this case quite light. It also has a multi-locking extendable handle system and four-directional wheels so you  can easily navigate the airport and anywhere else you need to take your suitcase.

One distinctive thing about these suitcases is how easy they make it to organize your stuff. They feature an “On Hangers” system that allows you to pull items straight from the closet as well as “Split Book” opening so you can easily access whatever items you need. Most of these features aren’t available in the Crystal City tote because of its size.

The Ricardo Beverly Hills Crystal City Luggage Collection features suitcases in 5 different sizes, including a 16-inch rolling tote bag.

montocito

Suitcases in the Ricardo Beverly Hills Montecito Micro-Lite Luggage Collection feature molded polypropylene support trays and super light frames to make the luggage both durable and incredibly light weight. Reinforced four-directional wheels make these suitcases easy to navigate around the airport or anywhere else you might have to take them—and will continue to do so for several years.

You can purchase a Ricardo Beverly Hills Montecito Micro-Lite suitcase in one of 4 different sizes or even purchase a hand-held laptop-size Montecito Micro-Lite bag. The larger Montecito Micro-Lite suitcases also expand by a full 2 inches, making sure you have room for everything you buy while you’re away. Montecito bags come in brown or red.

rodeo_grp

The Ricardo Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive Collection features a combination of Nano-Tex, the highest quality fabric currently being used in the luggage industry, and Makrolon polycarbonate to provide enhanced safety for your items as well as an elegant look.

One distinctive feature of this particular suitcase line is that Rodeo Drive suitcases expand a full two inches, whereas most suitcases only expand by 1.25 inches. This can make all the difference when you’re trying to fit everything you purchased on your trip back into your suitcase.

The Rodeo Drive Collection features five different suitcases, with four different sizes and one soft exterior option.

Ricardo Beverly Hills suitcases might cost quite a premium if you can’t find them on sale, but these elegant and durable suitcases are well worth the investment. Still, remember to read reviews of the specific suitcase you’re looking at before you purchase it to make sure that it’s right for you. If you’re going to really invest in a suitcase you want it to be the right one!

Messenger bags are the preferred work bag for many modern men. They look more professional than backpacks, more stylish than brief cases and they are far easier to carry than your standard briefcase.

It should come as no surprise that leather is one of the preferred materials for messenger bags. For one thing, leather bags lend their owner an air of wisdom, and they tend to only grow more attractive as they age. For another, they’re incredibly durable. A well maintained leather bag can last decades, even an entire lifetime.

What might be more surprising is the wide price range of high quality leather messenger bags. A leather messenger bag doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, many of these bags are similarly priced to messenger bags made from other, less durable materials.

Eager to learn more? Check out our list of the best leather messenger bags for men currently for sale:

The Kattee brand has long been known for producing incredibly durable bags, the kind of bags that last years or even decades longer than you expect them to. Their Business Travel Messenger Bag is no different. Made out of the absolute highest quality leather, this bag is large enough to carry a 15 or 16 inch laptop as well as just about anything else you might need during the work day.

The Business Travel Messenger Bag Backpack also features an incredibly long strap that can be adjusted to transform this bag into a hand bag or even a back pack, making it ideal for all kinds of journeys.

Out of all the bags on this list the Katteee Business Travel Messenger Bag might be one of the more expensive bags, but it is definitely worth the price tag.

Available in oil mocha, black, brown or tan colours, this messenger bag is made of high quality distressed leather, which gives it that aged look that makes leather so great. The Visconti is also large enough to fit a 14 or 15 inch laptop as well as a couple of books and other items you might need for your work day.

There is only one minor issue with this bag: if you leave the initial oil on you will not be able to wear this bag with light clothing. That said, the leather this bag is made out of is a high enough quality that you can simply wipe the oil off.

If you want a distinctive leather bag that will make you stand out from the crowd, the Visconti is an excellent and affordable option.

If you need to carry a lot of things to and from work you might find the smaller space in this bag to be somewhat lacking, but what this bag lacks in space it makes up for in pockets. This makes it ideal for someone who has to carry a variety of smaller items with them. Made of unusually soft, full-grain cowhide leather, the Risky Business is definitely a classy choice.

Like the Visconti, however, the colour of the Risky Business bag tends to bleed through, so you want to avoid carrying it when you’re wearing light coloured clothing.

At a nice middle price range, this bag is definitely worth what you pay for it. If you take good care of it you’ll find that it is an investment that keeps giving back.

  • Samsonite Colombian Leather Flapover Case (from $89.99)

This bag really offers everything the modern man could want in a leather messenger bag. It has a distinctive look that will earn you many compliments at the office and is large enough to carry a 15-inch laptop as well as whatever else you might need to get through the work day. Under the top flap you’ll also find a variety of smaller pockets that make it easy for you to organize your pens, business cards and notes.

Really the only drawback of this bag is that when you load it to maximum capacity the shoulder strap can dig into your shoulder pretty badly. Still, the bag is reasonably easy to carry and the colour of the leather won’t bleed out like it does in other similarly priced bags.

If you’re looking to get the best possible value for your leather bag without spending a lot of money, the Samsonite Colombian Leather Flapover case really is the best option for you.

  • Kenneth Cole Reaction Show Business (from $81.26)

The Reaction Show Business bag is an extremely distinctive bag whose appearance will earn you compliments everywhere you go. Its cowhide leather is much softer than the leather of other bags on this list and will be a true joy for serious leather lovers. This bag also features a well padded interior to keep all your valuable items safe. While you never want to drop your bag, if you drop the Reaction Show Business bag you’ll probably find your belongings are still intact.

Unfortunately you do have to be careful how much you load into this bag. While it has enough room for a laptop and a couple books, if you fill it to the actual maximum capacity the strap is likely to break. This means the Reaction Show Business bag is really just a great laptop bag.

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Show Business Bag is perfect for somebody who just needs something they can carry their laptop to work in. It’s certainly a lot more distinctive than other laptop bags on the market.

Remember, an excellent messenger bag is a long term investment, and there really is no better material than leather for durable and distinctive bags. Best of all, this investment won’t cost you a fortune—but it will save you a lot of time and money.

If you’ve traveled a lot you’re familiar with the many woes of luggage: wheels that don’t turn the way you want them too, luggage that costs a small fortune but only lasts a couple of trips, zippers that barely function or break completely, the list goes on. But Delsey Luggage is here to end those woes.

Created by the Seynhaeve brothers (the – sey) and Emile Delhaye (the Del-) in Paris in 1946, Delsey luggage was originally created to make top quality camera carrying equipment. Delsey moved into the luggage market in 1970 and has produced many high quality products since then.

Delsey is constantly pushing to create better luggage with innovative additions like longer handles, wheels, regularly updated designs and durable materials. They were the first to introduce a flexible frame suitcase when they released their Helium line in 1984, and in 2008 they patented a shape-memory fiberglass frame design.

Serious travelers know not to settle for anything less than Delsey. These bags are durable, lightweight and attractive.

Here are the top three Delsey suitcases:

  • The Delsey Helium Sky

The Delsey Helium Sky is one of the most popular choices and is perfect for business travelers. It’s an expandable carry on suitcase sized at either 25” or 29”. It features three flat outer pockets suitable for things like your laptop and anything you might want to have on hand in the airport such as a passport. Best of all, the bag itself weighs almost nothing. Its patented Micro-Ballistec fabric makes the suitcase come in at a mere 7 pounds.

The Sky is also designed for easy packing with adjustable straps, flaps and even a shoe compartment. And once you’re at the airport you’ll find it easy to maneuver thanks to its spinning wheels and long handle. This makes it ideal for someone who travels often but doesn’t need a lot of space.

All together the Sky is one of the best carry-on suitcases currently available, with a sleek design that makes it easy to fit anywhere but still roomy enough to hold everything you need for a business trip or a weekend away.

  • The Delsey Helium Aero

The Disney Helium Aero actually comes in three different sizes: 21” and 25” carry-ons, and a 29” full-sized suitcase. All three options have a shiny exterior made of hard polycarbonate, perfect for transporting delicate objects. These suitcases also have the highest quality zippers, making them incredibly durable.

Like other Helium models, the Aero is also easy to maneuver thanks to its four-directional spinning wheels. It also features handles both on the top and on the sides, making it easy to pick up and stow away in your driver’s car or the carry-on section of your plane. Adjustable straps make it easy to fit everything you need into this top quality suitcase and a large zippered pocket will keep your laptop and other important items safe.

All in all, the Delsey Helium Aero is an excellent choice for anyone who spends a fair bit of time traveling and especially for somebody who likes to bring back delicate figurines or other breakable items. You’ll never have to worry about broken gifts again!

  • The Delsey Helium Superlite

The Delsey Helium Superlite comes in 24” and 29” and both options are incredibly light. Their Dura-Tec fabric combined with reinforced corners allows them to survive even the roughest handling in the luggage department. Weather tight zippers mean even loose papers will be safe in your suitcase no matter how much it rains.

The handles are also reinforced to make them both more durable and more comfortable to hold. Super-spinning wheels and an extra-long handle make the Superlite easier to maneuver than even many of the other models in the Helium line.

You’ll find that the whole interior is lined to protect your stuff from both the weather and the burly baggage handlers’ rough treatment. The deep compartment provides enough room for all your stuff along with adjustable straps to make sure it all fits. The other side provides little pockets so you can keep your accessories and knick-knacks organized throughout your entire trip. If you acquire a lot of stuff on your journey you can even expand the deep compartment by up to 2 inches.

Perhaps most cool of all is the Superlite’s over-packed indicator. This sensor knows when you exceed your maximum weight of 50 pounds and a light goes on near the top handle. This makes it easy to organize your stuff properly.

All in all, if you’re looking for a carry-on suitcase that’s extremely light weight and perfect for journeys of all kinds, the Superlite is an excellent choice.

Most people take their laptops everywhere. Sitting at home, commuting to work, or relaxing on vacation, it doesn’t matter your laptop is likely always with you.

And if that’s going to be the case then you need to make sure you have a decent bag to transport your laptop in. There are 5 main options:

  1. Backpacks
  2. Briefcases
  3. Messenger bags
  4. Shoulder bags
  5. Laptop sleeves

We’ve gone through all the different types and compiled a top 10 list to make your decision easier. But, before we get to our best of the best list, let’s first talk about a few features and how exactly to make choose the best bag for you (and your laptop).

2 Main Features to Consider Before Buying

Laptop size. The last thing you want to do is buy a bag that’s too small or even way too big for your laptop. If you’re not sure what size laptop you have, simply open it up and measure the screen diagonally.

Common laptop sizes are:

  • 11.6”
  • 13.3”
  • 15.6”
  • 17.3”

While common tablet sizes are:

  • 7.0”
  • 8.1”
  • 9.7”
  • 10.1”

You’ll notice below we’ve listed the maximum size laptop that each bag carries in order to help you make the right decision.

(Note of caution: most bags have specifically sized laptop compartments made to protect your exact laptop. If you have a 13.3” laptop but think going with a bigger size may allow you to carry more, also consider that this could allow your laptop to be bounced around or jarred during any travel. Essentially what we’re saying is, pick the right bag for the right laptop.)

Use. What exactly will you be using the bag for?

Business? Maybe you want a more classic style bag.

Travel? Consider how you want to be carrying the bag through the airport, or maybe if you even need a feature like rolling wheels.

The occasional trip to Starbucks? Maybe a simple sleeve for your laptop is all you need then.

What you use the bag for will also help answer the most important question: What will you be carrying besides your laptop?

For most people, the list may include some (or all) of the following:

  • Tablet
  • Mouse and mouse pad
  • Pens, pencils, paper, etc.
  • Headphones
  • Cell phone
  • Jacket (or extra clothes)
  • Cords and cables (USB, HDMI, VGA, etc.)

Top 10 Laptop Bags for Guys

You may notice below the top 3 bags are actually by AmazonBasics, which is a private-label electronics brand created by Amazon in 2009. This really shouldn’t come as much surprise, as Amazon has tons of data to zero in on exactly what a consumer wants from the product.

Number 1 – AmazonBasics Laptop Bag and Tablet Bag

91Fm9+GVTcL._SL1500_

Main Features: 3 external sections with multiple internal organizers, padded shoulder strap

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 2 – AmazonBasics Laptop Sleeve

81KU3Nu0CeL._SL1500_

Main Features: Form-fitting sleeve with precise fit for specific size laptops, ability to place inside a bag or backpack

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 3 – AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack

91koVqsBMuL._SL1500_

Main Features: Padded interior laptop compartment, heavily padded shoulder straps, additional compartments for supplies or a tablet, mesh pockets on each side for water bottles

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 4 – Evecase Laptop Neoprene Messenger Case

611As6qBDoL._SL1001_

Main Features: Available in 3 different colors, scratch-free interior lining, removable shoulder strap, fold-away handles, 5 pockets including 2 large compartments, 2 accessory compartments, and 1 small pocket

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 5 – Case Logic Security Friendly Laptop Case

71IoCDfWcSL._SL1000_

Main Features: 2 protected compartments for both a laptop and tablet, designed in compliance with TSA (this means you don’t need to remove your laptop for airport security) making this a great travel bag, compatible attachment to most rolling luggage

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 6 – SwissGear ScanSmart Laptop Computer Backpack

91yPYhKNYPL._SL1500_

Main Features: 6 different color options, several storage specific compartments (i.e. eyeglass holder, water bottle holder, media pocket, organizer pocket), ergonomically contoured padded shoulder straps

Size: Up to 15.6”

Number 7 – High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

71q3fRQZ-mL._SY355_

Main Features: Available in 5 different color options, “cushion zone” padded computer pocket, varied pocket styles (i.e. organizer, media pocket, zippered pockets, key fob, headphone port), telescoping handle and corner-mounted wheels, can be rolled or used as a backpack

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 8 – Samsonite Classic Two Gusset Toploader

518fXAQn8GL

Main Features: High grade ballistic fabric, double gusset business briefcase layout featuring a fully padded laptop compartment, and easy access compartments

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 9 – Snugg Crossbody Shoulder Messenger Bag

71cUjlLO8sL._SL1001_

Main Features: 6 different color options (depending on size chosen), high quality leather exterior, 6 internal compartments, 4 external pockets

Size: Up to 17.3”

Number 10 – Brinch Soft Nylon Waterproof Laptop Computer Case

71VJFePm4NL._SL1500_

Main Features: 4 color options, shock absorption polyester foam lined laptop pocket

Size: Up to 15.6”

Which Bag is Right for You?

If you’ve looked through the best packs above, but are still a little unsure of which one to go with here are our final thoughts….

The basics. If all you want is a well-built, simple bag then go with one of the AmazonBasics, Evecase, or Brinch bags. There aren’t any surprises or fancy features, but they get the job done.

All the bells and whistles. Case Logic, Swissgear, and High Sierra all offer a bit more in terms of storage space and gadget like pockets.

Higher class. The Samsonite and Snugg bags are made of a little higher quality material and perfect for a more upscale (or work) environment.

Hopefully those final thoughts helped a bit, and you find the perfect laptop bag to meet your needs!

 

None of us want to be that guy/girl that spends 10 minutes anchoring their weight just to try and cram an obviously oversized carry on into the overhead compartment. If you really don’t care and somehow always manage to squeeze it in there, remember two things. The person under you now hates you because you’ve managed to expose them to the taste of your armpit and the flight attendants are just waiting for your luggage to fall on your head.

We’re not trying to make you insecure about your luggage or armpits, that’s definitely not our intent. We just think it’s time you know that there are much more efficient, lightweight, and cabinet friendly options. They won’t put a big dent in your bank account either. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best light luggage options and some info to help you decide which piece will fit you best.

  1. Calvin Klein Nolita 2.0 28” Upright

81ywZ9p6uKL._UY550_

When we hear the name Calvin Klein these days, dollar signs start popping into our heads. Don’t be concerned though, at only $189 on Amazon, this brand name luggage essential puts its competitors to shame. Check out its specs.

  • Material: 100% Polyester
  • Height: 28”
  • Width: 18.5”
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Wheels: 4 Dual wheels for effortless mobility
  • Pockets: 2 zippered front face pockets, fully lined interior with a zipper mesh pocket
  • Setback: This suitcase comes without a side handle
  • Price: $189

If you can spare the two or three extra pounds that the other lightweight luggage items seem to give, we recommend this one. It’s elegant, durable, and classy. Reviewers are claiming that this suitcase delivers more than expected. Its size was created for the trending ‘smaller’ travel rules. It fits perfectly and as long you’re not filling it with gold bars, lifting and moving it won’t be difficult.

  1. ZERO Halliburton Air 22” Carry-On

ZRX223-BK

ZERO Haliburton earned a reputation for creating the best lightweight luggage when it released its Air collection. They’re doing something right and have been doing it since 1938. You might be surprised to find that these travel necessities don’t come with an outrageous sticker.

  • Material: Polycarbonate
  • Height: 24”
  • Width: 17”
  • Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Wheels: 4 spinner wheels for simple mobility
  • Pockets: lined interior with 2 pockets
  • Setback: This suitcase doesn’t come with a lot of pocket space
  • Price: $425

You’re looking at the weight and thinking, no wonder they call it Air right? If you’re the type to cram everything into one suitcase and keep it with you at all times, this is a must. It’s thin, but made from very durable material and can be hauled everywhere without making your arms soar the following morning. It doesn’t have a ton of pocket space for smaller items, but here’s a tip, put them in small baggies and pack them with everything.

  1. Samsonite L.I.F.T Spinner 21

4176FtMlgZL._SX342_

Samsonite has always been in a class of its own when it comes to travel. L.I.F.T (Lightweight Innovations For Travel) offers something a lot of other luggage makers don’t, a 10 year warranty. Right now Samsonite L.I.F.T items are VERY reasonably priced at slightly more than $100. We’ll take it!

  • Material: 100% Nylon
  • Height: 21”
  • Width: 15”
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Wheels: 360 degree multi-directional upright wheels
  • Pockets: 2 front pockets with an internal mesh pocket
  • Setback: The design of the wheels can sometimes cause a trip up
  • Price: $103

As long as you aren’t taking this piece of luggage through rough terrain, its idea. You certainly can’t beat a $103 price tag for something this durable and lightweight. Other buyers are calling it ‘roomy and light’. It’s the perfect carry on size and has room enough for 5 days of travel for the average packer.

  1. Eagle Creek Lync System 22

31mUeQpv9tL._UX342_

This made our best lightweight luggage list primarily because it’s incredibly multifunctional. It stands out from the crowd because it has numerous compartments and is capable of transforming from roller luggage to backpack. This is perfect for you ‘on the go’ travelers out there.

  • Material: 100% Nylon
  • Height: 22”
  • Width: 14”
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Wheels: Multi-directional wheels for simple mobility
  • Pockets: Front and side zippered pockets with a large zippered mesh pocket inside
  • Setback: Its shell is made of softer material, so it wouldn’t be recommended for fragile items
  • Price: $275

This piece is by far our favorite. Who doesn’t love convertible and multifunctional bags? Fitting for you lightweight travelers, you can throw this on your back and not have to worry about the wheels getting caught or tripped up. Its style is one that journalists and outdoor adventurers tend to love.

  1. Bric’s LIFE 26” UltraLight Spinner

blf15251-278-02_1

If traveling in style and with poise is something that screams you, you’re going to have a hard time finding something as classy as this spinner. It’s made in Italy and is considered a ‘medium sized check in’ but still has a size and weight that would allow it to be carried on.

  • Material: 78% Polyvinyl Chloride, 22% Leather
  • Height: 26”
  • Width: 18”
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds
  • Wheels: Multi-directional wheels for simple mobility
  • Pockets: Front zipper hatch
  • Setback: This bag can be a bit on the bulk side, but still considered lightweight for its size.
  • Price: $695

You’ll look great rolling this arty luggage behind you. Sure, there are more practical bags but you won’t find a bag of this quality that can consider itself lightweight. It comes with a 5 year warranty so you can feel comfortable about dropping almost $700 on this beauty.

We hope we were able to cover a bag to your particular need. Each one of these pieces made our list for 2015s best lightweight luggage options because it offers something unique to you. We want you to make a decision you’re happy with so, feel free to do some research. These are the pieces we’ve found most suitable for your travelling needs. Bon voyage!

Best College Backpacks

It’s almost time to head back to college. Whether you’re a parent looking to buy a backpack for your loved one to keep all of those expensive books in, or a college student looking for one that can hold a 30 rack, you’ve come to right place. We took a look at the best college backpacks and compiled a list of reviews that include the best brands and what to look for.

 

Backpack Materials & Considerations

There are many different types of backpacks. Leather backpacks look stylish, but they can wear out much quicker than those made of canvas or mesh. As a college student, you should look for a backpack that fits your lifestyle. College athletes should look for a lightweight and durable backpack. Computer majors need a backpack with storage for accessories and padding to protect the electronics. These days, you would be hard-pressed to find a college student that doesn’t have a laptop. Make sure that the bag you select is big enough to fit and protect the laptop – not every backpack can fit a 17” screen laptop. Although you might assume that more storage space is better, that isn’t always the case. College students want to look good in front of their peers, so a backpack that is too large could be embarrassing.

 

Swiss Gear Backpacks

swiss gear backpack

Featured on Amazon’s “college checklist” with over 700 five star reviews, the Swiss Gear Travel Gear ScanSmart 1900 could be the best backpack for college. For the college athlete, this bag is specially designed to keep your back cool and it even has a water bottle pocket. The “ScanSmart” feature (and the backpack’s namesake) allows you to open the back in half for quicker security checks. If you’re travelling to college from a distance or frequenting summer concerts, this can save considerable time and frustration in the security line. If you are travelling, read our guide about how to choose a travel backpack. Other features include padded pockets to protect your electronics, a removable key fob for scanning into the dorms, and dividers for pens, pencils, or other school supplies. There is a limited lifetime warranty included with the backpack.

 

Jansport Backpacks

jansport backpack

JanSport arguably makes the best backpack for college: The Right Pack. The company’s lifetime warranty is second to none. I have personally sent in a backpack that was starting to rip after years of heavy use. The company replaced the backpack with no questions asked. Another benefit that sets Jansport apart is that you can customize the size and color of your bag. Jansport backpacks come in many varieties, but more and more of those options will go out of stock as we draw closer to the school year. The pack boasts a spacious 1900 cubic inches and several pockets for accessories like a graphing calculator or charger cable. You can comfortably fit a 17.5” laptop inside. The bag is also built to carry 3-5 heavy textbooks, and with the padded straps you won’t feel the weight of them cutting into your shoulders. The nylon construction is water resistant, though it is not waterproof.

 

Best Backpacks For Laptops

amazon backpack

A number one best seller, the Amazon Basics Laptop Backpack is a cheap backpack for college students at the price of $30. The backpack is designed specifically to hold laptops up to 17”, with extra padding for protection and side pockets for chargers or accessories. The shoulder straps are padded to make carrying even the heaviest laptops easy on your body. Dual mesh pockets are flexible for carrying different sized water bottles. Although it will fit a 17” laptop, 17.3” are more commonly sold and they are a struggle to fit into the bag. And, you’re not getting any style points for this one.

 

Cool Backpacks For Men

cool backpack

Social life is a huge part of college. Apart from your smartphone, your backpack is something that is going to be with you 24/7. The Btmall Canvas Leather Rucksack  is a cool backpack for men. One of the few backpacks to pull it off, the Btmall is fashionable and manly at the same time. With a special pocket for your laptop, this is an excellent bookbag for college. It has a quick access pocket on the outside for sunglasses or iPhones storage. The elegant leather straps looks expensive, but it comes in at the very affordable price of only $38.99.

 

Cute Backpacks For Women

Cute Backpack

This is a cute backpack for college students by Shengxilu. Although it is labelled as unisex, I couldn’t see a guy wearing this. The chic design and leather straps remind you of a day at the beach. There isn’t much room for books, but you could certainly fit a 13”-15” laptop in the main compartment and your accessories in the side pockets.

 

Mesh Backpacks

mesh pack

If you like to frequent the gym, concerts, or the beach consider buying a mesh backpack. Mesh backpacks are especially helpful if you have a bicycle to get around the campus. The JanSport Mesh Backpack is one of the best backpacks for college. The backpack has a large, main mesh pocket with ample storage that can fit 3 large textbooks with ample additional space for notebooks, binders and your lunch. The mesh bag is also equipped with a canvas pocket on the inside where you can hide your keys or cell phone without them poking you. There is a smaller, mesh pocket on the front as well. JanSport’s warranty is the best in class. If the pack breaks, they will replace it under the lifetime warranty. Lightweight construction makes this mesh pack highly portable and perfect for activities. The ventilation will prevent your back from sweating. For the outdoor enthusiast, it dries quickly and allows sand to easily pass through. However, there are a few drawbacks to mesh backpacks. Theft is always a risk on college campuses, and the number one rule of preventing it is keeping your valuables “out of sight, out of mind”. Not that you should be leaving any backpack unattended, but a mesh backpack with a shiny new laptop inside may be too good of an opportunity for a broke college student to pass up stealing.

 

Do you have a backpack that should be on our list of best college backpacks? Tweet @drluggage and let us know!

 

Best Luggage Brands: How Do We Choose These Luggage Reviews?

What Are The Best Luggage Brands?

How do you make a choice when buying your your luggage? Price? Style? Size? These days it really isn’t a one size fits all kind of world. I’m sure that like me you’ve fallen prey to the “too much clothes or too little” trap when on a jaunt. The main problem is, that there are often so many factors to take into account when planning for a time away.

The weather, length of stay, activities, and the type of appointments you are planning to keep are all factors that affect whether you go for the smooth and easy carry-on approach, or head full-on into the more executive luggage brands with a classy spinner as well as a carry-on.

So here you now have an across the board look at the few best luggage brands which combine at least some, or all the factors you should consider when going in for the one item that can make or break your time on the move.
In the name of total fairness we haven’t ranked these names, in keeping with the horses for courses approach which is only fair, as we’re all trying to make an individual choice based on our own preferences.

Samsonite

samsonitesilhouette

First up is the omnipresent Samsonite. One of the oldest players in the game, Samsonite makes high quality luggage. This well stablished and savvy member of  the top rated luggage brands leaves no stone unturned in it’s quest to provide you with the largest range of affordable and reliable baggage options on the planet. From the business travellers stalwart Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2, right through to the New York Cityscape Spinner 20- Samsonite has done a fantastic job of appeasing most crowds and purposes. Samsonite rolls in as the mid-priced German car of luggage brands- solid, reliable, and with enough style to keep a broad range of passengers safe and happy on their journeys.
In 2012 Trip Advisor in effect decided to start doing it’s own luggage reviews as a part of their service to support travellers by creating the Travelers’ Choice Awards.  Over 100,000 travellers a year give their input on the awards, which now includes prizes for the best luggage brands. Samsonite was lucky enough to get their award for the best carry-on luggage in both 2013 and 2014.

In covering so many bases, Samsonite has formed a series of partnerships for kids luggage including:

Disney By Samsonite

Marvel By Samsonite

Star Wars By Samsonite

Delsey

The Parisian big hitter of luxury luggage brands, Delsey has a an eye on the more chic and sleek traveller. The great thing about most Delsey bags is that they ooze class. Check out this innovative take on the standard small size backpack:

Delsey Starcktrip Bogotack Backpack

100% Polygiene – an innovative material that prevents the existence of microbes on the inside and outside of your bag.

Stain resistantdelsey2ebags

Water resistant

Great for casual use but staying clean and dry

Multiple pockets- well suited to technology and accessories such as cables and power cords

Worldwide Warranty

Anti-theft data protection system

Dimensions 13.78×5.91×16.92

This is the kind of new look that sees the  sophisticated girl about town breaking the mould of handbag versus backpack ( a common conundrum in the modern world of tablets and laptops) with style and panache- expect more to come from Delsey in this area.

Olympia

Another huge name in American luggage brands, Olympia runs a similar show to Samsonite- sturdy, solid bags that you can trust. It’s general reputation has kept Olympia consistently in the best luggage brands in recent years and this doesn’t look likely to change.

The Olympia range of luggage is pretty diverse. They make a lot of different classes of bag, and they are generally well worth a look. We’re happy to include the Olympia Gen-X Rolling Backpack in our list of luggage reviews.

Gen-X Rolling BackpackThe Gen-X is much more of throw-it-around item. It’s the kind of thing more suited to the young outdoors adventurer or traveller. Someone who’s expecting a bit of mud and dust along the journey. This bag is great for literally chucking anywhere and dealing with it.
I’ve owned one of these myself and its the kind of thing that seems to magically fit way more in then I was expecting.

Yes, the Olympia Gen-X comes through in the luggage reviews as the best throw around bag we’ve come across in some time. Definitely a useful buy for the outdoor enthusiast or young traveller. Don’t be deceived by it’s holdall looks. It comfortably fits on your back like a rucksack when it’s jammed full of stuff and needs to give your arms a rest. This one has been a personal favourite in the past and comes highly recommended. You won’t find yourself falling in love with this rough edged beast, but what you lose in romance, you gain in piece of mind. This one is built to last.

In the past Olympia has been described as no-frills which I personally think sounds a little unfair, as I rate it as one of the best luggage brands out there. If no- frills is a by word for solid and reliable, then personally I’m in!

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Purchase

It’s not complicated to deal with buying a bag form any of the luggage brands listed, but we’d still like to give you a quick rundown of our list of things not to forget when getting yourself a good buy.

Do I Need Wheels?

Good question. I most cases the answer is yes, unless you are going for the backpacking or ultralight approach.

Luggage moves on either 2 or 4 wheels these days with spinner suitcases being the four wheeled variety. the two wheelers are sometimes know as uprights and tend to have bigger wheels to compensate.

As a general guide, four wheelers tend to run better on smoother surfaces, whereas two wheel suitcases deal with rougher surfaces a bit better.

Wheels are either plastic or rubber. The more expensive luggage brands often tend to have rubber wheels which are quieter when on rough surfaces- the plastic ones can get a bit noisy. This is the sort of detail that is hard to find in reviews

What size suitcase should I choose?

If you’re flying to your destination, be aware that the airline will impose baggage restrictions on the size of hold luggage. This is an important factor when choosing and packing your suitcase.

Larger suitcases can be appealing to families but be sure to check the airline’s luggage restrictions before you travel to avoid excess luggage charges.

Suitcases with expandable compartments are a good option for travelers who switch between shorter and longer, winter and summer holidays, when the amount of baggage you take may vary.

There are no standard measurements used to classify medium and large suitcases. If you’re after a slightly smaller or larger case than those in our luggage reviews you can expect durability results of large and medium suitcases within the same range to be similar, but ease-of-use ratings are more susceptible to change. 

We would, however, expect less variance in the ease of use if downsizing from a large case to a medium-sized version within the same suitcase range as opposed to going up in size from a medium-sized suitcase to a large-sized suitcase.  For smaller carry-on luggage, it’s best to read our dedicated hand luggage reviews which are tailored to these smaller suitcases.

Does the suitcases trolley handle affect comfort?

Trolley handles can be fixed height or adjustable. Choosing a suitcase with an adjustable handle means you can set the trolley handle to a height that best suits you.

Suitcase trolley handles vary between luggage. Most are plastic, but some are padded or ergonomically shaped with the aim of increasing pulling comfort. 

Most handles retract into the suitcase when not in use. When buying luggage, open the suitcase to see how much internal space the handle takes up and whether this affects the useable packaging space.

Try before you buy

To find the best suitcase for you we recommend you try before you buy.

Head out to the high street to try out some of these suitcases first-hand. Trolley handle heights and grips will vary, so choose one that suits your body frame.

See how easy it is to lift the suitcase using both the top and side handles, ideally with some weight in the case. If it’s going in the car boot, then think about size, especially when traveling with more than one case.

There is a mix of two and four-wheeled suitcases. Generally four-wheeled cases are easier to pull on smooth floors, while two-wheeled suitcases fared better in our tests on rougher ground. Bear this in mind when trying out a case on a shiny department store floor. 

As a lifelong adventurer, both as a holiday maker and as a long-term traveller, I have a depth of experience in getting it wrong when it comes to what to take away with you and how much of it.
They say that your life is fuller, and more successful  because of your past failures. If this is true, then I must now be one of the most successful people alive when it comes to lugging things around the planet. A shameless 30+ countries and covering everything from an army style backpack to a Gucci holdall as my faithful companion, I’m not proud of my mistakes, but they’ve meant that I’ve made some so that you don’t have to.

How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack

When you select a backpack you should keep in mind that best travel backpack can help make your journey comfortable. So choose according to the kind of usage you want from it. Consider the activity you will use it for, weight and volume of the stuff you want to carry. Although best for backcountry travel but nowadays if you want to skip the lines at the airport while waiting for your luggage, a backpack can be your best friend.

Best Travel Backpack

Types of Backpack

Soft Backpacks:

These are traditional backpacks and in my opinion the best travel backpacks if you travel a lot.

A soft backpack can be put on shoulders and you are good to go. Make sure you buy one with the waist belt as that helps to lessen the burden on your shoulders and may avoid back pain if you are carrying it for a long time.

They come in both front loading and top loading models. So take your pick according to your convenience.

When to buy Soft backpack:

  • You are going backpacking in the countryside and you are physically fit to carry your bag on your shoulders.
  • The terrain you are traveling in may not be feasible to carry wheeled luggage.
  • You do not want to check in luggage at the airport.
  • You travel light and do not want to bring breakables home.
  • You do not mind carrying a separate day bag for your handy items.

When not to buy Soft backpack:

  • If your travel includes long hours of carrying your luggage. So buy wheeled backpack unless you want to go soul searching like ‘wild’. Better to opt for rolling backpacks if you are not going in the countryside and you have to keep your luggage by your side for a long time.
  • If you want to check in your luggage, they are not a good option for you. You might need quite a few locks to manage the safety of the zips. Plus the way the baggage is handled, you may just pray for the safety of your belongings.

Internal frame Backpacks:

For those long journeys when you are travelling alone or with fellow travellers and you want to be able to carry your own baggage for long distance. Internal frame backpacks come with an internal support structure that helps balance the weight on your hips and takes support from shoulder straps. Thus making it easy to carry them for a long journey.

When to buy Internal frame backpack:

  • For long journeys when you have to carry your own baggage.
  • You weigh comfort more than money, as these bags can be expensive as compared to normal backpacks.

When not to buy Internal frame backpack:

  • Uncomfortable to carry in airplane as they might not fit every overhead bin as the internal structure makes it hard to squish them.
  • You have a small frame (physically), as most of these bags are on the longer side.

Rolling Backpacks:

Rolling backpacks have great features of both the worlds. They give you the flexibility of travelling with wheeled baggage and carrying your baggage on shoulder straps when required.

When to buy Rolling backpack:

  • If you are ready for the tradeoffs of comfort with having to carry the added weight of wheels and retractable handle.
  • You carry your baggage for small amount of time and roll in most of the time.

When not to buy Rolling backpack:

  • If you pack to eat up every inch of space available in your bag, as the wheels and handle may take up a lot of internal space in rolling backpacks.
  • You will be mostly carrying your baggage.

Congratulations! The difficult part is over. Now you know what kind of bag you want for your travelling needs. Now consider the features you would want in your backpack. Do not overwhelm yourself with features, just look for basic ones that you will need. Weigh comfort more than usability in backpacks.

Features of Backpack to consider

Size of the backpack:

Usually, you should not for a size larger than 14” X 21” X 9” and in case you have rolling backpack than considering the wheels go no bigger than 14” X 20” X 9”. But in present time when regulations keep changing in budget airlines, you should always check with your airlines before you make a decision.

Other than airlines, make sure if you have a small stature than you do not buy a long bag. Always try on the bag before you finalise it.

Weight of Backpack:

Although you may put less items in the bag if you want to travel light but if the weight of bag itself is less than obviously that is an added advantage for a thing which you have to carry on your back.

Construction of Backpack:

  • Backpacks are meant for rough handling. So buy the ones which can handle the abuse you are going to put them through.
  • Seams should be very neatly and closely stitched. Try to look at the seams by pulling the joints, it should be difficult for you to see the stitches. Go for durable fabrics.
  • If you are buying a backpack for outdoor travelling than obviously you would want it to be made of weather resistant fabric.
  • One thing that most of us ignore is the sturdiness of zippers. In front open backpacks, the zippers have a lot of pressure so make sure they are of good quality.
  • Shoulder straps should have foam so they do not dig into your shoulders.

Features of Backpack:

You may want to check the various features in the travel baggage. For example, for some it may be an added advantage to have more zippers but for someone like me it is a disadvantage as to find a single thing I have to go through all the compartments. Moreover if you want to check in your bag you may have to buy more locks for the zips. So check the features like zippers, expandability, usable space, etc. before you click buy.

Make a list of your best travel backpacks on the base of their type and size, now it is time to compare them on the basis of their features. Few pointers to keep in mind while comparing:

Pockets: Built in pockets or zips help in keeping frequently used items handy.

Compartments: Compartments help in organizing stuff in a travel backpack.

Expandability or compressibility: You may want to increase or decrease the size of your backpack. So check for the ease with which you can use these features.

Daypack: Few backpacks also allow you to zip off a removable day pack, so if you do not want to carry a separate day pack you may want to consider this feature.

Quality and cost:

Though some people might consider these different but cost and quality go together. Mostly, unless you are just paying for a brand, cheap bags mean low quality and reasonable cost can get you a bag with good quality material. When you are backpacking this is the last thing on your mind to go hunt for a new bag in the middle of your travel.

Regulations of the airlines for carry on backpack:

If you want to escape the waiting time for luggage on the airports and the cost associated with you then you may carry your backpack with you. For this check the airline you frequent with for the dimensions of the bag they allow as carry-on baggage.

Tips for Buying Backpacks

Finally, few tips to consider while buying backpacks:

  • Do not buy over costly backpacks. If you are paying over $ 300 for a backpack than unless you are looking for some specific feature, chances are that you are just paying for an overpriced brand.
  • Always check for size with your airlines.
  • Never buy cheap backpacks as they offer low quality. The backpack may fall apart more quickly than you have anticipated it to.
  • For organising in a backpack always consider investing in some good packing cubes. They help to compress your clothes, organize them and you may easily find your stuff without throwing out everything.