Earlier this year I worked with Eagle Creek as a brand ambassador and had the opportunity to try out some really handy travel products. Just as the program finished, the put out some info about a really cool, lightweight carryon called the Systems Go Duffel Pack. The duffel/backpack is designed to work with half packing cubes.
The system looked amazing, and I contacted them about reviewing it for you. They responded by sending me the pack and some half cubes so I could test out how to pack light and organized with their cool system.
For starters, the pack is very lightweight at 2 pounds 2 ounces. It can be worn as a backpack or carried as a duffel bag. Just like with the wheeled backpack, the straps are easily adjusted to make things as comfortable as possible.
I tested it out on our flight from Florida to Texas. During our 9-week carryon-only trip earlier this year, I used a messenger bag. It wasn’t always the most convenient pack. The Systems Go was a marked improvement and was much more comfortable to wear as well.
With everything crammed into a messenger bag, I ended up getting extra screening in Europe a couple of times because they couldn’t see everything on the x-ray. This pack is so well organized with the cubes, that it isn’t a problem. Even with the pickier TSA in the US, it went through screening smoothly.
Living out of the pack is MUCH easier as well, especially when using colored cubes. I knew which cube held what I wanted, so I didn’t have to go through the whole bag and pull things out to get to items. The pack opens as a front-loader which makes things extra simple.
The size is perfect for a carryon, and the shape means it fits easily into the overhead bins without needing a lot of space.
When I was packing the cubes, I ended up looking for extra items to put in them so I could test it out with all five cubes in the main compartment. You could easily use this carryon for a longer trip. I found myself wishing I had it during our Europe hopping.
In addition to the large main compartment, there is a smaller one in the bottom of the pack that can accommodate two additional half cubes or other items. I ended up using it for my hydration belt and water bottle I use when I’m running and still had room for additional stuff.
As with the other backpack I reviewed, this has a cushioned and vented back for extra comfort while wearing it as a backpack. As I already carry a daypack for my laptop and some other items, I tested this as a duffel, putting the strap across my chest when carrying the bag. The padding in the strap assured a comfy experience.
Carrying it as a duffel through the crowded aisle of the airplane was quite easy.
Here is a basic list of everything I had in the pack:
- 5 T-shirts
- Swim trunks
- 3 shorts
- 3 pairs of socks
- 1 jeans
- a bunch of toiletries
- hydration belt plus 20-ounce water bottle
- GPS with a bunch of other cords and chargers for other devices
There are also plenty of lash points on the outside for attaching gear, and the internal compartment includes a sleeve that will fit most 15-inch laptops. You also get a small section at the top of the bag and another on one side of the pack.
It really isn’t difficult to see how to pack light and organized with this great system. I look forward to taking it on many more carryon-only trips. It makes packing and traveling an absolute breeze.
Have you taken any longer carryon-only trips? What tips can you share?
November 9, 2014
I like how the cubes with different colors are neatly organized. That’s a cool system you have there.
November 10, 2014
The colors really help when you’re living out the backpack.
November 3, 2014
We have been using packing cubes for a couple of years now, and love them. I would have had a few more things in my carry-on only list, like a rain jacket, undies and more electronics, plus one of my teens needs that extra pair of shoes. 🙂
November 7, 2014
Electronics goes in my daypack. 😉 Thankfully, neither of us has a clothes or shoe fetish.