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Bestselling Travel Backpacks

Ebags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible BackpackLet's begin with the #1 travel backpack: TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Backpack. The TLS pack has a near 5-star rating based on close to 4,000 reviews with 96% of customers recommending it.

What the TLS Backpack Does

The TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible makes backpacking convenient. One of the greatest benefits to this bag is that it is front loading. There is nothing worse than having to unpack everything from your top-loading bag to get to your sweater at the very bottom. The laptop pocket at the back of the pack and compartmentalized pocket at the front eliminates the need for an additional daypack; one bag conveniently does it all. In fact, there are so many compartments in this bag, whatever you need will always be at your fingertips. The contours, durable fabric, and assorted colors make it a stylish choice too. Being able to carry it as a backpack, or convert it to hand or shoulder bag makes it as versatile as your travel circumstances.

What the TLS Backpack Doesn't Do

The drawback to this bag, if there is one, is that it doesn't do the best job of weight distribution for maximum carrying comfort. While the padded shoulder straps are comfortable enough, it doesn't have a padded weight-bearing hip belt to ergonomically distribute the weight of the pack for easier carrying. Of course, this isn't a big deal for those who travel light. Although it has a pop-out side pocket for a water bottle, there aren't any other side pockets that can be reached while wearing the pack.

Who Will Find This Backpack Lacking

The serious backpacker who plans to trek the Inca Trail in Peru or make their way to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal will probably not find value in this backpack. Without a frame or a weight-bearing hip belt, this pack won't provide the level of comfort needed for actually lugging it around for long periods of time. Fortunately, it is specifically made for weekenders who don't plan to use it for trekking, but rather for the convenience of its other design features.

Who Will Think This Backpack Is Perfect

The Mother Lode is perfect for travelers who need a roomy, lightweight pack that is rugged and durable. While the weekender is excellent for weekend getaways, it received praise from those who spent multiple weeks backpacking across Europe and other destinations.

Travelers will love how easy this bag makes it to get through airport security. The zipper compartment at the top can hold toiletries that need to be scanned separately, and the computer compartment at the back makes accessing your computer a breeze, too. The inside snap out pouch allows for carrying valuables on your person when your bag is out of reach. Weekend backpackers will also appreciate that the expansion zipper allows up to 60 liters of space for returning home with souvenirs, or those fortunate times when you have more than a weekend to travel and prefer to check your bag.

What Customers Had to Say About the Pack

How rugged is this backpack? One customer wrote, "It has been on four wheelers, snowmobiles, boats and bush planes throughout Alaska but still looked new." The only problem was that the carrying strap broke after three years. What did eBags do? Since they didn't have a replacement strap, they sent a new backpack! Now that's great customer service.

How much will the Weekender hold?. A customer who claims to be size XXL wrote, ""WOW, what a bag! I hate checking bags and had a week long business trip approaching and decided to try this bag. The 1st time I used this bag, I packed 6 pairs of casual slacks, 7 shirts, a pair of jeans, a pair of Crocs, 6 pairs of socks, 7 underclothes sets, numerous other items INCLUDING my laptop and it STILL fit into the OVERHEAD!!"

This pack is not just for the young. At age 70, Don from Dallas traded in his wheeled luggage for the TLS Weekender due to tighter restrictions on carry-ons by airlines. He stated that this backpack has become his "workhorse bag" and its construction is a masterpiece. He went on to claim, "I must admit that I feel years younger when using it in the backpack mode."

Finally, a well-traveled customer wrote, "Having owned a variety of similar bags (Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On, Jansport Eurosak, and Ebags Weekender E-Tech Convertible), I can speak with some authority to the fact that this one is the best of the bunch."

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible (Solid Black)

The Bottom Line

When your travel plans include a long weekend getaway, you want the convenience of a carry-on that meets airline size regulations, is spacious enough to hold everything you want to bring, keeps you super organized, and is stylish, yet casual. It looks like Ebags read your mind; the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible does all that and more at a reasonable price. Its ability to convert from backpack to hand or shoulder bag to roller is a bonus. It's not the perfect bag for everyone, but it just might be for you.

Click here to get your TLS Weekender Convertible

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