What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
I have the LL Bean Quickload Travel Pack in black. It costs $129 USD.
>> Search for the Quickload Travel Pack on Amazon.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I’ve had my backpack for about a year. It was my trusty companion during my time in Europe, and it’s also kept me company on shorter trips to Montreal and Vancouver. Most recently, it acted as my carry-on luggage on my 14 hour flight from Toronto, Canada to Seoul, South Korea!
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?
For my trip to Europe, I knew I wanted to travel light, with a carry-on sized bag. It was important to me to always have my hands free and never need help with my luggage, so a lightweight backpack was a must. I liked that the LL Bean Quickload was very light in and of itself – it clocks in just over 2 pounds – and that the backpack straps stow away, making it easy to slip into and out of overhead compartments. But the factor that really settled it for me was that this bag folds open like a suitcase! The design made it easy for me to stay organized while travelling and to re-pack quickly. I loved that I could access whatever I needed without having to take absolutely everything out of my bag.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
I find that being organized and efficient in my packing eliminates a lot of the stress of travelling and helps me to have much more fun. So that’s why my favourite feature is definitely the fact that this bag hinges open like a suitcase – it really helps me to keep the contents of my bag neat and tidy. I also love that it’s carry-on sized, that the backpack straps stow away, and that it’s light as a feather.
While I was backpacking, I did sometimes wish that my backpack had more straps, including one around the hips. It got heavy at times, and without a supportive hip strap, walking around with it for too long was hard on my shoulders. Also, I was initially worried about the construction quality of the bag as it’s not made with high performance fabric and I’d read reviews that the zippers weren’t as sturdy as on other bags. Happily, I’ve never had any problems with the quality of the bag – one year on, my backpack looks and performs like it’s brand new despite being used quite a bit. However, this might be a consideration for people who need a really tough bag that can be exposed to the elements on more outdoorsy adventure trips.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
As I mentioned, the bag doesn’t come with many features to improve its fit and when it gets heavy it can be uncomfortable to walk around with for too long. While the backpack straps are nicely padded, there’s no mistaking the fact that this isn’t a traditional hiking backpack. It’s a bit more one-size-fits-all and no-nonsense than most of the other backpacks I’ve seen on the market. That might be a downside for some people, but I personally like the fact that it’s streamlined and simple, but also practical and effective.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
I can, and I have several times! While you can definitely pack this bag with enough stuff to push it past the carry-on allowance dimensions, its soft fabric construction means I can almost always easily fit it into the carry-on gauges at the airport. I only once had a problem bringing it as carry-on luggage, and that was when, while the dimensions of the bag were fine, it was deemed too heavy.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
For me, the size is perfect. The bag is remarkably spacious due to the fact that it doesn’t have many extra features, such as an internal frame, to suck up the usable space inside. It holds a surprising amount of stuff while at the same time encouraging me to pack lighter, which in my opinion is never a bad thing! Plus, being able to bring my bag onto the plane with me as carry-on luggage has made my travels a lot more convenient and efficient.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
I would definitely recommend this backpack. If you’re looking for a carry-on sized bag that’s simple and effective, the Quickload Travel Pack is a great option. And I know I can’t be the only traveler who craves a little structure amid the wonderful chaos of being a nomad! If you feel the same way: this backpack can help you organize yourself a little better so that you can focus on having all kinds of incredible travel experiences.
>> Read another review of LL Bean luggage.
About the Author: Stephanie Pellett is a recent university graduate currently teaching English in Busan, South Korea. Her upcoming travel plans include trips to Seoul and Bali, and when she’s done my contract here she plans to backpack through South East Asia for a few months before heading home to Canada. You can follow along with all her amazing adventures on her blog, Life In Limbo, Instagram and Twitter.