Meet Julia and Her Minaal 2.0 Carry-On Backpack Review

Minaal 2.0 backpack review

The following Minaal 2.0 carry-on backpack review was submitted by Julia. Check out all of our female travel backpack reviews.

Hi! My name is Julia, and I’m a history student from Brazil. In the last few years I’ve studied abroad in Italy, volunteered in Czech Republic and went backpacking more often than I can count. I used to have a great backpack that converted into a wheelie, but I wanted something smaller that could be taken as a carry-on. After a lot of research, I decided on the Minaal 2.0 backpack.

What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?

My backpack is the Minaal 2.0 Carry-On Backpack. It usually costs around $300, and I got the Flashpacker bundle deal, with a waist-belt and three packing cubes for $350. It’s pretty expensive, but I really feel that I got what I paid for.

  • Net Weight: 1.415kg / 3.12lb
  • LxWxH: 55cm x 35cm x 20cm (fully packed) / 21.6in x 13.7in x 7.87in

>>Check out the backpack on Minaal’s site here.

How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?

This backpack is pretty new – I’ve had it now for six months. We’ve been to Rio de Janeiro for new year’s, to Ilha Grande, Paraty, Sao Paulo and most recently to Florianopolis, an island in the south of Brazil. Now I’m packing for Russia, where I’ll spend three months with only this backpack.

Minaal 2.0 backpack review - packed up
Julia’s Minaal 2.0 all packed up for her next trip

What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack?

The most important thing for me was the size, since I wanted a backpack that can be taken as a carry-on. I wanted a front loading backpack, since it’s so much easier to pack and unpack. I also wanted a laptop compartment, since I usually take it on longer trips and want it to be protected.

Looks were not a main factor, but it did tip the scale since I love the minimalist design on the Minaal. I love that it’s gray, and I love that it only has small logos on it.

>>See our ultimate female guide to picking a backpack.

What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?

I love how it fits all my stuff and it’s very organised. The bag has several compartments, for my laptop, for my clothes, for the liquids, and they all have inside pockets. Combined with the front loading, it makes it very easy to pack or to find my things.

The one thing I’d like to change is to add zippered pockets on the waist belt. Women’s clothes usually have tiny useless pockets, and it’s annoying to have to open the backpack every time I want to access my phone or my wallet.

Minaal 2.0 backpack review - rain cover
The Minaal 2.0 backpack has a rain cover – always a nice feature to have

Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.

I’m very petite at 1.57m (about 5’2″) and it’s not always easy for a backpack to fit me, but the Minaal is great at that. I didn’t think it would be very comfortable because the waist-belt can be removed, but I think it does its job impressively well. Also, I’m busty, so I’m glad the chest straps are adjustable and that there is an extra buckle in case I don’t want to use them.

>>Check out the best backpacks for petite and slim women.

Minaal 2.0 backpack review - Julia
Julia with her Minaal 2.0 backpack

If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?

Yes! That was why I chose it. A fun detail is that the backpack’s measurements are written behind one of the buckles, so you can just show it in the airport if necessary.

>>Read our first timer’s guide to traveling carry on only.

Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?

It’s perfect for me. The makers don’t like to write down a volume because there isn’t a standard in the industry, but reviewers often say it’s around 35 liters. In spite of that, it fits way more stuff than my friend’s Osprey Sirrus 36 liters.

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

Absolutely! I think it’s a great backpack, and that anyone looking for a medium sized backpack should look into it, especially the urban travelers and digital nomads.

>>Check out the backpack on Minaal’s site here.

About the author: Julia is a traveler and history student from Brazil. When not on the road, she loves to write on her travel blog and talk about the history of the places she visited, connecting her two passions.

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minaal 2.0 carry-on backpack review
minaal carry-on backpack review
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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


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Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

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Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


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Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Kate Doornik says

    Those of you who take only roughly 40l backpacks with you, what do you then use as a day bag for walking, sightseeing etc? I feel like I would need second bag, smaller than my backpack, but not so small it would be easy to slip inside (or be OK as a personal item on Air Asia)

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