I take a lot of weekend trips, and try to fly as budget as possible. I’ve managed to (pretty much) perfect the art of packing light. I only pay extra for hold luggage for longer trips, or if I really have to – what’s the point, if you can save money by having everything you need in your cabin baggage?
For this reason, I was pretty keen on getting some good quality cabin luggage for my upcoming trips. After googling around, and reading some articles on sites like Land of the Traveler, I toyed with the idea of a new mini suitcase, but in the end set my sights on a travel backpack. They’re more versatile, easy to carry and make you look a little less like a clueless holidaymaker…probably.
Cabin Zero are basically THE go-to brand for cabin-sized travel backpacks, and I’ve seen loads of fellow travellers and bloggers rave about them. So on my recent trip to Rome, I took my new favourite luggage on its first adventure, to see what all the fuss is about…
Cabin Zero’s travel backpacks come in two styles – classic and vintage, and an impressive variety of colours. After a fair bit of deliberation, I plumped for the Classic 44l in ‘Purple Cloud’. My reasoning? I wanted the largest size, and I like purple, pretty much. The orange straps add a pop of fun to it too, and make it stand out in a sea of plain backpacks.
It’s also the kind of bag that’s easy to customise with your own look – I’m super keen to start stitching some patches on the front.
Size & Weight
44l is the largest size Cabin Zero makes, with bags also being available in 28l and 36l. All Cabin Zero travel backpacks, including the 44l (51x36x19cm), are within the cabin baggage dimension requirements for the vast majority of European and international airlines .
Weight-wise…these bags are basically negligible. Coming in at 0.76 Kg, unless you’re packing it with your favourite travel bricks, you’ll be hard pressed to fill it anywhere near the maximum weight requirements.
Having said that – there’s still plenty of room in the bag for everything you need on a weekend break. For my recent long weekend in Rome, I managed to pack more than enough clothes, extra shoes, all my toiletries and necessary bits, a whole extra coat and even a spare backpack for day-to-day exploring, and it was fine.
Beyond the stylish design and handy dimensions, this backpack is seriously functional and practical. One of my biggest backpack bugbears is that it can be awkward AF to get to the things at the bottom (which you’ll DEFINITELY need) without throwing everything out all over my hotel room floor. The Cabin Zero travel backpack has a zipper that opens on all three sides of the back, suitcase-style – making packing and unpacking way easier than your normal travel backpack.
The roughly A4-sized front pocket is great for easy access your travel documents, and inside, there’s a small mesh pocket, as well as an extra, thin pocket inside – perfect for small laptops.
I also found it really helpful when we were at the back of the boarding queue. While those with hard cases were being told to put them in the hold, I was able to head straight on with my Cabin Zero backpack, and it slid nicely under the seat in front too. When I’m on a big trip, I’ll definitely be able to maximise my luggage with this AND a hold bag.
Structure & Comfort
The material of the bag is thin but strong, and the clips on the side give an extra dimension of security. They’re also great if you’ve not filled up the whole bag, to stop everything falling around inside. The zipper is strong and solid, and I had no worries about it breaking – a problem I’ve had a few times with lesser-quality luggage.
I’m a pretty small person, so the backpack does look pretty big on me, as the photos demonstrate. But honestly, it’s pretty comfortable to carry around. My only slight negative would be the lack of waist or chest strap – after a couple of hours, there was a bit of a strain on my back. You can find these on the Military versions though, if it’s a make or break thing for you.
Y’know…I honestly never realised how irate I get at people with wheely suitcases until I didn’t have one. The Cabin Zero travel backpack is much easier to transport around – no awkward bending down to grab your case whenever you’re met by stairs. A side handle on the bag is a nice touch too, great for if you’re going a very short distance (e.g changing trains) and aren’t bothered about throwing it on your back.
The built in travel tag is handy if your bag gets lost. It’s not a feature I’ve used, because HOORAY, I didn’t lose my luggage – but it’s definitely an added plus.
A 10 year warranty also comes as part of your purchase – so you know your backpack is pretty guaranteed to get a long run of travels.
After years of having cheap luggage break on me while travelling, I’m willing to spend a bit more on a travel backpack that’s good quality, versatile and will last for years of travel ahead. The Cabin Zero 44l bag retails at £60, and I can honestly say for the amount of trips I’ll use it on, it’s very much worth the outlay.
And with it’s fun style, great functionality and useful features, this backpack is definitely one I’ll see myself using for many, many more trips to come.
*I was sent a Cabin Zero travel backpack to review – all opinions my own.
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