UPDATE: Unfortunately, Overland Equipment stopped making their products for now. However, I think I may have found an even better alternative: The Lug Via Tote is a similar size, convertible to a backpack, and even better–has a luggage strap on the back to attach to your luggage handle. Lug’s Puddle Jumper Overnight/Gym bag also looks like a great travel bag, but it lacks the backpack straps. I am going to try both of them out and post an updated review soon!
The search is over! I finally found the perfect travel bag/personal item/backpack for my travels. I’ve been looking for a travel bag for years that can easily fit my camera, laptop, water bottle, travel wallet, blanket, neck pillow, etc and can still fit under my seat on the airplane. This Cambridge II bag from OverLand Equipment fits the bill and then some. The best part about it is you can use it as a purse, briefcase, tote bag, beach bag, or backpack.Here are some of the great features of this bag:
- Spacious: it fits all my stuff, yet has a pretty low profile
- Water resistant: the material of the bag is of really good quality and is pretty much water proof. Great to take to the beach or if you get caught in a rainstorm
- Organizational compartments and pockets: inside, you’ll find a pocket for your laptop, and small mesh pockets for your small things that you can easily find; outside, a large pocket with a magnetic flap closure for quick-access, and two exterior pockets – one that zips up for a wallet, for example, and one that is fleece-lined for easy access to your smartphone.
- The main part of the bag zips closed! Great so that your stuff doesn’t fall out when putting your bag through security or under the airplane seat. You also have the option of closing it with a squeeze buckle to accommodate tall or oddly-shaped items or to cinch a sweater/jacket.
- My favorite feature: the stow-away backpack straps that you can take out when you need/want to use the bag as a backpack instead. This is especially great for day hikes. You can even fit a hydration pack inside the back pocket!
If you’re flying, this bag works well as your personal item (even when it’s fully stuffed), because it holds all the carry-on essentials you’ll need on-hand in the air and fits perfectly underneath the seat in front of you. I’ve never had a problem carrying this bag as well as a carry-on suitcase. When you get home from your trip, you can also use this bag for your work commute, to school, the farmer’s market, or even the gym. It’s that versatile!
I had the first version of this bag and used it on all of my big trips around the world. I recently upgraded to the new version, Cambridge II, and apart from it being a little taller, it has the same features. You’d be happy with either version. At the time of this writing, this bag was priced around $50 at Amazon or REI. Original price: $100
Here’s a pretty decent video review from Zappos (Just note that it fits a lot more than it seems here):
Let me know if you have any questions about the bag. It has been tried and tested by yours truly. I’ve been using it for years, and I highly recommend it. Happy Shopping!