Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite carry on bags.
We all know getting through airport security is necessary, but a hassle. When TSA Precheck came out, I was one of the first in line, but it doesn’t always mean I’ll get it. There are still airports that don’t offer it, sometimes the Precheck lanes are closed, and sometimes I am selected at random to not be Precheck. Because of that, I still plan my carry on as though I will have to go through regular security and I have the perfect bag.
With as much as I travel, I do have luggage that was purchased at specialty luggage stores like Samsonite and even have a fabulous Roncato piece imported from Italy. They’re expensive, but they last through lots of frequent wear and tear so worth it for me. My favorite carry on, though, came not from there, but from my local neighborhood Target.
I was looking for a carry on a few years ago and decided just to take a walk through the luggage section at Target when I spotted the SwissGear Zurich 20″ Pilot Case. What immediately drew me to it was the separate laptop pocket. Unlike most carryon bags, this bag has a padded pocket specifically designed for laptops on the side of the bag. Not only is it protected by the padding, but the sturdy pull handle offers some protection as well as that side of the bag is not as flexible as the rest. Plus, the pocket location allows for me to get my laptop in and out of the bag quickly and without opening any other compartments, which is perfect when going through airport security.
Once I’d used it a few times, though, I discovered that this bag had so much more going for it. I love all the compartments. Inside the bag, there are two pockets in the “lid,” which are the perfect size to store a pair or two of shoes, keeping them away from my clothes and other belongings. There is also a mesh pocket and a removable “wet pocket.” When using it as a carryon since the wet pocket is larger than the quart-size bag for liquids allowed through security, I actually use it for other toiletries that could be messy like baby powder and any powder or non-liquid makeup. Since it just snaps in, sometimes I simply remove the wet pocket leaving more space in the main compartment.
Even though the bag is small, there is plenty of space in the main compartment, especially since my laptop, a pair of shoes, and toiletries fit in other compartments. When packing for an upcoming 4-day business trip, I was able to fit everything into this bag, suits and all. I’ve also easily fit clothes for a winter weekend trip or longer trips if I only need to pack light summer clothes. By my own measurements, the area is about 19” x 14” x 7” so a lot of space for a little bag.
On the outside of the bag, there are three more compartments on the front. There is a large one at the bottom. This is where I put my books, magazines, tablet, or anything else I’m going to want to entertain me during the flight. In the larger of the two top compartments, I store my quart-size bag of liquids. Being in a separate pocket like my laptop means I can get them in and out of the bag quickly without any searching or struggling when going through security. In addition, there is a very small “document” compartment. That’s where I stick my boarding pass so I know where it is and don’t have to dig around for it in my purse or pocket.
No bag is any good, though, unless it’s easy to get around and this one is. Unlike many carryons, this one has four wheels on the bottom that move freely. I can pull it behind me or push it beside me. It’s so easy that even my son can push it around on the carpeted airport floor. In addition, I have checked this bag and those wheels stayed attached so it appears to be sturdy as well.
With this bag, I can not only fit everything I need for a short trip, but I also can get to my laptop and liquids quickly and easily getting me through airport security quickly and easily, well, as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why not only do I use it nearly every time I fly, I own two so my family can use one, too.
For more information and carry on bag options,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Black | Best Carry On Bags Loop:
- 1st Stop – The Delightful Life | Best Carry Ons for Family Travel
- 2nd Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | Best Carry On to Get Through Airport Security
- 3rd Stop – Ashley Aspires | Overpackers Guide to Carry Ons
- 4th Stop – Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze | How to Pack Everything for a Disney Trip Into One Bag
- 5th Stop – Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere | Disney Cruise Line Day Bag