Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for an honest review.
color: heathered graphite
TLS Hybrid Spinner Carry-On click here to view the eBags product page
So, we've taken a look at the wonder that is The Packing Cube (see product review here) and have decided that they are great for packing organization, but finding the perfect bag to use as a carry-on can be a nightmare of a necessary task. I have been through my share of carry-on luggage, and all have been grossly flawed and near tantrum-inducing. From unstable bottoms to poor handle design to just plain awkwardness, I have carted it all through CLE. My initial reaction to opening my eBags TLS Hybrid Spinner Carry-On? Picture the cartoon character with hearts in place of eyes. That was me.
The love continued as I began exploring the bag's features and experimenting with packing it for our 8-night vacation (a stay in San Francisco coupled with a cruise). Upon first inspection, this bag appeared to have everything I could possibly want in a carry-on, but before I begin composing a love song to its features, let's check out the details direct from eBags:
The stats: Exterior Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9" Interior Dimensions: 20" x 14" x 8" Linear Inches: 45" Weight: 7 lbs, 4 oz Capacity: 2389 cu. in.
From the eBags website:
Two webbing push-button cross straps to secure packed contents. Generous webbing length accommodates a fully packed expanded load. Anchor rings move with the expansion gusset so that your straps are always at the top edge, even when expanded
This case expands an additional 1.25", to pack in last minute items
Orange lining makes finding your items easy
Interior mesh door allows visibility in packing organization, or has small buckle to roll-up and secure the door in order to use the full volume of the case and access through the front door
Main and Pocket zippers are able to lock in place with anchor D-rings sewn directly onto the bag
Volume pocket on top to store small items accessibly during flight and a flat pocket on the front lid to store magazines, papers or other low-profile items like a thin jacket
Flat, retractable carry handles do not intrude on your overall dimension so that you can board without issue
Trolley handle adjusts to 3 heights for optimum maneuverability – no more heel-kicking your bag. 45.5, 42.5, 40.5 inches
Compression-molded Polycarbonate bottom/back provides rigid support platform for extra protection for your stored items, all with less weight
8" Dual spinner wheels
My favorite features of this bag:
It is lightweight - 7lbs 4oz, per the eBags site.
The handle extends to a height that is perfect for most travelers.
The wheels spin and glide exactly as they should. If you have not experienced luggage with spinner wheels, this alone is a massive upgrade over whatever you're currently using.
The pockets are nicely designed and allow easy access to your items.
Two different handles for lifting the bag make it accessible from several positions.
The bright orange interior is cheerful and makes your items stand out.
The heathered graphite color (bag is also available in black, sinful red, and brushed indigo) is absolutely gorgeous and perfectly matches my Kayla Town Square 2.0, which nestles right on top. (A review on this bag to come.)
I was able to fit a LOT of clothing into this bag, including two pairs of shoes. (Don't fear! A detailed packing post is to come!)
The bottom line:
This is an easy bag to recommend.
While I have only used it for one vacation thus far, I absolutely love it and hope it will last with use. It was easy to pack, and pack well, and made for gliding through the airports with ease. Between my packing cubes, this TLS Spinner Hyrbid, and my Kayla Town Square 2.0 I think I have found packing paradise. I will take this combo for another go-round later this year for a resort stay, and share an updated review at that time. Right now, I am a very happy traveler.
Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for an honest review.
As mentioned in this recent post showcasing my lack of packing skills (even with years in the travel industry and a variety of trips made) my ability to pack for vacation has been less than stellar. Lack of proper gear has been partly to blame, for sure, but I could also use some lessons in strategic vacation prep.
All of that changes now.
I have been arming myself with new and improved travel gear in 2018, so that this travel mom can more easily prepare everyone for vacation. My goal is to eliminate checked bags from our repertoire, so we can both avoid airline fees and move through airports with greater efficiency and ease. Proper gear is essential to this transition, I have learned, as is practice and list-making.
My first bit of advice is to start from the inside out and invest in packing cubes - highlighted here, this set from eBags. Available in four colors (black, blue, green, and grey) these packing cubes come in a variety of sizes to allow you to pack more, and pack better. This set includes two large, one slim (medium), and two small packing cubes, and they all nestle perfectly into a variety of the eBags carry-on luggage. (More on this later.)
Product features for the eBags Ultralight Packing Cubes Super Packer 5-pc Set (from the eBags website)
Set contains 1 Slim (13x6.5x3.5in), 2 Small (6.5x6.5x3.5in) and 2 Large (13x13x3.5in) Ultralight Packing Cubes
Patent-pending spring-loaded mini framed design helps the cube hold its shape while filling
30D siliconized Cordura brand nylon for the optimum combination of durability and light weight
YKK coil zipper with color-matched corded zipper pullers
Silicon coating on the interior surface makes it easy to fill. Polyurethane coating on the exterior surface reduces shifting of cubes inside your luggage
Hypalon tug-tabs give you something to grip when closing the zipper
Total weight for the set is 8.3 ounces, 235.3 grams
Webbing grab handle with low-profile logo
What Can You Fit in a Packing Cube?
I did some experimenting before officially packing with my new cubes because I wanted to see how I could pack most efficiently while still including everything I thought I would need.
Here is an idea of a few combinations that the cubes held, for size small/medium/4-6 female.
Large: #1 four pairs of jeans, one pair of dress pants #2 three long-sleeved shirts, two thin sweatshirts, two tank tops, pajama pants #3 one pair of jeans, one pair of leggings, one lightweight cardigan, one long-sleeved shirt, two heavier long-sleeved shirts #4 three dresses (two that are maxi length), three tank tops, swimsuit, cover up
Slim (Medium) #1 six short-sleeved shirts #2 seven tank tops
Small #1 eleven pairs of narrow rolled underwear #2 twelve pairs of wide rolled underwear #3 twelve pairs of underwear folded in half, one bra, one pair of no-show socks #4 pajama set (pants and tank top)
Pros and Cons
Pros: Easily organize your items, especially if this is something you struggle with when packing.
Help prevent overpacking, which has been my biggest issue when travelling.
Color-code your family when traveling together by selecting a set for each member of the group.
View the contents of each bag without opening, thanks to the mesh cover. Feel very lightweight and durable.
Repurpose for other tasks and storage needs when not travelling.
Cons: Pricey, even when on sale.
When filled, the cubes lose their shape (can bulge) so this can create other packing issues. (But if you were to make these a harder-shell product, they would be heavy and bulky thus defeating their original purpose.) I found I was still able to nicely fit even bulging cubes into my carry-on, but I still want to note this.
Cannot compress clothing like some packing cubes on the market.
All in all, I am very happy with my first packing cubes experience and I would recommend them to others. If your vacation needs require a wide variety of clothing options, I encourage experimenting beforehand to see what you might be able to take with you. My type-A personality loved the organization of the cubes, and it was so nice to not have items directly placed inside the luggage.
I will definitely be purchasing another set for my toddler before she begins travelling with us next spring.