Best Carry On Backpack Review – Standard Luggage (Travel Bags & Packing Cubes)


As a travel videographer, editor and photographer when it comes to camera gear, I hold this truth to be self-evident:

I have more camera bags than Kim Kardashian has Birkin bags.

That said, my camera bag fetish goes far beyond just camera bags. I’m into backpacks, sling bags, laptop bags, briefcases, shoulder bags, suitcases, carry-on bags, and don’t get me started with satchels – trust me when it comes to a high-quality leather “man purse,” I don’t discriminate.  

But if you are looking for the best carry on backpack, Standard Luggage Co. has changed the game with their very impressive carry on backpack and compatible packing cubes. They make thoughtfully built, products, specially designed for the modern traveller. 

For me having the best travel backpack is essential when on the move.

By the end of this article, you will:

  • Have a complete understanding of the best 35L travel backpack
  • Gain insight into the compatible packing cubes
  • Know what to look for in the best travel backpack carry on

Choosing the Best Carry On Backpack 

When buying a carry on backpack for your travels, you will need to make sure that it suits your individual needs. So let start by talking about some of the reasons why you’d want a carry on backpack. 

  1. Business Travel. You frequently travel for business and will require space for a few changes of clothes and your office needs (laptop, iPad, notebook etc.) 
  2. Conference / Convention. You are attending a conference, or you have a booth at a convention. You’ll be there for a few days and don’t need to bring a large suitcase.
  3. Weekend/Long Weekend Getaway. You’re taking a quick road trip, train/bus ride or short flight to the next town, city or country. 
  4. Day Trip. You’re already visiting a new city and want to take a day trip to another city or town, possibly staying over-night. 
  5. 2-3 Days/ 3-4 Nights Local, National or International Travel. 

The purpose of the carry on backpack is to use it instead of bringing separate checked-in luggage. Ideally, this will save you time not having to check-in luggage when you depart or wait for luggage when you arrive. It will save you money as well since many airlines, in an attempt to cut costs, are charging for checked baggage.    

The key to a great carry on backpack is that it must be large enough to carry all your travel needs from point  A to B. Yet it must be small enough to double as a day bag while you explore your destination. 

It will also need to meet the correct sizing regulations for airline cabins.

You will also want a backpack with a separate well-protected laptop and tablet compartment, as this makes getting through airport security more straightforward and faster. The last carry on a suitcase I had came with one large compartment – which included the space for my laptop and several smaller compartments. Every time I needed to go through security, I had to empty most of the contents of the bag just to get my laptop out. I then needed to jigsaw puzzle everything back into my bag afterward. 

What an absolute nightmare. Good thing, I typically arrive at the airport two hours before my flight’s departure. But I digress.

If you’re like me, you’ll be carrying your camera, maybe a lens or two, possibly a drone and charging devices. Either way, the backpack will need to be spacious, durable, and fit your style. Other things you might want to consider in a travel backpack might include:

  • How many compartments and pockets it has.
  • Can it be used with packing cubes?
  • Is it waterproof/weatherproof?
  • Is it expandable?
  • Is it convertible?
  • How large the capacity is.

Carry-on Bag Review – 35L Travel Backpack

Main Features:

  • 3-in-1 travel backpack, suitcase and shoulder bag
  • Has an expandable capacity of 35 – 45L
  • Specially sized for carry on luggage
  • Dedicated laptop pocket
  • Full perimeter zip

210.00 (CAD)

Dedicated laptop pocket

Let’s start with what I think is the coolest feature of the backpack and an absolute game-changer when going through airport security. There is a dedicated laptop pocket accessible through a separate zipper that comes with a neoprene laptop sleeve for ultimate protection.  

The neoprene laptop sleeve slides out the dedicated pocket for easy access to your laptop and tablet. Take your laptop and tablet out, place them in a separate bin and slide the sleeve back into the bag. 

It’s just as comfortable when putting the computer and tablet back in the bag after the security check. 

Oh and the neoprene laptop sleeve is detachable should you want to keep your laptop with you – and protected while on the plane. 

3-In-1 design + Roll-Aboard Strap For Easy integration with Rolling Luggage

The bag utilizes a smart 3-in-1 design – allowing it to transform between a backpack, suitcase or shoulder bag quickly. I like bags that can be carried in a few different ways, depending on what leg of the journey I’m on.

For example:
On the way to the airport, I will go between carrying it on my back or attaching it to my rolling luggage. While at the airport, I will attach the bag to my rolling luggage until I check-in my rolling luggage. While going through security, I will either carry it like a suitcase or wear it on my shoulder. And when I’m boarding the plane I will carry it like a briefcase – it’s easier to manoeuvre.

Plus, having a handle on the top and the side makes it easy to lift it up and fit it snuggly in the overhead compartment.  

Full-perimeter zip

Like a suitcase, there is also a full perimeter (clamshell style) zip to make packing incredibly comfortable, and a compression strap to keep things tight and secure. The space in the backpack works brilliantly with the packing cubes they already make, which I’ll talk about a bit further down. 

Also, you can add an extra 10L capacity with the expandable section – perfect for those wanting a weekender backpack for weekend getaways

Ergonomic and comfortable

The backpack is also incredibly comfortable. It’s one of the best backpacks for travel thanks to its 6 points of adjustability, padded back ventilation, and detachable hip belt. You can walk around with this pack for hours in total comfort. 

Every dimension and design aspect has been thought out to get you through airports and planes in a breeze. It’s one of the top travel backpacks thanks to its well-thought-out design. Whether you are flying, international jet setting, hiking, taking it for work, taking it on a road trip or using it as an overnight backpack.

Some Other Feature I Love About This Carry On Luggage

  • One of the most stylish travel backpacks
  • Many thoughtfully-designed pockets for easy organization.
  • Built-in safety whistle
  • Includes a rain cover for downpours
  • Water-resistant and durable
  • Perfectly carry on sized
  • Hideaway straps
  • Water bottle pocket

Packing Cubes (3pcs set) + Backpack Packing Cube

Review – A Hanging Travel Dresser

Main Features:

  • Hangable and modular
  • Includes see-through windows
  • Full-length zips
  • 7L capacity per cube
  • Cubes fit the exact dimensions of the 35L Travel Backpack

78.00 (CAD)

Packing cubes seem to be all the rage these days. I landed my first set as part of a swag bag I received at a travel blogging conference, and admittedly, they are the most convenient way to store your things while travelling!

These fantastic little cubes made by Standard Luggage fit perfectly into their 35L Carry On Backpack, which I talked about earlier – eliminating the need for unpacking. Simply remove from the backpack, attach them together and hang the packing cubes up against a door, and your wardrobe is neatly unpacked and ready. These well-designed cubes mean that no space is wasted and with durable construction, full-length zips, and see-through mesh, travelling couldn’t get any more convenient.

Here’s what I was able to pack in the 3 packing cubes and the backpack packing cube:

Backpack Packing Cube:

  • DJI Mavic drone
  • DJI Mavic drone remote
  • DJI Mavic drone charging cables and accessories 
  • Canon DSLR camera body
  • Canon DSLR camera lens
  • Canon DSLR charging cables and accessories 

Packing Cube 1:

  • Four pairs of underwear (clean)
  • Four pairs of socks
  • Space for a few toiletry items 

Packing Cube 2:

  • Four short sleeve shirts

Packing Cube 3:

  • 1-2 pairs of jeans 

Backpack Packing Cube

The Backpack Packing Cube is another one of Standard Luggage’s smart designs that serve two purposes: Use it as you would a regular packing cube then turn it inside out and use it as an 8L backpack. That’s enough room for a camera, a lens and a light jacket or sweater. There is also an internal pocket that can hold most 10” tablets.

Lastly, the Daypack can stuff into itself for standalone use or minimize space used. It’s just the right size for a day of exploring or a hike outside of the city.

52.00 CAD

What I Love About These Packing Cubes

  • A modular design
  • Easily hangable
  • Simplifies backpack travel
  • Lightweight and durable

Travel Backpacks Final Thoughts

Choosing the best plane backpacks can be difficult, as there are so many products out there. Thankfully, Standard Luggage Co. has helped improve the way you travel through their innovative carry on backpacks. Their bags are stylish, functional, and perfectly sized for flying and travel. 

That said here are some things to conder regarding the backpack:

  • Adding wheels and handle? Another option I like for transporting a carry on is the ability to pull it on wheels. I’m not sure how that would alter the weight. 
  • The weight and age of your computer will significantly add or considerably take away the overall weight of the bag. I have an older but customized 2012,15 inch MacBook Pro which is pretty heavy compared to most Mackbook Pros today, especial the MacBook Air.
    Also, because I have a Drone, extra battery + remote and a DSLR Camera + lens and all charging cables it adds a lot of additional weight.  
    Carrying all that weight on one shoulder for a prolonged period will cause discomfort.
    As a photographer and videographer, the average person would probably not have to carry all that additional gear.
  • At a price point of 210 CAD, it’s not the lowest price available for a travel backpack. 
  • The quality and design of the bag are amazing. 

When travelling around, your backpack does become your new best friend, which is why it is so essential that you choose a product that is comfortable, durable, and convenient to use. It will enhance the way you travel, and help you to enjoy your trip a whole lot more. Be sure to check out this great backpack by Standard Luggage Co. before you book your next trip. 

If you looking for some great backpacks that have wheels then here is a list of the best travel backpacks with wheels. 

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