Traveling with carry-on luggage isn’t just for the city trippers anymore as more and more people discover the world of luggage fees free and mobile traveling. On my recent travels I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect travel luggage to go with that kind of travel style and today I’m reviewing the Lowe Alpine Lightflite Carry On Backpack.
As a teacher I get to enjoy set holidays that – if you put summer break aside – last for one up to two weeks, the perfect amount of time to schedule in a road trip, city trip or short interrail journey. With an average travel time of 8 days – and no desire to drag around a small suitcase – I need a bag that will fit everything I need and nothing more. The Lowe Alpine Lightflite Carry On Backpack seemed to fit that description when I saw it at the Gap Year Travel Store so I ordered it.*
Lowe Alpine Lightflite 40 Carry On Backpack
The Lowe Alpine Lightflite backpack is what looks like a minimalistic backpack, but with high quality fabric and well thought out details. With its 40 liter capacity and 55x35x25 cm size the backpack is suitable as carry-on luggage on almost every airline**, making the check in process a piece of cake. The backpack comes in antracite with orange details and is unisex.
The shoulder straps are made out of soft, padded material and can be tucked away into two pockets on the back, making sure the backpack can’t get stuck anywhere on those awful airport luggage belts when you do decide to check in your luggage. Added is another shoulder strap, which makes it possible to wear the backpack on one shoulder or cross body. The back has no heavy internal frame and I do wonder how this backpack will fit on me when it’s fully packed.
Top left: large mesh pocket – Top right: clips on the outside – Bottom left: Secret pocket – Bottom right: the secret pocket fits your valuables.
From Lowe Alpine Lightflite backpack has two small pockets that can be reached from the outside: one on the side that can hold a water bottle and a tiny secret on underneath the top grip to store valuables you don’t want to flash around in public, such as your passport and money. The zippers can be locked with an external lock (not included).
Inside the backpack the same simplicity is carried through, with just a big space to store your clothes, liquids and other items and two straps to securely hold them into place while you move. A big mesh pocket is provided on the top part of the backpack which can easily hold a laptop and accessories.
Time to test it!
With a wintery 8 day trip to Prague coming up, I got the backpack just in time to thoroughly test it! 8 days of winter clothes is a lot to pack (lame pun intended) and I was curious to see if I could fit enough warm items into the backpack, without under packing and possibly freezing to death on the go.
During my travels I have worked on my packing skills, but I’m nowhere near perfection yet. Still you should keep in mind that – although 40 liters seems like a lot – you should keep the amount of bulky items under a minimum. Wearing layers can be a good solution to that.
With four outfits (including two semi heavy sweaters), extra layers of clothing, a zip lock bag with liquids, a toiletry bag, accessories and gadgets, I was surprised to see the room I had left inside of the largest compartment. I didn’t have to roll my clothes or stuff anything in the back of a storage divider. I didn’t take any extra shoes with me, but I could have fitted an extra pair if I’d desired to.
The mesh pocket fitted my laptop, cables and phone chargers with room to spare. At the airport I could easily unzip it and place it on the tray at security, without delaying the entire line of people behind me. Because of the extra, secret pocket on top I didn’t need a purse to hold my valuables, such as my passport, phone and wallet and because this compartment is hidden from the eye and directly in my neck area, I feel safe enough to do so.
The thing I was most curious about was actually wearing it. Women tend to have more problems with backpacks because of the frame and usually I would go for the backpack that is specifically designed to fit my body instead of the other way around. The Lowe Alpine Lightflite Carry On Backpack is made for both men and women and has no frame or hip and chest straps at all. Since carry on can weigh up to 10 kg’s I was curious to see if I would feel comfortable wearing this backpack for a longer period of time.
However during my trip to Prague, carrying it around the airport and while navigating though the city, I haven’t had a single moment of discomfort or pain. When I tested the backpack during a new year’s camping trip a few days later, I felt comfortable enough to climb the steep dunes of one of Holland’s most beautiful beaches, even though I strapped it a little too tight.
One of my favorite assets of the backpack are the shoulder straps that can be tucked away in case of turning your carry on into checked in luggage. The thing I dislike about flying with a backpack most is the variety of confusing ways airlines check it in. Some like to wrap your backpack entirely in plastic while others send you to a dark little place called ‘odd sized items’. This feature makes the bag great for everyone who loves to travel, no matter the duration of the trip or method of traveling.
- Lots of, easy to divide, storage space (40 l)
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to adjust
- Handy secret pocket to store valuables
- Lockable zippers
- Mesh pocked to store laptop
- Not waterproof, no rain cover
- No lock included
After testing it on two – very different – trips, I can come to the conclusion that this might be my new travel bag for 2016! Some minor details aside, the Lowe Alpine Lightflite Carry On Backpack is a durable, easy to pack backpack for any kind of low intensity travel.
Update (2017): The Lowe Alpine Carry On Backpack is still my favorite backpack for traveling. I now use it for long term travel as well (3 weeks or more) and it has been working perfectly. The bag is incredibly sturdy and great to bring on trips that don’t involve too much wandering around in free nature.
You can purchase the Lowe Alpine Lightflite Carry On Backpack at the Gap Year Travel Store.
*This product is sponsored by the Gap Year Travel Store, yet all opinions are of my own.
**Always check your airlines’ regulations first!