I do love being able to fly with just cabin luggage. Why? It saves money, it saves time and, unlike a checked-in suitcase, it is very unlikely to go missing and end up in the wrong country! However, I do find it hard to fit everything in, especially with all my blogging paraphernalia. My laptop, camera, chargers and such previously left little room for clothes so it was a rare event that I could travel without checked-in luggage. But all of that has changed!
When I was asked to review the CabinZero 44L ultra-light cabin bag, I checked it out online and then replied, “Yes, please!” as there were many features that really caught my eye.
Big, but not too big
When it comes to cabin luggage, size matters. This rucksack is big but still within the usual size requirements of all the major airlines. It has a 44L capacity, measures 55 x 40 x 20 cm and comes with side compression straps to help ensure you keep within those limits. It also has a large front zipped pocket plus three inside pockets: one zipped, one meshed and one big enough for a large laptop. I’d recommend using a padded sleeve around your laptop should you put it in either the outside or the inside pocket.
When Suzanne (TheTravelBunny.com) and I travelled to France earlier this year we both laughed when we saw each other’s rucksacks. Matching CabinZero bags! At the airport, we tried the bags in every airline luggage cage we could find and it fitted them all, some with room to spare.
CabinZero backpacks are light, weighing just 760g. Always a bonus, as it is often the weight of my bag that restricts what I can take with me, not just the size. While I’ve also liked the idea of wheeled backpacks for travel these are so much heavier, so if weight is an issue for you, without wheels is the way to go.
CabinZero backpacks are made of waterproof polyester and they are so confident in the quality of their product that if you ‘like’ them on Facebook they’ll give you a 25 year warranty.
I wish all my backpacks, suitcases and handbags had this feature — a built in global tracker, powered by Okoban. When you receive your bag simply hop online and register your bag on the Okoban website. The tracker makes your bag so much easier to find should it walk off one day without you. You can read more about how the tracker works here.
Comfortable and versatile
It has thick padded shoulder straps that are designed for comfort. It also has a top as well as a side handle, so it can be carried like a suitcase, which I find very handy.
The first time I used my CabinZero bag I was on my way to Canada. I caught the train up to Gatwick and soon realised that I had too many heavy things at the bottom of my bag which sat on my lower back, giving me a backache. Simply rearranging everything so that the weight was more evenly distributed made the world of difference and it was then extremely comfortable to wear. A set of packing cubes would help with this.
I haven’t used this feature yet but I can imagine it is very useful if you are looking for the reassurance locking your bag will bring. You will need to buy your own mini padlock, though.
A great range of colours
Something else that surprised me was the great range of fun, as well as more sedate, colours that the CabinZero bags come in, including limited edition backpacks where all proceeds go to charity. I loved the colour of my ‘original purple’ backpack. These are just a few of the colours and styles available.
CabinZero’s Social Responsibility
CabinZero take their social responsibility seriously. From their workers making the bags to the customers buying them, they want to ensure that everyone is happy. They also want to limit their environmental impact. One way in which they do the latter is by making a quality product that will last a long time before it needs replacing. This is an ethos I think we all wish more companies would adopt. You can read more about their Social Responsibility Policy on their website.
The final verdict
This is certainly the best carry-on backpack that I’ve come across, especially if you want to ditch the need to check-in a suitcase. It’s big, but still within airline carry-on restrictions. It’s well made by well looked after workers, is trackable, comfortable and light. It ticks all the boxes. At £60 ($77 USD), I think it is good value.
Check out the full range on the CabinZero website.
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Disclosure: CabinZero provided the Classic 44L Ultra-Light Cabin Bag in exchange for an honest review. As always, I will only share with you my own opinions. There are affiliate links in this post. If you should click and buy through one of these links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This goes towards the costs of running this site and is much appreciated. Thank you.
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The tracker is such a good idea – and great that they’re concerned about ethics and sustainability too. I travel with carry on only most of the time so this is a great alternative to a wheely case.
Cabin Zero looks like a great choice if you can do without wheels. Unfortunately, while I always try to carry-on, I do need something that rolls. I think this would be a great choice for my adult children and am putting it on the Xmas list for them. Thanks for the tip, I love the colors it comes in and the trackable element.
I know what you mean but I’ve downsized my camera kit and I’m looking for a lighter laptop to counter act the aging process! My back has had enough of carrying around a full-size DSLR camera and lenses.
CabinZero is my favourite back pack ever – so many great features to make travelling easier
I always travel with a wheely carry on as I’m turning up at the other end for a meeting, but actually the black one of these looks office-appropriate and it would be far easier to use navigating the DLR to get to London City!