Is This The Best Carry On Luggage I’ve Found?

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
Today, The Travel Tester reviews the Standard Luggage Co. 3-in-1 travel backpack and compares it to a standard carry-on trolley.

A couple of weeks ago I came home from a trip and collected my little pink suitcase from the baggage claim, only to find the handle broken and the suitcase impossible to use again. I normally ALWAYS bring it on board as carry on luggage, rarely check things in these days (that’s what happens when you’re a magnet for lost bags), except of course this time… bummer!

Then, the other day I messed up my flight departure times leaving Dublin (the more you travel, the more stupid you get, it’s a thing), meaning I had to run for my flight like my life depended on it. I did make the flight on like two seconds in the end, but let me tell you that running with a heavy trolley (I borrowed Nick’s -and stuffed it to the max) and another handbag full of press-kits and camera gear is NOT fun to do!

So, long story short, in my search for a new carry on bag I was looking for a solution that would take care of my main problems when flying with hand luggage only:

  1. Something that will fit everything from clothes to shoes and camera equipment to computer gear… so even Easyjet with their ridiculous one piece carry on luggage only rule has nothing on me;
  2. Something that’s still light and easy to carry;
  3. Something that’s not pink, because while it’s great for checked in baggage as you can easily spot it on the conveyor belt, for hand-luggage I don’t always necessarily have the need to feel like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, if you get what I mean…

Can you imagine my curiosity when opening my email inbox and finding a request for a review of an “all-in-one backpack, suitcase, shoulder bag with focus on utility and style”? 

A carry on AND backpack IN ONE? Uhh. Yes please.


Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

Standard Luggage’s carry on backpack VS our own trolley… What’s it going to be?


UNBOXING the Standard Luggage Backpack

For an unboxing of this backpack, please make sure to check out our video! You can watch it here on YouTube >>

FULL REVIEW of the Standard Luggage Backpack

In this article we will be going into the first impressions we had with this backpack and show you all the features. If you like to know how this backpack got used on our travels and what our personal experiences are with the product, then make sure to watch our full review video. You can watch it here on YouTube >>


The Travel Tester - The Anticipation

Standard Luggage: 3-in-1 Suitcase COMPANY PROFILE

Standard Luggage Co. is a Canadian luggage and travel gear company that launched their first product, a 3-in-1 convertible carry on backpack, through crowd-funding. In March 2015 they launched their campaign on Kickstarter and probably wouldn’t exist without the support of people believing in the product.

Their mission is, according to their website, “to help global travellers be happier and more efficient by developing innovative travel products“. Their stylish carry-on-sized travel backpack was designed to help people save time and money without the need to check a bag and pay excess airline fees.

Sounds promising, right?

Add on the fact that this piece of convertible carry on luggage is the maximum-sized legal carry-on that conforms to airline travel standards, that you get a lifetime warranty and online satisfaction guarantee AND free world-wide shipping… and you have me listening.

Is this travel backpack perhaps the best carry on luggage I've found? || The Travel Tester


The Travel Tester - The Experience

7 REASONS This Carry On Luggage Backpack Makes Me Happy

Even though at this point I haven’t taken the bag on an actual trip yet [*message from the future* Here is our review after having used it several times *message from the future*], let’s have a closer look at some of the bag’s features:

1. Three Functions in One

For whatever reason you’re travelling, this carry on suitcase (or carry on backpack? Perhaps it should be called a suitpack or backcase? I don’t know) can be easily transformed to however you like to use it. It’s not a 2 in 1 travel bag, but even a 3 in 1 convertible carry-on backpack/suitcase! 

Carry it as a Backpack

This is probably the option I will be using the most. The bag straps are hidden in the pocket on the back of the bag and can be easily attached to the two clips at the bottom of each side of the bag (also neatly hidden for when you don’t use them)

The straps are nicely padded and feel comfortable. They also have an extra clip on the front for extra comfort and there’s even a hidden safety whistle in it, how clever is that?!

Usually, you can find carry on luggage with backpack attached to it, but since the whole bag here already IS the backpack, converting it by taking out the straps seems pretty easy to do and a total time-saver. 

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
Peek-A-Boo! Ah, the wonders of convertible backpack luggage
Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
The clips of this carry on luggage with backpack straps can be hidden and take a second to attach

Carry it as a Messenger Bag

For when you feel a bit smarter and perhaps use the bag on a business trip (or when you already carry a backpack and want to bring a second bag), you can clip a strap to the bag and carry it as a messenger bag.

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

Carry it as a Duffle Bag

The bag has two grips: one on the top and one on the side, which I always like when putting it above your head in the luggage compartment of the plane. Nick’s trolley doesn’t have a grip on the side, so when it’s heavy it’s hard to lift!

On the back of the suitcase, there is a slot, so when you also bring a trolley, you can slide it over the handle and don’t have to carry the bag at all. Nice!

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
This bag doubles as backpack and carry on suitcase

2. Laptop Slot

This is one of my favourite features, especially because the laptop is in a different pocket as your clothes, so you can quickly open it at customs and take it out.

We tried the pocket with Nick’s massive old-skool 15″, super fat laptop and it fitted easily, so anything that’s more modern (that’s pretty much anyone’s laptop, I’m sure) will fit too.

Next to the laptop sleeve, you can add all your other electronic equipment, pens, notebooks and all that, but usually, this is not really something I use myself. Who knows, I might get super organised one day and start using these!

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

3. You Can Change Colours

First of all, the bag is not pink, which is nice to start with :) But you can also change the accents on the bag, as they give you one orange and one teal set of zipper straps, luggage tag and handle covers. I personally like the teal one better, so I changed them right away.

I can imagine if you’d want an even different colour, you could attach anything you want, really. Or perhaps that’s one of Standard Luggage’s next moves and create custom colour sets for you to get, who knows?!

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
Loving the colour accents on this carry on bag and backpack combination
Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
Which one of this convertible backpack suitcase is your favourite?

Is this travel backpack perhaps the best carry on luggage I've found? || The Travel Tester


4. Lots of Pockets & Space

If you’re a fan of organising your life like me, then you’ll love the amount of pockets on this bag. There are two front pockets: one for full sized documents and a smaller pocket for smaller items. Then there is a large flat pocked on the clothing-side of the bag (perfect for important documents and magazines, etc.).

And of course you have the pockets at the laptop-side of the bag as I showed you earlier.

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

Is this travel backpack perhaps the best carry on luggage I've found? | The Travel Tester

5. Rain Cover

The exterior fabric of the bag is made from 1680 denier luggage fabric with tight stitching and sealed polyurethane backs. Sounds fancy, it means it’s been designed to be water resistant (I’m still having to test that).

In addition, you will get a nylon elastic rain cover for an extra level of protection. It comes in its own pocked and you simply slide it over the top, sides, and front of the bag when worn as a backpack.

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

6. Clam-Shell Opening

My first backpack ever could only be opened from the top, which meant that if you want anything from the bottom, you’d have to take out. My second and current backpack opens with a zipper over the length of the bag in the middle, which is a lot easier, but I always said I would like a bag that just opens around the bag instead.

Well, this one does just that. It opens like a clam and lies flat, so it’s super easy to get to all your stuff without making a mess.

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester

7. Expandable Carry on Backpack

Finally, this bag has a volume of 35L, which turns to 45L when expanded, so you can easily fit a long weekend worth of clothes, or even up to a week, depending on your packing style.

Because of the size of this backpack (21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inch [54.61 x 34.29 x 19.05 cm] or 21.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inch [54.61 x 34.29 x 24.13 cm] when expanded), you can take it on board most international airlines as carry on luggage.

For example, RyanAir has maximum dimensions of 21.65 x 15.75 x 7.87 inch [55 x 40 x 20 cm], so when not expanded, this fits well!

The bag is also light (3.7 lbs / 1.68 kg), as it doesn’t have the weight of construction materials such as metal frames, rolling wheels, and retractable handles that you’d have on a trolley. Definite bonus as well with all those weight restrictions these days.

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester
What do you think of this piece of backpack carry on luggage?

Is this travel backpack perhaps the best carry on luggage I've found? || The Travel Tester



* Extra Features

Besides everything that I already mentioned, there are some other cool features that I discovered: a headphone slot and a safety whistle!  

Standard Luggage Carry-on Bag || The Travel Tester


The Travel Tester - Packing Tips

You can get the 3-in-1 carry-on backpack from Standard Luggage here >>

Standard Luggage also create other travel gear items, such as:




The Travel Tester - The Verdict


Is this travel backpack the best carry on luggage I’ve found?

You know, it might actually very well be!

At least, I’ve never been so excited about a piece of luggage before, that’s for sure. I love the idea of having a backpack as carry on. It seems this bag has been created by people that travel a lot themselves and I can’t think of any feature they haven’t included. It’s all there!

To find out for real, of course I have to take it on a trip to test it fully. Take it through customs, through the pouring rain and see how I go with overhead lockers. But as I was so pleasantly pleased after just opening the box and taking photos of the bag with pillows in it, I didn’t want you so miss out on adding one to your Christmas List, so I decided to tell you about it already.


The Travel Tester - Further Reading

UPDATE: Read our full review of this amazing piece of convertible luggage backpack here!



The Travel Tester - Practical Information

You can get the 3-in-1 carry-on backpack from Standard Luggage here >>

Standard Luggage also create other travel gear items, such as:



Yes, it is YOUR turn now, because one of you has the chance to become a Travel Tester yourself and win a Standard Luggage best carry on backpack!!

OHW YEAH! (Christmas has come early!)

All you have to do to win is leave a comment below and tell us WHERE you would like to take this bag and HOW you would use it.

Don’t forget to fill in the Raffle copter form to be eligible to win -and earn more entries!

Good luck to you all!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ps. If you win, feel free to send us a photo of you travelling with the backpack or post it on social media using the hashtag #STANDARDLUGGAGE to share your experience (not necessary to win, but we would love to see if we made you happy with it!)





The Travel Tester - Save on Pinterest


Is this travel backpack perhaps the best carry on luggage I've found? || The Travel Tester

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary bag from Standard Luggage to review and they kindly accepted our request for a second bag to give away to you! All photos and opinions are, as always, our own.


Join the Conversation


  1. says: Kelsey

    You may actually have stumbled upon the best carry-on luggage ever! That bag has at least 5 features no backpack of mine ever had!

    If I were to win a Standard Luggage bag I’d take it with me on my upcoming trip to Vietnam this winter. I would stuff it full of swimsuits for my extended stay on Phu Quoc Island; but of course I’d leave room for all the dresses and shoes I plan to have made in Hoi An.

    Yes – I think this would make the perfect carry-on for my Vietnam travels, especially considering my backpack was recently returned to me with missing buckles and a broken zipper (lesson learnt in lending it out).

    1. says: Nienke Krook

      What a great trip you’re planning Kelsey, Vietnam is beautiful and you’ll love it! The broken backpack sounds awful though! I wish you all the best in the competition!

  2. says: Danielle

    I would love to take this to Jamaica with me and use it as a carry-on so I wouldn’t need to bring a checked luggage.

  3. says: Chantal

    It definitely looks great Nienke! This suitcase looks perfect to take on my first overseas trip with my new baby boy. We plan to take him to Indonesia in a couple of months. The suitcase would come on the plane with us as carry on luggage, filled with everything he might need on the flight from bottles and a fresh set of clothes, to his favorite toys. Then in Indonesia we would use the suitcase to take with us when the three of us go out exploring. We can’t wait!

  4. says: Sharon

    I am heading to Iceland in January to full my dream (I hope) of seeing the Northern Lights. My current carry-on is too large for Iceland Air’s regulations, but this one would be perfect. And I can use the expandable zip on the way back so I can bring all my friends unique Icelandic treats, such as harkal (although, after tasting harkal, they might all be former friends).

  5. says: JDM

    This is the bag that will come with me to Australia when I surprise my wife by joining her on her business trip and celebrating her birthday Down Under. Lots of room for clothes, but better yet, more room for all the wine and stuffed koala toys I’ll be bringing home with me. Very styling bag, tres chic.

  6. says: Kirsten

    It might be a wee bit to late for my trip to Cuba, but I could definitely use it when I visit some dear friends in London next year. They always ask for loths of stuff like Dutch cookies and Dutch candy.

  7. says: Rolando

    I would like to take it to Oxaca, I used to travel alone for years with 80L backpacking style pack. But now i have a family and I need to be more efficient so I believe this pack would be perfect for me.

  8. says: Sina

    Thanks for this detailed review of the 3 in 1 backpack.
    I’m still looking for the perfect backpack since I didn’t own one since High School. I’m a Meetings Planner a travel a lot for work on long and short trips. Since we to carry a lot in our carry-ons (Laptop, badges, important things that are we are not allowed to put in the suitcase), I always suffer pulling a trolley and having a big purse. So I try to find the right backpack to protect my shoulders and reducing my items to one. This Standard Luggage Backpack is super functional and looks good!
    The extra Laptop pocket and all the other small pockets are great to organize your clothes and things you take. It’s too small to replace a big travel backpack for backpacking trips but it’s a great addition as a carry on or for short city trips. So the first trip the backpack would do would be home to Germany and then to Copenhagen for a Conference in Feb.
    Happy to share some pics on Social Media.

  9. says: Jane M

    Aaaah, I want this bag so much. I have been hunting for a bag for the last few months.

    The last time I travelled was by bike, so I only have panniers for travelling (plus an old carry on my Mom gave me when she was finished with it).

    But, in the spring, I am leaving on my next big adventure, house sitting my way around Europe and then (maybe) moving to Asia. This bag looks perfect. :)


  10. Love it!!
    Thanks God i found your post, it comes in the right moment. I left Bangkok two days ago and my carry on backpack torn apart during the flight [after 4 years of travelling, poor thing!! :-) ] Love every part of Standard, especially the leaptop space, the orange details and the look. It´s so clean and chic, doesn’t look like a backpack at all. Totally my style. Hope you can send it to Chiang Mai :-)

  11. says: Maarten

    This sounds like a really nice carry-on luggage solution Nienke! I love the small details like the laptop space and the strap to attach it to your other carry-on luggage. But what comes in most handy for our next trip is the color switching….;) My wife and I are expecting our first child in April. And this week we decided that we would love to share our joy for traveling from the first moment. It’s obviously not gonna be a fancy location far away but it can still be a sweet spot somewhere in southern Spain. We’re eying on Malaga right now. How much fun it would be to have the baby carrier on the front and an equal load on the back when using the ‘backcase’ option. And yeah, blue for a boy and orange for a girl will settle for us!!

  12. says: Melissa

    I would love to take this to Burkina Faso! I’ll be living there for two years, and it would be perfect for trips out to the field, and for touring around west Africa!!! So light, so versatile, so useful for all my things.

  13. says: Chelsea

    This bag looks so cool! I would love to test it out on my hiking trip to Hawaii…and I think I’d use it most as a backpack. Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway!

  14. I am running an out of town half marathon in March and this bag would be perfect as a carry on for all my gear! I could never check my favorite running shoes or my race day outfit!

  15. says: Armel

    I was really excited to have found this bag! It’s the first convertible I’ve seen that takes full advantage of the carry-on size limits and low profile enough where I feel confident with the style. I will take this bag with me when I travel to Colombia next year, and possibly become a new found travel buddy :)

  16. says: Gavin

    Great piece of kit! I’d use it to replace the unwieldy selection of various bits and pieces I am currently carting around the world with me. The versatility of this 3-in-one really appeals to me; it would save me from my boring routine of leaving various things in left luggage and storage. It’s time to throw out all those little bags that don’t work! My next tip is from Australia to Vietnam, and it would come in really useful to have a single good piece of luggage rather than three or four smaller bits, especially for the train travel I am intending to do.

  17. says: TRISHA

    I love the fact that the bag is small, light, but above all, will allow me to organise my stuff. Normally I do long-term travel and so I can unpack for quite a while …until the stress of re-packing comes around). But I’ve just booked a trip to Tanzania and will be travelling on light planes (with strict luggage limits!) and moving from camp to camp each night. I want to be able to easily find everything each night instead of digging through one big pack. Less time searching for my toothbrush = more time searching for lions, elephants and wildebeest!

  18. says: Becky

    I love the removable straps! I am in desperate need of some new luggage since my suitcase is literally falling apart (a zipper pull came off last weekend). My next trip is to a stylish resort in Virginia, so something new and lovely would be great! But I love how convertible it is so that I could use it for more “rugged” trips too like the one I have planned for Egypt 2016.

  19. says: Jen

    I have been talking about finding a better carry on bag for months and it would be great if I found it before February because I am planning to travel to Costa Rica for the first time and need something light and easy to lug around!

  20. says: Sally

    Wow I would love to win this beautiful bag! Organization is a must for me so this is perfect! I would use it to go up north a lot and as a carry on!!! Crossing my fingers :)

  21. says: Ovi Berg

    Excellent review Nienke! It is one of the best 3 in 1 luggage, but I have to try it first in order to place it at the very top. I will use the Standard Luggage 3 in 1 as my only travel luggage for one week trips outside of the “base camp”, such as Bangkok. Flying with low-cost carriers to the neighboring countries I will not have to pay extra for check-in luggage, no need to wait for it at the destination airport and I can use it a s a backpack for day trips anytime. I like the one with orange accents. Great work from a startup company that actually listens to its customers.

  22. says: Joshua

    I think it looks stellar and would love to use it!

    Personally, been grounded for a little while, but just got clearance to fly again AND a brand new passport that is just looking way too crisp and clean. It needs a little roughing up to feel like “mine”. Thinking a trip to Stockholm is in my plans, unless work takes me to Brazil first.

    1. says: Nienke Krook

      Ah.. new passports! Waiting to be filled again, always a good excuse to travel more :) Stockholm sounds great, although with winter here in Europe, I would pick Brazil first :)

  23. says: Meghan Oaks

    Great review! My husband and I just purchased new luggage because our old stuff was completely and utterly worn out. We decided to go with the Timbuk2 Aviator backpack for him, and the 2 in 1 Tandem Warrior from Eagle Creek for me (I prefer a roller, backpacks tend to get too heavy for me to carry for a long trip), but I wish I had known about this one before – it might have changed my mind! I’m excited to see how you like actually traveling with it!

  24. says: Ahsan Awan

    I travel 10-15 times a month for work and i am always looking for a bag that can be casual enough to carry around and professional enough to use at work. I think this one fits the bill quite nicely. I plan to use it on my international trips which last 2-3 days from Europe to China.

  25. says: Steve

    I just received this backpack and think it will be great for longer business trips of five days or more. I have the 27 – 35L tortuga air for three day trips. I think that the standard backpack is great, but have sent the following suggestions to standard;

    The interior short compression strap needs to be 1 1/2 longer so that they lay over the side of the bag while I’m packing. Don’t make me fish for this strap.

    Padded portion of backpack strap is at least 1″ too long. Why is the padded portion so long? When minimized this is just barely small enough to be comfortable. I’m 5′ 10 170 lbs have “normal” shoulders. I think it would be better to shorten the padded portion and increase the amount of padding.

    YKK zippers aren’t very large.

    1. says: Nienke Krook

      Hey Steve, some great suggestions there! Agree with the interior straps, they could be longer as they go lost a bit. The padded straps I don’t have a problem with, they work fine for me as they are. I’m very happy with the backpack so far overall. thanks so much for your input!

  26. says: Trunk Chest NYC

    A lot of lightweight bags are soft-sided, which is great for stuffing the bag into a small overhead bin space. If you tend to travel with items that could be easily damaged, then go with a harder side piece of luggage.

  27. says: Katrin

    This company and obviously this bag are all news to me! The feature that strikes out to me the most at first is actually the rain cover. I hate getting my back pack all wet and drippy, even if the inside stays dry.

    My favorite is definitely the one with teal accents, I’m a sucker for colors :)

  28. says: Allison Cassone

    Moving to Australia for a year and literally went searching for the perfect bag- I searched backpacks for treks and suitcases for urban areas and then I thought- is there a bag that is all in one? and I found this. Thanks universe. I am super interested and curious the size of it on (back pack style). I will use the measurements and figure it out- just trying to pack lightly and efficiently (but thats a challenge)

    1. says: Nienke Krook

      Hey Allison, I would recommend this bag for carry-on and short (weekend) trips, perhaps if you’re travelling Australia for a year, you probably want to look more into larger backpacks, but it can definitely be done :)

  29. says: Jessi

    Hey Nienke! I will be studying abroad in Germany for 6 months starting in February. Currently looking for a backpack that will count as a personal item (go under the seat) but also be useful for weekend trips. Would this qualify for a personal item or do you have any other recommendations? Thanks in advance!

    1. says: Nienke Krook

      Hi Jessi, Hope you’ll have an awesome time in Germany! This bag won’t go under your seat, but it does fit in the overhead locker of the plane, so you can bring it as carry-on. It’s perfect for a weekend trip. Hope this helps!

  30. says: Lisa Schofield

    Hello, I plan to go aboard with my daughter. I love pink backpack with high capacity which I can use on my camping as well. Any recommendation? Thanks

  31. says: Emma J. Holliday

    Great article, I agree with you that it is very difficult to choose the correct carry on size was with me when I buy my first backpack bag it was a great experience. I saw many backpacks in the market than I hesitate to decide which one will be perfect for me.

  32. says: Andrew E. Dasilva

    Hey, Thanks for sharing this detailed review of the 3 in 1 backpack. I will go for this for my next trip to Germany. The features are really good. Specially the rain cover. Thank you again.

  33. says: Donna

    This bag looks like it has everything I would want in a travel backpack! I have a family trip coming up in June with my family to travel to Guatemala. We will all be studying Spanish and volunteering while there. Over the course of 4 weeks we will be in 5 different locations and be traveling by all modes of transport, so a back pack style suit case is a must. I have been actively researching such luggage, which is probably why this popped up for me. All 4 of us will need such luggage so I would love to win one of these. Maybe it would inspire me to buy more of them if we like it. Thanks for the chance at that! I am also a very detail oriented person and woulkd be happy to give a thorough review of the bag.

    1. says: Nienke Krook

      Thanks Donna! The contest is already closed, but I would definitely check out their website for more information!

  34. says: lori shomp

    Really love what you point out with all the bags. Thanks so much for sharing all of this advice on choosing the perfect carry-on bag!

  35. says: Pamela McNicol

    Would love an opportunity to test out this travel bag! My job has me traveling every week and I am always looking for a better bag to make travel easier AND stylish!

  36. says: Sonet

    I’m traveling to Peru for 3 weeks and I think this would be perfect for my packlight adventure!! It’s nice to find such a well designed pack that still looks amazing as well!

  37. says: Lily Rose

    This bag looks so cool! I would love to test it out on my hiking trip to Hawaii…and I think I’d use it mostly as a backpack. Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway!

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