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Convertible Bags

Besides Rick's Bag, does anyone know of any other convertible lightweight carry on bags that have hide-away backpack straps AND a hipbelt. Thanks.

Posted by
23267 posts

I think a lot of companies make the convertible bag. I have an Eagle Creek but prefer the Rick Steves

Posted by
1449 posts

Frank, I used to have Rick's bag and then on a RS tour one of the other travelers had an MEI Voyageur bag. When I returned I bought that bag because I like it better. It has better padding on the hip belt and a lightweight internal frame so the bag doesn't rely on stuffing it full to keep from flopping.

I bought the bag from If you call them they have more colors available than shown on the website. Since they are made to order by a guy in his shop it takes 4-6 weeks for delivery.

One other tip -- Ricks bag, the other bags too, are NOT waterproof. If you end up walking thru rain the contents can get wet. Bring some plastic bags like the ones department stores use to keep stuff dry, and I also sprayed the bag with a waterproofing spray.

Posted by
14987 posts

Thanks. I was also looking at the MEI Voyageur. Mike, I sent you a "private message" with some questions about that bag.

Posted by
12172 posts

I use an Ebags convertible carry on I bought online. I like it and it was about half the cost of the RS bag.

Check out They don't sell bags but has lots of discussion about features, material, etc. that will help you pick out a good bag.

Posted by
14987 posts

Thanks Brad. I looked at it but it seems it doesn't have two attachments for a shoulder strap. Or are you supposed to use one of the backpack rings for that?

The one I want is on sale. $42.50 including free shipping and free returns. How can I go wrong? If I don't like it, I can send it back and it won't cost me a thing.

Posted by
32202 posts


A number of the Eagle Creek Backpacks have "zip-away suspension". I'm currently using a 2003-vintage Continental Journey Pack, which has this, and also the rings for a shoulder strap. In actual use, I don't use the shoulder strap often, as it feels awkward. The pack is a bit small as I usually carry Camera gear, however with efficient packing it's worked reasonably well so far (although I usually have to use the Daypack for "overflow" as well as carry-on).

I haven't tried Rick's Convertible Pack yet, but have been thinking about trying one for "comparison purposes". I was hoping to attend one of the Travel Festivals this year, so that I could both try on the Pack fully loaded to assess the torso fit and of course get the 20% discount (hey, I'm cheap). The ETBD Convertible Pack doesn't have an internal frame, so I'm wondering if that will be a problem?

One final point is that I've found the warranty service to be exceptional with both RS & EC products!

Happy travels