Hi, The backstory:
I posted a thread comparing two LL Bean bags: the Quickload and Expedition, http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/59844/ll-bean-travel-packs-expedition-vs-quickload.html Frank II mentioned a bag I'd not seen listed before, the Goodhope, http://www.luggage.com/Goodhope-Bags-7260-GHB1367.html The Goodhope seemed a trifle smaller than I want, but in the continuing quest for my "perfect" bag, I revisited a page I saw some time ago on the travelite.org site, http://www.travelite.org/archive/luggage/travelpacklist.html That page is in the archived part of the site, so the links and information are dated, but following what I could, I decided to try this bag from Mec, the Shuttle II Travelpack, http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442628914&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302883912 I searched to find a thread I remembered, but perhaps because it was last active last spring, I cannot add to it: http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/48680/lightest-weigt-carryons.html With all the terrific lists of names, I liked the thought of adding to the list, but I cannot, so if this thread will start, the topic is convertible bags.
Hi, The backstory:
Lee mentioned on the LL Bean thread some criteria I likeregarding weight, shape, and designthat unfortunately I'm not sure the Shuttle II quite meets. The bag is a trifle heavy, a bit over 2 1/2 lbs. The zipper to the main compartment goes around 3 sides, so it does open completely for packing. On the picture of the bag is a front zipper you might think is an organizing pocket, but it's almost 3" deep, puffing out the bag, to arrive at the total width of about 7". I do wish some of that space had been given to the main compartment instead! I wear sizes 2x, so a smaller person will get more into the bag. I bundled wrapped clothes for two days and a set of pj's into the main compartment. You might assume that bags that open completely use a long side for the hinge, but the Shuttle II uses a short side. Feels/looks weird, but, hey, it's open for packing. Sundries and toiletries would have to go in the puffy outside pocket, which does have lots of little organizing bits inside (too many according to one reviewer). It's so puffy, you could put sandals in there, easily, and/or a small packing cube with some more clothes pieces. If the LL Bean Expedition were 20-20.5" instead of 22, I'd use it next trip for sure, but now it'll be a toss up with this Shuttle II.
The Shuttle II's shoulder strap is detachable, if you'd rather use a different one. When I used the LL Bean Quickload for a trip and the Tom Bihn Aeronaut, I left the straps behind. If I didn't mind the weight/hassle of the strap, I'd just use a regular duffel. I've purchased convertible bags for the hidden backpack straps for a reason, I figured! Also, I really am trying to start out with only 15 lbs, another reason the shoulder straps seem overkill. Not convertible, but I did do one trip with the North Face Flyweight, http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/flyweight-duffel.html .. yes, lightweight, but the backpack straps are just more comfortable (to me) than a shoulder strap. Happy travels.
Red Oxx Sky Train: http://www.redoxx.com/Airline-Carry-On-Luggage/Sky-Train/91019/100/Product Rick Steves' Convertible Carry On:
http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=product&theParentId=8&id=139 EBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible: http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-weekender-convertible/143101?productid=1370036 I have the Red Oxx Sky Train and Rick Steves' CC. As a traveling photographer I need to check clothing bag so I can keep my camera and computer gear with me. The Red Oxx is guaranteed for life much more sturdy then the Rick Steves' bag albeit a bit heavier.
Actually, this bag (MEC Shuttle) seems to fit almost all of my criteria - opens flat, squarish shape, hideaway straps, minimal pockets. I wish they had better pictures, particularly of the backpack straps. The only thing I don't like is the weight. I almost jumped for joy when I saw the weight (1.24), until I realized it was kg, not lbs. I stopped using my RS Convertible because of the weight, and it's not this heavy. Somewhere I thought I saw it was made of over 1000 denier nylon. Heavy construction might be needed if you plan on checking a bag, but the whole idea here is not to check it. "You might assume that bags that open completely use a long side for the hinge," - RS Convertible, Essential Carryon, and Goodhope bag all use a short side (bottom) for the hinge. Makes it easy to open it at the top to get to things.
Hi Lisa, Thanks for the bag names and URLs. I looked at the Red Oxx bags looong and hard, though never bought more than some of the grocery bags .. used every week and terrific! I really wanted to add my info the that last spring thread (http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/48680/lightest-weigt-carryons.html) because of the great list of bags, but oh well, I couldn't, so more names and links are helpful to new readers.
Hi Lee, You want Shuttle II pictures? I'll work on getting some posted. I'll try to weigh it, too. And would you believe, I have a couple other bags in the "pile it" room. They're smaller, but definitely lighter, I think. I'll look for the URLs where I got them. Cheers.
My scale is not a sensitive digital, but it reads 2 lbs for the MEC Shuttle II and about 2 1/2 with the shoulder strap. Still pics in a movie file of the MEC Shuttle II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5agDfbfKOHE
I always use the scale at the post office. It reads in 0.1 oz. I'm not sure it is really that accurate, but it has to be close. BTW, I have on several occasions come back month later and recheck a weight. It's read the same within 0.1 oz.
Hi, More info on the MEC Shuttle II travelpack, thanks to a friendly postmaster: pack itself: 2 lbs, 6.7 oz pack with shoulder strap: 2 lbs, 13.1 oz Cheers.
i liked rick's basic classic bag but i felt i could go a tad smaller with just a bit more shape...i use a patagonia mlc...still a soft sided bag but made very sturdy
Lee, I wish I had thought of the Post Office before I bought a luggage scale last year. I had always used the bathroom scale "me with bag minus me without bag equals weight of bag" method until we flew SAS and wanted more confidence about the weight of our bags.
"i liked rick's basic classic bag but i felt i could go a tad smaller with just a bit more shape" And a lot more weight at 2.9#. Neither the Shuttle nor the Patagonia bags mentioned meet my weight requirements. I don't know the weights of Rick's current bags; it just says under 3#. My circa 2000 RS convertible bag weighs 2.27#, and I stopped using it because of the weight. My most recently used bag is the Essential Carryon at 1.82#. I'm debating whether to go with the smaller, slightly heavier (2.03#) Goodhope bag. When you are limited to 17.6# (Lufthansa, SAS, SwissAir) or it's on your back, every ounce counts.
I dug out a couple of bags in my spare room: Sierra from Uphill 18x13x8 inches http://www.uphill.com/product.php?prodcode=608&category=luggage-and-totes&subcategory=luggage%20and%20travel%20bags and Trager Runway Convertible Backpack/Shoulder Bag 17 x 13" x 6.5"
http://www.luggage.com/Trager-520R-TRA1025.html both bags cost more than the Goodhope mentioned by Frank II, and they're smaller than 2000 cu in, though so is the Goodhope: 12" H x 18" W x 6.5" D Side by side they look extremely similar, though listed with different sizes. They are also extremely uncomfortable wearing in backpack mode, and this is trying them empty. They feel like they are kid sized. Like the MEC Shuttle II, they are more a 2 compartment bag. The bigger compartment is a few inches and then a few more is in the smaller section on the front. I'm going to take my LL Bean Expedition to the postmaster tomorrow. It's bigger, but I'd like to know the weight to compare with the Shuttle II.
The backpack straps are not comfortable looking, and it's a closer to 3lb bag. Here's a review of a bag from Lands End: http://www.practicalhacks.com/2010/11/15/review-lands-end-flightwise-carry-on-softsided-bag/
You might also want to look at ebags.com. :-)
Good luck in your quest to find the perfect bag! It's fun to search.
Here is another nice yet pricey smallish bag by Tom Bihn
DW, yes, part of the fun is the search. I've made some of my purchases through ebags.com. Lisa, I do enjoy Tom Bihn products, and have several items, but as much as I like the Tri-Star's size, its weight always make me back off from purchasing one. The Aeronaut weighs less, though it's bigger in size .. that structure adds weight issue. Just back from the friendly postmaster again: LL Bean Expedition Travel Pack alone .. 2 lb 8.5 oz with strap: 2 lb 11.5 oz (it's quite a simple strap :-) Because my travel goal is very low (ideally 15 lb going over), I'm not worried about the strap's simpleness; it'll stay home. At 22" x 14" x 9¼", I just wish for a size adjustment, which could possibly take down a few ounces of weight.
I don't know if I'll fly Ryanair someday, but the cabin baggage limit is 55cm x 40cm x 20cm or 21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8 in, so a 21 x 15 x 7 (2205 cu in) could be a real dandy size. I say 7 not 8 on the assumption of some bulge when stuffing a soft case.
6 members of my family flew Lufthansa(17.6 limit) to Italy last year.All of us used Steves backpack and they weighed between 10-16 pounds. The problem is my wife(73) didnt like to carry so she used a small rolling bag.She needs a new rolling bag that is lightweight and less then 22 inches with the wheels.Any suggestions?
jack, the thread from last year (http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/48680/lightest-weigt-carryons.html) was actually about rolling bags, though wheel-less quickly got into the conversation. One suggestion was bags by International Traveler, ex: the Sub-0-G, which you could look for. Ebags isn't listing the Sub-0-G, but it has an IT-0-1, http://www.ebags.com/product/international-traveller/it-0-1-205-carry-on/146092, under 5 lb. Best advice I have seen for shopping a wheeled bag is to take a tape measure with you to the store and measure it while there.
We've taken two eBags Weekender eTech Convertible bags to SE Asia (twice, one month each time), Vienna and lots of US locations. Not one problem, and it gives you an incentive to pack light. They've been our only lugggage for all these trips. I can't recommend them enough.
There's also the eBags Motherlode TLS Weekender. I've not used it, but the general dimensions are the same as my bags. The differences are in the details of fabric, straps, pockets, etc.
Follow up on Betsey's comments:
My wife and I are not bag/luggage aficionados, but, for what it's worth, we looked for a single piece of luggage each of us could use as a "carry on" that would suffice as our only luggage for a 3-week trip to Europe in late-April early-May. Not having read this thread before we started looking, we found a simple, straight forward, no frills legal carry-on that was not expensive and yet light weight. It is the Landor & Hawa Sub -0-G, 20.5" x 14.4" x 7.6", 4 lb, 13 oz. We purchased these recently at J.C. Penney for a special promotional price of $59.99 each (regular price $69.00 plus shipping at Penney's, MSRP $140.00). We'll know in late-May when we return if this luggage functioned as we hope it will.
The first word of this post is "Light". Bags that weigh 3 pound or more are not light, nor is their weight necessary for carry on. I would say that the bags in this category should be no more than 2½# (I'd really like to say 2#, but I've had some trouble finding many bags at less than 2½#.
The Golite is actually tied for second as the lightest bag. The lightest full sized carry on is our old friend the Campmor Essential Carry-On at 1 lb, 12 oz. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___60795 But you do have to live with that huge logo.
I think the lightest of lightweight carry on convertible backpacks is the 2lb one by golite.com http://www.golite.com/Product/ProdDetail.aspx?p=355002110&mc=185&t=&lat=
http://www.backcountry.com/golite-travelite-convertible-carry-on-240cu-in as I type, backcountry.com has the Golite at 10% off, $112.46 This won't be in the correct thread for lack of lightness, but it's a bag I had never seen before: FLIEGERDUFFEL™ Adventure Bag http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=21&idproduct=920#details The way the guy swings the loaded bag around in the demo video, you probably wouldn't guess its weight (I e-mailed to ask): 4lbs 15oz.
But you do have to live with that huge logo. Black permanent marker. I've used it on a few bags' logos, though I admit they were smaller.
^^^ It will take at least 4oz of ink/paint to cover a logo that large :-) we are back to 2lbs.
Other than the fact that it is still too voluminous for my light packing, and sags, the Essential Carryon is still the winner. BTW, didn't someone say that the Campmor logo can be removed. Update: I wonder if I could fill the extra space with bubblewrap. That way if I need more space, I just pop the bubbles. Now I'm looking at a low-cost inflatable camping pillow. Reuseable and could come in handy on the plane.
I've been looking at luggage, and just found this thread, so I have checked out some of the unfamiliar bags, such as the MEC and the Goodhope. I do have the older model RS convertible bag and have happily used it on numerous trips and am now considering buying a new one for an October trip. My ideal bag would be slightly smaller, but am thinking that the outside compression straps would actually work well, making it a big smaller. The 3# weight doesn't bother me too much....
Does anybody have experience with "cinching" the RS bag down to make it smaller?
(from Lee): "I wonder if I could fill the extra space with bubblewrap..." Everytime I see someone say their bag is too floppy (because it's too big), but they REALLY love it, I ALWAYS think 'why don't they just stuff it with bubblewrap?' LOL! We always pack bubblewrap - it doesn't weigh anything (until it's full of beer steins), and sometimes comes back with us, unused. And if I'm returning with TSA 'contraband', it helps fill out my soft-sided checked bag. Semi-on-topic... Good luck to everyone in the never-ending quest for the perfect bag...until the next bag comes along...;-)
Hi Hille, My son had a RS bag in 2006, so not sure if it would be "new" or "classic." I remember him stuffing it quite full, so when squeezing on the compression straps it just changed from a big potato to a potato with someone pinching the sides. Hopefully someone with a newer bag can speak up, if what you are looking for is experience for a new bag (not one purchased years ago).
Hi Betsey If the bag has the outside compression straps, it is the new version. My old bag (2001) does not have them. I can picture your son's bag looking like a potato! :) I was thinking about how it would look or work if it was not packed full, and then "cinched" down. I would hope it wouldn't "fold" in the middle. I guess I just have to order the new bag and try it out!
Hi Betsey (and everyone else on this thread),
I'm laughing about the "potato bag". We just completed our first trip (to Mexico) since I purchased the RS packing cube set. No more "potato shape" and what a difference in the organization of our stuff. Heading back to Italy April-May 2012 and am looking forward to using them again in our convertible bags. On our last trip to Italy, my husband kept telling me not to shop until the last stop which was Milan. That's not happening again. Milan has to be the most expensive place to shop ever. I had my "don't tell Rick" bag with me and never got to use it as we had plenty of space in our convertible bags which included four bottles of Brunello from Montalcino. I'm really enjoying this thread and encourage more replies. Grazie, Sherry
The first time my wife went with me to Germany, Christmas 2001, we got her an expandable RS convertible bag, and it has cinch straps. So, I don't know if "newer" is necessary for cinch straps.
Hille, if I understand your question correctly...yes, there are compression straps both inside (2) and outside (2) the bag. Unless your bag is REALLY practically empty, it won't 'fold' in the middle. (mine is sorta tossed on the floor right now - the, ahem, 'maid' hasn't put it away yet...); it HAS flopped over, but that's because it's empty. Of course, there's always the ol' 'stick a roll of bubblewrap in the middle of the bag' trick...
LOL! I'm thinking I'll try bubblewrap! Actually, with the packing cubes, I should be okay. (My 2001 RS bag isn't the expandable kind, so maybe that's why it doesn't have the outside straps.) I see I can get the graphite color on Amazon for $67.80, free shipping.
Anyone try a Cabin Max? Visiting a different forum today, I read of it, on another thread seeking the perfect bag :-) http://boards.bootsnall.com/my-perfect-pack-t44363.html?sid=2a129f0d83c647f541e86e811606de0e I looked for more info on the Cabin Max; it was a bag with a weight closer to two than three pounds. Two sites with review comments: http://polishingpeanuts.com/reviews/cabin-max-the-biggest-hand-luggage/
http://www.smartertraveling.com/10/cabin-max-backpack-carryon-bag-review/ It's written as under 2 lbs. $40 (as of this typing) through an Amazon supplier. For myself, I'm looking again at the Golite Travelite. It's has no inner compression straps, but the zipped in compartments are only 2 1/2 in. deep, which sound very like packing cubes to me. One review: http://www.practicalhacks.com/2010/02/09/quick-take-golite-travelite-convertible-carry-on/
I like the looks of the Cabin Max. Size is bigger than necessary, but side straps could correct for that. Weight is good. No pocket proliferation. It's too wide (40cm=15¾") for US Airline standards, so can't pack it full. I can't see if the backpack straps are really hideaway. That would be critical
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bUYm451qf4&NR=1 Very interesting to see the OPEC in action vs. an Osprey Porter 46. No one has mentioned the Osprey, but it's a bit over 3 lb. For a few minutes of reviewing the Osprey web site, I was all excited to read of a Transporter series, but the Transporter 46, though only 1 lb/9oz, doesn't have a backpack option, just duffel strap.
Oh, Lee, I'm so sorry. Yes, hideway straps are necessary to call it convertible! Searching the bootsnall.com forum, it was actually a link for the Tatonka Flight Case Carry On that thread that lead to the UK Amazon site and from there I found the Cabin Max. "Adjustable shoulder straps" sure is not the same as "hideaway" or "convertible," and I apologize for raising interest. I was reading too fast or just making a very erroneous assumption! The Tatonka is almost 3 lbs, which is why I didn't bother link previously, but it's truly a convertible: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tatonka-Flight-Carry-Travel-Rucksack/dp/B000G4XLJM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298412503&sr=8-2
Yeah, I really got excited when I first say the Cabin Max. I couldn't really tell for sure that the straps were not hideaway until I found a website with a whole array of pictures. I could have the straps cut and a ring and snap inserted, but there would still be no place to tuck the straps out of the way. So, I still say the Goodhope bag, if you can fit everything in, is the best. If it's too small, then the Campmor EC bag. Too bad they don't have something in between, like 18x14x8, 1900-2000 cu in.
In my never ending quest to find a certain member of this forum...who shall remain nameless but lives in a mountain state...the lightest carry-on bag possible, I have finally found one under one pound. (That's weight, not British currency.) Sure, it's flimsy and I probably wouldn't want to put anything of real value in it unless well cushioned, and the backpack straps are not convertiblebut the whole bag is. (It folds up and tucks away into its own pocket.) Dimensions: 18.5" x 11.5" x 6" Weight: 11.4 ounces http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/patagonia-lightweight-travel-pack?p=48817-0-247 There's a matching daybag that's 15" x 9.5" x 5", weighs 7 ounces, and folds up into its own pocket. Next....zero gravity bags.
How about "anti-gravity" bags. I thought of taking that inflatable pillow and filling it with helium. With the difference between the capacity of my bag and how much I really pack, filling it with helium might make it float. Do you think the airlines will pay ME if the checked bag weighs-in in the negative?
Lee -- I doubt the airlines would pay you...but "America's funniest home videos" might for a video clip of you bringing your balloon luggage thru the TSA checkpoint.
The hunt has bagged a new one (pun intended)! I've found a new bag, rec'd it, and think it is much closer to my "perfect" bag: Lowe Alpine TT Carry-On 40. I purchased it here, but must have gotten the last one because it is now out of stock, http://paragon-sports.amazonwebstore.com/TT-Carry-On-40/M/B001LDJK6A.htm It is also available on this site, http://www.nomadtravel.co.uk/catalog/view/lowe-alpine-tt-carryon-40, but though price is about the same with figuring the current exchange rate, it will involve the int'l delivery expense. I have not tried to load it and put on the straps. I will likely find the straps good for short distances as the paragonsports reviewer says, but that is what I would likely be only using it for anyway. I like the outside stretchy pocket for when wearing it (not on my other bags). The zipper is lockable (unlike some other bags), which some people like, though I generally not use that feature. The organization-type pockets are more readily accessible like the LL Bean Expedition Travel Pack (which I like). It is one main pocket with an internal compression system and four compression points on the outside (Expedition only has 2 on outside). It looks slightly smaller (yippee!) than my Expedition and Patagonia MLC. Only "con" so far is a few too many ounces, I think. I will stop by the Post Office for a weight, but I bought it knowing it could be 2 3/4 lb.
Did you check out this one? http://www.redoxx.com/Trip-to-China-merits-praise-for-Red-Oxx-Gear/Sky-Train/91019/10144/Product Pricey but a lifetime guarantee.
The Skytrain is an excellent bag. But at 4 lbs it's also one of the heaviest in its class.
I recently ordered the eBags Motherlode TLS Weekender Convertible, from Amazon, and have taken it on a few domestic trips already. I paid about $90 for it. http://tinyurl.com/3lv8x2m The bag is lightweight, very sturdy and well-made. Lots of compartments and pockets. You can get a lot of stuff in this and it will still fit within carryon dimensions. The zippers are robust and the straps are padded well. The pack has a chest strap and waist strap to better distribute the load while it's on your back, and comes with a shoulder strap if you prefer to carry it slung over your shoulder. A very versatile and comfortable bag to carry around. The medium packing cubes work well with this bag (you can get 4 cubes into it).
"Lots of compartments and pockets" IMO, compartments and pockets are not a good thing. They just add weight and are hard to get into. Maybe that's why it is amazingly heavy at 3.7#. Compartments are usually less than full length and width, which is why they add to thickness without increasing volume proportionally. I prefer to organize my stuff using very light-weight mesh bags in one large compartment.
Betsey, I have a Lowes Alpine Centro backpack that I've traveled with and it is great when I'm going to be carrying my stuff for long distances. But it is not convertible and the size I have (2100 cubic inches) makes for really tight packing. Also it weighs over two pounds empty. My latest favorite backpack is an Osprey Porter 46. The manual says it weighs a little more than a pound and one-half and my luggage scale sort of confirms that (it says it weighs less). (Note that the online description lists a higher weight. Not sure why.) It also holds more (2800 cubic inches) and still is within carry-on size restrictions. And it is convertible. Lee would like it because it really only has one big central pocket. (It has a front flat pocket and a top pocket, but they don't hold much.) Here is a link to the company's web page: Osprey Porter 46
One central compartment is good. $99 is bad. It exceeds the maximum for European carry-on in two dimensions, but if it's flexible and you pack light ...... Osprey's specs do not say 1½#, they say 1½ kg, and they should know. That's 3.3#. Bad! You say your luggage scale says 1½#. Such scales are not precision instrument. I suggest you take it to a post office. Our post office's scale is accurate to ±0.1 oz.
Lee, I don't place a lot of stock in my scale, but the manual that came with the bag lists a different, lower weight than the web site's specs. The nice thing about a bigger size is that I only use about 2/3s or less of the available space so I can squish the bag so it fits size limits. I'll try and get a more accurate value on the weight. I didn't realize that European size limits differ from those in the U.S. Looking online, they don't even appear to be uniform between airlines. In any event, if the bag isn't full, it can be made to fit. It has some nice cinch straps that help compress it. As for the $99 price, I'm not sure I paid that, but I probably did. It is what Rick Steves charges for its convertible bag and the Osprey is well-made. The things I've seen for less look like they would last for only one trip or two, which would seem to be a false economy.
I tried to fit my 21" RS bag with wheels into the bag sizer in the Rome airport. The bag was an inch or two too long. I decided that a 19" or shorter would work in that sizer. I have found a bag that is 17" x 13" x 8" and will expand somewhat. I think this bag will pass all size tests. Will it hold enough for a 4-wk trip? I think I can make it work. With a Kindle rather than a couple of travel books, and with a very limited wardrobe the bag will work. It's made by Delsey and has two sturdy wheels plus the handle. It's called a "rolling tote." One of the budget European airlines that I used allowed only one bag per person, not a carry-on plus personal bag. I carry a small backpack in addition to my carry-on. With the smaller carry-on bag, I don't think I will be able to squeeze my backpack into it. Sigh! I'll still have to check something if I use one of these airlines.
Paul, it seems there are two Osprey 46L bags. The website you linked us to is for the Osprey "Porter" 46. It's made with 840D nylon, has hideaway backback straps, and weighs 3.2#. That website has a link to the "owners manual" for Osprey Transporter as well as Osprey Porter. The Transporter 46 is made with lighter material, 420d nylon, has no backpack straps, and does weigh only 1lb 8oz. It sounds like it has attachment points for an optional backpack harness (not included in weight and cost of the Transporter). I made six trips to Europe with a circa 2000 RS convertible bag. It is, as I remember, 1000d nylon, very well made, and weighs 2¼#. It's full regulation carry-on size. As I learned to take less, the RS bag became too big for me, and I got tired of carrying around 2¼# of "well made". Then I found the then OPEC bag, now Campmor Essential Carry-on. It's made of lighter, 500d nylon, an inch smaller in two dimensions, and weighs ½# less. For less than $30 I said, "Why not try it?" I'm happy with it. It's made two trips with me to Europe and held up fine. But I've outgrown it, too. If you can't pack light and have to turn your bag over to the luggage gorillas, or if you pack it so full the sides bulge and you put extra strain on the zippers, heavy weight material and expensive construction might make a difference, but if you can keep the included weight down and always carry on, then a lighter weight, less expensive bag is probably adequate, and certainly easier to carry.
Lee, thanks, I think you are correct about the differences in weight. I saw the lighter Transporter when I was looking for the weight of the Porter. I'd be interested, but not if it can't convert to a backpack. I'll check out the Campmor product you use. I'm definitely sold on the packing light philosophy. And, I guess I'm still looking for the perfect bag. The nice thing about the Osprey I used this summer was all the extra room it gave me. Nice to have that space if I need to add anything for the trip home. Also, it is satisfying to finish packing and see all that empty space still there. As I noted above, I'm not sure I'd use the Osprey bag if I had to carry it all day, every day, but for this summer's trip, where I stayed in one place for an extended period of time, it worked great.