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Posted by
18942 posts

I haven't tried the Motherlode Weekender, but I have the very similar eTech 2.0 Weekender (Jr). I have yet to take it on a trip, but I have trial packed it and carried it around, and I love it, particularly the sternum and waist straps.

22" is more than the carry-on limit for many European airlines so, if fully packed, you might run the risk of rejection as a carry-on, although both bags are soft and will probably deflect to fit any sizer. The 19½" Junior version of either the Motherlode or the eTech, however, is safely withing the limits.

Posted by
7898 posts

That's a great place to buy luggage. They have a good discount on it right now too. Rick Steves has also had incentives on his comparable backpack last few days.

I'd just be hesitant to go the backpack luggage if they didn't also have rolling wheels. Although I'm a big guy, backpacks can easily hurt someone's back. I just find rolling bags with good wheels easier to haul 2-3 miles through a city and airport. It's not like you're just hauling them 50 yards on your back.

Posted by
14150 posts

I've had both bags. Excellent quality, well made and thought out. Slightly heavier than RS bags but sturdier material.

The larger bag is eBags top seller of all their products. They have sold thousands.

Posted by
62 posts

Thanks everyone, I've decided to get the smaller 19.5"for myself and the larger 22" for my son. There's an awesome video on their website which shows how functional it is.

@David, this will be my first time with a back pack, and I did look at the ones with wheels, but they end up being a lot heavier. We'll be traveling by trains between cities, so I didn't want to worry about having anything in my hands to drag. I need to make sure it's light enough which is why I'm getting the smaller size.

Posted by
64 posts

I just purchased 4 of the 22" backpacks. The first thing I noticed is that it is truly 4 lbs per my luggage scale so my carry-on limits will be tested. The RS equivalent is around 2 lbs I believe. How critical that 2 lbs is would be up to you. I do love the backpack and will trial pack it soon.

  • Condor Airlines (to/from Orlando Florida) size requirement - 55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8 in) - (50 lb) hold baggage; 6 kg (13 lb) cabin baggage
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle size requirement - 55 x 40 x 23 cm (21.6 x 15.7 x 9 in) - (10kg or 22 lbs)
  • AirBaltic size requirement - 55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8 in) cabin bag + (30x40x10 cm) personal item - Total weight 8 kg | 17.6 lbs

Of my 4 flights, 3 of the 4 flights size requirement is 55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8 in). The bag is 22" x 14" x 9" when fully packed. I won't be able to fully pack my bag so it should easily fit into any airline carry-on since it is soft-sided.

My Condor Airlines flights limits (50 lb) hold baggage; 6 kg (13 lb) cabin baggage. I'll probably end up having to check the bags on the way back home to Florida due to extra purchased clothes and souvenirs. Getting my family to pack just 9 pounds on the way over will be a true test, but worth removing the risk of lost luggage for 1 day only in London.

Posted by
62 posts

I didn't realize that this one weighs almost double the RS bag, I just liked the look of it better. My son decided to keep the 22, as he figured he could use it for short trips back home from college. I'm ordering the junior version which is just a little bit shorter at 19.5". It's about 10oz less too.

Good luck with your trip! We're doing an extended family( grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins )vacation to Puerto Vallarta in May, and I'm dreading the thought of all the bags we'll have, 12 of us will be flying out!

First, how tall is the person carrying it? I have a discontinued Ebags etech junior bag which works great for me. My 6' tall husband could carry a 21-22" bag. However, I can't. I am under 5'5". I need an 18"-19" backpack or else I need to go to a roller bag. I could do a 19.5" bag. That's my limit. So, I would chose based on body size.

Posted by
156 posts

I've had both the regular and Junior. I got rid of the regular model and kept the smaller one. First, eBags, while of great quality, is generally heavier than other brands I've purchased. While that may be less of an issue with a rolling bag, it's critical in a backpack or shoulder bag. And I found that the larger one, packed full, was too much for my back. (Note, though: I'm 5'8" and age 60. Might not be a big issue with a younger, stronger person.).

I also found that the difference in size was of minimal importance with smart packing techniques applied. I decided to take some good RS packing suggestions and lighten the load a bit. So the Junior model, in addition to being easier to stuff under an airline seat, is now a bit more comfortable to use as an actual backpack. And its flexibility means no problems in the overhead.

I'd recommend both bags, but the Junior worked better for me.

Posted by
2766 posts

I have the junior in the older version (etech 2.0) which might still be available. It's lighter than the motherlode. I want to say it's a tad under 3lbs. I love it - it's simple, not a lot of bells and whistles but that means it's more flexible. It fits all the size limits I've seen, too. The 22 would be too tall if packed full but can be squished into a sizer easily if it's not full.

My husband has the Rick Steves backpack which he likes, but it doesn't fit me right. I'm 5'4 and the taller bags just hang weird and often the shoulder straps slide off. The smaller size is much better for me.

Posted by
5828 posts

Lufthansa also have a carry-on bag weight limit -- 8 kg. I am hard pressed to 17.6# limit with my 2# RS classic backpack.