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Back Door bag, 30 years later

I have been strategizing about packing for our first family trip to Europe, and wanted to make sure we have a luggage-style backpack for each family member. My husband has been planning to take the same backpack he carried when he traveled around Europe as a college student 30 years ago. I was skeptical about this plan, thinking it was based more on nostalgia and frugality than practicality. But -- we have also used this bag for family travel a number of times over the years, so I thought I would inspect it carefully to make sure it is up to the task. This is the first time I realized it is an OLD SCHOOL Back Door bag, which greatly increased my confidence in it. Thought I would share, just for fun, and as encouragement to anyone considering getting one of Rick's bags. (Click on hyperlink below for photo of the tag on the bag.)

Tag from 1988 Back Door bag

Posted by
5697 posts

Bravo! Let's hear it for old school quality. (And people who hold on to old things that still function well.)

Posted by
2526 posts

My RS bag, circa 1994, is still in prime condition despite much use and I often travel with it to this day. Travel light, travel fast, travel comfortably.

Posted by
54 posts

Our classic back door bags don't have dates on the labels, but they are around twenty years old and doing great. It's getting harder to find bags without wheels (we've tried wheelies, rollaboards, spinners, etc., and still prefer the non-wheeled variety), so we stick with what we've got. We started our travels with JanSport Vagabond backpacks almost forty years ago and wore them out after twenty. Too bad they don't make that model anymore.

Posted by
11455 posts

I also still have the circa 1988 Back Door Bag. The design is completely different than the convertible bag he sells today. The quality of materials and workmanship on the old bag was miles better than today.

Posted by
13743 posts

Mine is about 20 years old. Every year i buy a new bag, pack it, then realize i made a mistake and pull the old bag out and repack. Its not perfect, too much settles to the bottom, but its still the best i have ever had and goes to Europe 2 or 3 times a year.

Posted by
13743 posts

Mine is about 20 years old. Every year i buy a new bag, pack it, then realize i made a mistake and pull the old bag out and repack. Its not perfect, too much settles to the bottom, but its still the best i have ever had and goes to Europe 2 or 3 times a year.

Posted by
1846 posts

We bought the RS convertible bag for our trip to Scotland in 2002. We took the same bags with us to London and Paris last October.

Posted by
2526 posts

Yup, "too much settles to the bottom." But, I tend to use it more often than not. If I could ever wear it out, then many of my travel dreams surely came true.

Posted by
5 posts

We have our Back Door bag from 2005. We carried it on the plane, and have used it for multiple trips. It has really held up.

Since that time, we had two kids and have checked bags on all flights. Next month we are flying (domestic) and have a washer/dryer in our condo. We want to do carry-on only. I am unable to find a Rick Steve's bag that fits the carry on requirements for Southwest Airlines (10" x 24" x 16").

We will use our Rick Steve's bags on next year's trip to Europe, and purchase some bags for our sons. We will most likely check bags for that trip, so regardless of what size bags we buy, it should not be an issue.