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I Bought a New Bag! (And a new shampoo bar find)

Since I'm barely doing any traveling, I spend a great deal of time still internet window shopping, reading about packing lists, planning future trips and so on. I have had the Hynes 38L carry on backpack on an Amazon list for at least 6 months. It started at $60, was $50 when put on my list and are now selling for $40. But I've waffled on buying it, because it's only a little smaller than my Rick Steves convertible carry on, because I'm not traveling much and because I already have so many bags. While internet window shopping, I found a new bag on Mercari for $19 with free shipping. Not my first choice color (I like the stamps pattern), but my second choice (red violet). So I had to buy it and see what it's like (rationalization: as a new "real" empty nester, I've been cleaning out closets and have 6 bags/suitcases/totes for give away)

Fabric wise, it seems similar to my convertible carry on. It's smaller and doesn't have a gusset to expand and it does not have a hip belt. It does have a strap across the chest to keep the straps from slipping. The backpack straps can be hidden in a pocket, but there is no trolley strap. A trolley strap is typically a requirement of mine for any travel bag,but I made an exception since it's a backpack.

I tried packing in it this morning, just to see what it would hold. I used eBags Ultralite packing cubes: a large and a a slim, plus a couple of smaller IKEA packing cubes. We have a Mexican Riveria cruise scheduled for April (although I'm not feeling optimistic!) so kind of pretended I was packing for that, with the idea of warmer weather, formal nights for two dinner and the other things that go along with a cruise. (Note: this was just pretending to see what it would hold using varied items....it's not my real packing list)
I packed:
a pair of pants (not jeans)
2 pairs capris
5 tops (like dressy tee styles)
1 dressy top
2 casual "tee" style dresses
1 nicer dress (for formal nights)
6 underwear
2 bras
a swimsuit and sarong style cover-up
a quart ziplock for toiletries and a Sea to Summit hanging toiletry bag (the small one)
a pair of sandals

The bag was full, but not jammed packed. I wear larger sizes, so a woman in more average sizes could fit more or have the bag weigh less. I could have squeezed in a few more things if I needed.It weighed 18 pounds packed and when I put it on, it was a good weight for me.

For me, this will be a good bag (I think). I am a fan of packing lighter, in fact I pack lighter than any of my friends, colleagues or family, but I can't say I'm a super light packer. Almost every trip I go on, even though I only do carry on, I always pack things I didn't end up using. I typically like to use a Travelpro rolling carryon and a Kipling Sasha (used to be Sherpa) tote. I think this will be great for shorter trips and for when I want/need to force myself to pack lighter. Because it is smaller and doesn't expand, I think you can do without the hip strap. For "regular" packing, based on size, I can't imagine it would weigh more than maybe 20 pounds. I liked the fact that I could put in less and the stuff inside didn't "shift" down to the bottom when wearing, as it will do in other (bigger) packs.

Another new item:
For those who like solid items for travel to reduce their 3-1-1- bag, Trader Joes has a new shampoo bar in stock. I bought one (of course), and I liked it. However, it should be noted that I am not at all picky about shampoo or conditioner), so take my recommendation based on that. Here is a link to a review (not by me): https://traderjanes.net/new-product-alert-trader-joes-shampoo-bar/

Here's hoping to someday soon getting to use my new bag!

Posted by
7840 posts

Ohhh...recreational packing...fun!! When I was "learning" to do light packing I used to do recreational packing for various scenarios. It's a great way to figure out what fits in your carry on! both clothing-wise and packing cube-wise!

What brand luggage is your new bag? I wasn't familiar with that Mercari site so in looking I wasn't able to figure out what you might have bought. NOT that I am looking for a new bag nor do I have room since downsizing to add anything! If something comes in....something has to go out.

I had seen that new shampoo bar advertised on a recent monthly newsletter I think. Does your hair tend to be oily, normal or dry, if you don't mind me asking? Not sure about the tea tree oil...I have had some allergies to it with some products.

Posted by
96 posts

What brand luggage is your new bag? I wasn't familiar with that
Mercari site so in looking I wasn't able to figure out what you might
have bought. NOT that I am looking for a new bag nor do I have room
since downsizing to add anything! If something comes in....something
has to go out.

I had seen that new shampoo bar advertised on a recent monthly
newsletter I think. Does your hair tend to be oily, normal or dry, if
you don't mind me asking? Not sure about the tea tree oil...I have had
some allergies to it with some products.

So sorry I wasn't clear about the bag: its a Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072PVG4P8/?coliid=I1Z2BUQTCN92ZJ&colid=31DO1A9D1O0JG&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it&th=1&psc=1). I just sometimes play around on the Mercari app and found it for sale on their and ha;f the price.

In terms of the shampoo bar, my hair tends to be normal to slightly oily.

I hope this helps!

Posted by
7840 posts

I wondered if it was still the Hynes bag, lol! Gosh, I like that postage stamp design as well. Very cute! I wasn't familiar with the Hynes brand either. It looks like a very nice bag. Plus the stamps.....lol.

And thanks for the additional information about your hair quality. I did not like the Lush bars at all....made my already dry hair feel like straw even the ones for dry hair.

Posted by
17768 posts

I have a Hynes bag like the one you referenced. I haven't tried to pack it yet, but I imagine it will work, as the volume that I usually carry to Europe is about 23 liters. I really should be able to use a backpack that is 25 - 30 liters.

I don't think the Hynes bag will hold what it says it will hold. The stated outside dimensions are 50cm x 33cm x 20cm, or 33000cc - 33 liters, not 38, and that's outside, not inside. I know that travel bag "capacitiship" is a black art; most manufacturer over-stuff their bags with small solid pellets and then measure the volume of the pellets, but still, that extra 300 cu in (5L x 61 cu in/L) is a stretch.

A trolley strap is typically a requirement of mine for any travel bag

Trolley straps would be useless for me as it will be my only bag; there would be nothing for it to "trolley" onto.

Because it is smaller and doesn't expand, I think you can do without the hip strap

I have a hip strap (belt) for my eTech 2.0 Weekender Jr., but I don't use it. My fully packed bag only weighs about 12#. I did try the hip belt and found I could completely loosen the shoulder straps to the point that they were bearing no weight, so, for anyone that says they can't use a convertible bag because their shoulder won't take the weight, use a hip belt and quit complaining.

I liked the fact that I could put in less and the stuff inside didn't "shift" down to the bottom

I don't fill my Weekender Jr., but I find that the compression straps prevent the stuff inside from shifting down. Should work the same for the Hynes bag (which also has compression straps).

Posted by
2463 posts

Panda, good find. I like that bag.
Lee, thanks for the analysis.
Pam, you wrote:
"When I was "learning" to do light packing I used to do recreational packing for various scenarios. It's a great way to figure out what fits in your carry on!"
Exactly!

Posted by
19 posts

I had never heard of that site, so thanks (I guess?) for mentioning it. I just looked for a little while and already bought a Baggallini tote bag! I do not need anymore bags, but it was too good to pass up, darn it.

Posted by
1395 posts

That does sound like a great find, congrats!
And fingers crossed that we get to use our recent finds sooner rather than later --
the eBags bargain that Myra and I both snagged still sits mostly unused, so I've started taking it with me when I go to the supermarket and walking home with it holding my bottles and canned goods. Sigh.

Posted by
443 posts

Also bought the TJoe’s shampoo bar......nice to have it for travel and the size will make packing a lot easier.......cannot turn over and spill in my suitcase!

Posted by
198 posts

I needed another bag like I need another hole in my head, but I just ordered this one, thank you!

We do carryon only for flying, so this will be good for short trips where I don't quite need the 21" bag. Plus it should be good for quick road trips. It is supposed to arrive this week, the day before I head to my parents, so I will get to test it out! Just a one night trip, but hey at this point, I will take it.

Posted by
1189 posts

That looks great!
I love the pink version.

Posted by
5429 posts

PandaBear, thanks for the TJ shampoo tip -- I had looked at Lush but my inherent frugality wouldn't let me buy it. But $3.99 is in my why-not-try-it range.

Posted by
3212 posts

I ended up buying this 38L with the packing cubes. I thought they were the compression cubes, which they are not. I may return, but the as they came as a set, it means returning the bag as well.
The bag is a good size and could be good for several days on the road. I was looking for something to use with a 21 inch roller for an extended SE Asia trip. I didn't want to take a 25 in bag, so this pack with a roller most likely suits the bill. I think if I extended the straps to ride lower down my back, I can slip a detachable waistbelt through the spaces where you can tuck in the buckle end to make the harness disappear. Pink would have been my preferred, but grey was the purchase in the event it gets passed on or absconded by one of the kids.
I will try to so some alteration to make slip over my roller handle as it is stiff enough that it should hold its own; especially if used with the one large packing cube and sides cinched down with the straps and buckles.

Certainly wasn't $15, but a good price for a bag with volume.
Thanks for recommending it PandaBear.