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)
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)
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!