There is a good sale going on now at Ebags. I just bought the Mother Lode Jr. backpack for $56. It is usually $139. I have other Mother Lode bags from them and really like them, so hope this one is as good as those. Now if only I could go somewhere...
Ebags is having a clearance sale on almost everything. Later this year they will be changing to carrying mostly their own branded products and a few "select" others. Since eBags is owned by Samsonite, I expect they will carry all the Samsonite brands: Samsonite, American Tourister, Hartmann, High Sierra, Lipault and Tumi.
Can you remind us, Frank II, why the earlier version of the weekender junior 2.0 was better than the version available now?
Was it because the current version weighs more?
Besides a name change, it seems like the 2.0 version is out of stock. But looking at the regular size backpack, it seems the only real change is the addiion of a USB port . (The Mother Lode bags no longer have the "weekender" moniker.
Again, I haven't been watching it for awhile so that is my only guess. When the jr version 2.0 comes back in stock I'll take a look at it.
The thrifty angel on my shoulder thinks it's crazy to order another carryon backpack when my RS convertible carryon is still in good shape, but as the OP says this clearance sale makes the total just over $60 delivered, which is less than even when the RS equivalent is on sale.
The Mother Lode Jr. is 1.5" shorter than the RS carryon and opens along the long dimension rather than the short dimension; apart from that their capacity is about the same and weight about the same. My rationalization for ordering it is that the RS is good for cold-weather destinations when I need thicker clothes but is a little too big otherwise, and the Mother Lode has more inside dividers that could allow me to use one or two less cubes/pouches.
And navy blue is more me than the RS green.
I jumped at the bargains too soon -- got my Mother Lode Jr at $70 (half off) in late spring -- but I got a gorgeous aqua, which is no longer in stock so not that bad. If only I had some place to travel with it!
Aargh - I didn't want to know that there was an aqua!
I saw that one of the reviewers suggested using a medium cube in the outside pocket
so now I'm already making a puzzle game of various packing configurations before it's even shipped ...
I have to stop reading this forum.....shopping again! I really like these packing cubes and have this set: https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/ultralight-packing-cubes-super-packer-5pc-set/309406?productid=10408193
But, sometimes I don't want to use two of the large square packing cubes, so I think I'd like to order this set of two small and two slim. https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/ultralight-packing-cubes-ultimate-packer-7pc-set/309407?productid=10408199
However, I'm cheap and don't want to pay shipping. Anybody in the Bay Area want to order an item, but like me, don't want to spend $50?? Let me know!
C'mon Panda - if you're serious about being cheap, you can get zippered sweater storage bags at the Dollar Tree and use them as cubes (but only if you've run out of leftover drycleaning film). Ha.
Ahh, loving this post! Almost feels like we’re in the post-Covid conversations again! And, you made me pause a moment and consider if I needed to change any of my current travel luggage.
OP here. My package was delivered 3 days earlier than promised! So here are my first impressions: The backpack is not as heavy as I feared it would be. I haven't packed it as a test yet, but is seems like it will be fine. I also got another duffel because I like the one I have already and thought it would be handy to have 2 of them. But I am a tiny bit annoyed that they changed the fabric. I already had the companion duffel and the 21 inch rolling bag in Indigo that I bought in 2018/19. The fabric on those is really nice and feels sort of tweedy. The fabric on the new backpack and duffel are a bit lighter in color and doesn't have the same sort of texture. I like the older fabric better. But the thing that is more annoying is this...they took away my favorite feature of the duffel bag! I loved the way the detachable strap hooked in to the side pockets. If you don't use the strap the clasps are hidden inside the pocket. The new version has the clasps sewn into the top seam so they just hang there on the outside of the bag even if you are not using the strap. And all the weight of the bag would be held by that small area instead of being supported by the long sewn down straps in the pockets of the old version. I wish I could attach a photo to show what I am talking about. So I am not sure if I will keep the duffel. So here is my question to y'all...has anyone used the duffel or a bag like it as a personal item on one of the cheap carriers? I have been searching for a bag with the exact dimensions (18x14x8) but now think that isn't necessary. There are a lot out there, but they all seem very cheaply made. If the bag is soft and pliable and not overstuffed, it would fit in the sizer box at the gate and easily stuffed under the seat regardless of the actual size of the bag, right? What are your thoughts?
@LAB -- if you're looking for a stuff-under-the-seat-in-front-of-you personal item roughly 8X14, why not consider a tote-bag style rather than a duffel-bag style? Just asking.
(I've used both, and sometimes find that the tote-bag style does better double duty as the daybag while out and about on non-transfer days.)
Yes, I guess I could. The tote bags I have now are the heavy canvas boat and tote type from L.L. Bean. I love those, and have some that zip closed at the top. One of those might work. Really I just want something NEW! Even though I can't use it anytime soon. It just helps to dream about planning new trips. We were supposed to leave this week for two weeks in Italy, a trip that is a HS graduation gift to our son. We were so looking forward to sharing a place we love with him and every time I look at the big July calendar on the side of the fridge with ------ITALY----- through the middle of it I want to cry. We will still do the trip when we can, but it is still so disappointing.
I have the older shoulder strap style companion duffel from ebags. Looks like they cheapened the strap attachment to one that could easily tear out under a load. It's a handy bag and well designed, but I wouldn't buy the new version now.
If we're feeling antsy about travel, imagine how Rick Steves must feel. I'm on the Scott's Cheap Flights mailing list (free version) and keep getting notices of good flight deals but am too scared to fly right now even if other countries would let us visit.
My package arrived today, one day later than projected, so I'm going over the holiday bargain that LAB alerted us to above; I got the 'true navy' color.
First impression is that this bag is listed as 2598 cu. inches and the RS convertible carryon is 2500 cu inches, but that's the Mother Lode expanded and the RS unexpanded - even expanded the Mother Lode looks like it will hold a little less than the RS CC, so it will be a challenge to use it as my only item to carry on for a full length trip.
I'll post a longer review when I have done some more fiddling with it.
I, too, finally gave in to the sale. I've purchased the ML Jr. in navy...and I don't even really like backpacks. LOL. However, there is one international scenario where it would be helpful if I didn't have wheels, but rather used my H's small underseat wheeled bag with ML Jr backpack on top. There is someone on this forum who regularly travels that way and it has intrigued me. Who is that? I can't recall.
However, I go away from home one or two nights per week, as I'm a babysitting grandparent (2 days/wk) so I think this bag will be perfect for that and so I am justifying the purchase that way. I've always been intrigued by the design of this bag so I'm very excited to play with it.
Wray, I think it will be perfect for that use case.
I'm going to dig various cubes and folders out of the closet and see what combinations make sense - my first thought is that if a medium cube does fit in the outside pocket and my Teva sandals fit on the inside of the lid then I will be able to get the same kind of uses out of the Mother Lode Jr that I currently get out of the RS Convertible Carryon at a savings of a couple of inches, which might not seem like much but if it's the right couple of inches it will be a considerable advantage. We shall see.
Avirosemail, I think you are correct. This bag is perfect for my regular short stay overs.
I just received my ML Jr backpack, navy, and love it! I just came back from my 2 days away and moved everything over to this bag. Plenty of extra room, which means access to things is much better as well. I am very glad that the Ebags label is more subtle and the water bottle holder has changed to a more functional style...more likely for my umbrella or mini tripod, but whatever. When I do my 2/2 days/nights, the only thing that is smaller about this bag is the amount of clothes that I take and perhaps the paperwork (none). I always have my permanently packed toiletries, meds, and bedside bag in my bag ready to travel. It is feasible, if something came over me, that I could travel overseas with this...with a purse. Not sure I'd want to lug it on my back in the airports though. Regardless, it is perfect for my usual quick car trips. I'm glad I bit the bullet after staring at this bag for a couple of years and hitting this sale!
Wray, we'll have to coordinate to make sure we don't use the same ribbons or ties on the navy ML jr, ha!
I wouldn't want to reach into the waterbottle pocket looking for my granola and find your umbrella instead...
I think I also like the sternum strap on it a little more than the waist belt on the RS convertible,
although the RS still deserves recognition for sturdier fabric and zippers overall.
Avirosemail, My tag is light blue and my fabric ribbon/tie is blues and yellow. So if you grab my bag, stay there and hold it, and I'll buy you lunch where ever we might be!
And the sale continues ... Motherlode and Junior at $49.99 including free shipping. Good color selection, too. But if you have ever bought anything from Ebags they probably have emailed you about this.
a 4 month sale? Maybe the sale price is the real price?
Well, $49.99 is too good to pass up. Just ordered a Mother Lode for my 14-year-old son, whose pants are getting longer by the day it seems, and could use the extra volume over the Mother Lode Jr. he's been using for the past few years.
We love these backpacks. Husband has had a Mother Lode for a long time and has brought it on numerous vacation and business trips. My son's Mother Lode Jr. will continue to be used by any of us for short trips (first come, first served!). The organization of the bags is really fantastic (with or without packing cubes), they hold as much as a "regular" suitcase, and they fit under the seat on airplanes as long as you don't stuff 'em full.
Guess I will have to spend the next few months test-packing until we can actually go somewhere. AKA "what crazy people do for fun during a pandemic."
You talked me into it! I ordered the Garnet color Mother Lode, Jr. I’ve been using this Amazon cheap purchase as my US vacation bag and saving my Eddie Bauer Med. Expedition for my Europe trips.
Sarah Murdoch did a 10lb challenge once with that $16 bag, and it’s served me well. But, I’m ready to try a nicer looking backpack for US lightweight travel.
And more clearance -- Motherlode Jr at $41.99, set of 3 thin packing cubes at $8.69.