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RS Convertible Carry-On vs eBags Mother Lode

Does anyone here own both bags? I have the RS bag and foolishly offered it to my husband for an upcoming trip…so need to get another bag. I am intrigued by the eBags Mother Lode and have a bunch of eBags products from before their company was sold to Samsonite. Is the quality still great? From what I can see, the Mother Lode is a tiny bit heavier (15 additional ounces) and holds more. If you have both, which do you prefer and why?

Posted by
2526 posts

I have both, but the junior version of the eBags, which is slightly shorter --
I mean the one that used to be called the Weekender,
and I like it as much or more than the RS b/c it opens book-style
and balances a little better for me on my back.
Unzipped the eBags capacity is just a skosh less than the RS, which is just right for me, at least when the weather is mild.
For cold weather or needing to pack a little dressy, the RS is a little better choice for my stuff.

Posted by
19137 posts

Does anyone here own both bags?

Not quite. I used a Rick Steve convertible backpack (ca. 2000) for 5 or 6 trips in the early part of the century. Then I switched to a 1¾# OPEC bag because it was lighter. But as I learned to pack lighter, the OPEC bag became too big. All of my stuff (1400 ci of it) sagged to the bottom. I tried to find a way to put cinch strap on it to no avail. Finally I went to an eTech 2.0 Weekender Jr. (no longer made, of course). It's a little like your Mother Lode, except smaller. It weighs ¾# more than the OPEC, but it has cinch straps, which were worth it to me to "tighten" the load.

the Mother Lode is a tiny bit heavier

True, it's only 15 oz heavier, but that's 31%! I was willing to add the 12 oz for some advantages, but does the Mother Lode have enough advantages to justify the added weight.

I see both bags have cinch straps. The RS bags has a waist belt. I don't need or ever use mine. If you pack heavier, you might need one. But at about 11# it's not hard on my shoulders.

The thing I like about the eTech bag is that it has a sternum strap, so I don't have to hold onto the shoulder straps to keep them from sliding off my shoulders.

Either bag would hold plenty for me, but if you pack to the max, you might want the bigger bag.

Posted by
36 posts

Thank you both for your feedback, much appreciated.

Posted by
57 posts

I have owned both bags. My husband uses the mother lode and I use the mother lode jr. I got rid of my RS bags as everything bunches in the bottom and its just like a big box whereas the mother lode/jr keeps the packing cubes in there tight and nice. I’ve tried a RS bag prior to the last one and also got rid of it as well so I’m done trying. We love our ebags and have travelled with them to Europe and domestic many times over the past 5+ years that we have owned them.

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks Sarah. I went ahead and got a Mother Lode, it arrived today. Next is a practice pack!