Last updated on March 14th, 2017
If I can manage to pack all of the things both Nick & I need for a 10-day trip into a single lightweight travel backpack, you can bet I’m all over that. Packing light is the first rule of travel in our household. I mean, I don’t even like carrying my own backpack. So imagine my delight when I realized that the Cabin Zero 44L backpack I was asked to review can easily accommodate both mine and Nick’s stuff. Now I don’t have to carry a bag at all!
Finding the right travel backpack can sometimes be a bit daunting, because there are so many options, and with so many different types and duration of trips you’re taking, you need this bag to work for all situations. Well, I’m happy to say I’ve found a great bag that can be used for all situations. It’s kind of the perfect all-around travel carry on backpack.
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Cabin Zero’s 44L Backpack
I was pretty excited to try out the Cabin Zero 44L backpack, because it has some really cool features. It’s ultra lightweight, airline-approved carry on size, and it’s got a luggage tracking tag on it (more on this later). Three features that every traveler can appreciate.
I also really like the design and structure of the backpack. It’s a little boxier than typical backpacks, so it can fit more in without being squished. The front flap opens almost all the way so it’s easy to get things in and out without a struggle. It’s made with a thick waterproof polyester material that feels very durable, has thick-padded shoulder straps, a full lining to protect the inside, heavy-duty lockable zippers, and reinforced stitching. What’s not to like? Right!
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Size Really Does Matter
I always thought a 44-liter backpack would be too large. I’m used to carrying a 33-liter bag. If I took full advantage of the size, would it weigh too much to comfortably lug around? There was only one way to find out, so I loaded it up for an upcoming trip.
Just to show you exactly how much I stuffed in there, here’s all our stuff, just before packing it into the Cabin Zero. We each have one large packing cube with clothing for 10 days, plus a toiletry bag, an accessories bag, one extra pair of shoes each, and our camera.
Do you think it can fit in the bag?
I really thought there was no way all this stuff would fit, and I’d have to pack a second bag anyway. Even if I could fit it all in, it would end up being uncomfortable on my back. Low and behold, every last thing fit into the bag, and when I hefted it up onto my shoulders, it felt about half the weight it should be with all that stuff.
The bag alone only weighs 1.5 pounds, so it’s a really light backpack to begin with. That’s a huge benefit when you’re trying to fill it with 10 days’ worth of stuff for two people!
Take a look. It all fits and there’s even space left.
I put the shoes on the bottom, the toiletry bag in the pocket in the back and the packing cubes in the main compartment. I took the camera out for this photo, but you can see where I put it, on top of the purple bag. This leave a good 3-4 inches along the top to shove in our rain jackets. I’m really happy about that!
You can also see that the mesh pocket on the flap has nothing in it. I’m using that pocket for the little stuff, though I would like if it had a zipper on the pocket, to keep things from falling out.
But wait! That’s not all. There’s yet another pocket – a large zipper pocket on the front of the bag. I am storing our tablet and Kindles in that pocket.
Can it Fit in the Overhead Bin?
With all that stuff packed in there, it has to be too big to fit in the overhead bins, right? The last thing anyone wants to do is have to check their carry on backpack, because it’s too large. The Cabin Zero bag measures 21″ x 15″ x 8″, which is just under the 45 linear inches most airlines allow. The bag even fits within Ryanair’s stringent guidelines. What about weight? I did weigh the bag with everything in it to see if I’d be allowed through security with it. Again, most airlines allow up to 10kg or 22lbs. My bag, with all that stuff inside, weighed 20 pounds.
So the answer is a rounding YES, it can fit in the overhead bin!
You’ll have to decide whether you can fit it under your seat. The size and rigidity of mine wasn’t flexible enough for under the seat storage, but if I hadn’t packed it so full, it definitely would have fit.
- One of the most interesting features for me is the Okoban by Travel Sentry registration tag. Okoban provides free registration of your backpack so if it’s ever lost it can potentially be tracked. Of course, you’re relying on the kindness of whoever found it to log in to the website and enter the code, but it’s better odds that you’ll recover it with the tag, than without.
- The bag also comes with a 10-year guarantee (which is upgradable to 25 years, free of charge, if you ‘like’ Cabin Zero on FaceBook). That’s a no-brainer!
- I’ve already mentioned this, but one of the top features that’s worth mentioning twice is that the bag is waterproof. No more looking like a hunchback, trying to hide your bag under your rain jacket, or straining to hold the umbrella just right.
- The adjustable padded straps make carrying the bag quite comfortable, even at that weight. I do wish it had a front chest strap and a waist strap, too, but if I’d gotten the military style bag, both of those features would be included, along with a breathable thick back panel. The Military style also has that interior zippered pocket I was wanting. But the Military style doesn’t have the padded side handle that I like so much. So, basically, pick your style wisely!
Speaking of Styles…
Cabin Zero has four different types of bags. The one I have reviewed here is from the Vintage line. The Classic line is very similar to the Vintage. It just has slightly different exterior styling. The Military line is built to be even more durable to withstand the toughest you can put it through (plus the differences I went over above). I like the look of the Vintage backpack, but I’d be just as happy with either of the others. The final type of backpack they offer is a small travel backpack – a Classic 28L cabin bag. If you want something a bit smaller, or to use as a day pack instead of a full carry on, the 28L is the perfect solution.
I’m not getting rid of my other backpacks just yet, but I do think this one by Cabin Zero will quickly become my all around best lightweight travel backpack for 2017. If you’re interested in learning more about the Cabin Zero travel backpack, or purchasing one for yourself, head here for more info! Please use our promo code at check out: CZSAVOREDJOURNEYS
I was given this bag by Cabin Zero for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinions express are entirely my own.