Okay, this is a technology review site so why are we having a look at luggage and bags??
It comes as no surprise that our team sometimes has to travel with a fair bit of gear and in this day and age we need to be pretty savvy how we carry our stuff. Anti-theft measures are unfortunately highly necessary and that also includes electronic anti-theft (RFID safe pockets).
So let’s have a look at Travelon, a company that seems to specialise in protecting our hi-tech jewels in the best possible way. We review a backpack, a wheeled under-seat trolley, a convertible shoulder bag/backpack for the ladies and a small shoulder bag with plenty of room for passports, tablet and other valuables.
Plus, for good measure we’ll throw in a self-inflating seat cushion. Wondering how that works?
Come along on a recent domestic flight and trip when we practically lived out of these bags...
Travelon is an American company with a huge range of travel products. All of the gear we’re reviewing from them today is made in China. That’s not a bad thing, by the way, as we are impressed by the quality of all the material used, including zippers. The design for all these bags is very practical and elegant. You do not need (nor even want) a big logo emblazoned across these bags to let people know you’ve got a Brand Bag... A small tag with the Travelon logo is all you need. Unobtrusive elegance.
Another thing to keep in mind is the weight and size restrictions when you fly.
Here in Australia you’re limited to just 7 kilos all up for carry-on luggage. This means you can have 2 bags but when they weigh 2 kg each, you only have 3 kilos left in real stuff.
The Travelon bags fortunately are lightweight and strong with more room than you could legally carry. This is great when you’re not flying.
Let’s start with the backpack.
We’ll do this one in more detail than the other items since many of the aspects are shared across the product range.
Officially known as the Travelon Anti-Theft Active Carry-On Multipurpose Backpack, model number 43125, this nylon bag sports the following features and how I used them:
Main compartment with zippered mesh pocket and hold down straps for garments/clothing which on my trip held a large jumper and my DJI Mavic PRO drone with accessories.
The rear section has 2 padded pockets. One for my 15.6" ASUS laptop and room for a tablet; Plus a handy tethered key clip with LED light. This is a great feature in nearly all the Travelon bags. On my trip this bag also carried a change of clothing and a toiletries pouch.
The outside zippers are in the shape of mini carabiners so they can clip on the rings provided. That makes it harder for someone to zip them open without you knowing it.
Inside is a large RFID blocking pocket with card slots; There’s zippered pocket at the front and side pocket for a bottle of water.
The body panels are slash resistant. Same with the shoulder straps.
Air mesh padded back panel and air mesh backpack straps for comfort; add-a-bag strap, top grab handle and sternum strap.
Reflector strips for warning upcoming traffic.
Size: 14x7x21 in inches and 36x18x54cm.
This is a very lightweight pack at just over 1kg. Ideal for flying. When you have 7kg on your back it can be quite heavy to carry for a long time. The padded shoulder straps and back panel ventilate well and are pretty comfortable. And being slash resistant they will deter the slash and grab guild as this is the most common type of backpack thievery, particularly in Europe.
The RFID pouches will protect you from a less violent crime but potentially more harmful as data scammers and scanners can casually steal your whole digital identity! And whatever money you have on your cards...
So in 3 weeks of travel, flying and living out of this bag (and a big suitcase, I might add) we give a big Thumbs Up for this backpack. And if you don’t care to read on about the other Travelon gear here’s the spoiler alert: we’re very impressed with all the products we’ve worked with so far. When we look for Value for Money in our reviews, we look at durability, practicality in addition to affordability.
Travelon scores very high on these points and adds a touch of elegance to them as well.
On the Travelon website the official price is USD160. Amazon price is USD92. Here in Aussie dollars it’s about $222 when ordered from eBags.
Ladies Loving Convertibles: Anti-Theft Signature Convertible Backpack
Since my wife accompanied me on this trip she suggested that perhaps we should also review something for the ladies.
Her argument? Since probably half of DigitalReviews readers are women, why don’t you ask Travelon if we can review their 42944 Anti-Theft Signature Convertible Backpack? (She has done her research as you can see! )
She’s got a very good point: too often we cater in our reviews to the fellas and not the ladies...
So this review reflects her comments on this very convenient convertible.
First up: how is this a convertible?
You can change it from a backpack to a handbag. Actually, you can wear it as a backpack, crossbody, shoulder or hand bag!
Truth be told: it will serve as a backpack only if you don’t walk miles with something real heavy in it. The straps are rather thin, befitting a shoulder bag. But it comes in handy if you need two hands (like riding a bicycle perhaps?)
• Large main compartment with organiser
• 2 elasticised pockets and zip wall pocket
• 4 exterior zip pockets - 2 in front and 1 on each side for quick grab items
• Rear slash proof pocket
• Tethered key fob with LED light. Now finally no more rummaging around in the dark in your handbag!
• RFID blocking card and passport slots
• Slash proof straps
• Locking compartment and straps
• Slash proof body panels
• 30 – 64cm Strap drop
From the moment my wife unpacked this backpack she fell in love with it. That is metaphorically speaking of course I presume...
Being European, she knows quality and whilst it isn’t luxury leather, the Poly Twill material looks good and exudes quality. The teal lining makes it easier to find things but there’s also that LED fob! By the way, this bag, like most of Travelon’s gear comes in a range of colours and linings. Eggplant anyone?
My wife is also an organiser and she loves to have everything in its own place. This Convertible allowed her to do this with abandon. For a medium-sized bag it’s amazing what it will hold. She used this bag in all four carrying modes as needed. The main compartment zipper, like the zips on the side pockets are lockable onto clips.
Any gripes? There’s one area where the stitching has come a bit undone where the main handle attaches to the bag. Not sure if that’s a one-off problem or indicates better stitching is needed...
This medium bag is 38x23x38cm and weighs 2kg.
We would recommend this Convertible highly but apparently this bag is officially unavailable for shipping to Australia. However, Amazon does it for USD65 plus shipping of USD25.
RFID Heritage Crossbody
We love black and managed to snag a black Crossbody from our local shop BUT the new range of this handy bag all seem to come in fancy material (Cotton Canvas and Suede ) and colours, like pewter, oatmeal, indigo and wine... See picture above.
This handy little bag was great for the flight. It can hold all the grab items you need to have at the ready: wallet, phone, tablet, keys, charger, headphone, tickets... It can be securely held across your body and with the RFID pouches your identity can also be secure. Naturally, it also has anti-theft zippers that lock easily. It is a fairly gender neutral bag: fitted me well for the flights and daily use has now been claimed by my wife. And we both love the LED fob to quickly find something in the theatre.
It’s a bag we bought locally for AUD129.
Great buy even in those fancy colours... We expect this one to continue to serve us well.
Wheeled Underseat Carry-On
Practicality is the main feature of this piece of luggage.
It fits perfectly under the aircraft seat in front of you and makes it very accessible in flight.You don’t have to get up, bother your neighbours, get your bag from the overhead compartment and rummage around in it.
It’s a wheeled case so long treks through the terminal are easy. The wheels are sturdy enough, don’t move all that freely as I expected but that does not matter when you are dragging the case behind you. The handle is neatly stowed away in a zipped compartment and can be adjusted automagically at whatever height you want. Nice construction. You can also carry the bag when you’re going down the aircraft aisle with the tote handles that stay together with two snap closures. The handles are quite stiff and look fairly cheap though.
The main compartment is just about as big as the whole case and if you pack judiciously you can live out of this piece of luggage for 5-7 days. There’s a separate big tote bag included for when you come back with more stuff but eBags also sell packing “cubes” that fit this case perfectly.
Apart from the main hold I counted 8 smaller compartments. Everything can be superbly organised in this Carry-On.
With its quilted look it’s more suited for the ladies and it has a light turquoise interior so that finding things does not call for an LED light but it is also missing the secure zippers and RFID pouches.
We would have expected this bag to have been upgraded with these features as well.
So: it’s eminently practical, looks good but not as security minded as the other gear we’ve looked at today...
Priced at USD105 plus shipping and we paid a total of AUD167.
The size is 14 x 14inch so around 36x36x22cm.
Self-inflating Seat Cushion
This cushion can be a lifesaver on long flights and long car rides.
Cushions like this can relieve pressure on your tailbone and lower back (anyone NOT suffering from back problems these days?!)
I was mainly interested in how the self-inflating mechanism works and was pretty sceptical about it when I saw it was just a mechanical valve that you can open and close. No fancy mechanism like a life vest. It just lets air in when you open the valve and you turn it shut to hold the air in. It inflates sufficiently to sit on comfortably. It doesn’t pump it up like a pool ring. To deflate just open the valve, roll up the cushion, close the valve and now you can stuff it in the nylon net that it comes with.
The cover is removable and washable. The underside of the cover features non-slip silicone so it stays put.
Simple. Effective. Recommended if long sits are bothersome.
Price: USD30 on Amazon but again: does not ship to Australia.
We’re very impressed with the quality of the Travelon items we’ve tested and reviewed.
Practical, stylish and affordable sum up our findings. Sometimes shipping to Australia can be a problem though but their range is huge so your chances of finding just what you want is excellent.
Check them out before your next trip.