LL Bean Quickload
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Two adults, two kids, two weeks in Europe during winter, 4 bags and 4 small, personal bags. The 4 bags included an eBags Weekender, the LL Bean Quickload, an ancient Eastpack convertible bag and a 24 inch wheelie.
The LL Bean Quickload had very good capacity. I was able to easily fit in: 2 pairs long pants, 4 pair unde Pandora Charms rwear, wool base layer top and bottom, five shirts (one short sleeve, the rest long sleeve), wool sweater, 2 pair wool socks, laundry kit (included clothes line, microfiber towel and some detergent), the toiletry kit for the ENTIRE family, a bathing suit (for the hot tub at ski resort), two paperback books to read and leave along the trip, cache of spare zip lock bags, gloves, hat, a pair of pajamas (a luxury I allowed myself when I found I had plenty of room) and, here the kicker pair of insulated ski pants.
I know I had a few more items in there, but I just can remember what they were right now.
All of this fit, with room to spare! At the Swiss check in, the bag weighed 7.5 kg.
In fact, none of the convertible bags weighed over 7.5 kg. (I recognize this is easier to pull off when you have a 24 inch wheelie that the heavier items can go into. But honestly, we weren taking anything too heavy anyway.)
The empty LL Bean bag was definitely lighter than the empty eBags Weekender, which meant we could put more in it and not worry we were going to go over the limit.
The inside of the bag is fine and the compression straps are the garden variety ones, but work well. The compartment in the inside is mesh, but has a zipper only on one end. I prefer the Weekender design of having the zipper go around three sides of the same compartment. Also, I like the Weekender feature of a small, flat, zippered compartment on the inside on the part of the bag. We used it for stashing our drivers licenses, Pandora Charms which we didn figure we would need but brought along anyway just in case we decided to rent a car spur of the moment.
The straps on the Quickload are curved and a bit wider than the Weekender. I am narrow shouldered and have a slight preference for the narrower Weekender straps as a result. If the Quickload had included a sternum strap, which it does not, I think I would have found it more comfortable. It was fine, so this is not such a great issue.
The smaller outside pocket on the Quickload is a disappointment. It has some organizer features, but the zipper is just straight across the pocket and does not extend down the sides. As a result, it difficult to efficiently use the organizer features. This is a bad design flaw. However, as a practical matter, I used the organizer panel in my small messenger bag so I didn really get too hung up on this. I ended up simply using it to stash receipts and used maps, etc. stuff I wasn going to need to access every day.
The smalller outside pocket did include a little lanyard clip that was on an elastic cord. That elastic cord feature is an improvement over a standard key clip. I ended up attaching a little flashlight to it, which we used multiple times. The ability to pull it out a bit with the stretchy elastic was very useful.
It does have a larger outside pocket, which does zip down on the sides. It was spacious and this is where I easily stuffed those ski pants.
All in all, it a good bag. If you need your one bag to include a highly usable organizer pocket, don buy the Quickload. On all other fronts, it a solid bag. And the weight difference between it and the Weekender is nice. Also, the lifetime, satisfaction guarantee from LL Bean is worth quite a lot. (I have NO affiliation wit Pandora Charms h LL Bean.)
In short, it held all my stuff with room to spare. As a result, I had no trouble fitting in my purchases from the trip on the way back.
One side note: The person at the Swiss check in counter simply could not believe that 4 people going to Europe in winter (and skiing that) could travel with so little luggage.
(From LL Bean site: Made of rugged 420 denier nylon.
2,961 cu. in. 21 x 14 x 9 2 lb. 2 oz. Imported.)
Very good review. Nice to have a comparison with the weekender by ebags. I am not too surprised you were able to pull this off. It’s definitely better than the average packer but everyone here is an better than average packer. Having the soft and light carry ons for clothes, the personal item bags for gadgets and books and the 24″ bag for heavy things, it is totally feasible.
I would also note that LL Bean sells for $119, another $20, a Quickload rolling duffle bag, similar capacity, three times as heavy unloaded, supposedly carry on size, that very likely will outsell the Travel Pack by three or four to one, though its users will be far more likely to have to gate check it. Unchanged is the fact that typical seat pitch in Economy is 31 inches, bags are 14 inches side, so that even with all properly loaded, a bank of three seats on an Airbus 320 or the like will have overhead bin space for two of the bags, not all three. Perhaps the FAA should require airlines to offer t Pandora Charms o check a bag of 45 total inches FREE, which would mitigate this issue, not to mention making travel easier for those who really want to do carry on, while making travel somewhat easier for older or smaller people for whom getting a 20+ pound bag in and out of an overhead bin is difficult to dangerous. Flight attendants aren’t always available to help passengers, and at times they may themselves incur injuries handling larger bags (I once had a United Airlines stewardess as a patient, for a back injury sustained when a passenger snuck on a 25 inch fully laden Halliburton case!)By the way, I think that Briggs and Riley has introduced some nominally carry on legal bags of 45 total inches that are a bit shorter but a bit wider to increase their usable capacity, dimensions probably 20 x 16 inches rather than 22 x 14 inches. That extra width, however, further crowds the overhead bin.
Just bought my Quickload in store (Sept 2010), although the catalog shows out of stock until January 2011, my local store was abundantly stocked with the whole Quickload line, including Travel Packs in all colors. $99. Will do a proper review later. But I very pleased with this bag light weight (a true 2 lbs 4 oz on my scales, including detachable shoulder strap). Excellent LL Bean workmanship throughout, as you expect. Main bag zippers lock, the other two outer pocket zippers do not lock. Organizer pocket in smallest outer pocket is not very accessible/useful, as Bean website reviewers note. Single mesh pocket on main bag inner could benefit from a full length C shaped zipper rather than its current single zipper on one end. No waistbelt, although its plastic rings will accept my eBags Weekender waistbelt just fine. The contrast lining is mid gray on all colors except Green; the Green only has a much more useful light yellowish orange lining which matches its trim (brighter and lighter than the eBags darker orange lining). On the other hand, the Quickload is exactly half the weight and holds exactly as much as the eBags eTech Weekender with almost the same features. Aesthetically I much prefer either of the eBags Weekender models; the Quickload looks like it was designed for the matronly soccer Mom audience, and the two tone shoulder straps give it a distinctly girly aspect to my curmudgeonly eyes. But it 2 lbs and 3000 cu in, reasonably sturdy and in black it reasonably unisex. Should be in stock at all Bean stores now.