- Buyer's Guide
Best Carry-On Bag 2020
The Best Carry-On 2020 is a bag honed for travel convenience, comfort and flexibility. Designed to adapt to changing environments while standing up to the scrapes and scuffs of travel use…
Ever since our friends at Bellroy pushed from pockets to packs, they’ve steadily made ground, improving and iterating with each release, fine-tuning what a ‘Bellroy’ bag should be. And all those years of effort have paid off with their most complete pack to date. The Transit Plus is the next progression from their much-heralded Transit. Not just bigger, but improved with subtle tweaks, yet again building on the piece that came before.
The Transit Plus is everything you can want in a travel pack: excellent access, considered organization, comfort, and understated timeless aesthetics that move through scenarios and match your ever-changing garb with ease.
Finish that off with a durable, eco-friendly build made with water-resistant, recycled fabric and lovely environmentally certified leather accents, and it ticks every box!
The pack’s clamshell opening and thoughtful range of interior and external pockets, quick-access tech storage, and internal compression straps all come together to ensure gear is close at hand and easy to reach when you need it, yet securely stashed away when you’re on the move.
And they haven’t forgotten about that all-important carry comfort either. Comfy, padded shoulder straps team up with a breathable, contoured back panel to ease carry strain over extended periods of time. Plus you also get a removable sternum strap and stowable waist belt to keep the load stable.
With its pared-back aesthetics that suit leisure and work trips alike, intuitive access and organization, and a salute to sustainable construction, the Transit Backpack Plus is truly a first class traveling companion. Congratulations, Bellroy!
These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.
The Synapse 25 is beloved by fans across the globe. But what if you build on its great design with features even more geared for travel and much requested by a loyal fanbase? Well, you get pretty epic carry in the form of the Tom Bihn Synik 30.
The pack ticks all the right boxes when it comes to travel ease, from awesome organization and convenient access, to quality comfort and a variety of colorways to suit personal tastes and preferences. A clamshell opening, dual-access suspended tech storage, and an abundance of ready-access pockets make it easy to organize and get to gear throughout your trip. Additionally, the pack’s edgeless shoulder straps and removable internal frame enhance comfort for those long hours on the move.
All in all, it’s a functional and adaptable bag that works across diverse travel settings. Bravo, Tom Bihn!
Black Ember have gone from strength to strength over the years, dialing in their mix of bleeding-edge innovation and sleek urban style. And that DNA is well on display with the FORGE, an impressive and versatile bag that plays in the everyday/travel niche.
Its standard 20L expands easily into 30L for travel use, with plenty of options for organizing clothing, tech and smaller items. The burly weatherproof build is more than up to the challenge of tough travel use, while three-way carry lets you alternate easily between backpack, shoulder bag and briefcase-style carry. And the ability to reduce it back down to 20L once you reach your accommodation makes it a versatile day bag for use during your travels too.
When it comes to all-in-one everyday business and travel use, the highly adaptable FORGE is a savvy pick. Fantastic work, Black Ember!