- Buyer's Guide
Best Carry-On Results – The Fifth Annual Carry Awards
A functional carry-on piece should let you access your gear easily, while keeping your travel items organized on the go. And if it looks good while doing so, even better. The Aer Travel Pack scores on all these points, delivering a versatile piece that makes traveling smoother and more enjoyable.
The clamshell-style opening provides ready access to gear throughout the main compartment, so you don’t have to undo your careful packing to reach that specific item burrowed in the bottom of the pack. The pack also features a separate ventilated shoe compartment, ideal for keeping your kicks (or dirty laundry) away from the rest of your gear. Smaller items such as a passport, wallet, phone, pens and a notebook can be stashed in a range of quick-access pockets, while a suspended laptop compartment protects your tech against the bumps of travel life.
Need to move between work and play environments? No problem, the pack’s sleek styling blends into both. And side and top handles lend a helping hand when you need to maneuver the bag in tight spaces such as overhead compartments. As an added bonus, the side compression straps not only secure the load but can also cinch the bag from carry-on to daypack mode, leaving you ready to roam at your destination. A simple and versatile piece at great value. Congratulations, Aer!
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.
Travel has a degree of unpredictability to it. But the Ultrahigh Dufflepack is designed to deal with change, adapting to a range of loads and carry requirements so you can keep on moving forward. The Ultrahigh Dyneema Composite keeps the elements at bay while remaining very lightweight yet durable enough to withstand regular use. The bag comes with two Double Action straps, allowing you to alternate between backpack and shoulder bag mode.
But what really stands out is the great expansion and rolltop capability. An optimal volume between 15L and 35L caters to a range of trip requirements, but if more space is needed the bag can expand to 50L while still closing. Still not enough? The bag offers a generous 78L volume in open stylist mode if you need to carry awkwardly shaped items. Extremely versatile and with plenty of urban styling, this is a slick and luxurious travel companion for a variety of trip environments and carry needs.
The Tortuga Outbreaker Travel Backpack has ‘one bagging’ at its core. And a second iteration, it shows a real progression – and progression always turns heads. Shaped to take advantage of maximum packing capability, the Outbreaker does a great job of keeping your gear tidy and accessible, while also reducing carry fatigue through a comfortable and customizable suspension system. Available in 35L and 45L carry-on sizes, the backpack features adjustable shoulder straps that can move up or down for a customized fit, along with an adjustable and removable hip belt honed for travellers set to clock miles on foot.
The weatherproof and durable sailcloth construction takes travel knocks and inclement weather in its stride, and is complemented by a clamshell-style main compartment with multiple pockets for easy access and good organization. The Outbreaker also includes a flat-lay laptop compartment for breezing through airport security, with pockets for organizing accessories. With its considered design, the Outbreaker delivers on comfort, great organization, and easy access. Awesome work, Tortuga!