The Minaal Carry-on 3.0 (Carry-on from here on out) is, in essence, a 35L rounded rectangle you can wear on your back. Overall, it’s a fairly sleek design with minimal exterior branding and details. This makes it a great choice for those who don’t want their bag to appear overly flashy or attention-grabbing. Don’t take that to mean that it’s boring aesthetically. There are thoughtful touches throughout which showcase Minaal’s efforts to design a user-focused travel bag. The Picton™ material that the bag is made from is new for this generation too. It has a very soft look to it with a slight sheen when it catches the light (though it’s not a “shiny” bag).
Overall though, if I had to define the Carry-on’s aesthetic, I would call it “tech-minimalist”.
Whenever I’m reviewing a bag, one of the things I like to do is flip it inside-out and check out the construction methods used to assemble it. In doing so with the Carry-on, I was pleased to see that all seams were fairly well reinforced. And I didn’t see any obvious structural weak points. Thankfully the perpetual feedback Minaal has taken from the two prior generations of this pack has been implemented. This has refined the user experience appreciably.
Additionally, to Minaal’s credit, they do back their bags up with a lifetime guarantee. They will support you throughout the usable life of the product as their goal is to produce a bag that you can purchase and use for several years reliably.
Materials and Hardware
The exterior of the Minaal Carry-on 3.0 is constructed primarily with a 600D Picton™ (a nod to their home turf) material which is more resistant to tears, abrasions, and water. It’s also made of recycled yarn and its suppliers are bluesign®-certified which means it is being produced with sustainable materials. The entire interior is lined with a highly wear-resistant material that has enough give to allow you to overpack a bit if you need a little extra room. There is one more plus I’d like to highlight about the material as well. Pet hair and lint simply brush right off. I have two Australian Shepherds at home and their fur is literally everywhere. Whenever it found its way onto the pack, a quick brush with my hand and it slid right off. It’s very easy to keep clean.
The shoulder straps have a comfortably padded 5mm EVA foam which runs right out to the edges to aid with overall comfort under load. Though I’d like to call out here that as an over 6′ person, I found myself wishing the straps were a bit longer as I didn’t quite have the amount of adjustment I would normally prefer.
All of the zippers are YKK #10 or #8 in size and they are very smooth to operate, even one-handed. This is wonderful when you need to get into a pocket or compartment quickly to retrieve an item or perhaps travel documents from your bag. A nice touch is that the main and tech compartment zippers feature lock loops, which allow you to use a luggage lock method of your choosing. To round things out in hardware, you’ll also find Woojin buckles featured throughout. In my experience, these have always proven to be extremely durable and hard-wearing.
Overall, the Minaal Carry-on 3.0 is made from quality materials and well-constructed. But given the Picton™ material is their own proprietary blend, time will tell how long it’ll hold up. There isn’t a “standard” material like Cordura® that we can compare against decades’ worth of data.