The carry-on bag that has redefined value in the budget category – the Campmor Essential Carry-On (née Outdoor Products Essential Carry-On)  is back, priced at a mere $29.98  This is a lot of bag for the buck, and definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a convertible carry-on.  

Read my review by clicking on the earlier link, or see it at Campmor by clicking here:  Campmor Essential Carry-On.  Thanks to reader jkm who brought this to our attention!

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1 Comment on (Outdoor Products)/Campmor Essential Carry-On Returns – priced under $30

  1. Michael W. says:

    This is one of the best bags around (black out that huge logo with a marker!) in terms of efficiency. The thin fabric is still plenty thick for a travel bag; the lack of excessive padding and thin fabric means no interior volume is wasted.

    The only thing lacking is a good way to carry a laptop, tablet, other various electronics. But other convertible travel packs don’t solve the problem either. Most of them either DON’T have a laptop slot either, or the slot is so huge that anything short of a 17.3″ laptop just shifts around in the slot too much.

    So rather than look for the perfect convertible pack that has a good laptop/tablet solution, I just accept the fact that I will need to carry a smaller flight bag for my electronics. This works out better for me since I can keep the smaller bag at my seat.

    Once I’ve crossed the “two bags” Rubicon, suddenly the Essentials convertible pack looks like the best on the market, barring only, perhaps, the Steves Classic Backdoor. Simply because the Essentials is so light, and efficient.

    THE number one feature of the Essentials, for me, is the large, hard rubber, grippy carry handle. I usually use a small daypack for my seat side items and electronics, so hand-carry is easiest with this Essentials convertible pack. Given that it has mainly bulky, but light, clothing, hand-carry isn’t a “punishment” from ticket counter to gate, from terminal to terminal for connecting flight.

    There are other bags that impress at first glance -like the Patagonia MLC – but the extra weight and small available storage space (due to all that padding, and sometimes due to actual smaller size) – but I keep coming back to the Essentials.

    BTW the Steves Classic Backdoor _almost_ equals the Essentials – but the handle is not nearly as comfortable, which means I might use it for car trips, but not for flying. And unlike the Essentials, the “basic” edition of the Classic Backdoor (which is also the lightest) doesn’t have shoulder strap attachment points), if you want to add a strap (the Essentials includes a simple shoulder strap).

    Finally, I find it best not to overpack the half-height external zippered compartment. If I do, the Essentials starts to get wider (fatter) than I like.


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