The AmazonBasics Carry-On Backpack offers a sturdy and lightweight design perfect for long trips or everyday carry. In addition, it’s affordable and comfortable, making it the best travel bag money can buy.

We don’t usually pay attention to “cheap” products, but AmazonBasics has a solid track record of producing high-quality hardware at a low price. And, let’s face it, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

After trying them for over two years, we were satisfied with the AmazonBasics Packing Cubes’ durability, and we were eager to try out additional AmazonBasics goods. We don’t anticipate this to be the ideal travel bag, but if you’re seeking to save money, it may be an intriguing alternative as long as it can hold your belongings.

Aesthetics & Materials

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack In Porto, PortugalIn Porto, Portugal, AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack. The AmazonBasics bag isn’t the most attractive backpack we’ve seen. It’s not very flashy, but it’s also not offensive—simply, it’s a standard black bag.

We do know, though, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so we asked our Instagram followers for their thoughts on the subject. Forty-six percent of respondents appreciated the pack’s appearance, which isn’t a bad outcome. g on this pack is instead appreciated the pack’s appearance as understated, with the most visible logo on the bottom of the bag and a few smaller logos on the zipper pulls. Although we don’t believe an AmazonBasics logo is the most trendy thing to wear, it is relatively minor. We think it would be much more subtle if it were black on black, similar to the pattern on the zipper pulls. Isn’t it true that Amazon doesn’t need any more advertising?

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack ColorsThis bag comes in three colors: black, navy, and red. We like the black, however the blue and red are a little too sharp and make the bag seem more poorer. We like the black since it is less noticeable and will reveal fewer markings and dirt on the road.

In terms of overall size, regardless of whether this bag is fully loaded or not, it’s pretty hefty, and it just becomes “lumpier” as you stuff it more. We’re not going to sugarcoat anything: there’s nothing streamlined about this pack, and even when you fill it correctly, objects still appear to protrude from inside it. It is, however, carry-on compatible for most flights, which is fantastic.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Polyester MaterialPolyester Material AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack, the AmazonBasics is comprised entirely of polyester. Although it is a typical material used in backpacks since it is lightweight, flexible, and resilient, it isn’t anything special. However, there are many more lightweight and durable materials available. Because this pack is made of polyester, it is not weather-resistant, and therefore if you’re traveling to a wetter environment, we suggest investing in a rain fly.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack BucklesThe buckles are a disaster. We’d even go so far as to claim they’re potentially harmful. These devices are tough to operate, and we’ve had our fingers trapped inside on few times.

We wish we could say something nice about this bag, but we’ll just let the complaints continue. Let’s speak about those zippers for a moment.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Broken Zipper PullAfter just two months of usage, the zipper pull on this bag has already broken. Furthermore, although the main compartment zipper is SBS—a well-known and dependable brand—the rest of the zippers are unbranded. While all of the zippers open and shut nicely, the concern here is longevity.

The bottom line is that a low-cost backpack is built of low-cost materials, and we didn’t anticipate much more. So while the broken zipper pull is inconvenient, it hasn’t compromised the bag’s overall integrity, which is basically all we can expect at this price range.

Components from Outside

Let’s get started on the exterior components by looking at the harness system.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Harness SystemThe lightweight adjustable shoulder straps are generously cushioned with polyethylene foam, allowing for a surprisingly pleasant carry. The back panel, like the shoulder straps, is softened; however, our issue is at the bottom of the rear panel. If you’re carrying a bulky item at the bottom of your bag, it’ll dig into your lower back, which isn’t ideal. However, we’ve found that when the bag is filled, and the weight is well distributed, this isn’t as much of an issue.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Sternum Strap & Hip BeltAdditionally, an adjustable sternum strap cannot be removed or disguised. It’s a little annoying since it’s constantly changing when it’s not locked in, but it’s “okay” otherwise. The pack also comes with a hip belt, but it’s rather flimsy and doesn’t do anything to assist spread the weight of your load. It is, however, removable, so you may remove it if you don’t want to wear it.

By unclipping the straps at the connection locations, all of these straps may be concealed. While we haven’t encountered any of these straps that may be buried by any issues with the clips themselves, several Adless, the concealed harness system is simple to use, if a little hefty.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Messenger Style CarryThe AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack also has a strap attachment if you carry your backpack in a messenger manner rather than on your back. This works, but it’s not our cup of tea. Nonetheless, it allows you the freedom to do what you choose.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Luggage Pass ThroughMoving on, the bag has a luggage pass-through sleeve at the rear, although we think it’s unnecessary. While there’s nothing wrong with placing a backpack on top of your roller baggage, this monster is just too large to function effectively. You probably won’t want to use this unless you’re preparing for a roller baggage marathon.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Quick-Grab HandleThere are two quick-grab handles on the top and right sides of the bag. These aren’t the finest, and they’re not very comfortable, but they’ll suffice in a pinch.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Compression StrapsOn each side of the pack are compression straps that may be used to hold a jacket or tripod in addition to compressing the bag. These do hide the zippers to some extent. However, this is a frequent occurrence on many other bags. You might even argue that they make it a little more difficult for a thief to get inside this bag.

Finally, we should point out that there is no pocket for a water bottle. It’s not a significant issue, but we’ve been missing it.

The Inside of the Pack

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Quick-Grab PocketCarry-On Travel Backpack with Quick-Grab Pocket by AmazonBasics, let’s start with the front-facing quick-grab pocket. This is convenient, however it’s rather deep, so little stuff may get lost within. Although it isn’t quite as “quick-grab” as we’d like, it’s still a handy spot to keep your passport and other travel needs.

The AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack’s front section is quite helpful, and we’ve found it to be a good fit for all of our equipment. Plus, there’s enough space for a sweater if necessary.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Front CompartmentStarting at the top, two sleeves are suitable for notepads or other similarly sized things, with a pair of pen holdStartingere are two sleeves, gigantic mesh pockets underneath this that are ideally sized for a keyboard. Still, they’re highly adaptable and can hold anything you want. Finally, the flap of this compartment has a sleeve. We struggled to use this area, but it is available if you need it.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Clamshell Main CompartmentThe main compartment, on the other hand, has a clamshell design that opens like a suitcase, making packing a breeze. We utilized the gigantic mesh pocket on the left to store the hip belt and messenger strap when not in use. Then, there’s a big bucket for you to fill on the right. There are two internal compression straps here to hold things together. However, packing cubes are a better way to arrange and compartmentalize this area. They’ll also keep your luggage from becoming a jumble of wrinkled clothing.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Expandable ZipperThe external compression zipper along the side of the pack may also be used to extend the main compartment. This will give the pack an extra 2 inches of depth, allowing you to put more items within. Again, this is fine if you’re truly trying to pack as much as possible, but we found the bag to be much too unwieldy in this form, and we’d highly advise keeping it compacted if at all possible.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Laptop CompartmentFinally, the bag has a huge pocket in the rear that can fit a 17-inch laptop. There’s a lot of padding and a lot of space here, but it’s a little misleading since whatever you put in here will start to eat into the main compartment’s capacity. If the bag is completely packed, this is an issue since it makes it impossible to put the laptop inside. If you have any extra space in the laptop compartment, it’s an excellent spot to put flatter things or papers.

Testing & Durability

AmazonBasics Slim Travel Backpack Weekender At Gatwick Airport, LondonAt Gatwick Airport in London, AmazonBasics Slim Travel Backpack Weekender. We’ve been using the AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack for three months at the time of this review. It’s been spotted in use all throughout the UK and on a trip to Porto, Portugal. While we can say that this pack will contain a lot of goods and get you from point A to point B, there are a few durability problems and reasons to be concerned.

The zippers were the first problem we encountered. One of them flew off the main compartment as we were loading the bag, which is never a good indication. While the zippers are still functional, they are getting more difficult to trust as we use this device.

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack Loose Threads & TearsFurthermore, there are several loose threads throughout the pack, and the seams in the front compartment are beginning to rip. Unfortunately, this is just going to become worse with time, and it’s not a promising harbinger of things to come.

We know—and you should, too, if you’ve read this far—that the AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack won’t last forever, but it should at least get you through a trip overseas. And, let’s face it, at roughly $50, what else can you expect?

AmazonBasics Carry-On Travel Backpack In Porto, PortugalEvery time we load this bag, it still seems like a risk. When you hold a sturdy bag in your hands, you receive a sense of security, knowing that nothing will go wrong on your journey. However, there is a cost. We can’t say we got that vibe from this set, which is expected. However, given that this bag costs around a fourth of a mid-to-high-tier travel backpack, it may be an excellent alternative for budget travelers.

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