Travelers love this wheeled carry-on backpack

I have a lot of childhood memories growing up as the daughter of an airline pilot, like sleeping in an airport to catch the first flight and finding the right “90s rev-free” outfit to wear on the plane. Many of my memories revolve around the destinations my family visited with our standby privileges, but literally everything of my memories involve a single piece of luggage: my mother’s rolling backpack.

For more than 30 years of travel, my mom swore by the same (now discontinued) Skyway Luggage rolling backpack she bought in the 90s—the secret two-in-one bag that helped her pack light all these years and be hands free on the go. After four continents and decades of wear and tear, she finally decided to upgrade. It’s hard to imagine anything can compare to this trusty bag—that is, until you find the eBags Mother Lode Rolling Backpack and feel right at home.

eBags Mother Lode Rolling Travel Backpack

Electronic bags

Just like its old Skyway bag, this 21.8-inch by 15-inch by 10.5-inch eBags rolling backpack transforms into a rollboard by simply detaching and stowing the back straps and weighs less than 10 pounds when carried. The bag has enough external compartments to store charging cables, snacks, socks or anything you need for a comfortable flight, and the bag is often small enough to fit under the seat (although all airlines are different, so it may not fits under all seats ) thanks to four external compression straps that help tighten things up.

“Since they don’t make the one I bought 30 years ago, I’ve been on the hunt ever since for the perfect bag to replace it, and this is the closest I could find,” said frequent flyer Betty Jo Brown, wife of the pilot and my mother. “Now I love this one because it holds everything I need for an overnight stay and has room for things I’ll need while on the plane… I even like how this bag looks more like a backpack than my other one. ”

Travel + leisure / Christy Alpert

Why does my mom who travels a lot trust a rollaway backpack? Checking a bag was a luxury that our family often didn’t waste time with while we were traveling on standby, as it meant that a bag could end up at a destination we weren’t if we didn’t end up getting on the flight. This meant having everything we needed for an overnight trip on us, and in my mother’s case, on our backs.

“We had to be ready to take any available space and our bags fit in any available space,” my mother told me. “I always liked that this rollboard was considered a backpack and also fit under the plane seat just like a regular backpack. To this day, flight attendants always tell me how much they appreciate me traveling so light and not having to take up overhead space.”

eBags Mother Lode Rolling Travel Backpack

Electronic bags

The eBags backpack also has many other smart features that she loves. The telescoping handle has two bars, which has become a necessity for my mom, who raves about the stability it offers, noting that it really comes in handy when she’s running through an airport…which she still does, even as she approaches her mid-60s. the . The zippered side pocket is large enough to hold a 32-ounce water bottle, but she uses it as an easy-to-access pouch for in-flight essentials like slippers and charging cables.

“Flexibility has always been key to the way our family travels,” she told me. “That’s why I love this bag so much. You don’t know it’s a backpack, for example. She explained that the backpack’s straps can be hidden so it looks like a small rollboard, which is what she mainly uses it for. “But if I ever have more luggage than I can handle, I just unzip the backpack part and put it on my back, then I have an extra arm.”

eBags Mother Lode Rolling Travel Backpack

Electronic bags

Now as a professional traveler, I see the genius in my mom’s packing skills and travel style. She could get in and out of airplane seats, lounges, taxis, whatever, with ease. She’s the most low-maintenance traveler I’ve ever met, and yet with this magical rolling backpack she’s managed to fit both typical overnight essentials like a change of clothes, pyjamas, curling irons, products and medicine, but she’s also somehow managed to fit a full-sized robe and slippers in his secret backpack.

“I can only fit as much as possible in my rolling backpack for the night and for the plane,” she told me. “I always bring my bathrobe, which is my alternate blanket on the plane, and my socks in case my feet get cold. I even used my bathrobe as a pillow and my coat as a blanket.

So even though my pilot father is the one who taught me about “big picture travel” – ie. geography, safety, historical sites, etc. – my mom taught me everything I know about packing. She was the one who taught me how to roll my clothes to fit more in a bag, and the one who taught me the trick of packing everything in a carry-on when my dad said, “Pack your bags for Rome and Hawaii and we’ll see which flight we’ll get on” — and all thanks to this one sturdy backpack.

Take it from my frequent traveler mom, who now travels more than ever: the eBags Mother Lode Rolling Travel Backpack is the smartest play for carry-on-only travel. It’s even on sale for 25 percent off right now, so I suggest you grab one for yourself to see what all the fuss is about—you might just have it for the next 30 years.

More roller backpacks that shoppers love:

Samsonite Ecodiver Carry on Convertible Wheeled Duffel Backpack


Rockland Double Handle Backpack


Matein 17″ Rolling Backpack


JanSport Driver 8 Detachable Backpack and Computer Bag


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