The eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender convertible junior travel backpack weighs in at just three pounds and offers excellent organization. It features a large carry capacity at fifty-four liters and is expandable. It’s a suitable choice for a wide range of applications from international travel to short weekend trips around town.
For the type of capacity and storage options this pack offers, the price is more than reasonable. We enjoyed taking this pack out for a test spin and loved how accessible our belongings were and how easy this pack is to store when you’re on a bus, train, or in the air.
Mother Lode Weekender Travel Backpack Assessment and Features
When you first come across the Mother Lode, you may think it looks like a suitcase with straps. This pack offers massive carry capacity at around fifty-four liters, which makes it bigger than its top competitor, Venture Pal Travel Backpack.
The pack opens just like a suitcase, so it’s easy to access your clothes and other gear. Aside from the main compartment, you’ll also find a small compartment located on the front of the pack designed for holding all your small items such as keys, phone, and phone charger.
The pack’s rectangular shape allows it to meet all of the carry-on requirements, despite the fact that this pack is very large.
At the back of the pack, you’ll find a laptop compartment. This spot lets you quickly slide your laptop in and out when you’re going through airport security.
Because the pack doesn’t come with an internal frame, it’s very light. Unlike backpacks that aren’t specifically designed for travel, this model offers features that are tailored to meet the needs of the traveler, including stowaway straps and lockable zippers.
This backpack is made out of a sturdy polyester and is not water resistant. It features multiple straps and carry points. The retractable straps tuck away and zip up into the back section. In the main compartment, you’ll find a divider, which can help with organization. We also liked the organizer area and the easily accessible front pockets. Obviously, plenty of thought went into this design. This pack was definitely designed with the needs of the frequent flyer in mind.
The pack’s front top pocket can expand into the larger compartment located below, which makes it really handy for storing anything you want fast access to. The front zippered pocket is also ideal for storing important small items that you’ll need quick access to.
In the laptop compartment, you’ll find an adjustable sling instead of a dedicated laptop sleeve. However, the sling is highly adjustable and actually provides a nice snug fit during travel. The compartment for the laptop is pretty huge, so you can easily fit a seventeen-inch laptop no problem.
Weekender Junior Pros and Cons
Pros: We have to admit, this model is probably the best pack to use to store your laptop when you travel. This model is geared towards people who spend a lot of time on the road. We found it to be very versatile and able to handle a lot of wear and tear.
This pack comes in eight color options including turquoise, red, graphite, green, eggplant, indigo, blue, and black.
Using the nylon separator that can be clipped up to make a couple of compartments, you’ll really get a ton of use out of the main compartment area. The mesh zippered internal compartment is perfect for stashing your dirty laundry, while the expandable water bottle pockets fold up nicely when not in use.
Overall, we were really taken aback by how much this little backpack can carry. It’s reasonably comfortable, however, we wouldn’t recommend it for a hiking trip. But it makes catching your plane and heading off to your next adventure super easy since this bag can fit nicely into any overhead bin.
Cons: Some consumers just weren’t impressed with the overall look and design of this travel pack, finding it too bland and boxy. While the lack of an internal frame works to make this pack much lighter, it can also make it difficult to carry for long periods of time. The pack comes with a removable hip belt, however, it’s almost useless because it’s so thin and doesn’t come with any padding. The shoulder straps are padded and feel comfortable initially, but if you have a full pack you’ll really start to notice the weight after you’ve been wearing the pack for an hour or more. If you fill the pack to capacity with just clothing, it can weigh around thirty pounds. Basically, this backpack is just begging for a padded hip belt that can help ease the burden a little, although without an internal frame we don’t think that a heavy-duty hip belt would help that much.