Did they really have to give this back such a long ridiculous name? Probably not, but we'll forgive them because they have truly created the best suitcase in the land.
At first glance you might overlook this bag. What makes this plain looking bag so great?
The problem with most carry on luggage is that it's too small for more than a weekend trip. If I'm spending $279 on a bag, I'd better be able to use it on long trips as well as short trips. The Switchback 22 gets around this issue by combining two bags. They took a suitcase that was the largest allowed by every airline, and then attached a good sized backpack to the front of it.
The backpack attaches via zippers and optional tie down straps in case you have it packed with bricks or something. The two bags combined work perfectly as one. There are large wheels, a good retractable handle, and even ANOTHER backpack support system on the main suitcase. You unzip this compartment and a heavy duty harness thing comes out and lets you carry the whole contraption as a giant backpack. Whoa! I used this feature all the time while navigating the subways of Japan. The locals stared at me running up and down stairs with this huge suitcase and backpack on my back, but it was actually rather comfortable.
Once you get on the plane (or before if they give you crap for having too big of a bag), you just detach the backpack and put the suitcase in the overhead compartment.
The other great thing about the backpack is that now whenever you travel, you also have a backpack that you can use for hikes, camping, going into the city, or staying at a friend's place.
Both bags can hold their own independently. The suitcase has a flat front pocket as well as the main compartment. Within the main compartment there is the usual mesh section on the opening flap as well as a compression webbing to press the air out of your clothes and maximize space.
The backpack has a main area that has a cool compartment for electronics right near the top. The inside is made of felt, so you don't have to worry about things getting scratched. The way the main compartment opens is really cool, but hard to describe. It unzips all the way to give you full access, but has guards on the sides so that everything doesn't fall out. It also has a smaller front compartment with all sorts of little pockets for keys, tickets, etc. It just happens to be the exact right size to hold my Libretto laptop. On the sides of the backpack are these neat zip out water bottle holders. I don't really like bottled water, so I kept my MP3 player in one.
If you're in the market for a new suitcase, or even if you're not, you should definitely check this bag out. It's extremely durable and has a lifetime warranty, so it will likely be the last suitcase you ever buy.
Get yours at Amazon.
I used to have a bit of an obsession with Zero Halliburton luggage. Look familiar? That's because bad guys in all the movies use the briefcases to hold their money and bombs. Over the years I kept buying these things, and usually traveled with a huge 26" suitcase as well as a matching computer case.
I still really like my Zero Halliburton suitcases, but they're somewhat unweildy. Two day trips don't require a hectare of packing real estate.
Plus, there was the allure of the carry-on only passenger. I never really understood how it worked before. How do people carry everything in such small suitcases? Is it really that much more convenient? What's so bad about checking bags? I was curious.
In this article I will be sharing my techniques to save you time and enable you to be more spontaneous.
Setting yourself up initially will require an investment of several hours, but the rewards make it well worth it. These rewards include greater freedom to do what you want when you want to do it, adding hours to your life each week by eliminating the time and effort that you'd otherwise spend preparing on the spot, a sense of security knowing that you will rarely be caught unprepared, and a sense of gratification and pride when you have the tools you need on hand for an array of opportunities.