Reviewers say the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on suitcase/backpack is a good value, and many travelers say this type of luggage is better than rolling luggage because it's lighter and provides more packable space. Made from water-resistant recycled polyester, this 3-pound bag has two handles and converts to a backpack with tuck-away straps. An optional padded shoulder strap (*Est. $17) is also available. The bag carries a lifetime warranty, but accidental damage isn't covered. Among nonwheeled carry-on bags, the eBags Weekender eTech Convertible (*Est. $60) gets better reviews overall. If you prefer a rolling bag, consider the inexpensive L.L.Bean Rolling Adventure Duffle, size medium (Est. $35 to $110).
We found an excellent comparison review of the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on in the San Francisco Chronicle, where travel editor John Flinn compares it with other bags of the same style. Owners provide detailed ratings and comments at eBags.com and Amazon.com. The About.com guide to European travel reviews the wheeled version of the Rick Steves bag, with several comments that also apply to the backpack.
1. San Francisco Chronicle
Travel editor John Flinn recommends carry-on bags that can convert into backpacks. He prefers them to rolling luggage because they're lighter, hold more and provide better freedom of movement. Among bags of this type, he names the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on bag as the easiest to pack.
Review: Rating Carry-on Luggage, John Flinn, May 4, 2008
More than 300 users review the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on at the eBags.com retail site, giving it an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Users find it spacious, lightweight and well organized, though a few say it is uncomfortable to carry. We also read some complaints about its durability.
Review: Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On, Contributors to eBags.com, As of April 2012
About 45 owners review the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on here, giving it a 4.5-star cumulative rating out of 5 and saying it's roomy, well organized and easy to pack. There are a few complaints about durability (zippers in particular), and a couple of users say the bag won't fit in overhead bins when full.
Review: Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2012
James Martin, About.com's guide to European travel, recommends a rolling bag made by Rick Steves for its affordable quality and excellent organization. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Rick Steves Roll- Aboard Carry On Bag Review, James Martin, Not dated