Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack: A Surprisingly Good Pack for Team “Carry-On”!

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Note: Standard Luggage provided this backpack free of charge so I could write about it. The words and ideas in this article are my own and have not been approved by Standard Luggage. 

If you are interested in this backpack, it can be purchased directly from Standard for $179 or via Amazon for $189.

Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack Overview & Impressions

When Standard Luggage reached out to me to ask if I wanted to try out their pack, I have to admit I was skeptical. I receive pitches all of the time for “free stuff” and generally never have any use for the product so I decline. In this case I was intrigued, because I actually have been using a direct competitor (Osprey Porter 46) for many years now. Could Standard’s Carry-on Backpack actually be a good replacement for that?

Getting the Pack

My backpack arrived from Standard just a couple of days after the order was placed. It came in a somewhat compact package and included the actual pack along with the shoulder and waist straps and the company’s unique accent pieces. These pieces come in blue and orange and are easily interchangeable.

Versatile Pack

Before I get into my experiences, I want to cover some of what Standard believes makes this backpack stand out. First, it has a 3-in-1 design. It can be a backpack, a suitcase or a shoulder bag depending on how you configure it. Let’s be honest though. If you are buying this pack then you probably plan to carry it on your back most of the time so I’ll approach this overview talking about it as a pack.

Some of the other important Standard Luggage Carry-on Backpack features are below:

  • Slim carry-on design
  • 6 points of adjustablity on the pack plus padded back ventilation to keep you cool
  • Dedicated laptop pocket with included laptop sleeve
  • Roll aboard strap to attach to suitcases with a handle
  • Lockable zippers
  • 10L expandable zipper
  • Raincover included
  • Organization pouches with see-through mesh


My Experiences with the Pack

I got the Standard Luggage carry-on backpack right before a big road trip where I spent several days on the road through New England and the Midwest which included a lot of hotel hopping. Immediately I enjoyed the extra space this bag has compared to the Osprey. I find the rounded edges on the Osprey along with the location of its laptop pouch make it feel much smaller than the Standard Luggage carry-on backpack.

In fact, it was spacious enough that I took the Standard Luggage carry-on backpack on two more trips immediately afterwards. It spent the weekend with me at Walt Disney World for the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and then a week or so with me in Washington DC for a conference. I was able to carry all of the clothes and shoes needed for these trips with room to spare.

Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack
My Standard Luggage Carry-on Backpack holding a Six Flags water bottle at the airport.

Carry-On Backpack Good & Bad

Saying that I took this backpack on 3 trips instead of the planned 1 is huge. I travel A LOT and my gear list is pretty locked in. Obviously I really did fall in love with this bag, however it isn’t perfect. Here are some of the best and worst parts of the Standard Luggage carry-on backpack.

The Good

Very large – This backpack is almost squared off so it fits the maximum amount of stuff it can in its small frame. I have been able to take an incredible amount of stuff on board without checking a bag thanks to this backpack.

Comfortable to Wear – This backpack is large and square and thus doesn’t look all that comfortable, however I can say it is fine to wear on your back. I have carried it around enough now to confirm that the design supports the weight and doesn’t leave you with a backache. I wouldn’t go hike the Appalachian Trail with it, but for getting around it is fine.

Well Thought Out – The other thing I really love about this backpack are all of the storage areas. The laptop is both easy to get to, but also hidden away in the back. There are compartments up top so you don’t need to go into the main compartment and of course there is additional organization on the inside. You’ll also find compression straps, making it feel more like a suitcase at times.

Good Materials – The materials used on the Standard Luggage carry-on backpack are top notch. While the black can get a little dirty as expected, it holds up well. The zippers and all other connectors are made of very strong material.

Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack
Here is how the pack looks on my back while empty. It puffs up a bit more when full.

The Not So Good

Aesthetics – I get it. Standard set out to create the most versatile carry-on size backpack and they might have just done that. Unfortunately it isn’t the prettiest. Unlike the Osprey with its rounded corners (which cut space) and attractive design, this backpack looks more like a suitcase strapped to your back. I never minded wearing it in public, but it wasn’t exactly the prettiest thing.

The Orange/Blue Accents – I actually like the idea of these interchangeable accents and have used both colors. Unfortunately, the Standard Luggage tag is also interchangeable via velcrow, and my daughter has already taken off the tag and lost it twice. At one point I had a blue tag with orange everything else until I found where she hid it!


The Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack can be purchased in the following ways:

Standard Luggage Carry-On Backpack
The Standard Luggage carry-on backpack fully extended and stuffed! It still fit easily in the carry-on compartment.

Standard Luggage Carry-on Backpack – My Plan Going Forward

So bottom line, I will continue to use this bag going forward, but not all of the time. I don’t really like checking luggage nor do I care much for big suitcases, so this backpack fits in my lineup perfectly. For quicker trips where I need less stuff I’ll probably stick with my Osprey which is a bit more compact.

If I am on a longer trip where I need more space and won’t be carrying the bag all of the time then the Standard Luggage bag is the choice. For very long term trips where the backpack is going to get carried A LOT, I would choose something else.

Bottom Line

The Standard Luggage carry-on backpack surprised me. While it isn’t the most attractive backpack to carry around, it is more than functional while adding in some great features and even a little comfort. Overall it is a great premium product and one that I am glad to have in my travel arsenal going forward.

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. I am now retired, but during my career, starting in the late 70’s, I have traveled millions of butt in the seat miles. Those were the days before the wheeled luggage and you carried your luggage in your hand, on your shoulders, or on your back. You would sling those heavy things into those upper bins on planes. I started having chronic back pain and would never have thought the shoulder luggage and things on my back were the problem. However, once wheeled luggage came about, all those chronic back pains went away. No more odd loads on the shoulder or odd loads on the spine. I will now rarely hang anything on my shoulders or back. The bigger they make that back pack, the greater the lever action on your lower back. It is just a matter of physics. Go back to the wheeled luggage and your back when you are 65 will thank you.

    • Thanks Byron. Good perspective. I do think packs are better at being ergonomic than before, but as I get older I do use a regular wheeled suitcase more often. It is hard to shake my roots as a backpacker though! 🙂

  2. Check out the Aer Travel Pack 2, it comes in a standard and smaller size and looks way better than that thing. I’ve easily done overnights all the way up to a 5 day long weekend with it no problem.

    • That is a nice looking pack and it looks very useful, but it is only 33 liters. This pack is over 25% larger when fully expanded which to me is the real reason to have it. I don’t plan on using this pack where I have to carry it on my back for long periods of time, but instead as a de-facto suitcase that is also easy to strap on.

      I think the Aer Travel Pack 2 compares pretty nicely to my Osprey as well, although it comes in a little smaller. I do agree it is an attractive pack.


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