I have been looking for a decent replacement for my Rick Steves convertible. My requirements:
- carry on size in its unexpanable state, something around 9x14x22
- around a 2-3" expansion zipper
- backpack straps and waist belt that hide inside
I bought the RS bag about 3-4 years ago,m I started patching the worn spots about 2-3 years ago and now two of the zippers are starting to fail. I love the way it functions but need something more durable, the bag goes on a 2-3 week trip twice a year with transportatin being anything to include motorcycles, boats, trains, buses, etc. I have a separate tote for under my feet on the plane that holds by laptop, reading material, and other "keep at hand" items. I want expandable for bringing home all of my shopping loot. I travel light and do carryon on the way out, then expand the bag for all of my purchases and check the bag on the way home. I carry breakables on the plane.
I have ruled out another RS bag (not durable) and the eBags Motherlode; the eBag is smaller than the RS bag even though their website says it is larger - they lie! So I looked at: Red Oxx Sky Train, MEI Silver Streak, Tom Bihn Aeronaut and TriStar. The only bag expandable is the Silver streak but I have no desire for the daypack. Are there any other bags out there that meet my needs? Any suggestions?