Best backpack for travel

Or, ‘the most serendipitous item I brought with me on the trip.’

The ‘On Pack’ by On Running, ready to board our flight to Munich.

Don’t you just love when you have the right tool for the job?  There is something so satisfying to me each time I pull out my prescription running sunglasses before a run, or my immersion blender to make mayonnaise, or even my sleep mask to go to bed at night.  Each of those items make the task at hand easier and more enjoyable.

About a month before our trip to Sicily, my husband and I were walking in Old Town Alexandria and I spied a bag in the window of a specialty running store.  As a runner, the store caught my eye, but not needing any new shoes or gear, I figured we could pass it up.  However, I’m like a raccoon with blue/teal things, and it didn’t take much encouragement from Andrew to get me in the door.

The bag turned out to be the ‘On Pack’ by On Running.  I was familiar with the brand but didn’t yet own any of their products. I was intrigued by the shape and size of the bag, and even more intrigued when I saw that it could be adjusted to be worn as either a tote bag or a book bag!  There are even handy graphics on the inside that remind you how to place the straps for each style.

All suited up for travel: big bag on the back, day bag on the front.

Being able to change from tote to backpack, in my opinion, is GENIUS.  Especially for travel.  When we go on our big trips, I need a day bag that is functional yet stylish.  It needs to be large enough for a jacket and water bottle at the very least, yet not too bulky.  In the past, I’ve used everything from messenger bags to small hiking daypacks, but this bag was by far the best one. For example, I have a lightweight hiking backpack, but it’s pretty sporty-looking, doesn’t hold its shape well if not filled to the brim, and not really appropriate for, say, going out to dinner.

Wearing the On Pack as a tote with the top folded over.

Most days, I wore the bag as a book bag and gave the extra shoulder strap a knot at the top for a little extra security.  Occasionally I used it as a tote bag, and it was easy to change between the two functions at any time.  In fact, when used as a tote without folding the top over makes the bag quite large, if you need a little extra room to carry more stuff.  This bag held all our breakable ceramic souvenirs on the plane rides home, and everything arrived safe and sound.

Note: This is not an ad.  I was not compensated in any way for saying nice things about the On Pack. I just really liked it!

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