Introducing My Perfect Carry-On!

Review of the High Sierra Free Wheel Backpack.

Luggage is critical to the success of a trip. Really. If it is great, you don’t even notice it but if it sucks, well that’s all you do notice. Ok I might exaggerate a tad but come on, you gotta agree it is up there in the top 10.

Granted, as anyone who has been reading my blog, I am a bit obsessed with luggage, constantly tweaking my system and almost always buying a new piece with each trip in the effort to achieve perfection. I often stop strangers on the street to ask them about their luggage. What follows is what I find crucial for a carry-on bag.

My carry-on has been a source of frustration for me but I do believe I have hit the nail on the head with the High Sierra Free Wheel Backpack. It has hit all the important elements:

  • It has good corner mounted wheels, quiet and strong, they won’t be letting you down anytime soon.
  • The hideaway telescoping handle is strong, none of that wimpy cheap metal that threatens to come off in your hand.
  • Multiple pockets so that you are not looking for your stuff in one black pit, making organizing much easier.
  • At 20.5″ × 13.5″ × 8″ it is big enough to be used as a weekender but small enough that it fits with ease into the overhead on a plane. At 5’2”, trying to jam a big bag in over my head is a recipe for disaster. Accidents happen.
  • Fabric is strong, in the company’s words, “Duralite® Ripstop, Waffle Weave, 600-denier Duralite®”. That puppy isn’t going to tear anytime soon!
  • The price isn’t exorbitant, High Sierra’s web site lists it at $160cdn but marked down to $79.99cdn. Not too high for peace of mind. And you won’t have to keep buying a new one for every trip.
  • There are padded shoulder straps that tuck behind a zippered pocket. Just in case you hit extreme road conditions like cobblestones.
  • It sits like a well trained dog. It doesn’t fall over because the brilliant people at High Sierra thoughtfully put in a bottom plate so that it never tips over. Unlike my checked luggage which sprawl in airports like a drunken sailor. It also has corner guards and a kick plate to protect the bag from abrasion.
  • Ok, that's an option.

    Ok, that’s an option.

    aaaaIt looks spiffy, coming in lots of interesting variations, like the bright blue with zebra design inserts…hmmmm. I chose the solid olive green colour with the reflective piping highlights. Understated, it says the owner likes to travel on the edge, well maybe a few feet from the edge. LOL

It has gone on one trip and has exceeded expectations, performing like a rock star! I feel like I have found the perfect carry-on bag. Now all I need is the perfect checked bag. This is a darn good bag and will serve you well where ever you go.

8 thoughts on “Introducing My Perfect Carry-On!

  1. Will keep this in mind for next purchase. My current carry-on probably only got 7/10 on ur list. I especially like the pocket idea but the danger is overstuffin…always.


  2. Thanks for this post, I am searching for a new carry on – gave mine to a friend that visited and needed an additional bag to go home with all her loot. I’ll have a good look at this one!


  3. I am a bit obsessed with luggage too, ifound the best checked luggage was a case with 4 wheels, it is much lighter to push it along beside you and mid sized so you cant over fill it. For carry on i have found 2 bags works or me, a largish shouder bag or small back ack that goes under the seat and a small light bag for the overhead, i am jst under 5ft 2 also so get what you mean about overhead lockers, smaller and lighter works for meand the safety f those round me.


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