Saving time and money: Traveling hand luggage only with my new Cabin Zero bag
You can get some great cheap deals on flights nowadays but the catch is that often most budget airlines charge extra for checking in baggage. If you want to keep traveling cheap and hassle free then traveling hand baggage only makes sense as it saves money and time as you don’t have to arrive at the airport so early to check in your bags and then wait for them at the other end or worry about it getting lost.
So its not surprisingly that many people are choosing to travel hand luggage only. The downside to this is that you have to be organised and super choosy to keep your packing to a minimum. Usually this is easy enough to do, especially if traveling to a warm country. Most of my clothes are what you could call a capsule wardrobe – most things are black and everything I pick to take has to go with many different items. See here for more tips on traveling hand luggage only.
I’ve been traveling hand luggage only for ages but often get worried that my bag will be larger than the dimensions allowed by the airlines and that I’ll get hit with a large fee so when Cabin Zero asked me if I wanted to test out one of their specially designed cabin bags I jumped at the chance.
Cabin Zero – the carry on luggage specialists
Cabin Zero is a British brand who specialise in making lightweight, quality carry on sized luggage. They ship worldwide.
Cabin Zero make a range of cabin sized bags between 28 and 44L. They are all lightweight but made from strong, durable materials and come with a 10 year warranty which is extended to 25 years warranty if you like the Cabin Zero Facebook page.
They also feature a built in global tracker, powered by Okoban and YKK lockable zippers for security. They also have cabin cubes which I’d like to try out as they help keep your bag more organised.
My Review of traveling hang luggage only with Cabin Zero
The bag I have is the Cabin Zero Classic 44L Ultra Light Cabin Bag in Lipe Blue! I love the pale turquoise and hot pink colour scheme and its perfect as its named after Koh Lipe, an island in Thailand, and I was also heading to the Thai islands!
It costs £60 and the classic range comes in loads of cool colours. The bag weighs approx. 760 grams /1.7lbs (most other bags of similar size and price weigh about 3.5lbs so it’s a noticeable difference) It’s made from waterproof polyester and the dimensions are 55 x 40 x 20 cm.
Cabin Zero’s bags are specially designed to fit the carry on size requirements for even Europe’s most stingy budget airlines (ie Ryan Air) so you can avoid paying expensive fees to check in your luggage. At 2lbs and under, these backpacks are lightweight. Many similarly priced/sized bags weight 3.5lbs so it’s a noticeable difference.
The bag is sturdy and well made and fits more than I imagined inside – while still keeping within the dimesions required by the arilines. There is a large main pocket, 2 smaller zipped pockets on the inside and a back pocket perfect for a laptop. There is also a large zipped pocket on the front of the bag and actually this is where I choose to put my laptop as it was easier to get it out at security.
Unlike most of the other backpacks I’ve had in the past this bag looks stylish enough for being in the city instead of looking too ‘outdoorsy’. So you don’t stand out like a typical tourist or backpacker.
There is some light padding on the back of the bag and the straps are well padded and there are also 2 handles so you can also carry the bag more like a briefcase if you don’t want to carry it on your back.
Another thing I love is that it is front loading which means it has zips all around the front which makes it so much easier and more convenient to get things out of the bag instead of only being able to get your stuff out from the top of the bag which normally means you have to take everything out of your bag every time you need to find one thing – its so annoying!
Things to be aware of
The only thing I was missing was some front straps like a waist belt which makes carrying the load of a bag all day much more comfortable and easier on the bag. With only my clothes in the bag it wasn’t too heavy but with the laptop, camera, power banks, hard drives etc it became a little uncomfortable after a while. Cabin Zeros military range has waist straps and are a little tougher so if you intend to be carrying the pack for a long time then that one might be better for you but it only comes in black, camel or khaki colours. Check out the Savvy Backpacker’s review of the military bag here.
This bag is perfect for long weekends away and even weeks of traveling. I am using this bag for a 6 week trip around Thailand and Nepal and I have just enough space for all my clothes, toiletries, electronics etc and its great because I can take advnatge of the low cost carrier flights in Asia, I saved money by not having to check in a bag and its nice not to have a heavy bag to carry around in the heat.
However if your trip is longer than a couple of weeks or you are visiting colder countries or going to experience lots of different climates then you may struggle to go hand luggage only and may need to opt for a larger backpack of around 60L. But then it depends on how good/minimalistic/organised you are at packing – I’m not that good to be honest!
Another thing to be aware of is that some airlines don’t just go by the size of the cabin baggage but also weigh the bag. Air Asia have a limit of 7kg – I had packed my bag pretty full but luckily I took my laptop out of the bag before checking on so it came under the weight limit of 7kg but with the laptop inside it would have been overweight so make sure you check with the airline if they have a weight limit for cabin baggage to avoid any surprise nasty fees.
Overall I love my new Cabin Zero bag – it’s stylish, there are loads of cool colours to choose from, its lightweight but sturdy and well made and I can fit loads in it and it saves me time and money at the airport.
If you fancy a Cabin Zero bag for yourself then go to www.cabinzero.com to find your perfect hand luggage only bag!
Disclosure: Cabin Zero kindly provided me with a complimentary bag to try out but all views and opinions are my own.