I admire people who travel light but I’m both too myopic and too attached to my toiletries to fly with hand luggage only. I find the regulations on liquids in flight hand luggage confusing. I’m certain that a trip’s worth of my daily disposable contact lenses (which are individually sealed in liquid-filled pouches) along with the pots of industrial-strength moisturiser and sun cream my ageing skin requires would exceed the prescribed limits. And what about make-up? I’m sure my pouches and pots would never all fit into one of those regulation airport plastic bags anyway. So I always check-in a suitcase full of potions, lotions, lenses and clobber, half of which I won’t use, as well as taking hand luggage on to the plane.
The hand luggage has to be big enough to take the various bits and bobs I want with me, small enough to meet the airline’s size restrictions, light and squishy enough to fit into the plane’s overhead lockers. For the last year I’ve been using a small suitcase as hand luggage but find it very un-squishy. It’s also awkward to get things in and out of while travelling – I don’t want random strangers to see the contents of my bag when I open it up to find something. So I was pleased when traveloutdoors.co.uk sent me a soft, grey-green Lowe Alpine TT Roll On 40 Wheeled Backpack to review, just in time for our family trip to Florida.
The bag is cleverly designed so that you can either wear it as a backpack or use the extendable handle to wheel it along, which I did. The backpack shoulder straps are cunningly tucked out of sight behind a zipped panel unless you want to use them. It’s a 40 litre bag so I easily fitted in my handbag, iPad, notebook, magazines, glamorous flight socks and everything else I needed for the journey. It also has several zippy compartments to put things in so that everything doesn’t end up in a jumble. When I put it into the overhead locker on our BA flight it squished in nicely, although the wheeled part at the bottom of the bag is rigid. It seems very well-made and looks like it will last a long time. Overall it’s a great cabin bag and I’ll definitely use it again.
Updated 2017: The Lowe Alpine TT Roll-On 40 seems to have been replaced by the Lowe Alpine AT Roll-On 40, which looks even better.