I go somewhere on a plane at least twice a month. For over ten years I’ve used a Briggs & Riley roller carry-on, and I’ve been fairly happy with it. It’s heavy for its small size and the zipper pulls all broke off (I made replacements from binder clips and Sugru) so I’ve been keeping my eye out for a replacement. After hearing great things about the accessibility and capacity of the Skooba Weekender duffle, I decided to give it a try. It turned out the be the most convenient carry-on I’ve ever used.
Measuring 18"L X 12"H X 11"D this boxy duffle features a capacious central container that holds a week’s worth of clothing plus my large toiletries case. The exterior is micro-ballistic nylon. Around the four sides of the main storage container are zipper pockets. One is a reinforced laptop pocket (designed for laptops up to 15"). Another is meant for iPad-sized tablets and contains a mesh pouch for cables. Another side pocket is good for my AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case. The fourth pocket has small pouches and a zipper mesh pouch that’s perfect for pens, notebooks, and other goodies.
Recently, I took the Weekender on an overnight trip to Chicago. It doesn’t have wheels, so I was concerned it would be a pain to haul around. As a test, I walked 2.5 miles from the metro station to my hotel. The reinforced shoulder strap was excellent, and I was comfortable carrying it. Every 1/2 mile or so I would switch the strap to my other shoulder.
Emboldened by the experiment, I took the Weekender on a 5-day business trip to Tokyo and it performed terrifically. The central container was large enough to hold all my clothes plus a bunch of souvenirs, and I quickly memorized which side pockets held which gear, making it easy to retrieve and replace stuff without digging through clothing.
On my recent 12-day trip to Europe I used my beat-up Briggs & Riley, but from now on, any trip under a week is going to be with the Skooba.
The video below provides a nice overview of the Weekender’s compartments. — Mark Frauenfelder