The eBags Mother Lode Junior is a popular, inexpensive travel backpack, that’s often on sale for under $100. It has a simple design, carry on size dimensions, with a ton of great features!
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eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior
Cost: $129.99Capacity: 41.6 liters Dimensions: 19.5″x14”x9” (7.7 x 5.4 x 3.5cm) Style: Clamshell Travel Backpack Weight: 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) Laptop: 17.5” laptopMaterials: 840 Denier polyester, YKK and eBags brand hardwareOrigin: Manufactured in China
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The eBags Mother Lode Junior is a popular, inexpensivetravel backpack, that’s often on sale for under $100. It has a simple design,carry on size dimensions, with a ton of great features!
Materials, Colors, and Size
The Weekender Junior is made from a combination of 840denier polyester, with 900 denier accents on the bottom, where the bag gets themost wear. It’s an untreated material, so this bag is not going to bewaterproof.
I’ve mentioned before that ounce for ounce, polyester fabric isn’t as strong as nylon. However when you’re talking about a high denier like on this bag, it doesn’t make much of a difference in strength, and actually helps reduce the price of the backpack.
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Zippers and Hardware
They provide locking zippers on 3 of the compartments, the main compartment, the front organizational pocket, and this small top pouch. But mysteriously, there is no double locking zipper on the laptop compartment. However they do provide a small metal ring, that you can secure to the zipper using a small carabiner. But this doesn’t really provide as much security as the locking zippers do.
The Weekender Junior here, is the smaller cousin the fullsize Weekender, which is a max-sized 22”x14”x9” bag. They have the exact samelayout, width and depth dimensions, but the Junior is about 2.5 inches shorter,and about 12 liters smaller in capacity.
They are both designed to be carry on size for a majority of airlines, with the Junior measuring in at 19.5″ x 14″ x 9″ and holding about 41.5 liter capacity.External Components
There is a large pocket on the top here, with a lockable zipper, which is easily big enough for a camera. As well as a small front slash pocket, which is good for non-valuables. This front organizational compartment has several smaller, zippered pockets inside of it. But the main pocket is large enough to store a jacket, or other large bulky items.
Compression Straps / Buckles
The water bottle pocket in a small zippered pocket, on thefront of the bag here. Inside is a hidden sleeve, with a top cinch strap.Initially I thought this was a really cool design, allowing you to hide thepocket away when not in use. But in reality, it doesn’t really work very well.
The single attachment point, causes your water bottle toflop around when you’re walking. You can fix this a little, by clipping thepouch to the side compression strap. But the best solution is to use a collapsiblebottle like this one, or just put your water bottle in a differentpocket.Carry Options
Backpack strapsSkimpy Hip Belt Doesn’t Take Much Load Off Your Back
The hip belt also leaves much to be desired. It’s just a simple nylon strap and buckle, with no additional padding or support. This isn’t a huge backpack, so the thin strap does offer a little bit of support. But it’s not really very comfortable, a small amount of padding here, could have made a big difference.Shoulder Strap is Great but I don’t Usually Use It
The shoulder strap is a nice carry option. It’s a paddedstrap attached to a 2” strap that attaches with plastic buckles to two clips onthe bag. It definitely works, but with this style of travel bag I usually justcarry it with the backpack straps. I don’t find myself using the shoulder strapvery often.
Top and Side HandlesSide Opening Clamshell Into Two Large Compartments
Now looking at the Interior components and packing style ofthe eBags Weekender Junior. The main zipper opens up from the side, into alarge suitcase-style main compartment
Interior OrganizationLaptop Compartment with Sling
The laptop compartment on the back of the backpack isgigantic, and will hold up to 17.5” laptop. It however, does not have a falsebottom, to keep a larger laptop off the bottom of the bag. But there is thislaptop sling thing in here, which will secure a smaller laptop, or tablet up toabout 12” wide, and keep it off the bottom of the bag.Packing The Bags
Now I’ll show you how much this bag can hold, and how I pack it. We had a hard time finding packing cubes from eBags that would fit this bag well. Most of them were either too big, too small, or you had to buy them a big set. We ended up buying a set of cubes from Hynes Eagle that fit this bag pretty well, and were only about $17 for the set of 3.
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Best FeaturesPrice, this is a solidly made bag, with somereally thought out features, it’s a great value for the price.Sturdy fabric, and great hardware, it’s verywell made with high-quality materialsIt has great organization, and holds a lot morethan you would think
Worst FeaturesThe sternum strap doesn’t work, it’s flimsilyattached and falls offThe back need more padding and air ventilationThe hip belt is only a thin nylon strap, itneeds to be much thickerAffiliate Disclaimer
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