eBags Pro Slim Travel Backpack Review

With excellent organizational guts, it's the best comfort/value combo in CR's evaluation

Ebags Pro Slim Photos: Michael Frank and Mark Miller

The eBags Pro Slim is one of 10 travel backpacks I evaluated for qualities including organization, comfort, and sturdiness as part of CR’s “Outside the Labs” review program.

Price: $99.99
Where to buy: Amazon, eBags

Size: 18 × 12.75 × 8.5 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
Claimed capacity: N/A
Construction: Polyester
Tuckable pack sleeves: No
External bottle sleeve: Yes
Shoulder carry: No
Waist strap: No
Eyeglass sleeve: Yes
Extras: Roll-aboard-handle slot; expandable; compression straps to tighten volume

Here’s My Review
Probably the most flying-friendly feature of any pack I tried out is the way this one opens like a clamshell, so you can see all your stuff with the pack sitting in your lap during a flight. The outer compartment is king: three—count ’em, three!—zippered mesh pockets, ideal for stowing knickknacks like hand sanitizer, masks, meds, and food. Behind the top layer is another layer of more pockets, both zippered and not. But the main opening of this eBags pack is … true to its name, slim. (Sorry, slippers; see you next trip.)

See our review of the best travel backpacks for more information, including details on how we evaluated them.

But that’s all I had to ditch. And the eBags pack, despite missing a waist strap, was very comfy, in part because it fits really snugly. Sure, a waist strap would take some load off my shoulders, but because I was able to really pull the pack into my body, it was one of just a few bags I tried out that rode perfectly while e-biking, tromping through New York City, and carrying it around on walks. 

The feel of the eBag material isn’t as refined as, say, the bags I tried from Away or Tumi, but its utilitarian construction—with obvious reinforcing at key corners—seems plenty beefy. 

Bonus! It has an external water bottle holder that zips away. Why care? Because even though this eBags is called “Slim” and will shimmy all the way into the underseat storage area, that’s not without first removing the bottle and zipping the pocket shut.

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Michael Frank

Michael Frank is a freelance writer who contributes to Consumer Reports on the intersection of cars and tech. His bias: lightweight cars with great steering over lumbering, loud muscle cars any day. You can  follow him on Twitter (@mfwords) and  Instagram (mfwords).