Another popular tech travel backpack that you see everywhere is the Incase EO Travel Backpack. Very similar to the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible, this backpack is a hybrid between a laptop bag and travel backpack. But how does this backpack compare?
General Specifications of the Incase EO Travel Backpack
Dimensions: 21.5″ x 15″ x 5″ (L x W x H)
Compatibility: 17” Laptop and iPad.
Material: Water-resistant 300D Polyester, with a triple coating on the black model.
Features: Mesh padded back panel and shoulder straps, with a sternum strap for support.
A Closer Look At the Compartments of the Incase Laptop Travel Backpack
Now, before I compare how the Incase travel pack holds up against other backpacks, I first want to discuss the features of the bag and all the things I think it does well.
Two Quick Access External Pockets
On the front, there’s a horizontal, easy access zip-pocket to carry your flight documents. Under the top grab-handle, there is a hidden smartphone pocket lined with faux-fur to keep it safe from scratches.
The accessory compartment located in front of the main compartment is perfect for storing all your tech accessories. There’s also enough room for a thin binder or notebook if you need it. Inside you’ll two mesh pockets, four nylon slip pockets, and two pen holders. You can organize a few things in here, including an external hard drive, a mouse, laptop charger, external battery pack, and headphones.
Furthermore, this compartment is also deep enough to fit a thin jacket, blanket, or sweater for flights. For those of you looking for a tech travel bag, know that you can organize everything you need in the Incase Travel Backpack.
Main Luggage Compartment
On the inside sleeve of the main compartment, there’s a zippered mesh pocket which is great for storing your small items like your toiletries, liquids and other personal items. The bottom of the main luggage compartment is sectioned off with a large mesh pocket, to help keep your items from moving around too much. In this deep space, you can fit 2-3 day’s worth of clothes (if you know how to pack light). Packing cubes definitely help you streamline your packing for most effective use of space.
Expandable Main Luggage Compartment
For those of you who want a bit more packing space, know that the EO travel backpack comes with a zipper expansion feature. You simply loosen the compression straps at the side and unzip the middle zipper for an expanded main compartment.
TSA Friendly Laptop Compartment
The laptop compartment is in the back, which is separate from the compression straps so you don’t have to worry about unbuckling them every time you reach for your laptop. The Incase EO Travel Backpack can carry up to a 17” MacBook pro laptop and a tablet on the opposite side. The inside of the laptop sleeve is a faux-fur lined and fully padded all around. You can also open the laptop compartment and lay it flat for easier TSA screening.
FAQ About the Incase EO Travel Backpack That You Should Read Before Purchasing
Next up, I’d like to share with you some common questions about this backpack that I see circulating around. The saying that there’s no stupid question is true here because I guarantee at least one person reading these following questions probably thought about them too.
Will the Incase EO Travel Backpack Fit Under the Seat of a Plane? Or, In Other Words, Will This Work as a Personal Item?
This is a tricky question. It depends on the dimension policies of different airlines. I know for a fact that the EO Travel Backpack can be used as a personal item on American and U.S. Airways flights, but United has smaller personal item dimensions.
Now, if you choose to expand the Incase travel bag, you might not be able to use it as a personal item. In that case, it will count as your carry-on. And remember, on most flights you’re allowed ONE personal item and ONE carry-on.
If you plan on bringing this backpack as your personal item, along with a rolling luggage, DO NOT expand the backpack. If your backpack is too big, you might be forced to check either your suitcase or backpack, since they’re both carry-ons at that point.
Can You Slide the Incase Travel Backpack Over Luggage Handles?
No. Some travel macbook pro backpacks have a sleeve in the back where you can slide your luggage handles through, allowing you to roll your backpack with your luggage. The Incase EO Travel backpack does not have this feature, which might be a drawback for those who travel with luggage and prefer that option.
Does this Incase Backpack Have A Waist Strap?
Can You Hide or Stow Away the Shoulder Straps of the EO Travel Backpack?
No, there is no way of hiding the straps. Some people see this as a drawback because they like the option to stow them away easier maneuvering over the above-head bins.
How Does the Incase EO Travel Backpack Compare With These Laptop Travel Packs?
Before I begin, I’d like to say that traveling with this backpack has been great. And just like all the other backpacks that I’ve come across, I did notice some quirks here and there. But while I don’t think there’s is a massive downside to the Incase EO pack, you should know how it compares to other laptop backpacks out there in the market. This will allow you to make a more informed purchasing decision, or at the very least, will help you identify what features you are looking for in a travel backpack.
How does the Incase EO Compare to the TLS Mother Lode Weekender from eBags?
In size, the TLS Mother Lode Backpack is a little bigger than the Incase. One thing to know is that the expansion feature on the Mother Lode might push the carry-on dimensions, just thought you should know.
The TLS Mother Lode is a bit more spacious, making it more of a travel backpack than a MacBook pro backpack, like the Incase EO.
Quality wise, I think these backpacks tie. Both backpacks are made of some form of polyester material, making them water resistant and durable. The TLS Mother Lode Weekender does have YKK zippers if that matters to you.
As far as efficiency and convenience go, both backpacks are great. None of them wastes packing space or contains useless compartments. They function well during travel and work well for weekend trips.
The only difference, however, is that the Mother Lode has more storage compartmentalization and organization. For example, in the main compartment, there’s a divider that’s great for sectioning your packing cubes.
How Does the Incase EO Travel Backpack Compare to the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack?
The size difference is obvious. The Professional Slim Laptop Backpack has a smaller profile and size, making it more appropriate for one-day packing. The Incase EO can definitely carry more day’s worth of clothing.
Both backpacks feel durable and sturdy. One upper hand of the Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is that it comes with YKK lockable-zippers, like the TLS Mother Lode.
When it comes to organization, my vote goes to the Slim Laptop Backpack from eBags. From the front panel to the bottom of the bag, the Professional Slim Backpack delivers more pockets and storage capabilities than the Incase EO. Finally, the Slim Pack is more versatile for everyday use than the EO, making it a great overall backpack to have.
So, Does the Incase EO Travel Backpack Hold Up Against Other Tech Travel Bags?
Most certainly. If you want a travel backpack that can also hold your laptop, you can’t go wrong with the EO. But if you want a laptop backpack and organization for more of your tech gear, the Professional Slim Backpack is better equipt for you.