Is the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Worth $200? Find Out

As more and more backpack companies hop on the hybrid, modular backpack trend, it gets harder to tell which bags are worth it and which are just marketing hype. The eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible is a tricky bag to rank because, on one hand, a number of features, space, and the practicality of the bag makes it a great find. But there are some tweaks that I think need to be made in order to make the bag worth $200, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a “bad” bag. Just like the Slicks travel backpack, there are ways that this backpack is good for travel use. 

So, here are all the ways I think this bag is fantastic for weekend travel.

The TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Has Plenty of Space, and Then Some

When looking for a weekend travel backpack, the biggest problem is finding a backpack that’s big enough for everything without exceeding airline carry-on dimensions. This is not an issue with the TLS. In fact, the TLS is one of the bags that gets it right when it comes to providing enough packing space.

Space and Capacity of the TLS Mother Lode

One of the great things about this backpack is the space capacity. On the site, the dimension are 22″ x 14″ x 9” which is a pretty generous size for a weekend travel backpack. On top of that, the laptop compartment is customizable and can fit up to an 11.75” x 19” laptop. This is the best advantage of this backpack because most bags max out at 15” laptops or 17”.

Speaking of the laptop compartment, did you know that it suspends your laptop? Using a strap, the TLS can actually keep your laptop from making contact with the bottom of the backpack, which is perfect if you ever drop your backpack on floor.

Expansion and Compression Capabilities of the TLS

Another fault that many bags have is that they are big and lack structure because of it. In those cases, it’s important that a pack has compression straps for lighter loads, or to prevent items from shifting around.

In the ebags Mother Lode, you’ll find compression straps on the outside and the inside of the pack. Not only can you downsize your pack from the outside, but you’re also able to safeguard your items from the inside as well.

If you still feel like the bag isn’t big enough (which is crazy, but possible), the backpack has a zipper extension that gives you more room. However, it should be noted that with the extension the backpack may exceed carry-on size restrictions. But if you want to use the TLS for hiking, or camping, then the expansion will work in your best interest.

TLS Meets All Of Your Organization Needs With Its Endless Amount of Compartments

Here’s another way the TLS weekender gets it right. Pockets are crucial for organization, and if you want to pack smart, you need to stay organized. This backpack is loaded with all the essential compartments one would need to stay organized, plus a few handy features that makes for an over the top backpack.

TLS Weekender Main Interior Suit Compartment is Every Carry-On Travelers Dream

Remember what I said about the TLS Mother Lode Weekender having a lot of room? Well, the main compartment is the reason why that is. When a backpack has an interior suit compartment, it’s more convenient for travel rather than everyday wear. But that’s not what the TLS backpack claims to be anyways, so I don’t think it’s a negative.

Anyways, this suit compartment comes with two tie down straps for keeping your items from moving around. In addition, there is a fold down shelf on the base of the compartment for splitting up the space, giving you further organization. Plus, if you don’t need to use the shelf, you can simply unclip it and use the full space.

On the inside of the closing lid of this compartment is a large zippered mesh pocket, great for storing a jacket, sweaters, dirty clothes, or shoes.

The Smaller Pockets Also Shine in the Weekender Backpack

Even the small compartments of the ebags weekender backpack are convenient for travel. First, the front zipper compartment is fantastic for quick access to essentials like your phone, passport, itinerary, ticket, you name it.

Next up, the forehead U-Zip pocket is great for storing accessories or carry-on liquids. I especially like it for sunglasses, a hat, and lotion or chapstick. Also, if you end up not using this pocket, you have more room in the main suitcase compartment.

Last up, is the U-Zip main front compartment. The inside sleeve of the front compartment comes with organized pockets for pens, phone, wallet, etc. The pocket is deep enough to store smaller packing cubes, and electronic accessories. Also included is a key holder.

Bonus: A hideaway water bottle pocket! It’s a pouch that you can pull out and stuff back in. Plus, there’s a tuck away ID pocket that’s perfect for labeling your bag with your trip and credentials.

It’s Called the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible for a Reason

It’s safe to say that the eBags Mother Lode has enough space and organization for travel. But you should also know that it’s not just a backpack. It’s also a duffel bag and a briefcase. How is that possible? It’s all thanks to these features of the backpack:

  • Stowable Shoulder Straps – You can pack your shoulder straps into the back of the backpack if you want to carry it by hand.
  • Removable Sternum Strap – For extra back support, a sternum strap can help offer some stability.
  • Removable hip belt – Another great comfort feature is the hip belt, which is for people who are going to walk with the bag long distances.
  • Removable shoulder strap – If you want to sling the bag over one shoulder like a messenger bag, you can do that too.
  • Three grab handles – These handles make it easy to store your backpack in the above head bin of a plane.

TLS Details and Materials

Finally, let’s look at the attention to detail given to the bag. I want to talk about the hardware first. Made with YKK buckles and zippers, this guarantees that nothing will break while you’re on your trip, which is reliable. Not only are they durable, but the zippers are also lockable, giving you an extra sense of security.  

Is the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Durable?

Let’s talk about the exterior materials for a minute. On site it says that the backpack is made with a 840D Twisted Filament Polyester exterior. While this sounds fancy on paper, when I feel the bag in my hand, it feels very light. Which unfortunately also makes it seem cheap. I don’t know how this material will perform in the long run, but I hope it doesn’t wear down like most other Polyester backpacks.

How Much Does the eBags TLS Mother Lode Cost?

The price on the site is $200, although I’ve seen it go down to a discount price also. There are also nine color choices to choose from.

Does eBags Do Free Shipping?


Does eBags Have a Lifetime Warranty?

eBags has a limited lifetime warranty, which covers buyers against defects in materials and workmanship.

What Is the Average Ranking of eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Reviews

There is an average 4.7 star rating with 98% recommendation rate.

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