When I received the eBags TLS Professional Weekender in the mail, the first thought that struck me was—this thing is tough. You can just tell right off that it’s very well made. I delve into that and a little bit more in the review, so first I’ll start off with my Tune Up & Travel Gear Score:
First things first:
I should start with a disclaimer that my score there was in a way, unfair to the bag. It is, after all, dubbed and marketed as the “Weekender Bag.” And it’s about the perfect size for just that—a weekend trip. However, I felt I could have used just a little more clothes storage. You won’t be fitting very many toiletry items along with your clothes and electronics. That being said, I took the bag on a three-day trip to another state and had no problems packing just enough essentials (along with all of my electronic equipment actually) for a weekend trip. So, to summarize: As strictly a weekend travel bag, 9 out of 10 stars. As a general travel bag, 7 of 10. I met in the middle, given that if you’re buying this bag you probably are buying it to use as what it’s being advertised for.
This thing is a beast. eBags really didn’t hold anything back here, as I stated at the beginning of the review. The materials appear to be top-notch and all of the sewing seems solid. I was really, really impressed with that part. The protective area around the laptop compartment was superb. As I state in the video, I usually keep my computer in its own protective case when I carry it in a bag. This thing has such solid padding that I left the extra case at home and didn’t think twice about it.
I suppose the downside to such solid durability with the TLS Professional Weekender is that fact that it’s a little on the heavy side. I mean just what I said though, a little. Nothing to worry about, or the score would be much worse. Just not the lightest weekend bag I’ve seen. Still much lighter than a suitcase! In my super-silly-but-practical size comparison method, this bag comes it at around the weight of 3 and a half 16oz water bottles. (I do this so readers can grab something around the house to get a feel for weight)
Kudos eBags! I was like a kid on Christmas when I saw all the pockets in that front compartment. In a stroke of genius, the designers of the TLS Weekender Bag made all of the pockets see-thru. They call it “See What’s Where” and that’s the perfect name for it. Why are all bag manufacturers not doing this?!! I think overall, the pocket system was my favorite part of this bag. As an added bonus, there is a “secret” compartment in the back of the Weekender Bag that holds a hard-shell case (which comes free with the bag by the way). It measures 12″ long by 5″ wide and 3″ deep. eBags included this to be used as an “AC Adaptor Garage” but I used it to store my GoPro, Zoom H1 Handy Recorder, Sony Nex-6 Camera and extra batteries for everything. If the front pockets are the most practical part of the bag, then this part would have to simply be the coolest. I felt very safe having my fragile stuff in there.
I took the TLS Professional Weekender Bag, along with all of my on-site video equipment, on a hike with me just to see how it performed. Again, I don’t think it’s marketed as “that type” of backpack, but I am very thorough with my reviews so I tried it anyways. It may be my smaller stature, but the straps didn’t have the most comfortable fit as a backpack to me. The padding on the back, however, was superb. Probably the thickest padding I’ve ever seen on a small pack, actually. In all, it came down to a lack of a waist strap being my complaint. Although again, I can’t complain about it because this would be like taking a sedan off-road and complaining about a lack of four-wheel-drive when it gets stuck in the mud. This pack was not designed as a hiking pack. So for what it is, as a compact and versatile piece of luggage, I think it’s better than most. It has convenient handles on the top and sides if you’d rather carry it like a briefcase. The thing is so sleek that I’m sure it would be a breeze in bus or airplane storage. All in all, I would recommend the TLS Professional Weekender for exactly what it’s advertised for: Going on a weekend trip with a bunch of electronics. If you’re a techie like me, you’ll love this bag.
You can get the eBags TLS Professional Weekender from eBags.com for $134.99 plus tax. Right now it looks like they’re offering free shipping!
This one is for my musician readers:
I was actually able to fit my Mackie 12-channel mixer into the bag, along with a Pro Tools interface (M-Box Mini 2), large DI box, my MacBook Air and all of the cables for everything! The TLS Professional Weekender Bag would be an exceptional gig bag to hold a mixer and cables. In fact I like it so much for that purpose that I’ve been using it every week for an open mic night that I run. By doing so I’ve consolidated two shoulder-strap bags into one convenient backpack.
Want to see more about the eBags TLS Professional Weekender Bag? Check out the feature video!
If you have any questions about the bag or anything to offer, leave a comment below!
Great review! What are the dimensions for the clothing compartment? Do think it will hold a 5″ thick bundle?
Thanks Nick! It should fit 5″ of clothing no problem. The dimensions are 13″ by 20″ and only 3-1/2″ thick, but the fabric seems like it could hold around 6-8″ max. I was able to fit a sweater, pair of jeans, three t-shirts, and socks and underwear in the clothing compartment without issue.
Awesome! Thanks for replying.
great review. 2 questions: As a techy, would you feel comfortable carry this into a business meeting, in briefcase mode? Lastly, do you believe it could fit under an airline seat, if not over stuffed?
Thanks for the review.
I often make short trips to nearby states.
I usually carry some clothing and books.. say 3-4 text book size books.
The backpack I have now is not so professional and doesnt hold up my 15 inch laptop well.
My query is, will I be able to use this with a convenience of a normal backpack – like I open the zippers half, take the book out, read, keep the book in and zip it up. Or I will have to open the entire clamshell to get the books,
And in case if I am travelling with only books, will the books be lose and jumping around?
I also want the privacy of a real backpack, instead of opening the entire compartment.
will this bag be a good fit for my use?
You can just unzip it a little and it will work the same as any other backpack