I recently used the Eagle Creek Explorer LT on a one week trip to Montreal. Majority of the backpack was packed with clothing and toiletries. The daypack was used for more of the necessary items that I take out often which included a guide book, passport, umbrella, etc. The backpack is 55L + a 10L daypack. With the dimensions of the backpack, it should be OK for most airline carry-on. They have a female version which accommodates different sizes around the torso and shoulders compared to the men’s version.
Most of the features of the backpack go unnoticed until you’re actually using it. Several straps help you balance the backpack and keep it against your body. I loved that the curve in the backpack was able to distribute the load from my back and shoulders. I’ve added approximately 50lbs as a test and it certainly did not feel like I was holding that much. It’s a very comfortable backpack.
Although it was pricey, this is the kind of backpack that will last a long time (as long it doesn’t get stolen!), avoid checking in bags, comfortable, and very accessible.
Note: This was published December 9th, 2008. I’m actually still using this backpack and it is now November 22nd, 2010. It has been amazing.