Flying First Class to Hawaii with Lie Flat Seats Travel Guide 2017


Having lived in Hawaii since August of 2012, I’ve had the privilege to fly quite often to/from the islands with dozens of airlines to travel to Europe, Caribbean, mainland US, East Asia, and South Pacific. The airline travel market for Hawaii is quite unique and very much different than other high traffic routes around the world.

One of the main questions I get quite often is what kinds of premium cabin seats are available when flying first class to Hawaii?

Because Hawaii is a vacation destination, not surprisingly, airlines that fly aircraft to/from Hawaii will treat most passengers as leisure travelers. This also translates into sub-par cabin services compared to other long-haul international routes.

That being said, some airlines are catching on and providing upgraded premium cabin services and amenities trying to attract higher paying passengers to fly in comfort when traveling to Hawaii. The coveted type of premium cabin seating is lie-flat bed seats. These types of each can fully recline 180 degrees so that a person can lay down completely. Note that the lie-flat bed seats are different than the angle-flat seats (which usually lies down to approximately 160 to 170 degrees, but never fully 180), and different than the recliner seats which simply give more recline than economy seats.

Which U.S. based airlines have lie-flat bed seats to Hawaii?

The majority of domestic US / mainland routes to/from Hawaii on other airlines marketed as First Class only have the typical 2-2 first class set-up in single aisle aircraft (usually Boeing 737 and Airbus A320).

Alaska, Virgin America, Air Canada Rouge, Westjet, Allegiant, and along with obviously the US legacy carriers (United, Delta, American) all in their own respective ways, fly these single aisle aircraft to/from Hawaii. The first class cabins don’t really have much interesting or out of the ordinary aspects to bother going over in this airline comparison review roundup. The one exception might be the Virgin America first class cabin, with it’s modern seat, however, even their premium offer is not lie-flat bed seat.

The following U.S. based airlines provide lie-flat seat options:

Hawaiian Airlines Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii


Photo above: Hawaiian Airlines “New” Business Class cabin on A330-200

Hawaiian Airlines first class seats to Hawaii started out as 18 recliner seats on their Airbus A330-200 aircraft. These first class seats while nice in appearance just did not compare to other US legacy carrier (Delta One and United BusinessFirst long-haul cabins) or internatonal airlines business/first class cabins.

Now, that has all changed since Hawaiian Airlines announced of their launch of new premium cabin seat set-up that is unique and not seen with any airline around the world. They teamed up with a California-based consultancy to design a cabin to include Hawaiian elements and natural outdoor feel such as the night-time constellations, earth, and ocean.


Photo above: Hawaiian Airlines just recently as of November 2016 started selling premium cabin seats between JFK-HNL. The set-up they have caters more towards couples and honey-mooners.

The new premium cabins will be retrofitted into existing A330-200 aircrafts starting September 2016 and will take all through the entire year of 2017 to complete. There will still be 18 lie-flat bed seats on these aircraft. Below is example of the First Class pricing one-way between HNL – JFK:


Photo above: Example pricing of Hawaiin Business/First cabin between JFK-HNL. Notice that they aren’t so cheap!

As of November 2016, Hawaiian Airlines will fly these lie-flat bed seats to between Japan and Hawaii, NYC and Hawaii, and select West Coast and Hawaii (for the West Coast, these short routes most likely will go towards the single aisle new Airbus A321neo when they get those deliveries sometime in 2018/2019 time period, a first for Hawaiian which has previously only operated two aisle A330s for flights outside of Hawaii).

I’ll be getting a chance to try the new Hawaiian Airlines lie-flat premium cabin seating in May 2017 so I’ll be giving a full review then. Stay tuned!

United Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii

Photo above: United First cabin on Boeing 767-400ER from EWR to HNL

United first class seats to Hawaii exist “consistently” on two long-haul routes. Those are from Newark (EWR) and D.C. (IAD) to Honolulu (HNL). On few select flights, United will also operate lie-flat seats to Hawaii from San Francisco, but be sure to check the seat map just to be sure your booking is on an United aircraft with lie-flat seats.


Photo above: Seat map of United First cabin between EWR-HNL. Best United First seats would be the single middle seats for solo travelers and couples along the windows.

There are also long-haul flights from Chicago and Houston to Honolulu with the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, however, the first class seats on those routes are “extremely” sub-par, and are only recliner first class seats. Note that there is also no entertainment system. Don’t be fooled into purchasing these first class seats on these routes!


Photo above: Example pricing of United First cabin between EWR-HNL

The aircraft that flies these lie-flat seats to Hawaii from EWR and DC is with Boeing 767-400ER. United markets these seats as First Class since it’s a domestic flight, but usually these seats are marketed as “BusinessFirst” on international routes. There are 39 lie-flat seats with an approximate seat pitch of 75″ and seat width of 21″.

I got the chance to try out United’s lie-flat seats on both a domestic leg (EWR to HNL) and on an international leg (HNL to NRT [Tokyo]). Both times, the lie-flat seats operated the same way, however, the business cabin structure was different and the food service was drastically different.


Photo above: Food offered on the EWR to HNL flight. Pretty lame.


Photo above: Food offered on the HNL – NRT flight. That’s only a Japanese appetizer course!

I will have a separate post that describes my thoughts on the comparison of United First EWR-HNL vs. BusinessFirst HNL-NRT experiences.

Delta Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii

Photo above: Delta One cabin on the A330-300 between ATL-HNL

Delta first class seats to Hawaii exist “consistently” is only from ATL (Atlanta) to HNL. The two other routes on a seasonal basis will have lie-flat seats is (MSP) Minneapolis and JFK. On occasion, Delta may fly their Delta One lie-flat product between LAX and HNL. Otherwise, some other routes such as Salt Lake City (SLC) to HNL flies simply angled-flat seats.


Photo above: Seat map of Delta One cabin between ATL-HNL. The cabin is set-up in a way to cater towards mostly solo travelers with single seats along the windows.

The Delta One first class cabin when first introduced at the time was their brand new lie-flat premium cabin offering. The A330-300 aircraft that Delta flies between ATL and HNL has 34 lie-flat seats with seat pitch of 80″ and seat width of 21″.


Photo above: Example pricing of Delta One cabin between ATL-HNL

American Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii

Photo above: American Airlines First cabin between DFW – HNL & OGG

American Airlines first class seats to Hawaii recently switched over to lie flat seats from the previous angled-flat seats.


Photo above: Seat Map of American First cabin between DFW – HNL/OGG. Again, single seats along the window great for solo travelers and middle two seats great for couples.

The only city that American flies those lie-flat seats depart out of DFW (Dallas) to either HNL or OGG (Maui). The aircraft they fly is Boeing 767-300 with 28 angled-flat seats at seat pitch ranging from 60″ and seat width of 20″.


Photo above: Example pricing of American First cabin between DFW – HNL.

Which international airlines have lie flat bed seats to Hawaii?

Since Honolulu is the hub for Hawaiian and focus city for Delta (Delta One) and United (BusinessFirst), lie-flat seats are available internationally with all of these US airlines, particularly between the Japan and Hawaii markets. With Hawaiian Airlines completing it’s A330-200 premium cabins, they will most likely be redeployed on all of their international locations (with the possible exception of Pago Pago and Papeete routes as those are more leisure destinations).

Now onwards to the international airlines that have lie flat seats to Hawaii (and in no particular order):

Air New Zealand Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii and AKL (Auckland)

Photo above: Air New Zealand Business Premier cabin between AKL-HNL.

Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Number of Flat Bed Seats: 18
Seat Pitch: 79-80″
Seat Width: 22.0″
Route: HNL – AKL

Photo above: Seat map of Air Zealand “Business Premier” cabin on the Boeing 787-9 between AKL-HNL

Qantas Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii and SYD (Sydney)


Photo above: Qantas Businss cabin on Airbus A330-300 between SYD-HNL.

Aircraft: A330-300
Number of Flat Bed Seats: 23
Seat Pitch: 73″
Seat Width: 23″
Route: HNL – SYD

Photo above: Seat map of Qantas Business cabin between SYD-HNL.

Air China Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii and PEK (Beijing)

Aircraft: A330-300
Number of Flat Bed Seats: 30
Seat Pitch: 58″
Seat Width: 21″
Route: HNL – PEK

China Eastern Airlines Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii and PVG (Shanghai)

Aircraft: A330-200
Number of Flat Bed Seats: 30
Seat Pitch:58-78″
Seat Width: 20-21″
Route: HNL – PVG

Korean Air Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii and ICN (Seoul)

Aircraft: 747-400 (Many Variants)
Number of Flat Bed Seats: 10-12
Seat Pitch:  83″
Seat Width: 21.6″
Route: HNL – ICN

Philippines Airlines Lie Flat Seats to Hawaii and MNL (Manila)

Aircraft: A330-300
Number of Flat Bed Seats: 18
Seat Pitch: 60″
Seat Width: 21″
Route: HNL – MNL

The other international airlines that don’t have lie flat seats, but do have angle-flat or recliner seats:

Asiana Airlines Angle-Flat Seats to Hawaii and ICN (Seoul)

Aircraft: A330-300
Number of Angle-Flat Seats: 30
Seat Pitch: 58-60″
Seat Width: 26.5″
Route: HNL – ICN

China Airlines Angle-Flat Seats to Hawaii and TPE (Taipei)/ NRT

Aircraft: 747-400 or A330-300 (dependent on season)
Number of Angle-Flat Seats: 70 (On the 747) / 30 (On the 330)
Seat Pitch: 60-63″
Seat Width: 19-20″
Route: HNL – TPE/NRT

All Nippon Airways Recliner Seats to Hawaii and NRT/HND (Tokyo)

Aircraft: 767-300
Number of Recliner Seats: 30
Seat Pitch: 50-59″
Seat Width: 20-21.5″
Route: HNL – NRT/HND

Japan Airlines Recliner Seats to Hawaii and Various Japan Destinations

Aircraft: 767-300
Number of Recliner-Flat Seats: 30 – 42
Seat Pitch: 38-47″
Seat Width: 18.5-20″
Route: HNL – NRT/HND/KIX (Osaka)/NKM (Nagoya)

Fiji Airways Recliner Seats to Hawaii and NAN (Nadi)

Aircraft: 737-800
Number of Recliner-Flat Seats: 8
Seat Pitch: 48″
Seat Width: 21″
Route: HNL – NAN

Jetstar Recliner Seats to Hawaii and MEL (Melbourne)/ SYD

Aircraft: 787-8
Number of Recliner-Flat Seats: 21
Seat Pitch: 38″
Seat Width: 19″
Route: HNL – MEL/SYD

What are your experiences flying premium cabins to/from Hawaii?

Which of the airlines do YOU prefer to fly in First or Business class to Hawaii?

Best Carry On Backpack 2017 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for Business and Digital Nomad Travelers


Author’s Personal Note:

When I went on my round the world trip during the first 5 months of 2016, choosing the right carry on travel backpack was essential to my trip. I’d be traversing 4 continents, 13 countries spanning from East/Southeast Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, and North America.

With 25 flights book, I knew I wanted a carry on travel backpack that would work with majority of airline carry on bag standards and be durable enough to endure all the different location climates and environment.

I did extensive research going through Amazon, reading through specifications of each backpack and thinking about how it would help me on my journey. At the end of the day, I did end up choosing the Tortuga Travel Backpack. That being said, it’s by all means not the perfect backpack, and on retrospect, for my next travel, I’ll be trying another carry on backpack on the list below. I hope this extensive buyer’s guide helps YOU choose the right travel backpack on your short or long-term journey.

Overall Guide Notes:

If you are looking for reviews of regular school backpacks, outdoor/hiking backpacks, and/or the oversized backpackers backpack, this review guide is NOT right for you.

The reviews of the best carry on backpacks is geared more towards the business and professional travelers as well as the entrepreneur, flashpacker, and digital nomad travelers.

The trends and similarities in the most important aspects and components of carry on backpacks:

1. Maximizes carry on size for typical overhead compartment (excluding small regional jet planes) – on average, majority of carry on backpacks is around 40L, with some pushing the carry on limit at 46L. Any backpacks over 46L stands the risk of being too large for carry on.

2. Made from lightweight materials – most backpacks made from nylon or polyester material.

3. Maximizes storage compartments particularly for laptops and tablets – all the backpacks reviewed below have electronic device sleeve with some form of padding protection.

4. Additional pocket storage areas for easy to grab travel documents and other travel essentials – great for boarding passes, passports, travel toiletries, and much more!

5. Comfort including padded back panels, padded shoulder straps, and weight redistribution hip straps.

6. Top and side handle bars or straps to switch between carrying the bag like a backpack or duffle bag.

7. Bag anti-theft features including slash-free zippersand bag locks.

NameVolume (Liters)Weight (Pounds) 
Hynes Eagle40L1.6 lbsCheck Price
Tortuga Travel44L4.2 lbsCheck Price
Osprey Porter46L3.1 lbsCheck Price
Victorinox Dual20L2.5 lbsCheck Price
Tumi Alpha Bravo35L8.1 lbsCheck Price
Pacsafe Venturesafe45L2.0 lbsCheck Price
Incase EO25L2.8 lbsCheck Price
Timbuk2 Wingman40L3.4 lbsCheck Price
High Sierra AT740L7.9 lbsCheck Price
Kensington SecureTrek38L7.5 lbsCheck Price

With the above criteria in mind, think about what is most important to YOU in terms of travel bag essential features. Note that NO backpack has all of the features listed and in reality, no travel backpack ever will. The reviews below are merely a helpful guide to assist you in deciding a carry on travel backpack, but is in no way a direct endorsement of one travel backpack over another.

1. Hynes Eagle Carry On Backpack Review


When it comes to carry on travel backpacks, it’s always great to maximize the amount of allowable space you can put in the overhead bin on an airplane. Typical backpacks usually are more oval in shape, which actually decreases the amount of inside backpack space to put more things for your travels.

Hynes Eagle backpack is shaped in a rectangular manner. The dimensions of this backpack is 20.5 x 10 x 14 inches. In total volume, it’s a 40L backpack.

The backpack itself is made from polyester and PVC (which is a synthetic lightweight type of plastic outer material). Both those materials allow the backpack to be fairly lightweight at 2.31 pounds.

While Hynes Eagle backpack has the typical shoulder straps and top bag handle, those are not the only methods to carry the bag. The backpack also has a side handle so that you can carry the bag like a duffel bag. This can come in handy if you decided to use the bag as a gym bag instead of a travel bag.

The backside of the backpack has added padding so that when it rests on your back, it is soft and comfortable.

The backpack has three main zipper compartments of varying sizes. The largest main compartment can fit majority of larger items such as clothing, shoes, and much more. Unlike conventional backpacks where it’s top-loading, this backpack is front-loading like a suitcase.

If you wanted piece in mind in terms of keeping items from shifting within this large compartment, there are inner tie-down straps located inside. The second compartment allows you to easily have access to your laptop or tablet device. There is also a Velcro strap that helps keep your electronics from shifting. And lastly, the third and smallest compartment allows you to put your smaller items, such as travel essentials (passports, documents, etc.) which are within easy reach.

Lastly, should you need an external pocket, the side zipper of the backpack can be unzipped to allow storage for water bottles.

For further piece of mind, there are external adjustable buckle straps that help provide more compression to your backpack so that items inside do not shift while you carry your backpack.

The Hynes Eagle backpack is made with excellent fabric material and construction. It is definitely a great choice at economical price for long-term travelers.

While this backpack fits in the majority of overhead bin spaces, it may not be able to fit under your seat, depending on how much items are placed inside the backpack. The backpack will be suitable for flights on normal Airbus and Boeing aircraft, but for very small regional planes, it may have a problem fitting under the seat, and perhaps in the overhead bins.

Overall, the Hynes Eagle Carry On Backpack is a great option for those who are price conscious but want a travel backpack that can be durable. It is lightweight and has ample storage with inner and outer straps to help keep your items from moving around or shifting.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Lightweight backpack Shoulder strap may wear and tear due to unconventional stitching
Ample storage compartments Bottom shoulder clips may break due to overweight
Easy access to laptop compartment May not fit under seat or overhead bins in very small regional planes
Economical cost for what you get

2. Tortuga Travel Carry On Backpack Review


Tortuga Backpacks is a company that was started back in 2009 by actual backpack travelers. Currently, they are a team of 9 people working remotely around the world to build the best backpack for world travelers.

Tortuga in Spanish means “turtle”, and when you look at a Tortuga Backpack, it’s outer shell shape does give some semblance to the outer shell of a turtle. That being said, this backpack also is rectangular in shape to maximize the amount of storage space for a carry on. The dimensions of this backpack is 22 x 9 x 14 inches. In total volume, it’s a 44L backpack.

The backpack is made of 100% Nylon, inside and outside.

The Tortuga Backpack adds an additional strap feature around the hips to leverage your waist as a means to take weight off your shoulders. Essentially, instead of your shoulders bearing all of your backpack weight, at least 70% to 80% of the weight is held by your waist now. This is great for those travelers that have chronic back problems.

Not getting robbed or pickpocketed is one worry that many travelers have. The Tortuga Backpack have a lockable zipper that prevents any wary strangers from trying to open your bag and steal items from your backpack.

The carry on travel backpack main compartment zips from the side so that it front-loads like a suitcase, and not like a regular top-load backpack.

The Tortuga Backpack adding the comfortable waist straps definitely makes carrying the backpack feel much more lightweight, even though the weight is still the same. The transfer of the backpack weight distribution definitely makes this backpack worth getting for those who have chronic back problems!

The Tortuga Backpack unfortunately does not hold up well in moist, humid environments. If you are planning to use the backpack to carry items around in extreme outdoor conditions, the nylon material does NOT hold up well, and within 1 month, the inner lining of the backpack starts peeling back. For travels in drier climates, the backpack holds up just fine.

Overall, the Tortuga Backpack has a great look and maximizes the most in terms of allowable carry on space. The additions of the waist strap to help with shoulder weight and lockable zippers are also great bonuses. Keep in mind though that this backpack is premium priced and may or may not hold up well in moist, humid climates.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
At 44L volume space, this carry on bag maximizes the most space allowed for majority of popular low-cost and legacy airline carriers. Limited to one kind of black color choice.
The waist strap to redistribute shoulder weight may help with those who have back problems. The backpack’s nylon material does not hold up well in moist, humid climates.
The added feature of lockable zippers may help prevent robbers from stealing items in your backpack. It’s relatively more expensive than other travel backpacks.

3. Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Review


The Osprey Porter backpack comes in numerous sizes, but for the purposes of this review, we’ll talk about the Osprey Porter 46L size backpack.

To start, the backpack dimensions are 22 x 14 x 9 inches with a weight of 3.31 pounds. Compared to other backpacks of similar standards, the Osprey Porter gives lots of generous space, although the weight of the backpack is a half or more than other types. Depending on your personal preferences, the Osprey may or may not be lightweight. It’s best to try on your back.

The backpack is one made mostly with Nylon fabric. The main compartment portion of the backpack is made with a Nylon rip stop fabric that helps minimize the chances of the backpack from wear and tear. The bottom of the backpack is made from Nylon pack cloth.

The backpack main compartment has generous amount of space for your belongings. The access to this main compartment zips out from the the lower left hand corner to the lower right hand corner of the panel. There are couple small meshed zippered pockets within the compartment to allow for further organization.

To prevent your inner items from shifting, Osprey has created padded “wing-shaped” sidewall panels that help compress the backpack. Osprey trademarks their compression stabilizing panels as StraightJacket.

The backpack has padded shoulder straps for comfort. If you pack a lot of things and weight becomes in issue, Osprey Porter backpack has a stow-away hip belt that can be used to help redistribute weight away from the shoulders.

While most backpacks simply keep the shoulder straps on, Osprey Porter gives the option to store the shoulder straps away. Essentially, if you didn’t want the shoulder straps while you carried the backpack in a duffle bag manner (since there is a side handle), there is a zippered sleeve on the back of the backpack that allows you to hide the straps.

Osprey places four reinforced cord straps that loop around the front of the backpack, where you are able to attach another backpack or other items such as footwear, skateboard, etc.

The front of the backpack also has an additional small outer compartment for your laptop, and any other travel essentials.

If you intend on packing all the essentials you need for long-term travel, then the Osprey Porter does the job in giving you generous amounts of space, but with the security of holding your items in place while you are on the move. The StraightJacket compression panels and reinforced cord straps are the additional features that this backpack has that might come in handy if you are the type of person that like adventure travel.

While all of the cool outer features may be positive aspects, they too can be negative. If you are into having a minimalist backpack, the Osprey Porter may not be the best choice. The compression side panels and outer straps can stand in the way of having easy access to the front outer compartment where you usually would need to quickly grab travel essentials such as your boarding pass or passport.

Overall, the Osprey Porter 46L backpack is a decent deal for the price you get. That being said, think about what you would ideally intend on using the different features that this backpack offers prior to making your final choice. Best way would be to imagine a day-to-day run down of how your travels would be like and then figure out which of the features would be most important to your own needs.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Comfortable shoulder straps, which can be easily hidden by the back sleeve if you wish to carry the bag like a duffle. Might be difficult to get travel essential items with the front panel compartment, if outer straps get in the way.
Ample and generous amount of space with the 46L size Laptop sizes larger than 15” may have issue in comfortably fitting into the laptop sleeve.
Items won’t shift with the StraightJacket compression technology The backpack may not be as lightweight (again, this is relative to other types of backpacks in similar size, so please use your best judgment in what works for you)

4. Victorinox Dual-Compartment Carry On Travel Backpack Review


While you may recognize Victorinox as the brand that famously makes the Swiss Army gear knives, the company also creates some great travel backpacks.

The travel backpack dimensions measure at 13 x 19.5 x 7.5 inches, therefore, a volume space of 20L with a weight of 2.5 pounds. Since the backpack volume is half the size of most other travel backpacks, this type would be very much ideal for a short weekender or daypack for tourist activities, but shouldn’t be the main type of travel bag, unless you are an extreme minimalist.

The main body fabric is made from a branded VersaTek polyester materal and the base of the backpack is made from abrasion-resistant nylon material.

The interesting aspects for the Victorinox travel backpack is that it’s got great front storage pockets that are separated out (hence the name of the backpack as Dual-Compartment). Most travel backpacks you see simply have front zippered panel compartments that aren’t pocket in style. The backpack has 2 side-by-side pocket compartments at the top with an additional third wide pocket compartment at the bottom. These 3 compartments would be ideal if you needed to store travel essentials and/or electronic accessories and are easily accessible as there are no outer straps to get in the way. Additionally, there is side pocket to allow you to place a small umbrella or water bottle.

Behind the 3 pocket compartments is a zipper panel sleeve to place your laptop. The interior of the backpack has padding to cushion your electronics. And lastly, the main interior compartment where you can put the rest of your belongings including clothing.

The back panel of the backpack is made with compression molded fabric for comfort as well as adjustable waist straps to help with redistributing weight. If not in use, the waist straps can be hidden away behind the back panel.

The biggest positive aspect of the Victorinox Dual-Compartment backpack is it’s three front pocket storage. For example, you can use one of the pockets to hold your passport and boarding pass. Another pocket to put your travel toiletries. And lastly, the third pocket to hold your electronic accessories such as cords and chargers. This easily is definitely one of the best pros for this carry on travel backpack!

The only negative aspect to this backpack is that it’s size is much smaller than other types of carry on travel backpack. The maximum volume size for carry on size on average is around 40L to 46L and this backpack comes in at half that size, 20L. So keep in mind, this backpack is great for those who are extreme minimalist travelers.With so many zipper compartments, there also comes a higher chance of theft especially if you wear the backpack in crowded areas such as the metro. Be mindful when you carry your backpack in higher theft prone cities. It doesn’t hurt to have a TSA-approved bag lock to lock up the compartments that have your valuables.

Victorinox Dual-Compartment Carry On Backpack overall is a great choice for those who won’t need to pack many items. The backpack would also be a great secondary choice if you already have a larger size suitcase or backpack, as this carry on backpack can easily fit under the seat on any large or small aircraft.Again, the 3 front storage pocket compartments are great for easy access to your electronic accessories, important travel documents, and travel toiletries.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
The front 3 storage pocket compartments for accessories and travel essentials. The front 3 storage compartments may make this backpack more prone to theft.
The lightweight and small size is great for extreme minimalist travelers. Not the best choice for those who need more backpack volume space.

5. Tumi Alpha Bravo Travel Backpack Review


Tumi is definitely one of the top of the line luxury travel backpacks out there in the market. If you are looking for the best of the best in terms of quality and premium backpack product, definitely have a look at the hundreds of Tumi products.

For this review, we’ll be looking at the Tumi Alpha Bravo Travel backpack. The Tumi backpack is made from ballistic Nylon for the outer fabric along with polyester inner lining for the compartments and storage pockets. The backpack dimension measures at 17” x 14”x 9” inches.

On first glance, this backpack looks stylish and classy, with the use of conservative shades of grey, tan, and black. This premium travel backpack would be most appropriate for those who are frequent business travelers but want to carry a bag that is a bit more casual then a business suitcase.

The Tumi Alpha Bravo luxury travel backpack has numerous outer storage panels and pockets. To start, it has one minor zipper storage panel that spans across the top half of the front backpack. Then there is a second zipper pocket that spans across the bottom half of the front backpack.

The left side of the backpack has a side zipper pocket that spans the entire length. This would be ideal for items that are long in length, such as a water bottle and umbrella, but you would have the option to hide it from public view. The side pocket is waterproof, so if you are nervous about your water bottle exploding or putting in a wet umbrella, the pocket is lined so that it wouldn’t seep through into your other compartments, namely the laptop one!

The right side of the backpack has two side zipper pockets, one on each half of the side. Again, great options for more outer pocket storage space.

Onwards to the main compartment, there’s a sleeve pocket for the laptop and another for a smaller electronic device such as tablet. The main compartment still has enough space to put other items such as clothing and other items.

If you are looking for a great looking luxury carry on backpack, then the Tumi Alpha Bravo backpack may be the choice. For the size of the backpack, there is generous amounts of outer pocket storage space for all your travel essentials, and then the main compartment has multiple sleeve dividers to hold your laptop and tablet. This backpack is definitely ideal for the frequent business traveler.

This premium travel backpack has a hefty price tag on it. Definitely not the choice if you are a price conscious shopper.

Overall, the Tumi Alpha Bravo carry on backpack is great for the working professional who wants to travel light, but look great doing so. The backpack is modern, yet classy and has all of the organizational features that make packing that much easier.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Ample outer storage pockets for travel essentials. Premium backpack that is quite expensive.
Side pockets for more storage, especially the waterproof inner lining of the left side pocket for water bottles and wet umbrellas. Not great for casual, leisure travelers.
Great backpack for business/working professionals, and perhaps the occasional digital nomad that is looking for premium type of carry on bag.
Great and stylish look and feel.

6. Pacsafe Venturesafe Anti-Theft Carry On Travel Backpack Review


If you have read up to this review, way to go! We are at the half way mark with the best carry on bags in 2017. Let’s proceed onwards with the Pacsafe Venturesafe Carry On Travel bag.

Before we jump into what makes this backpack a bit more unique than the other ones we reviewed, let’s get the nitty-gritty details squared away:

This Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel backpack dimensions are 22 x 14.9 inches. It has a total volume of 45L, making this backpack comparable to other maximum carry on travel backpack sizes. The backpack is made of 100% Nylon material with some trademarked mesh materials that we will go over in detail later in this travel bag review.

At first glance, the Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack seems to be a simplistic ordinary backpack from the outside. True, the shape of the backpack is rectangular in nature, with no visible protruding outer storage pockets, unlike the previous backpacks reviewed. That being said, this backpack is known for it’s anti-theft and security features.

The first unique feature is the Exomesh Slashguard, which is simply a wire mesh that is embedded within the backpack fabric material. This helps prevent the backpack from tearing should a thief use a knife to slash your backpack.

The zippers on this backpack also interlock with each other using a trademarked locking system called Roobar. As well, the additional ToughZip feature, which is double-layered zipper, again prevents any sharp or thin objects from puncturing the backpack.

In addition to all of the anti-theft features described above, the Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack also includes standard features of any ideal carry on backpack including sternum straps and waist straps to help redistribute weight from the shoulders to the waist. The back panel of the backpack has molded soft panels to allow comfort for the back.

There is also one font zippered compartment along with a small zippered luggage ID pocket that can provide easy access. Outside compression straps help keep your items from moving around.

The Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel backpack definitely has anti-theft in mind. The makers of this backpack thought about all of the sneaky situations that potential street thieves could use to get access into a backpack to grab valuables.We’ve all heard of those horror travel stories where unsuspecting tourists in major cities get pickpocketed or mugged. While Pacsafe Venturesafe can’t prevent a thief from potentially ruining your vacation, however, it can up the likelihood that a thief can’t actually get into your backpack.

With so much focus on the anti-theft features, the Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack fails with much of the practical outer storage pockets and the inner organizational pockets. If items are at the bottom of the backpack, you would need to sift through from the top in order to get the items at the bottom.

The Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack is definitely ideal for those who want a little bit more piece in mind while traveling. It makes sense that a backpack was developed with the nervous traveler in mind who wants to avoid being taken advantage of from unsuspecting thieves.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Anti-Theft Features including Exomesh Slashguard mesh lining, Roobar, and ToughZip. The shoulder strap and hip strap may become uncomfortable after long periods of wear due to sandpaper-like feel to the skin/body.
Ample packing space up to the maximum carry on size for average airplane overhead compartment. The backpack is mostly good to get items from top, so may be inconvenient if items are at the bottom of the backpack.
The laptop sleeve compartment has limited padding.

7. Incase EO Travel Backpack Review


The Incase EO Travel backpack is definitely ideal for the traveler who enjoys minimalistic look and feel bag, but with subtle features that make it reliable on travels around the world.

Its dimensions are 18.5″ x 12.8″ x 6.3″ with a volume of 25L. The backpack is made from eco-dyed and weaved polyester fabric.

The front of the backpack has two zippered compartments, one at the bottom half, and then second one at the top half. Both of these front zippered compartments have inner organizational pockets which can be easily used to store travel essentials and documents.

There is a top zipper compartment where you can put your cell phone followed by the main compartment which also includes a padded sleeve for your laptop and tablet. The main compartment also has a secondary zipper which unzipped would allow for 35% more expandable storage space.

The backpack has top strap as well as a side strap so it can be quite versatile as a backpack and can be carried like a duffel bag. Clip straps help compress the backpack so that items don’t shift within.

The Incase EO Travel carry on definitely has a tech and action sports look and feel, ideal for those who like textured heather grey as color of choice for backpack. This backpack is definitely geared towards those who like a simple backpack with simple features!

With just 25L of space, this backpack is not ideal for long-term travel who has lots of items and clothing to pack.

The Incase EO Travel Backpack keeps in mind the modern, techie traveler moving about the globe at LTE speeds. The front and top compartments all have space to place travel essentials, phone, and electronic cords and the main compartment has a laptop/tablet sleeve along with the choice of 35% more compartment space by unzipping the secondary main compartment zipper.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Great look and feel At 25L, half the size of other maximum carry on bags.
Ideal compartments for the digital nomad Bit more expensive than other carry on travel backpacks.

8. Timbuk2 Wingman Carry On Travel Backpack Review


The Timbuk2 Wingman Carry On backpack, along with an odd backpack name, at first glance looks like a regular black suitcase or a large oversized briefcase. The backpack measures at 23” x 17.5” x 20” dimensions with a volume space of 40L, ideal for carry-on size on majority of major airlines.

The Tumbuk2 backpack has a front zipper compartment that can be used to store electronic accessories, travel toiletries, and other essentials. There is a padded sleeve to hold your laptop.

There are also side expandable pockets that allow you to put items such as shoes and/or toiletries should you not want to keep them together with other clothing items within the main compartment of the backpack.

The backpack has a top strap as well as side strap should you need to carry the bag like a duffel. The shoulder backpack straps can also be removed and tucked away.

The main compartment of the Timbuk2 Wingman backpack has generous amounts of packing space, particularly for clothing. Internal compression straps are located inside of the main compartment to hold your clothes down and keep them in place. As well, the main compartment includes mesh pockets to hold other smaller items in place.

The Timbuk2 Wingman backpack is more or less a simple carry on travel backpack with lots of space at 40L, with front, main, and side compartment. The side compartment was sized in mind to hold pair of shoes so that you wouldn’t need to put them within the main compartment.

Not the best looking backpack, however, the simple features of the compartments do the job at a decent price.

Overall, a decent carry on travel backpack for the value that you get. The Timbuk2 Wingman would be the ideal bag to get if you simply needed a bag with average amount of inner and outer compartment organization pockets.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Side compartment pocket for shoes Outer appearance is bland.
Inner organization pockets within the main compartment
Lightweight travel bag

9. High Sierra AT7 Spinner Carry On Travel Backpack Review


The majority of carry on travel backpacks reviewed above have been non-rolling. We wanted to include one travel backpack that has wheels. Yes, there is many people who would oppose to having a backpack that can roll on wheels (the convention is that it looks stupid or childish). However, we feel that it can be quite helpful if you are not a fan of carrying a heavy backpack and would simply like to roll the backpack.

We’ve looked through a bunch of rolling carry on travel backpacks and have come across the High Sierra AT7. It’s body dimension measures at 22.0″ x 14.0″ x 8.0″ with a volume space of 40L. The backpack is made from 200 Denier Duraweave Duralite fabric with water resistant coating. Note that the backpack total weight is 7.92 pounds, which makes sense with all the added weight from the 4 wheels, handle bar, and added material for making the backpack two separate components.

When glancing at the backpack initially, you would think it’s just like any other ordinary carry on travel backpack, and in all actuality, it looks more like a rolling suitcase. The High Sierra AT7 is actually two separate bag components in one. There is the main compartment and then an attached day pack. The attached day pack measurements at 19″ x 12″ x 5″ with a volume space of around 19L, so just around half the size of the entire backpack. If you are looking for a great two-in-one carry on deal where you plan to also use a day pack while sightseeing, this backpack may be the right choice!

The High Sierra AT7 has top strap to carry along with a collapsible luggage handle for when you roll the bag on its wheels. As well, there is a side strap handle so that you can also carry the luggage as a duffel bag.

The main compartment interior contains clothing hold down straps to keep your interior items from shifting around.

The backpack has 4 wheels at the bottom and can be wheeled in all directions. As mentioned before, this can come in handy for those who do not wish to carry heavy loaded backpack.

Those who wish to have a smaller backpack to carry around for sightseeing will be pleased to have the inclusion of a daypack that attaches to the main backpack. This can come in handy when you are only able to carry on board an airplane one bag. Many of the low-cost carriers, particularly those in Europe and the US only allow on standard size carry on. So this backpack is great to mask two bags into one bag.

With all of the extra components such as the wheels, padding, and collapsible handle bar, the weight of the High Sierra AT7 might be a probable issue for those who are looking for lightweight backpack. This travel backpack may not be the best choice.

Overall, the High Sierra AT7 Wheeled Travel backpack keeps in mind the convenience for those travelers who may not always want to carry their heavy backpacks on their back. The all-direction backpack wheels makes for easy transporting from Point A to B, and the detachable day pack is another great addition to carry items without having to lug the entire backpack around.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
4 Wheeled Backpack Might be on the heavier side at 7.92 pounds.
Detachable Day Pack Top heavy and may tip over with uneven weight distribution

10. Kensington SecureTrek Anti-Theft Travel Backpack Review


We previously reviewed and weighed the pros and cons of one travel backpack that emphasized backpack theft security. In this review, we’ll go over one more carry on backpack that does the job with bag security. Let’s get right to it!

The Kensington SecureTrek Anti-Theft backpack dimensions measure at 19” x 12.5” x 9.8” giving it a volume space of around 38L. The weight of this backpack is on the heavier side at 7.5 pounds and the bag material is made from Poly Twill.

The backpack uses SecureTrek, the trademarked lock base that has a hammerhead zipper that pulls within a lock base. The lock base can be secured with TSA/airport approved lock. This provides the best kind of bag security where thieves would literally need to make a concerted effort to even break though the lock.

The Kensington SecureTrek main compartment is padded and includes a separate electronic device sleeve to store your laptop/tablet devices. The sleeve is extra padded to protect fragile electronics. As well, the main compartment has a separate inner zipper cover that helps keep your main compartment items from interfering with the electronic sleeve.

The back of the backpack is padded in a unique “V” shape orientation to help with your neck and upper back when carrying the backpack. The padded shoulder straps also help with further comfort. The back also has a special half bottom panel that also can slide over regular luggage suitcase handles. This makes it super easy to roll your backpack on top of the rolling suitcase without having to worry about the top backpack falling off. The panel provides stability when transporting your backpack.

The SecureTrek lock base helps keep peace in mind for traveler who might be more wary of opportunistic pickpocket thieves. As well the back luggage handle sleeve helps to keep a backpack stable on top of a rolling suitcase for easy transporting without the hassle of the backpack sliding off.

The backpack is quite heavy at 7.5 pounds. Those seeking a lightweight backpack, this choice may not be the right one.

Overall, the Kensinton SecureTrek travel backpack keeps in mind the security of the bag against theft which makes this a great choice if you are looking for a bag that is theft-proof. The bag also maximizes carry on space with its more rectangular shape and makes this a great professional backpack to have.

(+) Pros (-) Cons
Anti-theft SecureTrek lock Above average carry on backpack weight.
Unique Back Padding for Comfort

Do you have a carry on travel backpack that you like? Comment below and let me know!


Location Rebel Review (2017 Update) – Travel and Work When You Want


Authors Note: This review is the 2017 Location Rebel Review update. The original review was written back in summer of 2012, when I had first joined Location Rebel back in June 2012. While everything in the review still remains true, Location Rebel has launched a new look and platform. I’ve updated the review to contain the “latest” screenshots of what it actually looks like when you login and view the contents of Location Rebel. Again, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me about the program and my experiences with the program.

So you want to travel, but you don’t have the time to do it.

Speaking for the US since I’m from here,  employees on average get only 2 weeks of vacation per year.

While not the worst in the world, that’s very little time to do any type of meaningful trip. If you want to take a long-distance trip to say, New Zealand, 2 weeks is just too short to make it even worth the trip.

And would you really want to wait several years to accrue up to a month or more of vacation along with personal days to get that time to travel?

Many things can happen in between that you’ll keep pushing off the date to, oh another time.

On the flip side, you have the time, but you don’t have the money.

So what may happen is that you work a job, and work at it til you save up a large amount of money.

Once you reach a comfortable amount, you’ll quit your job, and then travel. Does that sound like you?

But your travels would only last for some set amount of time, depending on where you travel. Then when you run out of money, you have to work a period of time … to quit again.

While there is nothing wrong with going this route, it’s just not a sustainable long-term solution to traveling for long periods of time.

So what’s the ideal choice?

It’s building your location independent business.

What is the Location Rebel?


This is the back side of Location Rebel.

Location Rebel is an online community created by Sean Ogle of Location 180. The founder’s personal inspiration came from his dislike with his finance job. As a result, he would leave that job, and hustle on his freelance and passive income type businesses.

Fast forward to July 2011, Location Rebel was born.

On a high level overview, Location Rebel begins with an introduction course that includes:

– The meaning behind a “relative expert”,
– Identifying your skill matrix,
Overcoming uncertainty,
– Finding your mentor,
– Building your network, and
– Understanding the goal of what location independence represents.

This introduction course is designed to help you analyze and reflect on why you want to achieve a location independent lifestyle. This essentially puts you in the mindset of a fellow Location Rebel member!

What’s unique about Location Rebel?

What also sets this program apart from other communities, is that Sean wants you to be involved with what you are reading. Therefore, after you read from chapters, you’d get the chance to test your knowledge and answer questions.

Don’t worry! It’s not like a bunch school quizzes, and you certainly won’t be graded at all!

These questions are merely to get your mind thinking about how your personal aspirations and desires would match the certain type of work.

Otherwise, the majority of the resources fall within the Entrepreneur Blueprints and Forum Discussions.

These two areas are where you’ll spend the vast amount of time, soaking up information, and connecting with other fellow Location Rebel members.

What are these Entrepreneur Blueprints?

This area is the meat-and-bones of Location Rebel.

The Entrepreneur Blueprints - The Step-by-Step Detailed Guides

The Entrepreneur Blueprints – The Step-by-Step Detailed Guides

Sean has done the hard work of researching all the information, organizing that content, interviewing successful location independent entrepreneurs, and … well basically showing & telling you step-by-step, the “how-to blueprints”.

What types of blueprints are covered?

1. Become a Freelance SEO Writer with Tom Meltner
2. Becoming a Web Developer with Evan Lovely
3. Creating a Successful Remote Work Agreement
4. Freelance Pay Per Click with Joel Runyon
5. How to Become a Professional Project Manager
6. How to Become a SEO Freelancer with Sean Ogle
7. How to Build a Successful E-Commerce Store with Dan Andrews
8. How to Earn Passive Income via Product Creation
9. Make $10k/Month Copywriting with Ashley Ambirge
10. Make $60/Hour Technical Writing with Alison Gresik
11. Make Six-Figures as an Advertising Rockstar with Jamie Mcgaw
12. The Location Rebel Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Below are “latest” and new blueprints that didn’t exist when I joined in 2012, but now do so as of 2017:

  1. Creating the Perfect Business Structure with Kyle Durand
  2. How to Become a Social Media Master
  3. The Beginners Guide to Sales Blueprint with David Anderson
  4. The Advanced Guide to Sales Blueprint with David Anderson

All of these blueprints have varying degrees of difficulty and amount of time before you make money.


The above screenshot shows an example of the breakdown for one of the blueprints, in this case: How to Build a Successful E-Commerce Store with Dan Andrews.

My personal experiences:

I joined Location Rebel in the beginning of June 2012, and have found immediate results from the day I joined!

What I was most interested in was learning more about the SEO and E-Commerce blueprints. After running through the extensive amount of information, I set up my SEO consulting business within 2 weeks of completing the SEO writing & SEO freelancing blueprints.


Some results:

– At the end of that month in June, I landed my first SEO client through networking!

– A month later in mid-July, I’d land my second opportunity to work on a client’s online business in a work exchange environment in Hawaii! That’s truly my first location independent experience.

– Although I concentrated on SEO and E-Commerce blueprints, I never imagined I’d ever want to be a copywriter or work on affiliate marketing. But after reading through those blueprints, I’ve found great value and use where learning those blueprints crossed-over into other blueprints that use similar techniques.

Overall conclusion. Whichever blueprints you pursue in the above list, you’ll be extremely marketable to potential clients.

In general, you’ll be amazed at the amount of knowledge you’ll have accumulated to help your online businesses as well as your client’s businesses.

You might be thinking, don’t I need to have background knowledge on these subjects?

Nope!  As mentioned before, Sean covers the meaning of “relative expert”. And being this relative expert is a crucial aspect to positioning your mindset towards a confident ability of your knowledge and skills ability of each blueprint’s information.

From each blueprint’s interviews, you’ll learn about how all of the successful entrepreneurs learned as they went.

Some of these people include: Ashley Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project (Copywriting), Dan Andrews of Tropical MBA (E-Commerce),  and Joel Runyon of Impossible (Pay Per Click). If you don’t know these people, look them up on Google and you’ll realize how awesome of a community of relative experts Location Rebel has built up.

What is the Location Rebel Community like?


The updated Location Rebel Forum – where ideas and inspiration get exchanged! The new forum platform runs so much better than it did when I joined back in 2012. One of the better improvements with the latest Location Rebel version!

While the community is small in numbers, it is one of quality members.

When you go to the Forum Discussions, fellow Location Rebel members are open to providing input and advice.

I’ve personally found the members to be supportive of each other’s business problems or of each other’s mental hurdles.

– What you may not realize is that running entrepreneur businesses can be an emotionally, mentally, and physically draining roller coaster ride … and it’s quite important to have a great network group to get support from.

– The Location Rebel Forums does that job, where members don’t hesitate to post positive support and constructive criticism to help out with someone’s goals.

Cause in the end, everyone on Location Rebel wants to see each other succeed and win towards location independence!


This thread here is just one of many examples of Location Rebel member success stories. Kudos to everyone’s location independence success :)

What are additional Location Rebel content?

Wait there’s more?

Of course, I didn’t lie when I mentioned that Location Rebel is awesome!

When you purchase Location Rebel, you are with the community for life. Just one time payment. The awesome benefit to this, is that more and more information will always be added to both the blueprints and bonus content.

What are some of the bonus content? (the below are bonus content when I had first joined in 2012)

– Additional interviews with successful location independent rockstars.

– Webinars from top experts including Peter Shallard’s talk on Crush Fear.

– Sean’s personal SEO freelance spreadsheets that you can take and use for your own SEO freelancing.

– And if you’re are beginner at starting a blog, no worries, Sean has a course specifically outline how to start one!


Here’s a peek at the Bonus Content section.

Additional New Bonus Content as of 2017 include:

  • Hacking the High Life
  • Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty
  • Freelancers Pricing Guide
  • Writing Proposals for Upwork
  • Search Engine Optimization Templates
  • and much more!

Hacking the High Life was a separate course purchase at the time I joined back in 2012. It is now included part of the current Location Rebel sign-up.




Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty used to be a separate purchase when I joined in 2012 as well. Again, it’s now folded into the entire Location Rebel package suite. This is important, as the digital nomad lifestyle is also 50% mindset as well, with how to deal with the ups-and-downs of being a freelancer and entrepreneur.


Why you need Location Rebel.

Still unsure if Location Rebel is right for you?

I’ll tell you who I believe it’s definitely NOT for:

– Those who already have successful entrepreneur businesses.

– Those who are looking to not put time into reading and taking action on the blueprints.

– Those who aren’t interested in any of the 12 blueprints available (make sure you’ve seen the blueprints listed up above)!

Location Rebel is IDEAL and must-have for:

– Those seeking location independence.

– Those who have no clue where to start.

– Those who are interested in many of the blueprints listed above.

– Those who are looking to join an awesome, supportive group of Location Rebel members worldwide.

– Those who value doing work that increases time to do what you want to do.

These are some reviews of what current Location Rebel members have to say:

… so far I’m amazed. Sean wasn’t bluffing; he’s deeply involved in this project and he’s there to guide us members through whatever we need …

And another:

…  he gets specific and gives you EXACT blueprints for doing it. And, he gets you involved with a community of like-minded people. There’s really no excuse for failure in here …

One thing I wish was that I got Location Rebel earlier … but in the end, I got it nevertheless, and it was worth every investment, and much, much more!

There’s just so much valuable content, that I still have more than half of the blueprints to still check out. That just attests to the value and quality of what you will get when you join Location Rebel!

Want to ask me questions about my experiences with Location Rebel?  Feel free to reach out to me now.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I have used the Location Rebel blueprints on my entrepreneur ventures, and I’m proud to stand behind my 100% recommendation of this resource. If you decide to purchase Location Rebel, I’d be stoked if you used my link, where I receive a commission on sale price. Thanks!

Your Turn:

  • What does location independence mean for you?

  • If you finally had the time & money, what is your ideal lifestyle?