6 Aug 2013

Cabin Zero Bags

Have you ever travelled with budget airline companies such as Ryan Air or Easy Jet?

These airlines have very strict restrictions on luggage, they charge for putting suitcases in the hold of the plane, they weigh each item and charge you if you go over your limit ... and they also have very strict restrictions on the size and weight of your hand luggage.

The airlines are great to travel with if you travel light, some people who fly with budget airlines are traveling off for weekend breaks or on business, therefore they may only have light luggage which can be taken into the cabin of the plane with the passenger.  
Each piece of hand luggage must conform to set guidelines, for example Ryan Air state that you may only have one item of cabin baggage which can weigh up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.  Any item oversize or weight will be booked into the hold of the aeroplane at a charge of £60! 
This is where Cabin Zero backpacks have a unique advantage over other luggage brands, they have designed luggage that is airline approved by budget airlines so that you know your luggage will be accepted as hand luggage on your flight.

I have tested out the 'Classic' ultra light cabin bag.  The bag is fully lined and has the capacity to hold 44 litres of luggage, the dimensions exactly fit budget airlines guidelines and as you pack the bag it sticks to this size.

We tried to 'overpack' the case by shoving items down the edges to make it look bulky.  The bag sides are very sturdy and even when we packed it to capacity it still kept the structure of the size allowed.  We clipped the side straps together each time so help with strength but mainly because if you don't they swing loose and click when you walk.

The bag is lightweight, I was very impressed with the 750g weight of the bag when empty, I even made my inlaws pick it up to prove it was so light!  They were so impressed that they borrowed my bright purple classic bag to travel to Benidorm on Ryan Air.  From this flight is where I am basing our views of the bag.

Unless you pack the bag with bricks, the size of the bag restricts the weight which averages at around 9kg when fully packed.  The weight allowance for carry-on luggage is 10kg so this is brilliant.

We found that the backpack straps were sturdy and comfortable to wear, the luggage handles were in convenient places to save always having to hoist it up onto your back.
We did find that we ended up only using 1 strap for most of the time as it was easier to sling the bag over one shoulder than try to get both arms through the straps.

One worry with hand luggage is labeling, you have a large tag with your name and address in block capitals for the whole airport to read ... it only takes one dodgy person to hang around, read your details, know you will be away for at least a weekend .. then go round your house and burgle you!  

With Cabin Zero bags you do not need a tag, each bag has a built in Global Luggage Tracker tag which you register online at Okoban with all your details before you go.  All that is shown on the tag is a 12 digit code which if your luggage is lost can be typed into the Okoban website and your property can be identified as yours.  The code is quite small so it cannot be written down or remembered in passing.
The Okoban Global Luggage Tracker is FREE! Please see www.okoban.com for further information about this brilliant service :)

So ... what didn't we like about the bag?  Not a lot actually :) we were very happy with the size, weight, travel security tracker, ease of packing and how much you could fit into it.
The bag comes in a variety of colours and we found that the bright purple bag drew quite a bit of attention in the check-in queue as it looked so neat, tidy and useful.

However .... we did miss having a pull-along handle.  Yes the straps are comfortable and the handles accessible, but sometimes with 9-10kg on your back you sometimes don't want to have to hoist it on and wear both straps (as I said above we ended up using one of the straps instead of two). This can get a bit heavy after a while and we missed being able to drag it behind us.    
I do understand the reason for not having wheels and a handle - these would affect the weight of the bag, the handle would take up storage space and the wheels will affect the overall size of the capacity.  
The Cabin Zero Classic Bag is very very useful, it met our demands and complied with all the restrictions applied by the travel company. We didn't have to worry about being charged and we could keep it with us.

We will use this bag again and again, my daughter Emma has just gone to Switzerland with The Girl Guides, she was going to use the bag but as they have gone by coach she took a suitcase instead.  When she goes on a camping pack holiday this bag will be brilliant to pack all her gear into.  It is light enough for her to carry, bright purple (she is a teenager) and I know the straps if worn correctly will not hurt her back as she carries it.

Cabin Zero bags are guaranteed for 10 years BUT if you LIKE their Facebook page within 30 days of purchase they will up the guarantee to 25 years!!!!!

Your Cabin Zero Bag could be the best luggage purchase you ever make :) I am impressed, I think you will be too.

RRP £35 each

CabinZero products are available from airports and Fenwick’s nationwide or online at Next.co.uk and www.cabinzero.com

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