Feature image Matthias Ripp
I am an organized minimalist when it comes to travel. Whether trekking through back-country Canada or squeezing through New York City, I get anxiety with multiple bags in tow. The stress sky-rockets in airports, and I suffer from the constant thought of I’m forgetting something. Overall, I strive to a) travel light and b) keep a sharp eye on my belongings. I often keep bags of varying size — an everyday city-walk bag, a day trip bag, and an overnight bag. My trouble is finding the best bag to handle all of the above.
The Hummingbird Cargo Carrier is my latest choice, a no bullshit, lightweight vinyl and nylon carrier that protects against anything I throw at it. It adapts in size to however much I’m packing, and I like that it can triple as a normal backpack, a hitchhiking backpack with a waist strap, and a duffel I can carry on the plane. It can quickly store all the smaller bags I need on my trip with no fluff — you won’t find zippers, hidden pockets, or any of that with this bag.
While traveling through Scandinavia recently, I thought the 65-liter duffel might be a pain to maneuver. But through the planes, trains, and boats the simplicity of having one shell with all my gear trumped any minor setbacks. The bag endured falls, scrapes, and endless wet conditions — it even fell into the Baltic Sea — and all my belongings were safe.
My first thought for using the Cargo Carrier again would be a Grand Canyon river-rafting trip. I wouldn’t use it for extended hikes where I’d have to wear it for hours of walking, but next time I’m headed to a country with questionable weather conditions, I will make use of it. It’s the perfect wet-n-wild adventure travel bag.
The Cargo Carrier comes in yellow and blue, with two capacity options at 65 and 115 liters. I got the 65-liter, which was more than enough space for a two-week journey. And when mud was splashed across the bag I hand washed it.
My only issue with the Cargo Carrier came the first few times I sealed the pack and struggled to get it right. The double-fold is a safe bet but no roll-down enclosure is fool-proof when submerged in water or covered in sand. When you try it, check out the instructions for how to strap and buckle properly.
Learn more about the Cargo Carrier from Hummingbird.
Note: Hummingbird sent me this bag at no cost, but all of the opinions expressed here are my own.