eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender review: Great for a weekend getaway, plenty of space for a well planned week

Reviews / Wearables Reviews
eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

If you are looking for a convertible carryon bag to live out of a few days a week every week, this bag really has features that make it stand out above others.

I live on the road, 35 hours a week in the car and 1-2 nights a week in a hotel. I’m always on the lookout for a more user-friendly suitcase. I don’t like roller-type bags because the wheels get dirty, they are heavier, and the rigid structure makes them more difficult to pack. I wanted a convertible bag because without wheels, carrying a bag on only one shoulder through the airport gets a little painful. The eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible looked like it had the best overall features for the price. Read on for our full eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible review.

Specifications

  • Exterior Dimensions: 22” H x 9” D x 14” W
  • Weight: 3 lbs, 15 oz
  • Material: 840D and 900D Twisted Poly
  • Premium YKK Buckles and Zippers
  • THE Smartest Internal Tie-Down Straps You Will EVER Find
  • Padded Backpack Straps (Stowable when not in use) with Chest Strap and Waist Strap (both easily removable)
  • Padded Shoulder Strap (Removable when not in use)
  • Laptop Compartment: (19” x 11.75” x 1.5”)
  • Main Compartment: 21.5” H x 5.5” D x 13” W
  • Front Compartment: 21.5” H x 3” D x 13” W
  • Full Expansion Zipper allows an extra 10% or packing space (3,299 cu. in. compressed and 3,651 cu. in. expanded)
  • Lifetime Warranty from eBags
eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

5 Packed for a 3 day trip, 2 dress shirts, suit pants, shoes, sweater, hat, and toiletries.

Design

Very nice, understated design. Lots of internal organization pockets will easily hold all your clothing as well as tech and travel necessities. Some of the design features that stand out to me are the collapsible shelf in the main compartment, meaning your clothes won’t all fall to the bottom of the bag when being carried as a backpack for long periods of time. Also while we are in the main compartment, the tie-down straps are ingenious! They anchor at the bottom outside edges like all bags, but there is an additional (optional) anchor point at the top outside edge of the main compartment, meaning when you tighten the strap down it pulls from across the top and compresses your clothes straight down flat rather than squeezing them into a rainbow shape wad.

The laptop sleeve leaves a little to be desired. There is a slightly awkward sling that adjusts to your laptop dimensions so that when you buckle it, the sling keeps your laptop from dropping to the bottom of the bag. On the plus side, the laptop compartment is the size of the bag in length and width, so it will fit even laptops that are so big you wouldn’t want to haul them around. Overall it’s nicely designed, subtle, and not overly done but very thought out in terms of storage and how that storage is used. The tie-down straps are probably the shining feature here as my clothes are no longer needing a massive steam job when I take them out of the bag.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

6 D-ring for locking compartment. One each on Front Compartment, Main Compartment, and Laptop Compartment.

Protection

The laptop compartment (which shares a wall with the back of the bag when carried as a backpack) has decent padding on the outside of the bag, but there is no padding between the main compartment and the laptop compartment, which if all your stuff inside is soft, no worries. Also, the main compartment, laptop compartment, and front pocket have D-rings sewn in so you can lock those compartments.

Overall the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible offers decent protection for your laptop and gives you that added protection of the D-rings which can be locked together. This particular bag is really meant to haul all of your stuff on your business trip with the added convenience of a laptop area. If you’re looking for rugged protection of electronics only then this probably isn’t it.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

2 Laptop Compartment with Dell 14” Laptop

Price/Value

The TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible comes in at $119USD. With the quality of construction, the intelligent features, and organization, and the price, I think this bag is a very good value.

Wrap Up

If you are looking for a convertible carryon bag to live out of a few days a week every week, this bag really has features that make it stand out above others, many priced higher. The ability to go messenger or backpack style is big. The innovative tie-down straps are a big reason to get this bag. The collapsible internal shelf, ability to easily carry business necessities and expandable main space mean this bag could suit a weekend getaway, or a well-planned week away.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender
4.6 Out of 5
Nailed it
Very well built, manufacturer claims this bag was built based off the input of 2,000+ travelers. For me, the tie-down straps and collapsible shelf in the main compartment as well as the convertible carry methods make this a winner.
Needs Work
Honestly, the two things that didn’t shine were the pullout water bottle holder and the compartment you tuck the backpack straps into. The water bottle holder does stow in a pocket, which is neat, but it is rather flimsy feeling when you have a full water bottle in it. The compartment you tuck the backpack straps into is lined with a rubber coating on the inside…this makes tucking them in flat and not in a wad a little difficult, especially if the bag is already packed. Think of getting to your plane planning to carry this on, and they tell you that all bags from this point on are being checked. You’d want to tuck the straps in prior to handing it over, and with the coating on this pocket, that could be a small challenge.
Bottom Line
I love this bag. The things “wrong” with it are minuscule compared to the things eBags got right. I would recommend this bag to anyone from the occasional traveler to the frequent business traveler. And, though they brand this as the “Weekender” I think if you are smart and pack light, you could easily do a week-long trip out of this bag, as long as you are not going to climb Everest on that trip!
Design4.75
Protection4.00
Price/Value5.00
*We were sent a sample of the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender for the purposes of this review.
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