Could This Be The Best Compact, Weekender-Style Carry On Bag?

by   |  in Lifestyle

Do you travel a lot and prefer packing light by bringing just one carry on bag?

And for shorter 2-5 day trips, do you find carry on luggage (a.k.a. roller bags) a bit too much?

I know I do.

I always default to roller bag carry-ons for all trips, but I usually pack light, so they’re mostly empty.

Or worse! I end up packing too much, just because there’s room, and I always regret it.

Usually, for short trips, roller bags are overkill.

And duffel bags? They’re fine, but the fact that it’s one large compartment always bothered me. I need organization! And duffels don’t usually offer that.

Enter the Bento Bag from Nomad Lane

full overhead shot - best travel bag for men - nomad lane bento bag

I frickin’ LOVE this bag. Out of all the weekenders, roller bags, and duffels I’ve come across, this is by far my favorite carry on bag for a 2-5 day trip.

It functions like a normal carry-on, but it’s compact like a weekender, and on top of that, nicely compartmentalized with space for shoes, clothes, your laptop, some notebooks, your toiletries, chargers and cables, a built in port to charge your smartphone, and a whole bunch more!

I review the Bento Bag in the video below

Prefer video? I go through the Bento Bag compartment by compartment in the video below, check it out:

In short, here’s what I love about this bag


Like I said a few paragraphs up, this looks like a small weekender (yet actually stores quite a bit), functions like a carry-on, and is more useful than a duffel, just based on the compartments alone.

closeup of zippers - best travel bag for men - nomad lane bento bag

Best of all, it’s small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of you on an airplane! Considering that this could be your one and only travel bag for a quick trip because of how much it carries, that’s pretty impressive.


Speaking of compartments, the Bento Bag is an organized man’s wet dream. The front exterior pocket has little sections for all your small things (cue Blink 182) like pens, little notebooks, passport, even a hook for your keys.

The main compartment has two different sections (more on that below) and a padded area for your laptop and some notebooks (or maybe magazines or books… it can fit whatever you need).

There are two smaller zip pockets accessible from the exterior. One is designed to hold your chargers and tech stuff, the other, your toiletries. Of course, you can use these exterior pockets any way you like.

closeup of back - best travel bag for men - nomad lane bento bag

There’s also a way to access the clothing section of your bag through an exterior zipper, without having to open the whole bag up (and rifle through all your clothes with your suitcase wide open).

Finally, the little sleeve that serves as a secure attachment to your roller bag, should you need to bring one, has a single zip pocket, perfect for quickly throwing stuff in before hoisting your bag on the X-ray conveyor belt thing at security.

Functions like a roller bag / carry-on suitcase

The main compartment opens flat, clam shell style, like a regular suitcase does. This makes it easy to pack and unpack, plus, the two main sections hold SO MUCH.

You can easily pack enough clothing, accessories and shoes for a 2-3 day trip, if not 4-5, assuming you wear pretty versatile outfits with items that all work together.

One section has a mesh cover, perfect for shoes or bigger, bulkier items, and the other has a solid, zipped off cover where you can store your clothing.

Built-in USB port

closeup of USB charger port - best travel bag for men - nomad lane bento bag

Charge your phone on the go without having to 1.) fumble around with your battery and your phone and your bag (you only have two hands), or 2.) leaving your phone inside your bag with your battery while it’s charging.

Slot to attach to your carry-on roller bag

I mentioned this earlier, but in case you do need to pack for a longer trip, the Bento Bag is a great secondary carry-on that will give you more than enough room.

Best of all, you can use the Bento Bag as a day trip bag during your travels instead of a backpack or duffel.

At the very least, you have extra storage in case you need it, which is always a good thing when traveling.

Easy access everywhere

Everything you need is easily accessible. Your toiletries, your tech stuff, your passport, your laptop, everything. Even your clothes!

You don’t have to open your whole Bento Bag up; you can access your clothes through an exterior zipper.

Is this the perfect bag for one-bag travel?

I’d say so!

If you’re a light packer, and you’re going on a short trip (2-5 days), this is really the only bag you need.

If you love it as much as I do, pick one up for yourself! Just click the link below.

By the way, I asked the founders of Nomad Lane to hook Effortless Gent readers up with a special price. So make sure you lock one in today, and thank me later 😉