Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On

We’ve been carrying these backpacks since 2003 when we rode the railways through Europe with our 13 year-old son. We can guarantee that they are comfortable and are beautifully constructed to organize a wide variety of items and clothing. There’s nothing like a good Rick Steves backpack for world travel.

Since we began traveling full-time in our Airstream, we’ve seldom used these backpacks. But they were too good to let go and now we are using them as “Go Bags” – a place to keep unique emergency preparedness items in scary situations when we may need to evacuate on foot.

Our Airstream is our full-time Go-Bag, but these strong, durable and comfortable backpacks could potentially be life-saving insurance should the worst happen without sufficient warning – such as fire, flood, landslide or earthquake so we can “carry on with confidence.”

As we build these Go Bags, we will update this area with the items we place inside them.



  • Carry-On with Confidence: It fits within most airlines’ carry-on guidelines. (Note: It’s possible to over-stuff soft-sided bags beyond carry-on limits, and risk rejection. Pack light!)
  • Outside: The classic, Rick Steves outer-pocket design gives it a clean, efficient look. A full-length side zipper opens to reveal a 14″ x 20″ compartment (perfect for a jacket). Three additional front pockets, a mesh water bottle pocket, external compression straps, two grab handles, padded shoulder straps and waist belt, and a breathable mesh lumbar panel complete the outside.
  • Inside: The generous main compartment includes adjustable compression straps, a clip-in document pouch with two mesh drawstring bags, and a full-width lid pocket.
  • Convertibility: To use it as a suitcase (or check it as luggage), the shoulder straps and waist belt securely tuck away in the back. Handy D-rings give you the choice of adding our optional Over-the-Shoulder Strap.
  • Expandability: Gain an extra 2 inches of cargo depth in a pinch (making it “fatter” than the carry-on limit, but perfect for checking).
  • Colors: Available in black, graphite, blue spruce, and plum.