A Review of Standard’s Carry-on Backpack

The beautiful and simple carry-on backpack from Standard Luggage ticks all the boxes for digital nomads.

Recently I received the Standard Luggage carry-on backpack. I decided to try it out on a week trip to Japan before writing about it. In short, it’s a great no-nonsense backpack which does everything I want as a digital nomad. It also looks great while not being flashy or making you look like a tourist.

The Standard Luggage Carry-on Backpack

Standard Luggage’s carry-on backpack started as a Kickstarter project earlier this year. Now it’s available for $175 from their website and they have free worldwide shipping!

In the box you get the backpack, rain cover, shoulder strap and teal replacements for the orange accented parts of the backpack. This is the only popular digital nomad backpack that includes a rain cover, on top of being water resistant already. It can be a life saver if you get caught in the rains in the tropics.

The dimensions of the pack are 55cm x 34cm x 19cm / 21.5" x 13.5" x 7.5" (expandable) and the volume is 35L / 2.1k cu. in. (expandable). It’s very light when empty and only weighs 1.6kg / 3.7lb.

The build quality is great, at no point did I feel like I was at risk breaking it. They also use YKK zippers which are the best out there, and zippers are normally the first item to break in backpacks.


The front of the backpack has two flat pockets, great for flat things you need quick access to.

Spacious front pockets

The main compartment is 35 liters but can be expanded to 45 liters by unzipping a zipper in the lid. This can be really useful if you buy clothes or souvenirs while traveling or if you’re traveling somewhere cold where you need more bulky clothes.

It opens easily as a clam shell so you never have the problem you have with typical top loaded backpacks where the things you need are always at the bottom, making it a pain to get to.

The main compartment is easy to open

Inside the main compartment there’s two strong straps which keep all your things in place. That way you can strap your things down tightly and not have to worry about your backpack becoming a mess.

Easy to use straps keep your things in place

The lid has a separate compartment that can be unzipped. I used it to store non-clean clothes and found it great for that purpose. It can be used to store a suit or shirt as well since it’s more compact and flat.

In the lid itself there are two pockets. One of them is a net pocket so it breathes. I used it for toiletries so if it got a bit wet there were no problems.

Two layers of three pockets in the lid

At the backside of the pack there’s a compartment that zips half way down where you can store a laptop, tablet, pens, papers, passport, etc. There are many pockets to help you keep organized. I found the number of pockets to be just right, I found them all useful.

Laptop compartment with many useful pockets

On the back of the pack there’s one last zipper. This one is for a compartment which can be used to store the straps. I love this feature and it’s easy and fast to use. It allowed me to never have the straps out except when I needed them.

There’s a sternum strap on these by the way, it helps surprisingly much when the pack gets heavy. There’s no hip belt however, which might be a disadvantage for people who do a lot of walking or hiking.

The backpack straps are easy to set up and put away

One of my favorite things about this backpack is that it comes with a shoulder strap. It just gives you that look, not a tourist look, but just someone walking around with a shoulder bag.


Overall I really like this backpack. I couldn’t find anything that I dislike. They thought of everything that I’d ask for in a backpack as a digital nomad and this backpack deserves its listing in our digital nomad backpack section.

If you’re considering doing the digital nomad thing and thinking what backpack to get, then this one is a great choice. You can buy it from the Standard Luggage website.

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