By Vernon Felton


I’m normally not the type of person who waxes poetic about luggage. It’s a niche that generally leaves me cold. For years, I traveled the globe with 20 pairs of underwear and a week’s worth of bike gear crammed into an old O’Neill boogie-board bag. At some point, as I was wrestling the behemoth bag from Remote Parking Lot C to the international terminal at LAX, I was passed by a woman who couldn’t have stood an inch over 5-foot and probably weighed 90 pounds soaking wet. She breezed past me with a giant roller bag trailing dutifully behind her. I think she was texting with her other hand. I, by contrast, had my awkward sack gripped in a vicious bear hug, sweat was streaming down my face and I had another half mile to go before I hit the ticket counter.

I got smart.

I got some decent luggage.

These days, I generally roll into airports with a Dakine roller bag–it’s huge, it’s sturdy, it has compartments, the whole ball of wax. But there are those short trips for which a massive roller bag is a bit of overkill.

Enter the Thule Crossover 38L, which doubles as a compact roller bag and, once you pull out the hide-a-way straps, a backpack. The Crossover is large enough to handle a couple days worth of clothes, yet small enough to qualify as carry on luggage on most airlines, which eliminates that annoying wait at the luggage carousel.

What’s more, the Thule is packed with smart features. The padded, top-load pouch holds up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro or PC. Hide-away backpack straps allow for quick and easy shouldering for those moments when you are no longer cruising through the airport and you don’t feel like dragging the bag through the dirt. The Crossover is sheathed in a burly fabric that is water resistant and the general construction of the bag is surprisingly rugged. If you are toting along something spendy and fragile, you’ll appreciate the heat-molded, crush-proof SafeZone compartment that’s perfect for pricey sunglasses, iPhones, iPods or whatever it is that you don’t want smashed into useless fragments.

I consider this a day pack. I’ve gotten away with two days worth of clothing and kit–thankfully the divided main compartment helps keep things organized and prevents funky clothes from fouling fresh ones. If a daypack just isn’t going to cut it for you, Thule also sells jumbo versions of the Crossover.

Want to know more about Thule’s very cool bags? CLICK HERE.