CalPak Luggage Review

If you’re in a hurry and are here to find out what the best piece of CalPak luggage is then we recommend the Silver Lake Solid Duffel Bag and the Zanny Legacy Tote as the best ones.

Stylish, high-quality CalPak luggage has been quickly rising to the forefront for its beauty and durability. This CalPak luggage review will focus on carry-on and brief-case style bags for professionals, teachers, students, and travelers. CalPak has a number of types of bags and packs to meet the everyday needs of the individual who’s always on-the-go.

Here are the best CalPak products that we will be reviewing:

What to Look for in Your CalPak Bag

CalPak is a California-based company touted for their excellent workmanship and thoughtful design for any type of travel needs. There are a number of considerations when choosing a carry-on bag for travel or a bag for school or business. 

Durable Construction Materials

Fabric construction is generally the choice for carry-on luggage or a bag that must be carried from place to place. The soft materials have enough flexibility to take on different shaped and sized items and conform to the body shape of the carrier. CalPak soft bags are made from high-quality polyester for plenty of endurance while remaining lightweight.

Size and Capacity

The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches. CalPak has several soft-side bags meeting this requirement for stowing either overhead or under the seat. Frequent flyers may want this bag for personal items such as electronic devices or important papers. For a weekend trip, a carry-on case is convenient and saves the extra expense of a checked bag.

For professionals and teachers, a bag that is able to accommodate a laptop, business files, or other job-related accouterments is required. Care must be taken when selecting a bag to ensure your laptop will fit along with other needed items. 

Choose the Most Important Features for Your Needs

The amount of actual walking you normally do with your bag, as well as the weight of the contents, also come into play when choosing a small carryall. If you do a lot of walking, whether from office to office, classroom to classroom, or along the street, a case with durable wheels and a retractable handle may be an absolute necessity. 

A padded shoulder strap may be the preference of some, and handier for public transportation. There are also backpacks available for school or weekend treks. S-shaped shoulder straps help to conform to individual body shape, decreasing the chance of shoulder and back strain.

CalPak bags have a couple of standard features that help to set them apart. Self-repairing zippers are one of these features. Also, several of their bags have zippers that encompass three sides of the bag, resulting in easy access to a laptop or files. 

Plenty of easy access, zippered pockets are also a plus for personal items such as phones, glasses, or a water bottle.

Be True to Your Style

CalPak bags come in a variety of styles and colors. Duffle bags, backpacks, or more professional-styled soft briefcases are some of the choices. Whether you prefer a sleek, modern look or a more colorful, fun or designer style, you have options in CalPak’s hand-carry line.
Different colored suitcases in car

Multi-purpose Cases.

A small-sized, durable soft case from CalPak may serve more than one role in your busy lifestyle. Some possibilities are:

  • Home to Office: Organize and transport your work with ease.
  • School: Bags appropriate for elementary to college students, as well as teachers, to organize laptops, textbooks, binders, and stationery.
  • Recreation: Trek to the gym, park, or other day outings.
  • Weekend traveler: Pack all you need to throw in the trunk or carry on the plane with confidence.

Precautions to be Aware of

CalPak is known for its well-made bags. Still, there are a couple of issues to be aware of that some customers have commented on. 

One is the type of zipper used on many CalPak soft bags. Frequent flyers should be aware that coil zippers are the easiest type to break into, requiring little more than a key, pencil, or pen to break in. So long as you keep track of your carry-on bag at the airport or don’t leave it sitting in a public space in a school or office building, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Some customers have also had issues with the handles of a couple of Calpak bags, such as the 16-inch Suitor rolling bag. So if you tend to overstuff your bag, this may not be a good choice for you.

You may also want to do some additional digging regarding the weather-resistance of some of the small bags if you frequently find yourself running through the rain or pulling your bag along wet streets.

If you’re looking for more security for your luggage, check out these articles:
Best Anti-Theft Backpack
Best Zipperless Luggage

Small-bag CalPak Luggage Reviews

CalPak does offer a whole range of different types of luggage, here we look closer at some of their most popular products.

CalPak Silver Lake Solid Duffel Bag

This informal-styled duffel bag features a removable, 54-inch non-slip, padded shoulder strap, and five exterior zipper pockets for easy organization. Both its 600D ripstop polyester exterior and interior nylon lining are strong and durable for lasting wear. The handy side handle also makes it easy to grab from a pile.

This bag is within the recommended size limitations for carry-on luggage, making it great for a short trip or as a personal-item that stows well in overhead compartments. It is also an ideal gym bag and some have also used the bag for camping or other recreation. The convenient end pockets and U-shaped main-compartment zipper help to make stowed items more accessible. 

The bag also comes with a built-in ID tag for quick identification and security. It comes in your choice of black, blue, red, or olive colors.

>>Find the CalPak Silver Lake Solid Duffel Bag on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Informal duffel bag that is great for everyday use and pleasure travel.
  • Tough and durable exterior that can last for a long time and strong internal nylon lining.
  • Lightweight construction with a padded shoulder strap for additional comfort.
  • Can be a multipurpose duffel, use is as a carry-on,  for the gym, for school, or camping.
  • Convenient size as it fits many airlines carry-on restrictions and overhead bins.

Cons:

  • Some customers comment that seams and handles begin to come apart after several months of heavy use.

>>Find the CalPak Silver Lake Solid Duffel Bag on Amazon<<

CalPak Rolling 16-inch Suitor Carry-on


This suitor rolling carry-on features a large main compartment with two front pockets for organizing and for your accessories. It also features self-repairing Excel zippers and a heavy-duty grip handle. 

The zippers for the front compartments open three sides for easier access and organization in the front pocket sections. The overall size of 8 x 13 x 17 inches makes this a good carry-on option for business or weekend trips or as a personal item. 

This bag will not accommodate a very large laptop, but a smaller one plus other office supplies fit well. The bag has a classy look with a telescoping handle and two side-mounted wheels for stability. 

>>Find the CalPak Rolling Suitor Carry-on on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Rolling bag for greater mobility with two wheels for pulling behind you.
  • 3 total pockets, one main for clothing, another for a laptop or tablet, and a small one for accessories.
  • Easy access storage and organizing compartments.
  • Features CalPak’s self-repairing zippers.
  • Professional look and style, perfect for a weekend trip or short business trip.

Cons:

  • Several customers complaints of top handle coming off.
  • Only holds a small laptop–less than 16 inches.

>Find the CalPak Rolling Suitor Carry-on on Amazon<<

CalPak Rebound Backpack

This lightweight, water-resistant backpack features three packing compartments along with a front accessory compartment. There are also mesh side pockets for water bottles or other accessories. The pack has a high-density foam back cushion and padded, S-shape adjustable shoulder straps for safer, more comfortable carrying.

The bag is on the smaller side, ideal for a child to use for school or a small adult to use for school, job, or recreation. It makes a great bag when sightseeing, to carry lunch, personal items, and an extra water bottle. There are extra clips on the shoulder straps for attaching any additional camping or hiking items. 

This bag comes in a creative leopard pattern for a touch of personality. It’s small enough to be used as a carry-on bag or a weekend bag for a child and the bold pattern makes it harder to misplace. It can carry a laptop or textbooks and binders along with pencils, pens, and other school items.

>>Find the CalPak Rebound Backpack on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Lightweight and water-resistant with fun leopard print design.
  • Three zipper pockets for organization.
  • Ergonomic straps for safer and more comfortable carrying.
  • Perfect for school or for an overnight trip.

Cons:

  • Smaller size, may not be ideal for taller users.

>>Find the CalPak Rebound Backpack on Amazon<<

CalPak Zanny Legacy Tote Bag


The briefcase-style Zanny bag features a large main compartment and a padded laptop compartment. Professionals will appreciate the pen and cardholder inside. The case has a rolling option with a 32-inch telescoping handle, or use the adjustable, detachable shoulder strap.

The legacy pattern is attractive and stylish, with a nylon lining for added durability. The main compartment is about 14 inches deep, and the laptop compartment will fit most sizes easily. Along with a laptop and work papers, the bag can carry your lunch and other personal items. There are two side pockets for a water bottle and umbrella as well. 

For day-to-day business or a weekend trip, this little bag will meet your needs with personality combined with professional style. 

>>Find the CalPak Zanny Legacy Tote on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Deep bag for laptop and files, great for work or school.
  • Stylish pattern with a durable nylon lining for added durability.
  • Has three different carry options, by the handles, shoulder strap, or wheel it behind you.
  • Stylish look works for professional or leisure use.

Cons:

  • Not a good size for wider items.

>>Find the CalPak Zanny Legacy Tote on Amazon<<

CalPak First Impression Briefcase


This soft laptop briefcase is manufactured with 100% ripstop polyester, with self-repairing zippers. It’s available in deep red, black, or navy blue. The bag also features a 43-inch padded shoulder strap for easy carrying. 

The top-carrying handle will fit securely over a larger suitcase extended handle for transport to and from the airport. The bag makes a great carry on for business trips or for day-to-day use. The padded compartment holds up to a 15.4-inch laptop, with additional pockets for power cords, cellphones, and files. 

The zippers follow the contour of the bag so that the compartments open wide for easy access. The pockets are well laid out, with outside front zippered pockets. This briefcase would also be the perfect gift for a young or traveling professional, anyone coming of age, or a university student. 

>>Find the CalPak First Impression Briefcase on Amazon<<

Pros:

  • Durable, high-quality polyester used for this soft briefcase.
  • Features CalPak’s self-repairing zipper system.
  • Sporty, compact design while still looking professional enough for work.
  • Carries up to a 15.4-inch laptop in a protective sleeve.
  • Well-thought-out placement and design of pockets help to keep you organized.
  • Can be secured to the top of larger luggage for easy mobility.

Cons:

  • Not large enough to hold a lot of items, such as overnight gear.

>>Find the CalPak First Impression Briefcase on Amazon<<

Final Thoughts

Of the five small cases reviewed above, the Silver Lake Duffel is one of the most durable and versatile choices. The bag’s lightweight design makes it equally at home going to the gym, school, or as a carry-on case for travel.

The Zanny Bag is also a wonderful choice for a professional, on-the-go lifestyle. For everyday use or business trips, this tote will give the right impression while providing all the carrying capacity you need.

CalPak bags are highly rated for high-quality at a reasonable price. From Small bags to full-sized luggage sets, there’s a CalPak case to meet your needs in many unique colors and styles.

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