Purchase date: June 2010
Reason for Purchase: Because I was entering the Peace Corps in July '10, I wanted a carry-on that would compliment my 80L Osprey pack and LLBean duffel. I needed a large carry-on that could:
- Hold my laptop and a few days worth of clothes for business/holiday trips。
- Carry easily OFF my back when I was wearing my Osprey。
- Withstand daily abuse。
Primary Intended Use:
- 3-7 day vacations and business trips
- Complimenting my other, larger luggage for the long hauls to and from the US
Review after 18 months of use:
This is a versatile, well built, and useful piece of gear. On the 3 day trip over to China from the US, it held all my gear that I needed to use, including clean business clothes. My other two bags were never opened between my house and my final destination in Chengdu, Sichuan. I never worried about my laptop, because it was sandwhiched between inches of clothing. The outer pockets easily organized important documents. The shoulder strap provided ample support as I ran through the terminal of Beijing airport with nearly 80 pounds of gear in 3 bags.
Since then, I have used this bag on numerous multi-day hostel and hotel trips, the longest and most recent being 10 days, including 2 days of strenuous (and slightly unexpected) hiking through Yunnan's Tiger Leaping Gorge. While I had used the backpack straps on earlier trips, it wasn't until this past excursion that I realized how supportive this pack really is. I carried a fully frieghted MLC on its stowable backpack straps for 12 hours of hiking over 2 days with no back pain and minimal discomfort. The weather yoyoed between swelltering and feezing as the sun passed over the gorge's walls, but I had more than enough layers packed away. As my layers got dirty, I just moved them from on section of the bag to another.
My Bottom Line:
I highly recommend this pack for anyone who wants a carry-on with lots of room, no wheels, and multiple, very supportive carrying options. The construction is bulletproof, the design is well thought out, and the zippers are burly. The MLC receives 5 stars because it does what it is meant to do, and I cant think of any reasonable improvements.