Short Review - Minaal Carry-on 3.0


One year ago, I purchased the Minaal Carry-on 3.0 as my carry on backpack. Here is my short review of it.

Intended use

I purchased the backpack in order to replace the traditional carry-on trolley. I find backpacks to be nicer for navigation around the airport, and they allow you to have your hands free. I was looking for a spacious backpack that can house some clothes, as well as electronics such as laptop.

Please note: I don’t one-bag. In most of the cases, I take a standard suitcase with me, in addition to a carry-on. So this review is not from a point-of-view of someone who is one-bagging.

Where and how I used it

I used the Minaal Carry-on on two different occasions. The first time I use it, was when I was nomading in The Netherlands (you can read about it here, and here). The second time—is right now. I use the backpack while nomading in Central America (you can read about my first destination Costa Rica).

What I like about it

I must admit, I’m in love with this backpack. It’s super comfortable, and relatively roomy (more on that later).

I like the fact that it has a dedicated laptop sleeve. It really helps with airport security, as you don’t have to empty, and repack it, every time you want to take the laptop out. The laptop sleeve has a unique adjustable design, and I was able to fit a 16” MacBook Pro, and a 14” MacBook Pro, and it felt very secure in there. Moreover, the sleeve can house small electronics such as Bluetooth keyboard, external hard drive, laptop stand, etc. I call it—the electronics compartment.

I also appreciate the secret back pocket, where you can store cash and passport without worrying that people behind you might steal it.

The backpack and the straps—are very comfortable. It’s among one of the most comfortable backpacks I ever used. I also appreciate that you can clip the sternum strap, so it won’t dangle when you walk.

What I don’t like about it

First, the size. It is standard carry-on size, but I have a feeling that it’s smaller than say an American Tourister carry-on trolley. It’s not a big deal for me, and I assume Minaal wanted to fit as many airline guidelines, as possible. I have never been asked by airport stuff to measure the backpack.

The main compartment has some organization pockets, but I rarely use them. Once again, my use case is not one-bagging, so I usually carry my electronics and some clothes inside the backpack. If you one-bag, you might find the organization pockets useful.

I like the water bottle sleeve, but I really wish it had two of them. This would have been useful for carrying a tripod, for example.


I, usually don’t have access to trying backpacks before purchase. My only approach is pay a lot for shipping, and hope I like it. In the case with Minaal—I love it.

I find it to be a prefect travel backpack, and very comfortable. I would also recommend you to get the hip-belt, as it might get a bit heavy (I like to suffer, so I don’t take the backpack off my back while standing in lines).

And when storing it, you can remove the hip-belt completely, and stow away the shoulder straps—so it becomes like a small suitcase.

In summary, I’m very happy I got that backpack.