Best Carry-On for Parents: backpack

alpha sherpa backpack baby sherpaIf you would have caught a glimpse of me at the airport this past weekend, you would have seen me with my baby in an ERGO on my front and a pack on my back.

Backpacks are ideal carry-ons for parents. wearing one allowed me to keep my hands free for other important tasks - comforting my baby, helping my preschooler take her shoes off in the security line, washing my hands, etc.

For this trip, I wore the Alpha Sherpa backpack, an all-new pack from Baby Sherpa.

Some of the features include:

  • A padded laptop compartment safely holds most 14” computers
  • Soft-sided cooler compartment with a capacity of 8 cans
  • Ergonomically designed with padded shoulder straps
  • a Bungee X cord for extra storage (perfect for blankets and nursing covers)
  • two accessory pouches for smaller items or your mobile devices
  • sternum and waist belt straps for added support

I particularly like the removable exterior pockets (for glasses, snacks, small items that you want to be easily accessible) and the padded laptop sleeve along the back (I barely noticed that my macbook was there). It was also handy to have multiple storage areas to keep the contents organized.

The pack comes in an attractive unisex Black Graphite ripstop nylon that is easy to clean and water resistant.

BUY IT: Enter discount code Blog20 to get $20 off the regular price of $119.00 (plus, FREE shipping). Offer expires Oct. 31, 2009.

image002 (3)WIN IT! One winner will receive an Alpha Sherpa backpack ($119). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Monday, October 12th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner is #107 Mishia. Congratulations!

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124 comments on “Best Carry-On for Parents: backpack”

  1. My backpack (that I use as a diaper bag) is about to bite the dust. I love that this one doesn't look like a diaper bag. Having all the compartments would be wonderful.

  2. Looks like I can fit a lot of stuff in there. When I go out with all my kids I feel like I need some huge backpack like those of mountain climbers LOL

  3. I love that it's big & I can carry my stuff & the kids plus lunch.when we go camping as a my hands are free to keep the kidos in check.

  4. I like the fact that being a backpack, it leaves the hands free. Also, the cooler would really come in handy for trips to the park here in Sunny Florida!

  5. I think it's great this backpack includes a pocket protected for laptops. It would be great to have one bag instead of multiple.

  6. I love this bag! Hubby is a backpack guy and this would stop the baby stuff being mixed with his regular stuff. I'm sure he'd love it!

  7. I like that it is gender neutral. Most of the carriers I find have designs or patterns that my husband finds feminine. Thanks!

  8. Great giveaway! I love that it has a cooler. I'm always out and about when my kiddos get thirsty and always have to stop.
    Thanks for the chance!

  9. Holy COw! What an aweseome giveaway!

    This would be perfect to give to a friend at her upcoming Baby Shower!!

    Thanks so much for the chance!! YAY!

  10. Lots going on in that little backpack! I often need a backpack so I have both hands free when out and about with my daughter but still can carry all the bits and pieces we need. I like all the features, all the little compartments and the bungee x cord is such a neat extra and is certainly handy!

  11. I love that it is worn on the back. My nephew's diaper bag has a shoulder strap and it gets to be such a pain pushing the stroller and keeping that on my shoulder at the same time!

  12. This is so functional and sporty, it could be used long after you're done with diapers. I especially like the cooler section. It would be great for hiking and picnics.

  13. This would be a big help for when we travel. Maybe my husband wouldn't mind carrying this - since he can put his laptop in there too!

  14. My niece is expecting her third and going to college so a backpack that can carry everything including her laptop would be awesome.

  15. Being organized, especially with a baby, is so important. I love that this backpack has compartments for everything.

  16. Sweet! I have three kids and all the diaper bags are worn down. This would be ideal when we go out and about with the kids. We've used a backpack before but this one has many pockets on the outside which is ideal for a quick reach like drinks or the emergency fruit snack! You moms know what I mean... Gotta have it! :)

  17. My granddaughter just found out she's expecting. I'd love to win this for her. She's gonna need it for all the baby things she'll have to carry around. Thanks! :)

  18. For me, a bag with a laptop compartment is a must. A pocket or strap for a water bottle is also high on my list of requirements.

  19. Wow, I love that it has a spot for a laptop computer and a cooler. It can be used for taking baby girl with me to work, or to sports games of the big kids or whatever. Heck, I could pack my laptop, and stuff for a picnic and get work done while the kids play at the park!

  20. What an awesome backpack, I love backbacks, I usually bring one instead of luggage on trips that are only a day or two. Its so much easier! Thanks!

  21. I think that backpack would work very well with my MacAir. I am flying soon with the kiddos and wondering if I should try to bring my laptop along. I know I will love having it with me, but not so sure how to lug it around just yet.

  22. What a fab backpack- we had one that we used for hiking to go throught the airport when brining home a new baby and this seems a lot more versatile!

  23. I would love to win this. Thanks for the chance. You can't beat a bag that doubles a backpack, a diaper bag, and much more!

  24. I like backpacks, but I like this one more because of all the features. I rarely go anywhere without my laptop nowadays, and this backpack looks roomy enough to carry the laptop along with enough stuff to make this my only carry-on.

  25. Yeah, I'm sort of annoyed with my diaper bag for not being a backpack. I love many of its features and all, but being able to just toss it on my back instead of it sliding down off of my shoulder all the time would be SO handy. This one looks pretty awesome.

  26. The soft-sided cooler compartment with a capacity of 8 cans sounds very intriguing. Maybe I can work on my laptop while drinking a Pepsi !

  27. My sister would love this prize, the Alpha Sherpa Back Pack Diaper Bag with ergo design with padded shoulder straps,sternum strap and optional waist belt.
    Please accept my entry. Thank you.

  28. I have heard about this great backpack! I love all of the space and compartments to store both my stuff and my baby's stuff!!!

  29. What more could you need on a trip (aside from another set of hands that is)? Bags like this come in handy for all of the things one needs to pack for a trip! So glad that your trip went smoothly!

  30. They named the company Baby Sherpa because of the qualities of the Nepalese Sherpas - strength and the ability to withstand the demands of life - and it looks like this bag fits those.

  31. This would be a great gift for my daughter-in-law who is do at Christmas. I was just telling her it is beneficial to grow a couple of extra arms once the baby comes.

  32. Wow, that looks like quite the bag, they thought of everything. I would use it to tote all my daughters things around when traveling.

  33. i fly oct 30th with my daughter this backpack would be so awesome. Fingers crossed. This would be a great carry on item

  34. I actually didn't clue into how usefull a backpack is until 2 weeks ago when we went apple picking. We had all this, food, snacks for us, bottles etc. and I had all these different bags hanging off my arms plus the baby in the carrier. Both me and my husband realized at the same time that we should have put everything in a would have been SO much easier!

  35. That looks like the ultimate diaper bag.

    I hate my current one, in fact I won it on a blog and it was suppose to be great. But I hate it. Its floppy so it's hard to put down because it falls over. It doesn't have enough pockets. Its too brightly colored and way too small even though its huge.

  36. This backpack would be an absolute amazing thing for us to have. It seriously has everything I could possibly want. Especially with 2 kiddos.

  37. This looks like a great bag to own. The myriad pockets, some removable, making loading and unloading in preparation for the next activity easier. The handle that can be adjusted and appears ergonomic looks quite comfortable. This is a a bag that seems perfect.


  38. the thought of traveling with a toddler makes me shudder! lol! But i would definitely use a carrier to tote him in! The backpack idea is really great too! We pretty much use backpacks for everything, so using one for a carry on on an airplane would fit us perfectly... and it sounds easier too!

  39. With a new grandson coming soon, this backpack would be ideal for the times I will be babysitting, going on walks, shopping, etc. It sure has great storage areas and well put together. Thanks for the opportunity!

  40. I love the storage capabilities of this backpack. I like to always be prepared for anything so I tend to carry a lot of stuff around with me. I also love the cooler since I always have drinks with me where ever I go.

  41. After our recent trip from Tampa to San Francisco and back and sadly because of airline mix up having to switch planes 3 times I was wishing for a backpack for just my items because my carry on and purse was not convenient. Then having items for three others didn't help. This would be so great as it has the separate storage, when switching planes and no time to grab something to sit and eat at airport you could buy a quick deli sandwich and bottle of water from airport vendor and have no worry about mixing with other items.
    With the support of the waist belt no fear of slipping around when you bend. What A great invention.

    Thank you so very very much


  42. We have a Lands End backpack diaper bag that is sorely in need of replacing - I always disliked backpacks until I started travelling with a child!

  43. Wow a backpack like that would be really useful. Is it really comfortable as well? I've been looking for a pretty nice backback (right now I just have a messenger bag...starting to look pretty grungy with all the use I've given it) so if I don't win it I'm going to have take advantage of your discount. Thank you!

  44. I'm gearing up for baby #2 and I can see that my current over-the-shoulder diaper bag just isn't going to work with 2 kids, especially if I plan on doing a lot of babywearing. This bag looks great and my hubby won't mind carrying it either.

  45. I had an Eddie Bauer pack I used some on trips, but on our last adventure to San Deigo the zipper got off track and it is now done. Which to me is rather frustraing because the rest of the bag is still in good shape, feels like a waste. This bag looks good and sturdy, and since we now have another on the way and a laptop it would be that much more useful to us.

  46. I LOVE the backpack idea. I used one as my diaper bag when my kids were small for the very reason that my hands were free! I found one that I could zipper off a front, purse. So when I was out with the kids I could only take the purse. I have triplets, then another baby when they were two, and needless to say I needed my hands free! The backpack was a lifesaver, and my hubby didn't mind helping to pack it around!

  47. We always pack a backpack on vacation, or just for outings. I stuff it with snack and activities to keep the kids busy in the car. I love that everything can be zipped away, instead of falling out if it tips over, like it would in a tote bag. This one is MUCH nicer than my current "car time" backpack, though!"

  48. My niece just had her first child. They live way up north in Canada, and will be traveling quite often "down south" This would be great for her to use on their trips.

  49. This backpack looks like it would be the ultimate bag. We are taking our little boy on his 1st plane ride the middle of November. I am trying to plan out everything I need to bring and your themed weekend couldn't have come at a better time. Now I need to add this back pack to my list...unless of course I win it. I hadn't even thought of carrying a backpack.

  50. I would have loved a bag like this when my kids were younger! I am sure this would come into good use for the parents of the baby I am carrying. I don't believe they've bought a diaper bag yet. :D


  51. I love my tote-style diaper bag for every day stuff, but a backpack is sure a good idea when you're traveling. This one looks so impressive!

  52. Oh, I feel like my laptop weighs one hundred pounds sometimes. It would be nice to replace my shoulder strap laptop bag (oh the back pain!) with a backpack!

  53. this bag looks awesome! we also use a backpack when we travel, but it's my old one. while it's still in decent condition, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles this one has!

  54. Very cool and functional backpack. I also like the way it looks...I hate the look of the traditional backpacks...which is why I never wear one!

  55. I do think the backpack is the best carry on with small ones. It leaved your hands free to chase around your little ones!

  56. we take a lot of road trips and the diaper bag just never is enough for us. This would be perfect for those 5 hour drives to the inlaws we take every other month or so.

  57. I am trying to come up with gifts for about 8 babies in the next 5 months! This would make a great gift for any of them. However, it would also be great for ME when I travel...even with no kids in tow!

  58. I think any backpack is an ideal carry on really...however one that has all the pockets and zippers and compartments I need to sort out my 4 kids on a plane would be freaking ideal! I have promised myself that the next time I travel I will only have the one carry on for EVERYONE...good luck to me.

  59. I love this Alpha Sherpa Backpack. I really love that they thought of everything. Especially the soft sided cooler part. Thanks so much.

  60. this looks sturdy and durable. I hesitate about buying bags for the organization and for the hurt factor of it tearing on the shoulders and arms

  61. I always see parents with these backpacks and wonder why I never purchased one. They look wonderful for any parent and out of the way on your back. Thanks for sharing.

  62. I swear sometimes Stephanie I think you have peeked into my brain and decided to blog the answer to me. I have been searching all over, hig and low on the net and in stores for a backpack. I want something that works for the kids and for me. Thanks for blogging about this. If I don't win one, I may ask Santa for it.

    I'm curious about the ERGO. Can you tell me what the weight limit is? Our youngest is 23lbs, I have been using the baby bjorn and it's not at all comfy. I tried to find it on Amazon and didn't see it.

    Thanks for another awesome blog. Amy

  63. I would LOVE a bag like this. It makes complete sense to wear a back pack to have your hands free to chase after a running toddler. I have spent many hours chasing a little one in the airport while trying to juggle other bags in my hands. This looks awesome!

  64. Hubby and I only use backpacks because it is perfect for hands free traveling ~ we even used it pre-baby. I've seen this one reviewed a lot and I'd love to try it as it sounds so comfy and with a smart design it sounds wonderful!

  65. I'm impressed that you can wear that carrier and not have to take it off through security lines! I swear by the toddler leash/backpacks when we're traveling through the airport. It gives my daughter freedom to roam but me the security. My only complaint is that they won't let me walk through security with my daughter wearing it. Drives me crazy!

  66. I really like the numerous pockets that it offers. You can take pretty much anything you would need for a day trip!

  67. This looks so cool. I love that it has a cooler built in. I hate lugging around a little backpack and a cooler when we got out on outings. This would be great.

  68. oooooooh! I love those exterior pockets! That's a gorgeous backpack!!! I haven't tried using a backpack yet -- I don't know why I didn't think of it. My diaper back is constantly falling off my shoulder.

  69. This really does seem like the ultimate backpack. I can't believe that the cooler compartment can hold 8 cans! Usually a pack with a cooler will only hold a couple drinks, max. My son is 2 and the old diaper bag doesn't even hold everything of his so we usually leave the house with WAY too many bags....diaper bag, clothes bag, my purse, cooler bag, toy gets CRAZY!! My husband thinks I am crazy when I start packing all this stuff into the car too. The Alpha Sherpa sounds like it can handle everything we would need to take along, and it is stylish too. I love the Graphite color!
    Excellent giveaway! I am so excited at the chance to win!

  70. I really need this, my diaper bag is falling apart and as my son gets older (5mo now) it seems I'm having to lug more and more stuff. This would be ideal!!

  71. We've always used a backpack on our visits to the zoo - this would be a fantastic upgrade. It has a lot of great features.

  72. Holy cow! That thing is a serious backback. I used a cruddy old walmart backpack for 4 years as a diaper bag for my two boys. This thing would have been a spectacular improvement :-)

  73. I've always used a backpack as my diaper bag. It's just so much easier because it keeps your hands free. This is a great bag!! There are so many pockets and features!

  74. I have found myself in the same position... except a baby bjorn on front a backpack on back and pushing a BOB in front. It gets pretty crazy. I am one of those moms that carries everything but the kitchen sink in my bag and I think having a backpack with plenty of compartments is a great idea. I would love something with a little more room and places to hold sippy cups and bottles without the worry of them spilling!

  75. This backpack is the answer to our wish list! My husband and I are avid birders, and we like to travel and hike, so this pack would certainly fit all of our things quite nicely.

  76. We would love to have one of these backpacks. My husband does a lot of outings with our 3 year old and we will soon have another baby. He would love to use this instead of my pretty diaper bags. ;)

  77. as more and more Mom's (& Dads) have more 'I can't leave this behind' items, it's great to see that someone has made a bag that does it all and is not awkward to carry... Bravo!

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