When comparing REI Trail 40 Pack vs Eagle Creek Gear Hauler, the Slant community recommends REI Trail 40 Pack for most people. In the question“What are the best carry on backpacks for travel that hold at least 30L?” REI Trail 40 Pack is ranked 4th while Eagle Creek Gear Hauler is ranked 16th. The most important reason people chose REI Trail 40 Pack is:
There is a [women-specific version](http://www.slant.co/topics/5119/viewpoints/7/~carry-on-travel-backpacks-for-women-that-hold-at-least-30l~rei-trail-40-pack-women-s) of the REI Trail 40 available, which has a slightly smaller torso fit range.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Women-specific version available
There is a women-specific version of the REI Trail 40 available, which has a slightly smaller torso fit range.
Pro Pockets on the hip belt for easy access
The hip belt has two zippered pockets which lets you store things for easy access (such as papers, money or snacks).
Pro Four zipper access to easily get to your belongings
The pack is front load with four zipper access, allowing you to unzip from either the top or bottom. This is great if you want to grab something from the bottom of your pack without opening it completely.
Pro Includes raincover
The pack comes with a rain cover that stows away in it's own zip pocket.
Pro Very lightweight
With a high capacity of 48L, it is still very lightweight at 2lbs 10 ounces.
Pro High capacity for a carry on
Capacity of 48L, a fair bit higher than the capacity of most carry on packs.
Con Pocket for hydration reservoir is difficult to access
The pocket for the hydration reservoir is external, located right behind the back panel. There is very little room, making it hard to access and can only fit a small amount of water (around 1.5L).
Con Internal bungee compression system can get in the way
The internal compression straps are a bungee system, which does not unclip the way most do. When your pack is full, this can make it a very tight squeeze if you want to access something in the back.
Con Uncomfortable to carry for long periods
Not a great option if you're looking for a pack you can wear while exploring the city.
There is no hip belt or hip strap, so all the weight of the pack will be on your shoulders. The shoulder strap padding is fairly minimal, causing them to dig in.