Nomad Lane Bento Bag Review: Carryon Bags

Have you been eyeing Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag? I’ve got all the info you need!

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag just might be the perfect personal item to carry onboard a flight. I have tried endless canvas carry-on bags, but I found that with kids, I was always digging around, trying to find what I was looking for. The first time I used Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag was a game-changer, and I knew it would become a staple for my travels.  

I purchased my own Bento Bag from Nomad Lane, and all opinions are my own.

#1 Pick
Nomad Lane's bento bag carry on bag
Image Credit: Savoteur

Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag

  • Packs like a suitcase
  • Fits under the seat in front of you
  • Breeze through airport security
  • Charge on the go
  • Style & accessories

My Experience Using Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag

Finding a great carry-on bag is like finding a needle in a haystack. I am the type of mom who will always choose a balance of both style and function. As a mom to two boys, ages 9 and 11, I’m frequently on the go, and I want a carry-on bag that is nicely organized so that I’m not searching endlessly for what I’m looking for.

I have been traveling with the Nomad Lane Bento Bag since 2019, and it is still in great shape for many more years of traveling. I own two pieces of nomad luggage, the bento bag, and their tote bag.

We are also very much a carry-on luggage type of travel family. Each person has their own carry-on roller luggage and a canvas personal item to go along with it. My boys have their own backpacks, my husband brings his briefcase, and I now happily slide my Bento Bag onto my carry-on roller luggage from Away.

Since we are a carry-on travel family, I am extremely particular about my personal item. Many moms out there can relate that half of my bag is filled with everyone else’s stuff. I need to have snacks accessible for my boys, a padded compartment for my laptop, my camera and extra lens, a change of outfit and shoes, my son’s Epi-Pen, and my toiletries at the bare minimum.

My boys are old enough now that I don’t have to carry their Amazon Fire Tablets (I love these tablets so much for kids!), but I like to travel with a book and a magazine as well as my own mini iPad, so I need room for these as well. With my Nomad Lane Bento Bag, I am able to pack all of the items mentioned above, look stylish carrying it through the airport, and feel relaxed knowing that everything is organized and in its place.

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Bento Bag Features

There are many reasons why I love Nomad Lane Bento Bag, but here are the top details that I like about this bag for traveling with or without kids.


nomad lane bento bag opens like a suitcase
Image Credit: Savoteur

1. Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag Packs Like a Suitcase

One of my favorite things about the Nomad Bento Bag is that it opens right down the middle, exactly like a suitcase. It makes it incredibly easy to pack and see if you are missing anything. It comes with carrying handles and a removable shoulder strap which offers different ways to carry the Bento Bag.

I like to pack my change of outfit and my shoes in this middle section, while the mesh keeps everything compressed while showing your packed items. The outside of the bag has a carabiner, so you can attach a travel pillow or anything else you wanted to hang from the Bento Bag. There is an internal elastic to keep a water bottle in place.

2. It Fits Under the Seat

This was so incredibly important to me when I was researching this bag. As a mom to two young boys, I wanted to have something that was accessible and did not require me to dig around in while looking for an item. It fits easily under the airplane seat in front of you with legroom to spare. You will no longer have to get up from your seat to reach the overhead bin to access your in-flight essentials.

One tip I can share with you. If you turn the bag on its side, you can put your feet on top and use it as a footstool to relieve pressure on your back during your flight. I pack cozy socks when I travel by plane, and as long as there is nothing breakable packed in my Bento Bag, I happily take off my shoes and rest my feet on them.

3. Breeze Through Airport Security

With the Nomad Lane Bento Bag, you can easily and quickly reach for your toiletries and tech gear from the two top access pockets. The Nomad Bento Bag comes with a pouch for tech cables and chargers as well as a clear pouch for your liquids. They both have designated access pockets that they slip into, again accessible from the top zippers.

Your laptop can be accessed via top access zippers from its built-in padded pocket. No more digging around in the security lineup; you can access everything on the go. One thing that I love about Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag is that in the security lineup, I leave it on top of my luggage and simply remove the items I need to before placing everything onto the x-ray conveyor belt.

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carry on bag nomad lane bento bag
Image Credit: Savoteur

4. Style & Accessories

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag comes with two shoe bags so that you can keep your clothes clean while still packing your shoes. The design of the bag is unisex and sleek, and it is perfect to take from the boardroom to the airplane without missing a beat. The outside construction of the Bento Bag is made of a water-resistant nylon material that is incredibly lightweight, and so far, it is been quite easy to keep clean.

My only criticism of Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag is that the zippers do not glide easily and can be sharp if they are not zippered up. I have been traveling with my Bento Bag for many years now, and the zippers have not broken, but I’m very glad to see that Nomad Lane has since upgraded to YKK zippers on the most recent version of the Bento Bag.

This bag comes in many different colors and has two color options for the zippers. It comes in Jet Set Black, Nomad Navy, Juniper Green, and Positano Plum. All bags come with either bronze or silver zippers. I love the combination of Navy with bronze zippers and find it very stylish but not too flashy.

The Bento Bag easily slides over your luggage.
Image Credit: Savoteur

5. Carry On Sleeve

Nomad Lane Bento Bag has a carry-on sleeve, so it slides over your luggage handle easily, keeping it securely in place. When traveling with kids, I want my canvas carry-on luggage to be compact and easy to maneuver so I am able to assist my boys with their luggage or run from gate to gate.

6. External Pocket for Essentials

Nomad Lane Bento Bag has a carry-on sleeve, so it slides over your luggage handle easily, keeping it securely in place. When traveling with kids, I want my canvas carry-on luggage to be compact and easy to maneuver, so I am able to assist my boys with their luggage or run from gate to gate.

carry on bag with charger
Image Credit: Savoteur

7. Charge on the Go

Use the built-in charging port for your devices within the bag. Pop in any standard battery pack, and you won’t have to worry about a low battery. The compact nature of this setup is perfect. The bulky battery is tucked away in the pocket, and the plug for the USB charger is nice and snug and won’t catch on anything as it faces downwards along the side of the bag.

I have tried many other internally built chargers, and this is by far my favorite design. My ‘Away’ luggage also has a built-in charging port, but I much prefer to use the one in my Bento Bag.

Pros of the Nomad Lane Bento Bag

Far and away, the best thing about the Bento Bag is how easy it is to fly through security because of the organization of the bag. Everything is accessible from the top of the bag. It is also incredibly stylish, especially the v4 Bento Bag with updated colors, fabrics, and zippers.

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Cons of the Bento Bag

I have v1 of the Bento Bag, and the owners have addressed all of the cons in the new v4 bag. They have added a water bottle pocket on the outside, upgraded the zippers, and fixed the straps so they hang properly when not in use.

Who is the Bento Bag for?

Nomad Lane’s Bento Bag is for everyone, literally! Moms on the run, entrepreneurs, day trippers, business travelers, and many more. Anyone who likes to look stylish and be organized will love this carry-on bag.

Bento Bag Pricing

Version 4 of the Bento Bag is available online for $348. There are three color options with either bronze or gun metal zippers.

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FAQs About the Bento Bag

Can you purchase Nomad Lane Bento Bag on Amazon?

No, you can only purchase directly from Nomad Lane.

How Does the Nomad Lane Bento Bag work?

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag is the perfect way to keep your items organized while traveling. The bag’s intuitive organizational pockets ensure that you don’t forget anything important, there’s an easy-access front pocket in case of emergencies or quick needs on the go like charging phones, plus it has a water-resistant body so even if things get wet, this will not cause damage.

What do you Need to Know About the Bento Bag?

This bag is the ultimate in flexibility. It can be used for work or play, any time of day, and everywhere you need to go.

What are the dimensions and weight of the Nomad Lane Bento Bag?

The Nomad Bento Bag is 17” x 10” and weighs 2.9 lb.

What does the Nomad Lane Bento Bag cost?

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag costs $348 US.

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History of Nomad Lane

I first came across the Nomad Lane Bento Bag in one of those pesky Instagram ads. It caught my attention, and after seeing the ad a few times, I finally gave in and clicked the link. The Nomad Lane Bento Bag first started on the fundraising platform Indiegogo, and when I discovered it, it hadn’t yet entered production. The founders of Nomad Lane, Kish, and Vanessa, have lived on several continents and have traveled to over 42 countries, and it was their mutual love of travel that initially sparked their relationship.

It was the first time I had purchased from this platform. It ended up being kind of a fun experience as Nomad Lane did a fantastic job of keeping their customers up to date on everything from choosing manufacturers, zippers, and bag colors to shipping partners and an estimated date that we would receive the Bento Bag.

It took a few months from the time I ordered the bag until I received it. The Nomad Lane Bento Bag arrived just before Christmas, so I was ecstatic to be able to use it on a post-Christmas vacation.

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag has since gone on to new variations, the most recent one being Bento Bag Version 4.0. This version of Bento Bag has YKK zippers, an upgraded exterior bag construction, so it no longer tips over, an exterior water bottle holder, updated colors, upgraded materials, a longer shoulder strap to use cross-body if desired, and a larger cord organizer and toiletry pouch to fit more essentials.

Bento travel bag v4 is being touted as the lightest version ever. The Bento Bag v4 comes only in Jet Set Black/Gun Metal, Jet Set Black/Bronze, or Bordeaux Berry/ Gun Metal.

Final Thoughts: Is the Bento Bag Worth It?

Whether you are traveling with kids or heading to the office, the Nomad Lane Bento Bag does it all. Tried, tested, and true, it gets the Savoteur stamp of approval. Click here to order your carry-on today. I am obsessed with my nomad luggage and I have no doubt that you will love it as much as I do.

Travel Writer at Savoteur | + posts

Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.