I was looking forward to checking out what bags TikTok users loved for carry-ons. I’m a longtime fan of cute and durable backpacks, and it was time to replace mine after years of wear and tear. Anti-theft backpacks are a fave for TikTok travelers, and I’ve never owned one. After some research, I wanted to see what the Bobby Hero by XD Design was all about. All pockets and zippers of anti-theft bags are against your back when you wear them, so there’s no access from the outside, which is great, but I nearly ran away from the price alone. As a former student, I know how pricey backpacks can be, but I’d never spent that much on the travel variety. However, once I actually received the Bobby Hero, I could see its many benefits.

The Bobby Hero Regular can hold SO much! There are two sleeves inside for devices: I kept my 13” laptop in one and a 12.9” iPad in the other. They’re held in place by a Velcro strap to keep them from jostling around. There are mesh pockets in front of the devices and room for a notebook too. In front of that, there’s another zippered area that leads to a larger section with even more mesh pockets, including a USB port to plug in a power bank that can charge your phone from the port that’s on the outside of the bag. There are also elastic bands to hold additional items that may roll around the bag if not secured. All in all, I was able to hold my two electronic devices, FEELLE power bank, STOJO cup, all my tech chargers, an instant camera, workbooks, a pencil pouch, small gifts for my family, and a few snacks for the flight. On the outside of the bag, there are a few more zippered areas where I kept my pouch of face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.

With so much stuffed into the backpack, I thought for sure I’d have to stow it in the overhead bin. As a result, I made a small in-flight care package for myself using one of my carryall pouches that I also kept in the backpack until I boarded. Even with all of those items in the bag, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t a strain to carry, since it’s also super padded for comfort. The biggest selling point for me was that once I got on the plane, I found that the Bobby Hero could fit under the seat and I didn’t have to store it in the overhead compartment whatsoever. I raved about it for the rest of the trip, and will be holding onto it for as long as I can.