Nomad Lane Bento Bag Review [In-Depth & Unbiased]

Sabryna Carroll-Maclaren
Last Updated:
April 16, 2024
Looking for the ultimate review of the Nomad Lane Bento Bag? Look no further! We've got all the details & facts in this personally tested review...
nomad lane bento bag review

Rating: 8/10

While all-in-one bags become all the rage, you’ll be sure to be inundated with choice. 

This is definitely a godsend for people who have to travel a lot for work or simply like to travel but hate the idea of having a separate wardrobe for bags for different occasions. 

Personally, I love testing these as I’ve had a good amount of experience with these precocious packs. 

We take pride in testing and reviewing travel gear full-time so we can give you a clear picture of them and help you decide if this is the bag for you.

We’ll cover:

  • What it’s great at
  • Who it’s ideally suited to
  • Who it’s NOT suited to & what it’s flaws are

Let’s get stuck into the nomad lane bento bag v4 review...

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Who exactly are Nomad Lane?

Bento bag out for review in glasgow streets

Meet the power couple - Kish & Vanessa, the travel lovers.

They’ve explored an impressive list of countries accompanied by various well-known travel gear.

 In 2017 they decided to try and triumph the competition with their knowledge and experience and also being the customer.

Que the creation of Nomad Lane.

Their aim is to serve all your packing needs from work to play in attainable style. 

Quick overview: Technical Specifications

  • Price: $298
  • Weight: Weighs less than 2.67lbs
  • Dimensions: 17” W x 10” H x 8” D
  • Noteworthy Materials: Premium Weather resistant nylon and LWG-certified leather.
  • Color Options: Jet set black & gun metal / bronze or bordeaux berry / pine green / aegean green & gun metal.
  • Warranty: 1 Year Manufacturing Warranty or free 30 day US returns (they do accept international returns but not able to provide a shipping/return label)
  • Capacity: 24L

Who should get this bag?

If you don’t love the backpack/backpacker hiker look and are looking for something a bit more stylish this could be your gig. 

It’s suited to someone who wants a weekend trip, overnight bag or bigger everyday bag all in one place.

It’s geared more towards business & flight travel in my opinion.

Before you google ‘where to buy nomad lane bento bag’ or ‘nomad lane bento bag amazon’ we’ll save you the time & hassle!

You can get it off Nomad Lane’s website directly. Unfortunately you won’t find it on amazon, only the older versions.

Who should not get this bag?

If you’re looking for something that can facilitate a longer trip or have a very active life this might not be ideal for you. 

If you’re also a veggie/vegan who doesn’t use leather you’ll want to look at another bag.

To sum it up, the nomad lane bento bag v3 vs v4 = vegan leather vs normal leather. 

So, if you can find the v3 online you’ll be sorted!

How well-made is the Bento Bag?

branding on the bento bag

The Nomad Lane Bento Bag v4 definitely does feel sturdy and over 3 weeks of use it still held up.

This didn’t surprise me as on first feel of the bag the materials and durability felt premium, which is reassuring for a travel bag and a good introduction into bento bag travel life!

How comfortable is the Bento Bag?

women wearing bento bag on her shoulders outside

So onto the important part - comfortability. At first as a backpack lover when I saw the handbag/shoulder straps I was a little scared.

I have a love-hate, okay, mostly hate relationship with these straps purely based on comfort. 

So did they win me over? Kind of.

wearing the bento bag with the strap outside on a woman

My fear is a little less as they were padded and with a lightly packed bento bag we started to build trust. When things got on the heavier side, I switched to the alternative as I wasn’t loving it.

The life-saver here was the shoulder strap, this was a relief.

detachable strap on the bento bag

It was such a breeze carrying this with the strap.

What makes the Bento Bag a great Bag?

1.  Airline Friendly

nomad lane bag fitting the personal item requirments

First off, this fits as an underseat bag which means you have everything you need at your fingertips and a breeze through the airport with no checking bags in.

organisers you are given with the bento bag from nomad lane

The top compartments that open separately for the tech organizer and toiletries bag are easily accessible to take out your liquids etc.

laptop material on the bento bag

One thing that helps is the laptop compartment is one zip away so it’s quick to access on the go but also for x-ray machines.

2. Structure

bento bag from nomad lane outside hand holding

To be perfectly honest, I’m usually not a fan of bags that have a harder shell, however with the style of this bag it really worked. 

handle on then bento bag

I think it really helped with the comfort in carrying this, it isn’t a hard outer material but it’s also not soft so you can’t cram it full of stuff that morphs it into a weird shape.

3. Stylish but functional

A lot of the time it’s easy to associate being stylish with lack of comfortability and functionality, especially when you look at the market of women’s clothes and bags and this frustrates me a lot, just as an example (this bag is unisex).

But, this is why I loved the bento bag so much. 

They’ve proven that you can still be stylish, comfortable and have a functional bag.  On the outside it’s very sleek and everything is placed gracefully.

strap on the bento bag from nomad lane

When you open it up however, different ball game, so many helpful compartments and functional features.

4. Organization

bento bag luxury travel kits for smaller items

To give you a better insight into this, I want to share with you the organization it has to offer. 

First is my favorite, a little pocket to store your phone or passport.

As you can see it’s placed on the back side of the bag so it’s closest to your body for security.

It’s also really discreet. 

Below that there’s another pocket with a zip, this also acts as a trolley sleeve for a roller bag when you’re not using it as a pocket. 

trolley sleeve on the bento bag to hand over luggage

Then on the front of the bag, again super discreetly there’s helpful organization sections such as pen holders, bigger pockets for things such as airpods and/or small notebooks

front pocket of the bento bag

5. Storage space

inside the mesh pocket on the bento bag

So this is where the bento bag really proved itself as a travel bag. When you unzip the main compartment it opens up into a suitcase layout.

organisation inside the bento bag

On one side it has a mesh zip cover revealing a good amount of storage space. 

packing cubes inside the bento bag

Then on the opposite side it seems like there’s only a padded laptop compartment with another pocket on front for something like an Ipad, however it unzips to reveal a BIGGER compartment. It has enough space that you can store shoes or packing cubes.

Laptop compartment on the bento bag

6. Hidden water Bottle Holder

I’m not sure about you but this is usually a make or break situation for me. I need an accessible place to put my water bottle. On first look I wasn’t optimistic but I didn’t realize I’d be wonderfully tricked.

water bottle compartment on the bento bag

On the side of the bag is a zippable water bottle holder.  Something to note with this is that it works a lot better with a 500ml water bottle.

water bottle mesh pocket on the bento bag

I did use my 750ml water bottle however it was a bit clunky to fit and stay securely in there. 

Cons of the Nomad Lane Bento Bag

bento bag front of this bag

So with a dreamy bag like this what could be better? 

First of all, I’m going to continue with the water bottle holder. There’s definitely scope to bring the mesh higher whilst still keeping the bag lovely. 

With carrying the nomad travel bag, for longer carrying the shoulder strap and normal handles can dig in a bit - the main reason I like backpacks (much more comfortable). If there was a stylish option to have optional backpack straps that would be a cool addition. 

bento bag woman holding it by hadnles outside

The organization on this bag is simple but functional - a lot of bags can get quite complicated with all their dazzling features but some cable organization would be a nice perk. 

I personally wouldn’t buy this bag based on the fact that this is leather, but again this is a purely personal thing.

bottom of the bento bag

It’d be great if the v3 was still for sale on their website as I’d honestly consider buying this bag. 

woman holding bento bag by handles

Does the bento bag fit under the airplane seat?

Yes! For both UK and US airlines with the average sizes (minus Ryan air, it’s always them).

Nomad Lane Bento Bag: Performance over time

Here are my impressions after using the bento bag for the first time, and then three weeks later.

First use:

  • Handles surprisingly comfortable
  • Love the structure
  • Easy for airports

After 3 weeks:

  • Not in love with handles
  • Not great for everyday use
  • Great for travel & airports

Overall verdict: Are Nomad Lane bags worth buying?

If you don’t have a lot of time to read this entire review, you’ve skipped ahead to the right section!

Here’s the most important question of the day…

Is the Bento Bag worth getting?

I would say yes, it is!

What else does Bento Bag sell?

Ikigai Bag

A simple yet professional and sleek backpack that has a focus on travel. It may look like a simple design but it has a ton of cool features without being overwhelming.

Origami Tote

For the tote lovers who wish they could have a tote but with the functionality of a backpack the Origami is versatile and stylish.

Bento Accessory Set

Although this comes already included with the Bento Bags, you can use their accessory set to keep your stuff organized in your nomad luggage.

Bento Bag Alternatives

If you want to scout out some more personal item backpacks why not try:

Knack Series 2 Medium

Knack bags are reliable, work to play to travel bags with a sleek care-free look. They have plenty of cool features to switch it up into each mode so you can have the best of all worlds.

Stubble and Co Everyday Backpack 

Another competitor for the all in one bag is this stylish piece. If you want something a little more simplistic but with options it’s worth checking it out.

Have you ever used this Bento bag?

Or their other products?

Comment and let me know below!

Check out some of these other reviews:

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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