How to buy an MEI Voyageur pack

Every once and a while I stumble upon a forum or blog post comment where someone says they’ve heard about these mythical “MEI Voyageur bags”, but can’t figure out how to purchase one. As long as you have time and patience, it’s really not that complicated.

Step 1

Start 6-8 weeks before your intended departure date.

Step 2

Choose your color. The “official” MEI website is here. Some may find its lack of polish a little shocking. To get a better idea of the colors available, check out this site, an MEI reseller.

Step 3

Call Ahmed Hassan at 888-818-3505 and leave a message.

Step 4

When Ahmed calls back, describe your order and give him your credit card number. It won’t be charged until the bags ship. The credit card statement will list the charges as coming from GENUINE GEAR, INC. If you’re ordering multiple bags, the shipping charges will be slightly less, as they can be shipped together in one box.

Step 5

Ahmed will ask you to email your billing and shipping address to him at mei-legacy at netscape dot com.

Step 6

The bags should arrive in 4-6 weeks, usually right about the time you’re thinking about calling Ahmed to make sure your order hasn’t fallen through the cracks. In my case I ordered 2 bags on July 17 and they arrived on August 27, just in time for our trip to France on September 4.

Here’s how my bag looked packed, straps-out, waiting for our flight at the Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur on the way home.

MEI Voyageur travel pack 3/4 view
MEI Voyageur travel pack straps view
MEI Voyageur travel pack side view


And….how is it as a travel bag? I’m doing so much traveling these days that looking for the “perfect” bag has become something of an obsession.

It depends on what you like. If you want a bag that’s like a blank canvas, and you like using packing cubes (which I’d just discovered), then this bag is for you. If you want a bag with lots of structure, firm walls, compartments, look elsewhere. I’ll probably follow up with a post on how to pack it—perhaps when we go to Austin for the holidays.

In general, the straps are great, the back frame/lumbar support is good, it fits a hell of a lot with packing cubes, and we’ve had no problem carrying it on planes. On the downside, it’s a little floppy, and the ergonomics are ok, but not great. It’s not a backpacking pack. It’s like a very well-made fabric suitcase strapped to your back.


Very interested to see how you pack your Voyageur. I’m considering buying one. One thing I can’t figure out is how much room you actually get in the bag; the lumbar support and waist straps are “as much as three inches thick” according to one user review, which I’d think would affect how many cubes you can use where.

(I have no cubes yet – just an Eagle Creek 18″ folder I’ve used in suitcases and a beloved old cotton canvas 12″x12″x24″ duffel I’ve used for 2-5day road trips for twenty years that’s finally wearing out.)

tcd, the lumbar support is thick, but I wouldn’t say “3 inches”. Maybe more like 1 or 1.5″. I used one full cube and two half cubes above it, and then had lots of room for additional things on top, like a folder, a laptop, a jacket, etc. You can fit a lot of stuff in there.


Do you happen to remember who made the cubes? I’ve found cubes from Rick Steves, Ebags, Eagle Creek (and their 2-sided cubes are thicker). Nicely confusing.

Eagle Creek. That’s what everyone seems to use. And they work great. I got the double-sided cubes, so I can keep dirty clothes separate from clean clothes.


I’ve traveled all over Asia, Europe, North and South America with the same Voyageur that I bought eons ago. After all these years, it still continues to serve me well.

Christopher, in the end we traded in our MEI Voyageur packs for REI Vagabonds. They had better support in “backpack mode” and more useful compartments.

To order a MEI Voyageur has gotten a lot easier, but the quality is still the same. Check out my experience with the MEI Voyageur on


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