“Best Of” – Travel Bags
Gear to Get You There
As the mood strikes, or season dictates, OCD testers gather in the ‘lab’ and assemble our favorites from a particular gear category. Long, lazy summer days are prime for adventure, so travel gear it is. These bags are suited for the large ‘adventure’ category between backpacking through the Sierras and hopping a red eye to NYC. From fishing in the Bahamas to taking the family to a dude ranch, these will get you there with what you need. We broke our favorites down into best-of categories. Pick, pack and go.
Convertible Carry-On - The Briggs & Riley Exchange 26 Duffle Bag is a roomy, carry-on, with a zip-away back panel for quick backpack conversion, as needed. The bag expands an additional 3” for plenty of souvenir room and has quick-access, exterior pockets for your passport, boarding pass and a book. The Exchange weighs 3 pounds, making it fairly light without compromising on strength or materials. MSRP $170 http://www.briggs-riley.com/
Big Roller - When its time to haul the freight, you don’t need the added weight of bells and whistles, just solid space. The Dakine Wheeled Duffle LG delivers, while still being hip enough for the X-Games crowd, plus its 100% PVC free and made of post consumer recycled material. With 5480 cubic inches of rolling cargo space, this roller is ready for tents, helmets, boots…if you have it, it can hold it. The bag weighs in at 9 pounds.
MSRP $170. http://www.dakine.com/
Roller Convertible - The Meridian 28 from Osprey utilizes their proprietary High-Road ™ Chassis,complete with aluminum frame, retractable handle and oversized polyurethane wheels, to make for a bomber roller bag – no gangway flats in this rig. Osprey is known for their pack suspension systems, and, not only does the 3400 cubic inch Meridian have a harness and stash-away, hip-belt system, it’s also equipped with a 1200 cubic inch, removable daypack for ultimate flexibility. The Meridian weighs in at 9 lbs 6 oz.
MSRP $269 http://www.backcountry.com/
All Arounder - Eagle Creek Take 2 ORV Trunk 30 is one great bag. Truly in its owncategory,this bag is a large roller with a total capacity of 6590 cubic inch, including the spacious Zip Off Gear Bag, with hidden backpack straps, making this one of the most flexible bags tested. The Backside Gear Bin has the stabilizing cargo net and is lined with easy to clean Bi-Tech™ material ideal for muddy bike shoes and wet waders post trip. Although the most expensive in the test, the warranty from Eagle Creek and the dual nature of the bag make it worth it.
MSRP $415 http://shop.eaglecreek.com/
Hanging Bag - Yes, some of us still have travel that requires a polished attire upon arrival, and the Patagonia MLC® Burrito aka “The Burrito Suiter”, is all about protecting your style on the long haul. Rolls up, to pack small and keep clothes fresh, plus fits easily into overhead bins. With 2746 cu in of space, its enough room for all your wedding weekend needs, plus toiletries and a set of running clothes.
MSRP $179 www.backwoods.com
Ultimate Duffel – The durable laminate The North Face Base Camp Duffel has been in our personal luggage rotation for 15+ years, and continues to deliver. Whether on top of buses, carried by pack mules, lashed to boats, or tossed in the back of a truck, gear arrives dry and safe, while the alpine-cut shoulder straps and twin end handles make it easy to haul, hoist and carry. The large holds 5495 cubic inches, which is great until you need to run to catch a train, so the medium, at 4395 cubic inches of cargo space, with compression straps to cinch gear in place, is our go-to recommendation. The medium weighs in at 3.5 lbs.
MSRP$125-$135 The North Face