Time for a round-up of the newest luggage releases from some of the best bag companies out there.
Starting with the heavy hitters in the large check-through luggage category, Eagle Creek have come up with two seriously stylish offerings. Both bags are covered by Eagle Creek’s lifetime guarantee so quality is ensured. First up is the new Wheeled Backpack from the Eagle Creek Crossroads range, seen here in black. As the name indicates this large 65litre bag is equipped with backpack straps which are padded with 3D Air Mesh and adjustable sternum strap. The idea is that on rougher terrain, or endless stairs, the bag can be hoisted on the shoulders using the backpack straps.
These can be quickly packed away into a slim rear compartment and suddenly the case looks like a fashionably minimalist wheeled case which weighs neatly under 4kg. An obvious consideration here is ensuring your height and body weight can safely bear the weight, but that said the Eagle Creek backpack is far more comfortable than many similar competitors.
Weighing in at a little over 4kg the ORV Trunk 25 from Eagle Creek, without backpack straps, is clearly designed for rugged travel, yet looks stylish enough to check into the finest hotel. It features an oversized front panel opening for easy packing, collapsible interior mesh dividers, exterior stash pocket with mesh zippered pocket, and a water-resistant, seam-taped compartment to separate damp/dirty gear from clean clothes. Tough locking zippers add security, and sturdy padded handles on all sides make it easy to grab from any angle. The ES Wheel and Handle System features oversized, treaded wheels that glide smoothly over any terrain, and a soft-grip telescoping handle for effortless manoeuvring.
Find the wheeled Backpack and the ORV Trunk at www.eaglecreek.com
Sized smaller than the above the Burton Men’s Tech Light 24 will have to go into the hold on most European flights, but its neat size compliments its sporty good looks and the collapsible design means it will fit easily under the bed when empty. The perfect companion to weekend snowboarding trips the bag has skate wheels and stretch zippers to accommodate last minute additions. Detailed in eye-catching colours the Tech Light is a fun option that won’t break the bank and has some seriously sturdy chops to boot.
Find the Tech Light at www.burton.com
In the cabin baggage category the Osprey Ozone 36 is a strong new contender. Weighing in at a featherlight 1.8 kg the case is still rugged and robust, with sturdy wheels which hold up well over rough surfaces. A thoughtful design has resulted in a small pocket on the top of the bag ideal for the clear bag of toiletries you need to extract when going through airport security. Another flat pocket for magazines or an iPad can be found in the rear of the bag. Side mesh pockets and an ergonomically designed telescopic handle complete the design of this small but tough beauty.
Find the Ozone at www.ospreypacks.com
An alternative cabin bag whose look says city rather than the great outdoors can be found in the Antler Cyberlite 2 Wheel International Cabin. We must give kudos to companies like Antler and Osprey who are designing cabin bags which really do fit in the overhead compartment, and won’t incur any of the dreaded charges of some airlines. The Cyberlite is a neat, stylish addition to the cabin baggage category and will be perfect for an overnight business or smart weekend trip.
Find the Antler Cyberlite at www.antler.co.uk
Still in the cabin baggage section a real alternative can be found from the North American Tom Bihn range. This company are passionate about design and keeping their customers happy. It shows in products like the Tri-Star which we tested on a recent 4-day trip. The bags compartments are designed for maximum use of space and minimum creasing of your clothes. Thoughtful touches are everywhere in evidence, from ultra-smooth zippers to comfy handles and lots of outside pockets just where you need them. It’s quite amazing how much you can fit in this tidy bag. Without wheels, you won’t even be asked to cram the bag in the sizer at the airport gate, and its the perfect bag if you have to climb up and down flights of stairs, thus making wheeled bags ineffective. Herein lies a possible downside – the bag packs so much you might be tempted to overfill it and get a sore shoulder by the end of the day. This won’t be a problem for those of large or athletic build – and we love the bag so much it’s worth it.
Find the Tri-Star at www.tombihn.com