Eagle Creek ORV Wheeled Duffel International Carry On
This is a great International Carry On sized piece of luggage for the serious traveler. Mine had a minor failure, hence the three stars. If you get one with no issues, the design and function of this little pack could be excellent for business and pleasure.
- Great wheels
- 2 Exterior pockets
- Does not fully open for easy access
- Internal compression strap is poorly attached
- Handle tack failed on mine
I’m a backpack man. From my first overnight at my grandparents to more recent adventures in Panama and Iceland, I packed a pack that went on my back, no wheeled luggage for me. One of the contributing reasons for my pack preference is a wildly irrational one, filled with action-packed fantasy. I always figured, should we all need to sprint across the airport and seek cover in the nearby hills, those poor suckers pulling their wheeled gear would have to abandon the entirety of their belongings while I, pack on back, would be ready for the next act in the action thriller in my mind, Airport Departure.
Now, having logged thousands of miles of international travel since 1993, and never once encountering the sea monsters, helicopter attack, or meteor of my imagination, I’ve made some changes. Traveling for more sophisticated adventures, I can pack minimum, specific, pieces of kit and no longer worry about the kitchen sink. With a small family, slightly more income, and travel itineraries crafted by the ever organized and researched Autonomous Ren, I have turned to the wheeled carry on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still Jack-Bauer-ready for any kind of emergency. When I’m not flying, my dop kit contains a custom fixed blade knife from Nick Anger and a small hatchet from Gransfors Bruks. In the bottom of my bag I keep two, fifty-foot hanks of 550 cord, 2 contractor bags, five-feet of carefully rolled commercial tinfoil, and a Petzl Headlamp. Though, much in the way that I’ve never had to make an embassy run or forage for scraps in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, these simple piece-of-mind items have only been used for food and firewood processing, impromptu clotheslines, rain ponchos, steaming some clams, and night time reading in a cramped hostel.
Nonetheless, within my new wheeled luggage, the ORV Wheeled Duffel, International Carry On, from Eagle Creek, I am able to fit all the basic gear I need for a comfortable four-day trip or a slightly stretched one week away.
The first thinking one must adopt when making the switch to the kind of luggage that adults use, and that Indiana Jones would never be caught dead with, is to consider location and duration of your most commonly taken trips. As most readers know, the same capacity luggage required for ten days in the tropics might only accommodate two days of gear for the arctic.
Next, intended use must be considered. We wanted a small case that could be carried-on no matter how far afield we were flying, hence the International mention in the carry-on size description. We wanted rugged wheels for loose boards on jungle docks, rugged cobblestones in pedestrian areas, and the sand and snow that can cover streets and paths worl wide. We wanted grab handles, like a shit-ton of grab handles. And for every grab handle we wanted a daisy chain or a loop of some kind. We never know if we will have to strap these bags to a bus roof rack, a jeep cage rack, a bike rack, a scooter rack, or any other kind of rack, so those loops and handles are a must, not only for hauling, but for tying down as well.
Our final thought was reviews and reputation. Eagle Creek has some phenomenal reviews, and their reputation has preceded them for over a decade. It was our thinking that with the ORV’s capacity, wheel-strap-and-loop ruggedness, and its fantastic customer rating, the thing should easily take us on truck camping trips and on other worldly adventures into the unknown for years to come...
For the most part we were right, but there is a however in this review. I was let down on our second trip. We traveled, by truck camper, to the shoreline of southern Connecticut—maybe a four-hour drive. Our luggage was stowed inside the truck and never received a bump or drop. However, when I arrived in my little beach cottage guest room, I found that my internal compression strap had popped from its mounting point. The tack that should have held it secure under the minimum force put on it by a towel and three pairs of trunks, not only failed internally, but it appeared to be the thing holding the main-grab-handle to the bag!
Normally I would say, oh well, factory warranty, and all is well. But a couple weeks before, Ren had a snap failure on one of the Eagle Creek toiletry kits. When we emailed the company, they suggested we mail the kit back for repair. The snap was helpful in keeping the kit closed, but not integral to the kit's overall function. So, we passed on repairs and packed up for our next adventure. Regarding my own gear failure, there is no way I am packaging up this ORV carry on and mailing it back to Eagle Creek for a tack failure. If it gets worse or the handle completely fails, I may be hard pressed to do so, sure, but now, I’m just disappointed.
These are the things to consider when “upgrading” to new and different gear. I never had a canvas backpack with leather straps and metal hardware fail on a trip. When traveling by airline, especially as an adventure traveler where gear is literally tossed, rolled, smashed, strapped, dragged, tumbled, and then thrown as you make connections between plains, busses, boats, and puddle jumpers, your main suitcase or pack must be able to take the brunt of any and all heavy handling injuries. Mine failed in the back seat of my pickup truck while traveling on a US highway.
It must be said that Eagle Creek offers a 20% discount to college and university students and teachers in the US. This, beyond the positive reviews, was one of the main reasons we settled on them for our big move to mature, even sophisticated, rolling luggage. We found the discount generous, and it helped us to decide on the Eagle Creek brand. I will continue to use this ORV carry on. Autonomous Ren and I have several other Eagle Creek items, including larger eighty-liter rolling trunks that have yet to be tested. We have them, we will use them. And we will update our reviews as things progress…
I have been traveling for decades. This is my second time using wheeled luggage and the first time using new wheeled luggage that I owned.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $240
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Historic Range: $318.95-$319.00
Reviewers Paid: $240.00
1920 cu in / 31.5 L
14 x 21.5 x 8.25 in / 35.5 x 54.5 x 21 cm
6 lbs 7 oz / 2.93 kg
Bi-Tech Heather, 1000d Helix Poly Twill, Bi-Tech Armor