Editor’s Note: This article is a guest post by Joslin Fritz. Joslin Fritz is a freelance writer, adventure travel blogger and international tour leader based in Seattle, Washington. You can learn more about her at www.joslinfritz.com.
If you’re in the adventure travel industry, you’re bound to have heard of the company Eagle Creek. With their “Inspired by Travel” tagline, they have been designing and producing high-quality luggage since 1975. I put their newly released Load Warrior Series Wheeled Duffel 25 to the test on a recent trip to Cuba to see just how rugged this bag is.
The first thing I noticed was how lightweight the pack is, weighing less than 7 lbs. The handle contracts and nicely pushes into a hidden zipper compartment for those on-the-go times. Speaking of on-the-go, I found the four handles located on the front, side, top and bottom of the pack very well positioned, making it easy to grab from buses and back seats and head on my way.
The pack zips open all the way along the sides to allow ready access to the main compartment. Inside, the bag features interior compression straps, a side mesh zippered compartment perfect for dirty laundry, and a large mesh zippered pocket on the front flap side. I didn’t use these pockets because I use Eagle Creek’s Complete Organizer to organize my pack, but I could see how these mesh pockets could come in handy for other bag owners.
There were some notably useful features on the exterior of the bag, including the expandable zipper, the two large buckles, a separate zippered compartment and the Stowable Equipment Keeper. This Stowable Equipment Keeper is a thick, elastic string that stretches from the handle to a hook on the front of the bag. It is designed to hold a helmet or other gear on top of your pack. It worked just perfectly to hold my jacket while I waited in the airport for my flight.
The expandable zipper allows for 15% more room, while the buckles can cinch down to flatten out that extra 15%. And last but not least, my favorite feature? The hook on the EquipmentKeeper doubles as a bottle opener. Granted, since I work in the outdoor industry I can use a multitude of tools to open a cold beverage, but now I can add my suitcase to the list.
What I love about Eagle Creek Load Warrior Wheeled Duffel 25:
Lots of handles, expandable zipper, durable, snag-free zippers, and built in bottle opener.
What I could do without:
I didn’t find the small, side pocket on the outside of the bag particularly useful. Also, as I mentioned, I didn’t use the inner mesh pockets, but that is just my style of packing, some may love them.
Overall the Load Warrior 25 is a solid choice for active travelers who want a durable pack to match their travel style. Whether you’re heading for an South American expedition or a trade show in Europe, this wheeled duffel will serve your needs well.
Manufacturer: Eagle Creek
Load Warrior Sizes: 22 (carry-on size), 25, 28, 32, and 36 inches.
Product: Load Warrior Wheeled Duffel 25
Product Type: Travel Luggage
Product Website: Load Warrior Wheeled Duffel 25
Retail Value: $250
Most ATTA Members can access Eagle Creek discount shopping in the ATTA Pro Shop on The HUB.