When choosing new luggage that will last, look for heavy-duty zippers, thick fabric, sturdy handles and these other important features.
When it comes to embracing the great outdoors, there are two things that you need: an adventurous spirit and durable luggage. When you’re spending money on a piece of equipment that’s going to be your go-to for hiking, biking, and trips abroad, you want to make sure it’s high-quality—in other words, something that will last. Otherwise, you'll likely be replacing your ripped, worn, broken bag every year or two.
Eagle Creek offers bags that are well suited for every travel need and are constructed to accompany you as you live the rugged life. With heavy-duty zippers, high-quality fabric, sturdy handles, and bumper-protected corners, Eagle Creek bags are built to resist wear-and-tear. Learn more about what features to look for when you purchase a new piece of luggage.
1. Quality Fabric
If made with cheap fabric, soft-side luggage is liable to rip, tear, and have a shorter lifespan than expected. That’s where the benefits of Eagle Creek’s Exploration Series products measure a step above the rest. When it comes to the Tarmac series, for example, bi-tech armor fabric means that bags can take being tossed and thrown. The fabric's weather-resistance also helps the bag withstand the elements. It all comes down to good construction. “When I started as a sample sewer for Eagle Creek, I remember being trained to put in bar-tacks where webbing was inserted into the seam allowance, box’n’cross for high-stress points, and double topstitching along main zippers,” says Eagle Creek Product Developer James Hebert. “All of this attention to detail make our packs really durable, but it was also very difficult to tear them apart if I ever had to make a revision to the prototype sample."
2. Added Protective Layers
Nothing’s worse than packing your luggage only to feel wary of how secure it is. After all, no one wants to spend the length of a flight hoping that his or her laptop won’t shift in transit or get scratched. That's why it’s important to pay attention to the protective layers that your luggage offers. This is where Eagle Creek goes above and beyond most other companies. Features such as lockable zippers, a designated tablet sleeve, and even a coat keeper (to prevent you from schlepping your jacket across the airport floor) are all designed to protect your valuables. Bumpers on the corners protect the bags whenever it accidentally grazes a wall.
3. Sturdy Wheels and Handles
When you’re running to catch a flight, rounding out the last leg of an already-long trip, or traveling over rugged terrain, the last thing that you want is to deal with a broken handle or missing wheel. Ranked "Best Travel Bag" in 2014 by Outside magazine, Eagle Creek’s ORV Trunk 30 is a clear example of a piece of luggage that has built-in durability. Its wheels and handles will support your journey and not let you down. As with the Tarmac series, the ORV Trunks feature over-sized, treaded wheels that have heavy-duty wheel housing, a skid plate, and bumper protection. The main handle can also be zipped away for added protection during transit.
4. Practical Features
Eagle Creek bags include many features that are user-friendly and help you solve common problems that travelers face. For instance, pockets and tablet sleeves are padded for extra protection and zippers are self-repairing and have finger-friendly pulls. On the ORV Trunk, a detachable cargo net provides internal compression or can attach to the outside of the bag as a utility net. And an expandable wet/dry compartment also helps you separate damp and dirty gear from clean items. With the Wayfinder Backpack 40L, Wayfinder Backpack 30L, and Wayfinder Backpack 20L—you’ll enjoy ergonomically shaped shoulder straps with an adjustable sternum strap, tuck away hip belt, and padded back panel so you can carry your essentials in comfort.
Perhaps it's because the gear’s creators are also adventures who know what it's like to own gear that doesn't meet your needs. “Our design team is a tribe of experienced travelers, each of us having stories from our past where cheap luggage failed during a trip,” says Sara Hill, Design & Development Manager. “It’s a disruption we sympathize with and part of what drew each of us to want to work for Eagle Creek. We pledge to innovate the most durable and eco-friendly solutions to prevent any such circumstances for our fellow travelers. In addition to the durable design features and materials we use, we also partner with a world-class quality manufacturer, who ensures that every stitch, every zipper, and every strap attachment is reinforced to uphold to the rigors that go well beyond typical travel use.”
5. A Solid Warranty
To really take the worry out your purchase, make sure that your luggage is backed by a quality warranty. Eagle Creek’s No Matter What™ Warranty offers just that. “The warranty means just that—we will repair or replace your bag for you, no matter how long you’ve had it and no matter what happened,” says Daniel Funk, marketing coordinator at Eagle Creek. “But the best part of our warranty is you won’t have to use it.”
What about you, reader? What are some of your favorite luggage features? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.
Related links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Quiz: Pick the Best Backpack for Your Next Adventure
Packing for a Family Road Trip
Top 3 Packing Tips from Eagle Creek Experts