Gear Review: Eagle Creek 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel

2-in-1 Backpack Duffel OrangeIt’s no secret that I’m a fan of Eagle Creek products and have been for over 20 years. Every EC item I’ve owned has been well designed and well made.

Imagine how happy I was to establish a working relationship earlier this year with the company. This would make it easier to bring Eagle Creek products to the one bag community because I believe many of you would find them both useful and lasting.  (My first Eagle Creek product was a Hidden Pocket that lasted over 15  years before I retired it.)

When I first contacted their outside PR firm, our discussions were mostly about the Specter line of packing products. I mentioned that I had actually purchased the entire line because I wanted to use them in my own travels. The only item I didn’t have was the  Specter Tube Cubes. “What color do you want,” I was asked and a few days later two Specter Tube Cubes (white with tangerine trim) arrived at my front door. How nice of them.

Within weeks,  I was sent information on the upcoming 2-in-1 line. “Would I like one to review, ” I was asked. “Yes, ” I said, “a Tote/Backpack in blue would be perfect.  I was told one had been ordered for me since they would be shipped directly from Eagle Creek.  Great.

Well, the other day, the package arrived. Inside was a 2-in1 Backpack/Duffel in flame orange and two more Specter Tube Cubes in white with tangerine trim. The 2-in-1 Backpack Duffel doesn’t come in blue–just black, flame orange and mantle green. (Black would have been more useful but orange is more photogenic. More on this later.)

It really isn’t a problem. A review can be done in any color and it seems this bag is of more interest to  onebaggers than the tote/backpack.

Let’s get the specs out of the way. The 2-in-1 BD:

-measures 19.5 x 11 x 7.5 in/29 x 28 x 19cm and expands to 22.5 x 11 x 7.5 in/57 x 28 x 19 cm.

-it holds 1710 cu in/28L and expands to 2000 cu in/33L.

-it weighs 14.5 oz/411g

-is made of 70d Silnylon Ripstop and 200d Nylon Ripstop.

-it retails for $80 (US).

All Eagle Creek products are covered by a lifetime warranty.

At first glance, I was kind of amazed at how many extras were being offered on a lightweight, packable bag.

2-1 BD BackpackIn backpack mode, the 2-in-1 BD, is a top loading bag. The top flap has a small zippered pocket perfect for smaller items or even a 3-1-1 bag. The zipper that opens into  the bag itself is hidden in the photo by its rain cover.

There’s one  mesh pockets and one compression strap on each side of the bag and 2 compression straps on the bottom. The bottom straps are also chain links allowing other items to be attached . There is also chain linking on top but it doesn’t cinch down.  The zipper down the center is the opening to the main compartment in duffel mode.

2-1 BD RearOn the rear of the bag are the hideaway backpack straps. These lightly padded mesh straps connect to a cloth loop rather than the standard plastic or metal clip.  When not in use they are stored in a zippered compartment. (In the photo you can see one strap out and connected and the other stowed away.)

The zipper at the bottom is the one used to turn it from a backpack to a duffel.

 

2-1 BD Exp.In duffel mode, that bottom zipper is opened and the bag extends by 3 inches. Hidden away as well are two straps that become the carry handle for the duffel. These are connected using gatekeeper clips.  I have the top one done and have left the bottom one undone. The clip attached to a loop at the end of the side compressions straps.  (You can see this better on the top photo.) The handles can then be combined into one via a velcro wrap around. There are no attachment  points for an external shoulder strap.

 

 

2-1 BD LocksThe zippers to the main compartment in both backpack mode and duffel mode are lockable.

 

 

 

 

 

2-1 BD PouchInside the bag is one zippered security pouch. When the bag is not needed, it can be folded and stored in that pouch. It measure approximately 8″ x 5″ and the thinnest I could get it was 2 inches. There are no instructions on how to efficiently fold the bag down and I’m hoping Eagle Creek will make a video with instructions. They’re very good at making informational videos on their products.

 

 

I told you this bag had a lot to offer over most other packables.

The Eagle Creek 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel is a well-made, well thought out bag and can have many uses for the one bag traveler.  It can be used as a day bag during your trip and then as a souvenir carrier when your main carry-on is too full. Or perhaps a second purpose could be to haul laundry to the laundromat. It could even be used as a lightweight main carry-on for a child  and then expanded as the child grows.

I’ve already been asked if this bag could be checked or used as a main carry-on. As for being checked, I probably wouldn’t do it.  While it’s tear resistant and durable, It doesn’t offer much protection for the items inside.  As a carry-on, it should easily fit under the seat in front of you.

Should it be your only bag? I wouldn’t suggest it unless you are traveling super light and with nothing of value that needs physical protection from damage. That being said should Eagle Creek want to sponsor me using the bag for a round the world challenge like Scottevest did with Rolf Potts, I wouldn’t object.

The big question now is would I use this bag on my travels as a packable. The answer is yes with an asterisk. You see, orange is just too bright for my subdued style of travel. If I can convince Eagle Creek to let me exchange it for one in black, I’ll be good to go. (By the way, did you notice  the product tags are still on in the photos? Easier to exchange. And I’m willing to pay return shipping.  🙂 )

Disclaimer:  Eagle Creek sent  the 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel for review. The good photos are courtesy of Eagle Creek. The bad photos, as most of  you know by now, were taken by me.

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2 Responses to Gear Review: Eagle Creek 2-in-1 Backpack/Duffel

  1. EASYTRAVEL says:

    I love OBOW! So many good ideas for packing light. It’s already helped me lighten my load even more. I bought a RIKSAK. About three ounces and it corrals ten pounds of your stuff.

    Keep the gear reviews coming!

  2. MKT42 says:

    I just ordered an Eagle Creek 2-in-1 knapsack/duffel. Ironically, it was only after I ordered it that I came upon this review.

    I have two other Eagle Creek items — a large convertible backpack and a rolling suitcase (semi-convertible to a backpack) — and they have proven to be indestructible as well as highly functional.

    And also heavy. That’s the one thing that made me hesitate slightly about ordering the 2-in1 duffel. It’s very light — that’s what attracted me to it — but that has not been Eagle Creek’s traditional market niche (compared to say Sea to Summit with their gear which is absurdly lightweight, but of questionable durability).

    It’s now been several months since the initial review. How durable has the Eagle Creek 2-in-1 duffel turned out to be? How resistant to tears and snagging, how well does it withstand being overstuffed, how well do its zippers hold up, how scuff resistant — especially if you have taken it onto hiking trails in the backcountry, etc. etc.?

    The lightweight and large volume and convertibility of the Eagle Creek 2-in-1 duffel make it highly attractive. I hope I don’t have to baby it and that it will give long and reliable service. That may be too much to ask, even of an Eagle Creek product, which is why I’m curious about what a follow-up review would say.

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