Earlier this year, Eagle Creek began to offer a new line of both wheeled and non-wheeled duffel bags called the “No Matter What” duffels named after their “no matter what” warranty.
I became intrigued when they started to offer very lightweight wheeled bag a few months ago. Eagle Creek sent a couple for review.
The smallest of the wheeled line is the Eagle Creek No Matter What Flatbed Duffel 20. Measuring a true 20 x 13.5. x 8″/51 x 33 x 20.5 cm, and weighing in at 5 lbs 10 oz/2.55 kg, it has a packing volume of 2310 cu in/38L.
The bag is made of water resistant, Bi-Tech material. What is Bi-Tech you ask? I did and here’s the response I got:
“Bi-Tech™ is a 900 Denier polyester with a polyurethane coating mixed with unicorn sweat.”
I’ve also been assured the unicorn sweat was sustainably harvested. (I’m not kidding, that’s what they wrote.)
I took this bag on two short trips. I prefer bags with one big compartment for packing over bags with multiple compartments and pockets.
I utilized a variety of Eagle Creek Pack-It products from both their regular and Specter line to maximize space. Tube cubes, half tube cubes and quarter cubes filled the space between the handles. A Specter Medium Pack It folder went on top of that, and then I filled the remaining space with smaller cubes and sacs.
Fully packed, the bag is easy to maneuver and it didn’t fall over while standing up. I even attached a second smaller bag, the Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase using a Lewis N Clark luggage attachment clip, and the bag didn’t fall over then either. It also still handled well and rolled with ease.
The only problem I had with the bag was with the storm flap. I found it necessary to tuck it under the clips of the compression straps when using them or the flap will bunch up.
There are a couple of external handles should you need to carry it by hand, and a third way to carry it that I will tell you about later. (No peeking.)
The Eagle Creek No Matter What Flatbed Duffel 20 retails for $175. There are larger sizes including the next up 22″ but since that weighs more than 6 Lbs, I stuck with the smallest version.
Flashpoint Duffel Small
The non-wheeled bags of this line are called Eagle Creek No Matter What Flashpoint Duffels . The only one small enough to meet carry-on rules is the small version.
It measures 18 x 12 x 11″/46 x 33 x 28 cm, weighs 1 lb 9 0z/0.71kg and has a packing volume of 1850 cu in/30.3L.
It is also made of Bi-Tech material, has a carry handle on top, a removable shoulder strap, compression straps and a pass through handle on the back. The main compartment has a #10 lockable zipper and the lid has a storm flap.There is a very small zippered pocket on the side of the bag possibly big enough for a Lilliputian. Like the bag above, this too has an additional way to carry it which I will tell you about soon. (No peeking.)
This would make a nice overnight bag and if not filled to capacity should be able to be molded to fit most airline sizers.
The next size up is too big for carry-on but there are larger sizes if you’re looking for one.
The Eagle Creek No Matter What Flashpoint Duffel S retails for $70.
Quick Snap Strap
Earlier I alluded to another way to carry the above mentioned bags. It’s brilliant…..you can turn them into a backpack.
Wait, I know what you’re saying….there are lots of bags with hideaway backpack straps. But these aren’t hideaway, they’re removable.
The Quick Snap Strap is padded, contoured and contains moisture wicking mesh material. It is designed to connect to the bags via the compression straps.
I think this video from Jessica at Eagle Creek explains it best:
By the way, the Quick Snap Strap will work on wheeled bags as well as non-wheeled bags.
As you can see, the wheels are away from the body and the soft top is against the body. This is just the opposite of most wheeled backpacks.
The strap works well but it’s just not made for long distance backpacking. With the wheels and back panel being away from the body, the bag, when in backpack mode, does have a slight tendency to feel bottom heavy from the back. Be aware of this when putting it on.
When I travel with the Flatbed 20, I’m taking the Quick Snap Strap along in case I run into an area where I don’t want to wheel the bag.
The Quick Snap Strap weighs 4.5 oz/128g and retails for $20. (Well worth it in my book.)
Photos and video courtesy of Eagle Creek and Terra Public Relations.