Gear Review: Eagle Creek Lync 22

EC Lync Graphite

Courtesy of Eagle Creek

Last summer, Eagle Creek announced a new type of travel bag that was the first of its kind. A wheeled backpack where the bag could be removed from the frame and then the frame disassembled for storage. It would be called the Lync System and be available towards the end of the year. It would be available in four sizes–20, 22, 26 and 28. We were sent a 22″ version.

 

 

 

The Eagle Creek Lync 22  measures 22″ x 14″ x 9″/56 x 36 x 23 cm and weighs a mere 4.9 lbs/2.07 kg. The bag without the frame weighs 1 lb, 14oz/o.85kg. Capacity is 2526 cu in/43L. It’s made of a combination of 200d and 450d nylon and polyester. (The measurements include wheels and handles.)

 

eagle creek lync 2

Courtesy of Eagle Creek

The Lync arrives disassembled in its own stuff sack for storage.

 

 

 

 

 

The bag has removable and storable backpack straps, #10 locking zippers, a large front pocket, a smaller zipper pocket on top for a 3-1-1 bag or smaller items, both internal and external compression straps, and a mesh pocket on the inside lid.  It has a locking, single pole telescoping handle.

Instructions are included on the stuff sack explaining how to put the bag together. To save yourself frustration, watch the video Eagle Creek made showing how to do it. It’s much better:

 

Eagle Creek Lync BottomThe last two steps in assembling the bag are attaching the four straps you see in the photo to the left. It looked easy in the video. Then I tried. The top two were difficult. The bottom two downright ridiculous. They were very tight and it took a lot of strength, and tries, to get it done.  Well over five minutes of trying when it should have taken seconds.  I searched the web, including this site’s forum, and it seems others have had the same problem. I’m hoping that over time, the straps loosen up.

 

Once assembled, the bag handled well and rolled easily. The more time I spent with it, the more I liked it.

But, there are a few negatives.

When wearing it as a rolling backpack, I did slightly feel the telescoping handle in my back as there really isn’t much padding between you and the handle. For a short distance this isn’t bad. But for a long hike, it might get annoying. But then, who is taking this on a long hike with the frame attached?

ec lync straps

To store the backpack straps, they have to be completely removed. There are three attachment points and this takes time. There is a storage pocket for them in the rear.

 

 

 

The frame itself is fine but I would be concerned checking it. It’s  somewhat pliable and does move a little. The bottom foot rest that keeps the bag from toppling over frontwards moves quite a bit. I’m concerned about rough handling if it has to be checked. (Not gate checked on regional airlines, I’m thinking of it having to go through an airport baggage system.) Over time, we’ll hear if this is a problem.

There is also a 20″ version: 2220 cu in/36L, 4 lbs 6 oz/1.98kg and measuring 20 x 14 x 8/51 x 36 x 20. Or that 8″ could be a 9. I don’t know. Eagle Creek told me it was 9″ but their website says 8.”  A big difference when it comes to carry-on regulations in certain parts of the world. (No 20″ bags were available for review, which I would have preferred, so I got a 22″) If anyone has the 20″ version and wants to measure it for us, let me know.

Currently, the entire Lync line is only available at REI.  Starting May 1, it will be available at Eagle Creek retailers both online and in person.

The big question is who is this bag for? If you like to travel very light but want the convenience of both wheels and backpack straps, or if you live in a tiny place with limited storage, or if you live in either Asia or Australia and have extremely low carry-on weight limits, you want to consider this bag.

And don’t forget, once you get to your destination, you can remove the bag from its frame and use it as a day bag or a hiking bag.

You probably want to know if I will use it.  The answer is yes and no. The 22″ is too big for my needs. If the 20″ version turns out to have that 8″ depth, I’m going to go buy one.

It’s lightweight, easy to handle, and gives me the option of rolling or carrying. With a bag that light, I’m sure to keep it down to carry-on limits.

The Lync 22 retails for $260. The 20″ version is $5 less. It’s available in graphite, orange and blue.

 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to Gear Review: Eagle Creek Lync 22

  1. Bella says:

    I have the 20″ and I love it! It’s the perfect international carry on size (I measured and it looks like it will easily fit into an 8″ sizer, as long as you don’t stuff it until it’s misshapen).

    I bought it for carry-on only use. I doubt I’ll ever use it as a backpack — maybe for short distances on cobblestones or stairs. The thing weighs only 4 pounds without the backpack straps — super light!

    As to attaching the bottom, I have old arthritic hands so I used a pair of pliers the first time. The buckles are pretty loose now. I plan to leave the bag on the base most of the time and collapse it down.

  2. Frank@OBOW says:

    Thanks for the info, Bella.

    Eagle Creek told me today that the straps at the bottom will loosen up over time.

    I’m torn on getting the 20″ because I have another Rolling Backpack that is 20 x 14 x 7 and weighs just about a pound more than the Lync to review. It should be up within the week.

    • teejaydee says:

      One good thing about the 20″ version is that it meets the carry-on size limits for many European airlines such as Ryanair and easyjet. It’s more attractive in that respect than the Osprey Ozone, whose smallest convertible model (i.e. with back straps) is, at 22″, too large. Osprey also offers the Ozone without the back straps in 18″ and 22″ sizes. The 22″ size is too large for Ryanair and easyjet, and the 18″, although meeting those airlines’ requirements, is a little small for many users’ needs.

      Frank, may I ask how you feel this new Eagle Creek compares with the Osprey Ozone in terms of quality? Many reviews of the Ozone cite its somewhat flimsy fabric, leading many to question its durability. Do you thing the Eagle Creek is better in this regard?

      • Frank@OBOW says:

        if I had a choice, I’d go with the Eagle Creek. Both use thin material but I like the EC better. Plus it holds more.

        I no longer have the Osprey bag which means I didn’t see myself using it.

        Over the weekend, I’ll be reviewing the Rick Steves Rolling Backpack which is on sale for the next week or so.

        • teejaydee says:

          Thanks Frank. It’s really quite exciting to see Eagle Creek adopting an innovative approach in the design of their new convertible. It seems other manufactures’ definition of a “convertible” bag is nothing more than a wheeled, carry-on size bag with a couple of backstraps added. This new Eagle Creek offering is genuinely convertible; depending on my destination, I could well imagine taking it either with the frame or without.

  3. MsBluebird says:

    Hi Frank,

    I’m new to this forum. I came across your site while searching for the difference between the Eagle Creek Lync 20″ and the Rick Steve’s rolling backpack. Your reviews are great. I really like the light weight of the Eagle Creek bag since this is my first time traveling with one bag (every ounce counts when I’m having to limit my shoes). Okay, this is my question. The Lync bag only has a single bar for the handle. I usually balance my “computer” bag on my old suitcase (23″) handle when walking thru the airport. Do I assume correctly that the one bar will not allow me to do this?

    Thanks.

  4. Frank@OBOW says:

    MsBluebird–the answer is yes and no. If you try to put your computer bag on top of the Lync without any kind of restraint, it will fall off.

    However, if you use something like the Travelon Bag Bungee I discussed on this site:

    http://1bag1world.com/2015/03/tom-bihn-travelon-bag-bungee-travel-goods-show/

    it should work fine. I tried it with my Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase and the bag was secure and didn’t fall off.

    If your computer bag has a pass thru on the back, it should also work. I was also able to but the Daylight Briefcase on the Lync using one of the briefcase’s grab handles and while it hung down rather than rode on the bag, it was secure.

  5. Maggie says:

    If anyone comes across a website selling this item (after I’m guessing May 1 after the REI exclusive ends) that ships internationally, please let me know by posting here. Thanks!

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