Eagle Creek’s Gear Warrior travel pack is ready to go when you are, and won’t slow you down if you plan to navigate a lot of different transportation options, do a lot of walking, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. With a capacity of 45 liters (dimensions are 12.5 x 21.5 x 10.5 in), it proved just big enough to get my college-aged son around Europe for three weeks yet small enough to carry on both domestic and international airplanes.
You can use it as a backpack or as a duffel (the duffel option works well for train travel and air transport, which the backpack option is great for packing it around cities). It’s made of 100% recycled PET ripstop main body fabric, like so many of Eagle Creek’s products, which has been durable enough for said European adventure. There are reinforced sections as well. This bag is water repellent–a must have–and the backpack straps zip into the main body of the bag when desired. The shoulder straps are removable and you get multiple grab handles for when you’re in duffel mode.
There’s a zippered bottom expansion feature, which is wonderful for those shorter trips when you don’t need to pack as much gear (but maybe come home with souvenirs) and the other zippers are lockable. There’s even a safety whistle on the sternum strap.
Personally, I love the book-style opening (a lot like clamshell) which makes it easy to organize your stuff and access anything in a hurry. Essentials go in the top 3-1-1 pocket with key FOB and stash pocket, and the ID tag pocket is ready for your information. Reflective panels keep you safe at night, and while the interior is pretty basic, you can certainly add some Eagle Creek packing cubes to the mix to help you sort your stuff further.
I only wish the gear warrior pack had a sturdier backpack belt to more evenly distribute weight while running for a train, but the shoulder straps are padded enough to make it bearable.
Pick up the Gear Warrior Travel Pack for $139 on Eagle Creek, with your pick of colors from jet black, arctic blue, and a very bright coral sunset (you won’t lose this one on the luggage carousel).