There used to be a time when I didn’t mind checking a bag when I was flying somewhere. My bag usually showed up on time after the flight landed, locks weren’t cut, things weren’t missing—all features I expected. But in more recent years, I’ve experienced more instances when a checked bag had to be delivered a day (or multiple days) late, TSA-compliant locks were cut, and packed items were missing. So now, unless I’m headed on a gear-intensive adventure, I bring a carry-on bag.


I have a couple of them, so the one I bring along depends on what I need from my bag. While the wheelies with four wheels seemed to be sexy for a time, I’m seeing more people revert to a 2-wheeled bag for a variety of reasons: thick carpet in airports often make it a pain, walking uphill on the jetway means you have to drag your bag anyway, and even “suitcase elbow[].”


Because my carry-on roller bags are both 4-wheeled, one of the bags I recently added to my family’s carry-on stable is the Eagle Creek Tarmac XE 2-Wheel International Carry On. Sized at 13.25 inches by 21.5 inches by 8 inches, it’s well-sized for international flights that don’t allow the standard North American carry-on sized bags. The bag is made from 100-percent recycled 900D Poly Bi-Tech material that’s eco-friendly Bluesign certified. It also offers solid abrasion and weather resistance, to keep your packed gear safe. There are also Hypalon-reinforced corners and a kickplate for an extra line of defense.


The bag’s heavy-duty, all-terrain wheels and oversized wheel housing are far more solid than what we get in 4-wheeled bags, adding to durability and making it much easier to drag the bag across all sorts of terrain. Multiple grab handles give you a variety of carry options, as well.


Even when you’re not checking the bag, the puncture-resistant, self-repairing zippers can be secured shut with a travel lock to a central lock point for pickpocket protection. The zipper pulls are reflective, and added piping provides for some extra visibility at night.


The interior of the suitcase includes a 15-inch padded sleeve in the main compartment and a zippered mesh pocket for small items. An exterior top pocket has a PU-coated water-resistant zipper for essential items for which you need quick access, like phones and small electronics. Adjustable compression wings help keep clothing and accessories secure, and heavy-duty lash points let you attach any beloved travel accessories.


The Tarmac XE 2-Wheel International Carry On comes in both black and Arctic sea green and lists for $289 on the Eagle Creek site. Supplies are going quickly, but if your favorite color is out, don’t lose hope. The site will be restocking these high-demand items.

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