Gadget Guy Review: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 120XL
Have you ever seen a hockey player lug his equipment into the ice arena? The sheer volume and size of their equipment require an epic-sized duffel bag, the type of carrier that could double as a barbecue grill cover.
We in the travel industry can sympathize. Whether carrying clothes for back-to-back trips or simply trying to avoid baggage fees, we try to pack as much into duffels and carry-ons as we possibly can. The trick here is that to properly hold all our items, those bags tend to be cumbersome and heavy to carry around from stop to stop.
That’s why I was so intrigued by the Eagle Creek 120XL Cargo Hauler. The promise was that I’d get 7,325 cubic inches of capacity from a bag that weighs just shy of 2 ½ pounds – that’s hockey player-approved size, and without the cumbersome shoulder strap that sends many of my hockey friends to the chiropractor. It comes with padded, removable backpack straps that make you more like a legit camper than a hunchbacked, about-to-tip-over traveler.
And when empty, the entire bag can be stuffed into the front-end zippered compartment. With a couple of swift movements, the 120XL packs up to the size of a sweater in your carry-on.
Everything about this bag is smart: padded grab handles on an angle, making it easier to grab off a luggage carousel; a grab handle on top and padding on bottom; six heavy-duty latch points to strap it down to a roof bed; and #10 lockable zippers with pulls that actually fit your fingers.
This bag is ready for battle with airport handlers. The Bi-Tech Armor Lite vinyl is water repellent and nearly impossible to damage. I have taken it on three straight long-haul trips stuffed inside my Hex duffel. Then, upon return, I stuff my packed Hex inside the Goose Creek bag along with souvenirs and tchotchkes I pick up during the trip. My bag keeps coming off the carousel looking brand new, to the point that multiple fellow travelers have asked me how to get one of these.
I tested the black bag, but this comes in a number of color combinations for the sides with gray as the base — including cherry, blue, fern green and orange.
This is a no-brainer Gadget Guy Platinum Pick, scoring a perfect 50. I am in love with this bag, as is my wife. It lives up to its promises and then some.
Scoring: Each category is scored between 1 and 10 for a maximum score of 50. Products scoring 48.0 or above earn the label of Gadget Guy Platinum Pick. If a product scores under 40 in our testing, we will not review it as we prefer to inform you on the best products rather than criticize the ones that aren't quite as good.
Products detailed above were provided to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Tim Wood and have not been influenced in any way.
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