A multi-purpose bag is quite a commodity for a traveler. Most common are the trolley-type bags that can turn into a backpack like the old Eagle Creek Twist Pack 22 I reviewed before. Eagle Creek may have done something revolutionary this time with their patent-pending Eagle Creek EC Lync System. So imagine a rolling bag that has a detachable and collapsible frame to convert it to a backpack or duffle bag and can also be stuffed in a smaller sac for storage. The idea seems doubtful for me at first. I was thinking, collapsible? Is it durable enough for rough handling in airport check-ins? Is it easy to assemble or convert? I had the opportunity of testing the Eagle Creek EC Lync System 22 bag for more than four months now and used it for a few local and international trips already.
EC Lync System Assembly
The Eagle Creek EC Lync System bags come in four sizes, the 20L, 22L, 26L and 29L. The bag also have three color variants, the blue, orange and graphite. The one I got is the blue variant 22L which still fits the carry-on standard in flights. When I got the bag, it is still stuffed in its small sac and components disassembled into pieces. If you have played with lego or assembled toy models before, this would be easy. To help though, the sac has a large tag with illustrated instructions. It also helps that there’s a number label on each item for the assembly.
The frame is the first part to be assembled. The shoulder bars connect to the handle bar, then the full upper-frame to the wheeled expanded base. It is important to hear the “click” sound as it means they are locked into place. There’s also a webbing for the main handle bar tube to secure it on the base. Then slip the frame at the back of the bag and attached the webbings and buckles to its respective places through the base. The buckles are also numbered appropriately. And there you have it. A full sized bag!
Convertible Wheeled Bag
The Eagle Creek EC Lync System 22 looks like a regular full sized bag when up and fully assembled. It weighs only 4lbs and without the frame, is a measly 1lb and that’s already incredibly light. I took this bag on my trips to Bicol, across USA and also in Bontoc, Mountain Province. The large treaded wheel make it easy to roll around on airport grounds and even cemented pavement. I was worried a bit on the aluminum frame tubes and expand stand when I checked it in once for my flight from San Diego to LAX but it held-up well. I used it as carry-on too and I had no problem rolling it in the narrow aisle of the plane or fitting it in the overhead compartment. The bag uses a single rod handle which I couldn’t slip my carry-on camera bag over it like my other wheeled bag. The material may seem thin for me but the abrasion-resistant fabric is apparently tough enough to handle the rigors of air travel.
In Bontoc, Mountain Province, I used Eagle Creek EC Lync System 22 a lot as a backpack. The sizes 20L, 22L and 26L comes with a backpack strap and attachment while the largest 29L has a duffle strap. The velcro and clip is secure enough to handle the weight capacity of the bag and can be worn with or without the frame. Though I think I’m not confident enough to overload it close to limit as a backpack.
Design and Function
I really like the hybrid design that doesn’t look like a regular roll-on luggage. The shades of blue looks eye-catching. I like that there are pockets, the open front sleeve for slipping items like jackets or a book, a front pocket with a key-ring for small items, a top pocket foe easy access items and a back pocket for the backpack straps. The main compartment has a zippered mesh, a side pocket and compression strap to keep things together. All the zippers except the top pocket have lockable zippers. There’s a padded top and side handles for carrying as well.
Eagle Creek made a bold design for the Eagle Creek EC Lync System here and I like companies that try to innovate. So who is this system for? Travellers who like to travel light and values versatility. The assembly and disassembly takes getting used to but once I’ve done it a few times, its fairly easy (just don’t forget to keep the plastic end caps of the tubes). I like that I have the option to use it as a rolling bag which is especially useful if I have my camera bag with laptop computer with me. From my experience, the frame is sturdy enough to handle impacts but for how long I’m not sure. This goes with the velcro straps on the backpack strap which in experience looses its grip in 3–5 years. Will I use it? Yes, because I like the option of having a backpack as well. If I’m already in a destination, I can leave the frame behind and use it as backpack for overnight hikes, camps or beachcombing.
The Eagle Creek EC Lync System 22 retails for Php 10,990 and is available at all R.O.X branches: Manila, Cebu, Pampanga, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod.