on 10 June 2011
I now have two of these bags. I originally bought one, and then hunted down another one several years later as the first one is so good.
It is sturdy, has an excellent wheelie-handle, and two of them catered nicely for a family of four going away for a long weekend.
on 1 November 2012
This is the second of these bags that I have bought for holiday use. It isn't too large but is big enough for a 2 week Summer holiday as long as you don't want to include snorkel, fins and more bulky gear. It is a really practical design, with a separate zipped area for shoes or dirty clothes. The corners are reasonably well protected and it stands on it's end easily. Very good bag - would buy again.
on 21 November 2012
Bought this after having larger Eastpak wheeled bag for a couple of years. Impressed with build quality, zips and wheels very robust. 30 year guarantee, apparently. Wanted something slightly more compact yet large enough for a weekend away/short break. This does the trick for me, I don't believe in travelling "light". Plain, sensible, does the job. Recommended.
*Update 2: Just found that The North Face does a similar product with built-in compression straps. If you are rich, and are considering a holdall on wheels, that may be worth comparing against this. I suspect that it will also have the problems with balance that I describe with the Eastpak, but that seems to be an inevitable consequence of this type of design.
*Update 1: I have just used this for a 4-day stay in London. It has been on Wiltshire's bad pavements, London pavements, First Great Western luggage racks, and the London underground - including a nightmare transfer at Oxford Circus during the rush-hour. I have downgraded it from 5 stars to 4 and you will see why in a moment. Right away, though, let me applaud the wheels: this is remarkably quiet! Almost silent as these things go. (My 40-litre Berghaus Optimus has heads turning 100 metres away from the station.)
*Original review: Overall this is a great product. It is a 77-litre (Eastpak figures) holdall on wheels: high on space, low on features such as internal or external straps to keep your stuff in place. (A cheap luggage strap from Amazon fixed the latter point.) It fitted well on First Great Western overhead racks. In fact, it fitted better than my 70-litre Jansport, because the Jansport's wheeled end has *deeper* stiffening which pushes up against the carriage roof, leaving around 15cm of the bag overhanging.
That's another way of saying that the Eastpak has *shallower* stiffening at the wheeled end. As a result it *will not* stand upright by itself and falls over onto its 'stomach'. (On reading other reviews of this type of luggage this appears to be inevitable with wheeled holdalls.) The only way you can keep it upright is to hang onto it or lean the 'stomach' against something, in which mode it will stay at around 80 degrees, even during braking and acceleration on the Bakerloo line. However, retrieving it from 'leaning' mode is a bit fiddly because the centre of gravity is way off and you have to fight to shift the bag while its wheels threaten to carry it all away. In addition, the two handles (wheeled end & handle end, none at the sides) are attached to the flexible fabric that forms the 'stomach'. As you lift the luggage to put it on an overhead rack, the fabric takes up the slack before movement begins and you find your arms at full upward stretch with less 'lift' than you expected. The same problem makes it hard to carry the bag on (or off) a train. Not insuperable barriers, but they make living with this on a cross-London haul less than perfect. The long shoulder/carry straps attached to the front of the flexible 'stomach' work fine, although I am glad I had also wrapped a strap around the bag to take some of the stress off the 'stomach' material.
Compared with my 70-litre Jansport, this is definitely not as easy to manoeuvre and 'live with' on a trip, especially one with changes of station and peak-hour standing. That is why I award 4 stars. If you are going direct from A to B and want to pack the max in a pretty compact and weather-tolerant bag with great wheels and superb build quality, you can regard it as a 5 star solution, especially (a) if you can live with its usability problems, and (b) if you can find it at the discounted prices that Amazon sometimes pops up for a few days at a time.
*Summary: This is a basic load space on wheels: no frills, but mucho capacity - 77 litres according to the Eastpak UK website. There are no refinements, such as load retention straps, but it's pretty obvious what you are getting. At the offer price (as of 7 March 2013) you get amazing value for money and Eastpak legendary build quality. (At the time this was cheaper than the 40-litre Berghaus Optimus!) The basic structure is reasonably compact, although it will bulge out like a 'stomach' as you load it up. The base end is stiffened to some extent, but has no rubbery studs or 'stands' at the front to keep it stable when upright. The inside surface of the fabric has a rubbery feel. The leaflets attached to the bag suggest that it is weather tolerant. The dark check fabric isn't too loud or 'cheesy': as a bloke I feel fine being seen out with it. If you can get it at an offer price, this looks like an amazing buy.
on 13 January 2012
This arrived in super-quick time. My son is delighted and looking forward to using this on various camps and trips. It's really lightweight and clearly well manufactured - exactly what I would expect from Eastpak. The zips are substantial, the handles strong and the base protected with runners. The side zipper will be great for books and snacks and the ability to carry, wheel along using the grab handle or wheel along with the extending handle means that, depending on how heavy it is, you can transport to suit yourself. When empty, it collapses down to the base making it easy to store. A fantastic product at the best price I have seen anywhere.