These days, when more and more airlines are charging baggage fees and there seems to be less and less space for carry-on luggage, learning how to pack the most stuff into the least space is crucial for world travelers on a budget. That’s why we love Eagle Creek’s Tarmac 22, their newly re-designed upright carry-on. At just 8 pounds, the 14″ x 22″ x 9″ bag is one of the lighter ones on the market, but the rugged exterior (made of sturdy recycled fabrics, with protective Sole Patches, Skid Plate and wheel housing) makes it equally suited for adventurers and business travelers alike.
But it’s the interior design in which the Eagle Creek line really excels, offering the organizational advantage of their ingenious storage system for maximum use of space. The included (and removable) Shoe Box keeps your kicks away from your duds, while the Stash Cache provides a perfect hidey-hole for ties, passports, and any other small items you don’t want to lose. Numerous zippered internal pockets make packing a breeze, and you can expand the main compartment to add 15% more packing space for longer trips where you don’t mind checking your luggage.
For those OCD types who can’t stand the idea of their pants, shirts and undies intermingling, Eagle’s Creek’s patented “Pack-It System” (sold separately) allows you to compartmentalize to your heart’s content via specially designed folders, cubed and sacs. But, for us, the Tarmac 22 offers the perfect combination of functionality, durability and design. –Bret Love
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