Did they really have to give this back such a long ridiculous name? Probably not, but we'll forgive them because they have truly created the best suitcase in the land.
At first glance you might overlook this bag. What makes this plain looking bag so great?
The problem with most carry on luggage is that it's too small for more than a weekend trip. If I'm spending $279 on a bag, I'd better be able to use it on long trips as well as short trips. The Switchback 22 gets around this issue by combining two bags. They took a suitcase that was the largest allowed by every airline, and then attached a good sized backpack to the front of it.
The backpack attaches via zippers and optional tie down straps in case you have it packed with bricks or something. The two bags combined work perfectly as one. There are large wheels, a good retractable handle, and even ANOTHER backpack support system on the main suitcase. You unzip this compartment and a heavy duty harness thing comes out and lets you carry the whole contraption as a giant backpack. Whoa! I used this feature all the time while navigating the subways of Japan. The locals stared at me running up and down stairs with this huge suitcase and backpack on my back, but it was actually rather comfortable.
Once you get on the plane (or before if they give you crap for having too big of a bag), you just detach the backpack and put the suitcase in the overhead compartment.
The other great thing about the backpack is that now whenever you travel, you also have a backpack that you can use for hikes, camping, going into the city, or staying at a friend's place.
Both bags can hold their own independently. The suitcase has a flat front pocket as well as the main compartment. Within the main compartment there is the usual mesh section on the opening flap as well as a compression webbing to press the air out of your clothes and maximize space.
The backpack has a main area that has a cool compartment for electronics right near the top. The inside is made of felt, so you don't have to worry about things getting scratched. The way the main compartment opens is really cool, but hard to describe. It unzips all the way to give you full access, but has guards on the sides so that everything doesn't fall out. It also has a smaller front compartment with all sorts of little pockets for keys, tickets, etc. It just happens to be the exact right size to hold my Libretto laptop. On the sides of the backpack are these neat zip out water bottle holders. I don't really like bottled water, so I kept my MP3 player in one.
If you're in the market for a new suitcase, or even if you're not, you should definitely check this bag out. It's extremely durable and has a lifetime warranty, so it will likely be the last suitcase you ever buy.
Get yours at Amazon.
Eagle Creek rocks. I've had an EC bag for years now and it's the best, most versatile suitcase I'll ever own. And the lifetime guarantee is great, too--I've already had the backing replaced when some overeager baggage handlers cracked it. It was no hassle and they did it super quick.
I hardly ever travel, something I should probably do more of. This suitcase seems very handy like you were saying. I can't believe that they aren't marketing this suitcase better.
I would like to see a picture of the backpack part detached from the main suitcase section though.
I can't speak to the suitcase, but years ago, a fellow road warrior stopped my in an airport and mentioning my hunch-backed stance, had me try out the shoulder strap, holding up his 22 lb shoulder bag. The same Eagle Creek shoulder strap has been on all my shoulder bags in the last 8 years. Just one has outlived all my bags and it is so comfortable! Currently, I carry a 28 lb laptop case, crammed full of work crap and a 17" HP laptop, with no difficulty. I swear by Eagle Creek, as a VERY frequent air traveler.
I used to have a bit of an obsession with Zero Halliburton luggage. Look familiar? That's because bad guys in all the movies use the briefcases to hold their money and bombs. Over the years I kept buying these things, and usually traveled with a huge 26" suitcase as well as a matching computer case.
I still really like my Zero Halliburton suitcases, but they're somewhat unweildy. Two day trips don't require a hectare of packing real estate.
Plus, there was the allure of the carry-on only passenger. I never really understood how it worked before. How do people carry everything in such small suitcases? Is it really that much more convenient? What's so bad about checking bags? I was curious.
Which bag is best for both work and travel? We narrowed the field to five bags, and then tried each to find out:
Here’s a video of us reviewing the bags: