Published on June 6th, 2013 | by Greg

Hoist And Haul: The Eagle Creek Flip Switch Roller/Backpack

If you’re a regular traveler, you may think that you’ve seen it all. Bags with built-in chairs? Check. Luggage with internal chambers for removing the air and a laundry chute? Absolutely. We’ve seen heavy-duty bags for hiking and super-lightweight rollers made from advanced materials, and we’re going to post soon on a bag that heats up to kill bedbugs. But we’ve only seen a couple of options that combine backpacks with roller wheels.

That’s one of the nifty parts of the new Eagle Creek Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 28. Also available in a smaller 22-inch size, the one we’ve been testing is large enough for some serious trips- we were able to fit about a week worth of clothing and essentials, along with an iPad and all of the necessary gadgets and chargers and toiletries. Technically, it can hold 5100 cubic inches or 83 L of your gear. And it only weighs about eight and a half pounds including the straps and such- they are removable if you want to reduce the load, but it’s actually pretty svelte for a large backpack, much less one with a solid handle and excellent wheels.

For us, a good part of our haul is around airports and terminals where wheeled bags come in handy. But there are many times when backpack straps are essential- when we find ourselves off-trail, or in a country where stairs are the default and escalators and elevators are hard to come by. Even in New York City, many of the older walk-ups are a complete hassle with wheeled bags, but are so much easier when you can just strap the bag to your back and carefully walk up the several flights to your apartment. As you might expect for a bag this size, there’s a built-in sternum strap for stability and balance, and a hip belt as well.

We wouldn’t use it primarily as a backpack- it’s a little heavy and a little bulky if that is your main use. As a roller bag, it’s also a bit of a compromise, but performs strongly against similar outdoors-style, rugged bags. The Flip Switch has some nice bumpers around the wheels, which are sizable and were durable in our tests. They’re less friendly than omni-directional spinners though, and the handle is a bit less ergonomic than some we’ve seen.

The colors and fabrics are sharp, and zippers well-made. If you don’t mind looking a little ungainly, and need a bag that can both roll and convert easily into a backpack, then the Eagle Creek Flip Switch is an excellent choice. No one will call it sexy, but it manages to make travel seem a bit more fun. There’s even an included whistle! The Eagle Creek Flip Switch 28 is available now, online and in stores, in three colors- yellow, black, or blue. We’ve seen it priced at around $230.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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