REVIEWED: Eagle Creek Morphus 22 ultra-light hybrid luggage

Morphing into a handy rucksack for the cabin, and a roller bag for the hold, this clever two-part luggage gives you options, and boasts awesome build quality

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Here at TravGear we usually pack light and attempt to get everything in one small rucksack that can go in the cabin of an aircraft. Great – well done us – but what are we supposed to do when we (a) need a day bag at the other end or, (b) buy stuff in our destination. Until now the option has been to take a foldaway rucksack, but they’re hardly ideal even for serious city walks, and they don’t offer much of a capacity boost. For anyone that wants to travel light, but with options, the the Eagle Creek Morphus 22 is hard to beat.

Luggage with options

At its most basic, the Eagle Creek Morphus 22 is highly versatile luggage. You can glide it through an airport on its sturdy and smooth wheels by tugging at its retractable column, or you can reveal a couple of straps from the front to wear it like a backpack. Weighing a total of 4.1kg when empty and able to store about 96 litres, pack wisely and here’s a great bag for the aircraft cabin … but much, much more.

Two-part flexibility

It gets a lot more flexible. The Eagle Creek Morphus 22 zips out into two parts; a small rucksack, and the main hull, the latter of which has fold-out flaps that zip together. It’s then possible to send your clothes, souvenirs from your trip and whatever else you don’t need on the plane into the hold at check-in in that 2.6kg hull. You’re then free to board the plane wearing just the 1.5kg rucksack, though (and here’s just about our only complaint), when it’s being worn it’s not much of a looker since the outer is a one-piece canvas. It looks like a rain cover is in place, permanently. Which it kind of is; the Morphus 22 is completely waterproof.

Rucksack-cum-shoulder bag

So useful for when you reach your destination and need a day bag – or just for storing a laptop and/or other electronics on the plane – that rucksack is pretty heavy-duty. The fold-out straps are of a comfy quality, and can be sent back into a front pouch, while a padded shoulder strap can also hooked-on, side-ways; et voilà – yet another type of bag. The shoulder bag isn’t TravGear’s idea of a comfortable travel bag, but some travellers swear by them. Plus, there are two straps on the front of the rucksack that can slide over the main compartment’s extendable column for easy luggage stacking when in airports. You can literally drag the whole lot behind you, whatever modular decision you’ve made, and un-hook it all when you get to the airport bag drop.

Inside the rucksack

Eagle Creek has thought of everything. Inside easily reachable, lockable compartments are a phone pocket, a netted, zipped area for headphones near the top of the bag, two pen slots, an iPad/tablet sleeve, a 15-inch laptop sleeve – all built-in to the rucksack. The wheeled bag isn’t quite so stunning. That polycarbonate wheeled bag, which becomes a second bag, is the less interesting of the two – there’s not much to it save for the tough, well-zipped flaps that help transform it into a bag in its own right.

Covers all angles

The build quality of the Eagle Creek Morphus 22 is stunning, not least its sturdy roller action. Awesome zips that will last years, grab handles all over the place, and well designed and lockable pockets for common electronics make this a fine choice for business travellers and even backpackers that need something sensible, adaptable and capable of covering all angles. If you travel reasonably lightly or, at least, try to – and you never know where you’re going or what’s going to happen next – the ready-for-anything Eagle Creek Morphus 22 is the bag for you.

Price at time of review: £240

Buy the Eagle Creek Morphus 22