This 34-liter carry-on is ideal for a weekend away or a business trip
The four-wheel carry-on case has become a travel classic in recent years. Here at TravGear, we’ve long been convinced that a backpack is almost always a better option than any kind of wheeled case, but we also understand that not everyone wants to carry significant weight around airports and through cities. Cue the Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On in Eagle Creek’s Gear Warrior Collection, a reasonably simple yet solidly made bag designed for short business and leisure trips.
Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On: layout
Despite looking both casual and serious, in terms of structure and layout, there’s not much to this bag. It’s mostly about the quality of the build. For example, there is one main compartment with a soft peel-off lid zipped on three sides. The lid itself contains a mesh pocket, but there’s not much room for storing anything. We would like to see zipped pockets around the perimeter of the main compartment for storing bits and pieces. However, it does have a compression area for locking down clothes, which does create a significant amount of extra space.
It measures 35x55x19.5 cm to hold 34 liters, though the main compartment does have a zipped expander section that stretches to 22.5 cm, expanding the capacity to 37 liters. The option to expand the case is a nice feature, but if you’ve already got a laptop in the front, the extra width is going to make the case in jeopardy of falling over front-first.
Talking of which, the front section is essentially a laptop sleeve and little more. It’s actually rather hard to access, especially when the bag is full because the main section bulges out slightly. The soft design, together with the compression straps on each side of the bag makes it hard to extract a laptop easily and quickly. However, there’s plenty of room in there for any size of laptop. Just make sure you don’t overfill the bag if you’re traveling with tech.
Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On: design & build quality
This bag is all about excellent build quality, simplicity, and ease of use. For example, on the top of the bag, there’s a sturdy padded handle that’s comfortable to hold for relatively long periods (though don’t plan to carry this bag by hand for too long). Also on the top is a small U-shaped zipped compartment that reveals a telescopic handle that can be locked in two places. The half-height is suitable when you are pushing the bag along on its four wheels, while the fully extended handle works best when you drag the bag on its back wheels.
Hidden away beside the bottom of the telescopic handle is a small pouch that hosts a bungee cord that can wrap around a coat and fasten to the front of the bag. Nice touch, as is a handle on the long side of the bag for carrying it in a different orientation (although that handle is not as impressive or as comfortable to hold). Lastly, there are some finger-friendly zipper pulls, and on the reverse, a handy mesh ID pocket for storing your details.
Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On: performance
The final flourish is, of course, the four 360 wheels on the undercarriage of the bag. In practice they work very well, swiveling easily, and in our test on the streets of Budapest, stood up to almost everything. Despite dragging it over everything from concrete slabs and cobbles to curbs and lawns, this bag gave us very few problems. In fact, in a five-hour walk about Budapest, the bag only tumbled twice, and only then due to large gashes in roads and pavements. However, we did have a slight concern about the stability of this bag when packed full; although we didn’t extend the bag outwards, the presence of a heavy laptop in the front pouch did appear to make the bag unsteady, that said, it actually only felt on its face once during the whole day.
Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On: conclusion
The Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On is not an exciting new addition to luggage. It’s not revolutionary, and it is not going to change the way you travel. However, if you travel light, you don’t like bags with a lot of small pockets, but you do want to take everything in a secure, well-made and highly mobile four-wheeled case, there are few bags that look simultaneously as smart and casual as Eagle Creek’s Gear Warrior 4-Wheel International Carry On. It’s available in black, blue, and red.