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Fly By :: Eagle Creek Morphus 22

by , August 18, 2014

Pilots are the ultimate frequent flyers…and who better to test luggage than people who make their living travelling? So we navigated our way to teaming up with airline pilots who could really put luggage through its paces, and not just any airline either. We partnered with Cathay Pacific – the World’s Best Airline for 2014. Up first in our special two-part series is a Fly By of the Eagle Creek Morphus 22 by pilot, Paul Cook

Being a commercial pilot for an international carrier based in Hong Kong, I’ve managed to utilise this piece of luggage extensively over the past 2 months. It’s accompanied me to the United Kingdom on several work trips, two UK weddings and in various English ‘Shires’ whilst visiting family. It’s been to New York, Paris and Vancouver with work. City trips to Shanghai and Singapore and has survived two stag do’s (bachelor parties for our American friends) in Thailand and Bali – a sturdy piece of kit…

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On first collecting the bag its aesthetics are what I’d usually go for. It gives an impressionable sense of quality and practicality. It’s not an attention-seeking piece of luggage, it looks durable and I was surprised at how light it is. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the shiny black plastic used for the base, it is lightweight and offers a greater sense of protection for your belongings.

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There are many zips, pockets, compartments and straps to get used to. Although an information booklet is provided, I personally prefer to find out about something for myself so I started by opening everything up. My initial impression was that the bag was too complex. However, the more I used it, the more familiar it became and I started using it routinely, packing the same items in the familiar places. In doing so it gradually became much more usable, whether packing my pj’s and t-shirt for crew rest or stowing my iPad, travel adapters, pens, valuables or clothes for down route. It has a compartment for everything! It’s a perfect size for carry-on luggage.

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What I didn’t like was its balance. As flight crew, I carry a briefcase with all manner of things I require during flight, as all pilots do. My flight bag has a strap on the back so it can be placed on top of carry-on luggage by placing the retractable handle through this strap. My flight bag isn’t particularly large, however when sat on top of the Morphus the luggage didn’t remain upright and would tip over forwards. My flight bag is approximately 6 inches/15cm.  Thinner laptop bags wouldn’t have this issue. Because of this reason it isn’t practical for me to use for work purposes in the future.

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The main handles by which to lift the bag are particularly useful, there’s two on the top and one on the side. I’ve filled the bag as tightly packed as possible and with some heavy objects. These handles are very strong and seem like they would be strong enough if your friends pulled a practical joke and filled it with bricks.

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The telescopic handle is of a good design with a grip pad on the actual handle so it’s comfortable to pull along on its wheels. The one flaw with this is that the telescopic rods occasionally slip out of place and partially collapse down when you don’t want/expect them to. Whilst I accept this happens from time to time with such a mechanism, this happened more frequently than other bags I’ve used similar to this. The wheels are of a decent quality, and I found it easy to drag the bag up over kerbs and up/down stairs without any problems.

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I really like the fact that it’s two bags in one. I didn’t even realise this until I started playing around with all the zips – it packs down into the one bag so efficiently that this fact is hidden. The backpack is very convenient to use as a daypack when travelling, retaining several compartments to organise your belongings and the heavy-duty handles. The backpack straps are reasonably comfortable to wear with it well packed. However, the main part which I checked into the hold is lacking. It only has the extendable handle. Without the backpack fitted there’s no grab handles anywhere, which I found inconvenient.

In summary, the bag is very useful and will stand the test of time, even when packed to a heavy load. I’m a big fan of all the compartments and the backpack that zips off. If the remaining hold section of the bag came with handles, and the base was altered to improve the balance, I’d be using this bag multiple times per month all over the world and be very happy with it. After all the miles and strain I’ve put this bag through in a short period of time, aside from very minor cosmetic imperfections, the bag remains in great condition. If you don’t intend to place a bag on top of this, and you want a lightweight durable bag that is practical in organising your belongings well and is rugged enough to survive numerous adventures and sustain heavy loading and frequent usage, I’d recommend this bag.

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