- Buyer's Guide
Best Travel Luggage – The Sixth Annual Carry Awards
Duffels are the workhorses of the carry world. The ‘gear haulers’ that swallow anything you throw at ‘em. Built tough to skid and drag and scrape across all terrains without even a wince (or busted thread). But a lot of duffels become increasingly awkward to carry the more weight you add. So Osprey created the Transporter. An adventure-ready bag that fuses a balanced feature-set and rugged durability that can take a hit, and travel well.
The backpack harness is better than most you’ll see with ergonomic straps and a backpanel not bisected by a zip (right on, Osprey, such a welcome move!). The straps can also be stowed away for sleek, snag-avoiding storage in tight spaces or when you need to check the bag in. And with four grab handles you don’t need to wrestle the Transporter in and out of awkward spaces. Note the U-shaped opening? Ideal for hassle-free packing and easily reaching gear without having to rummage. There’s also handy pockets for taking care of smaller items, and lockable zippers for added peace of mind.
Of course, this bag wouldn’t be travel-ready without a reliably burly build. And Osprey don’t disappoint, offering signature durability and water resistance while still maintaining a lightweight makeup to help keep carry weight to a minimum.
The Transporter is an impressively adaptable piece, (and a nice refinement on the travel duffel category) tough enough to handle whatever comes its way and designed to keep your trips running smoothly with excellent access, carry comfort and portability. A worthy winner and well deserved, Osprey!
These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.
When Arc’teryx announced the V80 and V110 Rolling Duffels the Interwebs were alight. It’d been some time since the luggage game had a shake up, and the V Series was it, dishing up a super lightweight + high volume solution for adventurers packing serious gear. Think bulky ski boots, ice tools, helmets, climbing ropes… and everything else.
Instead of internal frames, these duffels feature external frames, a design decision that offers up multiple benefits in addition to more usable internal packing space. The exterior frames provide readily accessible carry options from any side, as well as an easy means to secure the bags in place (such as on roof racks or the like). And with the frames positioned externally, Arc’teryx have done away with the material wear and tear that develops from rubbing against an internal frame.
The duffels are also stamped with solid travel credentials with tough, weatherproof builds, burly wheels that can handle a range of rough and smooth terrains alike, and wide-opening main compartments to make packing and retrieving gear quick and simple. Arc’teryx, you have delivered a sleek and considered solution for a widespread carry problem, and we take our hats off to you.
There’s a bunch of waterproof duffels on the market, but few have got the masses as amped as the Panga. Overbuilt to the extreme and bombproof (and perhaps still riding the coattails of the wildly entertaining YETI vs [insert something gnarly] campaign), the Panga has an X-factor that’s hard to beat.
The entire exterior is constructed from laminated, high density nylon, and zipped closed by a fist-sized HydroLock zipper that boasts a zipper pull that is nearly 2 inches. The bottom is EVA molded, so it can be dragged across terrain of utmost jaggedness and come off unscathed. And on either end and the top of the bag are hefty grab handles. Between these are a pair of detachable backpack straps with MetalLock hardware. All burly, all designed to never fail, never ever.
You know what you’re getting with the Panga. It’ll cost you a pretty penny. But it’ll feel good. And it’ll never let you down.