Huge packing capacity
Lots of pockets
Great safety features
Can be somewhat difficult to roll
Need a bag that’s big and tough enough to take you off the beaten path? The Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel could be the perfect piece of checked luggage for you. To figure out what this rolling duffel could really handle, my family put it to the test on one of our long-distance trips. We took into consideration comfort, design, durability, and overall value. Read on to find out what we thought of this duffel as a heavy-duty travel companion.
Design: Great interior organization, but it tips over
Eagle Creek designed the ultimate bag for adventurous globetrotters. With a capacity of 129 liters, the Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel is massive—it seems like you could fit practically your entire closet. I’m exaggerating a bit, but I was able to fit all of my necessities for an entire week, along with my two sons’ essentials (including diapering must-haves).
It seems like you could fit practically your entire closet.
The packing versatility of this duffel is endless. The two side pockets are deep and wide enough to fit two pairs of shoes each. However, what I love most about this Eagle Creek bag is the flexibility that the main compartment offers. It features a zip-away center divider to separate the large interior into two compartments. This was particularly useful to keep all of our belongings organized throughout our travels.
The negative? This bag does not stand. When you are done wheeling it around, you will need to place it flat on the ground or else it will tip over. It eventually became pretty tiring to have to bend over to drop or pick up the heavy bag. Some sort of rail at the bottom of the bag to stabilize it when standing would have been nice.
Durability and Safety: Withstands the abuse of long-distance travel
Eagle Creek is an outdoor brand, and it shows. The Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel is rugged and strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor adventures and long-distance travels. In other words, it’s made to last!
In addition to its lightweight, long-lasting polyester, the bag is reinforced with Bi-Tech Armor Lite, which will protect it against abrasions and scuffs. It also features oversized wheel housing, a kick plate and bumpers, as well as corner bumpers—all of which are meant to keep your bag looking and handling like new for a long time.
Eagle Creek designed the ultimate bag for adventurous globetrotters.
For added security, you can lock the zippers with either a TSA-approved lock or the central lock system, which involves threading the toggles that are attached to the zippers through the central lock points of the bag. This will help prevent the bag from opening and may even deter theft. Lastly, there are reflective accents, which can help keep you and your belongings visible when you are traveling at night.
Portability: Massive, but lots of carry options
There’s no denying it: The Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel is colossal, measuring 14 x 32 x 16 inches. Still, with a weight of only 8 pounds 4 ounces, it remains really light. Unfortunately, the bag features only two wheels. Sure, they are oversized and heavy-duty, but dragging the bag (full of stuff) through the airport felt a lot heavier and more laborious than pushing a standing suitcase with four wheels.
What I loved most about this bag was the flexibility that the main compartment offers.
That said, the bag provides many other carry options. It boasts two tote handles, as well as handles at the top, bottom, and on either side of the bag. If you are traveling by car, you can also attach the duffel to the roof of your vehicle with the side latch points.
Price: Worth it
Retailing for $199, the Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel is a long-term investment that is thoughtfully designed to go wherever you want. Eagle Creek offers a lifetime “No Matter What” warranty that ensures repair or replacement due to any product failure, which gives you added insurance on this investment.
Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel v. Travelpro Bold Rolling Duffle Bag with Drop Bottom
The Travelpro Bold 30” Rolling Duffle Bag with Drop Bottom is comparable in size, though it is a couple of pounds heavier than the 32-inch Expanse. Like Eagle Creek’s bag, the Travelpro bag offers many different compartments for easy and optimized packing. It also has the drop-bottom feature, letting you choose between using one main compartment or splitting it into two.
Made of polyester with a water-resistant coating, the Travelpro bag offers high quality for the price (around $200). It features exterior compression straps with rubberized buckles for comfort, as well as multiple handles. Plus, it stands on its own, which is a major advantage over Eagle Creek’s Expanse.
All in all, both bags are versatile, durable, and well-designed. So either way, you can’t go wrong. If you want a lighter option, we’d recommend the Eagle Creek, but if the standing feature is more important to you, Travelpro is the way to go.
Still undecided? Check out our roundup of the best checked luggage.
- Product Name Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel
- Product Brand Eagle Creek
- MPN EC0A3CWG
- Price $199.00
- Weight 8 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 14 x 32 x 16 in.
- Color Black, twilight blue, stone grey, volcano red
- Material 420D Two-Tone Poly, 300D Diamond Ripstop Poly, 500D Oxford Poly
- Warranty “No Matter What” lifetime