Gear Hauler

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Item # EC0A34PC
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The Gear Hauler is the perfect adventure luggage piece that fits within standard carry-on sizes. Duffel bag meets backpack with zip-away backpack straps for maximum versatility. With durable, water-repellant fabric and a bottom that resists water when in a puddle, it’s the ultimate super-light, go anywhere, do anything piece of gear.

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Details & Features

  • Multi-function carry includes backpack straps, over-the-shoulder crossbody strap and grab handles
  • Zip-away loadlifter backpack straps feature sternum strap and safety whistle
  • 15” laptop and tablet sleeve
  • Puncture-resistant lockable zippers that lock simultaneously
  • Avoid tangled cords with unique cord winder
  • Bottom Bi-Tech™ material construction resists water and keeps your things dry
  • Additional end compartment for extra organization or dirty shoes
  • Strong fabrics provide protection against the weather and friction from travel
  • Reflective finger loop zipper pulls for easy access while wearing gloves
  • Secure gear with compression straps and external lash points

Product Specification

Capacity: 3110 cu in | 51 L Dimensions: 13.75 x 22 x 9 in | 35 x 56 x 23 cm Weight: 2 lbs 6 oz | 1.08 kg Material: 1000D Helix™ Poly Twill


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Eagle CreekGear Hauler Backpack
 
4.6

(based on 30 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (20)
  • Good capacity (18)
  • High quality (18)
  • Easy to access items (17)
  • Easy to carry (17)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Weekend trips (15)
  • Long vacations (12)
  • Family trips (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Comfort-oriented (15), Practical (14), Modern (9), Stylish (8), Career (4)
    • Travel Frequency:
    • 6-10 annual trips (14), 0-5 annual trips (5), 11-19 annual trips (3)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (21)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (26)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great for one-bagging

After being a chronic overpacker for many years I have focused on becoming a one-bagger. My initial attempt to one-bag it through Europe in 2014 with a Swissgear Ibex computer backpack proved to be...Read complete review

After being a chronic overpacker for many years I have focused on becoming a one-bagger. My initial attempt to one-bag it through Europe in 2014 with a Swissgear Ibex computer backpack proved to be a bit too extreme: while the Ibex held my 17" laptop and accessories very well it had severely limited capacity for clothing and toiletries. But I tremendously enjoyed the freedom of mobility and not having to wait at baggage carousels at numerous airports and bypassing the bellboy in hotels. I decided to go with a more luggage oriented backpack in preparation for a trip to Peru in 2015/2016, which would again require numerous flights and severe carry-on restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu. After the arduous, challenging yet liberating task of reducing my luggage to nominal one-bag capacity I sought out a carry-on backpack which would fit the following criteria: the ability to carry my 15" laptop, provide adequate security of contents and meet airline/train carry-on specs. After a bit of online research my final two choices were the PacSafe Venturesafe 45L and the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler. Both were of similar price range, carry-on compliant size, lightweight, had stowable backpack straps for various carrying options and eschewed numerous pockets for a more simple design to maximize carrying capacity.

I already have a Pacsafe Metrosafe 250 GII for my day trip bag and have grown appreciate their anti-theft features like Exo-mesh, locking straps and RFID blocking. The Venturesafe 45L backpack shares all these features. I was hoping they would have one in black to match my Metrosafe but all that were only available was green/yellow and blue/green, so I bought the green one off eBay. There was plenty of room in the Venturesafe for my clothes, toiletries and other items like flip flops and umbrella. I was able to fit my laptop into the exterior pocket but it was kind of a tight fit and I felt that with the compression straps clipped together it would bend my laptop. A built-in locking zipper anchor system at the top to keep items from being pilfed and the side handle was cushioned and very comfortably soft, but somehow it didn't instill a feeling of strength that a side handle should. This feeling probably stems from using the Swissgear Ibex and Synergy computer backpacks, both of which have their top handles made of steel cable and riveted on whereas the Pacsafe handle was sewn on. But the handle issue probably not a big deal if one adheres to the one-bag philosophy of traveling light (≈20lbs). The Venturesafe has backpack straps that are stored in a large semi-open plastic 'pocket' and includes a handy stainless steel locking cable to lock the bag to a table, chair or pipe in the hotel room to prevent opportunistic theft. I'm not sure how well the outer material would fair if the bag ever had to be checked in, but one of the main points of these backpacks is to be able to carry it on in the first place to avoid rough treatment in the hold. I used the Venturesafe for a weekend road trip to the river in Arizona where it performed well, but did not use it for any travel involving flight or with my laptop.

The Eagle Creek Gear Hauler also held the reduced clothing, toiletries and extras with no problem. There is no built-in zipper locking anchor like the Pacsafe, so regular small luggage padlocks must be used. The external pocket held my laptop much better and in hand-carry or shoulder carry mode the entire laptop pocket is easily accessible even with the compression straps in place, making it convenient to get through airport security. However, when used in backpack mode there are two additional buckles on the top of the bag that must be unbuckled in order to gain access to the laptop pocket, hence a minor inconvenience. There is a handy boot pocket at the bottom to separately store dirty items or items that may require quick and easy access when the backpack is in lockdown during transit, i.e. umbrella, sandals and shoulder strap. Items stored in the boot pocket are at the expense of equal space in the main compartment. There are top and side handles and two more handles on the laptop/strap pocket for carrying and/or moving the bag. Like the Venturesafe 45L, the Gear Hauler handles are sewn in but for some reason I had more confidence in these handles than with the Pacsafe. Perhaps its because there are more of them and so I'd be more likely to use two handles and distribute the weight as opposed to all the weight on just one handle. But, as mentioned, the weight of the bag when packed should be light to begin with so handle strength probably won't be an issue. The most unique feature of the Gear Hauler (as pointed out in other reviews) are the backpack straps which are stored in another pocket attached atop the laptop pocket on the back, not in the front. So when you use the Gear Hauler as a backpack the entire bag is backwards with the laptop right against your back and thus giving better weight distribution (as opposed to having the laptop far away in an outer pocket like most other convertible backpacks) and it will also be protected more. This also means that the entire 'front' side of the backpack becomes the backside when its being carried and all the zippers and pockets will be against your back and not exposed for potential pickpockets. It truly is a simple but ingenious theft prevention design. The Gear Hauler does not come with a steel locking cable to protect from opportunistic theft like the Pacsafe but, ironically, I already had a Pacsafe 85L mesh safety bag that fits the Gear Hauler perfectly when deployed and easily stows away in the boot pocket on the bottom. There are several loose MOLLE style loops around the Gear Hauler backpack to hang/attach items from and triangular rings to attach the backpack straps or shoulder strap for various carrying configurations. The outer material seems a bit tougher than the Venturesafe, but I still think it would be susceptible to significant scuffing and other damage if it had to be checked in for whatever reason.

I decided to keep the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler due to the better laptop pocket, ingenious reverse backpack design and handy external boot pocket. Having returned from Peru the Gear Hauler came through with flying colors for all my criteria: I was able to carry it on during all flights of the trip (including domestic flights and the restrictive train to Machu Picchu), it protected my laptop during transit, and provided a secure haven for my laptop and luggage when used in conjunction with the Pacsafe 85L safety mesh bag (even if I had chosen the Venturesafe with all its anti-theft features I still would have used the safety mesh bag with it). It was once again a true pleasure to land at an airport and skip the baggage carousel and be first through immigration/customs and quickly be out and about town. The Gear Hauler held enough clothes for the 12 day trip, with some items needing to be washed (which is cheap in Peru). I had collected a few souvenirs and the bag eventually exceeded carry-on weight specifications, but the Gear Hauler is so compact looking that even when overpacked I was never asked to have it weighed or measured at the airline check-in desks. YMMV depending on country. With the laptop and Pacsafe 85L safety mesh (the two heaviest items) and clothes the entire backpack never went above 22lbs. I felt safe and secure knowing that most of the pockets and zippers were concealed when in backpack mode. The black Eagle Creek logo on black material was much more low key than the highly visible Pacsafe logo on the Venturesafe which screams out 'valuables inside!'

Whenever I walked a lot with the Gear Hauler my loosely packed clothes would start to shift and collect at the bottom and the bag would sort of lose its shape even with the compression straps tight. After I returned home I bought some Eagle Creek packing cubes that I hope will increase the organization and also help the bag to maintain its shape during transit. The only other item I would change is to have lockable double zippers for the bottom boot pocket since that is the only pocket that is accessible in any way when in backpack mode.

For those interested in the one-bag philosophy the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler is a great convertible backpack to start with and I see my self one-bagging with it for a long time. The Gear Hauler excels at carrying luggage through airports and train stations to your hotel but not meant for extended outdoor hiking which is more suited to large internal frame backpacks. It may not be considered a 'high end' or famous bag like the Red Oxx Air Boss or Sky Train, Tom Bihn Tristar or Goruck GR2 and at this point I cannot say if the Gear Hauler is as indestructible as those expensive brands are renowned for. But for the price point I am more than pleased with the performance and feature set of the Gear Hauler and I can't wait to use it to test my ever evolving one-bag packing techniques for my next trip (whenever that is).

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Excellent in concept

I'm a bit of a gear-a-holic with a specific fetish for travel bags. I was on the search for a new bag to try out for a 20 day swing through Florida and Cuba...Read complete review

I'm a bit of a gear-a-holic with a specific fetish for travel bags. I was on the search for a new bag to try out for a 20 day swing through Florida and Cuba that would include travel by air, taxi, bus and boat. I narrowed by bag choices for this trip down to the Patagonia MLC, the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler, and the Go Ruck GR2. I own all three of these bags, and selected to the Gear Hauler for this trip. First, I'm a huge Eagle Creek fan. I own several of their bags, and am a huge proponent of their packing systems and cubes. I selected the gear hauler mostly because I was limited to 20LBS of weight for my bag for the charter flight from Miami to Cuba, and the gear hauler was the lightest of the bags. I'm a long time one bagger and can go indefinitely with a carry-on size bag.

The Gear Hauler exceeded my expectations in durability. I wouldn't think the material, a rubberized product, would hold up to the abrasions of someone who's known for chucking their bag off a bus roof or across the deck of a boat. This bag is bomb proof. The perfectly square design allows for boat loads of storage. I always pack with Eagle Creek cubes.

I love the idea of having the back pack straps come from the opposite side of the pack. Nice to know the side going on your back is clean after picking the bag up off the beach, a bus or restroom floor. I'm usually a fan of YKK zippers, but the zippers on this bag are heavy duty and I love the lockable design.

Where this bag really failed for me was the handle on the top and the side. The Gear hauler is simply a well designed duffle bag with great material and some cool carry features. I found myself more often than not carrying this bag on or off a bus or airplane but the handles on the side and top and was concerned by the durability. I never had the bag filled with more than 20 lbs, and when lifting the bag by the handles is appeared to concentrate the weight of the bag on a very small section of the bag. Looking at the stitching and the pressure points on the bag, I wouldn't be confident of this design over the long term if you used these handles as a primary method of carrying the bag. The handles could be wider, and better reinforced where they attach to the bag.

Also, the secondary pocket offers some excellent organization, but it hard to utilize when the bag is fully packed.

This is ultimately a duffle bag with good compression and a square design that lets you maximize the space if you use the Eagle Creek cubes. Long as you carry it with the shoulder strap or backpack straps you will be ok, but be weary of lugging it around longterm by any of the handles.

I'll keep this bag in my arsenal and it will find a place in my one bag carry rotation for the appropriate trips.

Reviewed by 30 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

A durable bag, but a few flaws that impact usage

By Josh M

from San Francisco, CA

About Me Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Well Constructed

Cons

  • Poor Ergonomics

Best Uses

    Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

    I purchased this bag to serve dual-duty on 1-2 night business trips as well as shorter vacations. Upon receipt, I was immediately impressed with the durability and features of the bag. It's lightweight, durable, attractive, and very functional. In the past week I've taken it on two trips, 2-3 days each. The backpack straps are surprisingly comfortable, and the various handles make moving the bag around really easy.

    My only complaint is with the front accessory pocket (that holds the laptop). The zipper is extremely short, and significantly reduces my ability to get into the bag when the main compartment is full. Getting my laptop in and out of the bag was a challenge, and even though the pocket is deep, it's not very useful because the opening is so small.

    Also, a much smaller criticism: the top of the bag is heavy, and the "bathtub" bottom section doesn't have any structural support. This makes packing the bag slightly harder than a normal backpack or duffel, because the whole main pocket collapses while packing.

    If the zippered accessory opening could be larger, and if there was some sort of rigid structure to the bottom of the bag (as there is with the accessory pocket and top of the bag), this bag would be just about perfect.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    The perfect carry on bag

    By Peter

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

    The pack is perfect for the gear I carry on board - my camera bag, GPS, and iPad. The main compartment is formatted just right for the depth of my camera bag! And I love the backpack conversion!

     
    4.0

    Gift well received

    By Glen

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

    I purchased as a gift and my daughter seemed to like it.

     
    5.0

    Would recommend this.

    By Cleban the traveller

    from Darien, Illinois

    About Me Casual/ Recreational

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Great Value
    • Lightweight
    • Well Constructed

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Longer trips 3 weeks or more.

      Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

      Use the packing cubes which are great for keeping everything. Together and have got 2
      Trips really close together this winter. Have packed one for 1st trip.to Caribbean and other is all packed for Australia |New Zealand. Have basics packed and it won't take long to put other stuff in. Cruises and lots of side trips so
      We will only have to basically unpack once and just a 2 day trip off Ship so just a backpack will do for that. Hot this time of year so that was a bit easier as far as packing

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Loved it

      By Alexandra

      from La Puente, CA

      About Me Beginner

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Value

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Outdoors

        Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

        Loved the product. Took it to a trip to Thailand. Met my expectations, super light weight and a lot fits in.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Just what I needed

        By Jojo

        from Ft Lauderdale

        About Me Casual/ Recreational

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easy t o carry
        • Lightweight
        • Well Constructed

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Traveling in general

          Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

          Needed to supplement luggage on a European trip. Could not believe the amount of clothes I could pack. Sneakers, 4 pair jeans, 6 shirts etc. utilizing the pack-it system made unpacking and re packing very easy. All in all a great backpack which will now take the place of my carryon when flying.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          5.0

          Everything Hauler

          By Moji

          from San Diego

          About Me Comfort-Oriented

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Access Items
          • Easy To Carry
          • High Quality
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Trips
            • Long Vacations
            • Weekend Trips

            Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

            We use the gear hauler as a slide over the handle for our carry on luggage. Works great and gives us much capacity.

            • Travel Frequency:
            • 6-10 Annual Trips
            • Primary use:
            • Personal
            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            Great for carry on with rolling suitcase

            By Moji

            from San Diego

            About Me Practical

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Access Items
            • Easy To Carry
            • High Quality
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Trips
              • Long Vacations
              • Weekend Trips

              Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

              Purchased as Christmas present for family member

              • Travel Frequency:
              • 6-10 Annual Trips
              • Primary use:
              • Personal
              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Love this one!!!

              By Carmen* "Eagle Creek Kunkie"

              from Cartersville,Ga.

              About Me Comfort-Oriented, Modern, Practical, Stylish

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy To Access Items
              • Good Capacity
              • High Quality
              • Lightweight
              • Well constructed as usual

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Camping
                • Family Trips
                • Long Vacations
                • short hiking jaunts
                • Weekend Trips

                Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

                Another EC bag, I love this one! Lots of packing space. With the pac it system packs a ton!! The look is nice and the bag is well made. This has a computer access area in the front and backpack straps if you want to tote it. As I have a crummy low back from an accident backpacking is OUTA THE QUESTION! The straps are well padded and when packed in the space for them,it gets a bit tight and if I took a computer (NEVER on a fun vacation get away) it would be a tight squeeze. SOOOOOO (Sorry boys in development) I took it upon myself to remove the backpack straps I can now use the strap area and the computer area for more vacation packing. It is lighter and I'm sure I have a "pac it" that will fit in these two new spaces. The future model would be awesome if you could just remove the straps and use them when you wanted to...I love my bag now and look forward to my 5 dat trip in Nov. Have a great mini luggage cart that helps tote it around so I don't give up space for the frame and wheels. I trial packed the hauler and it is easy to pack and you can pack a lot maybe even the kitchen sink!

                • Travel Frequency:
                • 6-10 Annual Trips
                • Primary use:
                • Personal
                • Was this a gift?:
                • No
                 
                5.0

                Am trying to purchase this bag

                By Carmen* Eagle Creek Junkie

                from Cartersville, Ga.

                About Me Comfort-Oriented, Modern, Practical, Stylish

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • both gender friendly

                Cons

                • Web page is not working properly

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Eagle Creek Gear Hauler Backpack:

                  I will use for international travel as well as National Park travel and more nature based less hotel based trips...But How can I buy it very frustrated liked old web page easier to deal with! I am an avid EC shopper

                  • Travel Frequency:
                  • 6-10 Annual Trips
                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal
                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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