Need new luggage

Finally wore mine out. My favorite one ever, but GoLite died, and they discontinued this bag long before that, so no way to get another of those. Was thinking of repairing, but it's got a number of faults and is clearly just all used up. It has been probably over 350 airplane flights alone, so I have gotten my mileage out of it. 

Asking in this fourm because 1) want a good gear maker, not a luggage maker so much 2) would like to keep the luggage light so I can add inappropriate weight myself, luggage makers don't get that 3) I walk around a fair bit, use the luggage in austere environments sometimes; not so much a roller bag guy. I also often have to carry it around while I have a daypack or my Chrome messenger bag, so pack straps not critical since they are rarely used. 

Base requirements/preferences /I think/ Do tell if I am wrong: 

  • Carryon size
  • Soft - Too many small planes, entertainment systems under seats, etc for any hard luggage to always fit. I do not check it. 
  • Prefer internal organization; both my last two unzipped in half, then two compartments
  • Be nice to have an expandable if such things exist as they do like expandable collars on expedition packs; adding outsize items for temporary transport, even as little as tossing outerwear in
  • Not black. Too much black luggage in airports, etc.


Existing one is this. Even in green

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Original Post

We have a couple of sets of the Eagle Industries Alpha, Beta and Sigma bags. They have been around the world a few times, and they still look good.

I don't fly with check in luggage any more, and find that a grey RAID II and a matching Cobra 2.6 are the exact sizes for the two carry on bags that we're currently allowed. They carry everything I need for a week or so without having to wash anything.

If I was to get a RAID II just for flying, I would have one made without the hydration/antenna flaps, lose the side pockets, and the MOLLE inside and out, and possibly line it with the same stuff as the Cobra, so I could use the accessory velco pockets if required. Probably even make the shoulder straps detatchable.

I find the grey relatively unobtrusive, and even more so without MOLLE.



Formerly known as ML

Some good ideas listed. Thanks! Looking, looking...

FYI, I used to carry (for years) a TT 3DAP with TT experimental frame sheet as my "briefcase." Worked well under seat, wore well, did not protect the stuff I carry, started getting out of hand for organization etc. But, expanded so I was able to do weekend trips with it alone just stuffing extra in there. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Check out Filsons luggage.  Pricy but it last.




Trajan Aurelius


“Do not leave the humans unsupervised.  Seriously.  Get a supply of safe animals for  the humans to bond with or they will make their own.  I mean, they will try to befriend anything they come across anyway, but without any permanent pets, they can get ... creative.  Don't even get me started on the time one of them taped a knife to one of our auto-cleaners and named it Stabby."  Bekka Tiddalk


Jason M posted:

I don't travel much anymore but back in the day, the Patagonia MLC was my go-to bag. With careful packing, it holds 5 days worth of clothes plus toiletries. I think I bought mine in 2009 and it still looks like new. I didn't think I'd ever use the stowable shoulder straps but they really come in handy on long walks.

Good piece of kit and it really resembles your old bag...

I specialize in Bird Law...

So a 60ish liter carry-on, super durable, not black. Almost too many good choices out there. That said...

1) Patagonia Black Hole/North Face Base Camp/Fishpond 

2) RE Factor ASO Bag

3) Any of the carry-on bags from Red Oxx

4) Filson 48-Hour Duffle

5) Best American Duffle Hybrid


Know what you know; Know what you don't know. -Paul Petzoldt

I just got back from a trip a couple hours ago and my checked bag was my trusty Patagonia MLC. I alternate between checking it or using it as a carry on depending on gun/ knife transport. It's an awesome bag. The next step up for me is either my TNF base camp duffle or a Patagonia Black Hole Duffle. After that I'm in rolling luggage territory. 


I'm heading out again Friday morning and I'll be taking the Patagonia MLC again. You really can't go wrong with that one. 

Good, because that's what I got. I really liked the look of the Tough Traveller TriZip, but decided I got too used to the zipped panel (vs. just straps) to hold stuff in on each side. Do not want more organizers. Plus, killer deal on Amazon on it, and we buy everything but air from them. 

Do not have yet, but hope it's here in time for the last trip of the year starting Sunday. All my stuff is in a cardboard box waiting for it, and while it's a driving trip so would technically work, that's a bit ghetto for me. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I have a Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 and have been really happy with it. 

I do regret buying the Absolute Shoulder Strap as opposed to the standard strap. Been meaning to replace it, just haven't yet. The Absolute Shoulder Strap is too springy when the bag is heavily loaded since the entire middle section is made of neoprene. 

For a low cost option I just used a Rick steves convertible carry on bag for two vacations. I bought it on sale for $ 80.00.  Both times I fit a weeks worth of clothing in a carry on. If I was traveling every week that Patagonia would probably be my pick but for only a few times a year the Rick steves fits the bill


A lot of the ones I liked the look of were heavy. Or didn't meet my organizational preferences. The Patagonia isn't perfect for me, but is getting there. 

First, the GoLite. Three external pockets, with no internal organization. Very useful to me, can pack meds, cables, even fit a lightweight rain jacket in one. Also a well-placed, well-sized passport/ticket pocket not shown. 

Interior is black which is not optimal to find things. Main compartment is two compartments. I like this at the end of trips, as one side is dirty, the other clean.

Both covered with mesh panels, so easy to just toss stuff in, and you can still get to the other side or even store a folded sport jacket between the two sides. 

Construction is too clever by half, so when it started to fail, no way to get to the seams to reinforce or repair them, and not enough material on handles and straps past the attachment so nothing else to sew to. So, it's a goner. 

The two bags are the same basic exterior size, have similar handle and almost identical shoulder strap arrangement, so that's nice

This is all unpacking from a trip, so I got some experience on the Patagonia. Reviewing as much of this was unclear before buying. Not enough photos, walkthrough of features, so now you all know. 

Outside in: There's a much larger flat document pocket. Probably too large for document retrieval when needed, but it is what I use it for now still.

Construction is finished and neat with straps running into seams, but tends to have load bearing on reinforced bar tacks. If they manage to fail, detectable before it goes too far, and repairable. 

Next is a half-opening compartment of organizers. I don't love this because half-opening means it's hard to organize well. I presume it does this so stuff doesn't fall out, but it's a soft bag, so cannot really be used upright, so flopping open would be better. I do not use this as well as I could, or maybe later will. 

Interior is orange/red. Easy to find stuff! 

Next zipper down allows it to flop open flat. 

Top is complex. There's a perimeter (double) zipper which is a flat compartment which actually works well to expand and store clothes. My clean end-of-trip clothes went in here. Worked better than it seems like it should, and I could put a lot more in here if needed. 

The lid of that pocket has two pockets, one solid, one mesh. I do meds / toiletries in here for now.

The other half is a deep compartment with a mesh zippered top, where clothes go.

It has a distinct overlap which I thought was stupid at first, but helps give it shape, and helps you pack it square. Despite being lightweight, it has structure and shape. If you don't load this compartment to overflowing, the shape persists, and the other side of the luggage protrudes into the space, so the overall bag doesn't bulge. 

Folding it back up, the back side has one more useful pocket. It needs to store relatively flat things, but I can keep a fleece pullover in it without messing with bulging the luggage. Rain coat could also be folded, but not stuffed, into here. 

The remaining zippers are Value Add Features. There's an open-top pocket of no use, and a zipper on the bottom. If you have this as a secondary bag to a roller with wheels, you can unzip and slide the tunnel over the handle. I have an equipment case with a handle, but try not to go long distances wheeling it, so haven't use it yet. 

The handle end has a zipper to conceal the shoulder straps. This is as much as I have seen of them, but they are there. 

Price wise, I got this exact model and color from Amazon for $179, and it still shows that price. Other colors (and other stores) are more expensive, or out of stock. I have found people trying to sell them for $400. Totally, unreservedly worth it for that price. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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