Weighing just 793g, the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 60L is an incredibly light duffel bag. To put its weight into perspective, The North Face Basecamp Small, which is 10 litres smaller in capacity, weighs 437g more.
But don’t think this light weight means it’s flimsy. In fact, Eagle Creek have gone for some clever materials and design features to make for a tough and reliable carrier.
The U.S. brand have called the material used for this duffel Bi-Tech Armor Lite. It doesn’t have the tough, inelastic feel of the fabric used with typical duffel bags, instead it seems to have a slight bit of stretch and flex to it. Still, it seems certainly capable of withstanding all the rigours that tend to come with travel. I can’t find the denier rating of the fabric but my guess is that it’s somewhere around 500D.
As well as having the benefit of being lightweight, this material is also easy to fold up and compress. And here’s one of the nice touches of the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler: it can swallow itself into a storage pocket at one of its ends, making for a stowed away package just about smaller than a loaf of bread.
The main compartment is accessed via a U-shaped lid with oversized zip pulls (useful if you’re wearing gloves) that can be locked together to secure the contents inside. Unlike most of the duffels I’ve tested, there isn’t a small pocket for valuables within the main compartment, there are however two large storage pockets at each end of the bag, one of which doubles as a stuff bag, as previously mentioned.
I found the Cargo Hauler to be capable of keeping out light to medium heavy rain but it wouldn’t be something to expose to really bad weather as it it’s not made from waterproof materials, the seams aren’t taped and the zips are only protected by storm flaps.
If you’re planning on carrying some fragile stuff that needs protection, the padded foam base should help, but it’s not going to be totally reliable – you’re still going to need to take extra precautions if say, you’re carrying a bottle of Ouzo from your travels back for your family. Still, there are plenty of duffels that don’t offer anything in the way of padded protection.