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.
The Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 60L can be carried like a backpack thanks to its shoulder straps. And it’s a comfortable carry, I wore it for a hike of around six miles with a load of 9kg and didn’t have any problems. This is mainly thanks to the adequate padding on the straps and the potential to adjust them easily. They can also be completely removed – very useful if you need to check the duffel in as hold luggage.
There are also padded grab handles at each end and one on the top. You can give these handles a good yank and be safe in the knowledge they won’t tear from the duffel fabric, that's because they’re all bar tack stitched by industrial sewing machines.
There are duffels out there that will provide a greater degree of wet weather protection and ruggedness but you can be guaranteed that they’ll be a lot heavier than this option from Eagle Creek. And none will be anywhere near as packable. Overall, it’s a good duffel for travel and for short hikes, and one that can usefully be kept out of the way when you don’t need it.
The Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler is also available in 45L, 90L and 120L sizes, and there are wheeled versions as well.
The Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 60L
- Price: £100
- Weight: 793g
Available in 45, 60, 90 and 120L capacities and in a number of colours | material: Bi-Tech Armor Lite with PU coating | removable shoulder straps | 3 carry handles | bar tack stitching | main compartment and two zipped end pockets | packs into one end pocket | 6 x daisy chain loops | padded foam base | lockable zippers.