With the COVID-19 vaccine getting into more arms each day, it seems that everybody is planning to get some travel in during the second half of the year. This would be a great time to upgrade your luggage. Eagle Creek’s Caldera collection is lightweight, durable, easy on the environment and, oh, it keeps track of the places you’ve traveled and will even help you find it if you get separated.
Caldera collection bags come in two-wheel and four-wheel options. I chose the two-wheel, which features treaded rollerblade-style wheels that grip smooth airport floors and easily coast over cobblestone streets. Unlike most bags, the telescoping handle has only one extended position, which is fine for my 5'3" frame, but might cause issues for someone very tall. When not extended, the handle is sunken into the back and encased in a metal shell that protects it from bending and breaking.
Caldera 4-Wheel Carry On
The lightweight bag is made with 100 percent recycled Cordura Eco Fabric which is nice as I’m always looking to be kind to Mother Earth. It offers zippered expansion, increasing the width by three inches (on the 26" model). though, as the expansion zipper only extends halfway down, it’s only the top half that expands. Still, it stands firmly upright without any issue of toppling over like a drunken sailor of shore leave. And while the sturdy zippers are water-resistant, you’ll need to supply your own locks to weave through the central locking points.
When loading it into the car or a train luggage rack, I appreciate the various handle options on top, side, and bottom. The “Coat Keeper” tucked away in the zipped front pocket is a nice little bonus which I’d appreciate more if I were using the carry-on version of this bag. I love the polycarbonate back shell as it’s durable enough to drag up the steps of train and subway stations with just a bit of scuffing, keeping the contents well-protected.
Best of all, all Caldera collection bags include Tripsync technology, which uses a built-in NFC chip to keep track of your mileage and the locations you traveled to. Simply tap your phone on the plate on the back holding the chip and click “Start Trip.” You can add stops along the way and you’ll have both a list and a map of all trips. Should you and your bag get separated, you can use the app to report it lost. When someone finds it, they can tap the plate and will be able to contact you (without revealing any private info.) so you and your bag can be reunited. The only negative that I’ve found is that the instructions for the finder to tap are printed in the same dark color as the bag and could easily be missed.
Eagle Creek is also known for its “No Matter What” lifetime warranty which means they’ll repair or replace your bag free of charge for, well, pretty much forever, (within reason, of course).
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