I love my Briggs & Riley overnight and wardrobe bags. They are the “go-to” bags for 90% of my travel, for trips up to a week. But sometimes when you go longer, and you need more space. Such was the case when we headed to Asia for three weeks. After some research, I chose the eBags TLS Mother Lode 29″ Wheeled Duffel, and am I ever glad I did.
eBags has been long known for being a retailer of others’ bags, while producing their own lifetime guaranteed luggage. eBags created the 29” duffel as the latest in an evolution informed by seeing a vast array of luggage, offering unsurpassed functionality and design. It is actually two bags in one, combining the volume and flexibility of a duffel bag, with the easy rolling wheels we independent travelers have come to expect. It is the largest piece in a wheeled duffel line that starts at 21” and includes a 25” version. The three are functionally the same as far as layout, design and materials.
The bag measures 29″ x 17″ x 15″ – at 61” total, one inch under the airlines max linear length of 62”. It weighs 12 pounds empty, and has over 6000 cubic inches of capacity, unexpanded. Made from 840D & 900D Twisted Poly, in four colors, it is almost indestructible and will look good for years.
Two huge compartments
A zipper around the circumference opens to expose a 28″ x 16.5″ x 6″ lower compartment. Two movable dividers offer unlimited flexibility. One downside – the handle extension runs the length of the bottom, resulting in two “valleys” on each side of the compartment. This area is VERY rigid – a hard plastic shell encircles the entire lower compartment, offering protection against the elements (and baggage handlers!) when the bag is laid down. This section is ideal for shoes and by adjusting the dividers, creates a perfect spot for shirt or slacks in compressible packing folders. Once the top section is emptied, this 6” shell is the total height of the bag, making under bed storage a snap.
The top, which functions as the floor of the bag’s top compartment, features two zippered mesh pockets. 13” square. By unzipping that floor, rolling it up and securing it with the two clip straps, you now have one extra-large 15” deep compartment.
The roomy upper compartment is 28.5″ x 16.5″ x 9″, accessed through a u-shaped opening measuring 15.5 x 13.5″. Under that access lid, is another zippered mesh pocket measuring 14.75″ x 12.5″. Two removable fiberglass rods keep the upper compartment “stretched” while loading. This section is perfect for the packing cubes that are the mainstay of savvy travelers. The section features two adjustable straps with snap buckles to cinch down contents. Both interior compartments are a bright orange, making any loose item stand out in contrast, even in low light.
Plenty of pockets
There’s still more storage outside the two main compartments – a zippered 13.5″ x 6″ x 4″ pocket is at the top of the bag when upright, and is perfect for those last minute items. A small zipped section below this flap houses the “add-a-bag” attachment strap for another bag when wheeling the duffel. Additionally, two shallow tapered zippered side pockets run down the side of the top section, measuring 20” x 6”.
The exterior has many features that show the thought eBags put into building the Mother Lode duffels. The recessed telescoping handle has stops at 46″, 43″ and 40″, more than enough to keep any heels from kicking the bag, no matter how tall the owner. Next to the trolley handle is the auto-retracting top lift handle. Beneath it, on the top of the bag, is a reinforced top handle. It is matched on the bottom by feet, keeping the bag level when upright, that double as a lower grab handle, making it easy to place the bag in a car or on a luggage stand in your room.
The outside features four compression straps at the corners. They are joined by plastic sliding buckles and serve two important functions: they “right size” the upper bag to the contents, and keep the strain off of the circumferential zipper connecting the upper and lower halves.
The zippers on the main compartments bear D-rings for TSA compliant locks. The upper compartment flap zippers are YKK® brand with photo-reflective zipper cords, also lockable.
For the traveler on multi-week trips, nothing comes close to the eBags 29” Rolling Duffel. With a $300 list price tag, it is not inexpensive luggage. But it is usually offered at $220, and with the 20% off pop-up coupon usually on the web site, you can get it for right around $175. Free shipping is included with every order. At that price, and with the peace of mind of eBags lifetime warranty, you can’t go wrong with this bag.
If you have any more questions, take a look at this eBags video: