Less is more. When I shop for luggage, I look for items with maximum functionality. There are a few things I look for in luggage.
- Compact – I look for luggage that is compact. With the high cost of checking luggage on many airlines these days, I often try to travel carry on only.
- Spacious – When I do buy luggage that can be checked, I want to get the most bang for my buck.
- Backpacks – Backpacks are just so easy to travel with. Try going on a few city breaks in cobbled European cities and you will understand what I mean.
- Wheels – But wheels….luggage with wheels is just so handy, especially if you have travelling a long distance and don’t want all of the weight to be on your back.
- Specialized compartments – I like to have everything exactly in it’s right place, and a good organizational system goes a long way for me. The most important thing is having a dedicated lap top sleeve to keep my computer safe.
But I mean, most of my points above are incompatible and mutually exclusive. Or so I thought.
Enter the Eagle Creek Morphus 22.
This carry on compatible bag is actually 2 bags in one. The rear bag is designed like your traditional rolling carry on sized bag. It has wheels and one large compartment with a capacity of 47 litres. The back of the bag is made out of ultra light, but strong and weather resistant polycarbonate. The bag looks pretty normal. The materials are a better quality than you will find on most bags, but there isn’t anything that makes this section of the bag really stand out…. until you notice…. all the zippers on the front.
The Morphus 22 also comes with a backpack, and this backpack actually zips onto the wheeled bag. Even when attached, the two bags still comply with most airlines carry on restrictions. But now you have the added flexibility of being able to wear the unit on your bag, carry it with the shoulder strap, or roll it along the ground. Or you can unzip the bag into two units and carry it using any combination of the above. The backpack itself has a capacity of 48 litres, so if you unzipped the two bags and used them to their full capacity, you essentially have two carry on sized bags at your disposal.
We first used the Morphus 22 on our trip through Borneo. We had several international and domestic flights within Borneo. Some of our flights were carry on only, and some were not. The beauty of the Morphus 22 is that on our carry on only flights we would keep the bags zipped together to minimize the amounts of pieces we were carrying, and on the flights allowing checked luggage, all we had to do was unzip the two bags. I deliberately packed my fragile items in the front bag, so that when we transferred on to the different airline, all I had to do was unzip – I didn’t even have to reshuffle the contents of the bags.
Unlike it’s wheeled counterpart, which is a fairly standard although high quality carry on suitcase, the backpack even on it’s own is a sensational example of clever design. The straps actually emerge from what would appear to be the front of the bag. This allows you to access the straps when the backpack is zipped to the rolling carry on. But it is even more clever than that. By having the straps emerge from the front of the bag, it means that when you are carrying the bag, all the access points and zippers to the compartments are towards your body and not facing outwards. This alone will hugely deter anyone from trying to pickpocket you while you are on the road. The back of the backpack is also constructed from a water resistant material, giving you extra security if you get caught out in the weather with the backpack.
The backpack itself has two main compartments. The smaller compartment has a laptop sleeve, cellphone sleeve, lockable zippered compartments, and even comes with a bottle opener. Cause hell yeah.
But lets talk about the straps. There is nothing I hate more than a heavy backpack that does not have properly designed straps to correctly distribute the weight. While it doesn’t have waist straps (you can’t have everything), it does come with a sternum strap. Also the shoulder straps are beautifully padded and made of a moisture wicking material.
What I Love
- The versatility of being able to use one bag or two.
- We now no longer have to pack a small backpack to act as a day bag, we simply unzip the Morphus 22
- It’s super easy to access all the pockets
- High quality wheels make getting around easy
- The weather proof material means I don’t start stressing if the weather becomes uncooperative
What I Didn’t Love
- When I first received the Morphus I actually needed to properly read through all the instructions before I could figure out how to separate and re-attach the two bags. I even remarked to Dan, “I might need to go back to university to figure this out.” But once I did it once or twice, I can now get the two bags separated and reattached in seconds. I compare it to switching from a PC to a Mac… its complicated and doesn’t seem to make sense at first…. but in the end you will be glad you did it.
Eagle Creek Packing Cubes
We also decided to try some packing cubes and received them at the same time at the Morphus 22. I’ve always been a clothes roller, and was never really convinced that packing cubes would save me much more space than clothes rolling. But they do. As you can see in the photo above, for Dan’s recent trip to Singapore, I packed all of his clothes into just one of the packing cubes. Just one.
I think packing cubes really shine when you are using some sort of square luggage, like the Morphus 22 or another type of standard suitcase. When I travel with my large backpack, I still prefer to travel by rolling my clothes as it allows me squeeze things around awkward shapes.