Eagle Creek Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 28 Review
Is it a backpack or a wheeled suitcase? The Eagle Creek Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 28 is actually both. The Flip Switch for short, is available in two sizes: 28 (83L capacity, full suitcase size) and 22 (35L capacity, carry on size). For this review I will be discussing specifications and features for the Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 28, yet many of the features do carry over to the smaller version.
For starters, this wheeled backpack is very different from packs we have tried out in the past. The Flip Switch features the suspension system in the front of this pack, as opposed to the rear, like many of its competitors. One major bonus of this location is that when carrying the Flip Switch as a backpack, you will not experience any digging in from the wheels because the integrated hip belt is on the complete opposite side of the bag as the wheels. By moving the suspension system to the front you gain a lot of interior space in the main compartment. Also, when not in use you can remove the shoulder straps and belts completely, to free up the front panel for additional storage when you know that you will not be hauling your bag long distances.
1) To get the pack ready for backpack mode simply unzip the front panel and unpack the shoulder straps that are typically stored within a zipper free panel. The hip belt is stored by crossing the straps over one another.
2) The next step in the set up is clipping the shoulder straps in place. There are plastic clips attached to the shoulder strap that clip into the tri rings, or triangular shaped rings.
3) The shoulder straps also buckle at the top of the bag and also have load adjusters to help make the pack more comfortable/closer to your back.
4) To set up the hip belt simply open it up and velcro the included tab to the bottom of the back of the pack: this piece helps keep the belt in the right place. The hip belt and shoulder straps are comprised of 3D Air Mesh and feature plenty of padding to off-set the sometimes heavy load that you may be carrying. The shoulder straps and waist belt are easy to adjust as well, to get a custom fit. There is also a sternum strap that can slide up and down along a track, and includes a whistle integrated into the buckle. The photo below shows the pack ready to go for a stroll, minus the extended handle.
While carrying the bag like a backpack, I didn’t notice a considerable difference in the weight distribution or change in my center of balance. Knowing that the suspension was in the front vs the back, I packed my bag accordingly, with heavy items at the bottom and towards the front. You would think then that the bag would tip over when in the upright position, sitting on its wheels, but that was also not the case either. For size comparison, I’m about 5’9″ and as you can see the bag does not look too big on me, but please note that it is 28″ long.
The Flip Switch also performs well on itsset of wheels. I tested the wheels out in Prague’s extremely uneven cobblestone streets from the 13th century and was not disappointed with the results. The wheels held up to multiple bumps in the road and wheeled with relative ease. The handle is easy to extend while on the go and offers a secure connection to the rest of the bag. When not in use, ie. when in flight or when you are carrying the bag like a backpack, the handle is closed off in a zippered compartment, to keep it well protected.
Ok, so I have talked about the ability to move this bag wherever your travels take you. But what about storage? The Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 28 has you covered with a total capacity of 5100 cubic inches or 83L! The vast majority of the space is found within the large main compartment; this compartment can be kept organized with Eagle Creek’s various Pack-It cubes, which is what I did on my testing of this product. What I liked about the main compartment was its blank slate, you can pack it how you want to and aren’t forced to find a use for various internal compartments. The main compartment is huge. I took this bag on a 3 week adventure to Europe and I am convinced that my travelling partner and I could have shared the bag. I had room for just about everything, which was a nice bonus.
The lid of the main compartment features a large mesh compartment. On the outside there is a pocket that runs about 80% of the length of the bag, which is nice for essentials that you don’t want to have to open your bag to get to.The Flip Switch, like most Eagle Creek luggage bags, feature #10 lockable, self-repairing zippers that are super easy to open and close with the looped zipper pulls.
Eagle Creek’s Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 28 is composed of ballistic and rip-stop nylon for durability. If for some reason your pack encounters pre-mature failure or breakdown, this product features a Lifetime Warranty (additional information on the Eagle Creek website). It’s good to know that your investment and pack are covered, as a bag like this is truly and investment and one you hope to use over and over again while out exploring.
Weight: 8 lbs 6 oz / 3.8 kg
Dimensions: 15.5 x 28 x 13 in / 40 x 71 x 33 cm