My New Carry-On- Eagle Creek Tarmac 22

The other day I was complaining about my carry-on luggage. I’d just purchased a new Samsonite bag and it wasn’t working nearly as well as my much larger version of the same bag. My friend Mitch Joel told me that he had just the bag I should buy: the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 (affiliate link). So, I did. And I have to admit, when it came in, I wasn’t very impressed. Frankly, it looked really tiny, and I was worried things wouldn’t fit into it. Then, I tried it out. Here’s a video I shot of unpacking the bag:

It’s amazing how much stuff I got into that bag. I’m in love. It functions exactly the way I wanted it to work, and better. I’m grateful to Mitch Joel for turning me on to it.

Want your own? It’s not cheap, but it’s super worth it. The Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 is cool.

You might wonder why I’d bother to review a piece of luggage. The answer is that this thing really helps me travel more effectively. I like to share the tools that help me with my job. Most times, those are books. This time? A carry-on bag.

Small update: here’s a neat problem fix by Dom Pruitt for if you have handle issues.

People always ask which camera I used to shoot my video. I use the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (that’s a review of the camera). runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • Dan Limbach

    I have a similar-sized bag. Here’s what I didn’t see your unpacking video. A suit coat. Dress pants to go with your dress shirts. Ties. Casual pants (jeans or khakis). Maybe I missed something.

    Look like you don’t wear a suit and tie when you travel, which is great, but many business travelers do. Saying you can pack 8 days of clothes for a business trip in that bag is only true if you can be very business casual, and you wear shorts and one pair of long pants for the entire trip.

    The design of the pockets is nice, but it always comes down to cubic space when determining how much any bad can hold. The laws of physics still apply. Rolling instead of folding allows for more compression of garments, and thus more pieces in any luggage.

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  • Leon McKee

    Just got my hands on the new-for-2013 Tarmac 22. I got mine at the local REI and they only had 1 available. I’m pretty excited as I did not care for the design of the last version (the version just after Chris’s review). Here’s some info from the press release I found online:

    The frequent flyer’s choice for lightweight travel functionality has been upgraded with new organization features, as well as Bi-Tech™ and Bi-Tech™ Armor weatherproof fabrics to withstand any travel adventure.

    Tarmac 22 (EC-20428) MSRP $290
    Capacity: 2450 cu in; Weight: 7 lbs, 4 oz; Size: 14 x 22 x 9 in
    Expanded: 2675 cu in; Size: 14 x 22 11 in
    Tarmac 25 (EC-20429) MSRP $320
    Capacity: 5125 cu in; Weight: 9 lbs, 2 oz; Size: 17 x 25 x 12 in
    Expanded: 5750 cu in; Size: 17 x 25 x 14 in
    Tarmac 28 (EC-20430) MSRP $350
    Capacity: 6600 cu in; Weight: 10 lbs, 8 oz; Size: 18 x 28 x 14 in
    Expanded: 7625 cu in; Size: 18 x 28 x 16 in

    • Lockable quick stash 3-1-1 pocket contains:
    o Coat Keeper™ securely holds outerwear to luggage
    o Key fob with Porter Key™ bottle opener
    • Detachable Cargo Net provides versatility for internal compression or attaches to outside of bag as a Utility Net
    • Built in durability:
    o Bi-Tech™ and Bi-Tech™ Armor fabrics for extreme abrasion and weather-resistance
    o Ultra rugged wheels with sturdy wheel housing, skid plate and bumper protection
    o Travel-tested recessed handle system
    • Padded exterior pocket (22” size with additional padded tablet sleeve)
    • Expandable main compartment adds 15% more packing space
    • #10 lockable, self-repairing zippers with finger friendly zipper pulls
    • Multiple padded grab handles on top, side, and bottom for easy grab and go
    • Reflective accents for dusk and nighttime visibility
    • Integrates with the Pack-It™ System, suggestions included
    • Color: Black, Olive, and Slate Blue

  • Mike Gosnell

    Chris, Just discovered this and went out and bout it from REI.Love the bag! While the new Tarmac 22 does not have the 2 inner pockets in the lid, still a great bag and I love the “Pack It” systems from Eagle Creek. I travel almost every week and this is a great bag. Thanks for sharing!

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