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Need advice on 3 different Eagle Creek Expanse bags

I used the search option, but none of the specific bags I'm looking at were mentioned.

As always, I'm tempted by luggage that is new, at least to me. I linked to the specific bags I'm researching in this question.

I'd like to get opinions on them from anyone who has used them. The reviews are few and mixed.

There are two international bags, the 2-wheeled one which is called Expanse™ International Carry-On and the spinner called Expanse™ AWD International Carry-On.

They are very similar in capacity and size. The 2-wheeled one is about 6 ounces lighter. Some reviewers mention tipping over with the 2-wheeled one. Oddly, tipping was also mentioned for the spinner. What has your experience been with either of these bags?

The third bag of interest to me is the Expanse™ Wheeled Tote Carry-On. This is a tote like no other I've seen. It has a sleeve to go over a U-shaped handle as well as straps to carry it separately. It supposedly can fit under the seat. What do you think about this one?

One additional question, has anyone ever bought a renewed bag from Eagle Creek? The 2-wheeled one is available at a bigger discount that way.

Thanks in advance for your help with this.

Posted by
11373 posts

It supposedly can fit under the seat. What do you think about this one?

I have no Eagle creek bags

I will note my observation that the under seat space ( coach class) is markedly different depending on the seat position. Middle seat has the largest space; aisle seat the smallest and the window seat somewhere in between. There there is the issue of the equipment boxes. I would be hesitant to get a bag to use as my under seat bag that has 'fixed' dimensions. I use a squishable back pack type for the under seat space

Happy shopping!

Posted by
898 posts

Curious about these I looked at them and read the reviews. Seems the two bigger bags have a problem with tipping over. I would not like to keep having to bend over and pick up my bag.

I have an under seat roller bag bought from Amazon a few years ago. At $40 this is a pretty good deal.
I like that it has lots of separate zippered compartments and that you can access the main compartment from the front or the top. Other ones of this style are available on Amazon. I've never tried to put it under an airplane seat as I prefer to keep the space open for leg room. Light and easy to put in an overhead and maneuver around the airport.

Posted by
3237 posts

We have the expanse tote. When we use it it is the main or only bag. We have flown with it and it fit under the seats. They were domestic flights so not huge planes. I actually purchased it for my husband who really likes it. It is his only bag for 2 or 3 night excursions, bimonthly. It is well built like all E C. I used it for a 3 day trip/seminar by public transportation in bad weather and it was great, carrying my sherpani tote with computer slipped over the handle. What specifically do you want to know?

Posted by
453 posts

When I was shopping and doing research for a new carry-on roller bag, I found some reviews on You Tube. and their You Tube channel have a lot of comprehensive reviews on luggage - I'm not sure if the ones you are considering are reviewed, but it might be worth a look.

Posted by
4171 posts

Thanks everyone for the responses so far.

Wray, I'm looking for exactly what you provided, experience with any of the bags. Thanks. One of the people on my Village Italy tour in 2017 had an incredibly small wheeled bag. I've been curious about them ever since. I hadn't thought about using the tote as the bottom bag and slipping something else over the handle. More to research.

Posted by
1259 posts

One of the people on my Village Italy tour in 2017 had an incredibly small wheeled bag. <

The problem with asking about luggage is we all have opinions. Eagle Creek is a well-respected luggage and pack manufacturer. I don't think you could go wrong with any of their products but the particular item you select may not be right for you, regardless of how well it is built or reviewed. One looks at features, how a bag is designed, and the layout and compares with the total mass. For instance, those are 33L bags, a bit small, and they weigh roughly six pounds. My 45L bag is less than three pounds (but it doesn't have any wheels).

It's weird to go shopping during The Madness but, if you can, locate these units in a store and go have a look. Measure your existing luggage so you have a good volume comparison. Try to have fun.

Posted by
4171 posts

I already have 2 Eagle Creek bags. I was curious about the Expanse ones in case something happens to the ones I have.

One of the EC bags is a regular 22x14x9 carry-on bag with 2 wheels and a U-shaped handle. It's 41L and weighs 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Major advantage: a sleeved tote personal item can be slipped over the handle. Major disadvantage: weight.

The other is an international size 20.25x14x8 carry-on bag with 2 wheels and a T-shaped handle. It's 36L and weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces. Major advantage: weight. Major disadvantage: can't put a sleeved tote over the T-shaped handle. Have to wear my personal item on my person.

Volume for either is fine for what I pack. Wheels are a must. Both can be cinched down in depth, but width doesn't change much. Both can be pushed down an airplane aisle in front of me, which is easier and less intrusive on other passengers than pulling behind or carrying in front.

I think the FAA rules state that for planes that carry 20+ passengers, the minimum aisle width from the floor up to 25" is 15". Above 25" the minimum is 20". So both my 14" wide bags just fit the narrowest of aisles. The Expanse bags are slightly narrower than the ones I already have.

Posted by
2 posts

All we have ever used for 25 years of travel is Eagle Creek luggage. My wife has the Expanse AWD and the Expanse Tote Carry on and loves them both especially the Tote. But the tote is not for me. I prefer a smallish backpack. She is considering upgrading to the AWD Tarmac (the bag I have) bc the spinners seem to maneuver
better. We only carry on so these are the perfect travel bags for us from 1 day to 2+ weeks. They are perfect for carry on international travel especially when you have to run from one side of the airport to the other! HA!

I've never purchased a renewed bag but they are virtually indestructible and providing you can return safely in case you get the one that is questionable, I'd go for it to save the $$. Hope this helps.


Posted by
530 posts

I'm very familiar with Eagle Creek's line-up. Their warranty is second only to Briggs-Riley, the majority of luggage brands have either farmed-out their warranty services to a 3rd party or, give the simple 1-yr upon purchase condition.

The Expanse collection is a lightweight, price-point assortment. Using lighter weight materials than their other collections while reducing the amount of overall features, Expanse is able to keep the price and overall weight down. On the down-side with light weight rollers, is tipping-over can be an issue when you're stacking a bag or, another piece of luggage on the roller. Keep in mind 2-wheel are going to be more prone to this given their leaning design, whereas 4-wheel/spinners are more upright. This all is moot if the bag you're putting on-top, is heavy or, bulky/cumbersome.

Eagle Creek's flagship collection is their Tarmac assortment. Feature rich, solid materials, it's two-wheel design has been copied by many other brands, which has led to some contentious TGA shows in the past. I'm a big user of the Tarmac and I can't recommend this collection enough. The renewed bag are bags that have been refurbished by EC's warranty dept. Its part of a bigger program amongst VF brands (parent company; incl TNF, Timberland, Jansport, Van, etc...) to either repurpose or, find new homes for slightly used gear.

Posted by
4171 posts

Thanks for the advice, zcorsair. A lot of people seem to have tipping problems with 2-wheeled bags. I've never had that problem with either of the 2 EC bags I mentioned up thread.

Luck? Good packing? Who knows? Both the one with the U-shaped handle and the slightly smaller international one with the T-shaped handle stand up just fine.

Both are expandable. What I've learned over time is that I can pack either of them expanded, then zip the expansion zipper and cinch them down near the zipper for the single shallow pocket. Maybe I'm not packing as much as I think I am. Maybe EC bags have really good zippers.

There are 2 things that keep me away from the Tarmac line: weight and the outside pockets. I know empty weight isn't important to many and a lack of exterior pockets could be a deal-breaker for them or for others.

EC says that the Tarmac international bag weighs 6 pounds, 9 ounces. My EC Gear Warrior International Duffel weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces. Its an older and slightly lighter version of what's now available with the same name. The 2 pounds lighter is important to me. Being able to cinch it down over it's slender pocket is also in my plus column.

I think I've come to the conclusion to just keep what I already have, but I sure like the look of the Expanse bags.

Posted by
16894 posts

Your packing style has a big influence on whether or not a bag tips over. Keep heavier items low and centered as much as possible.