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Ebags Is Moving In The Right Direction

As most everyone here knows, I try to keep my eye on trends in the one bag world especially when it comes to luggage. There is definitely a move towards smaller and lighter weight bags.

One of the most popular bags among onebaggers is the Ebags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible. It’s well built, has lots of bells and whistles and is very durable. About the only complaint many had was its heavier weight. It’s no wonder that this bag is the number one selling item at Ebags.

A few months ago, Ebags came out with the junior version of the above mentioned bag. It was exactly the same as its larger sibling except for length which was reduced to 19.5 inches. The weight was still high for a smaller bag at 3 lbs, 5 oz.

And now Ebags has added yet an additional bag to its repertoire. Or should I say a redesigned one. The new Ebags Weekender ETech 2.0 Convertible. is a move further into the world of lighter weight bags. Made of a lightweight nylon, as compared to the heavier polyester used in the TLS Motherlode bags, the Etech 2.0 is 22 x 14 x 9, has less bells and whistles than the Motherlode series and is not expandable. But it weighs in at 2 lbs, 12 oz. Definitely a step in the right direction.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned, and is the key to these bags, is their cost. Considering that Ebags always has a sale going on, each of the three bags can be had for under $80. As of today’s writing, the TLS Motherlode is $80, the TLS Motherlode Junior is $72 and the Etech 2.0 is $64. And that includes free shipping, free returns and a lifetime warranty. (Prices and sales change daily at Ebags so don’t hold me to those prices.)

I’m not here to push anyone to buy any of these bags. What I want to show is that good quality, convertible style, carry-on bags are available and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get one.

Does that mean you should never buy a more expensive, better built bag? Of course not. Always try to get the best you can afford. The higher price bags have better workmanship and will, more than likely, withstand the rigors of travel than some of the lesser priced bags—but not necessarily. Let’s face it, just because a bag has a lifetime warranty doesn’t mean much when that same bag has a malfunction, or worse, falls apart, in the middle of a trip.

For those of you outside the U.S.A, I realize that getting one of the above bags is nearly impossible due to ridiculous shipping costs. I’m always on the lookout for affordable, carry-on size bags available in other countries. If you see any we haven’t discussed, especially those that are following the trend of lighter, smaller bags, please let me know. I’ll do my best to find out about them.


Addendum: After posting this article, it was pointed out to me that the new Etech bag doesn’t have connections for a shoulder strap. I’m truly surprised they would leave out such a simple item that would add versatility to the bag. I can only think of one other convertible, the Rick Steves Basic Back Door Bag, that doesn’t  have shoulder strap attachments.

(All photos courtesy of Ebags.)

Reader Comments (7)

Glad to see this post! I got the email from ebags this morning about the 2.0 and was wondering what the differences were. Always on top of things Frank! :)
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarbi
The funny thing is I wrote the post BEFORE I got the email from Ebags. I had just seen the new item the other day while looking for something else.
January 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
And at this moment they are out of stock!
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
I have the larger original bag that I bought for just under $50 during one of ebags many sales. I think I'll this smaller bag, but I really like the looks of the new ETECH. For lack of a better way of saying it, it looks more business like, and the ebags logo is more discreet.

One thought about lifetime warranties. In the true spirit of a lifetime warranty, in my opinion, the seller would also cover losses within a defined range. In my mind from a business perspective, these luggage type of lifetime warranties are simply saying that if there is a defect within the lifetime of the product, they will cover it (and same for B&R). Not saying that they gaurantee the product will last that long, which is a little different. While its semantics, its like getting loaner while you wait for the new product. There are several products that offter this kind of 'protection', which in some cases is somewhat similar to insurance but in other cases is built into the warranty language. The other issue of course is that as a finance professional, the consumer literally pays for a better warranty in the purchase price, no matter how they look at it. ebags seems to be a volume based seller. they can absorb that cost in their financials a little easier. smaller companies often simply raise their price. but its all financial accounting.
agree of the value proposition totally. its like saying is a lexus better than a toyota? yes. how much better depends on your cost of money.
price is what you pay. value is what you get. the price you pay determines the value.

great review.
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRalph
It appears that, unlike the TLS Weekender and Weekender Junior, the ETech does not have connections for a shoulder strap.

To me this detracts from an otherwise desirable bag.
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrank T.
Good catch, Frank T. I missed that.

I'm so used to seeing connections for a shoulder strap--I know of only one other bag that doesn't have them--that I glossed right over it.
January 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterFrank@OBOW
I have an original eBags eTech Weekender which I took on a three month 20-country tour of Europe in 2009. I haven't used it since because it was so ridiculously heavy. Shaving off a pound is a move in the right direction, but the following year I got a 14 oz Patagonia Lightweight Travel Duffel which I still use for almost everything to this day.
January 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

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