I did the unthinkable: I bought a bag with no online reviews (gasp!!!!!). In the age of online reviews how is it possible that a piece of luggage has no reviews online?? Word on the street (and on the Epic website) is that the company started in Sweden in 2004 and is just recently making their goods available in the US. Maybe there are a ton of reviews in Swedish? Anyway, here are my initial thoughts on my new Epic Explorer rolling backpack. Please note: these are just initial impressions. I have not taken the bag on any trips yet.
**I purchased my bag from a lovely store in San Diego called Traveler's Depot for the low low price of $154. They have a ton of great supplies and luggage on display and the staff was super helpful. I'm always a proponent of supporting small businesses so if you are in the neighborhood you should check out Traveler's Depot!
The bag is super light weight. It weighs about 5 pounds. Almost all of the bags I looked at that were similar to this one had a starting weight over 8 pounds. I will take a 3 pound weight loss any day!
I am a fan of the pocket layout. There is a large main compartment with a separate zippered mesh compartment.
The large outer pocket has a slot for a laptop and plenty of room for shoes or whatever does not fit in the main section.
There is a smaller outside pocket that would be good for holding toiletries or other small items that need to be easily removed. Another thing I really liked about the bag are the compression straps on the outside. Not only does that help with weight distribution, but can be a theft deterrent as well. Speaking of thieves, the bag comes with a lock. Nice that it is included, but I will be purchasing a TSA approved combination lock. Ain't nobody got time for keeping track of luggage keys!
The handle and wheels seem to be constructed well. There is flap that folds out and covers the wheels to protect clothes from muck. Pretty thrilled about that feature, honestly.
All of the straps and flaps have their own compartment so if I end up having to check the bag (please no!!) there are no dangly bits to get chewed up whatever happens behind the scenes at the airport. The bag is water and rip resistant. We'll see how well it does on busses and trains in South America.
If you want to know what other bags I considered, please take a look at my post on how I picked my bag. Have you used any of the Epic bags? Would you try them? Let me know what you think in the comments!