I'd be testing a selection of Crumpler bags out on a multi-day trip to the west coast. As per my travel methodology I honed in on the two-wheeled carry-ons in Crumpler's vast product line-up, and two models came to the forefront: The Dry Red No. 3 carry-on and the Spring Peeper with Wheels. (Crumpler's nomenclature is quirky, to say the least.)
The Dry Red No. 3 was the closest thing I could find to a standard box-shaped rolling carry-on with a retractable handle, though its tapered shape suggested it was sacrificing a bit of carrying space for style. I wasn't sure it would efficiently max out my carry-on allowance for the longer trips I mentioned in the "How I Travel" post. (Thankfully I was proven wrong.)
The Spring Peeper with Wheels, in contrast, is a duffel bag, albeit a wheeled one with a retractable handle; while it is still within the constraints of a carry-on size, its 40-liter capacity (versus the No. 3's 27-liter storage space) promised to swallow anything I'd need to bring.
As a reviewer I had the luxury of borrowing whatever bags I wanted, rather than agonizing over which to select. I chose them both for a side-by-side comparison, though I would only be bringing one on the actual trip.
I'll start with the Dry Red No. 3 and some of its design features. First off, the top handle is integrated into the design of the bag itself, not a discrete piece:(more...)