Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

May 26, 2017
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Wheelie bags that pack convenience

Eagle Creek's new Lync System convertible bags

Air travel has become almost as much about bags as it is about passengers. Truth is your luggage is now an important source of revenue. Many airlines require basic, economy-fare passengers to pay for any and all checked luggage, starting with bag one. Air Canada tacks on $28.74 to Montreal-Vancouver economy fares to check a single bag; a second will set you back a staggering $104.97.

The baggage boondoggle has introduced a whole new level of inconvenience. Passengers, understandably, pack their carry-ons to the hilt. On a recent Atlanta-Montreal flight, the boarding lineup resembled a gypsy caravan. Passengers were tugging wheelie-bags with an assortment of other carrying devices slung about their person: backpacks, duffels, reusable shopping bags, plastic numbers from big-box stores, all of them stuffed with “personal effects.”

Gate agents were on the lookout for anything that might not fit in the overhead bins. Several were wrestled out of the owner’s hands and tagged but most of the heavily burdened were allowed to clamber onto the plane with all goods and chattels in hand. Now the race was on to stow them.

Swift and frequent travellers hefted theirs — “wheels out please” — into the first available slot regardless of where they were seated. The slow and weak were left largely on their own though, to be fair, white-haired women under 1.5 metres were offered help by the flight attendants. A mother with two kids herded her offspring into their seats and then got a finger jammed in a stroller as she tried to fold it. Oh my! Chaos reigned up and down the plane.

Is there a solution? Not yet, but they’re working on it. The new EC Lync System from Eagle Creek offers a modicum of relief. The bags easily convert from a wheeled bag to a backpack or a duffel thanks to a completely removable frame with wheels. When you get to your destination, store the heavy part and you’ve got a light backpack to tote around. When you get home, it stores flat in its own small stuff sack and easily fits under a bed.

The bag comes in four sizes: 20, 22, 26 and 29 inches. The three smaller bags weigh less than five pounds (2.25 kilos) with the frame, about two pounds (less than a kilo) without it. The smaller sizes convert to backpacks; the 29-inch turns into a duffel. The over-sized treaded wheels, self-repairing zippers and abrasion-resistant fabric comes with a “No-Matter-What” damage guarantee. Graphite, blue and orange. US$254.95 to US$299.95. eaglecreek.com/eclync-system or your local luggage retailer.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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