When it comes to travel bags there's essentially two types: the Duffel Bag style and the rucksack with some method of stashing the hipbelt and shoulder straps out of the way of conveyor belts. Traditionally the duffel bag model has the advantage in terms of durability while the rucksack wins in versatility - but at a cost in terms of comfort. The Rincon, while being 100% in the rucksack camp, is an attempt at a compromise with strong duffel type features combined with a pretty serious harness and straps for carrying.
You get 70 litres of space in the main pack, designed as a single compartment with an interior divider 2/3 of the way down for isolating your sleeping bag, and an extra 20l in the zip-on daysack that sits centrally on the front. In addition to the standard access from the top the whole of the main compartment can be accessed from the full length front zip or through the sleeping bag section from below, making the job of packing as easy as it gets. The 20l daysack is pretty basic as daysacks go and probably more suited to urban use than on the hill. Just big enough to take a laptop (15.6")and a few essentials it's ideal for carry-on luggage while your main sack finds its own way to the aircraft's hold, but it's not designed to replace a dedicated hill daysack.
Harnesses and straps are normally the features that suffer in a rucksack style travel bag, but the Eagle Creek Rincon gives you something close to the quality and comfort you'd normally associate with a dedicated pack. Shoulder straps and hipbelt are well padded and pretty beefy and within the limitations imposed by requiring their stowage, when not in use, are surprisingly comfortable even with the pack fully loaded. With the shoulder straps set quite low on the pack the Rincon tends to carry a bit high, but a few minutes of adjustment and it'll handle a medium load for a few days in comfort. When not in use the straps and harness simply sit against the back of the pack and a zipped cover fully encloses them - essential for stowage without snags. With the straps packed away you get a choice of top and side mounted handles for carrying the pack, both chunky and well padded though the side handle has a tendency to leave the pack a little bottom heavy until you get used to putting heavier items towards the top of the pack. While looking at the stowaway features there's also a raincover stashed under the main compartment. Unfortunately the raincover pocket uses a velcro closure which tends to pull open with any movement of the sleeping mat straps and suffers from being slightly on the loose side even with its elasticated edge.
You can forget pockets with the Rincon 90. While there are two external pockets they're pretty much flattened with the main compartment packed, but that's when you have to remember this is primarily a travel pack not a rucksack. If you need instant accessibility that's where the daysack comes in, either zipped onto the main pack or as a seperate for carry-on items. The Eagle Creek Rincon is never going to compete with a duffle bag when it comes to bulk hauling kit across continents, but if you're looking for something you can take off the airport conveyor belt and get straight on your way this is it. With 90 litres combined capacity it's got the space for everything you'll need for a week away and with a bit of care packing and a little practice carrying, the harness and shoulder straps should ensure a comfortable load on your average trail. The minor issues with the raincover storage and the basic daysack are offset by harness quality and price, which is very competitive for a product of this build quality.
Colour: Black, Blue
- Main Bag: (70L) Contour Fit Suspension System
- Easy packing access: Full front panel load
- Central Lock Point secures main entry points with a single lock
- Bottom zippered compartment with zippered internal divider
- Interior and exterior compression straps
- Multiple carry handles for easy grab-and-go
- Organize this bag with the Pack-It™ System
- Lifetime Warranty
- Download Fit Instructions
Pros: Build quality, airport compatible, size, price, harness
Cons: raincover storage, very basic day sack
Note: This article was restored from the archives. It's published creation date is inaccurate.