Always improving its lines of luggage for the adventurous, Eagle Creek has fine-tuned its new Afar Backpack to be all business and a pleasure. About the dimensions of a standard wheel-aboard bag (12.5 inches by 20.5 inches by 8.5 inches deep), the Afar weighs in at a mere 1 pound, 11 ounces. It is equipped with a slew of great features: well-padded contoured shoulder straps, a tuck away padded hip belt, adjustable sternum straps, external compression straps and a sturdy top grab handle. A padded breathable mesh back panel makes for comfy cushioning. The back panel cleverly incorporates a zippered padded compartment for a laptop (up to 17 inches) that doesn’t broadcast your precious cargo to would-be thieves. The spacious main zippered compartment is blessedly unstructured, three roomy external mesh pouches are great for jackets, water bottles, snacks and maps, and a very well-designed zippered front organizer pocket has pouches and elastic slots for a cell phone, camera, sunglasses, pens and other essentials. Double-lock zippers, hidden slip pockets for documents, and reflective accents for nighttime visibility are smart security elements. Available in a dreamy slate blue, sunny ochre and basic black.
Eagle Creek Afar Backpack (EC-60263) is $110 at www.eaglecreek.com; 888-824-9460.