The Improved Carryon Suitcase

You might know Incase best for its presence on Apple store accessory shelves, and there’s a reason for that: The California brand has clearly and openly staked its aesthetic fortunes on Mac styling and coordination with products from Cupertino. This extends not just from sleek laptop cases like the ICON Sleeve with Tensaerlite ($70; incase.com), which I use with my Macbook Pro, but to trick and streamlined carryons like the EO Roller, which would seem a likely candidate for a thumb’s up from Steve Jobs.

The EO is designed as a one-size fits all suitcase for the modern and/or business traveler: It has a main, zippered compartment in the bottom half (the bottom when it’s lying down, that is), topped by a lightly padded, zippered compartment designed to hold laptops up to 17 inches, as well as all manner of work stuff like pens and Moleskines and copies of the New Yorker. This party in the back, business in the front setup is quite effective when you’re using the EO as a carryon. Access to your lappy is fast and easy; just slide the zipper and flip open the front lid and you’ll find it nestled in a soft furry sleeve. It’s the simplest, fastest solution to stashing a computer in carryon that I’ve seen yet.

There are some downsides to this design, though. The EO has enough padding to protect your Macbook or other device from normal bumps and bruises, but I’d be loathe to check it at the airline counter without more protection (such as aforementioned sleeve, perhaps). Of course, I’d be loathe to check my laptop under any circumstances, but if taking one last run in the Whistler Bike Park made you late to the gate and the overhead bins were full and you no choice, well, you’d probably want to nestle it in your clothes in the main compartment.

Volume is a tidy 40 liters, with an expansion zipper that increases capacity by 35 percent. Incase bills the EO as a “mid-size” bag and whether you agree will depend on heavily you pack. It’s well within the range of a weekender, but I used it as my sole piece of luggage for two weeks in Morocco and then again for a week in rainy London and never needed the extra capacity. Indeed, I actually find myself wishing I’d gotten the smaller Rolling Brief, which will fit better in the kinds of smaller planes you’ll encounter flying into, say, Ketchum.

The wheels roll extremely well, the wide handle slides in and out of the bag easily, and, while there’s no hook for attaching a briefcase, my Filson camera bag perched neatly on top as I rolled through Heathrow to the Tube. At eight or so pounds, it won’t win any gram-shaving contests, but even when full packed I never came close to the airlines’ 50-pound limit.

It’s funny how a product that’s simply supposed to protect your stuff is now expected to look good, too. The EO Roller, to my eye and in my experience, does that and so much more.

Book your next trip with Peace of Mind
Search Trips

$250 • BUY

Read more from Steve Casimiro at his blog, Adventure Journal.

Read This Next

Grief drove a photographer to India. She found joy.
Why do we age?
What causes earthquakes?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet