Product Review: Eagle Creek Tarmac AWD Carry-On

Stylish and rugged, the AWD Tarmac is a good all-arounder, equally at home being bounced down a city street and a dirt road.

What is it: Eagle Creek AWD Tarmac 22-Inch Carry-On

Price and Where to Buy: $330 on Amazon; $330 on EagleCreek.com

Pros : This 22-inch carry-on is full of features designed to help packing and traveling. Padded exterior pockets fit even large laptops, and an additional padded tablet sleeve make stashing electronics easy. It has a lockable exterior pocket large enough to fit your 3-1-1 items, and inside, equal packing space on both sides of the bag, with a zippered compartment and a cargo net so you can open and close the suitcase without items spilling out. It also has three clever options for securing additional items to the outside of the bag: a clip for attaching an additional bag, a securable bungee cord for anchoring a jacket to the top of the suitcase, and netting that can be moved from the suitcase’s interior to the outside to attach more gear.

Cons: Weighing in at just over eight pounds, the AWD Tarmac is on the heavier end of the lightweight spectrum, so if you’re looking for a minimalist case, it may not be for you.

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. This bag is nothing if not useful. Its myriad features seem to predict what travelers will need every step of the way.
  • Value: 8/10. At $330, this bag is an investment, but a smart one. Its sturdy construction, easy movement, and nice design make it a dependable primary suitcase for the carry-on crowd.
  • Durability: 10/10. This bag balances extreme durability with nice design. Its polycarbonate back makes it as durable as a hard-sided suitcase, and the abrasion-resistant fabric on the front offers durability and style.

Final Verdict: Stylish and rugged, the AWD Tarmac is a good all-arounder, equally at home being bounced down a city street and a dirt road.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com

(Photo: Amazon)

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.