Of all the products I’m dying to test this year, Alchemy Equipment’s AEL008 carry-on bag sits at the top of my list. We first came across New Zealand-based Alchemy Equipment back in August of last year and were immediately impressed by both the brand’s clothing and luggage. At Outdoor Retailer this year, we got a closer look at the AEL008. Is it a backpack? A duffel? A shoulder bag? The short answer is that it’s all three of those things and is built with an impressive attention to detail.
I travel frequently for both business and leisure, and as I’ve written about in the past, Pacsafe’s collaboration carry-on bag with Quiksilver has been my go-to. I have a strong feeling though, that the AEL008 could take that spot. The extra five liters of space that the AEL008 offers over the Pacsafe is perfect for a 4-day trip to Europe (I’ve recently found the Pacsafe to be ever-so-slightly small for that type of trip). The AEL008 also has the Pacsafe beat when it comes to external pockets. While the Pacsafe intentionally forgoes external pockets (to make it harder for pickpockets to sneak your belongings out of a zipper pocket), there are times when I’m on the move and just want to shove odds and ends quickly into an external pocket without needing to open the entire bag.
I’ll be testing the AEL008 later this year, but if you’re as stoked on it now as I am, it’s currently available for 30% off its list price of $320. And if that’s too steep of a price tag, Pacsafe’s Quiksilver collaboration bag is still a great option and is available for $190.
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