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Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled 120L Review

A simple, large, and durable roller duffel with useful organizational extras and three distinct carry options to enable flexibility in hauling
eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review
The long telescoping handle height on the Cargo Hauler XT makes it a nice choice for taller travelers who need a bit more room between their feet and the bag.
Credit: Myrha Colt
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Price:  $319 List
Manufacturer:   Eagle Creek
By Myrha Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 7, 2022
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 14
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 7.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 7.0
  • Reliability - 25% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 9.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

When you don't know exactly what lies ahead but know you'll need the gear and the versatility to roll with it all, the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled 120L is the bag for the job. A slick, sporty exterior hides a massive carrying capacity and a handful of smart organizational features like a sizeable mesh interior pocket, a shoe-sized exterior compartment, multiple lash points, and a combination internal/external compression system –- all to make packing and stowing your gear a breeze. But what makes this durable, eye-catching duffel most unique are the three transport options smartly built into its design: two large off-road wheels plus a telescoping handle, several rugged grab handles for loading, and a set of tuck-away backpack straps to easily carry the bag on your back. Lightweight and versatile, this is luggage designed for far-flung, unpredictable adventures.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Large capacity
Durable construction
Transforms from wheeled duffel to backpack
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited interior organizational features
Easy to overpack
Minimal clearance

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Price $319 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, large capacity, durable construction, transforms from wheeled duffel to backpackDurable construction, large capacity, rolls with ease across mixed terrainSmooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great styleCavernous main compartment, scratch- and water-resistant, easy-roll spinnersInexpensive, rolls easily, large capacity
Cons Limited interior organizational features, easy to overpack, minimal clearanceLimited interior organizational features, easy to overpackZippers could be smoother, low clearanceTough to transport on mixed terrain, easy to overpack, limited organizational featuresLow-grade materials, poor craftsmanship, sticky zipper
Bottom Line A simple, large, and durable roller duffel with useful organizational extras and three distinct carry options to enable flexibility in haulingThe perfect all-terrain rolling duffel with substantial storage capacity and useful organizational extrasA durable, stylish, and high-value suitcase suited for all types of travelAn oversized yet lightweight mega-bag with spinner-tight roll and control over smooth surfaces and surprisingly tough exterior constructionA low priced expandable suitcase with enormous storage capacity but dubious durability
Rating Categories Eagle Creek Cargo H... REI Co-op Big Haul... Timbuk2 Copilot Samsonite Omni PC H... Amazon Basics 30" H...
Storage & Organization (25%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Reliability (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Style (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Eagle Creek Cargo H... REI Co-op Big Haul... Timbuk2 Copilot Samsonite Omni PC H... Amazon Basics 30" H...
Measured Weight 8.8 lbs 9.6 lbs 9.4 lbs 10.3 lbs 11.6 lbs
Volume 124L 109L 80L 145L 127L
Liters per Pound 14.1 11.1 8.5 14.1 10.9
Construction Zip open, duffel Zip open, duffel Clamshell plus topside u-shaped zip access, softshell Clamshell, hard-sided Clamshell, hard-sided
Measured Packed Dimensions 32" x 16.25" x 14.25" 33.75" x 16.25" x 14" 26.5" x 14.5" x 13" 30.5" x 20.5" x 13" 30.75" x 21" x 12
Expansion Zippers? No No No Yes Yes
Number of Wheels 2 2 2 4 4
Number of Large Interior Compartments 1 1 2 2 2
Interior Storage Features Internal compression strap system; single mesh zip pocket on inside of opening lid 2 mesh organizational pockets on inside of opening panel (one with key hook), 2 internal compression straps 2 mesh clam panels with 2 organizational pockets Elastic restraint straps in one-half clam, zip enclosure over opposite half; hanging zipper accessory pocket One-half clam with elastic restraint straps, one-half large zip enclosure with 2 zip mesh pockets, hanging zip accessory pocket
Number of Exterior Pockets 2 external zip pockets at top of bag: one large enough for boots, the other much smaller and already housing the optional backpack straps 1 side exterior zip pocket. 1 small top zip pocket with piggy-bag strap attachment, plus daisy-chain gear loops 1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve None None
Compression System 1 internal compression strap system; 4 external compression straps (two on each side) 2 external and 2 internal compression straps (4 in total) No 2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression 2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression
Handle Height from Ground Low: 35.75"
Mid: 39.75"
High: 41.75"
42" 40.5" Low: 36"
High: 41"
Low: 36.75"
High: 40.5"
Built-In Lock No, but includes #10 lockable zippers and Central Lock Point on bag No No Yes, TSA Approved No
Main Exterior Material 1000D Helix Poly Twill with TPU 600D Poly Recycled 400-denier nylon/recycled 1,680-denier nylon (bluesign®-approved) Nylon and polyester Polycarbonate Extra-thick ABS, hard shell
Unique Features Built-in backack straps; internal and external compression straps, exterior access waterresistant pocket for shoes or gear, exterior gear loops Oversized wheels, rugged chassis, full-length bumpers, 2 internal and 2 external compression straps, stopper-stand, carry-on piggyback clip, 6 haul handle options, daisy chain lash points, water-resistant Liquids pocket and padded front pocket to fit 13" laptop; skateboard wheels Built-in TSA-approved lock; large packing capacity; impressive water resistance, expandable, anti-scratch exterior 150D-polyester zippered clamshell enclosure, 3 organizational pockets

Our Analysis and Test Results

At an impressive 120 liters and only 8.8 pounds in weight, the Cargo Hauler XT is a behemoth of a bag ready for whatever piles of clothing, equipment, or active gear your adventures may call for. With several handy storage features to keep your packables organized and three distinct options for hauling them, this casual suitcase has the versatility, durability, and simple, sporty good looks to play sidekick wherever the road may take you.

Performance Comparison


eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - a big bag for even bigger adventures, the cargo hauler xt has room...
A big bag for even bigger adventures, the Cargo Hauler XT has room to store whatever gear is necessary and a collection of smart tools to make it easier to pack, haul, and keep you organized once you are on your way.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Storage & Organization


If big and flexible are what you are looking for, the Cargo Hauler XT will not disappoint. In classic roller duffel fashion, a large U-shaped zip opening panel reveals a similarly large capacity main compartment with a simple open layout inside. For anyone who prefers "toss-and-go" packing strategies or utilizes organizational packing cubes to maximize space, the cavernous center of this lightweight case will get you excited. And if you like the style but don't necessarily need something this dramatically large, the Cargo Hauler is also available in a smaller 90-liter version or even an international carry-on size.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - roller duffels are a favorite among those who prefer the "toss and...
Roller duffels are a favorite among those who prefer the "toss and go" packing strategy.
Credit: Myrha Colt

A few extra features are also built into the case to assist in packing. This includes a mesh zip pocket along the inside of the opening panel plus a simple yet effective interior compression strap system to restrain and organize your gear inside, twelve daisy-chain lash straps running around the exterior, and a smaller secondary compartment at the head of the bag big enough to accommodate a pair of boots, your winter layers, or a week's worth of dirty laundry. So even without any extra travel accessories, you should find plenty of tools to work with to help streamline your travel prep.

The two internal restraint straps are linked up across the middle of...
The two internal restraint straps are linked up across the middle of the bag by a single compression strap with one latch opening. Together the system works well to compress and restrain bulky items into the back of the bag.
The secondary end compartment is large enough for a pair of boots...
The secondary end compartment is large enough for a pair of boots, your jacket, or all your accessories and day-of travel items.

On the outside, twelve lash loops run along the length of the duffel, offering options to strap gear as needed when out on the road. A set of heavy-duty exterior compression straps are also available to cinch down your load, compacting the bag's contents to ensure a more stable ride. And large reflective zipper pull loops help facilitate access to your bag even on days when light runs low, or you're wearing gloves. This combination of smart interior and exterior storage features allows one to pack away and access a mountain of gear, all without compromising the bag's functionality in transit.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - the large latches on the external compression straps make easy work...
The large latches on the external compression straps make easy work out of reducing the bulk when this big roller duffel is packed full.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Ease of Transport


Based on appearances alone, the Cargo Hauler XT is easily lumped into the subcategory of roller duffels. The set of two rugged inline wheels embedded in sturdy housings along the base assures it of this status. Yet we found this unique adventure-ready case to be so much more. It is the only piece of luggage in our test group that accounts for three very different methods of transport in its design, ensuring flexibility to adjust in real time to whatever road conditions may present themselves.

The Cargo Hauler XT is unique among the test suite in that it...
The Cargo Hauler XT is unique among the test suite in that it transforms from roller duffel to backpack in seconds using the hideaway backpack straps inside.
Three handle heights up to 45-inches from the ground mean even the...
Three handle heights up to 45-inches from the ground mean even the tallest among us ought to be able to enjoy a comfortable grip when hauling the case.
Whether you want to pull or carry, this bag has you covered.

First, a sturdy telescoping handle with three height settings and a pair of large off-road wheels set you up to roll the suitcase across cities, airports, and hotels. Next, several rugged grab handles sit conveniently around the exterior length, making it easy to pick up and load the duffel from nearly all angles (although, admittedly, we are disappointed there is no grip built into the top of the case). And finally, a clever set of tuck-away backpack straps can be found nested into the top boot pocket. Just latch up the hooks to the O-rings below and easily carry the bag up and down stairs or through subways on your back.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - although the backpack straps are a clever idea, we found them to be...
Although the backpack straps are a clever idea, we found them to be less than practical for anything longer than a quick trip upstairs, etc. The straps and their connection points to the bag are flimsy and there's insufficient padding or structure to ease the pressure of all that weight on back and shoulders.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Although we love the creative intentionality behind the design of the Cargo Hauler XT, we found two issues that kept us from naming this suitcase a top performer for this metric. To start, the two large treaded wheels are only given half an inch of clearance to roll. This proves unsatisfactory wherever rocky, pot-holed, or deep, sandy desert pathways (or even stairs or curbs) enter the picture. Secured deep inside heavy plastic wheel housings, there is little room to work when navigating mixed surfaces, leaving the bottom of the bag vulnerable to obstacles and sharp edges in transit. Smooth, clear sidewalks and hotel lobbies are no problem, but this is not the bag you'd want on rugged backcountry roads or rough trails.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - large 3.5-inch treaded wheels are well-suited to all-terrain...
Large 3.5-inch treaded wheels are well-suited to all-terrain activities but because they are recessed into the wheel housing, the case is only left with only a half-inch clearance to roll (creating plenty of opportunities for the base to bump and catch on whatever rough road or obstacles it meets along the way).
Credit: Myrha Colt

Second, while we were impressed by the inclusion and straightforward functionality of the hidden backpacking straps, their lightweight construction does not generate the confidence we'd need to put them to regular use. The Cargo Hauler XT provides space to hold a mountain of gear, pretty much guaranteeing a heavy load in the final package. But flimsy straps and thin, unreinforced connection points left us wondering how long they could support substantial weight before snapping under the pressure. Plus, there's little padding or structure to ease the strain of all that weight on one's back and shoulders when carrying. If your only goal is to have the option of a backpack for the occasional emergency haul up a narrow, awkward stairwell, we suspect this case would do fine. But if you need the option to strap your belongings to your back on a regular basis, we think you'd be better off selecting a pack designed for just that purpose.

A small pocket entry at the top-front of the duffel hides a pair of...
A small pocket entry at the top-front of the duffel hides a pair of backpack straps.
Once released from their pocket hideaway, the backpack straps can be...
Once released from their pocket hideaway, the backpack straps can be attached to O-rings at the other end of the case.
Hidden backpack straps are secured to the Cargo Hauler XT inside a...
Hidden backpack straps are secured to the Cargo Hauler XT inside a small pocket accessed at the top-frontside of the case. Here you can see the stitching that marks where the straps connect inside that pocket.

Reliability


We were impressed to find the Cargo Hauler XT balances a remarkably large capacity with a lightweight, notably durable design. Its mix of large, rugged wheels with a hefty wheel housing, a sturdy telescoping handle, and a super-strong 1000D Helix Poly / 600D Poly TPU exterior constriction left our testers feeling confident the gear inside would enjoy maximum protection whenever we hit the road. And in testing, we saw no reason to question that assessment. Even after extensive abuse – whether we were tossing, dragging, or hauling the case across stairs, granite, or concrete – we saw no signs of damage, heavy wear, or even mild abrasion or scratch marks. Other than some minor scuffing and a bit of stickiness in the telescoping handle release (which existed even before testing began), the Cargo Hauler XT continued to look and function just as good as new with each pass — exactly what you want to see when assessing suitcase options for longer trips away from home.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - toss testing onto concrete allows us to inspect each bag for...
Toss testing onto concrete allows us to inspect each bag for durability when faced with the rigors of average travel.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Advertised as "water repellent" with a 600D Poly TPU coating, we found this description accurate during testing. Water beads quickly on the outside of the case under rain shower conditions, with little evidence of moisture entering through the exterior material itself. However, the Cargo Hauler XT did not prove to be fully waterproof (as was typical across all bags we tested), but it is less vulnerable than others in our review. The most common point of entry for moisture to sneak in will always be along the zipper closure lines, and it was no different with the Cargo Hauler. However, we noted Eagle Creek tried to address this problem by incorporating a storm flap shield over the zipper to provide added protection and water resistance. Based on what we saw, it seems to serve.

The TPU-covered exterior on the Cargo Hauler XT, combined with storm...
The TPU-covered exterior on the Cargo Hauler XT, combined with storm flap shields around the zipper, help to keep water out of the bag in great quantities (although some made it through during testing nonetheless).
A storm flap shield over the u-shaped zipper provides extra...
A storm flap shield over the u-shaped zipper provides extra protection from water, and the TPU coating repels it across the body.
While not perfect, the water resistance on this bag is pretty impressive.

We noted some online complaints call attention to issues of bleeding in the bag, situations in which travelers discover the bright colors of the exterior material seeping into items inside. We did not experience these results in our testing. So the best we can do is point out the possibility of such mishaps and advise caution in your packing. But it is worth noting. Similarly, we question how long it might be before the bottom of the bag begins to wear due to its low clearance, as it seems impossible one would not constantly be banging the base against obstacles in transit with such little clearance. By the same token, we wonder if the straps will continue to function over time. But since the bag is covered under Eagle Creek's celebrated No Matter What Warranty coverage, we will have to trust any issues one may encounter will be quickly remedied by the manufacturer.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - stairs are hard when you have a bag this big full of all the gear...
Stairs are hard when you have a bag this big full of ALL the gear. And when you've only got half an inch of clearance, there's also a good chance the bottom of the case will show evidence of wear before the rest of the case.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Weight


At 8.8 pounds, the Cargo Hauler XT is by no means the lightest bag in the bunch, but it's not far off. And when you also account for its size and overall capacity, it quickly becomes one of the most impressive packing options in the bunch. This suitcase can carry a pile of gear without requiring you to carry along a pile of extra pounds from just the case alone. But if you don't exercise some restraint, it would also be very easy to overpack the Cargo Hauler and quickly exceed the 50-pound maximum for checked luggage on most airlines. We would advise careful packing whenever fights are involved to avoid headaches at the airport.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - at 8.8 pounds, the eagle creek cargo hauler xt is among the lightest...
At 8.8 pounds, the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT is among the lightest bags we tested, yet it also featured one of the largest storage capacities among them.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Style


This shiny, eye-catching roller duffel will never be mistaken as a chic, business-meeting-ready travel accessory. The Cargo Hauler XT channels all the sporty yet modern good looks one might expect to see in a photo spread for adventures in the Himalayas or gear-heavy diving trips in Southeast Asia. Offered in several bold colors from classic black to bright red, this is a bag you should have no problem spotting across the airport. Particularly given its large size, it would be hard to miss. And while not every traveler is going to love the signature glossy sheen (a result of the TPU-treated exterior), none of our testers had negative feelings about this design choice. If anything, the shine is a visual nod toward the protective qualities incorporated into the bag, and a feature that allows the case to stand out in a crowd.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - the cargo hauler xt is sporty in design and bold in color and...
The Cargo Hauler XT is sporty in design and bold in color and texture, with a glossy exterior that stands out in the crowd.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Should You Buy the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT 120L?


Lightweight and versatile, this is a bag to grab when heading out on epic, unpredictable adventures. The Cargo Hauler XT offers a wealth of space to accommodate all the varied clothing, gear, and equipment one might need in a durable, organizationally functional, and high-performing case meant for easy hauling under nearly all imaginable conditions. It also comes in at a solid mid-range price with an excellent lifetime manufacturer's warranty. So while it's not likely to be anyone's top choice for a professional meeting in the heart of New York City, if your next stop is a hiking trip through the Alps or a multi-week road trip through the Southwest, the Cargo Hauler XT could be exactly what you'll want to reach for.

eagle creek cargo hauler xt wheeled 120l suitcase review - such an easy suitcase to toss and go.
Such an easy suitcase to toss and go.
Credit: Myrha Colt

What Other Suitcases Should You Consider?


For long-haul trips into the backcountry where cargo capacity, durability, and easy road navigation are important, few suitcases match the value and performance of the REI Big Haul Rolling Duffel. Although you won't have the option to sling it on your back, you will have plenty of space to organize and store your gear, along with reasonable protection from the elements and excellent structural support for dragging your pack across rugged terrain. For hardcore gear-heavy adventures requiring strong organizational and protective strategies, the Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30 is worth a careful look. Or if you just want a lightweight bag with extraordinary capacity at a reasonable price, take a look at the hard-sided Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" for a wholly different approach.

Myrha Colt
 
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