Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Ample storage, water-resistant, durable, heavily featured
Cons: Many features are not useful for most people, bulky design
Manufacturer: Eagle Creek
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30 stands out as the most featured suitcase in our review, optimal for those who need to pack a whole lot of bulky items. Advertised as an 'adventure suitcase,' it's not for those merely seeking a sleek or stylish bag to check at the airport. If you're an expedition traveler or adventurer who prefers a roller bag, this is our best recommendation.
This suitcase is absolutely bomber. The outer material is a water-resistant 1000-denier polyester material that resists scratches, punctures, and prods. Wheels, zippers, and handle are all well-constructed. Given how durable each of these components remained after all our tests, we award this bag with the highest reliability score in our review.
Even after throwing this suitcase in the back of a truck for over two weeks, it still came out looking brand new. The corners where you would typically see more than average wear are reinforced with plastic bumpers and thicker fabric for increased durability and longevity.
The fabric on the main body is also quite waterproof, wicking away and repelling moisture during all our water tests. That said, the case itself is not waterproof because of the zippers. If water can get past the awning of fabric that covers its length, it will seep in through the zips. When looking online, a few users indicated that the exterior material also began to break down after just a few uses but, even after traveling with this bag for over three months, we did not see this happen.
The wheels on the ORV 30 are large and oversized, offering great movement over cracks and other obstacles. They are also easy to change out if they do wear down over time with a simple twist of an Allen key.
The only durability issue we could foresee is at the back of the bag. Most suitcases have a continuous plastic bumper that helps with the transition of the bag moving up steps or stairs. While this exists, it doesn't start until higher up, which exposes the material of the suitcase to constant wear. If you're somebody who bumps their bags up steps, expect to see some wear and tear in that area.
The zippers are simple enough to use, but given the softshell material, they do get stuck. When the suitcase is fully packed, they become easier to use. The giant pulls on the end make it easier to tug the bag shut, especially if you're sitting on top of it, trying to close it. The handle is pretty standard but doesn't bow out under the weight of a fully packed bag, which indicates a higher level of durability. If you're seeking a super reliable suitcase, this is one of the best.
Storage & Organization
An obvious winner in this category, the ORV Trunk, aptly named, really is constructed more like a trunk than a traditional suitcase. It stands out for its thoughtful storage design and immense capacity. While the 30" case is said to carry 98 liters of gear, we've packed more inside.
This bag is rigid enough to uphold its shape when only partially packed yet still flexible enough to squeeze in one more thing when packed to the gills. That said, given that the weight capacity at most airports is only 50lbs, you need to be careful about overpacking this behemoth. The ORV is not for those seeking simplicity — it is one of the most featured suitcases tested.
This suitcase is engineered so you can clip things on the exterior if you can't fit more inside. There are ten gear loops on the 30" version that we tested, with even more on the 36" option. A good backpacker knows that clipping things to the outside of your pack isn't the best idea (because they swing around while you're on the move), and we also find these features a little contrived. However, if you're in the tactical field and need gear loops to clip small items to, this is a great feature.
The top of the bag also has a unique bungee cord to attach a helmet or another backpack or purse. Additionally, the top front pocket is spacious and can easily fit a pair of sandals, a camera, or any other items you need to be able to access quickly. It also features a mesh compartment inside to stow away your essentials.
We really love the expandable pocket at the foot of the suitcase. This pocket has a Nylon water-resistant liner that separates the pocket from the rest of your gear. The pocket, when unzipped and expanded from the inside, is HUGE. We were able to fit two pairs of ice climbing boots inside! This is perfect if you've got gear you want to keep separate from your clean clothes.
The inside of the ORV 30 is outfitted with one large mesh pocket on the zippered flap. Along the sides are three more mesh compartments where you can stash undies and socks. To hold it all together, there is a net-like gear holder that is marginally helpful though it doesn't provide compression like more traditional straps. This is also removable and can be attached to the front of the bag if you plan on putting a bunch of items on the front (which again, we wouldn't recommend).
The volume of this bag is quite large. It has a nice rectangular shape which makes packing items freely or with cubes super easy. A friend that uses camera equipment quite a lot commented that this would make a great companion given the amount of space. It's also great for winter expeditions that require bulky gear like snow pants, ski boots, climbing ropes, and more. Bottom line, it's easy to pack with a tremendous amount of volume. If you're traveling by plane, be sure to weigh your suitcase to ensure you don't overpack… it's really easy to do.
If you need to compress this suitcase from the outside, simply cinch down the buckles that wrap around the outer edges. The effect is relatively minor but still helpful. However, it is a bit tedious to have to unbuckle four buckles before getting into your bag.
Ease of Transport
This suitcase isn't the easiest to transport, but it's not bad either. Like any roller bag, it moves pretty flawlessly through the airport and on hard surfaces. The oversized wheels take the brunt of travel, gliding over cracks smoothly, even when fully loaded. We also appreciate that, when fully loaded, this suitcase stands on its own and is well-weighted, though it does feel bulky to toat around. Yet another reason this trunk is best for those who genuinely need a high volume and well-featured suitcase.
The wheels on the ORV are very reliable and quite large. They have friction grooves that add an element of vibration when rolling on harder surfaces, though, so they aren't always super smooth. The wheels are also plastic and don't have the rubberized surface that we have grown to love on other models.
The wheel housings are bomber, holding up under the weight of a full load. This isn't one of those suitcases that you'll end up dragging when it's really heavy; you'll actually be able to roll, at least when on hard and clear surfaces. However, on gravel and other rocky surfaces, it's not the same story. Given the weight of the bag, it can be hard to push and pull with nimbleness. The clearance between the base and the floor is also quite small, causing it to easily snag items below if you're not careful. To improve on this bag's adventure readiness, we'd love to see this clearance made a little higher.
The ORV is large, so picking it up and moving it around can be a challenge. We appreciate the five handles placed on all sides, including the front. This provides many points to pick it up and put it into a car.
We appreciate the beefy and comfortable handle on the top of this bag. The rest of the handles are thinner and a little flimsier, though we didn't run into any durability issues during our testing period. Overall, this suitcase is a bulkier case to transport than most. While it has decent rolling capabilities, it should probably stick to hard surfaces that aren't littered with rocks, soft dirt, or gravel. It's a great option for car travel and can easily be used at the airport as well.
This is a burly piece of luggage, yet only registered 10 lbs on our scale.
That leaves you 40 lbs available for gear before making it an overweight suitcase at the airport terminal. You will definitely want to double-check yourself before flying though, the cavernous interior of this case can easily swallow way more than 40 lbs.
Technical and tactical is what this case is stylized for. The exterior gear loops and super burly fabric give it more of a military look than anything else. It's not urban or stylish by any means and definitely built as a utilitarian piece. This probably isn't the suitcase to use if you're heading out on a formal business trip for work.
This is one of the more expensive suitcases tested in this review. For those simply seeking a well-valued checked luggage item, you might not find the value in this bag. While it is exceptionally reliable and built as a burly behemoth, the value is only present for those that need a suitcase that can offer all the premium storage features it provides.
The Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30 is the only suitcase that offers ample storage with a focus on tactical use. This water-resistant piece is perfect for long expeditions via boat, plane, or car — a true Top Pick for Adventure Travel. It's not a great option for those simply seeking a generic or simple checked bag for the airport because it's bulky and utilitarian. But for the go-hard and go-big adventurer, this is one to seriously consider.
— Amber King