Rated 2 out of 5 by PhiladelphiaJustin Sturdy Bag - Poor Design
I wish to second a review that I read on this page, the downside of this bag is its design (lack of handles on the sides and compression straps). On top of this, I would really like the ability to access the front inner area through the top and not have to unzip the main compartment. Let me explain, the bottom part of the bag (when lying as if it were being packed) has straps to secure items but every one wishes to access the upper inner storage area you have to open the entire base. I would like to have separate compartments where you dont run the risk of having your base storage compartment spill out every time you wish to access clothes.
For me, I use this bag as an equipment bag and secure all tripods and braces in the base area with the securing straps. This works very well, the problem is trying to use this setup and store clothes and personal items. Every time I attempt to get at the personal items I have to expose the equipment (providing more opportunity for items to slip out and be misplace). I wouldnt say that this is poor design, since its not made for equipment lugging, but still a bit of a design mystery.
Additionally, when fully loaded this bag can be very unstable to carry. Rolling, its fine, but carrying up stairs and in and out of cars is very difficult. It also tends to be unbalanced and it often falls forward. Compression straps and more handles would solve this. I am looking to replace this bag.
June 11, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by trainrider2 good product
I just purchased this rolling duffle in medium, and when I got it I thought for sure it was too small. But I "test packed" it - 5 pairs of pants, 3 fleece jackets, 7 shirts and a pair of shoes, and still had lots of room left. I could easily add a dop kit, another pair of shoes and the little incidentals, and have room. The design is a little weird - the front flap has a big pocket (good!), but why you need a flap at all is a mystery to me. Like another buyer, I will cut off the back pack straps (useless when full) and use those pockets for little things. Strong handle for lifting; construction looks good; wheels feel substantially strong. This with a backpack and I'm all set for a 3-week train journey across the country.
May 8, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by RidersDad Very Nice
This bag worked great on it's first and second airline trips - fits in the overhead nicely and easily. Plenty of room for 2-3 days, but not more. It would be very helpful to add a side handle. Rolls great, easy to maneuver. The straps for conversion to a backpack were not impressive to me - I cut them off entirely and used the pockets for socks. Well made - should last for years.
November 11, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by dougyjoe WHAT A GREAT TRAVELING BAG!!!!
I purchased the red large Expedition Rolling Duffle a couple of years ago after reading the reviews. My 91 year old mother, who was a WWII Navy Wave, told me to roll my clothes and pack it standing up because it is a duffle bag. All military personnel will relate to this method of packing! There is a zippered compartment on the bottom that of this bag that is perfect for 2-3 pairs of shoes. The extra straps and covers are for the extras like coats, LLBean lunch boxes, pillows, blankets, etc. The stablizing bar at the bottom is great for picking it up to put in the car, and the handle easily handles two other bags from LLBean as you roll it. What a great duffle bag and it is extremely well made!!!
August 6, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by ServerBurn Great Value but...
Definitely a worthwhile purchase. I bought this bag to haul my gear on ski trips. It has a tremendous amount of space and is built to stand a decent amount of abuse. I do have two minor gripes though that keep this bag from being near perfect. There is no side handle which makes the bag cumbersome to carry up stairs especially if you are a shorter person. Also considering the amount of potential gear you can jam in this bag the lack of any real compression straps is unfortunate.
Other then that you cannot beat this bag for its quality, size, and price.
July 1, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by 135mom deployment ready
I have taken this bag around the world with me on military endeavors. It holds a lot and is durable. The only addition I would make to the design is a sturdy handle on one of the sides of the bag. There is a handle on top when upright and one on top when laying flat. It needs one on the side.
May 7, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by LLBeanShopper47 Made for Me
This review is for the large duffle. Before purchasing I spoke to a product specialist about my luggage needs - I travel to workshops with tools and heavy materials and need a bag that can handle them without coming apart. I also need a bag that's light enough to be manageable, and stable enough to navigate city streets, steps, etc.. She recommended this bag for its extra large wheels and sturdy frame. The reinforced sides near the wheels, and the front flap, help to securely contain the heavy materials.
The bag came through its first journey flawlessly. I watched as a luggage handler lifted the bag and threw it face down on the conveyor belt. Even then the bag and it's contents arrived home in perfect condition!
April 21, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by SouthofSF Great & Odd--probably 4.5 stars, if I could
Take a look at all reviews before you buy. This is not a standard bag. 1) It's really 2 medium-to-large compartments without interior pockets. I like that--a lot--but some are disappointed with that. 2) It rolls really well, and has a tough-feeling telescoping handle. 3) It is hard to carry on your back when loaded, because of size, shape and padding. 4) the outer flap/cinch panel strike me as odd and potentially troublesome in airport baggage systems (I will update this in a year or two, based on experience). It seems like it could snag. 5) It has two different sized outer compartments, both relatively small. They're generally flat and can hold folded clothes, papers, books and the like, but not a shower kit--that has to go inside. 6) The "Drop Bottom" makes the bottom stiff, and helps with it standing up when packed (assuming you don't put heavy items near the handle side). It's quite light for a stiff bag that can stand on its own.
As for the above 'issue' items: if you want interior pockets, you need to make them or buy a different bag. Re: the backpack option, you could fix the padding if it's important to you, but the bag will still be big and awkward as a backpack; if you're looking for a backpack, skip it. I figure this will be on my back for the occasional messy situation where dad-as-pack-mule (me) ends up having to move 3 large bags at once through some godforsaken airport. I consider this worth the light weight add-on and the 2 pockets that hold the straps. Re: outer flap - I'm going to be careful to keep it tight when we fly.
Last note: It's rated at 6000 cubic inches. It seems a tad smaller than that in the two main compartments, but that might be a shape/access issue as the two main compartments split the majority of the space when it's open. I stuffed an amazing amount of ski clothing in this last weekend.
I'm quite happy with it, and assuming it holds up well, I'll be buying this style to replace the other bags we have that die off....
March 30, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by LINSIM I Love this bag!!
This is slightly smaller than the rolling duffle I was using and had always over-packed and made so heavy that I could never lift it (not every train station in the world has the best accessibility).
I was a bit nervous that this bag was too small but it holds a lot (roll the clothes for space and to ease wrinkling) and has great little hidden compartments and straps to tighten everything so it makes it through the luggage conveyors. The wheels are large which makes it very easy to roll.
Thanks to this very clever bag (along with my computer rolling bag) I made it 19 days in the UK using this duffle and it still looks good. On the other hand I have used it for a 3 day trip and it is light enough to be a joy then as well.
January 8, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by FreqBizTravlr Don't expect a backpack option
As with all L.L. Bean products, this thing was very well built. However, I bought it specifically because of the claim to convert to a backpack. After trying it in the store (with nothing in it - duh) it seemed comfortable enough. But, when packed with clothing, the weight caused the thin, un-padded straps to be very hard on the shoulders. It also hangs awkwardly on the back due to the general shape. As a regular rolling bag, I would still recommend it (if it had some more internal pockets!) But, do not buy this product if you want to wear it on your back. Better straps and I'll buy another!
September 14, 2011