eBags Launches Revamped EXO Version 2.0: Our Favorite Luggage Series Just Got Even Awesomer Mike Richard October 29 Gear, Modern Vagabond, Review 2 Comments In May 2012, I wrote about the eBags EXO Hardside 24″ Spinner, concluding: Between the extremely durable polycarbonate shell, the lifetime warranty and a price-point at just under $180 USD, the EXO Spinner 24? is a steal. Frankly, it’d be worth it at twice the price. Back then, I called it “near bulletproof”. Two and a half years later, when I pack a checked bag, it’s still the only bag I travel with. And that was just Version 1.0. This year, eBags has returned with updated 2.0 versions of their entire EXO line. They were cool enough to send us the new EXO Hardside 24″ Spinner and its companion – the EXO 2.0 Hardside Spinner Carry-On so we could take them for a spin (literally). The Skinny In eBags’ own words, their goal with the EXO line is simple: Use the best materials available, find the smoothest/most durable wheel system on the market, keep the design simple, but make it look fabulous – at a competitive price. The Traveler’s Take Rather than reinvent the wheel, eBags made the wise decision to keep all the good stuff from Version 1.0 and simply add a few more bells and whistles based on direct feedback from their customers. What remains in Version 2.0 is all the stuff we loved in the first place, including: Pure Polycarbonate shell that’s super abrasion-resistant (this is the best choice of material when you take into account the amount of surface impact hardside luggage is exposed to) Really smooth double-wheeled wheel sets that distribute the weight evenly. I’ve dragged the 24″ over rough gravel, dirt runways and everything short of snow and it’s always performed well. (If you’re on anything deeper than thick carpet, I recommended that you tilt the suitcase and pull it behind you like a traditional 2-wheeled upright) Adjustable trolley handles Oversized feet A special, extra durable zipper made for extreme-use luggage. As a result, it’s definitely not the smoothest zipper to open & close, but it’s a fair trade-off if the alternative means seeing my Batman Underoos splayed all over the luggage carousel. A dead simple interior (a zippered mesh section on one side and open tie-tape compartment on the other) A unique movable shelf on the interior (haven’t seen this feature on any other luggage to date) … but now eBags has added a whole lot more for Version 2.0: The top handle is now recessed, increasing the packing space yet still complying with the 22″ height regulation for carry-ons The 24″ Spinner is wider and deeper with more cubic volume while still keeping an eye on the 50-pound weight limit when fully packed New flush-mounted Travel Sentry TSA-approved 3-dial combination lock Side handles that retract flat against the side Pretty new colors, including Purple and Brushed Graphite They’ve also added a new Mobile Office / International Carry-on bag to the EXO collection. The front section easily tips out for quick access to a laptop or tablet plus any miscellaneous business essentials. It’s also a great place to store your standard 3-1-1 bag for easier access at the TSA checkpoints. Pricing + Availability The EXO 2.0 Hardside 24″ Spinner ($179.99 USD) and EXO 2.0 Hardside Spinner Carry-on ($149.99 USD) are available in a variety of distinct colors directly from eBags.com. The set of both pieces is also available for $309.99 USD. The Bottom Line At a fraction of the cost of similar high-end luggage, the EXO 2.0 series is still damn near bulletproof. Our favorite luggage collection just got a whole lot awesomer. Disclosure: Vagabondish received complimentary EXO Hardside luggage from eBags in advance of this post. Read our view on sponsored content. 2 Responses Billy D October 30 there is no way a hard sided bag is better in the long run than a soft sided bag. Soft sided bags will fit better in the overhead bins and they are much lighter and less prone to damage when being thrown around under the plane by the luggage handlers. Obviously you wanted to give this a good review because they donate to you and you’d like to keep that perk coming when their next bag comes out. But you obviously don’t have enough experience with better soft sided bags or you’re just not being honest Reply Mike Richard October 30 @Billy D: To each their own. I have a decade of intensive travel experience under my belt and these are my subjective impressions. So please don’t try to speak to things you can’t possibly know. Modern hard-sided bags are far lighter than their predecessors. And the minimal additional weight over a soft-sided bag is well worth the extra protection. When traveling with carry-on only, I travel with a soft-sided bag; for a checked bag trip, I go with a hard-sided bag. To say that soft-sided bags are more durable than their hard-sided counterparts is just silly. Would you rather have an iPhone case made out of cloth or polycarbonate? More importantly, if you believe that my positive review is entirely based on their “donations” and you’re an infinitely more experienced traveler, why bother replying at all? Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Let\'s Make Sure You\'re Human ... *Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA. six − = three Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.