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ebags exo suitcaseOn a recent 10-day trip to Norway, I packed everything but the kitchen sink into one of eBags’ EXO 2.0 24-inch spinner suitcases. If you’ve been considering a new piece of luggage, you’ll want to read on — not just for a rundown of my experience with the bag but also for a chance to win an EXO 2.0 of your very own.

Exterior
Liked: The exterior of the EXO 2.0 is made of polycarbonate, which means it’s insanely durable. The case I tested made it through four flights with only minor scratches, thanks to the crosshatch-type pattern on the shell, which helps to reduce the visibility of such mishaps.

Didn’t Like: Although functional, the crosshatch exterior design doesn’t exactly look nice. I was initially excited when I learned the bag I’d be trying was red, but I quickly discovered red isn’t as uncommon on airport conveyor belts as you might think. I’d recommend trying one of the other available bright colors like purple or yellow. (Standard colors like black and gray are options too.)

Interior
Liked: There’s a ton of space, and I found that the main compartment’s straps helped to keep my abundance of clothing contained. A separate compartment, offset by a full swath of zippable mesh, was great for separating everything from shoes to dirty laundry from the rest of my stuff.

Didn’t Like: There are no additional pockets or compartments, which can make the packing of smaller items a challenge. eBags touts the fact that the EXO 2.0’s main compartment has a removable, adjustable shelf (attached to the interior of the suitcase via Velcro) to keep packed items from shifting or crushing each other. I didn’t find it to be all that useful because I packed enough to ensure no shifting would take place. It might come in handy for separating clean clothes from dirty ones or your clothes from those of a travel companion if you’re sharing luggage.

Wheels
Liked: The wheels are durable with a double-wheel construction, which means that your bag is less likely to tip over if you leave it upright.

Didn’t Like: Because of the dual-wheel configuration, the suitcase has a wider base, making it a little more difficult to maneuver than one with a single-wheel design. But the wider base is also what keeps the bag from toppling over, so it’s a trade-off.

Handles
Liked: All handles (adjustable handle used for dragging and top/side handles used for lifting) are sleek in appearance and are nearly flush with the sides of the case for a streamlined look. Plus, the extendable handle used for pulling the bag adjusts to three different heights.

Didn’t Like: Because the handles are recessed with little clearance, it can be difficult to get your fingers under them to lift luggage in a hurry (for example, grabbing your bag off of the conveyor belt). Combine that with the suitcase’s rough crosshatch exterior, and you’ve got a recipe for skinned knuckles. I also found the extendable handle to be a little on the flimsy side, given the overall size of the luggage.

Lock
ebags exo suitcase zippers lockLiked: As someone who routinely uses removable luggage locks, I love the idea of a suitcase that’s got a lock built in. No more worrying about losing the lock or fumbling to be sure it’s passed through both zippers when you try to re-secure everything. The built-in version is TSA-friendly, and the instructions for using it are a piece of cake.

Didn’t Like: Although setting the lock’s combination was easy, it took me a few minutes to figure out that the zipper pulls actually slide into openings to the right of the lock in order to secure the case. Beyond that, it took me even longer to discover that the only way to keep the zipper from partially gaping when locked (leaving a small opening into the main suitcase compartment) is to crisscross the zippers and then secure them. (The bag’s specs do mention that it has “patent-pending cross-over X zipper pullers,” but I had no idea what that meant.)

Overall
The EXO 2.0 is a durable, lightweight suitcase that offers some innovative features with the crisscross zippers, interior shelf and crosshatch exterior design. It’s currently available on the eBags website for $160, and it comes with a lifetime eBags warranty, exchange or return. In spite of the minor issues I had, it’s a solid choice overall.

If you’d like to enter to win a brand-new EXO 2.0 hardside suitcase, leave us a message in the comments by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 1, 2014. We’ll pick one winner at random. This giveaway is open only to residents of the Lower 48 United States and the District of Columbia. To read the full contest rules, click here.

If you can’t wait until we pick a winner to do some eBags shopping, click here to get 15 percent off your purchase and free shipping on orders of more than $49. This discount is good through September 4, 2014.

Editor’s Note: This contest has ended. The winner is Andrew P. Stay tuned for more chances to win!

– written by Ashley Kosciolek

145 Responses to “eBags’ EXO Suitcase: Pros, Cons and a Contest”

  1. Sujata says:

    Thanks for the great review! I travel all over Africa and Asia on business. Having a durable suitcase with a built-in lock is a dream.

  2. Dorinda says:

    I’m ready for a new bag that will take a beating

  3. Doug Abbott says:

    We have just found that if you book more than one flight through a travell agent or website ( not through the airline directly), That if you are unable to make your first flight the other corresponding flights will also be unable to be redeemed. We could not board our first flight due to passport complications,
    Only to find out that our three flights booked later have been terminated as well. Even though one of these flights are a month later. The airlines take no responsibility at all. And we are left completely with nothing?

  4. mike t says:

    Looks like a solid choice for bag!

  5. Melanie D says:

    Great review, very comprehensive. I think it has a lot of great qualities and would definitely consider this as I am currently looking to purchase hard side luggage pieces.

  6. Maria Saenz says:

    Good information , I like the pro and con approach to describing this luggage. I need a new piece my 24 ” bag just cracked on a trip back from Fiji. I have to have this type of luggage due to wet landings in Fiji. Although this material can crack it’s still the best material for luggage.

  7. Dana Morgenthaler says:

    Thank you for the review. I appreciate your spelling out both the pros and cons of the luggage. I have been using a wheeled duffle,which is very hard to pull, but it’s so ugly no one every mistakes it for theirs. Something new, and easier to pull would be great.

  8. chris s says:

    I’ve been considering hard sided luggage but holding off. This sounds like a good option.

  9. Tyneisha Fondren says:

    Great review! This looks like a very sturdy case, thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Bruce says:

    We are looking for new luggage and your review has sent us looking at eBags.
    Thanks for your thoughts, good and bad on this bag, much appreciated.

  11. Gigi says:

    Yes, please. This is perfect for my next trip.

  12. Allie says:

    I’ve been looking for a reliable double-wheel bag for quite some time! I definitely could have used one like this in London. I think my favorite part of this bag is the lock that is built into the actual bag. Not only is that ideal for hostels, but it keeps everything very minimal! Pretty cool how durable it seems. Best of luck to everyone that has entered this giveaway!

  13. Kristy says:

    Yes please! I need a new suitcase for my trip to Beijing!

  14. Wendy says:

    A new piece of luggage would be great. Something stylish for France!

  15. MARY says:

    Looking for a bag this size for an upcoming trip. Has to be lightweight and sturdy. Haven’t tried a hardside before but I’m open to new ideas.

  16. Rene says:

    I could definitely use a durable suitcase that will survive our Alaska travels!

  17. Jo says:

    Looks good. Please picke me!

  18. Candace says:

    Thanks for a great review! I would like to try it myself.

  19. Karl P says:

    I have been looking for a new bag. This one sounds like a definite possibility.

  20. Jolene Steinhorst says:

    Nice suitcase!

  21. Carol Cockburn says:

    I have always wondered if there was a downside to these bags. It looks to me like the pros outweigh the cons for my travels. Thanks for the very thorough review!

  22. Betty says:

    Have been traveling for years with soft sided luggage and duffel bags. Have been hesitant to try hard sided due to weight. After reading the review, would love to use this on my next trip. Travel internationally 3-4 times a year, so it would get a good work out.

  23. Gina says:

    You’ve given such good info on using the bag, I’m ready to try it.

  24. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for the review…pro and con. I need a new bag for sure, mine has holes.

  25. richard kadash says:

    this bag sounds like a winner I sure could have used to our last euorpe vaction

  26. jackie cope says:

    This bag sounds like a winner and I would love to win one.

  27. Jacob says:

    Please pick me

  28. Jan Davidson says:

    Lightweight luggage is a must these days with prices to check luggage going up. Would love to win this!

  29. Patricia Champ says:

    Love the red color and the outer design. I usually take a 21-22 In. so I can carry on, but this might change my mind.

  30. CK says:

    Looks like a good bag. I’m in the market for a hard sided case.

  31. Nancy James says:

    Sometimes it is nice to just pack ONE suitcase and take off. This suitcase would be perfect!

  32. Pam says:

    Just replaced luggage with another soft side. Couldn’t find hard one I liked. wish I had seen this review earlier

  33. Elisse says:

    I’m a “road warrior”, and good wheels that don’t break are a must! Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. Pat says:

    This looks just the suite case I have been looking for

  35. Pat says:

    This suite case looks just like the one I have been looking for!

  36. burt says:

    in case you wish to know, this suits me just fine!

  37. Kyle says:

    Would love one of these for my next trip, thanks for the opportunity!

  38. Sophie Lindsay says:

    Wow! Never thought about getting a hardback suitcase. You sold me!

  39. Linda says:

    I have been looking for a sturdy suitcase. The airlines are so hard on a bag. Most suitcases last me about 6-12 months. I would love to see if this one would last.

  40. Terry Kong says:

    Thank you for the review. I am looking for a new case to replace my rolling duffle that is worn out.

  41. Charles Dold says:

    Your bag looks great.

  42. Peggy watland says:

    I need one of these!

  43. David McAvoy says:

    Wow! What a bag. And in all those colors too. Sign me up. I want to win one!

  44. Andrew P says:

    This looks like a pretty great bag. Thanks for the contest!

  45. Isabel Menendez says:

    ebags is always the best place to get bags!

    Thank you!!!!

  46. Janette Lawler says:

    Thanks for the information. I’d love to have one of these bags and purple.

  47. Sylvia K says:

    Thanks for the review. I travel alot and am learning how to pack less and pack light as some of the airlines have very restrictive weight and bag limits.
    I have been curious about the suitcases you just reviewed.

  48. Diane Screnci says:

    I’ve been looking for a new bag for a trip to Europe. I’m seriously considering this one, now.

  49. Amanda F says:

    I would love to use this on my 10th wedding anniversary “honeymoon”.

  50. Judi says:

    Would love to give this a try. I think the pros outweigh the cons.

  51. Gary says:

    This looks like a fantastic find !!

  52. Barb says:

    This sounds like a really good suitcase- I am always looking for a better one that handles easier and makes traveling a little less stressful !

  53. MARY H says:

    WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE SOMETHING DURABLE TO HOLD UP THE BAGGAGE HANDLERS AT THE AIRPORT. :)

  54. Melinda says:

    Great review. I am in the market for a new featherlight suitcase. This might work! Thanks again for the review.

  55. Loretta says:

    I’ve recently retired and have started traveling the world. Looking for a bag that will stand up to my new life. This one looks like a winner! Thanks for the great review and a chance to have one to review for myself!

  56. Jeff says:

    Very thorough review. Informative and helpful in the purchase consideration process.

  57. Mary Fortin says:

    Have been shopping for a spinner. Would love to try this one!

  58. linda says:

    Thank you for the thorough review. Looks like a solid suitcase, great for some heavy duty traveling!

  59. Herb Nadler says:

    Great review. A hard casse provides better protection. Weight is great and I would love to have one.

  60. john says:

    I like it and the price is right.

  61. Fritz B says:

    Looks like a nice bag. Want to check their website for similar carry-ons.

  62. Rhonda Zellweger says:

    Your reviews are the best. We have only a couple of days left of our family vacation in celebration of one of the kids graduating from high school. We would like to take that suitcase for a spin on our next adventure. The new graduate likes purple so I know she would claim the new case :-)

  63. Kim E says:

    I am a travel agent and travel a lot. Looking for a new bag that will last. I have had several bags thru the years and it doesn’t matter how expensive they are they don’t seem to last with the way the airlines and cruise lines handle them. Would love to win your bag to give it a try.
    I could give it a good test.

  64. Susan says:

    Would love to have this suitcase? Looks great.

  65. Mary Alice says:

    I could really stand to win this suitcase! I am embarrassed to use what I have (dirty, purple soft-sided case) for an upcoming trip and no budget to replace it. It’s on my wish list!

  66. Tamara says:

    Sounds like a winner! Since my kids decided to move to opposite ends of the country, we travel far more than we used to & need a good sturdy suitcase!

  67. Francis Loncto says:

    This seems to be a really great bag from your review, and I would be proud to own one (even it is purple or yellow).

  68. Lisa says:

    I would love to try this case. Mine is kinda beat up.

  69. Karen Quinn says:

    I could use a new bag. My soft-side ballistic bag is showing signs of wear. I like this spinner feature as well, great for maneuvering.

  70. Robin says:

    Just what I need, since my on last trip, the airline broke the handle and they had duck taped my suitcase together to stay shut. Luckily nothing was missing and they paid me for the damages, but I still haven’t purchased a new suitcase yet.

  71. Annette J says:

    Hi Ashley,
    Thanks for your review. This suitcase looks like a good and sturdy choice. I wonder how much it weighs.
    I’ll have taken a total of sixteen flights by the end of this year, nine down and six international flights to go. The 24 inch Travelpro I bought 9 months ago has already lost a wheel and a zipper pull.
    Please sign me up for the contest!

  72. Pam C says:

    Sounds perfect for upcoming vacations!

  73. Kristi Curry says:

    I need a good piece of luggage that can take a hit!!!! As a frequent traveller and self confessed travel “addict” nothing is more important.

  74. Bill says:

    I’m not crazy about spinners, which can roll on tilted ground, and hard-sided bags are an issue when storage space is limited, but this one has some potential.

  75. Wyncia says:

    I have been envious of the upright, four-wheel suitcases. My back is not as strong as it used to be, and these look much easier. good review. Thanks

  76. B. Christine Boner says:

    Looking for a hard-sided suitcase with spinning wheels to make senior citizens travel easier and this suitcase appears to fit the bill.

  77. Joe Porpiglia says:

    My wife and I are constantly traveling and keep replacing damaged luggage. It would be nice to have a piece of luggage that stands the test of time and airline and cruise ship porters and baggage handlers. Thanks

  78. Ann Daly says:

    I need a new bag and this one looks like a really good, durable bag.

  79. Sarah C says:

    This looks great! My good old suitcase really took a beating on my last trip, so I’m looking for something new!

  80. Rhonda says:

    Great information, thanks for the review. I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I would love to have one of these bags on my next out of town trip.

  81. Gina says:

    I try to travel as light as possible. The mission starts with a light suitcase and this looks like a good option!

  82. Janine Eveler says:

    I would love to win this bag!

  83. Victoria says:

    Good review with the pros and cons. Very detailed and informative.

  84. Victoria says:

    Very informative review with pros and cons. Good detail

  85. alvaro says:

    Thanks for the review. Would love to have this since I do alot of International Travel!

  86. Michela says:

    Have been using Tumi for years. Time for a change to hard sided luggage and RED color. Good review with both pros and cons -seems objective and believable. Thank you

  87. Kaylin S says:

    I’m in the market for a new checked bag as my last one has seen its last days. This would be a good size for me and I already have alot of packing cubes so the lack of inner storage areas wouldn’t be a problem for me. And I really want a spinner as my last bag just had the 2 wheels at the back which was hard to drag and also fell over all the time!

  88. Julie G. says:

    Sounds like a great bag to have for traveling! I would love to have this for my cruise in November.

  89. Dan says:

    I would like a great bag like this for my travels.

  90. Sara says:

    Great review. Looks like the kind of bag I could travel with. My experience with eBags has been great. Looking forward to more experience.

  91. Julia says:

    It’s no e that it comes on colors other than basic black.

  92. toni says:

    Always looking for new and better luggage. Life expectancy for luggage when you travel frequently is always a question.

  93. Tom Longer says:

    The wife is looking for a sturdy bag for our travels. It seems she buys one about every other trip. Will make sure she is aware of yours!

  94. Eric says:

    Purple would sure make the bag easy to spot

  95. Bubby says:

    But yellow would really stand out.

  96. SFoster says:

    This bag looks like a perfect solution to my packing for long trips

  97. Eileen Leonhardt says:

    What a great bag—-good review and very stylish. Wouldn’t I look good taking it to Paris ?????

  98. FayeD says:

    My bag is on its last leg. Could really use a new one. Thank you Independent Traveler for all the great news and tips!

  99. Suki T says:

    I travel between South American and the U.S. frequently and could really use this suitcase!!! It sounds terrific!

  100. Kari Callin says:

    Going to Ireland for 5 weeks, so this luggage would be great for it!

  101. Karen says:

    Hope to do more traveling and this bag would be great. Like that you list “pros” and “cons”.

  102. Bev A says:

    At 7yrs, and still traveling, I could use a good bag with those new spinner wheels. Can’t wait to see if it can hold all my belongings (I am an expert packer. I also love red. I have three trips planned for Oct so wish me luck.

  103. peg macdougalll says:

    I am going on a transatlantic cruise next April & this would be perfect.

  104. peg macdougalll says:

    I am going on a transatlantic cruise next April & would love to win this suitcase.

  105. Sharon Provenzano says:

    I’d love to have a new hard size purple spinner, as my old one has quite a few scratches and not all the features of this new one.

  106. lindac says:

    Can’t wait to use my new piece of luggage on my Christmas Market River Cruise in November/December!

  107. Ann Marie says:

    Great review. I have only known heavy hard sided luggage. Nice that they have lighter weight options on wheels!

  108. Aleta Montgomery says:

    Great review. Sounds like a great suitcase for the traveling we do.

  109. Mary Lou Pakenas says:

    In the process for looking for new luggage. This sounds like a great choice, esp. in purple. Thanks for the info.

  110. M A Berman says:

    Excellent review. While I like to go carryon, sometimes it is just not feasible and a 24″ bag seems to be the most appropriate size for a checked bag. Would love to have a spinner bag that’s hardside with built-in locks. This one looks like a great choice.

  111. Sandy says:

    This hardcover suitcase sounds fantastic! I’ve been looking for a new suitcase that is durable, functional, and easy for a 71 year old lady to handle. All the reviews sound wonderful and definitely fit the bill for my needs. I would love to have one of these in any color.

  112. Lee says:

    I am ready for a new bag, and this one looks wonderful – having one bag to travel all over the world seems great.

  113. Connie dun says:

    I have heard that polycarbonate luggage is the most durable. I would like to try this one out.

  114. Helen Tanner says:

    Purple. Color — check, Wanting to try a hard suitcase (this looks good) – check. Now the built in lock is something I had not thought about — Need to check this out.

  115. pam payton says:

    nice luggage i like the pros and cons my husband could use a new one

  116. MAT says:

    Curious about the durability of the wheels

  117. Bikefoxx says:

    Good review. Looks like a great bag, thanks!

  118. Marie Abrams says:

    is great for rainy places so that your entire contents do not get soaked as has happened with cloth and seems to not crush your contents either

  119. Reggie says:

    This bag with a built in lock seems to solve the problem of not loosing one’s lock. The two handles seem really convenient too.

  120. Brenda Moebius says:

    Excellent review. I like the pros and cons approach. I haven’t tried a hardside luggage yet usually buy cheaper softside because handling abuse in traveling airlines and cruise ships. I love spiiner bags and would like to try a hardise.

  121. Terri Freedman says:

    I liked the review. This suitcase sounds like something durable that I can certainly use for multiple trips. How much does it weigh?

  122. Saveria Garcia-Macri says:

    Thanks for a very concise review of the pluses and minuses for the eBags’ EXO 2.0 24-inch spinner! I would not expect any less from EBAGS, which I love being a customer of the best luggage online store!

  123. valeri gillenwater says:

    Need a new one – Old one worn out from Asia, Europe & cruising!

  124. Leslie Bonner says:

    Looks like a nice solid bag.

  125. Ray says:

    This eBags EXO 2.0 Hardside 24″ Spinner suitcase looks like an excellent choice for international air travel. My wife would love to have one in RED. Will be easy to locate on the Luggage carousel. Thanks for the EXCELLENT REVIEW.

  126. Marcie says:

    I would LOVE to have a RED One. Thanks for the Excellent Review.

  127. Ray says:

    The eBags EXO 2.0 Hardside 24″ Spinner looks like an excellent air travel case where you need to keep it UNDER 50 lbs. Thanks for the EXCELLENT Review.

  128. Joanne says:

    I travel all the time. For Business,personal and this luggage sounds like the PERFECT MATCH FOR ALL MY PACKING!!;-)

  129. Fran says:

    Thank you eBags, for a chance to own a hard sided bag.

  130. Nancy Bane says:

    Great review. I’m always looking for a better bag. I have tried many different bags over 35 years of traveling. Most cannot take the airline handling for long. I would love to find a bag that would last at least 5 years and not be embarrassing to travel with. I have only traveled with one hard sided bag and the corner cracked.

  131. Nancy says:

    Great color! If there is that off chance you have to check in your bag its one that will be easily identified. There is nothing worse or time consuming than trying to collect luggage when all the bags look the same.

  132. Jane says:

    we desperately need new luggage. . . .flying to latin america 3-5 times a year for mission trips have taken a toll on our luggage. we currently have a red set and a blue set – standard colors – but got very bright (white background) duct tape – put on the edges and in an X pattern in case the luggage was put on the carousel lying flight. . . .very easy to find !!!

  133. Linda Conner says:

    My husband and I do not fly but rather travel by train everywhere we can. Checking bags on the train can also cause lots of damage and we have had more than one bag stained, ripped and soaked with oil. This hard sided bag would be great because it seems like it would really hold up! We’d love to give it a try.

  134. Valerie says:

    Your review is perfect timing for me! I just started looking for new luggage, trying to ascertain the pros and cons of hard- and soft- side luggage. I really appreciate your careful considerations of this piece/product. Thank you, very much! I turn to your website first for all things travel . . . you were recommended by a friend . . . Thanks!

  135. sue says:

    I travel a lot and have tried sooo many bags including expensive ones. This sounds like a dream come true – not overly priced, light, maneuverable and spacious. I would love to get one and be able to say that it’s all true!!!

  136. Pat says:

    I like it! My luggage takes a beating from the airlines. It’s time for something new, sturdy, and at the right price — free!

  137. William says:

    Looks like a solid luggage choice for travel.

  138. William says:

    Looks like a solid choice for travel.

  139. Dona says:

    A great looking bag.

  140. Bridget Brecheen says:

    American just destroyed my bag on my last flight. Said they will not replace it even though they ripped half of the front off. Their logic is the suitcase is to protect the contents which it did. Seriously? I would love a new bag for my trip in 5 weeks!

  141. Anthony says:

    That is one flashy bag. Roll up to the plane in style. I love it.

  142. Diane Pirlot says:

    A dependable bag is what I want for a longer trip or a local jaunt!

  143. Diane Pirlot says:

    Thanks!

  144. Tiffany @ ModernDayNomads.com says:

    Great review. I’m in dire need of a luggage makeover and have been price-shopping for a great new spinner bag – in red, no less. This would be the perfect solution!

  145. B. yavitch says:

    I enjoyed the review. Very helpful for a would be purchaser.

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