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tidewaterreview.com

A morphing carry-on

By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers

January 8, 2014

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Name: Eagle Creek Morphus 22

What it is: a 22-inch hybrid carry-on with a gear bag that can zip off the top so Morphus can split into two bags. Morphus features a durable, water-resistant fabric, a three-ply polycarbonate back shell and two durable wheels. The zip-off gear bag has organizer pockets, a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve, a padded tablet sleeve and room for a camera. It can be carried as a shoulder bag or a backpack depending on which hidden straps are attached. The suitcase lining in the main compartment unzips to morph into the second bag's exterior, and two metal stays create the interior structure of the transformed bag. Morphus weighs less than 8 pounds when carried as a single bag.

The good: I fell for Morphus 22 the first time it morphed. I love having a suitcase that is willing to change at my whim. On a cruise in a stateroom with limited space, the compact bag slid easily under my bed. When I needed to transform the bag into one I could check to fly home with souvenirs, Morphus unzipped into a carry-on backpack and a rolling bag. The finger pulls on the self-repairing zippers make the bag easy to close, and exterior and interior compression straps help me fit more inside whether Morphus is one bag or two. The bag's durable construction makes it easy to use as either a carry-on or a checked bag.

The bad: I wish the wheels were omni-directional so Morphus could be rolled sideways down a plane aisle. When carrying the zip-off gear bag as a backpack, I long for an exterior water bottle pocket

Cost: $395

Available from: shop.eaglecreek.com, amazon.com, ebags.com and luggagebase.com.