The Pacsafe EXP34 bag is a BIG bag… a whole 106L worth to be exact. We wanted a bigger bag and a bigger bag is what we got.
If you don’t know yet, we are avid Pacsafe bag users. We have used a number of their products previously including our wonderful little wheelie bags.
So, when I saw that Pacsafe were bringing out a new version of the same model of bags, we had to try one out. Plus with a baby in tow, gone have the days that we can fit everything in to three small carry on bags. We needed a bigger bag and figured we might as well skip over the medium sized bags and go straight for the big boy. The Pacsafe Toursafe EXP34 Anti Theft Large Wheeled Gear Bag.
What a bag! Pacsafe certainly know how to make a bag!
The dimensions of this bag are 86cm x 41cm x 30.4cm with a weight of 5 kilograms which included the locking cable, which we love! Yes, it is quite a heavy bag but with the eXomesh Slashguard mesh in all of the soft side panels, the ToughZip so no one can force the zips open and the hefty lock system the reason for its weight becomes clear.
The bag is divided into two areas. The main compartment has enough room in it for nine of our cubes plus a little more space for Zoe’s pop up tent cot and a few other odds and ends. At a pinch I am pretty sure that I could fit in there.
Along the inside of the long sides of the bag there are mesh pockets for you to store bits and pieces such as spare plastic bags and nappies (diapers), which we can never have enough of. The top of the lid also has a zippered mesh pocket. Of course, that also sometimes holds nappies.
At the front of the bag is another zipper compartment. This only goes halfway down the front of the bag. Inside you will find two zippered mesh pockets as well as a zipper that can also go into the main compartment. Could be handy, but I am not entirely sure what for (even more nappies?).
A little baggy is included that holds a locking cable, which is the better part of one meter in length. Not super long but plenty adequate. The bag coming with a lock could be nice but we had our own and maybe most people would too.
On the outside of the bag is a flap that disguises the locking system and has enough room to hold a jacket or water bottle if need be. There are also straps and clips that can help with compression.
Now, to the locking system. This is quite impressive really. Take out the cable first and put it aside otherwise you will close it all up only to discover that the cable is still inside the bag.
Close up the zips so that the tags are all together at the top of the bag. The zipper tags interlock with each other and are then threaded onto a locking tube gizmo which is then latched. There is a small hole that you fit a padlock through that prevents it from being unlatched.
Loop the cable around some fixed object, put both ends through the padlock and close the padlock.
Finally, close up the flap thing to hide the locking system.
Sounds fiddly but once you have done it a few times it only takes a few seconds. I feel as though Zoe’s sippy cup is safe from wandering hands. And her nappies. Don't forget the nappies.
What do I really like about the Pacsafe Toursafe EXP 34″ Wheeled Gear Bag?
- Extremely tough exterior. This bag has been checked in on three planes so far and has been put in boots of cars and carried up and down flights of stairs. There are no signs of damage so far. It is pristine.
- The locking system is awesome. A little fiddly to get the hang of but I feel like everything is safe inside.
- eXomesh protection. Throughout the whole case, eXomesh can be felt between the fabric layers. This makes it harder for bad people to slice your bag open and take your stuff. The mesh covers all the bag and ends at the zip.
- ToughZip. Apparently with most bags you can open the zips with a pen. You cannot open this bag in this way. Nice!
- Driving capabilities. Once we have all our stuff in it, the bag gets very heavy. 24kg worth. Even at this weight the bag is very easy to drive around.
What don’t I like about the Pacsafe Toursafe 34″ Wheeled Gear Bag?
- The weight. Even before we put anything in the bag it weighs 5kg. It is for good reason but its still rather heavy. You have to be very careful with what you put in it to make sure you stay under the maximum 30kg bag allowance. Some airlines are 20kg!
- The locking system occasionally doesn't cooperate. I don't doubt that it works well from a security point of view but occasionally I, the bag's owner, also find myself struggling to get into the bag. There is a plastic slidey clip at the zip end of the locking bar which we don't use this anymore due to having trouble getting it open.
- The wheels. I really wish there were four wheels instead of two. It would be nice to be able to roll the bag next to me instead of behind me all the time.
This bag is perfect for those people who pack their bag at home, catch a taxi to the airport, roll it in to check it in, collect it at the other end, taxi straight to hotel, roll it into the room, and then do the same on the way back. If you are on a structured trip and will have transport throughout it is great.
It is not the best bag for us unfortunately. We have now had to carry it up and down a few flights of stairs and it is really not suited to it. While Andrew benefits from the exercise we are now looking at replacing the one big bag with two medium sized bags, if only to limit the chance of a back injury.
More luggage. Sigh. But at least Andrew won't wind up with a hernia.