As a destination climber, I am always looking for the most efficient way to lug my gear and everything and anything else I may need. I have dabbled with a handful of base camp bags and based on what I really liked and wished what I had, I decided to test out a base camp bag with wheels, plenty of compartments, but still a large middle compartment, a top compartment for my helmet and shoes, and lots of stuff outside for rigging and so on. Well then I wondered if I would find such a bag that met almost all the items on my list. After researching, I found my beast of a bag, the REI Wheely Beast Wheeled Duffel.
Note that I have the largest one which is 35 x 16 x 14”, but there are smaller sizes.
Here is the good stuff I love about this bag
- Top Separate Compartment – There is a top compartment where I can fit my helmet, climbing shoes, beanies (cause I am a beanie addict) and toiletries.
- Middle Larger Compartment – Because it is a duffle material (flexible), I can fit my stick clip (I use an adjustable paint brush poll that is about 34” long when compact), my crag pack with all my gear, harness, climbing clothes, going out clothes, nighty night clothes, approach shoes, going out shoes, guide books, food (I travel smart!) and more!
- Lots of Small Zipped Pockets – There are several zipped pockets inside (I put my socks, etc.) and outside for stashing away plenty of smaller stuff.
- Durable Fabric – It is ballistic nylon which is a typical material used for luggages. So far, I have been around the world with this duffel and no damage AT ALL and wear would be considered excellent shape.
- Handles – You do not just have an adjustable handle to pull as a luggage, but there are padded handles on each end and the middle for tossing around. I need this when I take that Renfre train from one side Spain to the other!
- Compression Straps – I thought I would not like these, but there are compression staps that go from one side to the other, and suprisingly, I love them! It really compresses the bag and keeps it stable.
- Durable Wheels – For a luggage, the wheels are big and durable. I have dragged these through so many uneven sidewalks in other countries with ease, so this is critical for me as sometimes I travel solo (no or little help to drag stuff around) to meet my climbing partners.
- Put stuff on top baby! – Use your imagination, when you roll this bag it does not sit upright, but rather tilted just enough to put something on top where it will not slide off, seriously. If through uneven terrain, I strap the extra thing using the many cool gear loops on the bag. I get creative dragging my gear around so this is cool because I do not have to pay for a cart, just use my beast of a rolling duffel!
Here is the “I wish this could be better”
- You need to go on a diet Mr. Wheely Beast Duffel! – The only challenge this bag has for a world outdoor traveler like me is it weighs about 10-11 lbs! Yes, that means it is durable, but also that means you reduce the amount you can pack or you might go over the 50 lb limit airlines have before they make you pay for overweight luggage.
So overall, this bag is pretty much my best friend, it goes everywhere with me for climbing trips. However, I cannot give it a perfect 10 because of its weight. I get away with bloody murder and Delta Airlines never charges me for going way over, but for those that may not have this luck, packing 10 -15 less lbs can make a difference when it comes to gear. For me, it is totally worth it and I highly recommend using it and just learn how to become the most efficient packer ever! Below see the slide show of the real person pics vs. professional website pics.
Thanks REI for producing an awesome and durable product for DorisTheExploris, oh sorry, for all of us sporty travelers!