Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Products
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 13, 11, 2:12 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K, HH Diamond
Posts: 234
ebags Mother Lode or Red Oxx Air Boss?

Does anybody have both?

The Air Boss is 3X the cost ($238 vs. $79). Why is this? Is it that much better? If so, in what ways?

I know that the warranty is better, but as a carry on it is less likely to get damaged than a bag I would check.

How do they compare size wise?

I plan on replacing the strap on either one with a Tom Bihn Absolute Strap.

Thanks!
Materdei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 13, 11, 12:13 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: PWM usually, DCA/IAD this year
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 307
Iíll throw in my two cents. This will get the discussion started, but much has been said about both bags on this forum, so you might complement what is said here with a thorough search.

The Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible and the Red Oxx Air Boss are both wheel-less carry on bags, but the comparison ends there.

The Mother Lode is the maximum carry on size in the US. The Red Oxx is a little smaller (one inch in each dimension). It first in the overhead bins on a CRJ.

They are designed in completely different ways. The Mother Lode packs much more like a roller bag, with one large, main compartment. The Red Oxx features three separate compartments. The Mother Load offers some nice organizational features (e.g., dedicated laptop area) that the Red Oxx lacks.

The Red Oxx is meant to be carried over the shoulder. The Mother Load has backpack straps. (Red Oxx also makes the Sky Train if this is important to you)

The Red Oxx uses a heavy weight coated Cordura nylon. The Mother Lode is a lighter, uncoated fabric.

The Red Oxx uses stainless steel for all connectors. The Mother Load uses plastic.

The Red Oxx uses chain zippers. The Mother Load uses coil zippers.

I could go on, but I hope that this gives an indication of the fact that these are fundamentally different bags...
__________________
Phil from Maine
gbjd1205 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 13, 11, 3:17 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K, HH Diamond
Posts: 234
Thanks gbjd1205,

Rest assured that I've done tons of searching and lots of reading. Everything I read about the Air Boss is positive. Everything I read about the Mother Lode is positive as well.

Nevertheless, the Air Boss is three times as expensive as the Mother Lode, I was wondering what made this the case. I generally believe that you get what you pay for. Since I can't go and physically handle either of these bags, I thought that somebody on the forum might own both and can tell me what makes the Air Boss so much better than the Mother Lode.

Your info is very helpful; it helps to explain the differences in quality. I know that the Air Boss is US made, this is important to me. I suspect the Mother Lode is not US made but don't know for certain.

I don't see that they are fundamentally different, as you describe them, though. They are both similar sized sans wheel carry ons. As I mentioned, I plan on carrying whichever I buy with a shoulder strap.
Materdei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 13, 11, 5:24 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: MCI, or a Delta Jet
Programs: Delta DM!
Posts: 513
I don't have an Air Boss, but I do have the Red Oxx CPA, and I literally cannot remember my travel life before it. It is amazing. Quality, quality, quality. I think I'm going to get an air boss, too.
__________________
love my dl!
travelingsalesgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 14, 11, 9:56 am   #5
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: west of DFW airport
Programs: AA LT Gold 1.8 MM flying my way to LT PLAT
Posts: 10,953
I don't have the Air Boss as that bag is way too big for me and for my needs, but I do have many other Red Oxx bags.

Just returned for a long trip with many situations where my Red Oxx bags were abused.......no damage and no problems.

Red Oxx is made in Montana USA.

For reliability I go with Red Oxx, but when flying I check my tools (not allowed in carry on) in a 25 inch Ebags bag. That bag looks really beaten up now, but the fact that you can order replacement wheels has kept it going.

Red Oxx has a 'they really mean it' lifetime guaranty. Have never needed to try that out.
oldpenny16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 15, 11, 4:19 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
I use the Motherlode Convertible nearly every week. I have admired the Air Boss from afar. As you mentioned both bags have large numbers of fans. I think the bags actually address two different (and overlapping) markets. Where you fall in those groups may be a more important factor than all of the features of either bag.
The Air Boss is a primarily a three compartment bag that has been used as the very definition of Doug Dyment's One Bag. It is less than MLC sized for the user that can adhere to the "less is more" mantra. It presents a much more classic exterior that is very clean and professional (even with the badge that so many seem to find garish). It is remarkably well built, this is luggage that you can pass on to your children. The cost provides exclusivity and the "made in the USA" cachet.
The Motherlode is a significantly different bag, it has two primary compartments that can be expanded well beyond maximum carry on size. This is a much less formal bag that is focused on the mass market and it tries to appeal to a wider group of users. The presence of backpack straps add weight and flexibility. The many features and low price of the bag are designed to appeal to as large a group of customers as possible. The "jack of all trades" design also means it is somewhat heavier and is made from less expensive materials.
The choice is fundamentally one of personal preference. Both bags are wildly successful in the market place and I'm sure you won't be disappointed by either. Of course, you could purchase the Motherlode and return it if it doesn't fit your requirements.
Airport Runner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 15, 11, 4:32 am   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
I use the Motherlode Convertible nearly every week. I have admired the Air Boss from afar. As you mentioned both bags have large numbers of fans. I think the bags actually address two different (and overlapping) markets. Where you fall in those groups may be a more important factor than all of the features of either bag.
The Air Boss is a primarily a three compartment bag that has been used as the very definition of Doug Dyment's One Bag. It is less than MLC sized for the user that can adhere to the "less is more" mantra. It presents a much more classic exterior that is very clean and professional (even with the badge that so many seem to find garish). It is remarkably well built, this is luggage that you can pass on to your children. The cost provides exclusivity and the "made in the USA" cachet.
The Motherlode is a significantly different bag, it has two primary compartments that can be expanded well beyond maximum carry on size. This is a much less formal bag that is focused on the mass market and it tries to appeal to a wider group of users. The presence of backpack straps add weight and flexibility. The many features and low price of the bag are designed to appeal to as large a group of customers as possible. The "jack of all trades" design also means it is somewhat heavier and is made from less expensive materials.
The choice is fundamentally one of personal preference. Both bags are wildly successful in the market place and I'm sure you won't be disappointed by either. Of course, you could purchase the Motherlode and return it if it doesn't fit your requirements.
Airport Runner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 15, 11, 5:08 am   #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Anwhere ex-MAN
Programs: A3 *G, FB ByeBye, BA Gold, SPG Gold, A Club Plat, Hilton Gold.
Posts: 2,317
I use the Motherlode as my "Tech Bag" carry-on when travelling with the family.

Using a number of packing cubes anything electronic we need gets loaded into the bag - laptop, GSM Modem, Mice, Netbook, Kindles, DSi, Wall Warts. Plus travel tickets and all the paperwork you need for a family vacation. Also - books and magazines for the trip for the kids.

I'm a big fan of Ebags and this bag is well made and stands up to a lot of abuse. There's good organisation in the bag, but I would use cubes if putting in clothes. It is also possible to over-stuff the bag, so beware when filling it up for a carry-on.

I personally wouldn't use it as a single bag carry-on: I like my wheels too much and travel with a Mother Lode mini wheeled duffel and an Eastpack messenger bag. For light trips, I stuff the messenger into the duffel.

When with the family, I do use it as a backpack, if I don't have another bag to hang it off. I do, however, have locks when it's on my back.
MAN Pax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 15, 11, 1:38 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Greenwood Village, CO
Programs: UAL, 3x 1k (1MM in 2012)
Posts: 4
Greetings from eBags

Awesome dialog going on here Ė Several coworkers brought this thread (?) to my attention. My name is Bernard Majeau and Iím the guy who designs the eBags products. Iím also the guy in the videos. If you all donít mind, Iíd like to provide some content for everybody interested. Hopefully, thereís not a character limit to postsÖ

Price: We do not manufacture our bags in the USA. They are cut & sewn in southern China (Panyu). I am on-site six times a year, so this is not a disengaged process for us. Since the forum is about product features & functionality, I wonít get into the whole global trade discussion Ė but itís SUPER COMMENDABLE that Red Oxx is building in the USA.

Carrying: Based on tons of consumer feedback, we designed both of our Weekender Convertibles to be hands-free carry-ons first. As a result, weíve put a lot of effort (and build) into the backpack straps. We do include an adjustable/removable shoulder strap on the TLS Weekender Convertible. Itís not as awesome as Tom Bihns.

Packing Strategy: We definitely created it along the lines of a single large packing compartment with a secondary (thinner) forward compartment. For some folks, breaking a bag up into too many compartments creates a ďwhere did I put it?Ē scenario. Weíve also had a lot of feedback about a 50/50 split compartment (ala hard side luggage) being tough to pre-pack in the right proportions. As Airport Runner said, there are Ďdifferent/overlapping marketsí (user styles) & no singularly perfect bag.

Zippers: We use coil zippers for a couple of reasons. 1) Durability (tooth zippers can lose teeth). 2) Smoothness (coils are smoother). Iím also a huge fan of their self-healing feature. We do carefully select the size/gauge to the compartment, and take into account the bursting pressures for over-optimistic packers. Thatís why our external compression straps are from main side seams and surface panels Ė they relieve strain on the zipper coil.

Zipper Security: This group is hopefully aware of the security of a coil zipper. Weíve created a super simple but totally effective way of overcoming concealed theft by not allowing locked zipper sliders to float. Enough said?

Internal Compression: I am exceedingly proud (and humble?) about the internal compression strap system versus the traditional tie-tapes found almost everywhere else. Instead of pinching your gear from the sides (mental picture of an hour glass), our tie-tapes pull across the top and then straight down the side gusset (mental picture of somebody standing on your chest). This supplements the external compression straps.

Fabric: Our exterior fabric is a 900 denier twisted yarn Polyester with TPE backing. Cordura is awesome fabric Ė but our choice of material is pretty darn good too. To correct gbjd1205, ours is coated. Both brands have the coating on the back side of the fabric. Our choice of TPE over PU was not based on durability or cost (TPE costs more). It was based on fabric stiffness (drape). I have a PU-backed TLS Weekender sample and it looks too unkempt. Our high visibility orange interior is fully lined with 210 denier Nylon with a PUx2 backing (2 coatings).

LAPTOP: Letís talk about this! The TLS Weekender has a very discreet fully adjustable (patent pending) laptop sling that doesnít hijack the rest of the bag. I spent a lot of time creating this feature with a keen awareness of its impact on packing space. If you travel with a laptop, youíll want to go to our site and watch the video and animation of how the sling works. Itís pretty cool.

Buckles: We use YKK buckles throughout. They are spectacularly durable and very light weight. Our customers put a lot of emphasis on weight. Just because theyíre plastic doesnít mean they are cheap.
Weight: To lots of people, this subject is truly a can of frogs (worms are easy to wrangle). The TLS weighs 3lbs 15oz with the shoulder strap, waist strap, & sternum strap. But itís also 3,299 cubic inches (unexpanded). For an apples-to-apples comparison, the Air Boss is 3lbs 6.4oz and 2,184 cubic inches. So in all fairness, the TLS is 50% larger (unexpanded) but only 16% heavier.

Warranty: We too have a lifetime warranty. Since creating the brand over 11 years ago, itís always been the cornerstone of our strategy. Being 100% online has both its advantages and challenges. You canít go to a brick & mortar store & touch/feel the product. Our return policy has removed the purchase risk, and the warranty is a statement of our confidence in what we make.

In the end, itís about personal travel/packing style. Everybody needs to assess how they travel, where they travel, what kind of stuff they pack into their bags, how they want to carry their bag, and what price they can afford.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Bernard Majeau
Director, Product Development - eBags
BernardMajeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 16, 11, 12:16 am   #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 109
Welcome to Flyer Talk and appreciate your insights!
quan98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 16, 11, 6:36 am   #11
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K, HH Diamond
Posts: 234
Bernard,

Many thanks for answering my questions so thoroughly. Until you mentioned it, I wasn't aware that you had video demos of your products. Given the fact that you are online only, the video REALLY HELPS in making the buying decision. I just went back and looked at the Mother Lode page on your site specifically looking for the video. I would have bet that it wasn't there, but it is! I've visited this page on multiple occasions and never noticed the video before. You might want to think about asking your developers to make it a more noticeable feature. Just a thought.

Regards,

Materdei
Materdei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 16, 11, 7:08 am   #12
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: BAEC Silver (woo! hoo!), LH M&M Member
Posts: 2,399
Bernard

I'd just like to add my voice to the others. It's great that you took the time to come on here and give an apparently honest appraisal or your, and your competitors' products, with a fairly frank (and not wholly marketing-speak) explanation of the way you do things.

It's much appreciated, and I hope you can take the odd bit of criticism that is bound to come up from time to time.
NeverFirst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 16, 11, 7:51 am   #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Anwhere ex-MAN
Programs: A3 *G, FB ByeBye, BA Gold, SPG Gold, A Club Plat, Hilton Gold.
Posts: 2,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverFirst View Post
Bernard

I'd just like to add my voice to the others. It's great that you took the time to come on here and give an apparently honest appraisal or your, and your competitors' products, with a fairly frank (and not wholly marketing-speak) explanation of the way you do things.

It's much appreciated, and I hope you can take the odd bit of criticism that is bound to come up from time to time.
+1

Welcome and please continue to stick around and post. I'm a big fan of the eBags own brand and am pleased we can now get it via Amazon again in the UK. Hopefully this will work for you and you can start building your inventory so i don't need to ship things to hotels when I'm visiting the US.
MAN Pax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17, 11, 6:39 am   #14
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: PVD, BOS
Programs: 1K, Marriott-Gold
Posts: 73
Every time I use my Red Oxx stuff (Air Boss and Metro briefcase) I appreciate them more and more. The quality is amazing, think something completely over-built and worth every cent. If you are looking for a shoulder bag, Red Oxx, in my opinion, is the way to go. And regarding the higher cost -- sometimes it doesn't pay not to pay! Sorry, i get overzealous about my Red Oxx stuff on occassion...
awp91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17, 11, 8:11 am   #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Programs: Delta, USAir, Marriott, SPG, AmEx
Posts: 112
I have a MotherLode and think it is a great bag. I added a Tom Bihn strap which made a big difference when carrying over the sholder.
BigMoneyGrip is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 5:10 pm.