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New Patagonia MLC

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Old Jan 24, 14, 6:26 pm
  #1
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New Patagonia MLC

My favorite bag of all time is a Patagonia ELC ("Extended Legal Carryon"). It is like the original full-size MLC but a bit longer. I don't know why I bought that over the MLC (didn't know better back then?). I like the bag a lot but it is too long, particularly nowadays when GAs are much stricter.

Over the years wanted to buy an MLC but that bag has shrunk considerably -- definitely not 22x14x9 any longer but instead 20.5x12x7.

Well they recently introduced the Transport MLC (45L), which seems to be 22x[14]x9. [Edit: Found the specs. Is it really 16"? That doesn't make much sense.]

It is lightweight but also seems to be well organized and practical (multiple compartments, back straps, sleeve for computer, etc. )

Has anyone tried it? Looks great. Perhaps not as solidly constructed as my trusty ELC, maybe will better fit the sizers and should be lighter weight.

Last edited by TravlnD; Jan 24, 14 at 7:08 pm Reason: new info
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Old Jan 30, 14, 11:59 am
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So I've got a new Transport MLC 45 on order. I'm hoping that the width dimension will be 14 rather than 16 as like you pointed out, that would make no sense.

I chose this over the older design for 2 reasons.
1. It is available online in black (the other is hard to find in black)
2. This version includes a passthough on the back for roller bag handles. In case I decide to let it ride on my B&R U116 Wheeled tote.

We'll see how it is. I do love the way the laptop pocket on both versions of the MLC is arranged by the backpack straps, rather than in the middle of the bag like on a tri-star or Airboss.

Originally Posted by TravlnD View Post
My favorite bag of all time is a Patagonia ELC ("Extended Legal Carryon"). It is like the original full-size MLC but a bit longer. I don't know why I bought that over the MLC (didn't know better back then?). I like the bag a lot but it is too long, particularly nowadays when GAs are much stricter.

Over the years wanted to buy an MLC but that bag has shrunk considerably -- definitely not 22x14x9 any longer but instead 20.5x12x7.

Well they recently introduced the Transport MLC (45L), which seems to be 22x[14]x9. [Edit: Found the specs. Is it really 16"? That doesn't make much sense.]

It is lightweight but also seems to be well organized and practical (multiple compartments, back straps, sleeve for computer, etc. )

Has anyone tried it? Looks great. Perhaps not as solidly constructed as my trusty ELC, maybe will better fit the sizers and should be lighter weight.
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Old Jan 30, 14, 2:21 pm
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Let me know how it works out. I don't trust Patagonia's specs much since they show the same volume for the 2 bags but considerably larger dimensions on the Transport.

The organization looks like a big plus for the bag. Have not tried in person but looks very practical.

While I would expect to mostly carry on shoulder, I like option to also either put on back OR slide over the handles of my wife's roller if I travel with her. (I'll take both; don't expect my wife to carry mine! She will NEVER give up wheels). I don't know of any others that provide the flexibility. Not Tom Bihn, Red Oxx, Eagle Creek, etc.

Last edited by TravlnD; Jan 30, 14 at 2:28 pm
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Old Jan 30, 14, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by TravlnD View Post
Let me know how it works out. I don't trust Patagonia's specs much since they show the same volume for the 2 bags but considerably larger dimensions on the Transport.

The organization looks like a big plus for the bag. Have not tried in person but looks very practical.

While I would expect to mostly carry on shoulder, I like option to also either put on back OR slide over the handles of my wife's roller if I travel with her. (I'll take both; don't expect my wife to carry mine! She will NEVER give up wheels). I don't know of any others that provide the flexibility. Not Tom Bihn, Red Oxx, Eagle Creek, etc.
When I travel with my wife, I sometimes will take advantage of her wheels to carry my shoulder bag. With my Tom Bihn and RedOxx bags, I've not had a good solution for riding up top, so I generally attach via the add a bag strap.

However thanks to this forum's "TheGasGuru" I also have a B&R U116 wheeled cabin tote that I can use for those trips where I just have to have wheels myself. In the past I've just balanced my Tom Bihn or RedOxx on the relatively flat part of that...or even secured it using Carabiners etc.. but inevitably the bag still flies off. I'm hoping the quality/dimensions on the new Patagonia, coupled with the pass-through will make this a better bag for this type of situation.
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Old Jan 30, 14, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by TravlnD View Post
While I would expect to mostly carry on shoulder, I like option to also either put on back OR slide over the handles of my wife's roller if I travel with her. (I'll take both; don't expect my wife to carry mine! She will NEVER give up wheels). I don't know of any others that provide the flexibility. Not Tom Bihn, Red Oxx, Eagle Creek, etc.
The Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender has pass through, backpack strap, removable shoulder strap option. My wishlist for the bag: move the zip so the center is a larger main compartment and reduce the weight.
http://shop.eaglecreek.com/ec-advent...g/d/1200_c_111
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Old Jan 30, 14, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
The Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender has pass through, backpack strap, removable shoulder strap option. My wishlist for the bag: move the zip so the center is a larger main compartment and reduce the weight.
http://shop.eaglecreek.com/ec-advent...g/d/1200_c_111
Wow, that one is close to being perfect, except I wish it had a back panel (between main compartment and backpack straps) laptop area.
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Old Jan 31, 14, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
Wow, that one is close to being perfect, except I wish it had a back panel (between main compartment and backpack straps) laptop area.
On my wish list
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Old Jan 31, 14, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
The Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender has pass through, backpack strap, removable shoulder strap option. My wishlist for the bag: move the zip so the center is a larger main compartment and reduce the weight.
http://shop.eaglecreek.com/ec-advent...g/d/1200_c_111
Nice. I once suggested to Tom Bihn that they add a sleeve to the Western Flyer, etc. so it could be used either way. Was told they would pass on to their "research dept". I couldn't understand why for the WF had to choose between backpack or roller.
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Old Feb 1, 14, 3:19 pm
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Well, the new Patagonia Transport MLC just arrived in the mail. I've unpacked it and given it a first look-through.

Looks: I got the bag in black, and must say it looks really sharp/professional. I don't think a gate agent would give this a second look, and this bag would fit right into any Client Boardroom if necessary.

Materials:
The "Polyester Twill" material the bag is made of is very different than the Cordura and Ballistic Nylon most of my other bags are made of. The material is very soft and pliable. It has a much softer surface feel if that makes sense. It is the kind of material I'd imagine might stain or absorb water quicker than the ballistic. I'm glad I got it in black. Actual use will tell how it turns out, again, this is just my gut feeling without having used it.

The Zippers are YKK throughout, with a very beefy #10 YKK for the main compartment!

Size:
I doubt the 22x16x9 dimensions quoted on the site. The bag honestly looks like it is 22x14x9 exactly (though I haven't fully packed it yet). Standing it up next to my Ebags Mother Lode Convertible Weekender (unexpanded) the bags look to be nearly identical in size.

Weight: This bag is markedly lighter than the Ebags Mother Lode Weekender Convertible. The flexible material actually allowed the seller to jam the bag into a flat priority mail (fedex express style) box. by folding.

Straps:
As is common with these bags, the Shoulder strap included is serviceable, but will be replaced immediately with a Tom Bihn Absolute strap.
The backpack straps look to be of a nearly identical design to the motherlode, except where they attach to the bag at the bottom. They attach via a buckle rather than a hook. Unfortunately those backpack attachment buckles don't seem to stow or hide in any way.


Organization:
As indicated on the website, the main compartment is huge and accounts for most of the volume of the bag. The main pocked doesn't have tie-downs, but has a mesh cover which should act well to keep things in place. This bag seems best suited for use with Packing Folders or Packing cubes.
The main compartment also features a nice lid compartment with additional organization pockets.

Aside from the main compartment and the backpack strap stowage, the bag features 2 more pockets, both of which take zero space when not in use. In the back by the backpack straps is a padded laptop compartment, which serves to protect a laptop and also cushion your back (in backpack mode). The front of the bag has a full size (easy to access) compartment for storing nicknacks/electronics and papers. Quite nice.


The bag has a few more features, but in this first look I'm not going to describe it all. I'll make and post a youtube video as soon as I get a chance.

Last edited by LordHamster; Feb 2, 14 at 8:07 pm
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Old Feb 2, 14, 9:15 am
  #10
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post
Wow, that one is close to being perfect, except I wish it had a back panel (between main compartment and backpack straps) laptop area.
There's a full width zippered panel (with lockable zippers) behind the front organizational panel that can fit laptops and a document or two. No dedicated padded laptop area, but that just adds additional weight and takes up too much space. I use a neoprene case for my laptop and regularly switch bags so a simple slip pocket that can double as a laptop pocket is preferable for me. Alternately, if packing with cubes and few bulky items, the area between the 2 halves of the bag can be use to slip a laptop in. The area being in one of the farthest pockets from the backpack straps does throw the balance of the bag off a little unless one packs strategically by putting heavier items and denser items in the half of the bag that is closest to the back.


Originally Posted by TravlnD View Post
Nice. I once suggested to Tom Bihn that they add a sleeve to the Western Flyer, etc. so it could be used either way. Was told they would pass on to their "research dept". I couldn't understand why for the WF had to choose between backpack or roller.
+1 Did the same and was surprised that they chose to go either-or instead of backpack straps + sleeve.
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Old Feb 2, 14, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by LordHamster View Post

Weight: This bag is markedly lighter than the Webags Mother Lode. The flexible material actually allowed the seller to jam the bag into a flat priority mail (fedex express style) box. by folding.
Great report. I noticed eagle creek [2 lbs 9 oz / 1.16 kg]is lighter than the MLC [1431 g (3 lbs 2 oz)], surprised at the differential given the fabric, etc.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 3:20 am
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For what it's worth I've noticed that an Eagle Creek 18" Packing Folder fits perfectly into the zippered "laptop compartment" in the rear of the MLC. (Personally I think it's way too big to be used as an actual laptop compartment unless you have a gigantic laptop.)

But sticking a packing folder in there works brilliantly. You can pack the main compartment with plenty of space to work with while the laptop compartment is empty, zip the main compartment shut, and then slide the packing folder in at the end.

Stick a few packing cubes in the main compartment and you have a nicely organized bag that is very easy to pack. (I like the Eagle Creek Specter Cubes and Folders because they are super lightweight.)
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Old Feb 3, 14, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by NoDamage View Post
For what it's worth I've noticed that an Eagle Creek 18" Packing Folder fits perfectly into the zippered "laptop compartment" in the rear of the MLC. (Personally I think it's way too big to be used as an actual laptop compartment unless you have a gigantic laptop.)

But sticking a packing folder in there works brilliantly. You can pack the main compartment with plenty of space to work with while the laptop compartment is empty, zip the main compartment shut, and then slide the packing folder in at the end.

Stick a few packing cubes in the main compartment and you have a nicely organized bag that is very easy to pack. (I like the Eagle Creek Specter Cubes and Folders because they are super lightweight.)
Yeah, the compartment seems to be huge. But I will say, that I'm a fan of the location. IMO on a bag meant to be worn as a backpack, you want the padded laptop compartment to be as close to the backpack straps as possible.
I absolutely do NOT want to have to carry the laptop on the outside (non-body) side, because of the weight distribution issues.

That is one of the reasons I like the EBags MotherLode and Goruck Gr1/Gr2 setup which the laptop right behind the backpack straps.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 9:02 am
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is this bad form to post? : ive got an ORIGINAL design new-old-stock MLC in green. has original tags and etc.

dont use it at all. i know these are somewhat elusive to find so just PM me if you want
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Old Feb 6, 14, 8:57 am
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Well, I've not had time to do my video review, but I will post one gripe.

The Passthrough sleeve: The sleeve for passing your rollerbag handle through is open on top, and zippered on the bottom. The sleeve is lined with gray material which contrasts to the black of the rest of my bag. When the bag is at rest, the pocket formed by the sleeve gapes open and exposes the grey interior. It gives an otherwise slick bag a somewhat sloppy look. I wish they had added a zipper to both ends of this pocket.
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