This bag is a big of a monster. The XL, at 130L capacity, is big enough for me and one of my dogs to fit inside. Before you ask, yes I tried!
The heaviest use I’ve given the Barrel is a trip to Alaska and back. Heathrow > Minneapolis > Anchorage on the way out, and Anchorage > Detroit > Minneapolis > Heathrow on the way back. That’s a huge amount of man-handling for any bag to cope with, and this took it in it’s stride. The Tarpaulin 1000D upper and Textreme 6.6 lower fabrics are damn near bombproof and will shrug off any abrasion, scratch and jab as if it were nothing. The carry handles are sturdy yet comfortable even when stuffed with 23kgs of kit, for the lighter loads the rucksack style shoulder straps are great but not advisable for long treks with as the lack of a hip belt becomes evident after a hundred meters or so.
The features are well planned, a large zipped mesh pocket built into the underside of the lid, side pockets, and the zipped external pocket where the shoulder straps store away can easily swallow up more kit if necessary.
A great thing about this Barrel is that it comes in a very visual range of colours which gave no shadow of doubt over which bag belonged to me at the airport. Mine is in the old shade of yellow but the new season has seen the additions of: Lemon, Bamboo Green, Bright Blue and Off White. Just an observation, Off White – although looks nice when new, will never look the same once it’s been used in anger. A popular colour choice for the Japanese market, which hasn’t really caught on in the ‘West’.
Overall a great holdall that’d I’d happily recommend to anyone, a bit pricier than some but the lifelong durability and low maintenance you’ll get from the product are well worth the money. I hope finally have another chance to get away soon so I can take it on another adventure!
Dimensions: 82 x52 x 52 cm