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Tough Lightweight Smart TLS truly defines the Mother Lode series. We've completely re-designed our best selling wheeled duffels and added new features and innovative functionality and performance without added weight. If you're looking for outstanding design, style, and function, you'll find it in the TLS Mother Lode series.
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 21.5 x 15 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.76 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- ASIN: B001N85VMK
- Item model number: M125538
- Date first available at Amazon.com: December 7, 2008
- Average Customer Review:
Top customer reviews
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I ended up ordering a few bag in different sizes so I could make my own comparison. Here's what I learned:
Handle on short end: TLS stronger, retractable -- eTech 2.0 much more comfortable.
Handle on front surface: etech centered, TLS close to top - TLS better for lifting into a trunk, but etech better for general carrying, especially in a carryon size. (In the larger size, people have reported strap latch failures on the etech series).
Retractable metal pull handle -- TLS seems a bit more solid, but I don't think it's a big difference.
Overall construction - TLS definitely more rugged - heavier material and semi-solid botton and back. If you're checking your bags, this is a distinct advantage. For carryon size, maybe lighter is better.
Access while rolling: TLS has an extra slit pocket on side, and the top opening opens flap down - better if you need to grab something at the airport without everything coming out. On the other hand, the etech has a bigger top opening - the TLS one felt too small for serious access - you'd really need to unzip from inside. (In the 25" TLS, the opening is much better in size, while retaining the better orientation).
Inside mesh compartment: TLS has it split in two, etech has one larger one. In carryon size (21"), the two TLS ones feel too small - but in the 25" size, they work better.
Distribution of storage:
The etech splits space between top and bottom fairly evenly. The TLS has much more in the bottom and the expander is also on the bottom - so you're going to see this as a conventional suitcase with an extra smallish-compartment up top - rather than two distinct areas. However - in the 25" TLS the compartments work much better.
The TLS has the expansion ability - but in the carryon size - I'm not sure this is so valuable. In the larger size, this feels more important, as you're going to check this bag if you fly. Similarly - the compression straps (TLS only) don't seem as useful in the small TLS as they would in the 25" model.
Strap for carrying another bag in front - TLS only.
Wheels: TLS has larger ones, but the etech 2.0 has much quieter and smoother ones. On pavement, the etech was considerably quieter.
Internal structure: I like the wings on the etch 2.0 better than the fiberglass rods on the TLS. In addition, the position of these rods on the 21" TLS doesn't seem quite right - but much better on the 25".
Carrying handle: NEITHER of these bags has a handle on the long side - which you really need if you have to carry your bag up/down a flight of stairs. This seems like a really big omission, particularly in a 25" or larger bag. You can't always count on an elevator or working escalator.
Overall: in the carryon 21" size, I like the etech 2.0 much better . The TLS seems to work better in a 25" size, and its construction is more important in a bag that will get checked, or dragged up and down stairs since it lacks the side handle.
When I travel for vacation, I roll my clothes and can easily get 10+ days of clean changes of clothes into this bag. Its compartments allow me to remain super organized to boot. Its soft sides are great for smaller aircraft luggage holds.
I'm about to try out the lifetime guarantee now as one of the zippers busted a little bit ago and I don't want to throw out the whole bag over a broken zipper. Will let you know how that goes. All in all, this is the best bag I've ever owned and would very much hate to part with it.
Most recent customer reviews
Seam came apart and wouldn’t honor lifetime warranty.
Hours on phone. Look elsewhere.