Product Testing: MLC and Overhead Shed
We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs, our Customer Service staff gets busy ground-truthing the latest offerings. They know the questions our customers will be asking, and turn that attention to our gear.
Product Report –
I recently tested a couple pieces of Patagonia luggage on Friday, April 13th,an excellentday for air travel. I commenced packing the night before since my flight was due to leave at the crack of dawn the following morning. I was only going for an extended 3-day weekend and the weather in Park City was supposedly "lovely" so I didn’t need to bring much. I decided on the MLC bag and the Overhead Shed.
I was hoping to carry everything on, but alas my contact solution,shampoo and multitude of wrinkle reducing creams didn’t allow suchminimalism. I decided I’d shove as much as possible into the OverheadShed and go light with the MLC as my carry on. I had to bring alongsome oddly shaped items as I was attending a baby shower, and had cargothat included 50 pink paper plates and cups as well as an odd shapedparcel containing a bottle disinfector, a thrilling gift for anyexpectant mother.
I extricated my cat from within the Overhead Shed—where he had decided to sleep for the evening—and began packing. I was able to fit a pair of shoes, the aforementioned odd shaped gift and plates and a couple of light clothing items before I realized the bag was pretty much full. The size and shape of the Overhead Shed make it a pain to pack. You have to be sure that you unsnap the side flaps to access as much space as possible and anything odd shaped does not pack well into the curved shaped of the bag. There isn’t a lot of give in the external fabric. The Overhead Shed is nice if all you pack are soft clothing items and not many of them.
The MLC on the other hand was a breath of fresh air after packing the Overhead Shed. It opened up completely giving me free access to the entire bag. I was able to stuff all of my clothes easily into the bag and found the external organizer pockets a handy place for wallet, cell phone and ticket. The shoulder strap was comfortable and distributed the weight of the bag nicely. I did find the bag a bit ungainly when trying to make it down the aisle of an aircraft without whacking anyone in the face, but that could be alleviated with a better packing job. There is also a handy mesh pouch inside the bag that doubles as a compression strap for those trips when you bring back more than you left with.
I checked the Overhead Shed and did have some difficulty with the handle. I had to give it a swift smack to get the handle down and when I picked it up from baggage claim the handle had come completely undone.
Overall, the MLC is a great travel piece for quick trips. The Overhead Shed is nice if you have a heavier load as it has wheels, but I think it may be better suited as a cat bed for the time being.