I was walking through an airport and caught a glimpse of the FŪL Crosby ($240) out of the corner of my eye. To be honest, I caught a glimpse of the Crosby more than once. I have an affinity for small bags. I travel a lot and I hate carrying stuff. I usually wear a SCOTTeVEST. And I wear it for one of its primary value propositions: being an extra carry-on.
And that means I have a carry-on to compliment my SCOTTeVEST. And lately that carryon is the FŪL Crosby. The Crosby however, isn’t really a carry-on; it’s designed as an underseater. At 16.5” the Crosby fits well under most seats. But I wasn’t really interested in the Crosby for its underseat prowess.
See, I have a 34-inch inseam, so all but my smallest items will routinely stow in the overhead until the airlines bring back some sort comfort recognition.
This review, however, isn’t about poor airline customer experiences, it’s about a bag that let’s me carry just the right stuff for a day or two on the road.
What I like about the FŪL Crosby
This diminutive two-wheeled roller packs a lot of packing into its 16.5in x 12in x 8in frame.
A fairly spacious, fully lined inner compartment (no exposed handle covers) hold a good day-plus worth of basic clothing. TSA Precheck? A zippered toiletries area will hold a 3-1-1 baggy and keep it handy, even if it doesn’t need to be removed. Even TSA Precheck fliers occasionally face a worn 3-1-1 baggy and a loose screw top on a hotel conditioner. Place the baggy in the wet-dry compartment—and keep your clothes dry. This compartment can also stash the occasional wet bathing suit.
Below the wet-dry compartment, a mesh area sits ready to hold a variety, well, stuff. I infuse the mesh panel with cables and other tiny tech things, from headphones to USB sticks.
The FŪL Crosby lets me travel efficiently with just the right stuff.
The outer sides of the Crosby sport two zippered compartments ready-built for shoes. They intrude on the inner compartment, so it’s necessary to consider what goes where. I don’t put in shoes into these side pouches. I use them to hold my wallet and keys, money clip, gum and lip moisturizer. Yep, I empty my pockets into them. I have also used them for holding my MacBook’s charging block and cord.
The front of the case takes the Crosby to the next level. Zippered compartments hold some essentials, like a phone when going through security. Then there is a bigger zippered compartment, that holds a tablet, pens and some other what-nots, like spare batteries, a small mouse. This would also be a good place to keep passports and credit cards as this compartment shields against RFID. Unzip one more layer and the bag unveils a compartment big enough to contain a 15-inch computer.
Many small bags feel small when they are being totted around. The multi-stage telescoping handle doesn’t even make my 6’ 4” inch frame bend. And the gel handle keeps long airport strolls comfortable. Traveling with a larger roller bag? The Crosby even comes with a docking strap for stacking.
The FŪL Crosby comes with a 5-year warranty. I have owned a few FŪL bags over the years, and I still have them. The Sidecar Shoulder Messenger Bag stays in regular rotation as the day-to-day bag for my iPad Pro 10.5. The construction, from the heavy wheels to the heavy plastic reinforced edges tells me this bag that will live in my collection for a long time.
What would improve the FŪL Crosby?
The Crosby only maneuvers around on two wheels. Four wheels would be better, especially if other bags, like a bigger checked bag, is part of the travel repertoire. But four wheels would change the design, making it taller. Two wheels tucked in also feel like a sturdier choice for a bag this size.
The only real negative comes in the balance of the bag when fully loaded. I have used the Crosby on two trips where I loaded it to near maximum capacity. In that configuration, with the tablet and the laptop felling the effects of gravity, the Crosby easily falls forward. There may not be a solution to this problem when taking into account weight and size.
The final pack out
FŪL has done a great job with the Crosby. It represents the ultimate in compact travel design. Constraints often drive creativity. The Crosby forces decisions about what to take on a trip, but they are decisions most people need to make anyway. A bigger bag just means taking more stuff that likely won’t be touched, let alone used.
Can you travel to Europe for a couple of weeks with just the Crosby? Not a chance. Can the Crosby be the bag you get to know on every trip?—Can the Crosby be the bag that you use to design your travel storage strategy? Absolutely.
There is a reason you catch the FŪL Crosby out of the corner of your eye at airports. It’s there because it meets the needs of travelers trying to take complicated lives on the road in the most efficient way possible.
The Crosby is often discounted online so if you are intrigued, shop around a bit before buying one. For those who shop Amazon, a follow the link below:
The FŪL Crosby was provided by FŪL for review purposes.
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