Outdoorsmen (and women) looking to drop their backpacks have a number of new alternatives for hauling gear into the wild. New personal trailers and roller bags, like the Armadillo and Trailpod, have been popping up in recent years, pulling gear weight off the back and putting it in tow. Zuca adds the new All Terrain, a burly, aluminum-framed roller with large, knobby tires and a hunger for rough, open spaces.
It's not hard to imagine the disaster that would ensue if you tried rolling a traditional wheeled carry-on over anything rougher than a short stretch of driveway gravel between blocks of sidewalk. The wheels would get stuck; the fabric might rip; and you could quickly end up with your clothes strewn all over the forest floor.
Zuca, a California-based carry-all and accessories company with more than a decade in the market, has determined to give outdoor enthusiasts a carry-on-style bag that not only holds up to the outdoors but lives and breathes outdoor adventure. The company aims its new All Terrain gear roller at campers, anglers, climbers, disc golfers, beach goers and backcountry skiers, as well as globetrotting adventurers.
In place of small skate wheels, the All Terrain rides on large, all-terrain pneumatic tires set on a 22-in (56 cm) track. To make those big wheels easier to deal with during transport and storage, Zuca includes a quick-release system for removal. Zuca says that the tires are ready for "any terrain," but we think you'd probably prefer to stick with the traditional backpack in deep sand, sticky mud, thorny brush or drifted snow.
The All Terrain's rugged construction extends up from the wheels, where an aluminum alloy frame hugs the removable, water-resistant 1000D polyester bag. The frame is designed to support up to 300 lb (136 kg) and doubles as a seat or small workbench when the wheels come to a stop. The telescoping grab handle makes the whole thing comfortable to pull, and two integrated adjustable cupholders keep your beverages snug.
The All Terrain measures 23.5 x 22 x 19 in (60 x 56 x 48 cm, H x W x D) with the wheels on, handle down. The handle extends that height up to 51 in (130 cm). Zuca lists the weight of the whole package (frame and fabric bag) at 13.5 lb (6.1 kg). It does not meet FAA regulations for carry-on bags.
Zuca showed the All Terrain at last week's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. All Terrain models are available now at specialty retailers and on Zuca's website for US$275. Zuca plans to expand the line with activity-specific models like the $295 All Terrain Disc Golf Cart, which includes storage inserts specifically for disc golf.