Traveling is cool, but most travel gear really isn’t. Cramming your stuff into a cheap suitcase inevitably leads to disaster when that thing bursts open at the airport or on the plane. Rolling luggage is stymied by curbs and stairs; having to hand carry your supposedly wheeled bag quickly loses its luster. Luckily Triple Aught Design, a longstanding name in outdoor apparel and nylon gear, has released the Meridian Transport Case in order to ease your travel woes. The Meridian is expensive at $425, but it may be the last travel bag you’ll ever buy.
Probably the most immediate thought when looking at the Meridian is how unassuming the bag looks. There’s no exterior PALS webbing or overly large velcro fields. There’s not even a company logo on the outside. It only comes in black. The only thing that might out the Meridian as more than just a black bag with a shoulder strap are the AustriAlpin Cobra buckles that connect said strap to the bag; those familiar with tactical gear will recognizes the Cobra buckles from gun belts and other load-bearing gear.
But the innocuous exterior belies the rugged construction Triple Aught Design is known for. The VX-21 ripstop shell consists of lightweight 200 denier nylon that’s treated with a waterproof coating, ensuring that your stuff stays dry. The carrying strap consists of neoprene and elastic webbing that’s comfortable to shoulder even with a lot of weight in the bag. The Meridian features a clamshell design, with two outer compartments and one main one that opens wide when unzipped. The outer section offers around 477.50 cubic inches of space, while the center compartment features 1365 cubic inches. Thirty-eight liters of volume is comparable to some military and hiking packs, giving the Meridian a truly impressive carrying capacity. The lightweight and flexible constructions means the bag compress nicely, and that you’ll be able to stuff the Meridian into an airline overhead bin.
On either side of the bag are a slip pocket and a dual zippered, pass-through pocket. One of the pass-through pockets features a hidden “admin” compartment, perfect for carrying a passport, travel documents, or other vital personal items close to the body. This is a smart feature, ideal for those traveling abroad or skittish about losing a passport.
All these elements would make for a solid travel-oriented bag. But where the Meridian goes beyond can be found inside the bag’s three storage sections. In each are several Helix anchor points constructed of durable Hypalon synthetic rubber. Using Duraflex “siamese slik” clips, these Helix anchors can mount a varied line of packing cubes, pouches, and panels offered by Triple Aught Design. More than just a suitcase, the Meridian can fill all sorts of roles. The standard transport cubes work great for keeping clothes folded and organized, or for managing spare kit that often is strewn about in a loadout bag.The padded protector case is ideal for professional with expensive gear to keep safe, like cameras, weapon optics, or night vision. Panels of PALS webbing and velcro are ideal for a range bag setup, giving plenty of space for magazine pouches, loose ammo containers, maintenance tools, and first aid. In a pinch, you could even fit a short-barreled AR-15 in the center compartment if you separate the upper and lower receivers. The standard Duraflex clips make it simple to modify other tactical nylon to mount inside the Meridian if Triple Aught Design doesn’t offer what you’re looking for.
The modular capabilities of the Meridian Transport Case ensure it can be configured to suit most anyone’s needs. The discreet styling ensures that the bag doesn’t scream “tactical” or “expensive stuff here.” The durable construction comes at a high price that may be overkill for some, but the Meridian is the final word for hardcore road warriors, traveling gunfighters, and those racking up the frequent flyer miles.