Priest Lake

High Sierra Elevate 101: Rugged, Roomy, Lightweight

Woman with Luggage

High Sierra asked RFT to put their Elevate EL101 25-inch bag through a REAL TEST™. This bag, made with a high-density internal foam structure, is sleek looking and incredibly lightweight. RFT contributor, Lana Mulder, recently put the Elevate 101 through its paces on a cross country trip.

She writes:
The High Sierra Elevate 25-inch (63.5cm) expandable wheeled upright worked great for me as a checked bag and, because of its featherweight 7.3 pounds (3.3 kilograms), it enabled me to pack extra weight on the return trip without paying over weight fees. Now that’s a real plus!

I packed plenty of clothing and shoes into this bag for a week’s trip to Minnesota. On the way home, I carried four bottles of specialty balsamic vinegars wrapped in bubble wrap – and it all arrived without breaking one. I liked the bag’s capability of expanding for a little more gear or for the wonderful treasures I find along the way.

Luggage with clothes packed

The El 101 was roomy enough for clothes, shoes, and even bottles of balsamic vinegar!

On the inside of the EL 101, there is a large mesh, zipped pocket to keep everything organized and a set of straps to keep clothes in place. High Sierra offers nice extras like an ID holder hidden away in the top front pocket in the event that your outside tag is lost. And it has two front pockets to keep tickets, magazines, and other must-have items handy.

In addition to enjoying the roominess and wonderful light weight of this bag, I really loved the wheels. They rolled easily on smooth ground. The real surprise was when I wheeled the EL101 across a lawn – it rolled steadily and effortlessly.

Baggage Handler Proof

Despite baggage handlers and conveyor belts which can leave bags a little worn looking even after only one trip, the High Sierra Elevate looks as good as new. The corner protectors and the kick plate between the wheel housing really help keep the Elevate looking great. I also liked the feel of the handles at the top and on the side – they’re soft and ergonomic, yet durable. The lightweight pull-up handle worked smoothly and there is even a zipper to cover the handle when you aren’t on-the-go.

Luggage sitting on grass

The EL101 proved itself to be baggage handler proof. It looks great!

Real bottom line: Even if you aren’t looking for a roomy, featherweight bag that you’ll check, this is a nice bag that carries a lot and you’ll enjoy bringing the EL 101 along for all your adventures.

Elevate EL101 Wheeled Upright
Materials: Grid-Weave Duralite,® Mini-Weave Duralite® and Duraweave®
Size: 25.0″ x 15.5″ x 10.50″
Price: $139.99
Weight: 7.3 lbs

—  Real Tested™ by Lana Mulder, RFT Contributor

Lana Mulder

Lana Mulder is a woman of many talents — artist, seamstress, fabulous cook, computer wizard, and world traveler. When she’s not traveling to far-flung places like Africa, Morocco, and Europe, Lana operates a photo memory business, Dragonfly Photo Memory and Organization Services where she helps people organize and preserve their family photographs and other memorabilia. She can be reached at