Gear Review: Yeti Crossroads 22” Rolling Luggage Bag and Crossroads 35L Backpack
By Greg Thomas
I was sold on the Yeti Crossroads carryon system before my checked bag went missing at the start of a two-week trip to Alaska last month. Yep, rods, reels, lines, shooting heads, layering system, waders, tube flies, rain jackets, Garmin inRreach Mini, hip pack, pliers . . . you name it, it was in there. Yes, full flask, too.

I mooched enough gear to get by, caught a bunch of fish, and can call the trip a wild success. Still, not having your gear is not having your gear. When fishing northern climes waders and wading boots are a must. And that’s why I decided to pack a bigger bag, with more gear than I probably needed.

I should have thought twice; the lodges I visited offered rental waders and boots and now that I consider things, I easily could have got all of my gear—minus those boots—into the Crossroads 22” and the Crossroads 35 Backpack. The lightweight waders would have fit, too. Did I really need seven pair of underwear and seven pairs of socks? Did I really need two GoreTex rain jackets. Did I really need those pliers when the guides would have them? Did I need to bring two camera bodies when I was traveling with a photographer who would have multiple systems with him? What about every sinking line known to man? And so many shooting heads? Ok, the rods that I’d stashed in my checked bag—three of them—might have been an issue carrying on, but I could’ve stuffed all in an oversized rod tube and taken my chances. Nobody has said a word the hundred times I’ve done that on other flights. Rods in the overhead. Check. Crossroads Luggage in the overhead? Check. Yeti Backpack 35 on my back and then tucked under the seat in front. Check. Done worrying, with a mind now set fully on the fishing experience.

You can use these two Yeti travel items independently, but a sleeve on the back of the pack allows you to slide it over the Crossroads 22”’s telescoping handle. You can waltz through the airport pulling the wheeled luggage and then put the pack on your back when you enter the plane.

Both packs are made of highly durable 700 D “Tuffskin” nylon, which is water and abrasion-resistant. Each piece has multiple handles so you can carry the bags through the airport and situate them in the aircraft in a variety of ways. The Crossroads 22” has a wide clamshell opening and an interior divider with two mesh pockets. The exterior of the bag also offers two quick grab pockets for cell phones, earbuds, keys, etc.

The 35 Backpack is comfortable and carries a lot of gear. It does not have a hip belt but it does have an adjustable sternum strap. The backpack has two side pockets, one that allows quick reach through access to the main compartment, the other perfectly sized for a water bottle. A top pocket is the perfect place to store a cell phone, ear buds and other quick grab items. It comes with a key leash.

The backpack also offers a clamshell opening, making it easy to locate your items. There are two interior sleeves, one for a laptop with elastic bands to hold it in place if the pack tips over. Two mesh pockets are perfect for socks and/or underwear.

For saltwater trips this luggage combo from Yeti is the perfect option. For northern trips, the only thing you might have to leave behind are the boots. If you can rent or borrow boots from the lodge you’re visiting, you’ve go it made.

Yeti Crossroads 22” $450; Yeti 35L Backpack $250

Greg Thomas

Greg Thomas is a well-travelled steelhead fanatic and writes for various outlets, including the New York Times, Outside, Forbes, Big Sky Journal, Field & Stream, etc. He has penned several books on fly fishing, including Fly Fisher’s Guide to Washington and Fly Bible Montana. He lives in Missoula, Montana and owns the website, Anglers Tonic. See more of his work at and on Instagram @anglerstonic.