Any Airstream afficiando knows that there have been a number of co-branded Airstream. Brands that have been cast in Airstream form Victorinox, NASA and Design Within Reach, Mini Cooper and Mercedes Benz. The most popular co-branded Airstream right now, however, has to be the Eddie Bauer Airstream and four Airstream bloggers have been kind enough to offer their insights about it. While Airstream collaborations are often met with skepticism, each has found features they like. But are the features good enough to spend $75,000 for? Read on to see.
First, here are some pictures of the Eddie Bauer Airstream so you can see what everyone is talking about:
Opinion #1: Kristiana Spaulding, Silver Trailer, Designer of Airstream Jewelry and Airstream Interiors
What a wonderful collaboration of two companies that have had real staying power -- Airstream and Eddie Bauer.
The Eddie Bauer Airstream incorporates both brands seamlessly -- the classic lines of the Airstream with the outdoorsy palette, signature Eddie Bauer quilted fabric and stylish durability. It’s a beautiful blend of adventure and comfort in one.
Having traveled over twenty thousand miles with my dog, I’ve designed a lot of my Airstreams with my canine co-pilot in mind. I‘m particularly pleased to see that this trailer has considered the pet owner- with the outdoor hardware for the dog lead and outdoor shower. These small additions will make a real difference to Airstreamers with pets.
The back access storage is also a great feature. My husband and I often find ourselves in urban areas on our road trips home from kayaking. More than once we’ve had to skip a visit to the local museums and restaurants because we were preoccupied with gear out in the open in the back of the pickup truck. If we were towing the EB Airstream we could stash the gear in the back and off we go, from river to a night on the town.
I’m pleased with the look of this Airstream and look forward to seeing it out on the road.
Let me begin by stating I'm generally not a fan of co-branded vehicles and I would categorize a travel trailer as a vehicle in this case. A few attempts immediately come to mind such as the Ford Harley-Davidson truck, the Ford Nautica van, and the Eddie Bauer Ford SUVs. Maybe it's my cynical side getting the best of me, but it seems the only real benefit from most co-branded vehicles is for the manufacturer to extend their marketing reach to their partner's customer base. Combine that with seeing aging versions of not so great vehicles painted in a clothing manufacturer's livery, and it usually makes me think less about both products. The Nautica van wins first prize for me here.
That being said, I actually like the 2011 25 foot Airstream Eddie Bauer. While the basic coach layout seems nearly identical to the 2011 25FB Flying Cloud or 25FB International there's one huge difference which seems really handy for those who live an outdoor lifestyle via the rear hatch. The roll down screen allowing you to leave the hatch open is a nice feature also.
While it's no traditional toy hauler, if one were to haul kayaks or bicycles this could come in quite handy. Perhaps even a light dirt bike or scooter would be possible with an aftermarket ramp and solid tie down points. In addition, the added security of locking larger items in your trailer when away from it sounds very appealing.
However, a close eye needs to be kept on the somewhat reduced carrying capacity near 1300lbs due to the extra weight of the rear hatch assembly which will be further reduced by variable weights such as fresh and waste tank fluids.
Another consideration is reduced built-in storage space which is replaced by the folding dinette and lounge seats.
While I could personally live without the bells and whistles thrown in to make the visual appearance more unique such as the bedding and decor colors, one other huge benefit I see is the darker if not more durable flooring material which will help keep from unsightly dirt markings that irritate those of us with the lighter color flooring to no end. I could not see doing much off roaring with an Airstream, even with one that has slightly larger tires as the ground clearance is quite low and the risk of damage high.
Would I personally buy the Eddie Bauer Airstream?
Probably not. The combination of the increased weight and reduced storage would not fit my lifestyle interests. In most cases the items that I were to carry inside the trailer's hatch for outdoor recreation I would prefer to carry in or on my pickup truck tow vehicle which I don't fear damaging as much, and feel is more practical for loading and carrying equipment. Were I to use the hatch of the Eddie Bauer Airstream instead, I see scenarios where I would have to unload the items from there and load them in/onto my tow vehicle which would make me question why I didn't do so in the first place. For example, unloading kayaks into the water when I'm not camped right on the shore.
The Eddie Bauer isn't just a decor model; its features are directly inspired by outdoor adventurers' sporty 'Streamers who camp with bikes and boats and kayaks and kids who weighed in on their dream machine.
The most unique feature is the rear sport hatch that allows for outdoor gear to be stowed conveniently and safely, eliminating the bother of hoisting items on and off the tow vehicle roof rack. Expensive toys can be locked inside, away from thieves. (Gear, pets and kids can be hosed down before boarding using the outdoor shower.)
To a glamper who generally communes with nature from the tastefully appointed confines of my Design Within Reach Airstream, martini in hand, the biggest lifestyle benefit is that the back hatch invites the outdoors in. The door flips up and a screen slides down, barring entry to bugs but allowing for dining close to the views and a flow of air from front to back for sleeping with the night breeze.
What view, you ask? The premium oversized Michelin tires and higher wheel base provides the necessary ground clearance for offroading to scenic boondook sites, or nearer to the bike trails, lakes and rivers you've hauled all that gear to.
The decor is Eddie Bauer-simple (alas, no deer-antler chandelier) and the durable upholstery on the reconfigurable furniture is pooch-resistant and easy to clean. A final dog friendly feature: exterior tie-downs for pets on a long lead.
Oregonian RG Coleman explores the Northwest and beyond in a crowded Design Within Reach Airstream with a tall mate and two wet dogs. Follow her travel blog 'Streaming at www.airstreaming.net for pop history, humor, and tips for tiny trailering.
Opinion #4 - Mali Mish, Family Traveling Across the US in an Airstream 25 ft FB
If you are a parent, you have probably seen the Eddie Bauer line of strollers and car seats. Or maybe you have seen one of their Eddie Bauer edition Ford Explorers that have been rolling around for nearly 10 years.
Automobiles are not the only thing they have deemed worthy enough for the Eddie Bauer name, in early 2010, they collaborated with Airstream to create an one-of-a-kind PanAmerica that bears the First Ascent name. It spent the entire winter traveling between ski resorts searching of fresh powder and to lay down first tracks.
Talk about a match made in heave, the FirstAscent Airstream was definitely a head turner. It was completely custom built for the FirstAscent ski team on the then brand new PanAmerica platform. It was the first Airstream to feature a rear lift gate that turns a 34-ft trailer into a toy hauler with a garage.
A year later, the partnership culminated to the recently launched new model fittingly called the Eddie Bauer Airstream.
The Eddie Bauer Airstream is basically a souped up Airstream 25 ft FB. In fact, the 25 FB is the exact model that Mali Mish is. Ours happens to be the International Ocean Breeze edition but the floor plan is identical to the Eddie Bauer Airstream.
Here is Mali Mish on the day of us picking her up at the dealership back in October of 2008.
There are obviously some differences between ours and the Eddie Bauer. The obvious and most significant one is the rear lift gate. What the lift gate allows the owner to do is to easily load kayaks, surfboards, snowboards, bikes and whatever you might be into directly into the rear of the trailer with ease. On top of that, it really brings the indoor and outdoor spaces together so you can sit at the dinette with all the comfort of home yet feel like you are connected with the great outdoors.
The Eddie Bauer Airstream also got a handful of added features that make it more suitable for the adventurous type like high ground clearance, larger wheels and tires as well as wheel wells to protect the aluminum body from those rocks you might fling up while towing her through the woods.
The interior also gets a special makeover in order to wear that Eddie Bauer badge. It is sort of a mash-up of the International line and the Safari (Flying Cloud) model with the essence of Eddie Bauer thrown in.
Unveiled a month ago at the world famous Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah, the new trailer officially goes on sale this month and will start showing up at your local dealer soon if it isn’t already there. If you like what you see, be ready for it to take a real bite out of that wallet. Simply fork out the MSRP of just north of $73,000, you too can be the envy of everyone at your trailer park.
So go out an get one of these bad boys. After all, it’s just money. As if you didn’t already know, just like diamonds, Airstreams are forever.
For the full post with pictures and a background history on Eddie Bauer, click here.
About Mali Mish
Mali Mish is the name we have given to our beloved Airstream that takes care of us while we are on the road. We have been proud owners of her since October 2008 and have been on many wonderful and exciting trips. Most trips span a few days to a couple of weeks reaching not too far out from our home base in Ventura, CA.On February 3rd 2010, we filled up the diesel tank and hitched up our wagon for the trip of our lives. We will be heading east for an indeterminate amount of time without a real destination. All we know is that we are going to see the Atlantic ocean by land and plan to explore and learn about everything we find along the way.