Luggage

Hello, I am taking a trip to Italy for a little over two weeks. I will be moving around alot and I have never traveled abroad. I am looking for some ideas for luggage. It looks like I will be spending 3 days in Rome, 4 in Sorrento, 5 in Sassuolo, 1 in Venice, and two in Lucca. The bag I have been looking at is http://www.rei.com/product/837014/osprey-ozone-wheeled-luggage-22. I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks,
Annie

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

WARNING - Personal Opinion. The bag is too heavy and too pricy. Personally I don't the bag is worth the price where there equally good bags at half the price. Have you looked at the Rick Steves rolling bag? And, again, personal preference but we prefer the backpack style of bag for Europe. In the US we use rolling bags because most of the street surfaces, roads, etc., are smoother and less crowded. We find the wheeled luggage causes us more problems in Europe. With the bag weighing nearly 5 lb it would be easier to exceed bag weight limits.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

HI, There are 2 ways to travel. Fast or not. If you never traveled before you will learn real fast what you dont need or want the next time. If you like wheeled luggage, then i would, if you can, do alot of window shopping. Go look at the luggage you are planning to buy and see whats inside, IE Compartments or not, the quality of the zippers, how confortable the handles, and such. IF you have an REI in your area, do the same there. btw, if you havent heard, some airlines are charging you for just about anything they can get away with and that includes checking in luggage. If you want to travel fast, then look for something that can be stored overhead, not that you can do that on EVERY airline or plane you will use. make sure it will fit in the dimensions given. REI knew this and pointed out what luggage was acceptable. note that there are US standards and not US standards. I choose the smallest - since it will fit in both, but not the other way around. jme, i got the OSpray 46? poter backpack. the shoulder straps tuckinto the bag and you can carry as luggage. IF you want to carry via backpack, just unzip top, pull them out and clip them on the bottom and youre off. one thing i like is that its an open container, no partitions to figure out HOW to pack stuff. They do put in a couple pouch pockets in the side and cover, but thats about it. imo, KISS principle. Thers are also cinch straps too when you p/u too many gifts. happy trails.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1361 posts

Hello Annie. I looked at that carry-on size bag, at that internet website. I think the price for that bag is too high. $ 229. plus delivery fee. The price for Rick Steve's 21 - inch wheeled bag is $ 127.99 plus delivery fee. Are you certain that you want to have a bag that has wheels ? The wheels and extended handle cause a bag to have more weight. Will you be going on several train rides in Europe ? Sometimes a train passenger must put her/his travel bag on the narrow shelf that is above the seats. Do you want to lift a heavy bag up to that shelf ? The advantage of using a carry-on bag that has wheels is when a person is in huge airport, walking a very long distance from the airport security scanner to the flight departure gate. Carts for baggage, provided by the airport, are not in that part of the airport. I use a carry-on bag that does not have wheels (as my only travel bag), because I do not want the extra six pounds, and other reasons. I traveled to 18 countries. I do not need or want to bring a wheeled bag when I travel. And, if a carry-on bag (of maximum size) has wheels and an extending handle, fitting it in the overhead bin in an airplane can be more difficult, compared with using a bag that does not have wheels and an extending handle.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Too heavy? It only weighs 4.5 pounds. Too pricey? REI members get 20% off with their dividend. Annie, my husband bought an Osprey 22-inch wheeled bag with his dividend 2 years ago. It must be the model just previous to the one you are looking at-they look very similar except for the handle. He absolutely loves it and gloats over how light it is (my wheeled bag weighs much more). He has used it alot, taking it to Spain and Alaska, as well as numerous closer trips. It still looks brand new. He tried a backpack (the Rick Steves one) for one trip and hated it. We both use wheeled 22-inch bages for Europe. We carry on the plane (no checked bags, ever) and travel everywhere by train. We are quite happy with wheeled bags for all purposes.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

My wife prefers a rolling bag, so I got her the lightest bag I could find (usually means two, rather than four, wheels). I also got her a 20" because the 21" bag, with handle and wheels can be too big to carry on - a must for our trips. I ended up with a semi-hard sided Hays USA (hers is a metalic silver): http://www.overstock.com/Luggage-Bags/Heys-USA-20-inch-Xcase/7731305/product.html?cid=209786&fp=F&TRACK=CSEShopzilla&mr:referralID=6bb9482c-9582-11e2-9389-001b2166c62d It's light and well made. The only caveat we've found is always carry it with you. The surface scratches easily. She got scratches just letting the cruise ship take it to our room. Though it's still fine for use, it doesn't look as sleek when scratched. Another warning, carry on is best by far. If you must check, don't fly Alitalia - they've built a reputation as both the worst for losing luggage and not caring too much about finding it.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

I'm not going to get into specific brands, but for the money spent I've found TJ Maxx to have absolutely great prices on luggage.
I'm now using a 19" rolling bag and a small laptop style backpack.

Posted by Suz
Denver, USA
223 posts

The bag Annie linked to, is lightweight for a 22" rolling bag, at 4 lbs 8 oz. I have a cheap High Sierra 22" rolling bag which is considered lightweight for that class of luggage, at 6 pounds. Not everyone can carry backpack style bags due to back or shoulder conditions, although those bags are usually lighter than comparable wheeled bags. Annie, if you can manage a bag without wheels, you'll save some weight by getting a non-wheeled bag, but that's a decision nobody else can make for you.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2900 posts

PRO: For a rolling bag, this bag is extremely light. It is only 4.5 lbs which is very light for a wheeled bag. There aren't many rolling bags that are under 7 lbs. Even backpacks are usually 3lbs or more. CON: I personally don't like the T-handle. I find them somewhat uncomfortable to grip. They seem to be common on the lightest bags. The only way to know if this bothers you is to try it out. CON: 22" wheeled bags sometimes don't work with flights on airlines that tightly enforce carry-on limits. Manufacturers often don't add in the wheels when describing bag size. If you want to increase the odds that you can carry on, you are better off looking for a 21" or smaller bag. I have a 22" bag and I just pay to check when I am flying a discount carrier.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1361 posts

In Rick Steves' video of travel skills, when he demonstrated how to put personal stuff into a carry-on size bag (used as a traveler's primary bag), that bag is a bag that does not have wheels. My carry-on bag is the same as that bag, but a different brand, and my bag had a lower price for buying it. My bag, like Rick Steves' carry-on bag in that travel skills video, has straps for carrying the bag as a back pack. (Rick Steves carries his bag on his back). Those straps can be tucked into a wide pocket that is in the back of the bag. I do not carry my bag on my back, because I do not like the bag's weight on my back. I cut off the straps. I put my rubber thong sandals (for wearing in showers) and other small items, in that wide pocket that is for the straps. My bag has a padded shoulder strap (one long strap) that is detachable. A professional airport porter (skycap) working in a big international airport in the United States of America, said to me : he can go beyond the airport security scanner, to carry travelers' luggage to the flight departure gates. If a person goes on a long trip, traveling in airplanes, once every two years, I think paying 5 U.S. Dollars to a skycap in an airport would not cause the traveler to suffer from financial hardship.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Rick's wheeled 22" bag weights a pound and a half MORE than the Osprey bag. Yes, the RS bag is less expensive, but I have one myself and am not thrilled with it. I do not feel the quality is as good as my husband's Osprey. I actually own three wheeled 22" bags (don't ask) and the RS bag is the one I do not use. I like the other two (Victorinox and Mountainsmith) much better. Laura makes a good point about the wheels and bag length. You would have to measure to see if the wheels fit within the 22 inches. (They do on my husband's Osprey bag; I checked before our trip to Spain last time). As for the T-handle, I think the comfort depends on whether it swivels. My Victorinox bag has a T-handle that swivels and I love it because it allows me to position my wrist in lots of ways to avoid fatigue.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1361 posts

Yes, the Swiss make products that are excellent and beautiful and durable. (Victorinox also makes a folding umbrella that has titanium ribs). What is the retail price (in U.S. Dollars) for the Victorinox wheeled 22 inch bag ?

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

I am not advocating for the Victorinox bag, just saying that I really like the swivel T-handle. I know they are expensive, but I was fortunate to find one lightly used at REI, and paid $40 for it. As for backpacks, one reason my husband gave up on his RS backpack after one trip is that he was constantly bumping people with it. In airports, getting on trains and buses, even on the street, whenver he turned to talk to me he would bump someone close by. Not intending to, but when people are in close proximity (like standing in a line, or waiting to cross a street) it happens. Backpacks are fine for the mountains and we happily carry them into the wilderness for camping trips, but they are cumbersome in airports, train stations, and on city streets, in my opinion.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1361 posts

Hello Lola. Your Victorinox 22 inch bag : does it have two wheels ? Or four wheels ? The Victorinox Werks Traveler 4.0 WT 22 EXP carry-on bag (it has two wheels) : weight = 7 Pounds and 11 ounces. Size (dimensions) = 22 inches x 15 inches x 10 inches. I thought the maximum size for a carry-on bag in airplanes is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches. Victorinox also makes an Avolve 22 inch Spinner bag. (It has 4 wheels) : Weight = 9 Pounds. Size (dimensions ) = 22 inches x 14.5 inches x 9.5 inches.
That size is larger than the maximum allowable size of carry-on bags in airplanes of American Airlines ("budget" section in the airplane). (Edit) I wish I could find the report of the experience of the man who traveled around the world, he did not bring any bag, he wore a travel vest that has many pockets. I think his trip occured a few years ago.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Neither of those is what I have. My Victorinox is about 8 years old and no longer available, but the current CH 22" expandable carry-on backpack is pretty similar. I assure you that it is under 22" including wheels, and fits the BA requirements. Since that is what we fly I do not worry about budget airline requirements. But it is not as light as the Osprey which is why my husband gloats about his, and why I think the Osprey that Annie is asking about would be a fine choice. Since Annie is looking at REI I assume she is a member and will get the bag for 20% off, and another 10% back as a dividend. Maybe she even has a current dividend to spend. My husband was only about $50 out of pocket for his, by the time we combined the dividend and the discount.

Posted by Dawn
Denver, CO
259 posts

I think your choice looks good - the only concern I would have is with the size. Depending on the airline you're taking, the 22-inch may not be allowed as a carry on. If you wanted something less expensive and a bit smaller, check out this 20-inch rolling bag: http://www.amazon.com/Travelpro-Luggage-Maxlite-Expandable-Rollaboard/dp/B005ME38KS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1ROVMCLW1E1QI&coliid=IFOE9CB3ID1T2&psc=1 Yes, the backpack styles are lighter, but they aren't for everyone. Even with a rolling bag though, you will still be carrying it up and down hotel and metro stairs and tossing it in the overhead luggage racks on trains, so weight is definitely an issue. But, it's not just the bag's weight you need to think about, but also what you put inside it! Have a fun trip!

Posted by Annie
Pembroke, MA, USA
2 posts

Thank you all for the input. My bagged will be checked and I will have a daypack for a carry on. At this point this seems like my choice.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1361 posts

If I were to buy a carry-on size bag that has wheels, I would choose the bag that was mentioned by Dawn. It is the Travelpro Maxlite 2 - 20 inch Expandable Rollaboard. Model number ED 4011120. That wheeled bag is used by some airline pilots. Travelpro bags are rated as the number two bags for airline travel. The brand that is rated number one is much heavier, it has a steel frame. This Travelpro bag now has a low price. The sale price is lower than $ 90. The sale price ends tonight, at www.luggageonline.com
At that website, select Travelpro, and scroll down (far down the page) until you see "Travelpro Maxlite 2 20 inch Expandable Rollaboard". It is a blue color. Also available in black. And Luggage Online has a telephone number (Toll Free).

Posted by Charles
Chico, CA, United States
4 posts

We've purchased both the RS 22" wheeled carry-on bag and the newer 20" Wheeled Rolling Carry-on Bag. The 22" has held up well as a Carry-on and occasionally checked bag for domestic travel. However it surpassed the maximum size reqs for most European flights. The 20" Rolling Carry-on is designed for European travel and fit on two budget European airlines we took. But after two trips to Europe the smaller bag has suffered a broken zipper and a broken shell. The shell on this model covers the bottom and sides on the wheel end but drops to only half coverage on the pull-handle end. The wheel end shell plastic broke on both sides. I loved this bag but after one checked trip it was beaten up pretty badly. Recommendation: Don't ever check this bag (or spend a little more money for a sturdier brand.