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Luggage recommendations needed!

My fiance and I will be in Europe for 12 days this July. We will be staying in London, Amsterdam, & Prague, flying between the cities. We do not plan on much travel WITH our luggage, other than to and from hotels.

These are things I would like/prefer in my bag:

Backback straps
Possible de-tachable day pack
Several separate zip compartments
Sturdy, good quality
We do not need carry-on size, as we will likely be checking our luggage at the airport

Anything else I should be considering?

I would LOVE to get recommendations on brands/types of bags, and where those bags could be purchased (I'd want to see them in person before buying).

Thanks so much!

Posted by
69 posts

I have a set by High Sierra that I bought at Dillard's. Mine is green but they have it in navy blue. It has all the things you mentioned except lots of compartments. It has a few though. And it holds way more than it looks like it will. I have flown with it twice now and it still looks like new. If Dillard's no longer has it, there is a version of it on Good luck!

Posted by
82 posts

Julene, I think you're going to find a hard time finding exactly what you want. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any multiple compartment bags which have wheels. Every wheeled bag I have ever seen had one large main compartment. It's always a toss up, the one large compartment seems easier to pack and 2 or 3 seperate compartments offer more organization. One option you might consider is using a 1 compartment bag then using packing cubes and sacs to organize your stuff. That offers sort of the best of both worlds, seperation when you want it and ease of packing too.

Good luck!

Posted by
53 posts

I use Ricardo of Beverly Hills. Some of their lines are lightweight. I like the multiple pockets and extra organization features they have. I travel with one carry on size bag (wheeled) and a tote and check the carry on size bag. My carry on has one main pocket and another pocket the same size but not as deep. It also has two pockets on the outside. I can fit two pair of ladies shoes in one outside pocket. You can find the bags half price on line. You mention not needing carry on size. Hauling (or wheeling) anything larger is not fun even if it is just through an airport. You can pack very light for 12 days if you wish. You can see Ricardo's at Dillards, Macy's, (TJMaxx sometimes).

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks so much for the replies!! I don't NEED luggage with lots of compartments- I just like if they have options of being able to separate things out. The packing cubes sounds like a great alternative. I really appreciate the guidance!!

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello Julene. Many experienced travelers who began their travels with a suitcase that has wheels, eventually decided they did not need it, and they replaced it with a bag that is smaller and of less weight. For your trip (12 days in July): I recommend, for each person : the KELTY BASECAMP DUFFEL - Medium size. Its dimensions are 24" x 13" x 11'. Made of 450 denier polyester ripstop with a 900 denier polyester oxford bottom. Heavy # 10 zipper. Removeable padded shoulder strap. Color : Black, or Curry. Capacity of the bag : 3000 cubic inches. Weighs one pound and eight ounces. This bag is in the Campmor catalog, SUMMER 2008, on page 51, and on the internet : The bag is catalog item number 88067-K. Price = $ 34.99. Also, I recommend acquiring one packing cube for each person. I like the PACK-IT CUBE by Eagle Creek. I like the size = 14" x 10" x 3". It is item number 84643-K in the Campmor catalog. (page 50). Price = $ 12. Also I recommend acquiring one PACK-MATE: Medium.

Posted by
75 posts

I agree with the last post. My family of three (including a wife and a daughter) have done 2, 5-week trips to many countries in Europe with a lightweight nylon duffle bag (Outdoor Products brand, no wheels) and a daypack (Trager), each. With creative clothing selections, this is more than enough volume, and it can all be carried on. Personally, I'm afraid to check bags for a trip to Europe, unless it's stuff I can readily buy once the plane lands.

Posted by
14115 posts

Ebags has their own line of wheeled duffel bags. I have the 25" one.It's great. They have a video on their website showing the bag and its many features.

Ebags Motherlode 25"

Posted by
1158 posts

I have a 22" High sierra carry-on luggage with a zipper day backpack attached to it.They nake it larger as well, 26 in. I took a look at this one an dit's huge and very heavy, about 14 lbs for both.
The 22 lugage worked fine when I traveled to Europe, but I didn't use as a backapck, I meant I only went thru airports and taxi.
You can check or for discount prices.

Posted by
120 posts

Julene: Do you mean you want luggage with wheels AND backpack straps AND detachable daypack? If so, you might want to check out the Victorinox E-motion Trek Pack Plus or Eagle Creek Exploration Systems Switchback. Both should be of excellent quality and comes in various sizes. carries both, so you can look at detailed specs and user reviews. REI should carry those, and most likely other luggage stores will as well, if you want to check them out in person.

That said, I don't think you need wheels and backpack straps and detachable daypack. I have the 22" Victorinox E-motion Trek Pack Plus. While I love it, I found I only used the backpack straps once in 3 weeks and carried an over-the-shoulder day bag rather than the detachable daybag.

Posted by
208 posts

Here is a non carry on size one will almost all of your wants. It doesn't have alot of dividers. It does have some extra pockets on the outside though.

Here is the carry on version of the same style, again, it has all you asked for except alot of dividers.

And here is the one I carry it has a divider that splites the bag in half the long way that can be rolled back so if you want, you can have one huge compartment but it doesn't have a zip off daypack, but I really love this bag. I am about to do 3 weeks in Europe with it this summer. It has been all over central and south America and now on to Europe.

Posted by
51 posts

We just received our Rick Steves convertible bags. Can't wait to use them. They're compact and perfect for carrying, using as a backpack. They even come with a shoulder strap.

Posted by
1876 posts

I'm with the posters that mention High Sierra. Eagle Creek and other brands just charge too much for the same product.

ebags has a great selection of High Sierra bags. Check out the AT3 collection and the Sierra Lite. you can shop JC Penney, Macy's and Dillards for High Sierra products before you buy. Also, call your local luggage store for suggestions, and to see if they carry High Sierra.

This bag is always rated really high on ebags Top 10 in travel backpacks:

Posted by
208 posts

I just bought a High Sierra at TJMaxx. It was only $50. I got it for my dad. He loved mine, so I got it for him and am going to give it to him on father's Day. It is a great carry on. I will finally get to take it to Europe in July.

Posted by
1449 posts

I agree with Ron. Wheeled bags add weight and take up space in the bag that you could use for stuff you'd like to take on your vacation aside from the wheels. The AA fee for baggage check is unfortunately probably just the beginning of the tide; with fuel costs so high more and more carriers are going to weigh luggage, and a lot of carriers already restrict the carry-on weight (eg. British Airways, Lufthansa, etc).

As for checking bags (which you say you plan on doing) its your choice of course but many experienced travellers prefer not to do so. Bags get delayed, lost, stolen when they're checked, not when they're right above you in the compartment. Rick Steve's tours take thousands of people thru Europe on trips up to 21 days with just 1 carry-on bag apiece; once you've done it you'll never want to check bags and be at the mercy of fate again. Search the forum (and web) for comments about what to take and how much.

Rick Steves sells a nice carry-on at a decent price (around $100), although I like the MEI bag with its lightweight internal frame a bit more (and replaced my RS bag with it). I like the RS Civitas bag a lot and carry it for my day pack.

You can get lots of info on how to pack light and descriptions of various bags at

Posted by
1455 posts

I got an email from about the "Mother Lode Mini"...Meets carry on requirements.

Posted by
1 posts

Hubby and I recently took an 18-day trip to Europe and carried the eBag Weekender. We started in Prague, then made our way through Germany, Brussels and England by train. The one-bag thing really made things easier. You mentioned that you will be checking your bag on the plane but I highly recommend one-bagging it anyway. You're less likely to overpack and/or leave something behind along the way.

They also have a wheeled version of the bag but it is heavier. You will need packing cubes and/or Ziploc bags to help compartmentalize things but this is a great bag!

Have a good trip!