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Any opinions on which rolling carry on?

Hello! We are booked for My Way Alpine Europe next summer. I would like to give my 15 and 17 year olds luggage for Christmas. I have read Rick's articles on packing and suitcases, as well as past threads, and have decided that a 2 wheeled rolling carryon would be best for them. Here are the two I am trying to decide between, as well as my current thoughts about them. Does anyone have any other opinions, considerations, etc? Just trying to figure out if there is a good reason to choose one over the other. I am planning to decide soon, to get anything I order in time for Christmas, and if I order the ones from RS, I know the sale ends Friday... Maybe they are so similar I should just pick one and pull the trigger?

Rick Steves 2 wheel carry on - Has a nice hard back, expandable, I like the colors, on sale so a good price right now. We live nowhere near Seattle so would not be able to return if we didn't like it for some reason. https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/rolling-carry-on

TravelPro Maxlite International Carryone (rollaboard 2 wheel) - This is significantly lighter than the RS suitcase. I kind of prefer the overall look/style, but I am not crazy about the colors I can find in stock - the rose and the blue. If I order from TravelPro or a few other retailers, I could return if we didn't like. I had hoped to find this or similar at TJ Maxx/Marshalls, as I know I have seen them in the past. But I've checked a bunch of stores recently and they are really depleted in the luggage department. https://travelpro.com/products/maxlite%C2%AE-5-international-expandable-carry-on-rollaboard%C2%AE?refSrc=2106967949410&nosto=categorypage-nosto-1

Posted by
4638 posts

I have a Travelpro maxlite rollaboard (more than 10 years old) and it has held up extremely well. I’d buy another one. I have the 22 inch version, but I usually check it on international flights. I see that amazon has it in slate green and black also.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you! It does seem like the Travelpro has held up for people. I am not seeing the black on Amazon - in the international (20 inch) carry on with 2 wheels. I do see it for the US size (22 inch) and the spinner. If you have a link, could you share?

I did wonder about the size difference between the US and international Travelpros. Do you all think we'd have to check them if we had the US (22 inch) size? I know it depends on the airline..but we have not booked flights and I don't know that yet. Though I suspect it may be Lufthansa.

Posted by
4638 posts

Here is the link. A black bag appears to be available in the 20 inch size. For what it is worth, I think it is better to get one of the oddball colors over black. I have a burgundy bag and having an unusual color is great for easily identifying your bag on a luggage carousel or when it is unloaded from the RS bus.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BWJVTXD/ref=twister_B085VQ5Z9D?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

edit: I take it back. I see they don’t show a price for the black or green bag.

I have never had to check my 22 inch bag on domestic flights (airlines have always allowed it). When I fly internationally, I always check my bag and carry on a daypack, so don’t know if the 22 inch would work on Lufthansa.

Posted by
9511 posts

I've got both although they are much older than the ones you've got links to. The fabric looks a little different on the RS one which is good because I've got some small bald patches on the corners that have been rubbed off by being thrown around as checked baggage.

The RS one is slightly smaller but not enough to make much difference packing.

The TravelPro one I got a few years ago at TJ Maxx but I'd been looking for a couple of years when I saw it there, lol. The handle no longer telescopes properly. I've got it out right now and was going to try and figure out if I can WD 40 the pins so they function better or what. I got it for about $80 and have gotten a lot of use out of it.

I'd go with the colors you like best. To me they are so similar that I'd not spend a lot of mental time on this. The pockets on the RS bag have a slight edge.

DO get them packing cubes at some point as to me they are essential to staying organized especially on a tour. Don't get the big kits of cubes, you want maybe a max of 3 plus a toiletry kit. Ebags has some nice cubes. I've got Eagle Creek ones as well as some by a blogger called Travel Fashion Girl.

Fun present!!

Posted by
8196 posts

I have this RS carry-on bag and I don’t like it at all. When full, it falls over constantly. I’ve had other RS luggage before this one, but I’ve since realized RS luggage is way overpriced for what you get. I bought 2 TravelPro ultra-light suitcases 3 yrs ago and I absolutely love them, they’re great. And often on sale at Macys.

Posted by
1520 posts

I have the RS Rolling Carry-on and like it. To prevent it from falling over, I put shoes and heavier items at the bottom (wheel end) and have no problems. It may be 1lb heavier that a couple suitcases that have been recommended on previous threads. But I didn't find that an issue and have not had problems lifting it overhead , carrying it up and down stairs and dragging it over Venice bridges (drag behind going up, push in front going down). I was 68 at the time and will be 71 on my next trip. My sister-in-law used the same suitcase (she was 72), overpacked it and could still lift it. I used the Rolling Carry-on domestically several times too.

Suggestion: If you are buying your daughters luggage for Christmas, be sure to also buy them packing cubes. RS ones are on sale, but I found they are too lightweight and didn't hold up well.

Posted by
2883 posts

Really, most two wheelers in the international size will do. However, RS's are on sale now and his two wheeler is great. Mine have retained their clean and new look through the years (had an older one, too), have limited but logical organization, and are sturdy enough to check. Mine still looks like new inspite of numerous trips where I carried on and check the bag. Mine does not tip over, but I don't have anything particularly heavy on the top section of the bag. Another feature that I like is the add a bag strap, which allows you to piggy back the bags so the weight is counterbalanced and feels light as a whistle to pull as a result. Also, his luggage did well when Consumer reports evaluated luggage in the past...not sure which year was most recent that I saw.

If you are up for spending money, Eagle Creek is good, and not horrendously expensive. Also, Ebags look like they have interesting bags.

International size, I own the RS 2 wheeled bag, and an Eagle Creek Tarmac (unused due to Covid). I only bought the second because I love luggage...

Posted by
1642 posts

We have 22 inch Travel Pro maxlite and love it. Very light weight. I have been able to take on international trips (US carriers) even though not international size.

Bought them for all my family for various gift occasions. 6/7 of us in Italy last August had one (in different colors). No one checked their luggage.

I have bought from Macy’s, Travel Pro and Amazon, depending on price and colors.

Posted by
3252 posts

I can’t comment on the RS 2 wheel rolling carry-on, but we’ve had our 22” TravelPro for years and appreciate that it’s light weight. You can’t beat the quality of construction. We pack light as well. We bought our luggage at Macy’s.

Posted by
300 posts

Why roll alongs - they are young and fit - get them a decent backpack. My partner just downgraded to a roll along for his 69th birthday - but I still use a backpack. - so much more manoeuvrable up and down stairs, over cobblestones - plus you keep 2 hands free

Posted by
21655 posts

Agree with Llssie, nothing beats the backpack for convenience. But with 80 around the corner I will switch to a two wheeled roller -- no spinners. When traveling in the US we do use rollers mostly because it is airport and car rental so the convenience of the backpack is not as critical.

Posted by
161 posts

I have the Travelpro bag and love it. The fact that it's so lightweight is helpful when trying to stay within weight limits for international carryons. Plus the 2 wheels are way easier on cobblestones than a 4 wheel bag. It has held up very well over the years. I got mine on ebags.com a couple of years ago - try them for other colors. A suggestion - worst case you give them a picture at Christmas with an IOU once more colors are in stock (and they could then pick their own colors).

Posted by
2543 posts

Luggage has fallen victim to the supply chain issues. If your teens are going to carry these on, are not about to become frequent travelers, then shop price.. But do check Lufthansa’s carry on measurements and be sure the measurements of the bag you choose include the wheels (many don’t). We are fans of TravelPro but the only one we ever had trouble with was a Maxlite. It’s light and cheaper because of a less substantial frame and other materials. The one we had lasted for two years of heavy travel and developed wheel problems, handle problems and loss of rivets. The Crew models we have look like they’ve been through a train wreck but still work. Much pricier, an few pounds heavier, built to last.

Posted by
255 posts

And I agree with the backpack idea instead of luggage. Besides traveling, they can be used for hiking/camping, etc. Osprey has some really nice packs. We got rid of rolling luggage and shifted to packs instead.

Posted by
8418 posts

My wife has an older version of the travelpro you are looking at. ( looks like they improved the feet on the new ones). Very happy with it.

When we were looking for luggage several years ago we liked the RS products, but were able to get the travelpro for less.

For us it came down to price as otherwise it was a 'toss up'

Posted by
3659 posts

Please pay attention to the overall dimensions of the bags you are considering. That's what goes in the sizer. Many listings for bags will not include the wheels and handle. For example that "international" bag you linked is actually almost 22" tall.

If dimensions are given in centimeters, a tape measure with cm on one side can help improve measuring accuracy

This is a link to Lufthansa carry on rules which include dimensions and weight: https://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/carry-on-baggage.

About the backpacks. At the age of 31 I traveled Europe for 4 months with a smallish backpack and a smaller crossbody tote. It was very convenient to be hands free on that trip. That might work for your daughters. With their hands free, they could help you. 😉

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you for these helpful responses! Appreciate the input. It sounds like I really can't go wrong with either... I am leaning towards the travelpro. I am really fine with colored suitcases - just not a huge fan of the blue or rose. So would you guys say I'd be fine to get the regular (not international) one? That would open up more buying options for me but I am nervous about doing that.

Probably won't do the backpack though - I understand why it sounds like that would make sense for them - just know my kids and their preferences. They will likely take a backpack as a personal item. I would also like to get them a "suitcase" style that they can use for other travels too.

Posted by
20810 posts

Since you're looking at carry-on-size bags, I'd definitely suggest compression cubes rather than regular packing cubes. If there's a problem fitting everything in the suitcase (especially toward the end of the trip, after doing some shopping), being able to compress clothing will make a big difference. If there's no shortage of space in the suitcase, the cubes can be left uncompressed. I only put underwear, sleepwear, long johns and a few soft sundries (like tissues) in my packing cubes. I use two. They're not the same size; the larger one is about 14" x 11-1/2" x 3-1/2" (before compression).

Posted by
785 posts

Any opinions on which rolling carry on? <<
That's funny!
I'm a backpack-only carryon-only guy (No, not going to proselitize but it's worth invesigating), so I have no definitive opinions on models or brands for wheelies but I've enjoyed the discourse over the last few years and paid close attention to reviews and preferences expressed here on the community. If this is the only trip the kids will be making in the next year or two, get the cheapest wheelies you trust, probably the RS units. Colors? Styles? Do those really matter? Let them buy their own for their next trips if they don't like what you picked out. It's just luggage. You can visit any department store or REI and find good luggage on sale but hard to beat that RS price at this moment.

Posted by
8418 posts

Ours are the 'international' size travelpro. Specifically got that size, as when we got them we had a trip that included a flight within Europe, so wanted to be sure there would be no problems.

Have not had any sense they are 'too small'.

Would definitely suggest the international size

Posted by
161 posts

I agree with the comments about making sure you get the right size for international carryon, which often differs from domestic carryon size. Plus there often are weight limits. Also the packing cube suggestion is a great one - I use them and they are a life saver, especially if you are moving every couple of days to a new place. They help keep everything neat and corralled (to avoid the "suitcase explosion" that happens when my kids get to a hotel room). Plus they do create more space in the suitcase.

Posted by
244 posts

I have Travelpro Maxlite International 2 wheel purchased several years ago and have had no problems. I bought the international size specifically because several international airlines have smaller strict size and weight limits. One pound difference in weight or one inch in size can make a difference in whether you have to check or not. I've had mine weighed by Lufthansa even though it fit in sizer.

Posted by
1642 posts

I like the 22 and have had no issues with carryon with Delta, United, or American. The international size is more flexible for European carriers but I thought it was a little too small.

Posted by
18235 posts

This statement on the TravelPro website link that you provided gives me concern,

This Carry-on bag has been sizer bin tested to accommodate overhead bin space on most major US airlines.

That appears to imply that the bag meets the size requirement limits for most major US airlines. They don't say the bag has been tested in airline sizer bins. TravelPro's sizer bins don't count; only the airline's bins count.

I identified 10 airlines that provide 89% of the US flights, including United, American, Delta, and Alaskan. Only three of those airlines, Southwest, Frontier, and Spirit, with only about ¼ of US domestic flights, allow carry-ons wider than 14"; the TravelPro bag is 15.75" wide. Seven airlines, providing at least 65% of all US domestic flights, do not allow a bag as width of the TravelPro bag.

A lot of European airlines (Lufthansa) do allow a width of 15.75" (40 cm). So if you will only ever use these bags for travel to Europe, then the width should not be a problem. However, the specs for the TravelPro give the length as 21.75", which is greater than the 21.65" (55 cm) length limit for most European airlines, including Lufthansa. Now it only exceeds the length limit by 1/10th of an inch, and I'm sure Lufthansa's sizers are a little larger than the limits, but ... .

And, make sure that the bag is really the length they say it is. In 2015, Consumer Reports reviewed 11 carry-on bags and found that 9 of them exceeded the manufacturer's stated dimension. In a lot of cases, the manufacturer neglected to include the length added by the wheels and handle, but airlines include them. But often, even just the container part of the bag exceeded what they said the dimension was.

Consumer Report noted that, specifically, "For example, the TravelPro Maxlite 3 21” Expandable Spinner was labeled as being 21 inches high x 14 inches wide x 9 inches deep. A suitcase of those dimensions would be within the size limit for domestic carry-on on American, Delta, and United- 22 inches high x 14 inches wide x 9 inches deep.

"However, when we measured the bag, the actual size was 22.5 inches x 14.75 inches x 9 inches—exceeding the company's claimed size by 1.5 inches in length and 0.75 inches in width."

So, my advice would be to find an example of the bag you plan to buy and measure it or, measure it after you get it and be prepared to send it back if it exceed specifications. I feel confident that the RS bag will meet carry-on limits; I can't say the same for the other bag.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you for the advice about sizing.

Regarding ebags - I did look at their carry ons. They look pretty nice. But are about a pound heavier than Rick's. I'm leaning towards just ordering the RS bags for my son and my daughter. I need a suitcase too. So then I can size that up and maybe see if I can find TravelPro on sale.

Posted by
107 posts

We have the Travel Pro in both the 20“ and 22“ and love them both. Ultra light, the no frills interior is easy to pack and the expandable feature on the bigger one is very useful for bringing home souvenirs (I sometimes end up checking a souvenir stuffed bag on the flight home). They maneuver very well on escalators, down airplane aisles, uneven pavement and cobblestones. On our last 3 week-long trip in 2019, I took the smallest 20“ because I had an intra-Europe flight. It fit everything that I needed with one mid-trip laundry day. I think that I got them at Macy’s.

I like Lewis and Clark medium-sized compression cubes for packing most of my clothing. Using these makes all the difference in what I can fit into the carry-on sized suitcases. They are very light nylon with mesh tops so you can see what’s inside. I can fit three of those in either bag and then strategically wedge everything else around them.

Posted by
8196 posts

Shoes packed at the bottom of the RS carry-on that I have, the one you link, will absolutely not stop it from falling over when fully packed.

Posted by
10954 posts

As you can see, bags is a highly debatable, overly opinionated topic. People tend to defend their style.

Wheels/no wheels, two wheels/four wheels, size, weight, etc.

I know a little bit about them since I used to write and review them. A few things to keep in mind:

Don't always believe the printed specs. Some manufacturers don't include wheels in their dimensions although airlines do.

Some airlines are stricter than others. In general, U.S. airlines are looser with their size restrictions. Some European airlines are not. And then it depends who you run into at the airport. Some gate agents are lenient and some go by the book. Check to see what the requirements are for your airline. And remember, they may also have weight restrictions.

Packing cubes is another topic that is highly debated. Some love them, some hate them. For those who use them, they range from simple ziploc bags, to big name brands. Sizes vary, compressionability/expandability varies if the cube even offers it. And learning to pack with them is like playing tetris. Weight also varies with packing cubes depending on the material used.

In most cases, a packing cube will compress your clothes so you can fit more in easily. They also keep you organized. (I'm a user of them and have more than I want to think about.)

Prices also vary with packing cubes. For a real budget set that is suprisingly decent for the price go to Ikea. They sell a set of three for $5 and a two sided cube for $4. I have them and they aren't bad. They won't last a lifetime but I traveled with them and they did the job.

TravelPro, Eagle Creek, Samsonite, Delsey, are popular and decent brands for that $100-200 price range although two wheeled bags are getting hard to find. I've had three RS wheeled bags and each one either had to be replaced due to manufacturing problems or they broke within a few months of getting them. RS customer service was excellent in taking care of the problems. But it's tough when one breaks while at an agriturismo in the Chianti region of Italy. Others have had great experience with the bags. On the other hand, I got my first non-wheeld RS bag in 1991 and have had a few since then. Never had a problem with any of them.

Posted by
3659 posts

Once again, note the dimensions of the TravelPro bags. The US sized one says the "case" is 21" high and the "overall" height is 23" which might be a deal breaker for even some US airlines.

Found on the link you provided under Features + Dimensions:
Overall: H: 23 in. W: 14.5 in. D:9 in.
Case Dimensions: H: 21 in. W: 14 in. D: 9 in.
Weight: 5.4 Ibs.
Volume: 52 L

I wasn't sure how its capacity could be 52L when, using the drawing's case dimensions, it's 2740.5 cubic inches or 44.9 liters. Apparently, the higher number comes from the expansion, which the website shows as only happening at the bottom of the bag. And which wouldn't likely fit in the sizer.

So you gotta watch these guys every minute. The height is an inch too high and the capacity listed is somewhat deceptive because it lacks enough detail. To their credit, they do say, "Fully expanded Carry-On may not meet airline restrictions."

What's kept me from seriously considering RS roller bags is the 6-7 pound (2.7-3.2 kg) weight. My 2-wheeled international roller bags each weigh about 4.5 pounds (2 kg).

I try to keep the packed weight as low as I can for lifting overhead as well as for manageability. My last trip I even was able to keep it in that 8 kg (17.9 pounds) target. I'd much rather spend those pounds and kilograms on what's in the bag than on the bag itself.

Posted by
153 posts

Amen to remembering the weight limit. I don't want to repeat my experience in Chicago of having to repack my 20"--with wheels--carryon before boarding our Lufthansa flight. After reading posts about boutique hotels without elevators with narrow stairs I've decided not to take a wheeled bag next year on our RS tour. I've purchased a Vera Bradley Performance Twill weekender that is water repellent, spacious, and weighs less than 3 pounds. The pattern is slightly garnish, but it will stand out in a crowd.

Posted by
3140 posts

I am a fan of the Maxlite because of the weight-sometimes you have to carry your bag down the steps from the plane, especially in Europe. You mentioned the Maxlite International, so apparently you are aware that many European airlines have smaller and lighter requirements for carryons.

Posted by
785 posts

Is your family seriously striving for carryon-only? You're going to get your kids to cram everything they think they need for two weeks or more into a single bag (with a personal item)? They understand they only get to pack three days' worth of clothes and will be doing their own laundry in hotel rooms? That's a big ask for young and/or inexperienced international travelers.

There are dozens of websites dedicated to evaluating luggage, carry-on bags, packing systems, travel styles, packing lists, and all the other details your children may need to understand before wheels up.

Something to think about, the interior capacity of wheelie bags is smaller than a backpack with exactly the same exterior (international-size) dimensions because the transmission and frame for the handle occupies a lot of the volume. Recent wheelies from upscale makers ($$$) have incorporated new mechanical designs that maximize interior space but they're probably out of your budget. Kids can easily schlepp their own backpacks and might actually prefer the ultra-cool but totally imaginary "I'm not really a tourist" vibe that a travel backpack can exude.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you to everyone who has responded and shared their experiences with these specific bags. I appreciate it.

Posted by
13396 posts

I have an oddball brand that looks exactly like the one you posted; mine was maybe $45 at Walmart and I have used it for years and have some comments on the style.

I detest those big pockets on the front, they hang up on everything and take away from serious room inside the bag.

The bag you posted, like mine is tapered at the top; why? just eliminates interior space.

I fly Turkish Air most often and their size is 55cm x 40cm x 23cm (21.7in x 15.7in x 9.1in.) ... yours is almost exactly that without going over, except the one you post comes up short in depth; I am guessing on average its somewhere around 6"

So, like you I am shopping for a new bag too; time to replace the old cheapie with a new cheapie, but this time I think a hard side and I am tired or worrying about gifts breaking.

Posted by
2883 posts

I would like to add that the travelpro 15 inch plus is problematic on many airlines so that would cancel it out for me. I had a 15” Hartman that I loved , but could no longer use so I got rid of it after it sat in my closet for too many years. I do not have those worries with the RS bag. Also, these are not large bags so my age 60s self has no problems carrying my suitcase up stairs even when an elevator is available.

RE: your kids and backpacks, IMO, this is not the time for a carryon size backpack, or larger. (As you say personal item is great as a backpack.) I say this because your kids are likely not finished growing and have not developed all their interests. At the appropriate time, they should be fitted for a backpack along with the probable uses being considered.

I think I mentioned that I pack carryon but more often than not, check my bag. The RS bag looks like new after many independent and one RS tour with checking…the backing protects it really well. That being said, as long as you are within international size requirements you will be fine.

Posted by
1747 posts

I like TravelPro, though I've only had ones that need checking.
I have a Samsonite carryon that is barely 21 inches including wheels.
Be very careful of each airline's size AND weight requirements for carryon.
Air Canada does not weigh but is picky on size.
Lufthansa is very picky about weight.

If you are booked on a tour, why not just let them bring checked baggage?

Posted by
8418 posts

The travelpro we have are the 14" version.

I had not initially noticed the version you are considering is almost 16" wide. As others have noted that could be a problem.

From a features and quality standpoint we are happy with travelpro.

Posted by
28 posts

Joe32F did you have any trouble with international flights with your 14 inch wide travel pro? I actually prefer that one. It's taller and is labeled as their US version. Other people commented that that one wouldn't meet most international standards.

Honestly I think the Travelpro sizing is just too hard for me to figure out right now, since we have not booked flights yet and do not know the airline. It sounds like Lufthansa is picky! Makes me want to avoid them.

Posted by
18235 posts

I'm guess you are planning these bags as surprise gifts, right? Otherwise, I'd say ask them what they want.

And make sure you include wheel-less bags as well. At 16/17 they are certainly fit enough to carry backpacks. A lot of HS kids carry school backpacks heavier than the bag I take to Germany for three weeks. On Lufthansa, you will be limited to 17.6 lbs; if the bag already weights 6 or 7 pound, they will be limited to only 10 lbs of their own stuff. With only 10 lbs of stuff, you don't need a 7 lb cart to wheel it around in.

Posted by
2900 posts

Continuing on what Lee said, just above, you may want to ask them what they would like, and then buy that for them. I have received some Christmas gifts in the past that were surprises, and they were not anything I wanted. Kids in this age range are really picky, so I might take Lee's advice, and just ask them to choose a piece of luggage. This way, they get something they want.

"I would like to give my 15 and 17 year olds luggage for Christmas."

We have two grandkids in this age range who may be going to England with us next fall. They wouldn't be caught dead with a rolling bag. (They think they're for old people.) It's backpacks, all the way, with them. It's just their preference.

Check out Rick Steves backpacks.
Check out the L.L.Bean website. They have some terrific backpacks.

I still think it's a good idea to let them choose.

Posted by
20810 posts

I'm a 70-year-old female with little upper-body strength. The thought of using a backpack in Europe gives me the vapors. However, I think the folks suggesting backpacks for your kids are probably correct. They're your kids, so you'll know if there's a special reason why backpacks aren't right for them.

I was 20 years old at the time of my first trip to Europe. It was in 1972 when wheeled luggage either didn't exist or was pricey and only used by folks like airline personnel. I spent the summer overseas with a canvas suitcase (unnecessarily heavy even when it was empty) that came with a shoulder strap. I managed. A modern backpack would probably be lighter and would certainly be easier to deal with.

Wheels add enough weight to be highly undesirable if you're looking for luggage that can be carried on intra-European flights (the common 8-kg weight limit is a killer), in addition to reducing the usable capacity of the bag.

Your kids will have some items I didn't need to transport back in 1972 (electronic devices and chargers), but they won't be taking guidebooks to cover a summer-long trip or printed reading material like the many paperback books I had with me.

Posted by
8418 posts

Just measured my bag and it is 21.5"--floor to top of squishy fabric handle on top.

Not sure what travelpro labeled it, dimension wise. Its ~8 years old, so not a current model.

Here is a video review of the bag I have. They call it a 20" bag. ( Presumably then they labeled the size by the 'box', excluding the wheels and handles.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTkksMx__j0

Only foreign airline it got on was Alitalia and had no problem

Posted by
13396 posts

Wheeled bags weigh more and eventually you will have to carry them up stairs.

Don’t know about the Alpine trip, but when RS goes to Budapest the hotel he has used (at least in the past) has an elevator and I can’t think of a hotel in Budapest I would want to stay in that doesn’t … I imagine most cities are the same.

A wheeled suitcase weighs the same as a back pack with no wheels; how can I say that?, well most (many) European carriers limit the weight of a carry on to 8kg so put the heavy stuff in the Personal Item you are allowed that has no weight limit.

I am looking for a new bag, so I have done a little research and discovered that a hard shell or softside with spinner wheels within the size requirements for European flights is 6.5 to 7.5 lbs while a soft bag with two wheels will weigh between 5.5 and 6.5 lbs and the RS Backdoor Bag weights 2lbs.

1lb = 1 pair of jeans and maybe a t-shirt.

The choice is significant for packing purposes; but i have gotten by with a spinner softside and a personal item for years; the advantage and convenience of the spinner just outweighed the weight for me; but none of this matters if you check a bag too (then spinner is worth gold)

Posted by
263 posts

I have a Rick Steves wheeled carry-on backpack for our trip to Italy in 2019. It worked very well for me. I'm surprised at how much it holds but fits nicely in a carry-on bin. It does need to be packed carefully so the weight is over the wheels. Also, the webbed pocket on the side is just a little too wide to be snug around a water bottle. When we were in Venice and the streets were really wet, it was nice to use the backpack feature. You could wear it under a poncho and everything stays dry.

Recently, a friend bought a Solgaard "closet" carry-on that's made out of recycled water bottles. It's a hard-sided suitcase that comes in international carry-on, domestic carry-on (a tad bigger) and check-in sizes. Instead of packing cubes, it comes with a compression shelving system that lets you pack by layering clothes in separate compartments. It looks like you could set it up in your room and dress from it, instead of unpacking. Kind of a mini-closet. It might be something that would work well in a small room. I really want to look at it closer. In the grand scheme of luggage, it's not that expensive.

Basically, luggage is always changing. So, bags some of us bought years ago have probably changed or disappeared from the market.

Set your own criteria. What do you want size-wise, etc. ? Then, look for that bag. I look at brands. There are quite a few good ones - some mentioned above. Osprey bags are worth consideration. Osprey.com.
I prefer simpler bags with a few pockets for organization.

Posted by
18235 posts

A wheeled suitcase weighs the same as a back pack with no wheels; how can I say that?
well most (many) European carriers limit the weight of a carry on to 8kg.

The flaw in your logic is that 1), you assume that most readers of this site fly European carriers. But probably at least half of them fly US flag airlines (what I call cattlecar airlines), that don't have weight limits. With no weight limits, similarly packed roller bags do weigh more than backpacks. It's nothing to see people flying these airlines with carry-on bags that weigh 25, 30 lb or more, making it almost imperative that they use rollers. And when your bag weights more than 30 lb, another 4 lb for a roller isn't much more. And they probably don't carry-on; they check their bags.

Rollers make it easier to handle heavier bags that wouldn't be heavier if you didn't have rollers.

And, 2), there are some of us who appreciate European airlines, like Lufthansa (wt limit 17.6 lb), but who don't pack to the limit. I take only what I really need, about 10 lb of stuff in a 2½ lb bag, for less than 13 lb. So adding another 4, 4½ lb for a roller would put me close to the weight limit, but that's another case where a wheeled suitcase does weigh more than a back pack.

As for elevators, in my last 5 trips to Europe (82 nights), I have stayed in 26 places but only 3 of them have had elevators, but then I don't spend a lot of my time in big cities with multi-story hotels.

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8271 posts

TravelPro Maxilite 20" and 22" rollaboards are almost sold out everywhere, including the TravelPro site. Amazon sellers have jacked the prices to over $200.

TravelPro website has 20" rose or bright blue, and 22" rose or purple. Everything else is sold out.

Inflation is definitely happening - always good to find a sale to ease the budget. I think manufacturers and retailers are having material supply and shipping disruptions. So, manufacturing has slowed in many sectors. Also, COVID is still an issue. While my state is striving to return to “normalcy,” I know companies have challenges and foreign companies that supply American companies are still much affected by COVID. (Example: Ashley furniture is made in Vietnam and South Korea. Used to be made in China. Some of those countries are under lock down or have reduced staff due to employees out with illness.)

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I would ask what they want. When our son was young, he loved wheeled cases. At 17, he switched to a 35l backpack and never went back to wheels again. And he refuses to take a personal item. He says 2 bags is too much trouble. I couldn't do it, but he manages to stuff all his clothes, toiletries, phone, and Nintendo switch into it, stuffs it under the seat in front of him, and doesn't bother with overhead storage.