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Checked Bag

Helping one of the “kids” at work plan his first European trip; he's heading off to the Netherlands and Slag om Grolle. He's got kit to take and is searching for a checked bag size that fits within United's dimensions of 30in x 20in x 12in or 76cm x 52cm x 30cm.

I'm at a loss, if I check a bag it's carry-on sized. I would have sent him to Samsonite since they have a local outlet store, but a quick search of their products shows their “28in” bags have measurements over (he beat me to it, he’d already been with his measuring tape).

I'd be happy to get him to a bag about 28.5 x 19+/- x 11+/- or thereabouts. Something that won't break the bank and that he'll use for years to come. Otherwise my basic advice is choose something off Amazon within the measurements.

Posted by
11382 posts

Bring your tape measure and try TJMxx/Marshalls or thrift stores. Usually a pretty good assortment.

Pure conjecture, but I suspect an inch over is not a big deal as long as the weight limit is not exceeded.

Posted by
76 posts


Where we live, my first two choices for luggage shopping are Tjmaxx and REI.

At Tjmaxx, he can check out features and quality of many brands, and if he doesn't see the size he needs, he can check back later or order online thru Amazon, etc.

REI of course has high quality, durable bags and the Anniversary sale is on now, so he could get it for a discount.

When our daughter was flying back and forth from college, we got her some nice rolling duffle bags from Ebags. They packed down flat for storage under the bed.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
440 posts

We are just back from the Netherlands with our checked bag size Travel Pro luggage. I prefer spinner wheels in general. But they truly are not so sturdy and easily maneuverable on the cobblestones of Europe compared to my husband's preferred choice of the 2 wheeled rollaboard. Something to consider!

Posted by
110 posts

That’s so nice of you to help him plan his trip! I have two thoughts. One, he may find a larger bag at a thrift store that could suit his needs, and the price would certainly be affordable. Two, could he take 2 carry on size bags in lieu of one large bag? I guess that could depend on what his airline/ticket allows for.
I’m sure he will find a workable solution and have a great trip!

Posted by
689 posts

Thank you. Not so much an issue where to find a bag, but rather looking for suggestions for particular models.

could he take 2 carry on size bags in lieu of one large bag?

That's what I do, carry along a 2nd empty carry-on to fill with purchases as I travel. But, he's taking over some items that won't fit in a carry-on bag.

Hahaha this was my 666th post

Posted by
110 posts

666, nice! Travelpro has a 28” soft sided 2 wheel rollaboard that might work and there’s a holiday sale on I believe. I personally use their 2 wheel carryon and love it.

Posted by
5035 posts

I'm going to agree with the recommendation for a 2 wheeler vs a spinner if he's getting a large suitcase for Europe. Maybe it's because of the weight, but I found our 28" spinner really hard to handle on rough surfaces. And speaking of weight- in addition to bringing a measuring tape, ask him to bring a luggage scale with him when shopping for that bag. Some bags are really heavy, compared to others. And it's not hard to go overweight with a loaded 28" bag. He'll want to use that scale to check the weight before heading to the airport, too.

Posted by
689 posts

Well, he didn't say, but he's a young guy that goes to school and works in a museum, so I'm thinking around $200. And a preference for a hardshell.

Posted by
15545 posts

If you go to the Samsonite website, and use the filters for the size and approximate price range, you will see a few pieces of luggage within your size and budget limits.

Plus there is a sale going on.

The other advice to go to a discount store like TJMaxx or Ross is also good.

But your advice on Amazon is good. Just make sure he has free returns in case there is a problem. There are plenty of pieces of luggage that are around the size you need and for under $100.

The nice thing about most Amazon returns is you just have to drop it off at a return center like at Whole Foods or Kohls.

Speaking of which, Kohls also has some decent but budget oriented luggage.