My wife and I are flying to Europe this summer for some DIY travel and a Med cruise. We each have a RS rolling suitcase and RS backpack suitcase. Because cruises involve some clothes nicer than my typical touring clothes, I suspect we'll need to end up loading them too full to be practical as airplane carryons. Hence we're faced with checking luggage that will be very expensive to check. I'm considering buying a 32 inch rolling duffel bag that will be filled to the load limit (40 or 50 lbs depending on the airline). This bag will be checked. I think we can then fit the rest in a regular carryon. Any experience with rolling duffels ... are they durable? ... can you recommend a brand? Thanks.
Rolling duffels are not much different than large rolling suitcases. Sounds like a lot of luggage. Are you sure you need that much capacity. We have been on a seven European cruises, some as long as 22 days, and never needed more than three carryon size bags for both of us. We use two backpack style, carryon bags and one rolling, size bag. The rolling bag contains the extra clothes for the cruise and it gets checked.
People taking cruises keep telling me they need a lot of luggage and I keep questioning that precept. Rick addresses the packing issue for 10 pages in his Mediterranean Cruise Ports book. He might also say something about it on this video. No matter how much service your airline and cruise company offer, there must still be times that you have to handle that 50-pound bag yourself, along with two others, and it doesn't sound like a vacation. Will you then plan to store the big bag at a hotel during the DIY part of the trip and circle back to get it?
I use the LL Bean "Adventure Rolling Duffle" (Large) for checking gear. The Large is under the 62 linear inches limit and its tare weight is about 8 pounds /4 kg.
The Bean duffle is robust and its wheels can take cobbles. The Large duffle is 30 inches long and telescoping ski and trekking poles fit the bag. It has duffle bag handles which are useful on stairs. It also comes with a detachable shoulder strap that I don't use.
If you are doing adventure travel and need to check gear the Bean rolling duffle is a good choice to get your gear over the pond. That said, if you are going from point A to B to C etc. do you really want to be hauling 40 or 50 pounds even if it rolls.