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How Much Difference Will 10 Liters Make for Me?

Ok, I know this is a COMPLETELY subjective question, but I'm interested to hear insight. I'm going on a 10-day trip to Scotland in August. I'll be flying there, and then mainly traveling by train and bus while in Scotland (and one leg in a rental car with a friend).

I have a 55cm soft-sided Bric's bag (spinner, not my ideal, but that's what you can get these days) whose capacity I calculated at around 28 liters -- and I've seen one online source that said 30 liters (another one said 45, but that is obviously way too much for this bag!!).

I'm thinking about getting a hard-sided Delsey while the French soldes are on . . . according to Delsey's details, the suitcase I'm considering (clamshell spinner) has a capacity of 40 liters (or one with slightly different dimensions that has 42.88 liters).

Both bags meet the standards for EasyJet's carry-on dimensions.

So - while recognizing that this isn't an exact science, and who knows if we're really talking about 10 liters' volume difference between the two bags anyway -- and keeping in mind that I'm one who loves her creature comforts and always seems to stick that extra thing (make that those extra things) in that I think will make my trip easier -- but that I also lug my bags around myself with no fuss . . . .Would it be worth buying another suitcase to have 10 liters more packing capacity? (And a hard-sided bag that will stand being checked better in the future when that's the case). Of course also in my mind is the fact of having to store another suitcase somewhere in my Parisian flat . . . .

(and yes I know value is all in the eye of the beholder as well)

The funny thing too is that I basically hate spinners, but it seems all you can find any more, so I've given up that battle. I did see some nice Eagle Creek bags when I was in the States that were two-wheeled, but they had the dreaded center-handle only (you know with a T at the top for the handle) that I can not abide.

Posted by
18553 posts

I calculated at around 28 liters

55cm is 21.6 inches in height, so I assume you mean a 21 inch Bric's spinner. All the ones I see are 21"x14"x8", which is about 38-39 liters.

21" x 14" x 8" = 2352 cu in

A liter is approx 61 cu in,

2352/61 = 38.56.

Note: a 55 cm tall, 28000 cc (28 L bag) would have a x-sect area of 509 cm². If 35 cm (~14" wide, regulation width) it would be less than 15 cm (6") thick or it might be 22½ cm (about 9") square - a pretty skinny bag.

Posted by
22262 posts

Visualize it this way. 10 liters will give you an additional space 12" x 12" x about 4+" About the area occupied by one pair of jeans.

Posted by
3789 posts

12 x 12 x 4? With a packing cube near that size, I can get 2 pair heavier trousers (or jeans and at least 2 or 3 tops....and I am a plus size woman. 10 litres might mean packing exterior layers in the suitcase rather than carrying it some other way all the time.

45 liters is about the size of a RS two wheel bag - 22" x 14" x 9"
28 liters is not that much space. That would be more a bag for 2-3 days with minimal packing. Measure your case again in inches.
About 40 liters or a little more is good for 10 day trip.
Clamshells open wide - book open style. A case with a 3 sided zipper and a flip-up lid is easier to place on a luggage stand.
Keep looking - I bet you can find a two wheel bag somewhere. I know spinners are "taking over" these days.

Posted by
3777 posts

Do you mean this bag? I was surprised to see that it was so light. I'd want to be sure that the measurements include the wheels and handle.

A hard-sided spinner is likely to be heavier than a soft-sided one, so in addition to total dimensions pay attention to the empty weight. FWIW, I also hate the T-shaped handles. They are not ergonomically comfortable for me and they don't work with a cross-body personal item with a sleeve.

I swear by my Duck Blue Lipault spinner. I understand that they are cheaper in Paris. Be sure to click on the Description & Features. They tell you the real dimensions.

Body Dimensions: 20.6" x 13.2" x 7.9"

Overall Dimensions: 21.6" x 14.9" x 9.4"

I also have an old Cactus green Eagle Creek bag with 2 wheels and a U-shaped handle. Unfortunately it seems to no longer be available. It is rugged and can be expanded, but it has to be checked if you do that. It is not as easy to maneuver as a spinner, but it is narrow enough to push down an airplane aisle and has multiple places to grab to lift it into an overhead bin.

Posted by
22262 posts

Then physics follows different rules in Canada. That is roughly 30x30x10cm

Posted by
18553 posts

10 liters will give you an additional space 12" x 12" x about 4+" About the area occupied by one pair of jeans.

A US regulation carryon bag is 22x14x9=2772 cu in. That's 45 liters, outside, less inside. Are you saying a US regulation carryon can only hold 4 pairs of jeans?

Do you mean this bag?

"This bag's" specs are 21"x14"x9" which is over 43 liter. Several liters are lost by the wheels, but it's still over 38 liter.

E-bags shows lots of 2-wheeled rolling bags, and even some (gasp) lightweight convertible backpack style bags.

Posted by
63 posts

Hi Kim,
I have this Timbuk2 bag in the small size. Two wheels which are the big skateboard kind, clamshell opening and a u-shaped handle. Not the cheapest out there but I love it. As in really love it- I have been known to take it out and show it to people who are visiting me...

https://www.timbuk2.com/products/544-copilot-luggage-roller?view=v2&utm_expid=.f3eMMDoVTeinLmor6kV1mg.1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ca%2F

It works very well on rough ground and has been to Europe and Hawaii with me a few times each.

I hate spinners, they get stuck in rough ground and this causes me to make angry sounds my kids refer to as my "Chewbacca" sounds. Really not dignified at all.

Good luck

Posted by
9293 posts

10 liters is a volume roughly equivalent to 3 reams of standard office paper plus a bit more. ( my guess an additional 100 sheets)

Just trying to provide a visual comparison using a familiar item

Posted by
996 posts

Just for reference, I have two hard sided bags by Delsey. They fit a surprising amount and feel lighter to me when pulling than when pulling my Rick Steves rolling bag.

I've never tried Brics before, though, so I cannot offer a comparison.

Posted by
8135 posts

Lee, yes, rather than relying on the company's measurements of the OUTSIDE of the bag (my Bric's), I measured the inside and did the calculations. That's why I think my measurements are more accurate. It doesn't really matter what the outside measurements are as given by the company (including handle and wheels), since obviously those are not included in the interior volume of the case!!!

(I know how to calculate volume and convert cubic centimeters to liters, thanks.)

Lo - unfortunately the link only goes to the general Bric's site, not to a specific case. I think my Bric's is a lot like your Lipault, though, I was thinking about that last night. They look and feel very much the same to me (I've looked at the Lipault quite a few times and ended up with the Bric's during a previous sale period when it was for sale for next to nothing and I had waited too late for the Lipault in the previous soldes.) But the build and material are very much the same (except that I waited too long and bought four wheels instead of two since that's all they were selling by that time).

Sun-Baked - yes, this is true, I do prefer to be able to just "flip the lid" open rather than having to open an entire clamshell. But it's true when I was going to borrow one from my brother (clamshell), I was astonished at how much it could fit in such a small space!! (Of course I was still carrying my 20-year-old Samsonite, so suitcase materials have rather undergone a revolution since then.)

Maria and Steph, that makes sense to me and is why I think the additional case may be worth it if I can get my head around finding somewhere to stash it. My Bric's can serve as it does now for my long weekend trips to London, and this could be for if/when I need to go somewhere for 10 days-two weeks. ...

Oh Ms. L -- this is hilarious!!!

Not the cheapest out there but I love it. As in really love it- I have been known to take it out and show it to people who are visiting me...

I hate spinners, they get stuck in rough ground and this causes me to make angry sounds my kids refer to as my "Chewbacca" sounds. Really not dignified at all.

That is a handsome bag. And I much prefer bags with pockets on the outside. However, it's more than I could allow myself to spend right now - the Delsey is appealing to me is because it's available down the street and on sale!!!

Frank and Joe - thanks, those are great visualization assistance!!
Thanks to all.

Posted by
158 posts

Just in general, since the trip is only 10 days and it's summer time (no bulky layers to pack) you should be fine with the smaller suitcase.

Ms. L,
Love the chew bacca reference. Ebags.com sells the Timbuk2 2-wheel Roller bags. One was recently on sale for about $130.

Posted by
18553 posts

Well, Kim, since all of the 21" Brics I could find were from 38 to 43 liter outside, it seemed odd to lose 10-15 liters to the inside (although spinners lose 6 or so liters right off due to the wheels wasting space underneath). But I guess older bags used to have thicker walls. Someone once gave my ex-wife an old roller they no longer wanted, and we were appalled at how little space there really was inside. I'm also amazed at how bag manufacturers will often publish a volume for their bags that is greater than the volume of a rectangular solid with the same dimensions (LxWxD).

Posted by
18553 posts

Well, Kim, since all of the 21" Brics I could find were from 38 to 43 liter outside, it seemed odd to lose 10-15 liters to the inside (although spinners lose 6 or so liters right off due to the wheels wasting space underneath). But I guess older bags used to have thicker walls. Someone once gave my ex-wife an old roller they no longer wanted, and we were appalled at how little space there really was inside.

I'm also amazed at how luggage manufacturers will often publish a volume for their bags that is greater than the volume of a rectangular solid with the same outside dimensions (LxWxD). The "Orient" method above is fine to determine how much volume is lost to wall thickness, etc, but in no way can the actual volume be more than LxWxD. (Hint: the airlines sizing box is a rigid rectangular solid with dimension LxWxD. Anything bigger won't fit in the sizing box.)

In your case, the limits for an EasyJet carryon are about 63 liter (outside), so a bag to their limits would really give you more capacity. However, if you are looking at the Delsey Cruise Lite Hardside, note that the thickness is 10.25", but EasyJet's maximum thickness is 25 cm (9.85").

Posted by
12215 posts

This is the bag I use...

Samsonite Uplite 55.

Two wheels.

There are two versions...55 x 40 x 20 and 55 x 35 x 23. They weigh 1.8 and 1.7 kgs respectively.

The 55 x 35 x 23 holds 40 liters. That's the one I have. It's been all over Europe on all types of terrain. No problem.

Posted by
63 posts

Hi Kim,

You probably won't go wrong with the Delsey. We still have 2 on the go that have travelled with us for the past 10 years. And the wheels and zippers still work which is saying something considering the treatment they have received. The Timbuk2 was a splurge for me but I am glad I did it as I seriously have gotten a huge amount of happiness from it. I stopped buying coffee out when I'm not traveling and now get to travel with my precious...

Posted by
8135 posts

Thanks all!!! Yes I know I could go with the smaller bag I have now -- but as I said I'm one of those pesky people who likes to have just a little bit more with me, and in this case a decent pair of hiking shoes for a small hike at Glenfinnan. I think getting this bag may be the difference between having the proper shoes for that hike there and not.

Lee, yes, I may well have underestimated; there may well be less difference between the Delsey and the Bric's. (this is assuming Delsey's representation of its interior volume is accurate, too).

Anyway thanks to everyone who weighed in and gave food for thought!

I leave five weeks from today, yipppeeeeeee!!!!

Posted by
814 posts

You can make a big bag smaller by compression, but you usually can't make a small bag bigger (unless it has an expandable zip out). I like the option to go bigger to buy and carry souvenirs etc.

Posted by
192 posts

Hi Kim,
LL Bean's Sportsman collection comes in 2 wheels. I have the carryon. Very sturdy, well made. Wheels are sturdy too. I even had to check it once and it survived just fine. Has several pockets. It's semi-firm, covered in fabric. Mine's over 15 years old and looks like new. But I do not use it as much anymore when I travel alone. It is not lightweight enough for me and when it's packed, it's a wobbly maneuver to get it in the overhead compartment.
Good luck and happy travels.

Posted by
8135 posts

thanks Carole. Yes LL Bean would be a great option, but not very obtainable here in Paris!!!