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Luggage Discussion

I’m sure you all saw that RS luggage and travel bags are on sale, 30% off through 4/18. Browsing this morning I saw this article about the “best” luggage”.

I don’t want to start the 2-wheel vs 4-wheel debate. It’s been a long time since we discussed luggage, except for a few comments on itinerary posts to advise people to do carry-on only.

So my question for the day is What is your favorite luggage? Is it based on price? Style? Brand? What’s in your closet? Size? Hard or soft sided?

I’ll start. I haven’t traveled enough in the past 25+ years to have a good comparison. I bought a RS Rolling Carry-on four years ago and a PacSafe tote. Except for a trip to Hawaii and a couple to WA state, I didn’t get to really test the duo until going to Italy two years ago. I am very happy with the RCO, held everything I needed, easy to roll on cobble stones and seemed durable. But the PacSafe was too heavy and awkward even though it was easy to organize. An Eddie Bauer 20L packable backpack helped when a purse was not enough for the day. Next trip will be the RCO plus the packable backpack and a RuMe cFold tote for overflow. I keep downsizing the size of purse I carry from a large Travelon to medium sized to extra small. Too large = too heavy and sore neck.

Posted by
4418 posts

Luggage and travel bags tweak my interest as shoes and handbags may tweak some other woman's interest....but I do try to keep it under control. As my travel varies from trip to trip, I don't know if I have found the perfect luggage for 'everything'. 2017 was my last long trip and I had a 2 wheeled 22 inch 'something' with a lightweight (but not packable) tote on top. Purse was a lightweight hobo travel purse by Canadian equivalent of REI. It was still difficult to wheel up cobblestone streets, but maybe because I was having foot issues and really underestimated the incline between old town Cordoba and the train station (over 20 minute walk). But easy enough to carry down the cobble stepped street in Granada.
I now have an IT carry on, and next sized up 4 wheel. I took that on a cruise and did a walk-in to the port. Again, perhaps I underestimated the distance and the degradation of the sidewalk route (became gravel and large rubble), but it held up well, and was actually rather comfortable.
For 3 months winters away, I will use the carry on IT and I bought a recommended clamshell backpack that ways little to use as a second bag to put on top instead of a tote....mostly for my sleeping pillow and any groceries or minimal shopping. Or if I need to pack light for short group trips, then I can leave the wheels at a hotel and just pack the backpack. Even young bloggers on year trips are taking wheelie bags, so I will too.

Posted by
24837 posts

Weight's what I care most about, so I'm another IT fan. I much prefer 2-wheeled bags, but those are becoming very scarce.

Posted by
1166 posts

No wheels good - in fact I don’t own a suitcase, wheeled or otherwise. So this is what I use, with Julie often mirroring what I take:

Long haul: Ancient Karrimor Sequoia 60-70 litre ‘suitcase’ rucksack. Durable though ‘soft’, lockable, opens like a suitcase with zip and zipped lower ‘sleeping bag’ compartment. Zip on back cover to conceal straps and hip belt. It still looks like a rucksack with all its compression straps etc. So at airport to avoid it becoming ‘special needs’ luggage it gets inserted into a similarly ancient Lowe Alpine Expedition bag which is soft and also lockable and covers a multitude of sins. Judging by state of this bag now with gaffa tape covering the odd puncture wound, keeps main bag clean too while in transit. (When we used this set up on a two week trip to Cyprus and zipped up the main bags and sequestered them in the expedition bags, in the check in queue at the airport, a group who were on the same trip confessed to being intimidated - “Oh God, they’re pros!”)

Short haul/city break: it’s amazing what you can fit into a Lowe Alpine TT40 carry on. I can go for a week’s ski-Ing or a week in Italy or similar and still stow it in the overhead locker and sizing bins without any bother. Soft but lockable and a genius of a design. More recent versions not quite as durable.

Day sacks - Long haul: choice of Osprey and Lowe Alpine circa 20-25 litre sacks. Short haul: Craghoppers collapsible 25 litre sack which goes in carry on and/or the ubiquitous Nike (other brands are available) drawstring shoe bag!

It’s Rick style travelling light, although I’ve done a three week camping trip to Chile with the ‘long haul’ set up with walking poles, ice axe and crampons attached - (all covered up by the expedition bag)! I hope he’d be proud! I would confess that it might be a touch eccentric, although in certain situations it’s been a distinct advantage.


Posted by
6113 posts

I have been using exclusively Samsonite luggage for about 20 years. For most of my trips, I take a 2 wheeled duffel which is about 75 x 35 x 30 cms. It is enough for a month away and weighs about 20kgs for most trips. For hand luggage, we have smaller Samsonite 2 wheeled soft sided cases.

Recently my husband is trialling a large 4 wheeled semirigid case from Amazon and he is pleased with it, but I don’t like the 4 wheels.

We will have to rethink our hand luggage as EasyJet (previously our airline of choice) have changed their cabin allowance - ours usually weigh 9 and 15 kilos respectively due to all the camera kit and bird watching optics.

Posted by
3973 posts

Travel-Pro Max Lite Spinner and JansSport backpack for personal item.

Posted by
7037 posts

I don't buy luggage to be replaced every couple of years. I want my luggage to be light, utilitarian, and durable (10+ years lifespan). I learned the hard way how much luggage makers "cheap out" on the least costly things that make a huge difference - the quality of the wheels and the zippers. It's a shame to throw stuff out because of a faulty zipper (or one that gets crushed by the rough-and-tumble of TSA agents and baggage handlers), or wheels that have gone bust and can't be easily replaced.

I like my Travel Pro carry-on, it's super light. I don't think it's the best made luggage, but it works. I also like Tom Bihn bags, although they are very expensive - at least they are made here (in Seattle) and are of high quality. Eagle Creek, Osprey and Sea-to-Summit (toiletries and super compact duffle bags), and Kipling are also great. REI carries solid brands for rugged travel if you want to try them out in-store.

Posted by
8068 posts

I have gone through many types and brands of bags in search of the perfect one. I'm not proud of my failure to commit. My wife prefers her matching set of Heys hardshell spinners, and considers me hopelessly impractical for preferring backpacks.

RS-style travel, where my priority is weight, I have the RS Classic Backdoor bag which I like because it is so lightweight (a bit over 1 kilo), and its sturdy and roomy enough. I think its a great bargain, especially at the current sale price ($55!). I'd get another one if I need to replace it, although I wish they more attractive color choices.

For travel where I need a bigger checked bag, I have a new 26" wheeled Travelpro. If its a trip where I need both a checked bag and a carryon, I'll use my 35L Cotopaxi Alpa, which was more expensive but I really liked the design and details. I have a few carryon sized Tom Bihns and a Red Oxx for shorter trips and for work travel when I still did that. They are a bit too sturdy and heavy for overseas use, to me. I also have a REI Wheelie Beast (from Ed's recommendation here) for car trips - weight is less important.

I'm pretty sure thats enough luggage to get me through he end of my travel days. But I cant help looking.

Posted by
3645 posts

I like soft shell, 2 wheels, my wife prefers hard shell, 4 wheels. She likes coke, I like Pepsi. How we've remained married for almost 33 years is beyond me.

I prefer soft shell for the added pockets on the outside to store stuff I may want quick access to. I really don't like 4 wheels. I find it harder to navigate and sometimes I wonder if taller people prefer 2 wheels whereas shorter prefer 4 wheels. We also look for luggage in bright colours, mine is currently lime green and hers is purple. Both are very easy to pick out of a pile.

We usually buy better than average quality but I couldn't tell you what brand they are.

Posted by
13813 posts

I've been using a Samonsite Airea spinner (and its predecessor the Uplite) for nearly 2 years. Before that I had the two wheeled version. I was interested because it only weights 4 lbs and it's sized for most European airlines. (Not all, most.)

Unfortunately, it's not available in the US. I bought mine online from Selfridges in the UK. Because it was shipping to the USA, VAT was removed. Shipping was $30 and it arrived in 4 business days. Unfortunately, it seems they no longer sell it.

It's easy to maneuver, lightweight and has traveled quite a bit. I have yet to check it.

I have had many wheeled--and non wheeled--bags. Samsonite, Eagle Creek, Lipault, Away, Tom Bihn, Rick Steves and Ebags. I'm happy with what I have now.

For a personal item I use a Tom Bihn Pilot.

Posted by
4418 posts

I might mention that though I perk up with luggage discussions, I don't buy that many - Canadian prices are NOT American prices, so can't afford to change the luggage colour every trip :-) That being said, my purchases are based on aging out of being able to carry on my back, or airline requirements to reduce size and weight. I think these change enough, and as I have direct personal responsibility for my luggage, I do opt for cheaper (in every way); because it is likely to be obsolete soon...sadly.

Posted by
969 posts

I have the RS convertible backpack. I love the pockets it has and the way it is designed, but for me it’s a little bigger than I would like and doesn’t hold its shape well. It ends up shifting around on my back too much while I’m walking. I also have the weekender junior convertible backpack (gee, it’s been so long since I traveled I forgot the brand name??) I usually use that one because it is stiffer and fits better than the RS one. It is heavier though, and has an unnecessary laptop space that just makes it heavier and isn’t beneficial to me. I never bring my laptop with me, and wouldn’t put it there and carry it on my back if I did. My last trip in December 2019 I was visiting several friends and bringing Christmas presents, so I used an Eddie Bauer 4 wheel rolling carry on. It worked perfectly. I would use it again if I needed it. For a day bag I like the RS Civita backpack. It’s light and folds to be easily packed in my luggage. I use it when I’m hiking or something like that to carry water, snacks, map, jacket. For walking around in cities I use a Medium to small sized travelon over the shoulder purse. I like that it has locking zippered pockets

Posted by
2495 posts

I seem to have a wardrobe of suitcases to suit every kind of trip, and they are all soft-sides with wheels. I like Swiss Army, Pac-safe and Samsonite. I have a big rolling duffel style that is probably bigger than I like to take but use when just flying (no trains or buses involved) and want to do some shopping. My most often used is a standard style that's about 28" that I check. I have another that's around 26" and yet another at 22" that I use when doing carry-on only. When checking a bag I always have a carry-on tote, I like the Rick Steves cabin bag or sometimes a sturdy top-zip tote by LeSportsac, that ones tucks easily into my suitcase for unexpected things that need to come home with me. My travel purse is a crossbody LeSportsac Everyday bag.

Posted by
2788 posts

I have been using RS luggage products for 20 years and have only had one full sized luggage problem.. The handle would not retract.
RS folks replaced it with a brand new one no questions asked once they examined the item and agreed that it was a manufactures problem. RS has great warrentes.

Posted by
6164 posts

When my husband & I signed up for our first RS tour back in 2003, a RS suitcase was included in a promotion. My husband chose the non-structured backpack and I picked the roller bag. I used mine until the airline requirements changed; my husband replaced his sooner for a roller bag.

I’ve used my Eddie Bauer medium Expedition for probably 10 years now. I really love it. The front is flexible and the back is formed structure, so I can protect something fragile and also have flexibility and front pocket access. I also love the sapphire blue color instead of just black - makes it easier to ask for blue at hotel storage. And the suitcase is designed to not tip over, and it never does.

I also bring the small lightweight LL Bean daypack to have items handy during my flight and for more space coming back home. I have my Baggalini crossbody purse inside my suitcase or daypack during travel and just use it sightseeing, etc.

I tried using an eBag backpack suitcase- the lighter weight one for some domestic trips. It’s fine for some trips, but I wouldn’t want it when I’m traveling in Europe. I like my suitcase to not be at the height of pick pocket hands’ when I’m traveling the metros, etc. Plus then I can have the LLBean on my back with my jacket, etc. so it’s easy on my back.

Posted by
6164 posts

Hi, just checked the Eddie Bauer I mentioned and it’s on sale now for $139 instead of $199.

Posted by
492 posts

I had the Tumi Alpha luggage (a large check-in soft-sided, 2-wheeled suitcase, along with 2 wheeled soft sided carry on) that have served me very well for close to 15 years now. Funny enough, though, despite my being eager to buy the luggage 15 years ago and more than happy with how the luggage has done on countless trips over these last 15 years, when it came time to get a new set I couldn't bring myself to stomach paying for Tumi.

I wanted new luggage that was lighter (a 15 year old Tumi suitcase takes up a big chunk of your weight allowance by itself, before you've even begun to put anything in it), and wanted to try some "spinner", 4-wheeled check-in bags and carry-ons. I went Monos. I actually haven't used them to fly anywhere, though, so time will tell how they hold up. That being said, they look great, are very light, and feel great. So I'm hopeful.

For a "backpack" type thing that'll suit me well for shorter trips by plane and train, I also have the Tom Bihn Tri-Star. Again, pricey. So I'm not yet willing to invest in more Tom Bihn. But I have been using the Tri-Star for a little while now and it's great. It kinda sits in a sweet spot between carry on bag and personal item, so I can use it on something like a weekend trip or overnight alone, or in tandem with a carry-on bag/roller for longer trips. And it works well when packing things like a laptop and camera stuff (like GoPros and chargers) together with clothes and personal items.

Posted by
20 posts

I have no choice but to use a spinner now. I have a Travel Pro Maxlite 21". I've taken it on two trips so far, and haven't had any complaints.

I have a ton of tote bags to choose from. I usually take a Kipling. I use a small purse most days—no day bag, but I usually try to have a small nylon folding bag too.

Posted by
2324 posts

Jean and anyone else who’s interested, when I checked yesterday, the Eddie Bauer 20L packable backpack was on sale for $13.99, marked down from $30.

Edit: Lo linked the same backpack below. Today’s sale price is $15.

Posted by
4012 posts

I travel carry-on. The only time I check anything is if the flight is nonstop and the airline is so small there isn't enough room for my little international bag or only one bag is allowed in the cabin. That typically means intra-European flights or ones using smaller US planes that require gate-checking.

My criteria for luggage is in this order: size, weight, style and price. Brand isn't an issue and I'll consider anything that meets those criteria. Having said that, from my closet list below it's obvious that Eagle Creek, Lipault, Baggallini, Rick Steves and Eddie Bauer are favorites.

I have only soft-sided bags. I have yet to find a hard-sided bag that isn't too heavy -- especially by comparison to soft-sided bags. I have one 4-wheeled bag, two 2-wheeled ones and a couple of backpacks. I like all of them for different purposes.

So this is what's in my closet, in order of what I use the most with the piece at the end that I hope to use in the future.

Eagle Creek International carry-on. It's expandable, but even expanded it's still small. 20.25" x 14" x 8"-9.25", 36-39 L, 4 lbs, 9 oz.  Interior bottom 13" x 6", top 14" x 5", middle 14" x 6". Mine is an older and a slightly smaller and lighter version of this bag.

Eagle Creek Load Warrior Wheeled Duffel 22.  I use this when I want something a little bigger. It has to be checked on any airline if I expand it. 22" x 14" x 9"- 11".  41-45L.  5 lbs, 8 oz.  Interior 14" x 7" except 14" x 6" at the top. Eagle Creek no longer makes anything quite like this with the U-shaped handle and only 2 wheels.

Lipault Plume spinner. Not expandable. I don't use this bag much anymore, mostly due to its larger size. It's still in great shape, even after several domestic trips and overseas ones involving cobblestones. Overall Dimensions: 21.6" x 14.9" x 9.4".  Interior dimensions 20.6" x 13.2" x 7.9". 45L. 6 lbs.  The newer ones are lighter than mine.

In the past I've used cross-body bags like this as my personal carry-on item. On my last trip in the summer of 2019, I found my cross-body bag very uncomfortable on my shoulder and neck with the weight I had in it.

I think next trip I'll try one of the backpacks below as my personal item instead, IF they meet the airline's personal item sizing requirements. Either will fit under the seat in front of me and accommodate the things I normally need during a flight, including the typical little cross-body purse like this one I got in green for the 2020 Ireland trip that didn’t happen.

Appenzell Day Pack.  22.9 L.  18" x 13" x 6.5".   1 lb, 6 oz. I've used this Rick Steves backpack for domestic trips, but not for anything overseas yet. With my back torso length of 17" - 18" and its design and construction, I find it very comfortable.

Eddie Bauer Stowaway packable daypack.  I haven't used this new bag yet. 20L. 11 oz, 18" x 10" x 9". (8.5" x 7" x 1.5" stowed). If I use this one it won't be stowed.

Posted by
10311 posts

Eddie Bauer Stowaway packable daypack. I haven't used this new bag yet. 20L. 11 oz, 18" x 10" x 9". (8.5" x 7" x 1.5" stowed). If I use this one it won't be stowed.

This has been my 'personal item' for 5+ yrs and really like it. As long as it is not stuffed to capacity, I have had no problem getting it under the airline seat.

Posted by
1259 posts

I presently go carry-only only: Tom Bihn Aeronauts in 30l or 45l size (depending on needs) along with a bright red Patagonia 20l backpack. That's all.

Posted by
338 posts

I have made one trip using RS soft back pack. It was actually too big. Using packing cubes the clothes were held in place. I am considering the Appezell big day pack for my carry on bag with the much used Civita as my day bag. If not overpacked the Appenzell fits under the seat for US airlines especially Spirit and United cheap flights, so no up charge for luggage. Does anyone know if it can be used in Europe on the discount airlines? Yes, I am a minimalist packer. Even used the Civita bag for trips 5 to 21 days in US, Europe and Costa Rica.

Posted by
338 posts

Thank you for the airline baggage limits MariaF. After reviewing the domestic and foreign airlines requirements for personal carry one, the Ravena day bag size is acceptable by just about all airlines. I’ve got to make up which bag to buy during the sale.

Posted by
1397 posts

I use an Osprey Porter 46L bag as a carry on. Technically, this bag is too big for carry on if you pack it full. The only time I have packed it full was for an Alaskan cruise. I had to take my long LLBean raincoat out in order to get the back to fit in the overhead compartment of a small plane. Because I wasn't using all of the space, I bought an Osprey Farpoint 40L pack. It is a great bag, but I don't like the shape as well. I also like having the extra space and more rigid sides of the 46L bag when I am packing, and then I just cinch it down to a smaller size. It weighs about 20 pounds for a 2-3 week international trip. I also don't have to take extra time to pack the most efficiently when moving from one hotel to another. I donated the 40 L to my son.

For a personal item/day bag, I use a Tom Bihn medium cafe bag. I also pack one or two fold flat nylon bags for groceries or what nots.

All of my bags are green or have a green lining.

For now, I prefer to carry both bags, one on my back and the other cross-body so my hands are free.

Posted by
5697 posts

Chronic overpacker here, not helped by adding a CPAP machine to the mix. We ALWAYS check one bag each (carryon size 22" roller) and carry a personal item onto the plane. I have a 2-wheeler soft-side TravelPro with big wheels for ease of going over curbs, DH prefers a hard-side 4-wheeler. My personal item is the RS Euro tote with shoulder strap. And packed inside is a Civita daypack for use as a snack carrier on long train rides. Plus a few nylon bags for shopping, laundry.

In the closet -- a bright yellow 24" hard-side roller bag that called out to me because I was having trouble fitting everything into the 22" bag. It went on one trip ... yes, everything fit, but with all that stuff it was HEAVY getting it into the car trunk, up and down stairs, any time except rolling on a flat smooth surface. But it sure is pretty!

Price is an issue with me, so my TravelPro was added only when I found one at the thrift store for $5 (slight cosmetic damage)

Favorite Luggage! Are you kidding!? That’s like asking a beer lover for a favorite beer! (We can talk about beer in another thread.)
I find having an array of bags works best. A collection provides packing options for specific trips. I think we need to expand this question from favorite bag to recommended collection pieces. With so many choices, it’s hard to have a favorite. (Just like I gave up on trying to have a favorite beer many years ago.)

It’s a matter of - where are you going, budget, and what are you going to do with it.

Posted by
8938 posts

Amen, Maria!!

Luggage and travel bags tweak my interest as shoes and handbags may tweak some other woman's interest....but I do try to keep it under control.

Totally agree, Allan:

prefer soft shell for the added pockets on the outside to store stuff I may want quick access to. I really don't like 4 wheels.

Exactly , Sun-Baked!

Favorite Luggage! Are you kidding!? That’s like asking a beer lover for a favorite beer! (We can talk about beer in another thread.)
I find having an array of bags works best. A collection provides packing options for specific trips

And me too, Laura:

Chronic overpacker here

Posted by
3089 posts

I'll never have the perfect bag, but I'll keep trying for the enjoyment I get from packing shopping. I do love my RS rolling carryon and it will remain in my collection.

In spite of the pandemic, I've purchased two bags. Last summer, about, I purchased the Ebags motherlode Jr. backpack. I'm not a backpack luggage type of girl, but I do love this bag. It has been perfect for my 2 days of babysitting per week for the youngest grandchild during C-19. Retained from when he was a baby, my habit has me packing almost enough for a full blown trip (I like to be comfortable and without spit up). However, this bag has never been used on my back. My figure does not look good with a backpack... Anyway, I carry it from the bedroom to the car and back to another bedroom. That's all I want to carry it. It weighs about 17 pounds. Nonetheless, I love this bag, but only has a limited purpose for me...but gets used weekly so well worth the investment.

As some might have noticed on another post by me, I have just purchased the Eagle Creek International Tarmac two wheeled bag. I am excited to use this...someday. This will be my international travel bag particularly. I've been reading about it for several years and due to a nice C-19 sale, I bought a bag I don't need but desired. My review of the bag/my packing for it is at the end of that other post, if you are interested, under April 3rd posts.

My PI item, if I have one, depends on my trip. Planned for use during my canceled RS trip...for my bus, etc. bag was a Sherpani, something like this. It has now become my 'car bag' for excursions as more 'stuff' appears to be needed in this era. It usually stays in the car and I just pull out my small crossbody, but at least it has a purpose now.

Posted by
1277 posts

Allan, I hate to disprove yr theory about height and wheeled luggage, but I'm 5'2" and have never owned a 4 wheel bag, but do have several 2 wheel bags including Rick's Ravenna

Posted by
1173 posts

Fav luggage brand: Lojel

This is a premium brand whose quality far exceeds that of the top line by Samsonite. They make a hard-sided collection that opens like a soft-sided bag--in other words, it offers the best of both worlds. It's called CUBO :

My husband and I have used it for the last six years (we make 5-6 overseas trips per year) and it still works like brand new. The wheels are exceptionally strong and every feature is well designed. Give it a try. It's not the cheapest option but well worth it.

I checked out those Cubo.s. Looks Scandinavian. The price is not unreasonable compared to other luggage. My only concern is the length and depth may be a bit too long for some European carriers for carry-on. Looks like good luggage for business travelers. The front compartment is like a portable office.

This isn’t the type of luggage I need; but, I can see business people needing luggage like this. I can also see this luggage for travelers who check their bags.

I remember a poster listing an extremely expensive wooden rolling bag made by Scandinavian engineers. The carry-on bag cost about $30,000 and was made from young French bull leather. This forum had a “field day” with that brand. Can’t remember the brand. Probably out of business by now. Almost seemed like a joke.

Posted by
18859 posts

Maria's size chart is handy (I saved it), BUT, I did notice (since Lufthansa is my favorite airline for flying to Europe) that their personal item limit is shown as 40 x 30 x 10 cm, translated as 15.7 x 11.8 x 9.1 inches. 10 cm is 3.94 inches, not 9.1 !

Posted by
18859 posts

What’s in your closet? Size?

First, everything "in my closet is regulation carry-on size or smaller. Bags I've bought and used in Europe, in chronological order (also size order - largest to smallest):
1. RS original (I guess it's called Classic) carry-on bag (ca. 2000). Regulation size.
2. OPEC bag. Slightly smaller than regulation size. No longer made.
3. eTech 2.0 Weekender Jr. Still smaller. "No longer made".
The lightest (at 1¾ #) of these bags was the OPEC. I opted for the slightly heavier eTech bag to get cinch straps and a sternum strap.

In the wings for whenever we can travel internationally again, is a smaller, lighter Hynes Eagle.

Hard or soft sided?

Always soft sided. My packed volume is significantly less than what fills a regulation bag. As long as it's not over-filled, a soft sided bag will deform to fit any sizer.

What is your favorite luggage? Is it based on price? Style? Brand?

Thus far the eTech Weekender Jr. is my favorite. That's based mostly on size, weight, and features.

The cardinal principle here is never have to check a bag. Checked bags get damaged, and worse, lost. Because I maintain possession at all times, I can protect the bag from damage. I don't need it to be "well made". Too well made is too heavy.

Posted by
9096 posts

I’ve had 2 RS suitcases in the past 20 yrs but I like my TravelPro Ultra Lightweigh suitcases wayyy better. They’re fabulous. One is 24” and easy for me to manage, the other is carry on size. They’re 4 wheel spinners which I love and I’ve had zero problems with on sidewalks and cobblestones.

I bought the RS 21” Rolling Carryon 3 yrs ago and don't like it at all.

Posted by
18859 posts

The official conversion is .... 2.54 cm = 1 inch (1 cm = .3937 in). Therefore, 23 cm = 23/2.54 = 9.055", 10 cm = 3.937 in.

Posted by
18859 posts

it offers the best of both worlds

Not the two worlds with which I'm familiar. First, the top opening is my least favorite feature of a soft-sided backpack. Too deep; too many things get under something else. It would be better to have a split opening, but I'll accept the top opening to get the other soft-sided advantages. I've never been in a European room that didn't have shelves or drawers to unload your suitcase into after opening it on the bed. Being able to live out of an open-topped suitcase is not my idea of an advantage.

Second, being rigid, you can't deform it to fit. And at 9.8" thick, it's not within regulation carryon dimensions for any US flag airline and only acceptable on 5 of the 16 other international airlines I could find flying from the US to Europe. At 6.8#, it's way too heavy. Even with my only 10# of packables, I'd be only a pound under the weight limit for two of my favorite airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss. With that bag, few people could keep the total under 8 kg.

So, it's not reasonably a carry-on bag. But it would still be suitable as a checked bag, and considering the abuse baggage gorillas can inflict, a "premium brand" might be an asset.

Posted by
1618 posts

We love our Eagle Creak luggage. We have two 20” rollers, one 22” roller that is expandable. And a large duffle and suitcase.

We travelled all over Europe with a 20” and 22” for 2 years. After returning back to the US, we took advantage of Eagle creek’s life time warranty. Wheels replace, handle fixed, zippers repaired, at no charge. Our suitcases have been in the closet since November.....

Posted by
2 posts

You might want to consider NO wheels! I have used a variety of carry-ons. I used a hard-sided Samsonite with 2 wheels for years. But I had always wanted a RS bag. Since the Classic Back Door Bag was so affordable, that is the one we chose. After using it, I found that it was AMAZINGLY light compared to my hard 2-wheeled bag. It also has a huge amount of room in it, I could even fit my CPAP inside with plenty of room to spare.

ON the last trip I took, the plane was very full. They were taking everybody's wheeled bags and stowing them. My RS Classic Back Door Bag was allowed right on the plane. I think it was because sometimes wheeled bags don't fit well in overhead bins.

Posted by
1259 posts

Fav luggage brand: Lojel

Cool, thanks for the new-to-me brand. Nothing that I need but that's some good looking stuff. Folks looking for premium wheelies should visit the site.

Posted by
869 posts

So nice to find this thread as I am replacing an 17-year old soft side Samsonite set. It has held up great but is heavy. We are shopping for something lighter and a spinner set. We also are trying to figure out what we need for month long trips — a 25” or 29” + a carry on.

Luggage stores are harder to come by these days — even in Los Angeles. I am off today to test drive some pieces 😊

Has anyone had any luck with Delsey hard shell, this Victoriniox hard shell

Or Briggs and Riley soft side?

We will buy luggage this last time and want it to last. My husband wants hard shell, I like the pockets ion the outside of soft side.

Lots of sales this weekend!

I recommend that you start a new thread with your question for more responses. This thread has been “around the block.” Posters may no longer be responding to it.

Here’s my 2 cents; The Victorinox has dimensions of 15.7 inches x 21.7 inches. These dimensions could very well be too large as a carry on for your specific airline. Plus, hard-sided luggage cannot be compressed to compensate for excessive size.

Learn the dimensions of your airline first. When in doubt, stay with carry-on luggage that is 9” x 14” x 20.”
(It may be possible to compress soft sided luggage to conform to airline requirements.)

Decide your travel style. Would you rather just pack one carry-on (4 - 5 days worth of clothes) and one under seat bag and do laundry once a week? Or, do you want to bring dress clothes and an extensive wardrobe and do laundry less often? If your preference is to bring more clothing - then, take a larger bag and just check it. (Usually, there is a weight limit of around 45 - 50 lb.s per checked bag. Again, check your airline's baggage policies first.)
If I am checking a larger bag - then, I will only take one other personal item type bag. I would try to avoid three bags (personal, carry-on, and checked.). It is possible to have 3 bags or more. But, I would really try to limit myself to one bag and one personal item.

Personally, I normally do just one carry on unless traveling with family members or having to bring dress or winter clothes. When traveling as a family - I check the airline baggage policies first. Then, I work out the luggage for the cheapest way possible. It varies between the different airlines. I have an array of bags in different sizes. I then dictate to my family which bags we are taking.

Posted by
13813 posts

Calimom....all three brands you mention are fine. Back in my touring days--about 30 years ago--I swore by my Delsey hard sided bag but it is completely different than what is available today. Briggs & Riley are one of the best and offer a lifetime warranty. But they are also one of the most expensive.

For checking in, a hard sided bag is more prone to damage than a soft sided bag due to the way bags are handled. Baggage handlers all suggest soft sided bags for check in. For carry on, it's the flip of a coin. Take whichever you prefer.

If you have never been to Savinar Luggage you may want to check them out. They have locations in the Mid-Wilshire area and Canoga Park. I've only been to the Mid-ilshire location (over 25 years) ago but the selection was massive. Prices were good as well.

Posted by
1259 posts

Briggs & Riley are one of the best and offer a lifetime warranty. But they are also one of the most expensive.<

There's always Hartmann! And let us not forget Hermes and Vuitton.

Spending more than average on luggage quickly surpasses the point of diminishing returns. Built-to-last implies additional mass but not necessarily additional life span if checked more often than carried on. If checked through luggage handling systems, the exterior of fine luggage receives the same abuse as less expensive, but just as durable, luggage. Exhaustive warranty protection might replace a damaged or failed piece, but if it somehow pops open in the depths of an airport, one's unmentionables are just as certainly spilled.

You and I are on the same page. It’s the same with designer anything. It’s a subtle”elitist/classist” message. For some, it may be more aesthetic/art/craftsmanship related values.
I don’t worry about my bags getting minor damage (snagged off label, etc..). Just as long as my bags remain functional. I see luggage damage as part of traveling. It’s simply wear and tear. Compared to the overall cost of traveling - luggage costs are minor in the grand scheme of things.

Posted by
1277 posts

Sun, thanks for this and the above admission that you are the one that dictates to the rest of the family which bags work for this trip.

It was an evolutionary process and at one point, a sense of putting my foot down over baggage fees. Plus, the airline industry has changed quite a bit over the years with regard to luggage.

Posted by
8938 posts

Ha! I got my soft-sided Briggs & Riley at Savinar in Canoga Park about three years (?) ago while visiting my brother and his family. I got a bigger one since this is what I use for my annual trip to the States.

Another passenger on my Atlanta-to-Paris flight on Friday had my B&R soft-side but in the carry-on size, I wanted to ask her if she was happy with it but didn’t work up the nerve.

Posted by
1277 posts

Sun, I'm willing to mount the argument that every day an airline is changing some regulation.. bag width, seat pitch, beverage service. Keeping on top on the changes could be a full time job
mutters....just gonna carry a zip lock bag tied with paracord****

Posted by
5697 posts

In response to doric8's point that airlines are changing baggage allowance restrictions almost continuously, might be a justification to get less-expensive bags that are not covered by lifetime warranties -- rather than having to throw out beautiful well-made bags that are now 1/2" too big for airline rules.