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Luggage Suggestion: 25" or so NOT SPINNER

I have a wonderful Travelpro 25" suitcase that has the two big inline skate wheels. It's about 5 years old and I've used it 4x overseas. Love it. Now I'm looking for a similar one for a friend who is going with us to Germany and all I'm finding are either 1) Spinner suitcases or 2) Two wheels but they're not the big, sturdy ones like I have but smaller and look more like a car wheel/rim.

Any suggestions? I'm really surprised that the spinners are all the rage. I only use mine when traveling in the US. Retail outlets like Costco and SamsClub (where I bought my Travelpro) only sell spinners.

Posted by
2349 posts

Travelpro still makes a two wheeler, even if Costco doesn't sell it. Macy's does. They have frequent sales on them.

Posted by
11213 posts

eBags has their own line of suitcases. They are well designed, well made, and are a good value.

Eagle Creek also has a few roller bags in that size.

You can usually still find some at TJMaxx, Ross and similar type stores.

Posted by
11613 posts

I have an RS 20" rolling carryon that has decent wheels; I downsized from the 22", same wheels, handled very well. I don't think RS makes anything larger than 22", though.

Posted by
1253 posts

I would also recommend Ebags. They stand behind their lifetime warranty on their Ebags brand.

Posted by
478 posts

Good to know. I've purchased through their site before but never their actual brand. Thanks.

Posted by
4 posts

Alexandra et all,
First don't take offense to these suggestions/assumptions. It is not my intent to come off as condescending. Just my observations and experience I'm sharing to help you enjoy your trip more and have the best possible time. I want you to have a great trip and it starts with this very thing.
Here is your goal - One carry-on.... period... within your airline parameters.
Step one - I would tell you that having a bag with wheels is cheating you out of other things you could bring for the weight. Try weighing your roller bag and weigh one without. I saved 5+ lbs! Try looking at an OSPREY FARPOINT 40. Great bag and moreover it meets the airline requirements for European Airlines (smaller and lighter than USA). I would advise some scrutiny by going to your airline page and review limits you will be surprised. Then buy a bag to fit those dimensions and pack accordingly. Go with mindset "No checked bag only carry on" - save money on baggage fees for better meals or side trips! Seriously, weigh your current purse. Your 15 lb purse is going to kick your rear end around mile 4 and uncomfortable but pretty shoes by mile 1 or 2, then factor in heat you might end up in hospital with heat injury.....trip ruined We averaged 4 -8+ miles per day, I have a GPS watch and tracked it. You will find lighter back pack options work. 30 yr experienced traveler Rick Steves uses one for a reason. Not enough space? Use a Ziplock valve bag from Walmart to compress and group your items already in packing cubes.. You simply put clothes/cubes in and close the ziplock seal and sit on bag, air goes out the valve but cant come back in and it waterproofs everything (win/win) Everyone on my trip was envious of us because they loathed dragging their heavy wheeled bag plus carry-on plus large purse plus any extra stuff you may have acquired up flights of very narrow, very steep stairs every time. OH-no! Twisted your ankle wrestling with your bag? Now your couple thousand $ trip is gonna be screwed up for what a couple outfits and 4 wheels? I would hope not. Also the sound of 20 people dragging roller bags down a cobble stone street is super obnoxious and screams "Hello everyone inexperienced tourist coming through" My one and only bag weighed 24 lbs including my MacBook pro!

Make it a game, bet your travel partner an elegant dinner on the trip for whoever comes with lightest bag.
Step two- is go and get a Ounce scale (yes ounce) and a small cardboard box to hold clothes in. Zero the scale with box on it. Then go through EACH item of your stuff and get rid of the heaviest items first from each area (pants, shirts, socks, etc). Can't decide?, let weight decide for you. You probably just lost 3 + lbs. Now we are at 8lbs saved. It adds up quick! Remember this is not a dining cruise, everyone will be in same situation wearing same clothes over again washing them at night in the sink. This sounds rude but not meant to - - literally give your face a break and leave cosmetics at home except for lipstick or better yet chapstick with sunblock. I never saw sunblock go on very well over makeup and sweat. You will need sunblock. Comfort and weight rule every day. 3- 5 shirts, pants, socks, etc. Wash one every night and hang dry (pick things that dry overnight - test at home first) by morning using (money saved) motel provided small liquid soaps and then shower with the shampoos. Clothes smell great!
Last word of advice. Don't bring any toiletries initially and only bring enough meds for exactly each day not at home plus 1. Make that be your first trip after you arrive at destination hotel and go explore and shop for your toiletries, see new places, learn where things are at, plus save weight on inbound trip (2lbs) now we at 10lbs a third of what your bag should weigh. Let me know if you need other ideas for packing light. Hope it helps. Have a hugely better trip going LIGHT.

Posted by
478 posts

MrsEB, yes! Costco and SamsClub have great return policies. One year I bought a Samsonite set from Costco and on the very first train trip from Frankfurt to Hamburg, the bottom frame that holds the two wheels bent when wheeling it over the cobblestones. So disappointed but as soon as I got home I didn't wait to get over my jetlag but packed up the set and returned it for a full refund.

With regards to the packing and traveling-lite tips: I take no offense to the suggestions. These would work great if one of the highlights of my trips wasn't shopping. In years passed (when you were allowed more than 1 piece checked) my mom and I would pack one suitcase inside another and come home with two suitcases filled with goodies. Horrors! I know it's not the RS's way of traveling but it sure is fun. There is no way we could return with antique linens from flea markets, fine china pieces from my grandmother, WMF flatware, wooden toys for the grandbaby, Christmas ornaments and decor, and a myriad of other wonderful treasures when traveling with a 22" carryon. I do always bring a couple of SpaceBags with me, which come in handy for transporting my heavy jacket that I don't need in LA but DO need as soon as I get off the plane in Frankfurt. And they worked great when I bought 2 big square down pillows from Strauss Innovation and sucked all the air out of them so they'd fit in my 25" suitcases.

As my mom always says, why is it that the times we seem to remember the best center around where we ate or where we shopped?

Posted by
3680 posts

I know you love that Travelpro, but do you realize that even the 25" Maxlite weighs something in the range of 7.5 pounds before you put a thing in it? In all my years of traveling, starting in 1977, I have never traveled with a bag that big or that heavy. I can't imagine needing it. It's way too big in all dimensions to be a carry-on. And I definitely can't imagine lifting a full bag like that up any stairs or into and out of a train.

My personal experience is that the bigger the bag is, the more I fill it up with "just in case" stuff instead of limiting to only what I really need. As a result, I've gone from a 22" (21.6x14.9x9.4 exterior dimensions, 2150 cubic inch, about 6 pound) spinner, to a 22" (22x14x9 exterior dimensions, 2500 cubic inches unexpanded, about 5.5 pound) 2-wheeler (amazing how much room those extra spinner wheels use up), to a 20.5" (20.5x12.5x8.5 exterior dimensions, 2050 cubic inches, about 1.5 pound) back pack.

I haven't used the little backpack yet. That's coming up for a domestic flight soon. When I just did those calculations, I was surprised to learn how close in capacity the spinner is to the backpack. And I must admit that I expanded the 2-wheeler to accommodate purchases and checked it on the way home. I did that because I could, but I usually don't have the option of checking a bag either direction.

I pack for a week and travel for 4-8 weeks. I agree with the statement that you and your friend should have a contest to see who can pack the lightest. I'm still working on that myself.

Update: Ahhh, now I get it. I'm not a shopper, except for jewelry. I'm at an age and a time in my life where I need to get rid of stuff, not bring more into the house. And with 5 kids, 4 spouses of kids and 14 grand-kids, I could never bring home something for everyone. What I expanded my 2-wheeler for was the playbill from the Globe, a calendar featuring a house I visited in the Cotswolds, a couple of refrigerator magnets and 2 T-shirts. Along the way I threw away an old swimsuit after I used it in Bath and gave 2 blouses that didn't work out to charity stores. I was so close to unexpanded capacity, even doing that and using my compression packing cubes, that the seemingly little bit extra put me over the line.

Posted by
8387 posts

hoff7407 makes good points but that's not what this post is about. I agree with most, except shopping for toiletries at destination. I don't want to be stuck with bottles and tubes that are larger than I need.

You are right that most of the brick and mortar retailers are showing only spinners. You'll have to go on-line for two good sturdy wheels. Eagle Creek is excellent, as are others mentioned here.

I just bought a 25" 2-wheel Lipault in France that we found very easy to drive around. We're using it for a trans-Atlantic cruise. Several people I know swear by their 20 and 22" Lipaults. You can find them in the States in both stores and on-line.

E-bags has the 25" upright for $109 right now--a real steal compared to what I paid in Paris, even with the tax refund.

Posted by
489 posts

hoff, You can not possible take a 24# bag as a carry on... be real. You've been traveling with carryon for over 20 yrs. Well, you do know how to do it, but I haven't seen anyone with a 24# bag. or any airline allowing 24# carryon.

Please do not make fun of those who want a roller bag.

To Alexandra, what ever you choose for your friend. remember that the wider the wheels the more stable. The spinner suitcases are brilliant on flat even surfaces... barely feels like you have a case at all, but if you want one for a small space then the wheels take so much space in the overall measurements. If you are traveling train, bus etc. smaller the better.

Posted by
3680 posts

According to this list, there are many airlines that allow carry-ons weighing 24 pounds or more. Some have no weight limits listed. As always, people need to check online for the current requirements of their airline.

This illustration may also be useful.

Posted by
489 posts

With the most respect Lo... so many of those airlines are trans pacific....

Look at the trans atlantic and european carriers please.

Posted by
4 posts

Great points by all. I agree after reviewing the other posts that my inject into your roller bag conversation might not have been exactly on point with subject topic. My apologies. I like this forum because unlike other places we all get to share ideas about different ways to travel, pack and enjoy our time with like minded (Travel) folks and I for one like the variation and insight. I will keep the suitcase inside another suitcase idea for my kit bag for future travels.

I will leave everyone with one last item to consider. Go to US State Department website and register each of your trips, general contact info (yours or RS) and rough outline of itinerary that way if something like the France debacle or worse happens they can account for all the US personnel and know where to start looking for you if evacuation if needed.

Alex, I wish you many hours of blissful shopping and trouble free travel. Thanks for the travel tip! Safe travels.

B

Posted by
2908 posts

@tgreen, British Air allows 51 lbs. and I think American is pretty close to that as well. I don't know what could possibly be put in a carryon to make it that heavy, but nonetheless... Wray

Posted by
18296 posts

I think most American "flag airlines" have unlimited weight allowances, but they do have dimension limits (usaually 22x14x9). The last time I flew United, they had a "sizer" at the gate and were announcing that only bags that fit could be carried on, but they didn't enforce it then. They could any day.

Most European airlines have weight limits, usually 8 kg or 17.6#.

I haven't seen anyone with a 24# bag. or any airline allowing 24#
carryon.

Years ago, when I was still struggling to stay under the 8 kg limit, I acquired in Germany two large, glossy, magazine-style resort brochures and also bought a book. Those three things, alone, weighed 9 lb. My bag, which had been under the weight on the way out, weighed 26# when I flew home. But it was still under the size limit, and they didn't weigh it, so I carried it on.

I don't think Hoff was making fun of people with wheeled bags; he was just telling it like it is. People over-pack and say their bag is too heavy to carry, so they add 5 lb of wheels and handle.

Posted by
11613 posts

I have traveled with backpacks, but as I got older I decided to give my back a vacation and now use a 20" rolling carryon that I can lift overhead on my own most of the time (height is a factor). The carryon weighs under 16 lbs. fully packed. Nothing wrong with either choice.

Edited to correct total weight typo.