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Review of Ravenna Rolling Case

Just back from my latest Rick Steves tour, the 14 day Adriatic. I purchased the Ravenna Rolling Bag after using the RS Rolling Backpack for the last three years. I thought it'd be great to have the hard edges on my suitcase. Well, after my first reservations, I have to say I love this bag. I use four packing cubes for my stuff and the Ravenna seemed kinda small. But I unzipped the expandable section increasing the size of the bag for my first zip up. Then I zipped down the expandable portion and, voila, it was perfect! I am a light packer, but not a minimalist. My bag usually weighs between 22-25 lbs. I could go lighter, but I have my list and I'm happy it. There are lots of nooks and crannies in this bag that you can use or not use. I checked my bag on my return flight (had a bottle of olive oil and schnapps) and I felt that the hard shell edges protected my bag a little more than when I checked the Rolling Backpack.

So, if you're on the fence about this bag, I think you'll really like it!

Posted by
2252 posts

Thank you Barbara, for this positive endorsement of the Ravenna bag. I have been toying with the idea of purchasing it with my store credit.

Posted by
15283 posts

You were lucky. Halfway through an RS tour this past spring, the top handle on my Ravenna Rolling Case popped off. The hotel lent me a screwdriver and I made some tentative repairs that I wasn't sure would last. I had to buy another suitcase as my trip had 6 more weeks to go.

Posted by
535 posts

Yikes, Frank! That's not good. Mine does feel a bit wobbly. Hope it stays on!

Posted by
11256 posts

Maybe the bags are made for the most restrictive bargain air carrier weight limit of 10-12 lbs?

RS does preach 'pack light'

Use the warranty

Posted by
362 posts

Thanks for the review! We have a hard sided bag that's not too large, but I was intrigued by the fact that this one is expandable.

Posted by
15283 posts

Barb...it wasn't the telescoping handle that came off but the regular handle just behind it......the one with his name on it.

RS customer service was great....they offered to either send me a new bag when I got home or since I needed to buy a bag in Europe issued me a full refund. (My tour guide send a note as well as photos and I'm sure that helped.)

And the bag was not made with the most restrictive weight limit in mind since it weighs over 7 lbs empty.

Posted by
1825 posts

I really like the design of the Ravenna and took it on a 3 week trip. Two seams failed on the bag and I had to sew one up myself and not use the front pocket. Once home, RS customer service bent over backwards to make things right. I think they had a bad batch maybe because two bags had the same issue so I got a different color and it seems fine. To make the bag light and inexpensive (compared to others on the market) you are giving up some durability. I plan to take it on my next trip.

Posted by
2393 posts

We have hauled two Ravenna bags, each topped off with a very heavy euro flight bag, on & off trains, up & down stairs, and in & out of car trunks for the past 2 1/2 months. They are both heavily packed with the expansion zipper fully open, seriously I need to push down hard to zip! They have performed beautifully! I love all of the nooks in the bag and the euro flight bags hold a ton of stuff!

Posted by
15283 posts

The problem with the Rick Steves bags is quality control. The designs are good and when they work, they are good bags. But too many have problems.

When my Ravenna bag broke during an RS tour, a few of the people on the tour told me stories of how they had problems with their RS bags.

The price of the bag hasn't changed in a long time. To keep a certain price point, cuts have to be made to expenses. And that usually means the quality goes down.

Posted by
4 posts

Does this bag pass all European airlines carry one guidelines including Easyjet, Vueling, etc?

Posted by
15283 posts

Some yes, some no.

Easyjet---yes.
Vueling--no. (one inch too thick)
Also no on Icelandair and Ryanair.

Of course, that is only if they measure the bag. They may not. But they still may.

Posted by
996 posts

Just picked up one of these bags from the last sale at the RS store. We're taking it on our next trip. It looks/feels sturdy enough now, but I'll let you know how this batch is working when we get back!

Posted by
1 posts

I recently purchase the Ravenna Rolling Case, and it looks like an excellent piece of luggage. (We haven't yet taken our tour.) But I just discovered online that it is a modified version of the Ricardo Beverly Hills Mulholland Drive 20" 4W Expand Wheelaboard, which sells on Amazon for $123.13. However, I should quickly mention that Rick has modified that bag in at least one significant way: He uses only two wheels, which are recessed. That allows the carry on to comply with International requirements, because its dimensions are 21" x 14" x 9" (including wheels). The Ricardo carry on measures 22.5" H x 17" W (expanded?) x 9.5" D, which is too tall for some international carriers.

Posted by
15283 posts

I recently purchase the Ravenna Rolling Case, and it looks like an excellent piece of luggage. (We haven't yet taken our tour.) But I just discovered online that it is a modified version of the Ricardo Beverly Hills Mulholland Drive 20" 4W Expand Wheelaboard, which sells on Amazon for $123.13. However, I should quickly mention that Rick has modified that bag in at least one significant way: He uses only two wheels, which are recessed. That allows the carry on to comply with International requirements, because its dimensions are 21" x 14" x 9" (including wheels). The Ricardo carry on measures 22.5" H x 17" W (expanded?) x 9.5" D, which is too tall for some international carriers.

Not a coincidence....guess who makes the Rick Steves branded bags?

Posted by
222 posts

My husband and I each bought the Ravenna rolling bag but have found that it is difficult to open in small hotel rooms with limited space for suitcases. The bag zips open in the middle and needs to be opened fully to access both sides. (Think how you open a book) The older bags had a zippered opening on one side so that the entire area for packing was accessible by simply opening the top once the bag was laid on the other side. I also do not find that the front zip pocket has enough gusset to open wide enough to slide in much, such as a jacket. The Ravenna bag is smaller than the older rolling suitcase but it forces me to travel a tad bit lighter. We both carry backpacks as well so as to be able to fit in everything needed. Enough said, I probably will not buy another RS bag unless the older rolling case is re-introduced. I am a light packer but do not think this bag is very efficient in its design.

Posted by
222 posts

My husband and I each bought the Ravenna rolling bag but have found that it is difficult to open in small hotel rooms with limited space for suitcases. The bag zips open in the middle and needs to be opened fully to access both sides. (Think how you open a book) The older bags had a zippered opening on one side so that the entire area for packing was accessible by simply opening the top once the bag was laid on the other side. I also do not find that the front zip pocket has enough gusset to open wide enough to slide in much, such as a jacket. The Ravenna bag is smaller than the older rolling suitcase but it forces me to travel a tad bit lighter. We both carry backpacks as well so as to be able to fit in everything needed. Enough said, I probably will not buy another RS bag unless the older rolling case is re-introduced. I am a light packer but do not think this bag is very efficient in its design.