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Rick Steves Classic Bag question

I'm planning a trip by air and am worried about losing my checked suitcase. I need to check it because I'm packing walking poles and they are not allowed as carryon on my airline. I plan to have most of my checked bag empty and also take a soft-sided carryon and personal item. When I land at my destination, I want to be able to put my overhead carryon inside the checked bag (either complete or, more likely, take the packing cubes and put them in, and then lay the empty bag on top) and have just the wheeled checked bag and a small personal item to manage to get to the hotel.

I can put my tech stuff in the personal item. I'd like to put most of the clothes in the overhead carryon, using packing cubes. This way, if my checked bag is lost, I will still be okay. I have narrowed it down to Patagonia 40 Liter duffel with backpack straps or the Rick Steves Classic Bag. I think I can pack more efficiently in the RS bag, but will it collapse a bit and be somewhat flexible to fit into a checked bag of approximately 28" x 14" x 10"? How floppy is it when empty? Could you fold it in half when empty? Thanks!

Posted by
79 posts

While I can’t answer your question directly I would direct you the Rick Steves office. Call them to get a direct answer about the bag.

Posted by
1270 posts

I have the RS Classic bag (i.e. the NON-extendable) and I fold it in half for storage, but I just confirmed that I can fold it three times if necessary.

Have a nice trip.

Posted by
8063 posts

I got my Classic bag out too, and I can roll it into a shape about 6" diameter and 18" long. There is no framing in it - all soft.

Posted by
1259 posts

You can search the forum for hiking poles and trekking poles. Many helpful threads. Nothing at all wrong with your solution and it appears you have reassurances the carryon will, indeed, fit inside the roller. If this were my predicament, I'd just buy poles in-country and leave them behind. That's just me. A taxi to an outdoor store and 50-100€, chump change compared to the total expenses.

Posted by
550 posts

A very curious post. Is the emphasis on trekking poles or is it on losing a checked bag? Your post seems to have you taking a RS bag, a wheeled checked bag and a smaller bag for your tech stuff. Then you will rearrange your stuff later to suit the on ground needs. Is that right?
Where are the poles going to be carried? If they are prohibited on the plane then even putting them into a bag is not right. And where are those packing cubes, checked or for the change later on?
Lots of shuffling around of your luggage here.
Is all this for the sake of the trekking poles? Do you really need trekking poles at all? I have seen people using trekking poles around cities like Vienna. Looks so stupid. And never do these people look dependent on them. It is possible that once you start with trek poles you do become somewhat dependent on them, more psychologically than physically.
Just use a cane. Seem more in place in a city than poles.
You can bring a cane on the plane and they make collapsible ones.

Posted by
73 posts

Many thanks to l.p.enersen and stan for the classic bag info. This is exactly what I needed to know. I think I'm going to order one.

This is for a somewhat remote cruise. I need the walking poles for zodiac beach landings. The boat does not supply them. I am pretty physically fit (in part due to power nordic walking) and the poles will help me navigate rocky landings. I also need the checked bag for oversize muck boots, also not supplied.

Nordic walking with poles is great fun. It has not made me more dependent on the poles. It has made me stronger without them!