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RS HideAway Tote- is it too big for International Personal Item?

We want to buy a couple of the RS HideAway Totes to use as an extra bag for purchases in Italy. We are doing carry-on only and the tote will only be used on the way home as our 2nd CarryOn/personal item. The dimensions are 22X8X16... Bigger than the RS Rolling CarryOn. Can this HideAway tote be used or is it too large?

Posted by
5697 posts

Easy solution -- check one bag through on the way home and carry your breakable purchases in the tote (since the bag is soft, it can fit in the bag sizer) Worked for me flying Lufthansa FRA-SFO in January, although I mostly was carrying on clothes and put heavy purchases (cans of goulash soup and jars of Nivea cream) in the checked bag. If your checked bag gets delayed on the way home, no real problem since the airline can deliver it later.

Posted by
1831 posts

If you're talking about the 'Don't Tell Rick' bag, then I would say yes, it can be used as a carry-on. However, be careful in that it can hold an incredible amount of stuff and when full, can be quite large spatially. I bought one from the RS online store as an afterthought, threw it in my one suitcase & promptly forgot about it. But, it sure came in handy on our recent trip after we bought three leather jackets in Florence, so from that point on, through the train to Salerno and our flight from Naples to Munich to Chicago, it was with me. It was I would say 90% full with the leather jackets, my CPAP machine and a few other little items I stuffed in there. It was not a problem scrunching it up somewhat & placing it in the overhead. The fabric is thin but made of an almost untearable material.

Bottom line is that if you each want to take one for your accumulated 'stuff', plan on not filling each bag to the gills, try not to put anything breakable in there (or if you do put it in the middle with something soft around it), and if you're going to be carrying it around, try fashioning a pad out of some cushioning material to wrap around part of the strap, in that when heavy that strap bites into the shoulder, as I found out.

Posted by
11434 posts

It's way too big for a personal item. The only way to carry a full Hideaway Tote is to check your other carry-on.

If you truly want to be carry-on'll have to curtail your shopping or ship things home.

But from your previous posts it seems shopping is very important to you. In that case, just plan on checking a bag home.

Posted by
5789 posts

Not every airline defines size limits for a second "personal" item. For many airlines your 16 inch wide bag exceeds the new norm of 14 inch max width. The intend of the max personal bag size is that it should fit under the seat of an economy class cabin.

Posted by
4373 posts

You can absolutely use them as a second carry-on...if you don't fill them. I Lurve these bags. I've lost count on how many I own. I order one nearly every time I place an order from RS' Travel Store (these, and more $1 plug adaptors). I never want to be without these bags!

Because I never want to check my European travel backpack (possible rips, grease, other damage), I always pack a 24"x12" sturdy duffle bag in the bottom of my main bag. I put items I wouldn't spill tears over in that bag and check it on the way home (free on my international lights), and carry my more precious items (souvenirs and other delicate/irreplaceable items) in my carry-on travel pack. Yes, I will also have an under-the-seat bag for my in-flight 'stuff' ;-)

When folded up, they make great places to put delicate items (jewelry, small ceramics, etc.) and can provide a padded bottom for your daybag while out and about. I even used one as a padded case for my Kindle while I decided what type of 'real' case I wanted to purchase. They're also great for consolidating those smaller bags that you can accumulate during the day - souvenirs, picnic supplies, laundry...I use mine at home all of the time, too.

I've used the HideAway tote as an under-the-seat bag before, but it was obviously floppy and nowhere near full, so no problems with the cabin crew. You can place items in it so that when carried on your shoulder you can tuck the front and back 'ends' under (against your body) so that it looks smaller at first glance.

If you've never seen this bag in person, it's more like a soft nylon grocery shopping bag - very flexible fabric, so it's not a rigid 8x16x22 'box'. I've heard of people (successfully) checking this bag, but I would never do that because the fabric is not nearly strong enough. You might get lucky a time or two, but I've seen waaay stronger bags with their contents spilling all over the baggage carousel :-(

chinakake67, if you order the HideAway Totes and don't like them. I may need a few more... ;-)

Posted by
646 posts

Seems there's lots of differing opinions about this. The size is definitely too big, unless we keep it fairly empty and make it 'look' smaller. We will get a couple, as they seem like great totes- we will keep them in our day bags (a Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag for me & a CoPilot for my husband) just in case we need them for, wine, olive oil, a leather bag (this is what we plan on buying)!!!!

We ended up buying an Eagle Creek No Matter What Medium Duffel to "check" on the way home. We will keep our primary carry on (a Tom Bihn Aeronaut45 each) with us. Thanks for the input.

Posted by
123 posts

I don't think I've taken a trip in 10 years without a "Don't Tell Rick" bag. We use them for beach bags, dirty laundry, grocery shopping, car totes. Proud to say I haven't needed to use one to bring stuff home for a few years. The RS totes are sturdy and have thick straps, but they're not heavy.

However, when I did use one for a trip home from France, I packed my roller with the heavy French art books and new tablecloth from Provence and some dirty clothes for checking. I put my half-empty EC packing folder and packing cubes in the RS tote to give it some structure and protection. Worked well, but that was before the crackdown in personal items. These days most of my souvenirs are postcards or scarves. We even managed to pack the big coconut bank from Kauai (a holiday gift from one son to another) in carryon only.

Posted by
529 posts

Mine is used for eveything, too. It's been both checked and carryon luggage. Because of the material mentioned by others, if you don't over stuff he bag, it's easily accepted as your carry on bag for flights back to U.S.

Posted by
16883 posts

I've carried the RS HideAway Tote onboard many times and stored it under the seat in front of me, which is the airline's primary goal for a "personal item." I also don't hesitate to check my larger bag, especially on the way home. Whether the new purchases are in one bag or the other depends on their weight, fit, fragility, liquid contents, etc. In any case, pack your larger bag in such a way that it can be checked at the gate, which can happen if you're one of the last to board a full airplane.