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The Value of Water Resistant Luggage

Yesterday, I was caught in a wind-driven deluge of rain at Orlando airport parking lot. I was amazed at how well our luggage and contents survived. This was high-level luggage abuse coupled with quickly dragging and tossing the luggage into the car trunk. Our luggage also spent time outside in the rain while getting loaded into the plane last December.
Lessons learned - fabric matters, rain flap over zipper on backpacks matter, storm resistant zippers help, packing cubes/laundry bags that are weather resistant help. Packable raincoats help.

Posted by
72 posts

After looking at our Eagle Creek luggage sitting on the dock in FT Lauderdale, on the top of the pile and waiting to be loaded on to our cruise ship, I was very grateful it was not raining. Everything inside would have been soaked. That day, I vowed to never take another cruise without hard shell luggage.

When we are our own baggage handlers, I put a large black plastic trash bag (stored in a pocket) over the suitcase with a hole for the handle. Instant DIY "luggage umbrella." :-)

I prefer to not think about airports where it sits on the carts, going in and out of the plane cargo area. Might be why hard shell luggage is getting popular.

Posted by
1179 posts

There’s nothing stopping you from using a garbage bag on the inside of the luggage.
That’s what we did in the “old days” backpacking.
Garbage bag goes in first as a liner, contents go in, then roll up the top of the bag.
Not waterproof but quite water resistant.

Posted by
13513 posts

When we are our own baggage handlers, I put a large black plastic
trash bag (stored in a pocket) over the suitcase with a hole for the
handle. Instant DIY "luggage umbrella." :-)

We do the same thing!

Posted by
2018 posts

Cindy and Kathy! Using a trash bag over the outside of my bag is a good idea and I have done that, too. In addition, I often put a folded trash bag on top of the bottom half of the suitcase, covering my packed stuff, making sure whatever is packed in the top section doesn't contain anything that might be ruined if it gets wet. Trash bags have kept all my stuff dry on more than one occasion......Sitting on the tarmac in Istanbul in a driving rain in one instance!

Posted by
1179 posts

When I was traveling across the bush in Africa I always bagged my clothing.
I would bundle wrap my clothes, slip them into a kitchen garbage bag and then secure with the luggage tie down straps.
It really kept all the dust and blowing sand out.
Sometimes there was an amazing amount of sand inside the luggage. It could only sneak through the zippers and the luggage was inside a vehicle. Amazing.

Posted by
459 posts

Everything in my bag is in ziplocks, mostly for organization & visibility, & cheaper than cubes (or buying new luggage). Been doing this since before cubes were invented :)

Had the downpour-on-the-tarmack'ed luggage cart just once, but only the luggage was damp on arrival.

The interior & exterior garbage bags are a good idea, too, thanks!

Posted by
101 posts

There’s nothing stopping you from using a garbage bag on the inside of
the luggage. That’s what we did in the “old days” backpacking.
Garbage bag goes in first as a liner, contents go in, then roll up the
top of the bag. Not waterproof but quite water resistant.

This works well. Especially using the "contractor" grade trash bags available from Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They're a little more expensive but very tough and puncture resistant.

Posted by
1179 posts

This works well. Especially using the "contractor" grade trash bags available from Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They're a little more expensive but very tough and puncture resistant.

This extra weight, stiffness, bulk, and protection really isn’t needed on the inside of the bag. The contents are already protected by the bag itself. A simple 2-3 mm garbage bag will do, and packs down significantly smaller.

Posted by
101 posts

This extra weight, stiffness, bulk, and protection really isn’t needed
on the inside of the bag. The contents are already protected by the
bag itself. A simple 2-3 mm garbage bag will do, and packs down
significantly smaller.

The contractor bags are 3mm in thickness. The weight difference between one of these and a standard trash bags couldn't possibly be more than a few grams. The size of the folded bag isn't noticeably different from a standard trash bag.

Posted by
12 posts

Another alternative to consider for checked bags is luggage wrapping service where bags are wrapped by a machine in layers of thin plastic wrap.

The service is available at many foreign airports.

In the USA, as far as I know it's currently available at 4 airports: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Houston International, and New York JFK.

The service costs about $15 and is found in the check-in areas of airports.

For more about the service, look up BAGS TO GO at Fort Lauderdale, or SECURE WRAP
at Miami, Houston International, or New York JFK.

I’ve found the service useful for these reasons:

-- Deters tampering or theft by baggage handlers or anyone else.

-- Prevents contents from spilling if bag is damaged.

-- Keeps bag cleaner and reduce wear & scrapes from rough handling.

-- Protects against rain & snow.

When a checked bag passes through x-ray screening, if it's flagged for manual inspection, an agent will cut off the wrap.

However, the SECURE WRAP service at Miami, Houston International, and New York JFK has a special arrangement with TSA so that if a checked bag is opened by TSA, the service will re-wrap the bag before it's loaded on the plane.

Posted by
1277 posts

I'm late to the party, but I'm thinking of you, Sun, as hurricane season cranks up.
in 1989 apparently my checked bag leapt out of the baggage cart as it approached the plane and spent the night outside in a Detroit thunderstorm. Every thing was saturated by the time it came back to me in st Louis
The airline paid to have the clothes dry cleaned, replaced the books and shoes.
Thankfully this was on the trip home