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thin, light roller?

I'd like to add a roller bag to my travel arsenal, but I'd prefer it to be small: 18-19" tall if possible, or even shorter, and more importantly, thin. I've noticed that most rollers are about 8-9" deep, and I'd like one that's 7". 7.5", for instance, was the depth recommended by IATA in their short-lived cabin-friendly initiative, and it seems like a good idea. That size would be more versatile and more likely to squeeze into a packed overhead. I have searched online and visited Marshall's, and haven't found anything like that. If you know of one I'd appreciate it!

I already have a 19" Osprey Ozone, but my problem with it is that it doesn't have a rectangular design that lets you easily stack a personal bag on top. It's also kind of delicate and I'm always afraid it won't survive gate-checking, so I only take it on those rare flights when I need a roller and I am sure there will be space on top.

I've been carrying everything in Tom Bihn soft-sided bags, which I love, but I'm getting to the point where back problems are convincing me that I need a decent roller to rely on as well. Two wheels or four -- that doesn't matter to me.

Posted by
5697 posts

Or, if you can feel sprightly with the style, there are kids' suitcases in smaller sizes with rollers -- just depends on how much you like the Disney princess look.

Posted by
101 posts

Ha ha. Not so much with the kids' designs.
I'm looking for a hard sided roller with a two-pronged handle, so that a personal item could be placed on top of it.

Posted by
7898 posts

Get smaller than a 19" rolling bag, and you're in small backpack or thick briefcase size. You need more cubic inches than that.

We use 21" Travel Pro rolling carry on bags, and a small backpack for me and a big purse/shoulder bag for my wife. We can travel indefinitely with them.

Posted by
14149 posts

Why 7" depth? The IATA regs were metric measurements of 55cm x 35cm x 20 cm. That's 21.7" x 13.8" x 7.87 inches. The U.S. media rounded them down.

The Rick Steves Rolling Backpack is 20 x 14 x 7 and is currently on sale for $128. I have one that I don't use because it is a little small for me.

Posted by
101 posts

I think the Rick Steves backpack is soft-sided.
I'm just interested in a clean, simple rectangular, hard-sided piece of luggage that is thin.

The Eagle Creek International load warrior may be as close as you can get for your dimensions. You can compress it a bit to achieve the 7" you desire. I understand the desire to have a minimal bag. I wish we could custom design our bags. I was lucky years ago and found a very small roller bag on clearance at Sears. Cheap and sturdy. Wish Sears still made them. Mine is still going strong despite water park abuse.

Posted by
4083 posts

Not hard sided, which can make the bag heavy, this Lipault roller bag is very close to the dimensions you want at overall dimensions of 19.6" x 14.5" x 7.87." It weighs 4.4 pounds and is square, but it is soft sided.

My slightly larger and equally soft Lipault spinner easily accomodates a baggallini tote with the sleeve that slips over a square handle. I don't know how you'd keep a bag stable on top of any bag with a T-shaped handle.

There is also this spinner with similar weight and dimensions. And this somewhat hard sided spinner that weighs about a pound more. It measures about 21.5" x 13.8" x 9.5," so it's bigger than you want.

My last trip I used this Eagle Creek Load Warrior Rolling Duffel. It's not as small or shaped the way you mention, but I kept it at 20 pounds or less and found it very easy to move around and put in the overhead bin on the plane and the overhead rack on the train. I think that's largely because there are lots of places to grab it. My baggallini tote with the sleeve over the handle sat just fine on top.

About your back...I switched to a roller bag from an RS convertible carry-on backpack for the same reason. I had a heck of a time getting the thing on and off my back, even keeping it below 20 pounds. But I recently saw an Eagle Creek Afar Backpack on a big sale and bought it to try. So far I've found that it fits me better. I think that's because it's narrower by about 1.5 inches and it has a sternum strap. It helps that it's smaller by about 7 liters, so I can't pack as much. I hope I don't turn out to be delusional, but it also seems like the way it fits is very comfortable and helps me to stand up straighter.

I've only rehearsed with it so far. I'll be putting it to a domestic travel test in a couple of months, so I'll default to one of my roller bags for Europe if it doesn't work. Sarah Murdoch's ultralight packing video is a good inspiration for me, although she takes lots more garments than I do. currently has a forecast lite 18" spinner for $60. The dimensions are on target for you. It has a metal frame, simple rectangle. Again, I have the much older, 2 wheel version and it has been all over the place and is still going strong.
Sears has a small roller by American Trunk and Case Capri II. About $20. Again, the dimensions are on target for you. Check it out on-line. Sale price.

Posted by
14149 posts

Beth...the Rick Steve ROLLING Backpack is not softsided. You can easily put a smaller bag on top.

The Lipault I mentioned is also capable of putting a smaller bag on top. That's how I use it.

Posted by
92 posts

My children have small rollers for international travel, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much they could pack (everything they need for 2 weeks tho their clothes are smaller than mine!) and how easy they are to handle. We have never had to gate check, even flying US domestic flights when staff has come through the line looking for victims. They would fall apart of checked but really are a great size and shape.,0,140,180_QL70#featureBulletsAndDetailBullets_secondary_view_div_1489971083800