Carry on luggage

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rixer
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Carry on luggage

Post by rixer » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:42 pm

[Updated 2015 thread, check posting dates before responding - admin alex]

We are going to start traveling a little more and we need to get some new luggage. The airlines have been reducing down the size of carry-ons they'll allow and our doesn't qualify anymore. Do any of you traveling Bogelheads have any recommendations for us?
We would like find something with spinner wheels that is decent quality and reasonable price. The new restrictions seem to be 22X14X9 inches total to qualify for most airlines.

Any thoughts on which ones to look at and where to purchase?

Thank you for any suggestions. :happy

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pezblanco
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by pezblanco » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:46 pm

I went with REI .... great return policy and guarantee.

hicabob
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by hicabob » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:54 pm

I was recently surprised that Air Berlin has an 8kg weight limit for carryons so going for light weight might be a consideration. Wheels are nice in the airport but do add weight.

canderson
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by canderson » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:56 pm

Red Oxx.

Made in America. Indestructible.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:14 pm

canderson wrote:Red Oxx.

Made in America. Indestructible.
Certainly agree with this. My Air Boss has traveled a lot of air miles with me, never been refused as carry on.

Not cheap, however. And no wheels.

etarini
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by etarini » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:27 pm

This will be a disappointment, I know, but the 22x14x9 is neither new nor universal. Each airline has its own restrictions:
http://travel-made-simple.com/carry-on-size-chart/

http://www.travelnerd.com/airline-fees/ ... gage-sizes

But the worst part is that the luggage industry will always LIE about their dimensions, because the airlines have those little metal-framed boxes into which your carry-on must fit, and even if the body of the luggage is under the limit, the wheels, handles, etc. may prevent you from passing the test, and then you have to check the bag.

You can buy 10 different carry-ons, all of which claim to meet the requirements for all the airlines, and still fail to pass the dreaded test of sliding your suitcase into the metal-framed profit-increaser. And just because you got it there on a certain airline doesn't mean it will pass on the way back ON THE SAME AIRLINE with the SAME plane! (All of the above is from our experience.) You may be lucky, even for a long time, as we were, but you can't guarantee that you won't get trapped eventually. You literally have to measure the maximum dimensions when you buy the carry-on, taking into account the wheels and handles, etc. (this where 4-wheelers are two too many) to have a chance at passing the test.

Rick Steves has a carry-on model that will definitely fit on all airlines - but that's because it is significantly smaller than the "standard" 22x14x9.

My wife and I went to Italy in the summer of 2007, each using only a carry-on - never checking a bag, and yes, we did a lot of hand laundry. My motto is: if you don't give the airlines your bag, they can't lose it and they can't break it.

I don't have any better advice than CAVEAT EMPTOR and to measure anything you buy. Until there's an internation rule that requires every luggage manufacturer to give the exact MAXIMUM dimensions, we are at the mercy of the airlines.

Eric
Last edited by etarini on Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:29 pm

Travel Pro - it's what all the flight attendants use.
The spinner wheels have gained popularity but you actually loose some luggage room to accommodate 4 wheels with the same size carry one. 2 wheel luggage generally have more room for the same exterior dimensions. If you get a 2 wheel Travel Pro the wheels are easy to replace with inline skate wheels when worn (some pilots/flight attendents upgrade the wheels upon purchase).
I used to buy samsonite but the wheels are nearly impossible to change on many models - I've got three carry ons from Samsonite all with broken wheels.

Look for a Travel Pro outlet near you.
A lot of pro travelers are Tumi diehards - they come with lifetime warranty - if something goes wrong you can ship it in for free repair but they are far more expensive.

Lastly - if you plan on traveling internationally you will want a 20" versus a 22".

Jd1006
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Jd1006 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:06 pm

Tom Bihn. Simply the best designed carry on luggage out there. Well thought out pieces that maximize space and he is always innovating to keep up with the new standards.

TravelGeek
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:32 am

hicabob wrote:I was recently surprised that Air Berlin has an 8kg weight limit for carryons so going for light weight might be a consideration. Wheels are nice in the airport but do add weight.
LH has the same limit. KLM has a combined weight of both items of 12kg, I think. Other non US carriers have similar restrictive rules. When you fly them, you will notice that they rarely if ever run out of overhead space.

I will admit that I routinely violate the weight limits as I don't check bags on most trips and I have never been asked to weigh the rollaboard.

As for which bag... Check them out in the store, you can generally tell what is well built and what isn't. Never buy luggage at stores like Macy's when it's not on sale.

rjbraun
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by rjbraun » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:02 am

hicabob wrote:I was recently surprised that Air Berlin has an 8kg weight limit for carryons so going for light weight might be a consideration. Wheels are nice in the airport but do add weight.
We got stopped with the 8 kg limit this summer on Emirates. I was also over at 9.5 or so, but the agent only took issue with my partner who was significantly over at 12 kg. It's not hard to exceed 8 kg on a 2-week trip, imo. Anyway, the agent was pretty nice. We basically took stuff out of the overweight bag and put it in another carry-on piece. She let us through but kind of implied just this one time.

OP wants wheeled luggage, but for people interested in non-wheeled that converts from traditional bag to backpack, we were relatively happy and satisfied with this Patagonia bag:

http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/tra ... ?p=48109-0

Since it's soft, if you don't overstuff it I'm guessing it should have a better chance of meeting size restrictions, even if they get reduced a touch further (which I thought was under consideration).

cherijoh
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by cherijoh » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:04 am

I have had good luck with Eagle Creek luggage as it pairs well with their packing cubes and folders. My 22'' rolling bag is expandable -- which puts it beyond carry-on standards when unzipped. However, this has come in handy for return trips when I didn't care if they temporarily misplaced my dirty laundry.

I would be in serious trouble if anyone weighed my carryon to make sure it was less than 8 kg - I pack a very dense suitcase. A fellow passenger (who was helping me get my bag into the overhead compartment) asked me if I was carrying bricks! :shock:

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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:17 am

Learn to pack light and do laundry wherever you are going.

We flew spirit last summer. You are allowed one carry on free 10x12x14. This is about the size of a laptop backpack. This is all I need for a week away. They give no check ins free, by the way. For the 4 of us, we did check one bag that I carefully chose, tape measure in hand. Another passenger was over the weight limit by 5 pounds and was told to lighten his bag. He removed a bunch of costco sized things like shampoo. Why does anyone need a quart of shampoo unless they're going into the congo for 3 years?
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tibbitts
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by tibbitts » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:40 am

DaftInvestor wrote:Travel Pro - it's what all the flight attendants use.
Carry-on rules don't apply to flight attendants (or at least aren't enforced similarly) so that's not a particularly good measure for what to take yourself.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by LiveSimple » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:45 am

Whatever Costco has :D Let the Costco "buyer" do the shopping for us.

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gatorking
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by gatorking » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:48 am

I have found LL bean zip top tote bags to work best for me.
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/37037?fe ... ppxs&dds=y
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YttriumNitrate
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by YttriumNitrate » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:58 am

While looking for a good carry on bag don't forget about your "personal item" bag. A large laptop bag with a small laptop inside leaves lots of space for other items.

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FuyuKei
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by FuyuKei » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:49 am

I'm surprised no one said this yet.

Go to goodwill or any thrift store. There is usually a mountain of backpacks and suitcases for around $5-$10. I've scored some $150 luggage for $10 there before. It gets the job done.

If you are going for the "no checked bags" method, I recommend you skip the wheels and just get a duffel or backpack. You can always just set it on the floor when you stop moving, and it's a small bag so it's not going to be particularly heavy. Roll your clothes when you put them in the bag so you can fit more in there, and if you have a jacket wear it into the airport. It tends to be the most bulky. I'd recommend you take it off and use it as a blanket during the flight so you aren't smacking your neighbor trying to take it off and on.

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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Alex Frakt » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:59 am

Fly Southwest and check it :-)

ddurrett896
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:00 am

etarini wrote: But the worst part is that the luggage industry will always LIE about their dimensions, because the airlines have those little metal-framed boxes into which your carry-on must fit, and even if the body of the luggage is under the limit, the wheels, handles, etc. may prevent you from passing the test, and then you have to check the bag.
This plus the time savings is why I check in and print my boarding passes before arriving to the airport. I go straight to security and never have a problem. If it ends up being a problem, they will check it at the gate.

barnaclebob
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:31 am

pezblanco wrote:I went with REI .... great return policy and guarantee.
not any more...

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:52 am

tibbitts wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Travel Pro - it's what all the flight attendants use.
Carry-on rules don't apply to flight attendants (or at least aren't enforced similarly) so that's not a particularly good measure for what to take yourself.
Travel Pro has both 22" inch standard and 20" inch standard carry-ons - both in 2-wheel and 4-wheel configuration. I have a 20" I use for international and 2-3 night trips; and a 22" inch that I use for longer stretches of time.

My point wasn't the size - but the durability. If you are traveling every week (like a flight attendant or someone who spends every week on the plane for business) - you want to assure you have luggage that will hold up. Luggage is one of those areas where you can spend a little bit of money and have to re-spend every year - or spend a little bit more on something that will hold up for years.
Last edited by DaftInvestor on Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:55 am

Alex Frakt wrote:Fly Southwest and check it :-)
and pray that it gets there? :) A lot of us don't check luggage because of the nightmare of arriving somewhere with no luggage. Once you've had it happen to you once (or twice or three times like I have) you won't want to check it.

traveltoomuch
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:57 am

LiveSimple wrote:Whatever Costco has :D Let the Costco "buyer" do the shopping for us.
This is probably the winner idea so far. They have a Kirkland Signature bag in nylon for ~$100.

Personally, I use Victorinox's Werks Traveler bags. I love Victorinox's warranty support - if anything breaks, even if it was caused by an airline, they'll fix it. You pay shipping to return the bag to them; they pay to ship the bag back to you. Or, if you have a good luggage shop near you, they may be able to repair it on-site for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Because of that strong warranty support, I will even buy used or broken bags on Ebay, typically for $40-100 each - the previous generation bags are just as good as the current ones. The word of warning: I like these bags specifically because they really push the bounds on size - they are semi-soft-sided bags that have a little extra give to them. So if an airline insists that you use the sizer, the bag will probably fail the test. I have had that happen, but it's very, very rare.

As for 2-wheel v. 4-wheel (spinner): it's a matter of personal choice. With larger-than-carryon bags, I find spinners easier to push around. I'm not sure how helpful that is on a 22" bag. One downside to spinners: they don't stay in place as easily on a moving bus or train. I don't find that the wheels take up very much space, but in the case of the Victorinox bags, they decrease the size of the bags' main opening. Previous generations of Werks Traveler bags (pre-5.0) used a single-pole handle on 2-wheel bags. IMHO, that took up less interior room than the 2-pole handle used on spinner bags. It at least made packing easier, since it was easy to pack around the single obstruction. Their newest version (5.0) uses two-pole handles on all of the bags, muting that concern.

And re: weight limits on carry-ons: I have only seen foreign carriers enforce these, and then only rarely. If you check-in online or at a kiosk, skipping the main check-in desk, you'll likely be just fine. If you have to check a bag, leave your carry-on with a traveling companion out of sight of the check-in counter.

Summary: I would buy a used Werks Traveler 22 on Ebay, specifically preferring a previous-generation bag. But going with something from Costco may make sense for you, too.
Last edited by traveltoomuch on Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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goingup
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by goingup » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:05 am

pezblanco wrote:I went with REI .... great return policy and guarantee.
I did too. I prefer to buy luggage in the store, rather than on-line. It's helpful to feel the weight, pull it around, and decide if the pockets are optimal. REI doesn't have a huge selection, but the pieces are nice quality.

gamboolman
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by gamboolman » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:38 am

Been working international since 2003. Pelican Case makes a Carry On Compliant Case that I have been using for oversea's African travel for several years now. It is a Pelican case so ...... it is tough and reliable, has hasps so can easily lock with as much of a real lock as you want.
It is not light, but it's a Pelican case....
I got the one that has a pocket for laptop.
You could do alot worse.

gamboolman

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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:57 am

traveltoomuch wrote:
LiveSimple wrote:Whatever Costco has :D Let the Costco "buyer" do the shopping for us.
This is probably the winner idea so far. They have a Kirkland Signature bag in nylon for ~$100.

Personally, I use Victorinox's Werks Traveler bags. I love Victorinox's warranty support - if anything breaks, even if it was caused by an airline, they'll fix it. You pay shipping to return the bag to them; they pay to ship the bag back to you. Or, if you have a good luggage shop near you, they may be able to repair it on-site for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Because of that strong warranty support, I will even buy used or broken bags on Ebay, typically for $40-100 each - the previous generation bags are just as good as the current ones. The word of warning: I like these bags specifically because they really push the bounds on size - they are semi-soft-sided bags that have a little extra give to them. So if an airline insists that you use the sizer, the bag will probably fail the test. I have had that happen, but it's very, very rare.

As for 2-wheel v. 4-wheel (spinner): it's a matter of personal choice. With larger-than-carryon bags, I find spinners easier to push around. I'm not sure how helpful that is on a 22" bag. One downside to spinners: they don't stay in place as easily on a moving bus or train. I don't find that the wheels take up very much space, but in the case of the Victorinox bags, they decrease the size of the bags' main opening. Previous generations of Werks Traveler bags (pre-5.0) used a single-pole handle on 2-wheel bags. IMHO, that took up less interior room than the 2-pole handle used on spinner bags. It at least made packing easier, since it was easy to pack around the single obstruction. Their newest version (5.0) uses two-pole handles on all of the bags, muting that concern.

And re: weight limits on carry-ons: I have only seen foreign carriers enforce these, and then only rarely. If you check-in online or at a kiosk, skipping the main check-in desk, you'll likely be just fine. If you have to check a bag, leave your carry-on with a traveling companion out of sight of the check-in counter.

Summary: I would buy a used Werks Traveler 22 on Ebay, specifically preferring a previous-generation bag. But going with something from Costco may make sense for you, too.
We have a Tumi store nearby, and we've brought in broken cases (even if purchased elsewhere).
Not only is the fix/replacement free, but - this was a nice surprise - they offered us a "loaner" suitcase to use on an upcoming trip.
(It looked new.)

As for weighing luggage, I think the domestic carriers are getting serious.
In late June, we saw the person ahead of us at Jet Blue frantically pulling stuff out of her luggage.
At first, I assumed she was looking for some necessary ID or such.
Nope.
She then put it back on the scale, and the rep said it was "close enough", and she stuffed a bunch of things in her carry on.
It wasn't a zipped bag, and I could just imagine her things leaving a trail behind her through the airport.

I don't remember seeing that happen, or anyone at Jet Blue commenting about the weight of our bags, which would probably "fail".
But we pay for the "extra legroom", and maybe that's different, or they might be less strict?

RM
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Flashes1
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Flashes1 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:02 am

Tumi.

JimmyD
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by JimmyD » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:26 am

Another vote for Eagle Creek. Expensive, but amazingly well-built and backed by a no-hassle, no-questions, lifetime guarantee. I've owned a carry-on for 5 or 6 years, never had a problem. Bought one for my wife last year and again, no problems. Will be buying a third for my son when he gets a bit older.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:35 am

FuyuKei wrote:If you are going for the "no checked bags" method, I recommend you skip the wheels and just get a duffel or backpack.
Yup. I'm a huge fan of "travelpacks", aka "convertible carry-ons". They're basically soft-sided carry-on bags without wheels, but with backpack-style straps (and in some cases, a waist belt too). You can tuck in the straps and it looks just like a regular piece of luggage.

I used to use the Patagonia MLC, but later switched over to the Rick Steves model, which I now prefer.

Anyway, assuming you have the physical ability to carry some type of bag on your back (not everyone does), there are big advantages over using wheeled luggage:
  • Those wheels, handle, and frame take up room and weight. Without them, you can pack more in the same space. (Or pack the same amount and just enjoy the lighter bag.)
  • Much easier to deal with escalators, stairs, cobblestone streets, curbs, etc.
  • Much easier to chase after that bus that's about to leave!
  • Keeps both hands free. Grabbing a sandwich and a drink at the airport while still dealing with your bag is much easier and quicker. (Not to mention visiting the men's room.)
  • Much less likely to overpack when it's all going on your back.
  • Much easier to keep track of your bag and just deal with it in general. I once walked across a good part of London during a long layover with my bag on my back. Saved having to find a storage locker. Would've been a real pain if I had to lug a wheeled piece of luggage along instead.
Stay on target...

traveltoomuch
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:39 am

ResearchMed wrote: As for weighing luggage, I think the domestic carriers are getting serious.
In late June, we saw the person ahead of us at Jet Blue frantically pulling stuff out of her luggage.
...
She then put it back on the scale, and the rep said it was "close enough", and she stuffed a bunch of things in her carry on.
This sounds like the weighing of a checked bag. And, yes, the domestic carriers are pretty serious about that.

The discussion earlier in this thread was about weighing carry on bags.

traveltoomuch
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:48 am

JupiterJones wrote: Yup. I'm a huge fan of "travelpacks", aka "convertible carry-ons". They're basically soft-sided carry-on bags without wheels, but with backpack-style straps (and in some cases, a waist belt too). You can tuck in the straps and it looks just like a regular piece of luggage.
I carried a Rick Steves convertible bag for many years before switching to the Victorinox rolling bags. If your body is up for carrying everything, those can be great. The bag itself weighs about three pounds, compared to seven-something pounds for a Werks Traveler 22. It can be awkward, though, to carry both the big bag and a large "personal item" like a large laptop bag or backpack.

And the OP asked for a wheeled bag.

Tamales
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Tamales » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:08 pm

As someone mentioned, the airlines vary quite a lot in what they say they allow (Allegiant Air is one that comes to mind which has especially small dimensions).

It's true that luggage manufacturers lie about dimensions, but also the luggage vendor websites sometimes have incorrect size info so triple check once you find a bag.

I bought a Kirkland bag at Costco. Doesn't meet every airline's numbers.

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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by rjbraun » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:17 pm

JupiterJones wrote: [*]Much easier to deal with escalators, stairs, cobblestone streets, curbs, etc.
And MUCH QUIETER going over cobblestone

rjbraun
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by rjbraun » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:21 pm

traveltoomuch wrote:
ResearchMed wrote: As for weighing luggage, I think the domestic carriers are getting serious.
In late June, we saw the person ahead of us at Jet Blue frantically pulling stuff out of her luggage.
...
She then put it back on the scale, and the rep said it was "close enough", and she stuffed a bunch of things in her carry on.
This sounds like the weighing of a checked bag. And, yes, the domestic carriers are pretty serious about that.
Well, in my case, when we checked-in for our Emirates flight and said that we had no bags to check, the agent still asked us to put our luggage on the scale, as she specifically stated that she wanted to check weight. So, in this case, she was clearly weighing bags -- even though they were intended to be carried on-board

Edit: Admittedly, we were traveling internationally, but I think all traveling BHs would do well to take care in keeping baggage weight down, unless they are prepared to have it checked. And even then, they can still get hit with baggage overweight fees, not to mention checked bag charges

DoubleClick
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by DoubleClick » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:55 pm

Surprised Briggs and Riley hasn't been mentioned yet. Incredibly well designed and built, and amazing lifetime warranty, even if it's the airline's fault. Solid American company that stands behind this warranty.

Flyertalk, which is like bogleheads for travelers has plenty of threads discussing B&R.

They have several carry on models, both for international and domestic.

YttriumNitrate
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by YttriumNitrate » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:59 pm

While luggage may get weighed by the airlines, your clothing usually is not. One trick my sister uses when traveling from the US to China is to put the densest stuff in the pockets of a large trench coat. While she's pretty small, a friend of hers once traveled with a coat stuffed with carbiners and weighing over 40 pounds...that must have been interesting going through security.

tim1999
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by tim1999 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:26 pm

I fly fairly often for short trips and I use a cheapo duffel bag from Walmart. As long as you don't completely stuff it way past reasonable capacity, it fits in just about any airliner bin. It helps that it doesn't have hard edges. It will fit in a regional jet overhead if you don't fill it all the way. You just compress it in. I see a lot of people struggling to get firm-edged bags to fit in the bins with the door shut, whereas mine, you just squeeze it in.

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FrogPrince
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by FrogPrince » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:45 pm

We just got waylaid by Lufthansa on our carry-on weighing too much. Fortunately, we were able to rearrange to avoid the check-in fee (100 euro!). It appears there recently is more of an effort to crack down on carry-on weight. The agent said 8kg was the limit, but she would allow up to 10kg. I suppose a lighter plan burns less fuel - sigh.

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sddiehard
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by sddiehard » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:59 pm

I second checking out Rick Steves' bags. https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/travel-bags

We've been using them for years. The new rolling bag is now 20". (I have the Convertible Carry-On and find it easier to use than those with wheels.)

Paul

cherijoh
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by cherijoh » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:11 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Learn to pack light and do laundry wherever you are going.

We flew spirit last summer. You are allowed one carry on free 10x12x14. This is about the size of a laptop backpack. This is all I need for a week away. They give no check ins free, by the way. For the 4 of us, we did check one bag that I carefully chose, tape measure in hand. Another passenger was over the weight limit by 5 pounds and was told to lighten his bag. He removed a bunch of costco sized things like shampoo. Why does anyone need a quart of shampoo unless they're going into the congo for 3 years?
I have always wondered the same - even for the regular (non-Costco sizes)! I have travel-sized containers that I fill for the full-sized bottles in my bathroom before every trip. I traveled with a friend once whose toiletries bag as at least double, if not triple the size of mine.

Copernicus
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Copernicus » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:59 pm

Make sure to measure dimensions INCLUDING wheels and strap since the manufacturers only list the dimensions of the container, while the airline makes you fit the carry-on in that box they keep at the gate!!
Some airlines send you back before going through security to check in a bag that does meet requirements, and you have to pay. Some others check at the gate and make you hand in the bag for later pick-up, but no extra fee.

southbay
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by southbay » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:41 pm

I shopped around a lot last year for a new carry on. I ended up getting a Travelpro Maxlite 20" size. Cost about $75. Can be found on Amazon and elsewhere. Incredible value, and the size is perfect. It fits effortless into overhead bins, but big enough for all my stuff. For me, this size bag is perfect. It's not a spinner, but I dislike spinners and find the extra wheels added weight and complexity I don't need.

rixer
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by rixer » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:13 am

I want to thank everybody for all your great and detailed responses!

We thought we wanted spinner luggage for carry-ons but now after reading through these posts I think we'll forget the wheels. From what we've looked through, we're leaning towards one of those convertible backpacks. While we want to buy something that is made sturdy and will last a while, some of the luggage out there is out of our range (price wise) I think.

We're thinking about getting the convertible back pack from Rick Steves.
https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/carry-on-backpack

Thanks again for all the help! :happy :happy
Rick

bluejello
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by bluejello » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:18 am

Another vote for TravelPro. Light, durable, inexpensive, and I've never had a problem taking it on as carry-on. I am a very frequent traveller — I've racked up about 70,000 miles so far this year — and I've taken my TravelPro Maxlite 20" Rollaboard across North America, Asia, and Africa with no problems whatsoever. My bag is about 2 years old now and still looks like new.

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backpacker
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by backpacker » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:26 am

JupiterJones wrote: I'm a huge fan of "travelpacks", aka "convertible carry-ons". [...] There are big advantages over using wheeled luggage.
I couldn't agree more. Unless you are disabled or elderly or under the age of three, you should be able to travel with everything you need in a backpack you can carry. It makes every aspect of traveling easier. Easier to find places for on buses and plains. Easier navigate through airports. Less weight, so you're more likely to stay under the progressively decreasing weight limits.

I use an actual hiking backpack myself. It has more internal structure and better straps, so is much more comfortable to carry than the Rick Steves backpack I used to use.

scotthal
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by scotthal » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:53 am

I'm kind of fond of my eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior - solidly built, carries a lot, & is frequently on sale for ~$60.
Growtch, grinch; paranoid contrarian

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Escape Velocity
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by Escape Velocity » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:01 pm

I'm very surprised with all of these great replies, to not have seen my go-to carry-on bag mentioned.

It is the Osprey Porter 36. It is the only bag I ever travel with, no matter how long I am traveling (I've learned to pack pretty light). Oh, and I never check a bag. It has compression straps that will let you keep adding clothes (or whatever), and you can pull hard on the compression straps and keep it to carry-on size. I have *never* been challenged about it when boarding.

It is soft-sided, no wheels or frame to waste space, but does have backpack straps which I use to let me walk any distance through airports or to my hotel, and keep my hands free for whatever my "personal" carry-on might be (usually a small daypack for hiking). It also has a comfortable handle to use it as hand luggage if that's more appropriate, and you can stow away the backpack straps so they are unseen (and don't interfere with baggage conveyer belts).

Here is the first review I saw of the item from Amazon, and believe it accurately describes its utility and high quality (lifetime warranty), great materials and craftsmanship. This is also my color and I love it:
Backpack Perfection! AND Airline Carry-on Size Compliant!

Size: 30-LiterColor: Hoodoo Red
Nice size backpack for a week get-away in the woods. Perfect size for a one-bag get-away when flying commercially.

I fly a lot on business. I do NOT check bags (too slow). The Porter 30 fits my needs perfectly. It easily fits in overhead storage on a commercial plane. The shoulder harness and hip belt secure in their own pockets when not being used (so they aren't flapping around like so many other backpacks). It has convenient carry handles, and loops to attach a separate shoulder strap. The Straight Jacket Compression keeps bulk to a minimum, and makes for a nice tidy pack. It has a front panel organization pocket, and a top pocket.

The Porter 30 replaces a roll-aboard suitcase and separate briefcase I used to carry. It allows me to travel lighter and smarter. The shoulder and waist harness are supremely comfortable, when it comes time to carry this pack any distance.

The materials and craftsmanship are top notch. It is lightweight. The design is pure functionality! It is very reasonably priced. The best part: All Osprey packs carry the Osprey Almighty Guarantee. If any Osprey product fails for any reason, any time, Osprey will repair it or replace it. Period. There is a reason Osprey is THE leading backpack manufacturer in the world. The Porter 30 is just one great example of their 'outside the box' thinking which keeps them well ahead of the pack.

Bottom line: Great size & functionality. Outstanding quality & lifetime guarantee. A lot of bang for the buck. RECOMMENDED!
There are only a few items that I have found that I truly love and believe I will use them for the rest of my life. This is one of those few items.

Enjoy your travels.

cherijoh
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by cherijoh » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:29 am

rixer wrote:I want to thank everybody for all your great and detailed responses!

We thought we wanted spinner luggage for carry-ons but now after reading through these posts I think we'll forget the wheels. From what we've looked through, we're leaning towards one of those convertible backpacks. While we want to buy something that is made sturdy and will last a while, some of the luggage out there is out of our range (price wise) I think.

We're thinking about getting the convertible back pack from Rick Steves.
https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/carry-on-backpack

Thanks again for all the help! :happy :happy
Rick
One thing to be aware of if you go with a travel pack is that you need to be aware of how much extra space you take up. I have almost been brained several times by people carrying a backpack suitcase trying to maneuver through a crowded space at the airport or on the plane.

rjbraun
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by rjbraun » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:25 am

JupiterJones wrote:
FuyuKei wrote:If you are going for the "no checked bags" method, I recommend you skip the wheels and just get a duffel or backpack.
Yup. I'm a huge fan of "travelpacks", aka "convertible carry-ons". They're basically soft-sided carry-on bags without wheels, but with backpack-style straps (and in some cases, a waist belt too). You can tuck in the straps and it looks just like a regular piece of luggage.

I used to use the Patagonia MLC, but later switched over to the Rick Steves model, which I now prefer.
Now that this post has shifted to wheel-free, backpack-convertible luggage, I'll ask the question that's been on my mind: why do you prefer the Rick Steves model to Patagonia's?

After using the Patagonia MLC for the first time this summer, I realize that the support is nowhere near what my Dana Design backpack offers (though I doubt that the Rick Steves bag is built like a Dana bag, either), but the MLC is also more convenient to handle without all the long straps and whatnot associated with a hiking backpack. And after reading others' posts here, I can see how compression straps rather than or in addition to the zippered pocket of the MLC could be beneficial. But otherwise, based on aesthetics and Patagonia's generally well-designed products, in my opinion, I'm curious about the seeming popularity of Rick Steves' luggage, especially for someone who previously used a Patagonia bag. And, yes, I do have some ambivalence about Rick Steves and how popular his tours, books, products, etc have become, but I will put that aside for now :)

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JupiterJones
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Re: Carry on luggage

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:39 pm

rjbraun wrote: Now that this post has shifted to wheel-free, backpack-convertible luggage, I'll ask the question that's been on my mind: why do you prefer the Rick Steves model to Patagonia's?
Good question!

First, the model of MLC I have is ten-or-so years old. They've tweaked and redesigned it since then, and some of this might not apply to the current version. With that in mind...
  • The material on my Rick Steves bag seems sturdier and "stiffer" than the somewhat parachute-esque material of my MLC. So, although the RS bag is still soft-sided and easy to jam into various overhead bins, it's less "floppy" than the MLC, which makes it a bit easier to handle, IMHO. (On the other hand, the main compartment doesn't open up as widely as the MLC's does, so there's that.)
  • I find the pocket configuration (in both number and size of pockets) to be more convenient on the RS bag. Overall, the MLC pockets seems to have been designed for horizontal use/access, whereas the RS pockets are more for upright (backpack-like) use/access. Among other things, this make it easier to get to (or stow) items in the pockets without having to pull it out of the overhead compartment.
  • The shoulder straps are better-padded and more comfortable on my RS bag. My MLC's shoulder straps have zero padding. (This may have improved since?)
  • The RS bag has internal straps and outside compression straps. My MLC just has the internal straps.
  • The RS bag has a bottle holder pouch on the outside that is surprisingly useful. And the "hidden" pouch included inside the RS bag is a nice touch too.
  • The RS bag is significantly less expensive.
That said, the MLC is still a fine bag. I convinced my wife to "go travel-pack" on our last big vacation and let her use the RS bag, leaving me with the old MLC again. I didn't mind much at all (and she is now a convert!)

I also think you probably wouldn't go wrong with the aforementioned eBags or Osprey bags. Honestly the difference between a travelpack and a standard wheeled carry-on is where the bang-for-the-buck is. The differences among individual travelpacks are mere nitpicks by comparison.
Last edited by JupiterJones on Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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