Post by The Walk of the Penguin Mich on Oct 28, 2011 10:24:59 GMT -5
I have a Victorinox expandable carry on that I use and love it. The style I got has a lifetime guarantee and earlier this year, one of the wheels broke. I could have sent it back to them, or they'd send me the wheels to replace it, so I chose that option. Not inexpensive though, I think I paid just under $200 for the bag at Tuesday Morning.
Seems to me that the quality of Samsonite has gone down recently, a friend of mine (who travels as much as I do) had issues with her recently purchased bag as well. Tumi's not cheap, I have a laptop backpack which is great, but I've noticed that the leather's starting to split on one of the handles.
I like Delsey too, may want to look there. I've also seen a lot of Travelpro bags carried by airline employees and it seems like they hold up well.
I just use cheep crap, something like a backpack from the local supermarket. The usually last about two years, then I throw them out and go buy another one. I don't travel with a lot of formal/business wear though. I like to travel very light.
For durable luggage, I like what I've gotten from ricksteves.com. Although Steves is known as a travel writer, tour company operator and TV travel show host, he has also designed luggage that stands up to the 3 - 6 months a year he spends traveling and filming his TV shows and researching for his travel guide books, as well as meeting the needs of his tour guide staff for luggage that will stand up to the rigors of being used every single day for several months of the year. I've used one of his light weight day pack backpacks for over 7 years with absolutely no problems. Kind of wish it would wear out so I could get another color, but it looks like I'm going to have to wait at least another 7 years. Steves' luggage line includes some unusual items. A carry-on that converts to a backpack and a roll-aboard that converts to a backpack. (Steves started out guiding young adults on low budget European tours that traveled by train, etc., hence the availability of backpack style luggage, in addition to more traditional bags.)
I've had my RIMOWA luggage for 5 years now. I bought my first piece while in Hong Kong and ended up buying the complete set. When empty you can lift it with one finger! That means all 50 lbs can be packed into it and you won't get dinged for overweight. I travel a lot so I don't like dragging a suitcase with a carry-on through the airport and at baggage claim. This stuff is 4 wheels independent, it glides next to me and I stack the carry-on on top side-ways and fly through the airport.
Also, I often times will bring along two full size plus the carry-on and they glide next to me like well heeled dogs! Love it. Can't tell you how many times I hear sound bites by people who say, "THAT's what I need!"
I bought a $20 black rolling bag from the Christmas Tree shop in MA about 15 years ago. It has made at least 70 trips. No fraying, wheels still work, no problems. The only tag on the bag says Coronado.
I kept thinking I ought to get a spiffier high end bag when I was travelling a lot, but decided I'll just wait until this one dies - its still going strong!
While Seattlegirl's luggage recommendation looks really cool, I prefer soft sided luggage. And multiple smaller bags vs. one very large bag. I came to this preference after trying to pack a relative's Samsonite three suiter into a minivan along with six people and their luggage during a two week tour around Ireland. I found that the soft side luggage accommodates the lumps and bumps of car trunks and auto interiors much better than something rigid that seems the size of a battleship. Smaller bags are also easier to get through door ways and to lug up and down stairways, etc. This becomes a factor when middle aged you is the youngest person traveling with a group of seniors and you become the defacto bag boy.