Lightest Luggage Possible

Sep 17th, 2005, 04:28 AM
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Lightest Luggage Possible

We are planning a trip to Tanzania in March and have been told that there is a weight restriction of 33 lbs per person on the 'hopper' flights. So, we are obviously looking for the lightest possible luggage. I had thought of Le Sport Sac. They make a garment bag and a very large weekender. But, does anyone else have a suggestion? Any particular website to check out? Thanks
bugswife1 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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I wouldn't recommend Le Sportsac -- their bags are made of lightweight material which wouldn't take kindly to the kind of abuse luggage receives on safari (and from international airlines). I think you're better off with something made of Cordura or another 'rip-stop' material. I use a tweed/leather Hartmann duffle which is not exactly lightweight but can certainly take a beating.

You'll also be surprised how far that 33lbs can go, once you realise that you only need to bring 2 or at most 3 days' worth of clothing as laundry is done daily. Toiletries are also available in the camps.

jasher is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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If my Hartmann were to give up the ghost, I would probably buy a plain canvas 'army' type duffle as a replacement if I wanted to save money, or a Tumi bag if I wanted to splurge. Tumi makes great luggage which is practically indestructible.

jasher is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 05:39 AM
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Thanks. I was thinking sport sac because i can carry it on the plane. but, maybe not.
bugswife1 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Go for a duffle bag without wheels. You can get luggage carts at all airports or once in Tanzania, there is someone who will carry these.


they have a selection of heavier duty cordora. SportSac is too light and will be ruined. Your bags will be checked, they're not carryons for our Int'l flight unless Business or First will allow.

Ebags had one with their own Ebags name last year... though not shown on current site (weighed less then 5-lbs). You can inquire about this. It's 30" and cost was about $25 each. There are others, some way too expensive for the purpose; you shouldn't have to pay more then $50.

Also check REI - they have a selection, light weight (2-3 lbs) but more expensive.

Or check a local luggage store where you live - might find something at a good price.

We, however, borrowed from friends who had been in East Africa a few months earlier with the Ebag duffles. These held up well for their trip, then for our trip and were returned still looking like new.

You can get plenty into a 30" bag/33-lbs.
Sep 17th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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Bugswife1, Julian and others offer great advice. You can get quite a bit of stuff for 33 lbs bearing in mind many camps either already include laundry service or charge a nominal fee. For incountry flights I wore photo vest with my camera stuff and binocs. For clothers, torch, couple of books, few snack items etc I was well under the 33 pound limit for my one piece bag. We visited our local AAA office and purchased softsided bags made by Travel Adventure for something between $15 and $20. Side pockets with zippers and carry strap made for nice piece. Actually a bit bigger than I needed but worked out fine. Knew we each had a big of weight to spare -- for possible purchases in Tanzania plus we planned on leaving paperbacks and some clothing as we moved around. Good luck in the planning and have a great trip. Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 10:23 PM
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Have a look at Eagle Creek. They have all shapes and sizes with a LIFETIME guarantee. I've had my soft luggage type (with hidden straps if I want to put on my back) for 10 years. Its still in great shape after travelling through over 50 countries, mostly 3rd world.
luangwablondes is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Hubby and I were limited to 26 pounds apiece for our trip to Botswana and I was sure we would go over. We used our "Back Door Bags" that we had gotten many years back through Rick Steves (Europe Throught the Back Door) and we used those plus we each had a small shoulder tote (also bought through Rick Steves). By using the laundry at the various lodges and camps, we got by with very little for 2 weeks. Actually, I ended up discovering that I had brought too much. I found myself wearing the same few items most of the time. To check out the Back Door Bags - go to
jcasale is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 12:04 PM
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I have a lot of brands of luggage since I've been totally into luggage for the past 3 decades. Different luggage for different destinations. I'd go with Kipling. I took the Kipling to Ghana on two recent vacations and always take it to Southeast Asia. I take either the 19" or 22" suitcase on wheels which I can take on the plane and also pack everything I need in it for a two-week trip and then I check in an almost empty larger sized Kipling fill with all the things I buy while away.Plus Kipling comes in bright colors so it's easy to spot at the airport. Now, they have true-red colored luggage along with many other new colors that have come out. I was just at the kipling store last weekend to see what's come in that's new. And it really holds up. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 12:45 PM
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I've learned that very long guarantees are worth all that much ... by the time you need to use it, you've probably lost the purchase verification!

My strategy is a bit different: I get cheap luggage at Wal-Mart or K-Mart. You can get a nice wheeled duffle for under $50. They tend to last for about 4 trips, so $12 is not bad as a per trip price. Let it wear out and get something newer. Hassle savings is high, too.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Sep 21st, 2005, 02:42 PM
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I second the recommendation of Rick Steves' Back Door Bag. I've used one on several safaris and it was great! The newest version of the bag can be worn as a backpack (including hip belt) or carried with a shoulder strap. It can also be expanded, once you start buying all those wonderful souvenirs. It's only about 3+ lbs, empty. You can find it at Also, the AAA offices here in Oregon are carrying them, so they might have them in other AAA offices around the country.

It can also be locked if you're checking it. I use electrian's cable ties. If the bag needs to be inspected, it's no big deal if the cable ties are cut off.

Finally, GO LIGHT! You don't need to take a lot of clothes, as laundry is done in all the camps and lodges. Find clothes that are dual-purpose: Long sleeved shirts on which the sleeves roll and tab up to become a short-sleeved top. "Safari" pants that have zip-off legs to become shorts are increasingly popular and easy to find, as well.
ShayTay is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2005, 03:58 AM
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Okay. I will look at kipling and rick steves. the rick steves bag looks so similar to my 22" tumi, so I weighed that just for the heck of it. Weighs 8.5 lbs. That is because of the wheels and pull out handle I assume. thank you everyone.
bugswife1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:09 AM
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Please note -- you need SOFT SIDED luggage for the light aircraft transfers, as everything gets stuffed into a small compartment on the bottom of the plane. So pull-out handles and wheels are out. I saw a couple with two hard-sided Samsonites left standing on the airstrip at Singita because they hadn't read the rules.


jasher is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:51 AM
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A bag is a bag and as sweet as she was I told her I had suffered enough. I am now single. Less weight and less expense.
Have a wonderful trip
The African Troublemaker
africantroublemaker is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 09:20 PM
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what is cordora?
536547869 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 09:22 PM
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can we order on line safari pants and can you give us where we go to make the purchase of the clothing. Also the multi pockets safari vests....
536547869 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 04:40 AM
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On luggage: It depends on how much you want to invest. Hubby and I bought a $25 bright blue duffle each and it served us well. Do yourself a favor, don't get black, I know its stylish, but at the airport (larger) you can sit back and not be one of those people elbowing eachother out of the way to examine every piece that looks like yours! But also there are very good threads on luggage on this site if you do a search.

On Clothing: Again search this site for clothing, there is very good advice! Bass Pro Shops had almost everything we needed. As stated above the zip off pants are very popular and can be found at most sporting goods stores. Do try to get them in person though, as each fits differently. Also actually zip them off while trying them on. Some pants don't have very good insulation from the zippers and will rub your legs uncomfortably. We have found that stated length varies greatly too.
TanzaniaBound is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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I used the Le Sport Sac extra large weekender on my trip to Botswana and South Africa last month. I checked the bag through from NY and it was squeezed into the smaller planes. No damage was sustained. It's wonderfully light and held all the clothes I needed for 2 weeks.
Brit is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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I picked up 2 of the large size Outdoor Products Mountain duffles a couple of weeks ago -

The duffle weighs just over 2 lbs and I like the U shaped opening and two large side pockets for easier access and organization. They cost $30 each at Sport Chalet.

I did a trial pack and mine weighs in at 17 kgs I still have to throw the chaps in but that only adds another kilo. Precision Air's limit is 20 kgs per person. Does anyone know if that includes your carry on? I'm hoping they'll overlook my small camera/video bag.
Patty is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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Precision Air didn't weigh our carry-on luggage, but that was 2004, so perhaps someone has more recent experience.

The flight to which you are referring is NBO-JRO, right? If so, I can't imagine you would have a problem, even with chaps, GPS, boots, cowboy hats, and so on.
Leely is offline  

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