Anyone use rolling duffel bags?

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Apr 21st, 2006, 06:40 AM
  #1
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Anyone use rolling duffel bags?

LLBean has some snazzy ones on their website which are cheaper and lighter than other places but it's hard to visualize how big they are. When travelling with teens, do you give them their own bag? I'm thinking this is probably a good idea.
It's hard to figure out how much luggage space we'll need for a 2 week trip, and still be able to get it all into the rental car and on/off trains in Europe.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Definitely one bag per person, each person carries their own!!
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Apr 21st, 2006, 06:49 AM
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I don't know about the LLBean but I've seen others that come in all sorts of sizes.

I think it can be a good idea for each to have their own bag unless you are able to fit everything in one or two with room left for souvenirs.

The problem with packing for two weeks is you are either going to have to take a lot of clothes or are going to have to wash. We took a lot of clothes this last time and still had to wash. I think next time it would be better to take less clothes and wash more often. It's hard to take a huge suitcase to the laundromat and try to get enough machines to wash all of them. I would have rather had to wash once or twice more and only have to carry a small bag to the laundromat each time.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 07:22 AM
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It is better to take WAY fewer clothes and do wash. My teens have (well, had, one of them was lost permanently by US Air) Columbia duffles that are about 25" tall and 12" wide. They packed in those for our two week European trip and they were perfect. (But they did do laundry - we were in apartments.) My kids are very tall and so their clothes are NOT small.

When my son replaced his lost rolling duffle he opted for a regular rolling suitcase. I don't know why. I think the only advantage to the duffles is maybe they take up less room in the closet when stored and maybe they are lighter (I'm not sure). They afford less protection to your stuff though. (Although if an airline is going to just out and LOSE it, it hardly mattjers.)

Make sure all your teens bring is one rolling bag they can check throug (NOT BIG) and one backpack thing for carry on.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 07:23 AM
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I meant one rolling bag EACH and a back pack each. Packing together is not a good plan.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 07:28 AM
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For what it's worth - I bought a rollling duffel bag for our trip last summer for 2 weeks to Italy. My wife had a conventional rolling suitcase that accommodated approximately the same amount of clothing. Suitcase won hands down. My problem with the rolling duffel was stabilty - being somewhat oddly shaped and lacking structural integrity, the rolling duffel was far more likely to tip one way or another as I was pulling it behind me.

In addition, a "large" rolling duffel that should fit in an overhead did for a couple of planes and not for others. So that advantage was lost.

KC
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Apr 21st, 2006, 07:31 AM
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But it is a good plan to mix up a bit, then if one checked bag goes missing, everyone still has some clothes.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 07:35 AM
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One of our bags is a duffel. We use it on most trips of a week or more, and mostly for our son's things. It was bought for him, originally.

The main advantage over conventional luggage is the zippered bottom compartment, which we use for hiking boots and shoes or for snorkeling gear. In either case it easily holds enough for three people. They are also easy to pick out on the luggage carousel.

We bought an inexpensive one at Costco. Over the last four years it has held up well while carrying clothing and gear on a dozen trips. They still sell them. Highly recommended.
 
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Apr 21st, 2006, 08:17 AM
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You don't say how many people you're travelling with, but trunk space fills up fast so I would suggest everyone packing in 22" bag and a small daypack/purse, whether that is a duffel or suitcase. This also makes train travel a lot easier.

I have gone through 3 types of duffel bags in the last 4 years, going back and forth from home (TN) to uni (UK). The best duffel I have is from American Tourister. What makes it great is that it is made from a very heavyweight ballistic nylon. This gives it a little shape and more durability than ripstop nylon or polyester. I have actually looked at the LLBean duffels myself and I think they seem like a good quality bag for the money.

One warning--everything shifts the minute you start to roll it and I've never found a duffel with internal straps. Unless the bag is packed pretty tight when you go, everythng will be wrinkled when you arrive.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 08:34 AM
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I bought a rolling duffel case, and later bought a rolling suitcase, same size. Duffel is not as convenient to use as a suitcase.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 08:35 AM
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In the past we have used rolling duffles BUT specifically one with a drop bottom--separate compartment. It was agreat travel bag. I could fold better clothes in the bottom (we needed some dressy clothes for a reception). The drop bottom ones are VERY versatile. Costco has a really nice one for $40.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 08:43 AM
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I also travel with a duffel with a drop bottom..I love it . I put all clothes on the bottom and all the shoes, sundries and misc. stuff in the top. My duffel had straps on the outside which I can tighten it down with. I have had just a plain duffel and like someone else said everything slides down to the bottom making it very unstable to roll. One solution that I found was to use two suitcase straps and tie the bag in thirds to stop the shifting.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 08:57 AM
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We also have the Costco duffle but haven't used it for European travel. For European travel we have the dual function wheeled/backpack suitcases with a zip off daybag. These are really nice. But, for either option, we used those packing cubes and other mesh bags. They really make organizing a lot better.

Thaks for the great suggestion regarding the wheeled duffle's separate bottom compartment for the dressy items. We are attending a wedding on this summer's European trip and have been struggling with how to deal with those dressy things that wil just be needed one day out of a 15 day trip. Maybe the wheeled duffle willb e going to Europe this summer. I'll have to go up to my attic to check though as I am thining the duffles are quite a bit larger than the suitcases we are normally fine with.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 09:17 AM
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One reason I like a suitcase shape better is often I don't unpack, rather kind of live out of it (basically use it as a dresser drawer) especially if it is a short stay at a hotel or when I'm in a friend's small guest room. That method is easier to do with a standard square shape rather then digging around in a duffle bag.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 09:49 AM
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I just bought an Eddie Bauer roller duffle for our next trip. Our concern was luggage space in the trunk of our rental car. I thought the soft sided duffle would work best so luggage would not be visible. We are making a few journeys where we will stop enroute and sightsee on the way. I had heard on another post about the bag falling over a lot. This one seems quite stable but I guess on cobbles and such it could turn out to be a pain...hope not!
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Apr 21st, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Suze, you have a point about living out of a suitcase being easier, but after years of long trips, I've decided to always unpack. It takes me all of about 30 seconds to lift the "stacks" of folded clothes out of my rolling duffel and put them in drawers. It takes about 30 second to put them back in the next morning. It's the best minute I could spend -- avoiding "living out of a suitcase".

I love rolling duffels for many of the reasons mentioned -- including their flexibility stuffing them into a train luggage rack or the trunk of a car. Many are very unstable, but my Orvis one I used for years and my current Hartman one, never fall over. What's more they tend to roll a lot easier and with more stability than many suitcases which want to turn as you walk with them. I also like that it has a sort of handle at each end. When we have to deal with stairs at an apartment or even getting into a train, it is far easier for the two of us to each take an end and go up, than to try to lift a suitcase straight up the stairs.
 
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Apr 21st, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Neopolitan- I am lucky enough to have friends in Switzerland who put me up (and put up with me) for 2 weeks at a time... their guest bed is in their small study and there are NO drawers -LOL. Out of necessity, at her place my suitcase is basically my closet.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 10:51 AM
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Wow! What a lot of replies already. Thanks! There are 5 of us: 2 adults, 2 teens and 1 child. So it adds up to a lot of luggage. Especially those teenage boys jeans and shoes. LOL

"Speaking" of shoes, would 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of velcro strap sandals per person be enough? We're not planning on going anywhere fancy. Although, yes, we were planning to take them to see the Phantom since they all liked the movie version.

We'll be staying with friends and I'll let them know we may need to borrow their washing machine. The Columbia bags look good because they have pockets on either end which would be useful. I haven't seen the type of case with a separate bottom compartment, but I'll keep looking. We live far away from everything so I have to rely on the internet.

1 bag checked bag per person plus a carry-on is a good idea and still leaves us with extra allowance for any shopping.

I have used the plastic zippered bags from bed linen to pack stuff into and it's worked really well. On another long trip I folded my pants in 3 and then into one of these bags and was amazed there were hardly any wrinkles. Of course it's hard to keep this organised while you're actually on the trip.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 11:06 AM
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My husband bought a rolling backpack for our last Europe trip and loved it. It had all the functionality of a rolling suitcase and he was able to put it on his back when he needed to, like going over the many bridges in Venice. They are very expensive in travel stores but we were able to get one online for not very much. I think the brand is Victorinox.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 11:35 AM
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How about or the teenagers, just use regular duffle bags? Heck they're young... they can carry'em!!

Seriously it's the wheeled mechanism that adds bulk, weight, and structure to a duffle bag. If 3 of the 5 of you didn't have wheels you'll have an easier time fitting everything into the rental car. Normal duffle bags are easy to squish, just make sure there is a good shoulder strap (you wear it diagonal across your body). That's how I always traveled in my "youth"
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