Best Luggage for Cobblestone/Stairs

Old Mar 29th, 2015, 09:58 AM
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Best Luggage for Cobblestone/Stairs

I am traveling to Europe (London, Paris, Loire Valley, Saintes, Bordeaux, Arcachon, Biarritz, Pamplona, Barcelona, and Madrid) for 15 days with a group from my school. My teacher has told us that we will be dragging our luggage across many long cobblestone streets and up several flights of stairs when we get to the hotels (we are not staying at American hotel chains like Hilton or Marriott if that helps). My question is: what is your recommendation for relatively lightweight luggage that will withstand cobblestone streets, train rides, and planes? I have read that Eagle Creek is a good brand, but it is a little out of my price range. I would be willing to spend up to around 300 USD. Would you recommend Travelpro or Samsonite and should I get hardside or softside or more of a rolling duffel type? Also, my teacher told us to take a larger bag (28-30 in) so we can have room to bring back souvenirs and things.

I have been looking at these but I am not sure if they would be good for this type of travel:
http://www.ebags.com/product/travelp...uctid=10296717
http://www.ebags.com/product/travelp...gs-and-reviews
http://www.ebags.com/product/samsoni...uctid=10321446

Thank you very much! Any help or tidbits you could provide would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:02 AM
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the bag is not the real importance but its wheels - good whells like inline skaters have are imperative - muy old Eagle Creek pack has literally gone over more cobbles than thought possible and are still in great shape

A wheeled pack can convert to a backpack at times like boarding trains and walking thru crowded areas it may be best to hoist the pack on your back.

Key - pack light!~
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:10 AM
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I'd say the bag, beyond quality wheels, as PalenQ says, is irrelevant. The weight of the bag, can you carry it comfortably when you need to, is the greater issue. Any quality bag packed lightly will do. Concentrate on what goes in, rather than the container, keeping in mind some bags are far lighter than others.

I should add, Eagle Creek is my brand too. I've gotten a new smaller one only for the weight, not because the older ones have ever failed me or been less than great.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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Don't pack a bag that is too heavy to carry comfortably, then you can always carry it by it handle on stairs and particularly rough pavement. People always used to manage to carry their luggage.

Alternatively consider a rucksack.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:40 AM
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To stretch your $$$ head to TJMaxx or Marshalls - they have extensive luggage departments w/ name brand and even some very high end brands at deep discounts.

What you probably want is something w/ substantial wheels but also light enough to easily carry over stairs/cobbles.

The ones you linked are all <B>EXTREMELY</B> large and would cost extra/overweight fees on the flights.

Stick to 19 to 22 inches - 24 max.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:46 AM
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Why get wheeled luggage at all? I live in Italy where i need to climb hundreds of stairs just to empy my recycling. I use a backpack.

http://snarkynomad.com/5-of-the-best...al-adventures/
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Agree that 28-30" is way too big.
Also, I much prefer a 2-wheeled rolling bag. I can't imagine trying to roll a spinner over rough pavement, gravel or cobblestones. The 2-wheeled are getting harder to find, but here's a Delsey 25" that's reasonably priced.

http://www.ebags.com/product/delsey/...uctid=10204720
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 10:58 AM
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I just noticed your teacher's instruction, the advice of a novice who likely never negotiated such a large bag, full. If you buy things you cannot live without and won't fit in your smart-sized bag, mail them home.

Here's the main problem, as I see it. When most of us pack, I include myself, we might make a list, then lay it all out to pack. If we have a larger bag, we discover too late that it's going to be a struggle everyday we must move the stupid thing because we tend to fill the space we give ourselves for stuff, much, if not most of it unnecessary. And if you have one the size your fearless leader has recommended, you may very well end up paying excess baggage fees for each flight. Even if you don't, you'll be punished for your sin of too much stuff while also looking ridiculous trying to lift it. Do yourself a huge favor, no larger than 22" and be the coolest, smartest one in sight. That includes that misinformed teacher.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 11:01 AM
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Another recommendation for a backpack - provided it has a good hip belt to take the weight. Although I am currently using a wheeled bag (I'm old(er)) I traveled for a decade with an Eagle Creek convertible backpack - this may be the closest to what I used: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/gear-hauler/d/1291_cl_2295

I strongly disagree with your teacher. How on earth does s/he think you are going to handle bags that size on trains and buses? 22 inches is about as big as you should go. IF you insist on buying souvenirs (shopping is way down my list of things to do when traveling) then take a foldable tote to put them in. Tell your fellow students not to take bags that big!

You might find this instructive: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...s-packing-list

Or for my own packing list start here: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...take-part-one/
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 11:24 AM
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With the euro so low now you cann afford to buy anything you need once there - pack light! Veteran travelers can never understimate this sage time proven advice we all learnt by taking way way too much.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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Oo jeeze - I didn't even see that >>Also, my teacher told us to take a larger bag (28-30 in) so we can have room to bring back souvenirs and things.<<

Your teacher is nuts (don't tell him/her that ) But absolutely bonkers.

Even being on a tour where some poor schlub will load your bags on/off the buses . . . do you have any idea how much a filled 30 inch suitcase weighs??? Most airlines charge a LOT for overweight. Most allow up to 50 lbs. But between 50 and 70 lbs it can cost $200 extra. Over 70lbs can cost $400 or even more.

The travelpro you linked weighs almost 11 lbs <i>empty</i> and would easily weigh more than 50 lbs just partially filled. I've see 30 inchers being weighed at checkin at over 100 lbs.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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I bought a new lightweight London Fog for a good price at Marshall's for my trip last fall. It is a spinner, and I love it for the airports. As MaineGG said it is not for cobblestones, but what you can do is tilt it and pull it behind you.

Mine is a 24" and was pretty heavy, but we went for three weeks and I needed more space, or at least I thought I did. I agree that 22" would be easier.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 12:04 PM
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Boy, you are doing a lot of traveling in 15 days. Will you even have time to shop? Just kidding.

I pack a large tote bag that folds into almost nothing into my luggage. On my return flight, I keep the special souvenirs (no liquids) in the folding tote and check my larger piece of luggage. I don't buy a lot of souvenirs and certainly don't move around as much as you so it is easy for me to do.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 12:15 PM
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I bought a Timbuk2 Co-Pilot bag on sale at Sports Basement about a year ago. It's clamshell style, which I like because I can keep things separate. It's lightweight so I can lift it even if I've overpacked. They use skateboard wheels, and I've found that those are pretty durable.

Mine is 21" (I think they call it 20"but including wheels it's 21"). I wouldn't mind having the next size up, just a bit roomier because I always bring running shoes and running clothes in addition to my normal stuff on trips. And then I tend to hit a few dressy restaurants so I need shoes and clothes for those occasions too. I always check my bag. YMMV.

http://www.timbuk2.com/copilot-carry...FY2Ufgodv7AA5g
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Meant to add I have an old sturdy Samsonite and an old sturdy TravelPro, one 22" and one 24"--both have been over cobblestones many times, no problems. But in my opinion you don't need a 28" bag. The Samsonite I got on clearance at Macy's completely randomly--marked way, way down to $89 and it is a great piece of luggage. Heavy, though.

Have fun!
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Between the itinerary and the luggage recommendation I am wondering how much travel experience your teacher has... Are you traveling with one of the agencies that handles school group travel, like http://www.eftours.com/, or is this a one-off your teacher is arranging her/himself? If the latter I urge you to do some research on your own.

Maybe: http://www.roughguides.com/shop/roug...t-time-europe/
Or: Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door 2015
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 12:45 PM
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We made the mistake of buying a large 28-30"suitcase. We used it once. NEVER AGAIN. It was too big to manhandle and too heavy to carry and you are likely to get done for excess baggage. Just how many souvenires are you planning to bring back with you? Stick to 22". Be ruthless when you pack and don't take more than you need. Remember you will be unpacking and repacking your suitcase many times during this trip and things never repack as well. Make sure you have left space on the start of the trip for things acquired during the holiday.

Rolling duffle bags hold lots of stuff but they are more difficult to pack and things do tend to get more squashed up and creased in them and it is less easy to find clothes in a half unpacked bag.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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My latest Eagle Creek is a rolling duffle, a small one. I use organizers and things don't get "squashed up". Ziplock bags do the same thing.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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I agree with the comment that with that schedule there will be little time shopping.
Pack light, make sure whatever bag you choose is in itself lightweight, and make sure when it is pack you not only can lift it, but actually carry it comfortably.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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I also think the size suitcase your teacher suggests is too big. 24-25" is the largest I would take.

You can get EagleCreek within your budget at Sierra Trading Post. Sign up for emails--they do frequent, substantial sales:
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/eagle-creek~b~5040/
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