Suggestions for new luggage?

Old Aug 24th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Suggestions for new luggage?

I am going to buy new luggage soon and would like opinions on what features are most useful. We take the train sometimes and a car others. What size pieces do you recommend? Also we will be using a low fare airlines in France this year and wish to make sure I do not have too large luggage pieces. After many years of traveling to Europe, I still could use help in taking less luggage and clothes!
LyndaKaye is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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I like a rolling suitcase, light in weight and no larger than 22". We've been able to travel with one 22" case per person for 2-3 weeks after years of realizing each trip that we had taken more than we needed.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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You're a very experienced traveler yourself, I'm sure your ideas are as good as anyone's.

Personally, I look for ballistic nylon rather than polyester or microfiber, I read once that ballistic nylon is the sturdiest. I look at the hardware, I've often had to replace zipper pulls and handles, no matter what I've spent, and that drives me crazy. I guess they get mangled in machines.

I look for internal pockets to separate clean from dirty, and external pockets in which I can stash a magazine, maps, etc. I would suggest nothing larger than a 26" for your largest bag, and as a second bag, a 20-21" wheeled upright carry on. And check out the telescoping handle--some are easier to operate than others, and some are taller than others.

Consumers' Union has a good website, for a fee you can read any luggage ratings they have on line.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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Find luggage that is light weight when empty! I got a new piece on sale recently with great looking features but it's a bit heavy from the start. I'd pay a bit more for an ultra-light!

A single ~22" (to 24") if you can make that work, is the very best. Good wheels and telescoping handle. Color other than black is helpful.

If you really feel the need for 2 pieces, then 1 small carry-on also with wheels (19" or less), that can piggy-back onto your second larger checked suitcase (26" max.).
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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TTT for kswl
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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I think Rick Steves is a bit of a goober, but I got the best suitcase from his web store. I have used it overseas at least a dozen times and it has really held up. Great wheels. Lightweight. Good handles. Cheap
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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I second the notion to get a colour other than black.

I'm sure you'll know from experience how similar those suitcases look on the carousel despite one's effort to add personal distinguishable features like ribbons and labels.

It's way less stressful to be able to spot your green suitcase in a sea of black ones.
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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Decide as to whether you want to wheel it sideway or broadway. Remember what the air crew uses!
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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For our recent trip I bought a reasonably priced 26" case in bright red, over the web site. It worked very nicely and was fairly light, but being able to spot it very quickly was a real plus. Our other case is bright blue--same rationale, same size, but that one was a top compartment with a gusset, ideal for stuffing in a coat.
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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My wife and I each have a small wheeled case (24 inches, I think) and a shoulder bag that can be piggybacked onto the wheeled case. We have more than enough space for our needs. When we are sightseeing, I just carry one of the shoulder bags with my camera, maps, notes, and my wife's "stuff". Each of our pieces is small enough to carry on, although not in those low-fare European airlines.

We didn't worry about color; my wife sews a piece of garish fabric around each handle, and it is easy to pick out our pieces on the carrousel. I'm dayglo green and she's shocking pink.
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 03:49 PM
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I'm also in the process of looking for new luggage. I'm looking for a 26" or 28" pullman, not black, with that expandable zipper that makes it a bit bigger. For the carryon, I'm looking for wheeled, expandable, with a front compartment big enough to hold my laptop. And there needs to be a strap that attaches it to the large suitcase. I also want it to be lightweight, yet durable. I'm still looking.
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Old Oct 13th, 2004, 11:59 PM
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Ten years ago when in the market for a new suitcase I decided on the large hardsided model that Samsonite makes. The one that the guerilla is supposed to jump on and it still holds up right? Well on a recent trip to London, upon retrieving the case from the carousel I discovered two huge dents in the side of the case and the handle was nearly bent off the pin, but still in tact. The dents eventually came out---they mus have put my case on the very bottom of the luggage compartment under 3 tons of stuff. The case does have wheels, but I am too tall and when I grab the handle it lifts completely off the ground.

I think next time I will tru for the ballistic nylon. That sounds good!
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