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What size and type of Carry on bag to buy?

What size and type of Carry on bag to buy?

Nov 17th, 1999, 11:56 AM
  #1  
MarkJ
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What size and type of Carry on bag to buy?

I'm thinking about buying a new carry on bag. Should it be 20" long 21" or 22"? I hear so many differnt things about what airlines will and will not allow. This bag would be for my stuff only (my wife has one already). I'm leaning towards wheels but am open to any and all input.

Thanks
MarkJ
 
Nov 17th, 1999, 03:00 PM
  #2  
rand
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Get out your calculator. I just checked Air Canada's web site. Their restriction is 55cm long, 40cm High by 23cm thick. Try other airlines also.
 
Nov 17th, 1999, 03:41 PM
  #3  
Rex
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From www.delta-air.com - -

Each item must fit easily in a Size Wise™ unit (approximate dimensions 22" x 14" x 9").

From www.britishairways.com - -
(the least liberal of all airlines?)

World Traveller/UK Domestic 1 bag no greater than 6kg (13lbs)
maximum dimension of bag 115cm (46ins)

Note that while 22+14+9 is less than 46 inches, 13 pounds is nearly empty. So you can buy any of the three, but in the long run, smaller might always cause you less hassle.

This subject is discussed almost ad infinitem at:

http://www.bookcase.com/library/faq/...elite-faq.html

For what it's worth, I try to pack lighter and lighter for every trip, and I typically carry two empty duffle bags inside my carry-on: one made of nylon, weighs about 3 ounces, the other of very heavy canvas, weighs about 14 ounces.

A rollaboard will easily fit a very well-padded half-case of wine (I ask a wine store for the properly molded boxes they get wine in). For the trip back home, my large duffle bag will hold the rollaboard; all my clothes go outside the rollaboard, inside the duffle bag for added protection, and I check this monstrosity. The lighter weight duffle can carry anything I want to keep with me on board for the trip back home.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Nov 17th, 1999, 05:20 PM
  #4  
Mark
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United's latest size requirement (according to their website) is 22"x14"x9". I just bought a great bag made by Eagle Creek, the Cargo Switchback Compact. It wasn't cheap ($180US, on sale for $140US), but it has a lifetime warranty. It has two handles so it can be carried horizontally or vertically, wheels, and two well padded shoulder straps so it can be also carried as a back pack.
I've had other Eagle Creek products before, and find them to be well designed, well made, and and have a warranty that's actually worth something (i.e. EC stands behind their products).
 
Nov 17th, 1999, 08:13 PM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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Before you decide firmly that you want wheels on your carry-on luggage, remember that the construction necessary for the wheels and pull handle adds greatly to the weight. When we go to Europe, we take one carry-on bag each, and one large piece of checked luggage each. (I know the suggestions about travelling light, but we normally have back packs, boots, hiking poles, rain gear, hiking type clothes, etc. that we pack along with our Paris concert clothes.) My wife's carry-on luggage has wheels and a retractable pull handle. I find that hoisting it up and jamming it into a tight overhead compartment is a real chore, with some inherent risk of not finding a place to store it, and of dropping it on someone's head. (Notice the "I", because I do the hoisting.) My bag is light in construction but made out of very tough, slick nylon. So I can sling it around easily and, because it is soft sided, I can shove it into oddly shaped spaces in overhead bins. Or, if need be, I can cram it under the seat in front of me.
My wife's roller derby bag would never make it under a seat. When we have to "run for it" to make a connection, I can sling mine over my shoulder and take off. My wife has to drag hers up and around, and it can be a problem on steps and escalators. She often ends up having to lug the darn thing, and it is not all that light. So consider your alternatives and flying conditions. Except for an extra pair of trousers, I can get enough in my bag to hold me for two full days, without lavatory washing, until my big piece catches up with me.

I think the best choice would be a large pull type bag of roughly 4,000 cubic inches (32*14*9 or more), and a light carry on. When you collect your big bag at baggage claim, you can strap your little bag on the handle mechanism and pull the whole works. Now if you are not checking anything, get the largest acceptable carry on you can manage.

As for size, the best guidelines I get from the various airlines for carry-on luggage is that the bag should be a maximum of 45 inches when adding the 3 dimensions.

 
Nov 18th, 1999, 04:18 AM
  #6  
Mary Ann
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All the postings above are right for what works best for each person. That is the trick, finding out what works for you, that will be the easiest and be less hassel. I take a 21 inch rolling that expands to 24 inches by Briggs & Riley. I can load it with enough clothes for 2 to 3 days depending on the time of year. It has a small detachable garment bag for those concert and dress up clothes. If the airline losses are main bag (we have one for the two of us) we can survive for a couple days until it catches up. I then can expand it and go for more days if we need to leaving the bigger one in the car. Going home, I usually check it. We have a tote and bring an empty nylon bag for breakables. Travel 2000 has a one year no reason bring bag policy. If you buy use it, dislike it, no matter you can still bring it back. We did this once, but it is better to figure out your needs up front. Buy one, load it and carry it around, then decide. Good luck.
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 05:37 AM
  #7  
Bob Brown
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I agree that everyone has to find his or her luggage "style". Just look at the non ending variety of luggage you see people carrying. I don't recall seeing two on the same flight that were exactly alike.

I think it is a major consideration whether or not your carry-on is your only piece of luggage or ancilliary to a larger bag that you check. At any rate, figure out the largest item that you regularly pack and make sure that it will fit inside. For example, we often carry Leki hiking poles. Even collapsed, they are too long for either of our carry-on's, so my "big blue" Samsonite is the only piece of luggage we have that can contain them.

There are also two opinions on quality.
One friend of mine, who travels almost weekly, takes along something cheap from a discount store.
He says the airlines are going to rip it up anyhow, so why spend a lot of money? My dad, who was an inveterate globe hopper, bought the best and lightest because he claimed that it took a lot to damage it. I have no idea whose is right!! (Will the bag survive the gorilla??) And my wife always has a little roll of fillament tape with her, just in case.
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 06:35 AM
  #8  
Lori
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Mark,
Lots of good advise here but check with whatever is your favorite (as in flying most often) airline and buy what their allowable is. Check their weight allowances too. We fly British Airways and they only allow carryons to weigh 13 lbs. If the carryon itself (those with wheels, etc.) is too large it will weigh that much without anything in it. Also, when you pack (no matter where you are going) put half your things in one bag and the rest your wife's things, and the same with her bag. That way if anything gets "lost" you each have some clothes to get by with. We travel "heavy" simply because I like usd to look decent and have a variety of clothing with us (we also go to shows, visit family, etc.) so we take two large pieces of luggage and we each have a nylon carryon - as Bob says you can jam them into many places altho mine usually goes right under the seat in front of me. They weight practically nothing so we can get our 13 lbs (or a tad more) into them with no trouble at all and when you are running through an airport trying to make a connection it's nice not to be dragging something behind you. If we are traveling in the U.S. we usually will use one large suitcase (checked in) and one smaller rollon type that I take onboard, and the nylon bag too. Now if we go by car that's another scenario!!! As much as you can fit into the trunk is OK! Happy Shopping.
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 08:42 AM
  #9  
elvira
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Uh oh the Fodorites have got ESP again; I broke my wheeled suitcase on the last trip and debating which way to go. I've used the duffel bag type years ago; I moved to the rolling bag because I got tired of carrying all the weight, all the time. It is my bag of choice, and it's always been of the discount ($19.99 on sale) variety (21"). Now I'm thinking to put real money into a good rolling bag, preferably with a zippered extension (carry-on to the trip, check in on the way home). Does anybody have any brand recommendations? Secondly, I think American Tourister makes bright red and bright yellow luggage. Does anyone else make brightly colored, easily spotted luggage? When I do check the bag on the way home, there are approximately 73,679 black/navyblue/ dark green bags on the carousel. Anything that would stand out from the rest would be a real help (also, easily spotted if someone tries to make off with it).
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 09:02 AM
  #10  
Lori
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Elvira,
I would not spend a fortune on a piece of luggage, it goes through hell out there! We've bought 'middle of the road' priced stuff at Dillards (on sale) and it is sturdy and made very well and so far has lasted through 2 trips to Europe and 1 to Hawaii - sorry I cannot remember the name tho. They are two large rolling pieces with retractable handles, the smaller of the two snaps onto the big one so you only have to pull one really. I also have a 21" that snaps onto the other sizes.

To combat the 75,000 black lookalike bags I've purchased some red tape at Auto Zone (upholstry tape I guess it is) and cut our our initials in about 3" sizes and stuck the tape on both sides of the bag. I've also gotten a package of stickers (stars, whatever) and put them on the handle portion. They will come off eventually (likewise the tape) but they are good for at least one trip and we always spot our luggage. Now don't everyone go doing this or we won't find ours anymore!!! Colored ribbons on the handles is another thing to do, but pick a unique color!
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 11:22 AM
  #11  
lisa
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Here is a great website I found in shopping for a new bag recently: www.ebags.com -- they have a great selection, better prices on some makes & models than I've been able to find elsewhere, and shipping is free. A very easy-to-use site.

I personally am a firm believer in only taking what you can carry on. One of the packing websites I was looking at said there are two types of luggage: carryon, and lost. That has been my experience.

I just bought the Eagle Creek Cargo Switchback Plus (the regular version, not the large or compact). You can see it at www.eaglecreek.com but I actually got mine at REI because if you're an REI member you get a rebate at the end of the year. REI also has a good website at www.rei.com. The bag was way more expensive than I would have liked (I've been using a bargain-basement $49 carryon with wheels for years, but it finally gave out), but I looked a long time before I got it and it was the only one that had exactly what I wanted -- carry-on dimensions, wheels, a detachable daypack, and backpack conversion straps so you can carry it on your back in places where wheels aren't convenient (cobblestones, stairs, unpaved areas, etc.). It comes in khaki, bright green, or black.

For me, wheels are a must. In terms of dimensions, you are probably OK as long as you are under 9x14x22, but I have read that some airlines say 7x14x21 is the limit and that some even say it can't be longer than 20 inches.

Another good site for luggage is www.worldtraveler.com. And a great site for packing tips and reviews of various types of luggage is www.travelite.org.
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 01:23 PM
  #12  
pam
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Magellans has the Eagle Creek Switchback Compact on sale for $130 on their website, www.magellans.com, in case anyone is interested in this bag.
 
Nov 18th, 1999, 04:33 PM
  #13  
paula
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Last year I had to buy new luggage (carry on and suitcase) and I did some research, consumer reports and all that. I found that the most highly rated 24" bag was Impuls by Targa luggage. They have a whole series, we love the small roll on carry-on and the garment bag. You can get them really cheaply on the web, just do a search with Impuls Targa and compare the prices. I was able to bargain down some when I bought four pieces, too.
 
Nov 19th, 1999, 05:11 AM
  #14  
Mary Ann
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Elvira: Check out Briggs & Riley. They are not inexpensive, and you might have to decorate it but the 21" in expandable, has the detachable garment bag, which also has a scarf/tie compartment in the garment bag. If you buy it from Travel 2000 and there is any damage for the life of the piece, which goes for all there luggage, you bring it to them, they fix or replace it, no shipping etc, even if the airline was at fault. It is ballistic nylon. It did just fine all over europe. My only complaint was their luggage tags tend to come off when checked, and the airlines has cutoff the locks (or the handlers have). We just do not pack valuables and do not bother to lock anymore. We also got stronger readily identifiable name tags. The mechanism is great, they have handles to carry verticle or horizontal. We also have a tote to complement it which has a zip compartment on the exterior that slides over the handle. This way when racing through cobblestone streets or airports the tote does not slide off and topple the 21 inch. Have fun shopping!!
 
Nov 19th, 1999, 09:46 AM
  #15  
kim
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Everyone has touched on this, but I think you need to determine what type of traveller you are. Whether you are truly travelling light and this is your only bag, or if this is just to carry some books and your toothbrush will make a big difference!

Will you be travelling by car, will you have one destination each trip? Wheels probably aren't that important then. If you want to do 10 cities in 12 days by train (a slight exaggeration I hope)you will probably want wheels.

Last summer we spent 3 weeks in Europe travelling by train, one bag each (carry on size). I splurged for the Eagle Creek fancy deal, my husband got a $19 bag at Sam's. His wheels only made it for 2 weeks! I love my bag and we will definately purchase another one for him on our next big trip!
 
Nov 19th, 1999, 10:10 AM
  #16  
elaine
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All of the information here is excellent; these are my thoughts.
As stated above, the size and type of carry on depends on whether it is the only bag you are taking, or if it is just an auxiliary. After many trips I regretfully find that I am a "heavy" packer, even though I pack to wear the same things more than once.
Since I know for foreign travel I have to check a bag because all my stuff won't fit in a carry-on, (Unless my trip is just for a weekend), I check a larger bag and limit my carry-on to one combination totebag/handbag with my reading material, emergency essentials
(eyeglasses, passport, money, medicine,
credit cards) and toiletries to freshen up with before I land. Then during my trip my totebag is what I carry around with me everyday, to include my maps, guidebook, umbrella, etc.

When I want to get by without checking luggage, I have a wheeled, approx. 21"
sturdy nylon bag with lots of pockets outside. I learned a couple of years ago that in addition to size requirements, some airlines (Delta,
BA, others) have weight requirements on their carry-ons. Two years ago BA limited their carry-ons to 13 lbs, which
made my small-in-dimensions carry-on
suddenly and dismayingly ineligible to
be carried on; its actual weight was about 18 lbs.
For puchase, I would not buy one from a catalog until I had examined others in person to test weight, handle comfort,
ease of telescoping the handle, sturdiness of wheels, and sturdiness of hardware like zippers. Also, make sure it can be locked. I always purchase my own tiny combination padlocks so I don't have to fuss with keys.
I also use the colored fabric tape idea to distinguish my bag, but all I do is wrap some tape around the handles of the bags.
 
Nov 19th, 1999, 11:49 AM
  #17  
Bob Brown
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I second the idea that you should test a bag under relatively extreme conditions, as long as there is no risk of damage of course. If you decided you want one with wheels and a pull handle, test it over various surfaces, if at all possible. My wife recently bought a carryon piece with a pull handle and wheels. It felt fine in the store, but in the airport, the handle often is too short for her and managing it becomes awkward.
 
Nov 21st, 1999, 05:57 AM
  #18  
Mary Ann
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Just a comment or two, regarding the statement that if you are driving, because of access, you may not need wheeled luggage. I disagree. All of our trips have been driving trips but access is not always easy. Examples, Venice where you take a vaporetto to your hotel, Wien, Innsbruck, and other cities where you stay in pedestrian areas where they do not let you drive to the location (usually only mornings which will work for checkout), hotels without elevators, Alpine cities such as Murren which are not accessible by car, and there is the airport of course, which it always seems like our gate is the last one at the end of the concourse. I appreciate and love our wheeled luggage.
 
Nov 21st, 1999, 06:10 PM
  #19  
MarkJ
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Keep the info comming,I need to buy a bag by the 14th of Dec. for a trip. So far my short list includes the following (with price and web site if applicable - for anyone else loking for a carry on bag):

EagleCreek Switchback $200 - Magellan's.com

EagleCreek Switchback Plus - $245 - Magellans - not sure I need the removeable day pack since I've got a small back pack already and it's a little more expensive than the others.

Dakota Metro 22' - 199 (Dakota promotion)- local reatailer and as well as a web site I can't remember (sorry)

Samsonite 700 Series/Silhouette® 6 Cabin Carry-On - $145 - ebags.com and Service Merchandise I think.

Anyway if you have any input on any of these bags or others I'd love to "hear" it.

Thanks
MarkJ

 
Nov 24th, 1999, 10:27 PM
  #20  
Nicki
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My daughter is planning to do a junior year abroad. I would like to get her something for travel that she could use in a variety of ways, such as hop on a train for a weekend trip. I have considered the backpack/duffle combination that Rick Steves recommends. Has anyone tried it? If so what did you think about it. I think it goes for about $70 for the larger size and $50 for the smaller. she has a small suitcase with wheels that she would take but for short trips and to carry-on I thought that one might be nice. Any thoughts?
 

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