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Lightweight carry-on that will meet Lufthansa's strict requirements?

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Feb 20th, 2012, 10:23 AM
  #1
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Lightweight carry-on that will meet Lufthansa's strict requirements?

I own several pieces of carry-on luggage, including a 19" Delsey and two 20" Travel-Pro suitcases. I thought I had the bases covered, but Lufthansa lists 21.65 " X 15.74" X 7.87", 18 Kg as the maximum.

The height and width are not an issue, but the depth is. I haven't been able to find a lightweigt carry-on larger than a 16" that meets the depth requirement. I can't fit eight days worth of clothing in a 16" suitcase as its other dimensions are too small. I also have to have wheels. I thought Heys hardside luggage might be the answer because it is so lightweight, but it is around 10" in depth.

I'm not quite 5' tall, and finding clothes that fit , even at home, is a challenge. Losing a suitcase would be really difficult. We have a 90 minute connection to make so it's a real risk. I really want to travel as usual, with just a carry-on. Any luggage suggestions?
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Feb 20th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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This site: http://www.onebag.com/ is devoted to carry on tactics. I do have to admit that it is really against wheeled bags due to the loss of space for the mechanical parts.

Perhaps the solution is not size but weight. A smaller bag packed light enough for you to lift without wheels could be workable depending upon how much you can carry. 18kg is about 40 pounds, which would be quite a load to fit into a small bag. I think the actual limit is 8kg = 17.6 pounds. My small wheeled carry on is a bit under 4 pounds but the same sized non-structured non-wheeled bag is 1 pound. The math suggests packing light and small and carrying rather than wheeling.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 11:42 AM
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I agree. It's the wheels (and frame and handle mechanism) of any bag that adds to its weight and size. The ideal solution would be using a soft-sided, non-wheeled duffle bag.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Oops! That was a typo. It was supposed to be 8 Kg. Unfortunately, I have to have wheels.

As I said, a 19" suitcase has worked for me before, but I can't find one with wheels that has is only 7.87" or less in depth.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 11:53 AM
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If you have to have wheels due to a physical condition that could be construed as a disability, perhaps a conforming non-wheeled bag plus a separate external collapsable luggage wheeler device may be allowed.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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90 minute connection isn't bad at all, depending on the airport.

How long will you be at your destination? If you'll be at your destination for a few days or more, then could you risk your bag catching up to you within a few days? Pack a duffle bag/shoulder bag with everything that you'll need for a couple days and check your normal carryon. If it arrives a day or two late, no biggie. Whenever you get it (at the airport or a day late) fold up your duffle bag and lay it flat in the bottom of your wheeled carryon. If you're moving on and away from the airport city right away that doesn't work well.

How about a wheeled duffle bag? The motherlode series from eBags has a 21" bag that shows as 9" (TLS) or 9.5" (eTech) deep. I wonder if that could be crushed down a bit with the outside straps. If you like the rest of it, it might be worth asking of people who have it (or ordering and returning if not).

A rolling duffle without a frame of any kind would allow you to crush your bag down as narrow as it needs to go. Just because the bag can fit 12" inches of stuff doesn't mean that you would have to pack it that full. The lack of frame would also help with the weight restriction.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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I have never seen a rolling bag that doesn't also have a frame. How does that work? I think of the wheels/frame/handle all as necessary to make a bag roll along?
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Feb 20th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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It's basically a duffel bag with wheels out one end and a handle at the other end.

Instead of a hard frame, or even the hard bottom half frame like the MotherLodes have (frame on the bottom when it's laying down, duffel bag on top), the bottom is stiffened so that it doesn't sag in the middle. I've mainly seen this for the larger duffel bags but I also haven't gone looking for a small one.

I'd suggest checking into the MotherLode (or that style) and seeing if it could be tightened down to under 8".
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Feb 20th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Thanks Iowa_Redhead. I'm still having a problem imagining how that would roll along, but I'll take your word for it!
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Feb 20th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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I'm not disabled. I just have arthritis in my shoulders, neck, and hands that makes carrying even a heavy purse difficult for very long. The connecting airport is FRA.

I will check into the Motherlodes series. The wheeled duffle bag is an interesting idea, Iowa_Redhead.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Rick Steves has a rolling backpack that meets your limits. Just ignore the backpack bit. http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/ca...entId=8&id=507

So does Eagle Creek: http://www.eaglecreek.com/bags_lugga...-Pro-19-20282/
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Feb 20th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Sorry, I couldn't add links to explain anything before.

For most of these, with the soft top (as long as you don't pack it tight) you can crush it down a bit to fit in as necessary.


22x14x9
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63923?feat=2-SR0

14x9x22
http://www.duffelbags.com/store/prod...l-1831-36.html

MotherLode - I love this series (and the weekender convertible series) but I don't think you could crush the bottom down because of the frame on the bottom. Plus, if you're going to try to stick to 8kg, the weight is a big thing.
21x15x9
http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/m...ductid=1325216

No frame on the bottom, so it *should* be crushable.
http://www.ebags.com/product/calpak/...uctid=10026118

22x14x10
http://www.ebags.com/product/mellow-...uctid=10001997
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Feb 20th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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"I ... have arthritis in my shoulders, neck, and hands that makes carrying even a heavy purse difficult for very long."

In other words, you have a medical condition that prevents using you from performing ordinary activities. This sounds like a disability to me. It can't hurt to check it out before you give up!
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Feb 21st, 2012, 06:42 AM
  #14
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Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions! I'm checking into all of them. So far, the Rick Steves' bag looks ideal. I wouldn't have to worry about trying to crush it down and it's also very light.
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Feb 21st, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Last September, we had similar concerns when we flew Lufthansa round trip from Frankfurt to Warsaw. There was NO close inspection of our carryon bags on either flight by Lufthansa personnel.

IMO, you will be fine as long as your bag isn't conspiculously oversized.
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Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:44 AM
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That's very helpful information! Good to hear from someone who has used and liked the Rick Steves' bag, and also to know that Lufthansa might not check too closely.
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Aug 20th, 2015, 06:41 AM
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I just bought a ticket from Houston to Frankfurt. The carryon limits per my email confirmation from Lufthansa is 55x40x23 or converted is 21 21/32 x 15 3/4 x 9 1/16. I guess they got a lot of complaints and moved the depth up to 9
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