Posts Tagged carry-on bag
As these bags tend to be, this is a durable and solid contender for best bag out there from luggage expert Delsey. Its sturdy hard wheels spin in all directions making it easy to twirl around any airport or train station no matter how heavy.
It comes in a variety of colors to match one’s personal style, but the spacious interior remains the same in all. With a separate compartment to keep items wrinkle-free, the bag can be used for storing business suits while also keeping souvenirs and workout gear free from irritating one’s formal clothes. There is also a strap that locks certain items into place in the larger compartment, which is another measure for keeping things separated. Zippered pockets hold smaller items and keep them in place.
A sturdy top and side handle make the bag easy to lift no matter how heavy, and the retractable handle is strong allowing you to pull heavy weight. The similarly priced Brookstone model of this bag features a cheap handle with screws that loosen the second you pack the bag full of clothing and gear.
Another commendable feature of this bag is the excellent wheel casing that protects the rollers from getting stopped up with mud or dirt, which is a common problem with some of these bags that can affect their wheels. Most unique to some versions of this bag is the exterior pocket that zips open from to store paperwork, laptops, or other devices. This is not something typically available in hardside luggage giving this bag a significant edge. The lack of an exterior pocket on other bags is one of my biggest gripes, but it depends on which version of the Helium Shadow you buy.
Style-wise, this bag wins with attractive corner patches that protect it from the bumps and bruises of baggage handlers while also serving an aesthetic purpose. It is lightweight, which is important for international travelers often subjected to weighing their carry-ons, but also expands with the addition of a zipper as needed. A TSA-approved lock keeps contents safe and secure.
It is available from a variety of retail outlets including Macy’s or on Amazon for a very competitive price of less than $120, which is a nice surprise for a bag of this high quality. It’s also available at eBags or LuggagePoint.
Lightweight luggage is a prerequisite for me. My travels take me on long two to three week jaunts extending over continents and hemispheres that require multiple styles of clothing. With carry-on only as my travel prerogative, I have no choice but to drag along heavy electronic cords and accessories in my travels. This means that I must limit the rest of my accessories to lightweight gear including clothing and normal purchases.
The benefit of the eBags Mother Lodge wheeled duffel is that I can tack on extra poundage in purchases since the bag weighs less than traditional carry-ons. Its soft-shell exterior is an extreme departure from my normal hard-shell bags, which means I should be careful what I include inside the ebags suitcase (no expensive electronics or liquid duty free items unless very carefully padded).
It is a spacious bag with a soft exterior meaning that I can overstuff it to my heart’s content. One reason why it does not perform to the same standards as hard-shell bags is that it can tend to bulge in corners when full, but it can also squeeze more easily into tight spaces this way since it has more flexibility. Compression straps are a perfect way to constrict the overall volume of the bag so that it can fit into small spaces.
Its exterior pockets are a tremendous benefit since stowing items at a moment’s notice is common for frequent travelers and hard-shell suitcases make it a more cumbersome process. Inside, an adjustable middle divider keeps items separated, which is helpful for dress shirts or blazers that you want to keep wrinkle-free.
As it is, it fits easily into standard airline overhead bins and poses no problems with domestic airlines although international travelers may want to be aware that some foreign airlines will weigh baggage at check-in so remove heavy items before being weighed at the counter (and add them again after you leave the counter since foreign airlines have ridiculously low carry-on limits).
Without a handle to grab it on its side, some bellhops may flinch, but experienced business travelers will find this to be a convenient alternative to the more traditional, heavy carry-ons. The retractable and sturdy handle that pulls from the back and two thick wheels that sit at the bag’s base make this a solid road warrior’s companion. Sure, it may not look like a CEO’s briefcase, but it is flexible and lightweight making it ideal for travelers on a long haul. It is available from eBags’ website for just over $189.
Whenever magazines do some kind of carry-on luggage battle, Delsey often comes out on top as the lightest and best value. If the company were a wrestler or boxer, they’d be described as playing “above their weight class.”
This new line of Helium Superlite Spinner suitcases is true to form, with a price point around $120 at retail for the carry-on size and a weight of just 6.8 pounds (3.1 kilos). Granted, bags with no wheels come in at half that sometimes, but it’s hard to find one with wheels and a handle that you can pick up with your pinky finger like this one.
They make larger versions of this spinner bag, but I’m a cheapskate that only pays baggage fees once or twice a year, so I’ve been trying out the carry-on version. If you want to get super-picky and compare this bag to one from Briggs & Riley or Tumi, you can find little details that are not quite as perfect: a loose thread here, zippers that feel a little less smooth there. But considering you could buy two or three of these for the price of those brands, only the real road warrior business travelers are not going to find this Delsey version to be a great deal. Plus the zippers are tagged as “self-repairing,” an attribute I thankfully have not had to put to the test.
Although I hate the “limited” word in a warranty, you do have some protection there too for a lifetime if there’s really a workmanship problem. The bag is built to last.
Considering how light this bag is, it’s a terrific performer. The wheels work really smoothly and the long telescoping handle is made of aircraft grade aluminum. You can attach another bag to this one easily and there’s a built-in ID tag to just stick in your biz card. It’s got multiple pockets. compression straps, and tough fabric that wipes off easily. You can expand the bag by two inches if you pick up more along the way. There are two pockets on the front, one on the inside, and a lining throughout.
If you’re the type that buys a lightweight bag only to stuff it to capacity because it’s on wheels anyway, the larger versions of this bag that you would check have a cool feature I haven’t seen elsewhere: an over weight indicator. If you’ve stuffed it so full it’s more than 50 pounds, a little light will warn you to please remove some shoes or something.
This Superlite Spinner comes in three colors and a variety of sizes, from garment bag to a 29-inch size that weighs in at just 10.6 pounds.
See more carry-on luggage reviews from the top travel gear blog.
It’s always easy to be somewhat satisfied with your luggage until you try something new. When it comes to versatile bags that expand to allow you to bring back souvenirs, or just pack a little more sloppily than you did at the beginning of your trip, the High Sierra AT6 expandable line is worth checking out.
Both the AT6 22-inch and 32-inch expandable wheeled duffels can be used three ways: as a duffel, a wheeled upright, or a backpack in the case of stairs or rough terrain. Admittedly, I can’t see using the backpack straps in the 32-inch bag for long, but if I needed to hoist it up a flight of stairs, I trust my back far more than my arms to do it.
Each bag has a large bottom compartment with hold-down straps for your bulkiest gear, which expands 2.5 inches by unzipping a zipper. The top section holds papers or smaller items, like your toiletry bag and a jacket. A divider panel between the top and bottom compartments can be rolled up to make a larger single compartment if you choose that instead of the two separate spaces.
The skate-style wheels are moderately rugged, so they’re less likely to wobble or cause your bag to spin out when rounding a corner. And the kick plate between the wheels allows less bag abrasion when it hits the stairs or you nudge it with your foot a little harshly when steering the bag around.
The 22-inch bag is ideal for carry-on or light packing situations. Honestly, pretty much every trip I’m on, whether it lasts a week or longer, gets only a 22-inch bag. The 32-inch bag is great for more than one person packing together in situations when your bag isn’t going to be weighed, like road trips or for flights when you don’t have to pay to check a bag.
The versatility of the bag carrying styles, plus their ability to expand and still remain somewhat rugged is a reason to consider them if you’re looking to get some new luggage.
The High Sierra AT6 22-inch Carry-On Expandable Wheeled Duffel lists for between $100.12 and $300 at Amazon. You can also find it at LuggageGuru or Sunny Sports.
Whether you’re a flashpacker or a business traveler that wants to keep the load light, this Digi Hauler convertible backpack by Eagle Creek could be your ultimate carry-on.
As a laptop or tablet has become as common for travelers to carry as a toiletry kit, and legacy airlines do their best to make you pay up to check a bag, a carry-on bag that can hold your clothes and your electronics is now vital. While some rolling bags have a laptop pocket, those wheels subtract vital space you could be using for packing, plus they add a lot of weight. The lightest rollaboard bag I’ve used is a 6.8-pound one from Delsey I’ll be reviewing later. This one without wheels comes in under two pounds—and has a higher cargo capacity.
So unless you’re a 98-pound-weakling and can’t carry your bag, this Digi Hauler allows you to pack more and be more mobile, especially in places where you can’t wheel your bag down a sidewalk. This one works as a backpack or you can stuff away the straps and use the grab handles for a suitcase/duffle bag. It holds 44 liters, or 2700 cubic inches. Probably not enough for a year-long round-the-world journey for all but the lightest packers, but plenty for a week’s vacation or long weekend break. All you need, with no baggage fees to pay. (Unless you’re on Spirit Air, Ryanair, or Allegiant that is.) That’s the same capacity, by the way, of the much-loved Tom Bihn Aeronaut I’ve used on countless trips.
This Eagle Creek one is considerably lighter than that one, but thanks to thinner ripstop nylon fabric. I’m not really worried about the durability. I have yet to wear out any Eagle Creek bag ever, over a period of close to 20 years now, so the lifetime warranty is not just a marketing ploy. The laptop section doesn’t have much padding, so you might want to put your computer in a sleeve, but it sits right next to your back instead of being accessible to thieves on the other side. There’s also a hook at the top for locking the zipper in place.
There are three other pockets: one on the front flap, a mesh one inside the flap, and a lined side one that can be used for a water bottle. All the zippers have pulls that are easy to grip and there are external compression straps to hold everything in place. It comes in three colors, all with reflective areas for safety.
Want one for $10? Our sister site, the Cheapest Destinations Blog, is participating in the annual Passports with Purpose charity drive to raise money with Water.org to build wells in rural Haiti. You can bid a $10 donation on this item that Eagle Creek so generously donated and you could score. (Open to North America recipients only.)
Want to bid on some other things to improve your odds? Perceptive Travel is giving away a weekend getaway in Texas and our contributor Amy Whitley pulled in a stay at a Ritz Carlton in California. But you ladies might be more interested in what our blogger Jill Robinson put up: a nice merino wool Realfleece 260 jacket from Icebreaker.
There are probably a dozen other things you’ll drool over. Visit the Passports with Purpose donation page before December 11 to see the whole list and try to win.