Posts Tagged luggage
I knew that headline would get your attention. But it’s technically true. Someone who bids $10 through Passports with Purpose is going to be getting a $350, guaranteed for life, rolling Exchange backpack from Briggs & Riley.
Yes, it really is that simple. You go bid $10 per entry and you could score this awesome bag. And they’ll even ship internationally.
If you don’t win, you’re still doing something with that money. One hundred percent of what’s collected each year goes to support a specific charity project where everyone who contributes can see the results. In the past, Passports with Purpose has built wells in Haiti, a school in Cambodia, libraries in Zambia, and a whole damn village in India. This is not some feel-good mission trip where people with matching t-shirts do something the locals could have done better at a fraction of the cost. This year the goal is to raise $115,000 for buildOn to construct three schools and fund three adult literacy programs in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa. See more on where your money will go.
So that’s the worthy cause, but back to your great travel bag. We’re big fans of Briggs and Riley here at Practical Travel Gear as we know from experience that their products hold up for the long term and we instantly respect any company willing to back up what they sell with a lifetime guarantee. You’ll have a hard time finding another luggage company that offers that for everything they send out the door.
If you score this BRX Exchange Backpack, you’ll get something that allows you to speed through airports and hotels with ease, but when the going gets tough and you’ve got 100 stairs or a dirt path to navigate, you can do an abacadabra on this and you’ve got a backpack.
It’s a wheelie suitcase you can strap on your shoulders. Or a backpack you can roll behind you. Either way, your travels will be more versatile.
The Exchange Rolling Backpack weighs about seven pounds and is loaded with pockets and storage compartments to hold everything you need in your travels. It’s part of the BRX Collection, which is meant for hardier travelers doing more than going from the airport to a Hilton to a conference room and home.
You could go buy it direct from Briggs and Riley or at your local quality luggage store for several hundred dollars. Or you could put some money toward a good cause at Passports with Purpose and maybe get lucky too. Make the world a better place, and just maybe get a new bag.
Donate and win! (Bidding runs through December 9.)
P.S. – Also big thanks to the PwP sponsors, who kicked in a bunch of money to get this party started. Please support Expedia, DK Eyewitness Guides, Rough Guides; TBEX; HomeAway, HostelBookers, Go With Oh, and Eating London.
This innovative, four-wheeled Getaway Under-Seat Tote carryon bag from Magellan’s quickly caught my eye. Not that I have thrown caution to the wind and decided to slum it aboard Spirit (which charges for overhead baggage), but that thought crossed my mind when I saw this item. Both Spirit and Allegiant charge for baggage in the overhead bin adding to the need for suitcases to maximize that underseat storage space. This would be great for those that travel aboard ultra low-fare airlines.
That kind of bargain hunting is perfect for those looking to save money and willing to fly those ultra low-cost airlines making this bag ideal for them. However, it could also be of interest to Southwest or Delta passengers concerned about passing the nosy gate agent scruff test.
I decided to try it myself and had no problems on any of the ten flights I traveled on with this bag. To be fair, I did not stuff another large bag on top of it (although my narrow briefcase was always present). And the bag may appear to tall to fit under the seat at first, but it does with ease.
The four-wheel rotation of this bag made it simple to maneuver within the airport although it was smaller in storage size meaning it is best left for short trips.
The main compartment has ample space for a small stash of clothes and a pair of tennis shoes plus some handy pockets, including a padded iPad sleeve, zippered water bottle pouch, and 3-1-1 pocket. It weighs less than seven pounds overall and is just about 15 inches tall.
The lightweight nature of the bag and lack of a bulky appearance make this an ideal travel gift for frequent flyers and is available on Magellan’s website for $149.
When I travel, whether for a work-related press trip or a family vacation, I like to carry-on a backpack devoted solely to my laptop, camera, iPad, and various USB cords, power cords, and other trappings of a connected life on the road. I took the STM Impulse laptop backpack along for the ride on my latest flight to check out its travel-friendliness. STM is something of an authority when it comes to laptop backpacks: if you’re not familiar with the brand, their packs are designed specifically for your computer and smart phone needs. Instead of adapting a backpack to work for your electronics, these bags are devoted solely to their transportation.
The STM Impulse has a place for everything, which means that for once, I can be super organized while traveling. You get three main compartments. The first is designed for your laptop, but instead of featuring a laptop sleeve on the inside panel of the backpack (the one that rests against your back), STM’s sleeve is located on the interior of the outer panel, away from your back. As a result, when you sit down with the pack on, you’re not squished against your laptop, and your computer is better protected. It’s certainly a more comfortable way to carry your laptop or tablet. An iPod sleeve rests against the back panel. The second compartment fits a text book or two, or a light jacket or novel, plus features a thinner document sleeve perfect for papers, a folder or two, or other thin documents. It’s a nice place for a flight itinerary or boarding passes. The third compartment features a whole array of smaller zippered compartments for your phone, wallet, pens, and any other smaller items. A final bottom compartment is ideal for USB cords and power adaptors.
While the Impulse has a place for everything, when a laptop is stowed (remember, it’s against the front of the back compartment) it encroaches on the open space in the second compartment, making that space for travel items pretty tight. The zippers for each compartment go only 2/3 of the way down, which means you can’t open the pack wide to find things or retrieve items. When packed, everything is secure and comfortable to carry, but usability on the plane or in the car is hampered.
The zippers do have nice pull-handles and a back panel ‘pass-through’ sleeve allows the pack to be slipped over a carry-on rollie’s handle. You get a chest/sternum strap and it’s very comfortable on. You also get two water bottle pockets, one of which can be zippered closed (and used to store keys, etc). I used mine for smaller items I wanted zippered, but with access to, such as memory cards and zip storage drives. The backpack comes in sizes XS-L (size is determined by laptop size). An XS fits an 11″, for example, and a M, which is what I tried, fits a laptop of 15″.
Bottom line: the STM Impulse will store all your electronics safely and comfortably, but size up if you want plenty of space to shift things around easily. My only wish would be that the compartment zippers allow the pack to fully open. Pick up the Impulse on Amazon for $100 or through a retailer from the STM site. Comes in black or grey.
Ever need one suitcase when you start out but two when you come home? Or have limited space to store luggage where you live? This Eagle Creek Morphus Bag can be one suitcase, two suitcases, or a suitcase and a backpack. But it’s not that short and simple…
I mentioned this bag back in my January gear trends recap because it was like nothing else on the market. It’s got a hard shell back, a soft waterproof front, and two bags hiding in what looks like one. On top of that, it’s got wheels or you can put the whole thing on a backpack for a daunting flight of stairs—but the straps are on the front, so no wheels digging into your back.
Already pretty cool, but the real magic happens when you need two suitcases, as I did recently when I went on a trade show trip and had a bunch of things to bring back. I did a quick unzipping that turned this Morphus bag into two bags and checked one of them for the trip back.
“What’s the catch?” you’re probably wondering. Well apart from the price, which is nosing up against $400 for the carry-on, you do lose a little cargo space since there’s an extra layer of bag in there. I can’t pack quite as much in one of these as I can pack in some other Eagle Creek 22-inch bags I’ve tried. A 47-liter capacity is not always apples to apples.
The Morphus comes in at a rather average 7 pounds 14 ounces when you’re wheeling along with both of them together. Obviously that drops a lot if you’re just using one.
When it comes to features and versatility though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any carry-on bag anywhere that has such a long list. This thing has all kinds of handles, straps, and grabs to enable you to haul either section multiple ways, comfortably. It’s got lockable zippers, multiple pounches, a padded laptop section, a tablet sleeve, even an emergency whistle. Yes, a whistle!
If you can’t get your head around all this, there’s a good video demo on the Eagle Creek website.
I mentioned the hefty price earlier, but I do have to point out that besides this being for two bags, it comes with Eagle Creek’s “no matter what” warranty. If you buy this and like it, you’ll probably still be using it when you’re 15 years older. Get the Eagle Creek Morphus Bag in a 22-inch carry-on or 30-inch version to check direct from Eagle Creek, at REI, or Moosejaw.
Finally. A bag tough enough to travel with my tween and teen boys. The Hummingbird WideMouth Carry-On is a multi-use, double and triple duty all-purpose bag you never knew you couldn’t do without. When I first got it, I wondered what I’d use it for, but multiple times since, I’ve wondered how I used to get along without it.
Don’t let the name sway you: the WideMouth is good for a lot more than just as a carry-on. In fact, I’ve yet to use it as such (though I have checked it as luggage). It’s made of reinforced vinyl, resembling a big river rafting dry bag. In fact, it’s waterproof (fully submersible!), with a rolling closure just like a dry bag’s. In addition, you get reinforced shoulder straps and snap closures to keep everything secure. It’s 12x12x22 (with a volume of 40 liters).
You can fit so much into this bag, it’s crazy. (Of course, you can also pack it down small.) The wide-mouth, top-loading design means it can fit multiple pairs of shoes or boots, jackets, towels, sweatshirts, and even ski helmets. We use it to store the entire family’s ski outerwear during ski vacations (just take the one bag into ski lodges or leave it in the car) and everyone’s boots and water shoes during road trips. The vinyl material means that we don’t care if we have to toss dirty shoes into it (it just wipes down) and the waterproof feature means we can cart it from the car onto the ski slopes without anyone’s fleece getting wet.
As this post is published, the WideMouth is at my side during a 10-day eco cruise along Alaska’s Southeast shore: we checked it at the airport full of rain gear and hiking boots, and it has weathered everything thrown at it. Should we someday head out on a tour in a remote part of the world requiring bus travel, the WideMouth could easily catch a ride on a bus roof without incident.
The WideMouth retails for $149, but you can pick one up at Amazon for $65 in blue or orange, or find it at Moosejaw for a bit more. While you’re at it, check out other Hummingbird products for your journey, like the self-inflating neck pillow. It’s pretty rugged as well!