There’s an art to picking just the right piece of luggage for just the right trip. On the outside: a hard shell spells durability for fragile items inside. Soft nylon means it expands easier to stuff one more heavy coat, or treasures from a shopping spree while away. These days, travelers must be ever more mindful of weight to avoid surcharges. Wheels make maneuvering easier for you and the bellman. The increasingly-popular 360 degree four wheeled spinners work best on smaller bags when shimmying sideways down the aisle of the plane. Two wheels are more ideal for bulkier bags. The bag’s shape matters a lot to the handlers stacking them in the belly of the plane. Four-sided hard-cased fair better than soft-sided (and often overstuffed) bags. Two handles hold up better than one as that’s the grab point where bag handlers may hurl them. If you’re looking for an easier time of spotting your bag circling around the conveyor belt, you might opt for one of the trendier bold colors more popular today. On the inside of bags, there are more options to consider. Dividers, straps, hidden compartments, built-in shelves and a multitude of ways to divvy up your haul. Here’s a cargo load of bags with noteworthy features to add to your collection.
The Ready-For-Anything Sporty Bag
As functional as the iconic knife from which it hails. Roomy enough for all your travel tools of the trade. Its rugged crush-proof exterior means a Swiss Alps avalanche couldn’t crush it. Perfect for those trips with the whole family. Four dual-wheels spin 360 degrees. The pull trolley handle adjusts to 3 different heights. The combination lock allows airport security in, potential thief out. A tracking system (a serial number with a lost and found phone number) adds another level of keeping tabs on your bags. Sport it in red to match your Swiss army knife.
The Oh Yes It Will Fit In The Overhead Bag
This better mousetrap of a carry-on has found a way to pack 25% more, then cinch it down to fit in the overhead (even by international standards.) Pack up to 6 day’s worth of clothes without having to visit baggage claim. Its tri-fold garment suiter can hold up to two suits. And because it’s lightweight, you don’t have to be able to bench press much to lift it up over your head for take off. Available in black or olive.
The 360 Degrees Is How I Roll Bag
Four dual set of Spinner wheels rotate this uber cool bag 360 degrees. Holds 3.9cf of stuff. Translation? That’s a lot of salsa ensembles with room for matching maracas too. Jet-setter silver will have fellow travelers wondering if you’re a diamond dealer or starring in the next bond film.
The room for the whole family Bag
Roomy enough to pack the whole family’s clothes for a week. All the bells you’d hope to find (retractable handle, TSA locks, 2 gripping handles top and bottom, removable garment bag for hangup clothes). Plus some whistles you hadn’t thought of (made of the same material used to protect NASCAR drivers and NFL football players.) Rugged enough to tackle anything, or be tackled by anyone even at high speeds.
The My Ship’s Just Come In Trunk
“Could you get my trunk, please?” Sounds so much more chic than, “Can you get my bag?” Fit for British royalty. Queen Elizabeth II sported it on her honeymoon. Royal blue with contrasting navy leather trim and royal blue pinstripes on brilliant-white cotton cloth lining. You may find yourself speaking with just a bit of a British accent by the time you finish packing it and bidding folks a fine, Cheerio. This look of yesteryear trunk comes with today’s easy-to-maneuver wheels.
The Clothes Horse Bag
If you’ve got a hang up about carrying a garment bag, this one’s for you. Two (in-line skate) wheels make it easier to roll, no matter how much you pack. Worried about exceeding airline weight restrictions? You’ll love the built-in weight indicator allowing you to determine if it’s over 50 lbs. Recessed locking hand trolley allows for one-hand operation. Blue helps you spot it coming off the conveyor belt in baggage claim.
Mommy’s Little Helper
This bag comes with every bell and whistle you could hope for in a carry-on with an added plus: an iPad (or other electronic device) holder. Ants-in-the-pants-itis and potential meltdowns (by kids of all ages) are averted with a movie or a slideshow of photos from your trip with this nifty feature. Visionair also makes some of the most fun prints in other bags they carry like Felix the Cat, The Beatles and other easy to spot festive prints.
The Best Seat In The House Bag
This carry-on is like a mini dresser on wheels. Five removable, color-coded stacking compartments include a TSA-approved transparent toiletry bag. Arrange by undergarments, shirts, shorts, swimsuits or by coordinated outfits. Or how about a rolling jewelry case and makeup bag? (Just be cognizant of TSA’s 3-1-1 rule on liquid/gel items you’re permitted to carry on board.) If the flight lounge is full, not to worry, the top serves as a built-in seat.
The No Need to Air Your Dirty Laundry Bag
This nifty carry-on touts a separate (and compressible) laundry chute to tuck away dirty laundry and keep it separate from your clean clothes. Add in the exterior water bottle holder, magazine pouch, and belt to clip on a suit jacket and wheels that spin 360 degrees for an even smarter bag. Plus it with a pouch for a micro umbrella, mini speaker and battery pack phone charger ( each of these items sold separately) and this thing’s Mensa material.
Shop Till You Drop Bag
This bag’s perfect for bringing home shopping finds. It fits into its own micro bag to tuck into an outbound bag if you prefer. After you shop for more than could possible fit into your checked luggage, voila, this thing can hold quite a bit and fit into the overhead. Made of thick durable (yet lightweight) nylon in a variety of colors. Tucks (and compacts) neatly away under a bed or in a drawer for storage. Four sturdy spinner wheels make it easy for navigating airline aisles.