- Buyer's Guide
Best Check-In Finalists :: Third Annual Carry Awards
Check-in luggage can (literally) make or break your journey. Our Best Check-In finalists however are solid travel companions you can rely on to get your gear where it needs to go. From adventure duffles that will boldly venture into the unknown, to elegantly understated spinners that look suave when you need to suit up, these check-in pieces are on the last leg of the awards journey but it’s up to you which one reaches the winner’s podium first.
You have two votes to use as you will…
Allocate your 1st choice with 2 points
And your 2nd choice just with the 1 point.
Most luggage is optimised for a particular type of trip, which is great for just that type of trip. But if you want it for a shorter trip, or you want to store it, or you are struggling for weight with either too much or too little, you reach frustration quickly. Eagle Creek have addressed all these issues with a modular system that lets you fold, expand, strip down or combine to your heart’s content, and all at a really affordable price.
The Samsonite Cubelite is one of our absolute most favoritest suitcases. It combines lightweight with just big enough wheels for a great spinner. But it’s not cheap, and when you see most of the finishes are plastic, you do sometimes hesitate. Enter the Lite-Cube DLX, a pimped and updated version that gives you more bling for very little extra expense. The added leather is nice, and the murdered midnight colorway is even better.
There are duffels that come loaded with straps and flaps and daisy chains and more. And then there are duffels stripped of almost everything other than a durable fabric and bombproof construction. This latter variety don’t snag on luggage belts, can be dragged up a cliff-face without incident, and often shrug off any rain or snow on their way in. The Carrier duffel achieves all this, while looking damn good and avoiding unnecessary weight. It’s a seriously sleek duffel.
Somewhere between duffels and weekenders lies a versatile space, where a bag can move between the gym, weekends away, work and play. This is Aether’s space, where technology welds together muted fabric and performance features in an understated aesthetic. The sort of bag you use more than expected.
Most folks don’t need luggage this burly, but for those who do, they’ve always had to compromise. Serious weight is the major one, alongside being seriously hard to carry. Pelican have addressed the burly luggage thing and then some, with crazy new tooling and features that will survive armageddon, whether it’s on land or in water.
Now this is how to do a duffel… big capacity, burly construction, light enough weight, water-resistant, and now you can even roll it behind you rather than dragging it like most. Adventure duffels generally ask for compromise in at least one of those areas, but the Ortlieb does more and better.
For large capacity, affordably priced rollers which can take some abuse, Dakine is a foundation brand. In recent years there have been some weight reductions and continued refinement which means this is a great value option for adventuring around the globe.
If you’re not too phased about the glamour side of luggage, the Travelpro could be your go-to. Recent updates have taken a staple of the frequent flyer crowd and improved it further. If you want to add a touch of innovation, check out the Marquis model which adds self-aligning casters care of magnetic superpowers.
If you’re flying at the pointy end, weight is not as much of an issue. Instead, you probably care more about feeling comfortable wherever you travel. The playful lines and lux details of the Chatelet, combined with richly appointed interior all help here. Then there’s Delsey’s Zip Securi tech, which was one of the very first double spiral zips that is significantly stronger and more difficult to split open for pilfering. Add in an innovative locking caster system, and you get a case that brings the word ‘lovely’ to mind.
*Voting closes 22nd Feb.