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Our Favourite Wheeled Bags

by , August 29, 2010

Our Favourite Wheeled Bags

Our Favourite Wheeled Bags

Note: For a higher resolution image of the above, click [HERE].

Traveling has become a major part of our lives – whether for a holiday, a business trip, or discovering the world. Few of us take the same length trip each time, so choosing appropriate luggage is no easy task. There’s loads to consider, and with the way excess weight charges are skyrocketing, weight is more important than ever.

With that in mind we have pulled together a list of bags we think tend to cover most areas you need to think about when traveling, with factors like weight, material, mobility, and more…

The market is quite saturated with different travel carry product, from the super simple duffel bag, to the burger with the lot (like this powered wheeled luggage). The sizes are quite broad so it is easy to be lost in the difficult attempt to find the perfect travel carry good.

Yet despite (or perhaps because of) all the choice, one of the main issues that gets overlooked in favour of design is a big one. Weight.  Of course we want the shiny wheels and soft telescopic handles with a packing space the size of an elephant. But the price for such practicability is that the bag in itself is often half of our weight allowance. As a general guide, we think check in bags are better when they weigh less than 13 lbs (6kgs).

In our opinion, the soft shell (or fabric based) bags offer the best option for traveling. They are compressible, generally lighter weight, and easy to store between trips. Our major complaint with hard cases (other than the tiny wheels and weight) is that they won’t compress into a tight taxi boot or storage space. We’ve seen this throw a simple car trip in to chaos, and prefer the flexibility of soft luggage.

So the main focus here is the trolley and wheels system. We have made a selection of 5 bags weighing between 3 and 6kg, with prices around AU$250 to AU$500.

Our Favourite Wheeled Bags

Some of the things you should be looking for when searching for new travel luggage are:

– Fabric. Have fabric as the main material to keep the weight of the bag down, it allows easy volume compression and home storage between trips.

– Sandwich. Have a sandwitch construction – open in 2 sections from the center. Easier packing and sorting of your clothes, items, etc

– Space. You need something that can carry enough for 2wks worth of clothing. Unless you don’t wash and can stretch that 2weeks into 2 months…

– Hardware. Bigger wheels roll more easily, softer wheels make less noise (and scratch less), and handles should have only small amounts of play when fully extended (this is the quickest way to judge handle quality).

Our Favourite Wheeled Bags

Mandarina Duck – Isi 93L Trolley

Positive: The folded fabric gives the bag a more elegant feel. The bag offers a large compartment with compression straps, a quick access pocket at the front for your small-last minute stuff, and a really nice front compartment. Its vertical design allows the bag to stand upright.

Negative: Lack of pocketing. Even though it does offer a quick access front pocket thing like coins, keys etc. get lost in it. A top access pocket would have been more practical. The single telescopic handle is a tricky one. Beautiful in its simplicity it doesn’t stop the bag to tip sideways. A double one would have been better for this kind of size.

Rip Curl – Search Vault

Positive: Probably its compact design. As much as it looks a little smaller than other market bags in the same price range, it carries a fair share of stuff. It has durable look and material, small top quick access pocket, and a bottom one for you last minute pair of shoes.

Negative: The simple design and compact approach could have resulted in a lighter weight. The top compartment is a touch small.

Gravis – Trekker

Positive: Not a newy but a goody. Traditional sandwitch construction, with the top and bottom front pockets working great for sports gear. The front handles have a good streamline design. Replaceable skate wheels are nice, and the rounded corners of the molded base improve durability.

Negative: Strong pop color is easy to find on the airport carrousel but lack of discretion the rest of the time. The front handles are practical however the hand feeling isn’t great.

Victorinox – CH97 28”

Positive: Super compact design with expandale main compartment. Nice telescopic handle. Great warranty.

Negative: Weight is probably its downside. 5kg for this size is not great. The back or base of the bag look a bit old compare to the front. A molded part would have been better.

Dakine – Split Roller

Positive: The split system allow you to divide the bag in two. Really practical when travelling thru U.S.A. Great internal volume.

Negative: The base of the bag is a bit old fashioned these days, the handles as well. If you look for a good looking box this is probably the best choice.

If you have any other suggestions that might fit in this chart, or would like to add anything to our review please feel free to add to the discussion.


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