I've seen quite a bit of reviews and pictures of the older 23.5" actual length Kirkland bag.... this one here:
I was set on getting a Tumi Alpha series 22" carry on (22922 zipper expandable) to go along with my Tumi briefcase and shoulder bag, but on my last few visits to Costco I saw a new Kirkland 22" carry on.... this one here:
So after going back and forth and really looking over the Kirkland bag, I decided for the price ($99) I might as well pick it up and try it out. Worst case, Costco has a great return policy so I'm not really losing out here trying the bag out. I'm flying on a 757 & 737 next week with AA, and then on a MD80 the week after that, so I'll check and see how this fits into the overhead compartment. In the past, I was using an old TH 20" carry on (21.0" actual length) and in the overhead compartments, I easily had at least 2" to spare between the bag and bin door. After measuring the new Kirkland 22" bag, I decided I'd give it a try.
I tried to take clear pictures of the bag, but it's approx 23.25" long on the expansion side, and 22.75" on the wheel side. I kept reading that the previous gen Kirkland 22" bag being an actual 23.5" was too big to fit in most overhead compartments. I don't know if half an inch will really make a difference, but from the looks of it compared to my previous bag and how the AA overhead bins buldge out a little bit, I think I can make it work if I keep the wheels facing out (I'll find out next week).
Compared to the Tumi 22" carry on, the Kirkland 22" carry on looks like a pretty close replica of Tumi Alpha series carry on. The look, size, layout (pockets), and design are pretty much the same. But there are still some differences that you can obviously tell the difference in. The main thing I notice is that the zippers on my Tumi bags work much smoother than the Kirkland bag. That's not to say the Kirkland bag zipper is bad, but just not as smooth as the zippers on my Tumi bags. The 'ballistic' material is very simlar looking, but Tumi has more of a durable feel to it. The handle doesn't pop up when you press the release button on the Kirkland bag, but it's still very smooth and easy to pull up like the Tumi bag. The wheels feel about the same on both, pulling it and rolling them around with an empty bag. The side handle is on the opposite side of the Tumi bag. The main compartment is pretty much the same size and layout. The main difference is that the folding garment bag is attached to the Tumi case and it's a separate piece with the Kirkland bag. Not really that big of a deal, but I like how Tumi has their garment bag setup. The Kirkland bag has a zipper expansion, but the outside looks like the framed Tumi bag. It doesn't bother me, but it doesn't really help if you need to compress it to save space. BTW, the luggage tag does not come with it... I was just trying out a spare Tumi luggage tag to see how it looked on the bag (it's off now).
Overall, between the 2 bags, Tumi does have a better quality bag. But at 1/6 the price, the Kirkland bag is a great deal and is very close in comparison with the Tumi Alpha carry on. I've heard some bad things about Tumi's customer service when work was needed on their bags, and you always hear about how great Costco's customer service is with their products. Even if this bag doesn't last me more than a few years, for the price and Costco's reputation, I'm going to give this bag a try and see how it works out. I usually fly from LAX-DFW-LAX or LAX-ORD-LAX every couple of weeks for work, so I should be able to report back later on to see how the bag is still holding up.
When I measure it laying down flat, the thickness is approx 9.75" tall all around.
Just some added info: I looked at the Tumi Alpha 22" framed carry on (22022) and the outer dimensions are exactly the same as the Kirkland 22" carry on. I'm not saying this is a good thing or bad thing, just an observation I noticed. The only differences that I found were:
- side carry handle on opposite side
- main compartment zipper opens on opposite side
- handle (Tumi handle pops up when released)
- zipper quality (Tumi is much smoother to open & close)
- front outer/upper pocket (Kirkland has an extra comparment in there)
On the front outer/upper pocket on both bags, Kirkland's has a mesh comparment in their's and Tumi doesn't have anything. I found this really nice on the Kirkland bag since I'm used to putting my watch & phone in that area of my old bag before going through security. Otherwise, on both bags this comparment goes all the way to the bottom bag so you would be digging in there a good 20" to get your items out if you didn't have this mesh pocket.
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Excellent point about the mesh pocket.
I'll look at this bag which week. It may worked as a checkable bag for me. For carry on I typically use RedOxx bags. I always have things that the TSA doesn't like so I need one bag that can be checked.
Saw these in Costco yesterday, but only in black. Do they not have the ugly green, brown, blue and red that they used to? I have no need to replace my six year old first generation bag, but would be disappointed if I couldn't get a unique color. I've only run into one other olive green Costco bag - as someone else grabbed it thinking it was the only one in the world. The FT luggage tag saved the day.
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The only model that shows up on the Costco website is the Kirkland Signature 27" for $129. Are there sizes other than the 22" reported here and the 27" seen on the website? Possibly a 20" to ensure carry-on restrictions are met? I'd love to see a 20" with laptop organization in the front pocket.
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Originally Posted by IsleOfMan
I'd love to see a 20" with laptop organization in the front pocket.
Me, too. Although obviously the bag needs to fit into the overhead bins, with the greater scrutiny carry-on bags receive these days, I'm more concerned about whether the bag fits into the sizers. I think a 20" (which would probably measure out to 21.0-21.5") would be a safer bet.
Love it. Use it, and I do not work for Costco/Kirkland. Costco stuff is built very well. I have Tumi and the overpriced ballistic plastic four wheel junk. But who does the OP work for? Is this a Gorilla advertisement on Flyertalk?
So I flew with the bag today on an AA 737 flight. Funny because the GA at LAX kept announcing that they were going to be extra strict today on carry on bag sizes, due to a full flight. However, I still went on with the PLT group and didn't get any looks or comments about the bag (it probably helps that I'm tall so the bag doesn't look too big next to me).
As soon as I stuck it into the overhead bin on the DEF side, I took a picture. The bag fits with plenty of room to spare, both ways with wheels out and wheels in (I actually took the bag out to get something and put it back in wheels in first... didn't take a picture since there were lots of people walking through the isle, but it has the same amount of clearance at the bottom of the bin). No problems at all with the bin door closing. Looking at the ABC side, it looked a bit more shallow so I don't think it would have fit on that side.
I'll be flying back on Friday on a 757 and again sitting on the DEF side. If there's nobody behind me, I'll try sticking it into the ABC side first to see how it fits, then into the DEF side and take some more pics.
Sorry for the blurry pic, took it with my iPhone. But you can see there's plenty of clearance of the 22" Kirkland bag in the overhead compartment on the AA 737 planes.
But who does the OP work for? Is this a Gorilla advertisement on Flyertalk?
I work for a law firm, and travel between LAX - DFW and LAX - ORD every other week for work between a couple of our offices.... I don't work for any bag company. I was this close to picking up the Tumi Alpha 22" carry on, mainly because I like the brand and I liked the look & style of the bag, not to mention the compartments how smooth it was to roll around comapared to my 7 year old TH 20" bag. I've been reading FT posts for awhile now, mainly the AA forum, and read quite a few not too great reviews about Tumi products, so I was looking into other alternatives. I recently decided to make a post (ironically my first) about the Kirkland bag that I decided to get last week and try out..... although I didn't notice there was another thread on it already, but the info I added wasn't really talked about over on the other thread. Plus, I'm also adding in some real pics from that I'm taking with the bag in use (Tumi Alpha 22" would net the same results, since they're the same dimensions).
Bottom line, especially for the price, I think this bag is great. I looked at the B&R 21" carry on bags, and they were really nice and looked good. But the main thing that turned me away from it was how skinny and flimsy the carry handle was when extended. At least on the Tumi and Kirkland bags, the carry handle bars are thicker and feel more sturdy.
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Thanks for the update. I can see that you didn't over-stuff your bag. I think that makes a difference. Also an excellent point about being a tall person so you believe the bag doesn't look large.
I'm a small, short older person so I bag that is too big looks darn silly in my use. I borrowed a RedOxx Airboss for one trip and felt like a walking bag with legs. On the other hand my clothes and shoes are small. I don't need a huge carry on bag.
I'll be at a COSTCO in a couple hours and will look that bag over. I think I could use it as my checked bag.