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Old Jan 21, 12, 12:06 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Question Best Rolling Bag for Smaller Regional Jets

A recent trip that included two legs on an ERJ 145 and one leg on a CRJ 200 has convinced me that I need to change the luggage that I take. One of the ERJ 145 legs included a ten minute wait while another plane moved from our gate followed by another ten minute wait while we all stood on the jetway waiting for our bags. Since this was the leg with a 45 minute layover and I was departing out of a different building, I almost missed my next flight. I am much more motivated now to avoid gate checking.

I have a backpack that will hold almost everything that was in my 20" rollaboard. Unfortunately, I have two factors that make one-bagging it difficult for me. The first is arthritis in my spine that limits how much I can carry and the second is that I'm in the military. My short trips tend to require uniform during the day and business casual for receptions or working dinners in the evenings. There is no part of my uniform that can be worn in the evening, so I have to pack either a winter jacket, uniform, and boots or a winter jacket, pants, blouses and shoes.

I'm looking for a rolling tote that fits in the overhead bins on the ERJ 145s and counts as a personal bag by the GA. Ideally, it would have one large open space that took up most of the bag so that boots and other heavy items would fit. It would be nice if it opened fully, had tie-downs, and had outside side pockets. I'd like to be able to strap the backpack to the handle until we get to the gate, so prefer a sturdier handle. I have a neoprene case for my laptop and have a slot in the backpack for a laptop, so this bag doesn't have to have a laptop compartment. The non-negotiable part is that it fit in the overhead or under the seat and has wheels.

SeatGuru gives 18Lx14Wx7D as the maximum dimension for the CRJ 200 and no measurements for the ERJ, but I've seen people in the forums report that their 9" wide RedOxx fit the ERJ and my subjective opinion is that both types of regional jets have the same size bins. I watched another passenger drop his High Sierra rolling tote into the bin with room to spare on the CRJ 200, so I know that 8x16x13 will fit. Based on that, I'm aimed for a width of no more than 9" and a weight of no more than eight pounds. An outer pocket of the tote could contain my book and airplane pack, to be removed at my seat; I recognize that bulging pockets can change a width.

I'm hoping that some of you will have had experience with the bags I list below. It would be really helpful to hear which ones actually fit in the ERJ and how difficult it is to squeeze them into the bin. I'm also hoping to get recommendations for bags that I haven't found yet that might be better that what's below. I did do my homework in the forums and found several threads that discussed luggage on ERJs, with the bags that might work for me listed below.

The Travelpro Maxlite 2 Rolling Tote looks nice and opens fully. I'm just a little nervous that it's nine inches wide.

The Briggs and Riley rolling tote looks just about perfect, but costs $229.00. I'd like to test the concept with something cheaper and watch for sales on this one if the concept works.

The Travelpro Walkabout Lite 3 Rolling Tote is nice, but it doesn't open fully or have tie downs.

I really like the Orvis Soft-Shell Rolling Briefcase, but had never heard of the brand before now. At 16.5x17x8.5, it's larger than a personal bag, I really like that it's a spinner, holds a laptop, opens fully, and has nice end pockets, but doubt that the size would work for me.

The Magellan Getaway Wheeled Under-Seat Tote reminds me of a large lunchbox and doesn't open fully like a normal suitcase. It also doesn't look like it has the internal structure to survive having the backpack rest on top of it, but if it does, the flat top looks like it would support the backpack the best. This is another brand that is new to me. At 14.75x15x7.5, it may be the largest bag available that meets my requirements

The Travelpro Crew 7 Rolling Tote would definitely fit at 5" wide, but I'm hoping for something a little larger.

The Kenneth Cole 17-inch Expandable Carry-On Upright has nice dimensions and meets many of my criteria. Alas, it's ugly and upright. While its measurements of 17x13x7 are similar to others on the list, it's an upright. I'm concerned that the GA would lump it with the rollaboards and insist that it be gate checked, even though it's almost exactly the measurements specified by SeatGuru for the CRJ 200.

This thread mentions a few LL Bean bags. That poster said that this bag fits in all of Delta's regional jets, provided it isn't stuffed full, but that he always has to argue about it with the GA. I suspect that this bag would require me to use a smaller bag as my personal item.

And, of course, the High Sierra bag is proven to fit, but lacks the side pocket or ability to open fully.

My apologies that this has turned into such a long post. I'm in "the paralysis of too many choices" stage and don't want to find out that I chose wrong the next time I fly. I appreciate any insights you might give.
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Old Jan 21, 12, 2:43 pm   #2
 
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I'm always on the cusp between a size that will fit ANY carry-on bin storage/floor storage, and a size that MAY have to be checked on smaller regionals, and then something I don't CARE if it's checked or not, and something I absolutely would NEVER check because it's too nice, but that I can be SURE will fit ON BOARD regardless... so I really can't ever decide.

It's been my experience, especially recently taking a lot of regionals in and out of IAH, that these regonal jets do not always have the same overhead space, or under-seat space.

I have a very small LL Bean set that they no longer sell. Basically, a rolling Laptop case, that I modified by removing the paper dividers and laptop padding areas, and made it into an under-seat bag. This bag is basically the same size as their "Under-Seat" bags Actually, I think an inch shorter, but same width and length.. Then I added Bean's very small carry-all "accessory bag" that I know will fit anywhere (that pops over the handle of the rolling laptop). Last week, I was not able to place this rolling laptop case in the overhead of a small regional from IND to IAH, and it certainly did not fit under the seat, even though it is SMALL. I had to gate-check it. The Bean Carry-all "Accessory Bag"? Sure. but not the rolling laptop bag, small as it is.

So, unless I want to go SUPER small and basically carry a shirt, socks, underwear and some toiletries in the Bean Carry-All "Accessory Bag", I have decided there is NOTHING I can take that will guarantee I can fit it above or below seats on ALL commuter jets. That IND to IAH Jet had ridiculously small overhead bins. And the under seat storage was just big enough to fit the Bean Carry-All "Accessory" bag. Pitifully small storage areas.

But that's my experience. Mileage may vary, etc. Keep us posted!
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Old Jan 21, 12, 6:38 pm   #3
 
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I have to fly RJs a lot from my smallish airport so I feel your pain, but you're going to have a hard time finding a decent sized rolling bag that will fit. Some gate agents will automatically make you check any rolling bag even if it will fit.

Unfortunately you may have to to deal with gate checking or get a soft shoulder bag (I know you said you don't want to go that route),
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Old Jan 21, 12, 9:29 pm   #4
 
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The Travelpro Crew 8 tote should work, though my tote is an older variant that's 7" in the shortest dimension.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 7:31 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdre View Post
The Travelpro Crew 8 tote should work, though my tote is an older variant that's 7" in the shortest dimension.
That's about the size of my LL Bean tote that is no longer offered.
It was gate checked (mandatory) on a RJ service from IND a few weeks ago.
There are certain Regionals that will not take much more than a very small purse sized carry-on. Nothing is guaranteed.
But yes, MOST RJ's would probably take that onboard OK.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:46 am   #6
 
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Mine, which was a Crew 6, was never gate checked and served me well for 4 years. I know I've used it on an ERJ 145 (AA) but not on a CRJ 200.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 6:06 pm   #7
 
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I was flying out SFO-LAX Wednesday night on a CRJ (I fly them pretty much every week with DL) and I watched in amazement as the guy in front of my slipped his spinner into the overhead. Being sick of gate check wait myself I asked him who made his bag... Brookstone 17" Dash.

I found a Brookstone this morning while still on my business trip and picked one up. Nice bag for the price. Light as a feather.

I couldn't find them online, seems they've discontinued the 17" so you'll most likely have to check one out at a store instead.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 12:46 pm   #8
 
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I'm currently on size 41x33x20cm including wheels and handles and I can confirm this fits on CRJs, ERJs and even the good old Dash-8s and Saab 340s if you're lucky enough to ride them! Never been gate tagged by the most "tag happy" of agents. This fits "comfortably" in overhead bins but any bigger you'd have to use your fingers to ensure it doesn't catch on the latch. Never tried under the seat on regionals but it will fit under for mainlines.

The bag's a Travelpro First Rolling and the main compartment is split into 2 so it may not be the most ideal for your needs but the size I can give a .

Last edited by SHRMark; Feb 5, 12 at 12:54 pm.
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Old Feb 5, 12, 5:21 pm   #9
 
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I fly out of YYZ in ERJ 145s all the time. I have a "salsa cabin trolley" Rimowa, which *will* fit in the overheads.

http://www.luggageonline.com/product...oduct_ID=17514

It is the carry on, that meets IATA specs. 50% of the time the check-in attendants tag the bag, but I just carry it on. It fits best if you slip it in wheels up. I have yet to find a plane where this bag would not fit in the overhead.

Will
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Old Feb 5, 12, 7:41 pm   #10
 
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Willy, does it fit wheels in/out or horizontally?
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Old Feb 5, 12, 8:21 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdre View Post
Willy, does it fit wheels in/out or horizontally?
Horizontally. Wheels up. Handle out. And you are good to go.

WR
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Old Feb 16, 12, 12:26 pm   #12
 
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I too am in this position, often flying on Embraer and Canadair regional jets. With connection times getting shorter, and the wait for plane-side checked bags getting longer, I needed a bag that would fit in the overhead bin of these small aircraft.

I bought a Brookstone Dash Rolling Office, $99. It fits nicely (horizontally) in the overhead bin of E145, and also CRJ200, CRJ700 and CRJ900. Fits in Explus equipped planes. Haven't had opportunity to try it on CRJ100. Also haven't tried it under the seat.

Its actual maximum outer dimensions (including wheels and handle) are:
8 3/8" thick
15" tall - standing on wheels
18" across

Last edited by dorisrpas; Feb 22, 12 at 7:35 pm. Reason: update overhead bin fits
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Old Feb 16, 12, 12:35 pm   #13
 
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A Tumi Vapor int'l carryon fits in a CRJ700 (on United's config) except over seats 1A and 2A.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 9:31 pm   #14
 
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I was in this exact same dilemma, for which I started this thread. Of course, what I meant to ask in that thread was: what is the *largest* rolling bag that will fit in the overhead bin.

I can state without doubt that the Briggs & Riley rolling tote will fit in any regional jet in the overhead, and that it is also the largest rolling bag that will fit. You have to put it in the overhead wheels out, but it will slip right in there. There isn't even another half inch to spare, so this is the bag you want.

Also, I have *never* been asked to gate check it. What I end up doing is when it comes time to board, I just retract the handle and pick it up. As I'm walking past the GA, it looks smaller than a lot of the purses and shoulder bags that other people are lugging around me.

Finally, I also hear you regarding your desire to become a "one-bagger". I too would love to achieve that goal, but that one bag just gets too heavy, and the joints get to creaky to make it doable. My solution is this: I have a Tom Bihn Tristar, and the Briggs & Riley rolling tote. The Tristar sits right on top of the B&R, and I can roll to my hearts content. When I get to the gate, I put the Tristar on my back, backpack style, and carry the B&R by the handle. I've only got to carry them about 20 feet that way, til I get past the gate agent.

Some things worth pointing out: you can pack a breathtaking amount of stuff into a Tristar. It's just so well organized, and the lack of wheels gains you a surprising amount of extra packing room, which is hard to really appreciate until you start loading the thing. Which can thus start to get a bit heavy. That's why I love just putting it on top of the B&R to roll. And I can also confirm that the Tristar, even fully loaded (and even bulging at the seams a bit, I'm ashamed to admit) will fit into ANY overhead. Thus, both bags fit into the overhead if space allows, and either will fit at my feet if necessary. Have never been asked to gate check either one (and as a DM, I do fly a bit).

Finally, I often use this Bag Bungee to secure the Tristar onto my B&R rolling tote. Click on the Bag Bungee video link below the "See how it works" line to see a short video on how it works.

Whew. I have GOT to get a life!
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Old Feb 25, 12, 12:18 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegasguru View Post
I was in this exact same dilemma, for which I started this thread. Of course, what I meant to ask in that thread was: what is the *largest* rolling bag that will fit in the overhead bin.

I can state without doubt that the Briggs & Riley rolling tote will fit in any regional jet in the overhead, and that it is also the largest rolling bag that will fit. You have to put it in the overhead wheels out, but it will slip right in there. There isn't even another half inch to spare, so this is the bag you want.

Also, I have *never* been asked to gate check it. What I end up doing is when it comes time to board, I just retract the handle and pick it up. As I'm walking past the GA, it looks smaller than a lot of the purses and shoulder bags that other people are lugging around me.

Finally, I also hear you regarding your desire to become a "one-bagger". I too would love to achieve that goal, but that one bag just gets too heavy, and the joints get to creaky to make it doable. My solution is this: I have a Tom Bihn Tristar, and the Briggs & Riley rolling tote. The Tristar sits right on top of the B&R, and I can roll to my hearts content. When I get to the gate, I put the Tristar on my back, backpack style, and carry the B&R by the handle. I've only got to carry them about 20 feet that way, til I get past the gate agent.

Some things worth pointing out: you can pack a breathtaking amount of stuff into a Tristar. It's just so well organized, and the lack of wheels gains you a surprising amount of extra packing room, which is hard to really appreciate until you start loading the thing. Which can thus start to get a bit heavy. That's why I love just putting it on top of the B&R to roll. And I can also confirm that the Tristar, even fully loaded (and even bulging at the seams a bit, I'm ashamed to admit) will fit into ANY overhead. Thus, both bags fit into the overhead if space allows, and either will fit at my feet if necessary. Have never been asked to gate check either one (and as a DM, I do fly a bit).

Finally, I often use this Bag Bungee to secure the Tristar onto my B&R rolling tote. Click on the Bag Bungee video link below the "See how it works" line to see a short video on how it works.

Whew. I have GOT to get a life!

The B&R rolling cabin bag is a great bag. It can actually hold quite a bit. I used mine two years ago in a 5 day, RTW with stops in NRT and DUB. Even packed a suit in it i needed for the meetings in Tokyo using the folding instructions here on FT. I have been trying to go wheel-less but my shoulder/side/back is bothering me a bit so I think I will break out the rolling cabin bag for my short trip to SAN tomorrow - Tuesday. Thanks for the reminder! Adding the Tristar would add an enormous amount of capacity. I have paired my Tristar with my BRX19 for longer trips also.
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