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Old Jun 8, 07, 7:07 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Best Luggage

Hi all,

I would like your opinions/recomendations on dependable, durable and, most importantly, light luggage with good accessories, color choices other than black and an expaned line. I don't want to say "money is no object", but I don't mind spending more for something that suits my needs and is worth the price.

Although I like my current luggage, it is heavy and with today's tight weight restrictions, I'd like something lighter so I can actually bring some clothes with me. Also, it is red and it seems that many people have gotten the same idea as I had when I bought it years ago that that would make it easier to identifiy. As am matter of fact, I once purposely bought the UGLIEST luggage I could find (avocado green and harvest gold print -- oh yuck - just imagine it) figuring that no one could possibly have taste that was that bad. Well, on one flight, there was someone who did.

Thanks for your input.

Laura
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Old Jun 8, 07, 10:39 pm   #2
 
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We had a set of Hartmanns for like 20 years, and we traveled all over the world with them, and all over the USA. They lasted quite a long time, and it became time to buy new ones because the old ones were starting to get beat up. (that doesnt mean they arent useful). So we bought another set of Hartmans with the wheels, the previous ones didnt have wheels. The wheels make it heavier, and take up too much room. (not just in hartmans but all wheeled luggage)

We really like our Hartmanns, and they last FOREVER. Very durable, very attractive, easy to spot while waiting at baggage claim (All the other bags are black and look the same).

They are expensive (anywhere from 150-1000, depending on the size you get, obviously, smaller size=less money needed to shell out), but why not go for something that will last a life time and is very durable and easy to spot?

Last edited by UAL747fan; Jun 9, 07 at 12:51 am.
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Old Jun 8, 07, 11:09 pm   #3
 
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As an airline employee, we get TravelPro. I think it is really one of the best. I have dragged it around for twenty years. It does need replaced every now and then. It is lightweight, reasonably durable, and has all the features that a road warrior would want.

On a recent trip to my local luggage repair person (to replace my wheels on a 5 year old TravelPro) he suggested buying a new Hartmans. He said it is the best there is. I thought it was pretty sharp but it is expensive.

As I watch a lot of our First Class customers board, I see a lot of Tumi. I have no experience with it but it seems pretty popular.
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Old Jun 8, 07, 11:13 pm   #4
 
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TravelPro. I made the switch a few years ago and never looked back. They are the best.
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Old Jun 8, 07, 11:19 pm   #5
 
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I'm a fan of the MEI Voyageur but it's not business luggage. It's also not wheeled so you'll be carrying it yourself but in exchange it only weighs 3.5 pounds. The other bag I use is a Red Oxx Air Boss, again no wheels but also only about 3 pounds.

Both are available in many colors other than black.
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Old Jun 8, 07, 11:36 pm   #6
 
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I agree pointeater.

It is manufactured to fit in the overhead bins. It looks nice, is durable, and bestof all, it fits!! I rarely send a tavelpro to checked baggage.
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Old Jun 8, 07, 11:57 pm   #7
 
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Count me firmly in the Tumi camp

I first discovered Tumi when I was in college and about to embark on a summer trip to Europe. My father was horrified at spending $500+ on a suitcase. Fast forward ten years and it's now the only brand he'll buy.

It's really the most durable luggage out there. I've added a few more pieces on my own and I truly can't imagine using anything else.

They also have a lightweight line - here's the link http://tinyurl.com/yrptyv - with at least one suitcase coming in an ugly tangerine color that should fit your "easily identifiable" requirement

That said, I would rank TravelPro as a close second in the Best Luggage sweepstakes. I bought one for a then-boyfriend a few years ago when i got sick of him borrowing my suitcases for business trips. He travels quite a bit and it's held up well.
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Old Jun 9, 07, 1:29 am   #8
 
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Eagle Creek

http://www.eaglecreek.com
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Old Jun 9, 07, 1:30 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustash View Post
I would like your opinions/recomendations on dependable, durable and, most importantly, light luggage with good accessories, color choices other than black and an expaned line...I don't mind spending more for something that suits my needs and is worth the price.

Although I like my current luggage, it is heavy and with today's tight weight restrictions, I'd like something lighter so I can actually bring some clothes with me. Also, it is red and it seems that many people have gotten the same idea as I had when I bought it years ago that that would make it easier to identifiy. As am matter of fact, I once purposely bought the UGLIEST luggage I could find (avocado green and harvest gold print -- oh yuck - just imagine it) figuring that no one could possibly have taste that was that bad. Well, on one flight, there was someone who did...
I have been a luggage fanatic all my life, always looking for that perfect luggage that would serve me from +5* to -5* situations. You don't specify a few crucial details: To be checked or carried on? What size (approx)? Wheels or no wheels? Still, here are a few comments.

Traditional checked luggage w/wheels. Don't skimp on quality here, after all this is what you hand over to the airline. Travelpro is decent. The best value is Briggs & Riley (they also have a lifetime "no questions asked" warranty). Tumi is good quality and has many fans, but is overpriced and has a reputation for poor warranty service.

I would buy Briggs & Riley. Color choices are not great, but you can personalize them yourself with ribbons and luggage tags (see tagsforbags.com). Or have some kids in the family draw on them with magic markers.

Checked luggage w/o wheels. Wheels, handle, and frame add a lot of weight to the luggage (about 10 lbs to a checked piece). For strongest and lightest bag, consider "Safari-Beanos PR 5.5" by Red Oxx, a highly specialized manufacturer based in Montana: http://redoxx.com/catalog/safari-bea...053-pr5-5.html. They do come larger, but this one is sized to remain under 50 lb limit when packed.

Most Red Oxx products come in all 12 colors you see in the just cited page! Browse the Red Oxx site for other interesting choices. They too offer lifetime warranty; they remind you to be sure to leave your luggage in your will.

Wheeled carry-on. Not my favorite kind, as wheels reduce capacity (by 30%-40%) and increase weight (by about 5 lbs), but if you must have wheels, I recommend Briggs & Riley again, followed by Travelpro. Don't skimp on quality because you may have to check this piece! For a comparative review of many brands see http://thetravelinsider.info/travela...ryonwinner.htm.

Carry-on shoulder bags. If you can manage without wheels, I'd recommend a few Red Oxx models (browse http://redoxx.com/catalog/cat_airlin...n-luggage.html):
Air Boss for versatile multi-compartment bag (http://redoxx.com/catalog/carry-on/p...-air-boss.html)
PR5 Safari Beanos (redoxx.com/catalog/p_91031-pr5.html), or its smaller sibling
PR4 Safari Beanos (http://redoxx.com/catalog/safari-bea...91031-pr4.html

The above come in all 12 Red Oxx colors.

Briggs & Riley also make great shoulder bags. Color choices are limited---basically "black" and "non-black" (grey or olive) ---but materials and construction quality are exceptional.

The following pages by an opinionated expert make interesting reading for carry-ons, even if you are not a "one bag" type and you certainly don't have to agree with him on everything:
onebag.com/bags.html
onebag.com/leisure-bags.html
onebag.com/business-bags.html
onebag.com/wheeled-bags.html
onebag.com/creeping-bloat.html

In general, I like and recommend Briggs & Riley as well as Red Oxx for exceptional quality, fair price, and the best imaginable warranty. Boyt is another good one; if you find one on clearance, don't hesitate. Avoid designer names. Avoid store brands (except maybe Costco, but it is mediocre not exceptional). Avoid luggage sets. Avoid leather. Try to avoid wheels at least on your carry-on (as noted above, they add approx 5 lb to a carry-on, and 10 lbs or more to a checked suitcase).

Hope this helps somewhat. Good luck.

Last edited by aktchi; Jun 9, 07 at 12:30 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old Jun 9, 07, 3:09 am   #10
DTS
 
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Has anybody experience with the Briggs & Riley #224?

Last edited by DTS; Jun 9, 07 at 5:22 am.
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Old Jun 9, 07, 4:57 am   #11
 
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I have had very good luck with Eddie Bauer wheeled duffel bags which I use for most trips.

Good quality and free life time replacement if damaged or just wears out.

Plus they often have very good sales. Just got an XL rolling duffel at the store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago for 50% off or $65.

I had an FBI agent tell me once that expensive luggage is like helping the theives pickout which bag to steal.
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Old Jun 9, 07, 10:02 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTS View Post
Has anybody experience with the Briggs & Riley #224?
In quality it should be exceptional. I own B&R #235X instead, whose design I find a little more versatile. If your life has room for a duffel, look at Safari Beano series by Red Oxx. Abslolutely top notch quality and unmatched color choice! Links given in post #9 just above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
I had an FBI agent tell me once that expensive luggage is like helping the theives pickout which bag to steal.
I avoid expensive-looking luggage (and clothes, watches, cameras, etc, see below). Avoid snobby brands for sure. You get double whammy with names like Pierre Cardin: the luggage is poor-quality, the name might attract thieves. Red Oxx, Briggs & Riley, Boyt, etc make great luggage but the names won't say much to thieves.

To be fair, however, it is not just your lugagge, but overall appearance and demeanor that can mark you as a target: Fancy clothes, shoes, watches, cell-phones, jewelry, expensive photo-video gear visibly dangling from shoulders, freely talking about your shopping excursions, etc. I am surprised how many travellers like that I come across. The art is to look and act normal.

I travel with a $15 Casio watch and a great $800 camera which is basic black and looks like any $79 point-and-shoot to all but the most knowledgable photographers. I found the best luggage values in $175-$250 range (actual floor prices, not "suggesed retail"), but to casual observers they would probably not appear any different from generic $39 pieces.

Last edited by aktchi; Jun 9, 07 at 11:39 am.
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Old Jun 9, 07, 11:19 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
I have had very good luck with Eddie Bauer wheeled duffel bags which I use for most trips.

Good quality and free life time replacement if damaged or just wears out.

Plus they often have very good sales. Just got an XL rolling duffel at the store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago for 50% off or $65.

I had an FBI agent tell me once that expensive luggage is like helping the theives pickout which bag to steal.
I used to buy and travel exclusively with TravelPro bags, but after one broke, I now also use an Eddie Bauer Rolling Duffel. I was tired of the weight of the "nice" bags, especially in foreign countries that require a lot of stair climbing. I have both the small size duffel, and a large size for longer trips. Lightweight, and cavernous for a simple carry-on. Have dragged it all over the world the last 3 years not expecting it to last, but it has! Still looks new. The large duffel has been checked and abused many times also... still in excellent shape. Best part, paid less than $100 for both. Only caveats: you need to pack carefully so they'll stand up, and poor "suiters" if you need that.
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Old Jun 9, 07, 11:19 am   #14
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Another fan of Briggs and Riley
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Old Jun 9, 07, 11:47 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIT View Post
I used to buy and travel exclusively with TravelPro bags, but after one broke, I now also use an Eddie Bauer Rolling Duffel...
No experience but EB duffel looks like a good piece. However, next time you need to buy a duffel, look at the Safari Beano series at Red Oxx (redoxx.com). PR4 for carry-on, PR5.5 for checked luggage. Air Boss is a more organized 3 compartment carry-on.
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