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Why can't I find a decent rolling duffel?

Why can't I find a decent rolling duffel?

Old Jul 1, 19, 12:20 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,363
Why can't I find a decent rolling duffel?

As city dwellers with three kids and no allegiance to any airline, we're fans of big, simple, rolling duffel bags. They're lightweight and capacious so we can schlep maximum stuff for minimum baggage fees, and when empty they collapse to be almost flat so they're easy to shove in the back of a closet when we're not traveling.

A decade or so ago we bought a pair of big Travelpro rolling duffels that were perfect for our needs, but we ran them into the ground to the point where the luggage repair guy wouldn't even take our money to fix them (let alone fix them under Travelpro's mediocre warranty). Travelpro discontinued them long ago.

We replaced the first Travelpro to die with a Delsey rolling duffel. It was similar to the Travelpros, but I didn't like the shape as much (the Travelpros were longer and shallower, making it easier to find stuff inside). The Delsey's wheel recently broke. I took it to the luggage repair guy who said it was covered under warranty and they'd just ship me a new one. But the new one just came, and it's not a rolling duffel but a hard-sided spinner. It's a pretty nice suitcase, but it doesn't hold nearly as much stuff and it takes up WAY more space in my closet. And it looks like Delsey doesn't even sell a rolling duffel any more.

We bought a cheap (I think we paid $40?) "Ecko" brand one off of Amazon a year ago when the second Travelpro died, and it's been fine, but it's cheaply made and I don't expect it to last long. While I suppose I could go on buying $40 rolling duffels off of Amazon and simply replacing them when they inevitably break every couple years, I'd much rather find another pair of good quality big rolling duffels that will last us another decade or so.

Does such a thing exist any more? I know Travelpro still sells the 30" Bold "drop bottom" rolling duffel, but I don't love the "drop bottom" thing and it's not exactly cheap. Anybody have one?

Why are SO many of the checked-luggage suitcases on the market these days hard-sided spinners? It seems like every suitcase company sells a dozen of those, and no decent rolling duffels. I realize the spinners are more maneuverable and the hard sides are often a little lighter than soft sides, but I just want a big bag with two wheels that won't take up space in my closet and will survive a few dozen plane trips.
themicah is offline  
Old Jul 1, 19, 1:32 pm
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: On the road or up in the air.
Programs: Hilton Diamond. American Airlines Platinum, Mariott: Gold. Delta: Gold
Posts: 142
You are trying to combine too much.

Cheap, Reliable, Large.

Pick 2. All three don't exist.

I went with Reliable and Large and bought a Tumi alpha 3 wheeled split duffel.

You can find cheap and large all day long from almost anyone, don't expect them to be extremely durable and with good warranties though.

For an overall compromise go to a site like ebags and look at the more hiking oriented (assuming you don't need it to have the "pro" look) and check out bags from brands like Thule or High Sierra. Expect to pay a bit more for them but at least you won't be out any where near the almost $900 the tumi costs.

I also reject the idea that hard sided equals more durable. When a hard side fails it usually busts completely into pieces. Ill take a ballistic nylon or some kind of extremely durable bag that has compressibiltiy and YKK zippers over a hard sided bag that ends up dumping it's entire contents onto the conveyor because it shattered or a bag that gets permanently dented, scrattched and shattered any day of the week. Although i would do a Pelican luggage and feel safe doing so probably.
Allentown is offline  
Old Jul 1, 19, 1:42 pm
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7,045
Eagle Creek?
They have some. I use other Eagle Creek products (Roller Bag and Duffle/Backpack) and find them very well made and good value for the price. Very good warranty.
rickg523 is offline  
Old Jul 1, 19, 1:45 pm
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: On the road or up in the air.
Programs: Hilton Diamond. American Airlines Platinum, Mariott: Gold. Delta: Gold
Posts: 142

You'll find some of the above mentioned Eagle creek units around pg 2 of the results...

Have fun!

Last edited by Allentown; Jul 1, 19 at 2:02 pm
Allentown is offline  
Old Jul 1, 19, 1:56 pm
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: On the road or up in the air.
Programs: Hilton Diamond. American Airlines Platinum, Mariott: Gold. Delta: Gold
Posts: 142
Also huge sale at Samsonite.


You can double enter coupons for combined savings. Use code "fireworks" for a first round of discounts and then enter "extra20" for a nice double dip.

FWIW I would get if i were you:


It is the exact same design Tumi charges for their $850 bag, sold via Samsonite for $380 and then with the double dip above you are getting ANOTHER $197.00 off that for a steal of a price of $182.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 2:04 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Grand County, Colorado
Programs: IHG Plat, HH D, UA GS, Perm BonVoyed
Posts: 2,010
I can't say enough good things about the Eddie Bauer line of Expedition Travex rolling duffels.

Absolutely difficult to destroy. Mine has seen snowstorms, countless trains, planes, a sandy beach even.

Nearly always 50% off.

I fit an amazing amount in my 21" .. the large one I have is almost too large.

Give 'em a try.
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RoyalFlush is offline  
Old Jul 2, 19, 12:46 am
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
We've had a couple of Rolling Adventure Duffles from LL Bean (in medium) for a few years now, that they've weathered both air travel and more rugged trips without a problem. We've packed one for my kid's week-long trip hiking trip in Oman and the bag was still under weight Their warranty is excellent. I think that LL Bean's rolling duffles start around $120, but there is almost always a sale going on.
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Neatfreak is offline  

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