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New to business travel - garment bag question

New to business travel - garment bag question

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Old Sep 25, 09, 10:39 am
  #1  
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New to business travel - garment bag question

I have a new job that requires travel. I fly a couple times a month for short trips, usually 1 or 2 nights. I need to wear a suit for my job and we do not check our luggage.

I would also like to be able to (ideally) bring workout clothes and sneakers.

I am looking at carryon garment bags and am confused when the description of the garment bag sometimes doesn't say carryon and sometimes it does.

1. Should I limit my search to those garment bags that are specifically called carryon?

2. What are the acceptable dimensions for a carryon garment bag? You can't hang anything in a front closet of the plane anymore, right?

3. Are trifolds smaller and better than bifolds?

4. any great brands (other than TUMI that I cannot afford ) that are good for suits?

Thanks for recommendations!
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Old Sep 25, 09, 11:42 am
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We long since gave up carrying garment bags. They are so 80's! Heavy and hard to handle. You are correct in thinking that you can no longer hang them up on an airplane. I have a Tumi that has only been used for car trips (and seldom on those) for a very long time.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 12:34 pm
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Thank you for your response.

So if garment bags are so 80s what do you use to pack suits and other hanging clothes?
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Old Sep 25, 09, 1:35 pm
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There are rolling carryon trolleys with "suiters" a hanger and a padded section for your suit, but I find that other methods are better for keeping wrinkles out and also lighter in weight!

For suit folding/packing methods try here: and here

I usually use a simple black trolley or a soft black Pullman style-bag (similar to this or this )and fold my jackets the methods above and then bundle-wrap with the trousers and skirts to minimize wrinkling.

On a side note: Do be very careful of nasty salespeople will try and sell you garment bags that can hold multiple suits and a lot of other stuff. They will stuff it with tissue paper and have you walk around the shop and tell you how professional you look etc etc. In reality the bag will be too heavy and bulky to carry when filled with your actual travel things. Ditto for garment bags on wheels. If it has to be on wheels, it will be too heavy and awkward for you to carry down the aisle of the plane However, if you do decide that a garment bag works better for you, try to keep the # of suits to 2 to keep everything more manageable.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 1:52 pm
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thank you. those packing methods are amazing. Who knew?

In thinking of the garment bag, I actually did not want something with wheels as I have a regular luggage set with wheels that includes a carryon size. I want something to hang from my shoulder - ideally something nylon-y as that seems that it would be lighter than leather.

I have a 1-night trip coming up Monday. I'm going to try the packing method and see how that goes with my regular wheeled carryon. Maybe I don't need to buy something else, although my wheeled carryon can be bulky at times, so I wanted something extra light for those 1-night trips.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 2:17 pm
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For a one night trip you can use a very light weight suit bag (often are supplied with new suits by the retailer) and carry it on.

Very, very carefully you can fold it in half the short way and put it into the overhead bin but there is a huge risk someone will bash it by putting a carry on bag on top of it. We only do this if we have a very short trip with no connections.

My company requires that we travel in full business attire with no exceptions even if flying to Singapore! For a one night trip we only take personal items, electric gear, clean underwear and a fresh shirt (for the guys).

Do not travel in sports wear as you never know who you will meet while flying!

There are dozens of tips on suit packing on this topic. Once you get used to the idea, it will be easy.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 3:03 pm
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Graciecatt, you've gotten good advice from two very knowledgeable members here which I can only second.

In addition, I shall say that my stance is mostly against garment bags unless one is totally unwilling or unable to fold the suits correctly. You say you want to bring a set of running shoes. These can be bulky and are often not easily stowed in a garment bag. Do a search on garment bag within this forum to see some good results.

For shoulder carry, which in principle I do recommend, the 10% body weight rule works quite well. If you weigh 120lb you should be able to carry 12lb easily.

To find out which type of bag best suits your needs it is good to know how you will travel. Do you need a separate laptop bag or briefcase for when you go visit with a client? How big does that bag need to be? How heavy are those things you need for business? This determines whether you can go with one bag only or whether it is better to take a second bag and if so what kind of second bag.

Will you be ok carrying two bags on your shoulders? One computer/briefcase and one with clothes? If you combine these into one bag, will you be comfortable with the weight of that combined bag?

Does the second bag (for clothes) need to look professional or is a slight gear look or outdoor look ok? Two popular choices for shoulder bags are the BRiggs Riley 235x and the Redoxx Airboss. The former being more feature rich and more professional looking, the latter being lighter (less features and nifty pockets) but still built like the proverbial brick house with a more rugged look but available in a range of colors.

If it is a one night trip, I would recommend wearing the suit on the trip and taking only a change of clothes. This can be accomplished with a medium to large size briefcase. See the thread lambertboy started recently for detailed advice on the same problem.

I do want to emphasize that the search function of this board is underused.

Till
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Old Sep 25, 09, 3:38 pm
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Till, as always.....yes!

Thanks for the kind words. I am just today researching Red Oxx Air Boss again to see what color choices are on offer now. The Air Boss is way too big for me (I look like a bag with legs when I use one) but I am advising it to a friend who is ex-Military and wants an actual Navy blue bag. Red Oxx's 'midnight' is about right.

SEARCH isn't working really well.
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Old Sep 25, 09, 4:06 pm
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Kind words come only when they are deserved, which is the case here.

I recommended these two bags knowing full well that they are quite big for two reasons. 1. It will be possible to fit a slim briefcase INSIDE one of them to use as really one bag if that kind of thing is required and practicable. Judging from the username Graciecatt might be a lady and you are certainly not the only one who finds the Airboss a bit unwieldy. Besides that a 20+lb bag on one's shoulder can get cumbersome real quick and it might be more ergonomic to split the weight even if that means you have to deal with two bags. Certainly an individual decision but one that is possible with the bag-in-bag approach. 2. If the OP is a man a bag that measures about 20x14 does make it easier to pack a suit jacket.

Searching for the simple term "garment bag" yields this search result with very useful posts:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/searc...archid=4682289

But the main thing is to point the OT to the folding techniques and that's been done. Thanks, tcl.

Till
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Old Sep 26, 09, 12:36 am
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Thanks for the kind words Till.

If you do decide that you need a lightweight basic garment bag, but didn't get one with your suit, then this one is a good substitute. It is made from waterproof ripstop nylon and has minimal pockets to avoid over packing. It weighs in the 1lb range. However it does not have the padded bar in the middle to add support and to prevent horizontal-bunching up when carrying, so you have to be careful when folding and extremely careful when carrying. It is also quite long and can hold a long dress. They are also available in the basic colors like black and navy. I'm not sure if they are discontinuing this model as it's not on their regular website.

Also in terms of wrinkle-free travel, the item of clothing in the garment bag tends to stay more wrinkle-free if there are only clothes in there, no toiletry bag, shoes or lumpy bits that interfere with the fall and drape of the fabric. Try to keep everything as smooth as possible, similar to gently folding your suit jacket and draping it over your arm.

oldpenny16, while it's true that you never know who you might meet, and that you should dress decently while traveling, in my last year of college I actually got a job offer with a big corp because the 2 VPs seated across the aisle from me on a trans-pacific flight were impressed with how well I handled myself while doing an impromptu interview while jet-lagged and wearing a pair of loud and tacky Looney Toon PJs that I had just changed into for the flight I still change into something comfy for a long flight but not quite as embarrassing. It's more along the lines of stretch trousers and a cashmere hoodie
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Old Sep 26, 09, 4:01 am
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I use this one http://shop.mandarinaduck.com/en/fil...E9V11001.html# for my business travel. Works as carry on for BMI and BA (not tried it one other airlines). Have had an extra suit and couple of shirts in there without problems. Enough space to pack other clothes too.

I'm very happy with it and wouldn't swap it for anything.
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Old Sep 26, 09, 5:52 pm
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I have a bi-fold carryon garment bag from TravelPro which I swear by for short trips. It is a shoulder harness bag rather than wheels, which is fantastic. The bag fits quite a suit (I've even crammed in two!) a pair of shoes or two, and other clothes quite well. I'm not sure TravelPro make it anymore.

I did also look at a very similar bag from Briggs & Riley, which costs a bit more but may even better suit your requirements:

http://www.lazarsluggage.com/brriba375cog.html

Good luck!
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Old Sep 26, 09, 7:09 pm
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I recently picked up a trifold Victorinox Werks Porter which is worth a look. I use it mostly for cycling to the office to carry my suit with me but it sound like it might have what you're looking for.

http://www.overstock.com/Luggage-Bag...8/product.html

Last edited by Kgmm77; Sep 26, 09 at 7:18 pm
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Old Oct 1, 09, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
I have a bi-fold carryon garment bag from TravelPro which I swear by for short trips. It is a shoulder harness bag rather than wheels, which is fantastic. The bag fits quite a suit (I've even crammed in two!) a pair of shoes or two, and other clothes quite well. I'm not sure TravelPro make it anymore.

I did also look at a very similar bag from Briggs & Riley, which costs a bit more but may even better suit your requirements:

http://www.lazarsluggage.com/brriba375cog.html

Good luck!
I just bought the B&R 375 referenced above, and honestly, I love it. It's a great bag, you can read the discussion that lead up to the purchase here
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...uestion-2.html

Wonderful bag, I carry it with me whenever I need to bring a suit. I packed for a full 1 week TATL trip (germany) with no issues (3 suits), it's light, plus it fits in a the sizers + overheads. I need to do a write-up on it just as soon as I'm in my home for more than a couple days
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Old Oct 2, 09, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by patk View Post
I just bought the B&R 375 referenced above, and honestly, I love it. It's a great bag, you can read the discussion that lead up to the purchase here
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...uestion-2.html

Wonderful bag, I carry it with me whenever I need to bring a suit. I packed for a full 1 week TATL trip (germany) with no issues (3 suits), it's light, plus it fits in a the sizers + overheads. I need to do a write-up on it just as soon as I'm in my home for more than a couple days
A little write-up in the original discussion would indeed be very nice. I am glad your trip to Germany went well (at least luggage-wise).

Till
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