Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Special Interest Travel > Women Travelers
Reload this Page >

Are 23kg (50lbs) baggages heavy for you?

Are 23kg (50lbs) baggages heavy for you?

Old Jul 2, 12, 11:32 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 903
Are 23kg (50lbs) baggages heavy for you?

I'm just asking out of curiosity. I'm a 27 year old woman with average lower body strength but not so strong arms (my left arm is especially weak). I have no problems lifting 23kg/50lb baggages into a car's trunk or carrying them up to an airport belt as my legs are able to assist my arms (I use a leg as a lever). However, taking the baggages out of the trunk is a different story. I always ask the taxi driver to take my baggages down as I won't be able to do so without scratching the car.

When I have multiple heavy baggages on an airport cart, I walk very fast/run while pushing the cart because walking at a normal pace would make it feel heavier.

Are those of you who are young or middle-aged able to handle heavy baggages easily while travelling alone?
hightide is offline  
Old Jul 3, 12, 12:06 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Singapore
Posts: 324
My bag usually weighs 9kg on my back. I refuse to overpack, because I don't want to check my luggage nor lose a valuable item accidentally because I was too busy struggling with my luggage.

I'm 27 as well; no way of reducing your luggage weight?
Ryvyan is offline  
Old Jul 3, 12, 12:24 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 903
When I'm carrying 2 x 23kg bags + 10kg in carry-on, it's usually from the US to Asia. I do a lot of shopping online, ship them to my US address and carry the stuff I bought back to Asia about every other year. Most of the things I carry are cheaper from the US or serve as excellent gifts. Some of the stuff is re-sold to offset my trip.

So, yes, I can easily reduce my load but wouldn't want to
My 2 bags plus carry-ons from the US always weigh more than me!
hightide is offline  
Old Jul 3, 12, 6:09 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MSY
Programs: NW Gold and now Delta Gold
Posts: 3,069
I think at the end of the day, my back and my knees are of more value than saving a few dollars on gifts, but to each her own. I do think it creates a somewhat dangerous situation for a woman traveling alone to be encumbered by heavy bags. It does make her more vulnerable than someone who can move quickly and alertly. So, no, I wouldn't have two 50 pound bags plus carry-on when traveling alone. It seems a foolish economy to me.

I realize there's a gift giving culture in Asia, but I'm from an American culture (the South) where it is pretty easy to drop people from gift exchanges without giving offense. I have an extremely tiny gift exchange list, and I mostly don't get involved in buying gifts in the first place. If someone wants a souvenir from my trip, they get a photograph. But I realize this doesn't work for all cultures.

Let me suggest this for your left arm. I had rather weak upper arm strength myself, and I needed to develop it for my hobby of birding, so I could hold the binoculars steady for many hours. If you practice lift light weights, but multiple reps, you would be surprised at how quickly that muscle in your upper arm gets strong. I'm talking, within maybe three weeks, you will feel a noticeable difference and be able to handle more weight or longer periods of lifting. Give it a try!
peachfront is offline  
Old Jul 5, 12, 1:28 pm
  #5  
Moderator: Women Travelers and Disability Travel
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: DEN
Posts: 1,954
Have you considered taking up weight lifting? I'm serious here - I've been lifting weights for several years, and can definitely easily manage more weight than I used to.

I try to stay under the European carry on limit, so my main bag is generally around 8kg/17lbs. Sometimes it will creep up to 20lbs if I'm carrying several books.

Nobody who knows me gets any gifts from me, except via mail order :-).

The other semi-obvious option is to use porters and tip well.
Katja is offline  
Old Jul 5, 12, 2:57 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: GND
Programs: AA, BA, DL, HA
Posts: 8
I sympathize, hightide. I've lived outside of the US for several years now. Luckily, I'm at the point where I have enough stuff that I really don't need to do this anymore (plus I'm in a location that I can entice friends to and have them haul odds and ends for me). However, I'm looking at a December trip home where I'll likely go out light and come back with at least one checked bag at the limit -- maybe two.

Usually, I don't have much difficulty manipulating my own gear. I'm not big (about 5'2"/157 cm and average weight for that height) and pushing 40 from the north side, but I am a dedicated weight lifter and I know that makes a difference. (A couple of extended breaks from the iron after surgeries proved that to me.) Also, I invested in lightweight luggage with good wheels -- I don't even bother with carts now.

But I think Katja nailed it: make use of porters and tip well for the effort. Consider it part of the investment in acquiring things I just can't get where I live. I always do that and still come out ahead when I compare that to the cost of doing without what I'm hauling.

Last edited by DrTongue; Jul 11, 12 at 2:26 am
DrTongue is offline  
Old Jul 10, 12, 12:16 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: west of DFW airport
Programs: AA LT Gold 1.9 MM flying my way to LT PLAT
Posts: 11,066
When traveling on my own, I never take more stuff than I can handle on my own. I never want to be in a situation where I am dependent on the help of others.

35 pounds max. More or less 15.5 kg. That includes purse and everything.
oldpenny16 is offline  
Old Jul 10, 12, 8:57 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,101
Why so much judgement?

Wow. The OP asked for specific info and got a ration of judgemental remarks instead.

To address what was asked:

When I need to travel with a significant amount of stuff, I make sure I have lightweight luggage that rolls/handles very easily. My carry-on bag has a loop on it so that I can hook it on the rolling bag handle to keep the weight off my shoulders as much as possible. I sling my purse diagonally across my body to free up a hand. This way I can (and have) maneuvered two heavy bags. I avoid using luggage carts because they are generally hard to handle and when you use one, you do not have direct contact with your belongings.

I would agree with the suggestion that you think about a way to build upper body strength, if that is a concern for you. Increased strength can be helpful in so many ways, not just travel.
CDTraveler is offline  
Old Jul 11, 12, 3:14 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: GND
Programs: AA, BA, DL, HA
Posts: 8
CDTraveler makes a great point about the purse. I've got one that's a convertible shoulder bag/backpack/cross body model. Actually, I find the cross body position too uncomfortable to wear, but being able to transition between shoulder bag and backpack really helps. Either I use that or take a small one that can go into the carry on until I reach my destination.

Another thing I thought of is space bags. Of course that does nothing about the weight and won't work unless you have sufficient number of things that can be compressed, but for me baggage height is more of an issue than weight. Getting 23kg into a smaller container makes things easier to handle. This invariably leads to my bag getting searched on the outbound by our friendly TSA; however, these bags are mostly books so I don't fear theft. (At this point, a mean person would insert a comment like, "How would the TSA recognize a book?" but I'm better than that. Okay, I'm not.)
DrTongue is offline  
Old Jul 11, 12, 12:53 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: CPH
Programs: EuroBonus
Posts: 375
Originally Posted by DrTongue View Post
CDTraveler makes a great point about the purse. I've got one that's a convertible shoulder bag/backpack/cross body model. Actually, I find the cross body position too uncomfortable to wear, but being able to transition between shoulder bag and backpack really helps. Either I use that or take a small one that can go into the carry on until I reach my destination.

Another thing I thought of is space bags. Of course that does nothing about the weight and won't work unless you have sufficient number of things that can be compressed, but for me baggage height is more of an issue than weight. Getting 23kg into a smaller container makes things easier to handle. This invariably leads to my bag getting searched on the outbound by our friendly TSA; however, these bags are mostly books so I don't fear theft. (At this point, a mean person would insert a comment like, "How would the TSA recognize a book?" but I'm better than that. Okay, I'm not.)
Stacks of books are hard to see through on the x-ray - a common reason for a hand-search of checked luggage. You might try to spread your books throughout your luggage if possible.

That aside: due to length and diversity of my travels I often have a single 23 kg suitcase plus a 6-7 kg carry-on. I can handle those no problem. My suitcase has good wheels, and the carry-on is always some kind of backpack. On particularly long trips (with a significant amount of shopping involved) I've had an additional duffel to check in - it rides on top of my suitcase. Again, I can handle that. Pushing 40, not very fit at all, but if I can't manage my luggage to my upstairs apartment, I'm bringing too much.

Here in Europe, the taxi driver always (un)loads the suitcases, never had to ask for that - it is their car afterall :-)

To the OP: make sure that your bags go well together, so that you can handle your load, or (as others said) just factor in porters as part of the price.

DanishFlyer
DanishFlyer is offline  
Old Jul 11, 12, 4:08 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: GND
Programs: AA, BA, DL, HA
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by DanishFlyer View Post
Stacks of books are hard to see through on the x-ray - a common reason for a hand-search of checked luggage. You might try to spread your books throughout your luggage if possible.
<snip!>

Oh, I know the reason, but that won't stop me from complaining. It's fun. I spread out the books when I can, but sometimes I can't. Like tipping porters generously when they help me wrangle my gear, I consider it part of the cost of doing this. Compared to the alternative (doing without whatever is in the bags), it's trivial.

Last edited by DrTongue; Jul 11, 12 at 4:15 pm
DrTongue is offline  
Old Jul 11, 12, 6:21 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,519
If you have heavy items in your bags, this may be a case where a 4 wheel spinner is useful. Yes yes, they add weight to the bag and they're best on smooth, hard, and mostly flat surfaces, but if that's your travel scenario, they are awesome. Instead of pulling it along, you can plop a carry-on on top and wheel it beside you. It reduces some of that upper arm strain needed for pulling heavy two wheeled bags with a bag on top. If you have a heavy bag to go on top of a two wheeler, you should use the piggyback strap instead to lower the center of gravity.

For two check-ins, getting a porter to help would probably help prevent injuring yourself. Otherwise you can get two close in size and use the piggyback strap to connect them.

Many friends who travel with gifts to India use hard sided suitcases because they say the luggage transfers in India are especially rough. I saw someone with a huge Rubbermaid container at LAX to Tahiti and a tip from a pro photographer was to use Stanley wheeled bins to check camera equipment http://www.stanleytools.com/default....ile+Tool+Chest

A friend recently shipped a lot of books to the US from Japan via media sea mail and it was reasonably priced. Plus he didn't have to lug it to the airport on the train/bus.
freecia is offline  
Old Jul 12, 12, 2:16 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 903
Originally Posted by Katja View Post
Have you considered taking up weight lifting? I'm serious here - I've been lifting weights for several years, and can definitely easily manage more weight than I used to.

I try to stay under the European carry on limit, so my main bag is generally around 8kg/17lbs. Sometimes it will creep up to 20lbs if I'm carrying several books.

Nobody who knows me gets any gifts from me, except via mail order :-).

The other semi-obvious option is to use porters and tip well.
No, I don't like lifting weights... not only is it boring, injury from the wrong move is likely, especially on an awkward left arm. For exercise, I swim and speed walk/jog... although my legs do most of the work, my arms are still exercising. Besides lifting weights, do you do non arm intensive exercises to improve your strength?

I can manage 20lbs no problem with my right arm (as long as not lifting it above my head to the overhead cabin of a plane)



Originally Posted by DrTongue View Post
I sympathize, hightide. I've lived outside of the US for several years now. Luckily, I'm at the point where I have enough stuff that I really don't need to do this anymore (plus I'm in a location that I can entice friends to and have them haul odds and ends for me). However, I'm looking at a December trip home where I'll likely go out light and come back with at least one checked bag at the limit -- maybe two.

Usually, I don't have much difficulty manipulating my own gear. I'm not big (about 5'2"/157 cm and average weight for that height) and pushing 40 from the north side, but I am a dedicated weight lifter and I know that makes a difference. (A couple of extended breaks from the iron after surgeries proved that to me.) Also, I invested in lightweight luggage with good wheels -- I don't even bother with carts now.

But I think Katja nailed it: make use of porters and tip well for the effort. Consider it part of the investment in acquiring things I just can't get where I live. I always do that and still come out ahead when I compare that to the cost of doing without what I'm hauling.
What brands do you recommend for durable lightweight luggages with good wheels?

When an airport is not crowded, I can take my time and have more space maneuvering my heavy bags from the belt. Once I get them on an airport cart, I can speed walk/run while pushing the cart to relieve my arms from the weight. I don't feel tired running/speed walking with a cart. The times when I need a porter most is when they are least available...It's during those times when airports are crowded and I have no other choice but to move a heavy cart by walking slowly.

Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Wow. The OP asked for specific info and got a ration of judgemental remarks instead.

To address what was asked:

When I need to travel with a significant amount of stuff, I make sure I have lightweight luggage that rolls/handles very easily. My carry-on bag has a loop on it so that I can hook it on the rolling bag handle to keep the weight off my shoulders as much as possible. I sling my purse diagonally across my body to free up a hand. This way I can (and have) maneuvered two heavy bags. I avoid using luggage carts because they are generally hard to handle and when you use one, you do not have direct contact with your belongings.

I would agree with the suggestion that you think about a way to build upper body strength, if that is a concern for you. Increased strength can be helpful in so many ways, not just travel.
Excellent points!
I also sling my purse diagonally across my body but my hands are still full!

Originally Posted by freecia View Post
If you have heavy items in your bags, this may be a case where a 4 wheel spinner is useful. Yes yes, they add weight to the bag and they're best on smooth, hard, and mostly flat surfaces, but if that's your travel scenario, they are awesome. Instead of pulling it along, you can plop a carry-on on top and wheel it beside you. It reduces some of that upper arm strain needed for pulling heavy two wheeled bags with a bag on top. If you have a heavy bag to go on top of a two wheeler, you should use the piggyback strap instead to lower the center of gravity.

For two check-ins, getting a porter to help would probably help prevent injuring yourself. Otherwise you can get two close in size and use the piggyback strap to connect them.

Many friends who travel with gifts to India use hard sided suitcases because they say the luggage transfers in India are especially rough. I saw someone with a huge Rubbermaid container at LAX to Tahiti and a tip from a pro photographer was to use Stanley wheeled bins to check camera equipment http://www.stanleytools.com/default....ile+Tool+Chest

A friend recently shipped a lot of books to the US from Japan via media sea mail and it was reasonably priced. Plus he didn't have to lug it to the airport on the train/bus.
Thanks for the heads up on India! I'm planning to travel there in the near future.
hightide is offline  
Old Jul 12, 12, 3:13 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: GND
Programs: AA, BA, DL, HA
Posts: 8
Last year, I picked up a couple of pieces from Victorinox's Spectra line, which I've been really happy with. These are hard cases so there's still some trade off for weight but very easy to manipulate. I was specifically looking for a couple of hard sided cases that I could easily handle and these fit the bill. You might prefer soft sided.

Weights aren't your thing and I respect that; I feel the same way about yoga. However, I would argue that any activity carries some risk. The key is proper instruction. Then too there are bodyweight strength training exercises -- push up variants, planks, inverted rows, etc. Proper instruction is still needed, but these have the added advantages of being highly portable, needing either no or very little equipment, and (in generally) easily modified to increase the challenge without adding gear.

As far as shipping stuff ahead, it can be a reasonably priced alternative for things like books but may not be practical for some countries due to customs duties, length of waiting time, inconvenience of retrieving them, etc. I've done it myself in a couple of places, but I know people who got burned in others. Definitely one of those things one has to research ahead of time.
DrTongue is offline  
Old Jul 12, 12, 11:44 am
  #15  
Moderator: Women Travelers and Disability Travel
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: DEN
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by hightide View Post
No, I don't like lifting weights... not only is it boring, injury from the wrong move is likely, especially on an awkward left arm. For exercise, I swim and speed walk/jog... although my legs do most of the work, my arms are still exercising. Besides lifting weights, do you do non arm intensive exercises to improve your strength?
Originally Posted by DrTongue View Post
Weights aren't your thing and I respect that; I feel the same way about yoga. However, I would argue that any activity carries some risk. The key is proper instruction. Then too there are bodyweight strength training exercises -- push up variants, planks, inverted rows, etc. Proper instruction is still needed, but these have the added advantages of being highly portable, needing either no or very little equipment, and (in generally) easily modified to increase the challenge without adding gear.
Agreed, proper instruction is key. Any trainer worth his/her salt will be able to teach proper form and avoid injury. But as DrTongue says, if weights aren't your thing, that's cool.

My other activities may not be too relevant to you as I am a wheelchair user. Besides weights (which I actually love and find very satisfying), I swim, handcycle and do wheelchair track and triathlons.

Last edited by Katja; Jul 12, 12 at 10:04 pm
Katja is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread