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Favourite Luggage (Checked and Carry-On)

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  • dst87

    I’m looking at replacing some luggage and I’m really struggling to see through the sea of sponsored reviews that seem to plague the luggage industry almost as much as the mattress industry. Since we have a lot of frequent travellers here I though you’d have opinions!

    I need to replace our main checked baggage. Right now we have one “medium” and one “large” Antler soft luggage and they’re really starting to fall apart. They are also expandable but lose all stability when expanded. Bought quite a while ago and have done well, to be fair, but were fairly cheap at that time.

    I’m also looking for a better solution for short breaks (long weekends sort of length), so my husband and I will probably get an item each that would be suitable for using as a carry-on when flying, or generally when only going away for a short period.

    I’ve been looking a lot at Away Travel and I can find a few ‘real’ reviews from luggage review sites that seem to stand out from the garbage “reviews” that dominate the discussion of this brand. A friend also mentioned Horizn Studios which there’s significantly less information about, but they seem to be aiming squarely at the same space.

    I also wonder if a carry-on suitcase is the best option, or if some sort of duffle bag with wheels might be a more flexible option (for the carry-on). Interested in any and all thoughts – tried something and loved it? Tried something and hated it?

    SteveJ

    Personally I always prefer a hard case with clasps not zips. That is the prime criteria I start with.

    Based on that I have been using Samsonite’s S’Cure series for both checked and carry on and they’ve served me very well.

    yonasl

    +1 for Samsonite’s S’cure. I struggle to see what advantage paying 000’s of £ for anything else would give you other than being trendy (or some models being much lighter which would be the only reason I would pay a little extra).

    My favourite hand luggage was a very light fabric American Tourister but they don’t seem to manufacture it anymore.

    dst87

    Interesting, that S’Cure range wasn’t on my radar but I’ll check it out. I’m not keen on paying a fortune for designer luggage really, I just want something practical that’ll last. The Away / Horizn stuff has some neat-sounding features and aren’t badly prices, but hearing real-world experience is helpful.


    @SteveJ
    I’m curious about the preference for clasps over zips; is this a reliability / durability concern or something else?

    strickers

    Been very happy with Tripp, broken lock on one was dealt with professionally by customer services. I’ve got some old Samsonite’s in the loft, they’re built like the side of a house but are very heavy.

    Guernsey Globetrotter
    The Savage Squirrel

    “I also wonder if a carry-on suitcase is the best option, or if some sort of duffle bag with wheels might be a more flexible option (for the carry-on)”

    Bit of a left-field suggestion as you mention wheeled Duffle bags – particularly if you’re looking for large capacity with compartmentalisation. I have found excellent super-sturdy options at a far better price point than conventional luggage by converting wheeled cricket kitbags to luggage purposes. They’re obviously designed for heavy load lifting and a “rugged” life. Check out the Kookaburra and GM ranges, or even something like this:

    https://www.aerocricket.com/equipment/luggage/stand-up-bag.html

    And as a bonus, rather than trying to compete in the branded luggage cred stakes, you can now pretend to be a professional cricketer when you travel 😀

    can

    One thing I cannot emphasise enough is the maintenance of good luggage.
    I read the KonMari method and use it for my luggage. Clean them properly after each use.

    Only downside is I get to use the same luggage for years and am getting a bit bored of it.

    SteveJ



    @SteveJ
    I’m curious about the preference for clasps over zips; is this a reliability / durability concern or something else?

    Reliability and durability are my main reasons, zips always felt a very flimsy and not particularly secure way of holding two halves of an often heavy suitcase together! The reassuring click of the clasp is also just a personal preference!

    The clasps also help pull together the two sides when a bit overfilled, better than sitting on a suitcase trying to get the zips to work and then worrying if they’ll pop apart under the strain! Like you say especially those expandable pieces of luggage lose all stability.

    Tracey

    It’s the handles that fail first IME. Either they pull out and won’t return or they won’t budge when closed.

    memesweeper

    I’m a happy Away Travel customer, you’ll need the metal versions if you want clasps not zips. This adds weight but I love my black metal ‘bigger’ carry on.

    Player 2 has both s-cure and horizn would you believe. Another thumbs up for both, but Away trumps them IMHO. Away have a real shop near TCR in London if you have time to take a look.

    There are some hybrid metal/plastic designs that are coming out with clasps. If I was buying again I’d look at these.

    If you have time for a trip to the US, look at Arlo Skye.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 11 months ago by .
    Lula

    I had Samsonite for years, which I liked. Then when I wanted to replace it had American Tourister. Quality was appalling and would never use it again. Took it back and got a full refund and bought Briggs & Riley. Very happy with them and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

    iamlost

    Antler suitcases have never let me down yet, and they’re usually at a better price point than Samsonite.

    I was set on buying a Rimowa carry-on last year until I physically picked one up in the Bond St store and realised the difference in weight. I don’t know why I’d give myself more physical labour.

    Lady London

    +1 for Samsonite’s S’cure. I struggle to see what advantage paying 000’s of £ for anything else would give you other than being trendy (or some models being much lighter which would be the only reason I would pay a little extra).

    My favourite hand luggage was a very light fabric American Tourister but they don’t seem to manufacture it anymore.

    American Tourister hss sometimes landed at Matalan IIRC.

    Froggee

    A Briggs & Riley vote from me. For some reason, airlines hate my wife’s luggage but her Briggs & Riley cases are still in good condition. It helps that we got it heavily discounted as they were discontinuing it too.

    SteveJ

    I’m about to order myself some Travelite luggage. Not seen it in the UK much, but saw them once when in Germany and quality looked good for the price.

    https://www.travelite.de/Next-Trolley-L/079949-01

    ChrisC

    I’m lookign for a new case as well.

    I’m finding a dearth of 2 wheeled cases. Am not a fan of multi wheeled spinners.

    CarpalTravel

    A Briggs & Riley vote from me. For some reason, airlines hate my wife’s luggage but her Briggs & Riley cases are still in good condition. It helps that we got it heavily discounted as they were discontinuing it too.

    Since previously recommended by someone on here, I have been slowly migrating all of our luggage across to Briggs & Riley. The idea that as soon as the bag breaks that they will mend or replace, that is fantastic. I just hope the reality matches the marketing, when the time comes.

    SteveJ

    I’m lookign for a new case as well.

    I’m finding a dearth of 2 wheeled cases. Am not a fan of multi wheeled spinners.

    Complete opposite for me! Out of interest why do you prefer two wheels? I much prefer 4 wheels and roll it fully upright, that way you’re not carrying any of the weight, just steering. Can comfortably walk a long way through an airport with a 4 wheel spinner.

    Andrew.

    It’s the handles that fail first IME. Either they pull out and won’t return or they won’t budge when closed.

    The cause of that is often from using luggage to store stuff at home. A favourite Samsonite developed a curved spine from sitting on top of the wardrobe full at home. Obviously, I didn’t notice until I went to check in and it didn’t want to go back in.

    I was bashing it against the ground upside down to get it to move.

    Andrew.

    I’m lookign for a new case as well.

    I’m finding a dearth of 2 wheeled cases. Am not a fan of multi wheeled spinners.

    Complete opposite for me! Out of interest why do you prefer two wheels? I much prefer 4 wheels and roll it fully upright, that way you’re not carrying any of the weight, just steering. Can comfortably walk a long way through an airport with a 4 wheel spinner.

    They are probably very good if you are a bit slow or vulnerable and simply ambulating about an airport.

    But as soon as you start marching along outside on a pavement at about 4mph+ they are utterly hopeless. Last weekend we made the short walk from Paddington to Kings Cross. My mate had his new spinner, I had my trusty 10yo two wheeled Tripp.

    He lost his first castor at Marylebone, the second sheared at Euston. They just aren’t designed for the stress of pavements and kerbs.

    Plus, the big problem with a spinner is that you lose enough space to accommodate at least 7 pairs of boxers, 7 pairs of socks and a couple of t-shirts – that’s a big difference when you’re travelling HBO.

    dougzz99

    Paddington to King’s Cross is not a short walk to drag a suitcase that essentially has wheels designed for flat smooth surfaces. It’s got to be at least 2.5 miles which many wouldn’t consider a short walk without luggage.

    Philondon

    I agree with the earlier comment and have Tripp suitcases too. Good value, and a variety of colours so easy to find on the airport carousel.

    Andrew.

    Paddington to King’s Cross is not a short walk to drag a suitcase that essentially has wheels designed for flat smooth surfaces. It’s got to be at least 2.5 miles which many wouldn’t consider a short walk without luggage.

    We all have a different appetite for walking, the first spinner failed after 0.6 miles of London pavement.

    Would you genuinely not expect to be able to walk from Westmister Tube station to the Marriott County Hall and back without one of your luggage wheels snapping off?

    I walked from Manchester Oxford Road to the Midland and back every week for 40 weeks with a 2 wheeled Samsonite duffle (25 miles total), and it’s still in perfect nick.

    dougzz99

    @Andrew. The devil is in the details. If you move a 4 wheeler upright along a pavement it’s not really a position to walk speedily, and the bag will continually stutter and tip. How loaded the bag is another big factor. If you drag a 4 wheeler on two of the wheels then it’s putting additional load on something not designed specifically for that. If you just bounce up and down kerbs and other uneven obstacles you’re going to get a poor result. Horses for courses as they say. What you’ve bought suits you, and sounds ideal for your pattern of travel.

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