Ws a good idea to work toward having a luggage wardrobe so that you can choose the right bag (or each trip. Review -Match Your Luggage to Your Travel Style on page SO. This W you and how you travel today-. Just because you hope to take an adventure trip “someday- doesn’t mean that you need to own luggage for that trip today. Knowing the type of trawler you are will help you determine the best bags for your needs.
am prepared for any kind of travel because i’ve built a luggage wardrobe that matches my travel styles. In my luggage closet you will find the pieces shown in the chart to the left. With these eight pieces, I have luggage that meets Ml my needs and I use every piece — just not all on the same trip! If I were selecting new luggage today, I might not purchase these pieces.
but they’re what I have now and I can tailor them to fit my travel style I don’t toss out old favorites when I buy new pieces. Instead, I relegate my older bags to car trips where wheels and high-tech features arc less important. Decide how you can use the luggage you already own that is in good condition or pass it on to someone who can. Then plan what you need to add to make your luggage wardrobe serve you well.
Today’s Luggage Types The than on the next pages describes the five basic types of luggage available today, along with advantages and disadvan-tages for each. In the -Choose For column you will see the best bag (or different styles of trips. ‘Companion Pieces” are bags that work well together should you need more packing space. Generally, two smaller bags are more manageable than expand-ing to one larger bag.
Buy the Best Bag for You There arc at least two formal resources you can read when you get ready to purchase new luggage as well as some less formal ways for conducting research. Consumer Reports magazine regularly writes about luggage. They test bags in a category and come up with detailed ratings. Even If you don’t purchase one or the bags from the test, you will learn the key characteristics that Consumer Reports uses to rate luggage.
-How to Select Luggage—a Buyers Guide is one of the topics they discuss. Karen says she looks at well-dressed frequent flyers in the airport or hotel and scrutinizes their luggage choices. She often stops them and says, -Please tell me how you like your suitcase; I’m in the market for a new one She gets Interesting feedback directly
I have always teamed a lot by going to my local luggage store and asking questions. My favontc person is Fred, the luggage repairman (and salesman supreme); he knows all about durability When pressed, he will dish out the dirt about …Inch luggage comes back again and again for repairs and which luggage hardly ever returns once sold Fred asks the following questions to decide which luggage is best for the customer:
I. Now much do you travel? lins determines potential use; frequent flyers require more durability than the occasional traveler.
2. On average, how long will you be gone on a trip? This determines the size of the bag or the number of pieces needed.
With answers to these questions, he can best advcw a customer about the details that count warranty; fabric; wheels, handles; and tippers.
Warranty: Most warranties cover manufacturing defects only. The warranties vary from nothing to 10 years to a lifetime and all but one exclude airline damage – Briggs and Riley. They say “Our warranty covers taxi driver damage, under tipped bellhop dam age, rabid dog damage. dragged-live tiles-behind-a-bus damage, even airline damage. Simple as that:— Fred says that Briggs and Riley bags come back for very simple repairs. Even though they have the best warranty, often it isn’t necessary because Briggs and Riley bags arc so well built.
Fabric: Judged by thickness of fiber or -denier: the higher the denier the stronger the fabric. •
Nylon is one of the mom popular luggage coverings Look for 1,000. denier or I I -ounce nylon for durability. -Ballistic” nylon is similar to the fabric used in bulletproof vests In luggage, it resists tearing better than other fabrics. Cordura’ (developed lw DuPont for automobile tires so it is strong!) and Cordura Plus’ arc high quality. abrasion-and-tear-resistant nylons Look (or waterproof coatings that are applied to the inside and wit-resistant coatings to the outside. Scotchgard’, ‘Leper, and Teflon’ arc some names to look for on a label
• Polyester does not resist abrasion as well as nylon so a higher denier is wry important. Look for at least 1.000 denier poly-ester. Polyester appears most frequently In lower to mid-priced luggage and is fine for the occasional traveler. • Vinyl is used more for piping and trims than for a full bag con engg because it tends to tear. It is also used as a backing for nylon fabrics to add body and make them more water resistant. •
Plastics are used to make injection-molded, hard-sided luggage. They arc durable, waterproof, and stain resistant. • Leather is an elegant, expensive, and heavy luggage covering. It is still available in high •end bags but Is most often used today for piping, trims, and straps. Wheels:
Ball hearing wheels (the type used on in-line skates) are best and should be partially recessed for protection Most new bags have two wheels and a pull handle those with four wheels are thought to put less strain on the pulling ann be sure to test