There has been quite a revolution in luggage in the last few years. The biggest seller of ten years ago might well be today’s dinosaur. Don’t toss your old luggage yet, but now is a good lime to look at what you have and decide what you need for the future. Take an Inventory of the bags you own and evaluate their condition in a list like the one below.
if the condition of any bag is questionable, consider parting with ft. If new luggage can be eaten alive by the transportation Indus-try (my biggest fear is seeing the contents of my bag coming around the baggage carousel, one pair of underwear at a time). how will your old and cited bag survive? Keep only those bags that are in good condition. pf you just can’t bear to part with an old laconic, consider using it for sports equipment storage in the garage.) Think about how you travel today. You need luggage that will work for you now — for your current mode of travel tile changes will alter how you travel, creating different luggage needs. For example, the new college grad who backpacks around Europe will
Consider Luggage Construction
Today, most luggage falls into one of three categories — hard-sided, semi-son, and son-sided, Each has its good points and its bad.
I. Hard-sided bags protect the contents better than any other bag, making them the best choice for wrinkle-free packing. You can pack fragile items in the center and feel confident that they will arrive intact
Hard cases are also more water-repel ens than any other type. The biggest disadvantage Is weight — these bags are heavy even when empty — and they will ho d only so much because they are not flexible. Hard-sided cases have served David and me vita in the past on countless International trips where we handled our bags very little.
2. Soft-sided bags are light-weight, fold flat for storage, and can usually be coaxed Into expanding to hold one more thing (every bag does have its limits). Available in !mw shapes and sizes. soft-sided bags are the most flexible and resilient but don’t do much to protect contents from outside impact. They are best for casual tnps and carrying bulky gear when wrinkle-free clothing and fragile items aren’t an issue I find them the very best for sat Irate! and for private boat trips not cruises).
3. Semisoft luggage has either a rigid frame or a firm but flexible frame. The soft top and bottom are slightly expandable. The popular wheel aboard case is an example of a semisoft bag. The frame provides some of the benefits of a hard-sided bag, such as wrinkle free packing, without the weight. This type of bag will protect contents from outside impact (although not as well as a hard sided bag) while retaining some flexibility. I find these bags very practical for trips where I must handle my own luggage. The combina-tion of lightweight • wheels • stable frame works well for me.
Built in wheels or a separate luggage cart wheelies that take the “lug” out of luggage are a necessity for today’s traveler it you arc buying new luggage, insist on wheels. ‘Wheelies arc less convenient than built-in wheels but preferable to struggling. particularly when traveling with heavy bags.
transportation types and newly enforced airline rulings for checked baggage.
luggage manufacturers began to change the interior materials of bags to make the contents quickly visible during manual security checks- -see-through plastic and mesh are now more common interior components. • Strict airline enforcement of bag size and weight limits has forced travelers to pay attention. Rather than traveling with one large, oversized, and overweight bag, pack into two smaller bags that will pass airline rules
lightweight, high-permeance luggage is readily available —don’t waste packing weight on old, heavy bags. Weigh your old bag and compare to new, high-tech luggage_ Tinto’ luggage offers an Innovative design that collapses for storage, a great choke for apartment dwellers and cruise passengers. Tutto won the Tylenol/ Arthritis Foundation design award because the weight of the bag is carried on four wheels so pulling is easier. Carty-on luggage is more restricted.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations limit passengers on domestic flights to one carry on bag not to exceed 45 linear inches phis one personal item such as a purse, laptop, or briefcase. This has created multifunction, wheeled bags that are a briefcase, laptop carrier. and an overnight bag all in one. Interesting innovations such as “Sk-yRoll” and -SkyRoll’ on WheeLs” make canyon even easier. • Manufacturers added expansion gussets to carry-on bags that expand space by as much as 3″ When in use, however, the bag will not fit Into an airline overhead bin. Use the gusset—check the bag! • Passengers are checking bags more often, creating an Increase in sales or hard sided luggage that withstands abuse.