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Need new luggage

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I am going on a 2 week trip to Europe. Unfortunatley, my luggage died on my last trip and I need to replace it for my upcoming trip. I don't plan to pack a lot and need a bag that's lightweight and durable. Should I go for soft sided or is hard sided better? Anyone has any suggestions? Any help would be really appreciated.
post #2 of 38
Depends what you are planning on packing. If there are coats & ties involved, it might be a good idea to bring a hard suitcase to keep them from wrinkling. I always pack a soft case for a couple days or more and a hard suitcase anytime it's more than 6-8 days. Don't forget your carry on for extra space!
post #3 of 38
2 weeks might be stretching it but if at all possible try to do a carry on only. Get whatever is the maximum size for the airline you'll be on. You can find size restrictions here. http://www.ebags.com/info/media/inde...=carry_on_reqs I have been to Europe many times. I went ONCE with a wheeled check-in bag. Never again.
post #4 of 38
If you don't mind checking your luggage, I just bought a single, large Victorinox Mobilzer suitcase for my two week honeymoon: http://www.swissarmy.com/TravelGear/...duct=31340601&

I'll just use this plus this medium-sized satchel from Saddleback Leather: http://www.saddlebackleather.com/cat...-iPad-Chestnut
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post
2 weeks might be stretching it but if at all possible try to do a carry on only. Get whatever is the maximum size for the airline you'll be on.

You can find size restrictions here.

http://www.ebags.com/info/media/inde...=carry_on_reqs

I have been to Europe many times. I went ONCE with a wheeled check-in bag. Never again.

I've been trying that lately, having to just hand carry everything instead of checking in bags.

So much more convenient and faster getting thru the airports.

myke
post #6 of 38
Briggs & Riley, best luggage I have owned.
post #7 of 38
post #8 of 38
If you are flying a U.S. carrier to and from Europe you can use the standard size carry ons that people use when flying within the States. If you are going to be traveling within Europe, I suggest you resign yourself to checking your bags. Carry on rules within Europe require smaller bags. That being said, I have had frequent flyer status on at least one airline for the past 21 years. Have tried lots of luggage and have the following recommendations: The Air Boss from Red Oxx. Check out all of the rave reviews on flyertalk.com for this one. In case you aren't familiar with flyer talk, it's a forum for hardcore travelers and their is a ton of experience over there. Anyway, this is a superlight carryon bag that holds a surprising amount of stuff. I have one and use it for all of my non-business travel. http://www.redoxx.com/Airline-Carry-...100-10/product Someone suggested Briggs & Riley. I can heartily recommend these bags. Lifetime guarantee no questions asked. If you go for a rolling carrier, try to get one that zips for expansion instead of the interlocking system (if you even want an expandable bag). The zip type is lighter than the other. I have a bunch of Tumi bags, three brief cases, garment bag, rolling carriers of various sizes etc. etc. I like the look of Tumi over Briggs but the lifetime warranty they used to offer no longer exists. Dollar to Dollar, Briggs is head and shoulders above Tumi on value, quality and service. Do take a look at the Air Boss though. It is a very useful and functional bag. Just decide if you want a "roller" or a shoulder bag.
post #9 of 38
+1 to Briggs and Riley. Either get a good bag with lifetime warranty or a reasonably cheap one. Those airport staff treat any check in baggage like trash, no use in getting an expensive bag only to pay for repairs over and over again.

No to hard cases. They are always bulkier/ heavier (when empty) and cannot expand to accomodate.

If you can make do with smaller bags, carry ons are such great time savers. STP has some bags and free shipping riddle promo.
post #10 of 38
First of all tell us the planned use of the luggage. Are you planning to carry suits? Is this for business or holiday? Will you go there once and that's it with the big luggage? Or do you often go on 2 week trips? Where are you going and how? Lux travel or on a shoe-string budget? Where are you going and how?

What is your budget (the most limiting factor)? $100? $500? $1000? $1000+? You can buy something that lasts you many trips (Tumi, Rimowa, Swissarmy, etc) or something that will last 2 weeks for much cheaper (ebags). You going to stay in a hostel or a 5 star? A rucksack fits in better in a hostel than a 5 star. Forget leather, as all luggage will be mishandled somewhere along the way. Leather is only for carry-on.

Hardside or softside? Depends on what you will carry. Anything fragile, would recommend a hardside and bring bubble wrap with you. Otherwise I would go softside since they usually weigh less. Tumi and Rimowa make some lighter hardside luggage - actually it's a softside/hardside hybrid. If you will be carrying suits or dresses, would recommend a suiter or a folding suiter sleeve.

Are you planning to travel by air exclusively? Don't forget the airline size & weight restrictions (different with each and much smaller & lighter once inside Europe). You don't want to pay more in fees than you paid for your luggage.

Train travel? Not easy to lug a 70+ lb big piece of luggage up and down stairs in smaller train stations lacking elevators or running to catch a connecting train on the other side of the station. If you are traveling a lot by train, this will get tiresome quickly. Europe is not the US. There's a lot of older infrastructure. Plus if it is too big, you won't have a place to put it inside the train. 2 pieces of luggage? Keep in mind that if they are both heavy, you will have to lift one at a time up the stairs. The concern here is that some train stations you have petty thieves. And they WILL run off with your unattended luggage. I have seen it quite a few times. Also there are frequent thefts of unattended luggage on the train themselves. I often hear over the loudspeaker of theft warnings. Advise you sit somewhere you can keep an eye on them (esp. if they look more expensive).

Rental car? Rarely will you find a cheap car rental in Europe that you find in the US and as a consequence, you will probably rent a smaller car. And I do mean smaller. Not so many SUVs or big cars in Europe as you find in the US. If you are expecting a full size, expect to pay 3-4x compared to the US, at a minimum. Don't forget insurance. Your credit card/ car insurance policy usually only covers continental US. Gas is at least $4/gal, so keep that in mind too. Driving in the UK? They drive on the opposite side of the road. Italy or Spain? Forget about it unless you've driven there (or Mexico City, similar) before. Parking can be far more of a hassle than you find in NYC. The infrastructure in older cities (or old city areas) were made well before cars were invented and some places remain largely unchanged or little has been done to adapt them to cars.

Answer these questions and your life in those 2 weeks will become much easier. Fail to consider them... well, I will let you imagine.
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
I am looking at all the suggestions, guys. Thanks a ton. I was thinking if you have any information on the warranty and after sales service offered by some of these brands? I don't want to be saddled with a bag that's difficult to repair/replace because the manufacturers won't talk to you!
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by upnorth View Post
No to hard cases. They are always bulkier/ heavier (when empty) and cannot expand to accomodate.
This is just plain wrong. Hard cases are very often lighter when empty, and they can be expandable. Let's look at a few examples for weight: Soft - 22" Halliburton Profile (46 linear inches): 11 lbs., 13 oz. Hard - 22" Rimowa Salsa Air (45.5 linear inches): 5 lbs., 5 oz. That's half the weight for virtually identical space. Twelve pounds is pretty common for a 22 inch nylon bag, and it's pretty common to find polycarbonate bags that are several pounds lighter than that. Even Rimowa's 22" aluminum case is lighter, coming in at 8 lbs., 13 oz. And here's a hard case that can expand: Hartmann Stratum 20" Expandable Mobile Traveler Spinner.
post #13 of 38
i am a pilot for an airline and let me just say that i was going through a travelpro roll aboard at the rate of one per year.

i switched to a briggs and riley baseline 22" roll aboard 3 years ago and i have had zero problems with it. it has a lifetime warranty, even if the airline breaks it. keep in mind that in those three years i have traveled more than most people will ever travel with their bags in a lifetime. i can't recommend briggs and riley enough.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake686 View Post
Briggs & Riley, best luggage I have owned.

I do a great deal of international travel and I second this - really great quality. They also make nice garment bags. Another brand I like is Wenger - I got a Wenger suitcase from one of the airlines once as a replacement and I really like it.
post #15 of 38
Rimowa polycarbonate. You'll never have to buy another.
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