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Best luggage for suits?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Rugger, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Rugger

    Rugger Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I'm going to have to be travelling a lot in the next year for work. I don't currently have any great luggage, I mostly use the sea bags I was given in the military. :embar:

    In your experience, what is the best piece of luggage for say 1-2 weeks of business attire? I'm looking for specific options, not just referencing a style. Thoughts?
     
  2. Twotone

    Twotone Well-Known Member

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    I do a lot of international business traveling from the US to Europe and Asia. I'm typically gone from two weeks to two months. Unfortunately, it's not easy to travel light when you need to wear a suit and tie for work every day. I usually take two suits -- blue pinstripe and gray, a navy blazer, two or three pairs of Dockers & odd trousers and six dress shirts. Travel business shoes are usually rubber soled since they put up with rain better than my nice leather soled AEs. Add a trench coat, sox, underwear, shoes and belts, and it all adds up.

    My travel luggage consists of a large hard-sided suitcase on wheels. I purchased Carlton in HK (hard to find in the US), but any well-made brand will do. I pack my suits, shirts, ties and other nice stuff in the large suitcase. The large suitcase has no liquids or metal objects -- I don't want to give security a reason to open it and mess up my nice packing. I pack shoes, toiletries, sox, underwear, casual clothes, etc. in a smaller roll-on bag. If security opens this one and does not fully close a contact lens bottle (this has happened) then my nice clothes don't get ruined. All liquid bottles are in zip lock bags which get an extra level of protection. The small roll-on is nice to have if I need to do a day trip from my primary destination. Both bags get checked.

    Carry on is a small leather messenger style briefcase with laptop, charger, phone, meds, contact case, glasses, documents, etc.

    This has worked well for me for 20+ years of international business travel.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. Rugger

    Rugger Well-Known Member

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    Great post, thank you. Do you ever use a travel garment bag from someone like Tumi? I have found some that say they can fit 2-3 suits, just not sure if I could fit 4-6 shirts within that. I'm not opposed to two bags, but would prefer one.
     
  4. Twotone

    Twotone Well-Known Member

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    I gave up on garment bags ten years ago. Back in the "good old days" of airline travel (i.e. pre-911), you could walk on board and the flight attendants would hang your unfolded garment bag in the closet at the front of the plane. Now, you need to cram it into an overhead compartment next to all the other stuff. And, pay extra for the privilege! A folded up garment bag after a 10+ hour flight makes your clothes look like you slept in them. A large hard-side suitcase and well-folded clothes arrive in much better shape.

    When I get to my hotel or apartment, I turn on a hot shower, close the bathroom door and let is steam up. I hang suit jackets and trousers (straight, not folded) in the steamy bath room for a few hours. Works like a charm!

     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  5. dirkweems

    dirkweems Well-Known Member

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    I used to use garment bags. I don't anymore and would not recommend them. Both the shoulder strap and wheeled garment bags are pretty useless.

    Shoulder bags get heavy and unless all you are doing is laying them flat in the trunk of your car, you clothes end up looking crummy. Wheeled garment bags fit a lot less than they say they can. You wont be able to fit an extra pair of shoes or shirts etc. Don't get sucked in to using any type of garment bag as a carry bag.

    Twotone's post is spot on. Get a large suit case if you are traveling more than a week. Put the suits in the suit carrier part of the suitcase. I like the little mesh packing bags tumi sells. Keeps things organized. I have also found that shirts travel best when folded. Tumi sells a shirt packer. If you are traveling for less than a week, use the same system with a 22 inch airline approved carry on bag.
     
  6. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    I can't agree more with discouraging the use of garment bags. As for me, I fold my suits and shirts, and pack them in a hard-sided carry-on case.
     
  7. Cause Moe

    Cause Moe Member

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    I agree with everyone who has given up on garment bags for air travel. But I also note dirkweem's exception about laying one flat in a car trunk. That's where I still use a garment bag: when I'm traveling by car. The back cargo area is quite flat, and I lay the bag flat. Then I bring it into the hotel or other guest accomodation, and hang it up. But for air travel, I used a big rolling suitcase, pack it carefully, and check it. I keep liquids out of my suit-case, but I never thought of keeping metal out. I'll have to give that some consideration.

    A portable travel steamer is more effective than a steamy bathroom.
     
  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    I gave up on tumi years ago. I now use briggs and riley, I use a bag that has a folding suit area, and another area, a carry on with wheels.
     
  9. taxgenius

    taxgenius Well-Known Member

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    +1
     

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