Here’s my recent luggage use pattern:
Rolo, when carried, ends up crammed inside Tom Bihn or Red Oxx, however. It has been used as a carry-on in conjunction with a Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45, a Red Oxx Small Aviator Bag, and even a Tom Bihn Shop Bag tote.
I haven’t posted about the brand before, but my one set of wheeled luggage is Sherpani. We need to talk about them, too.
Yes, I’m on the record railing against wheeled “roll-aboard” bags here and in real life, but my Sherpani wheels are on a larger, checked-luggage sized suitcase. I never lift them over my head, and I don’t try to carry them on. Large wheeled bags are the best for trips involving a lot of stuff.
It is possible that I bought my Sherpani wheeled suitcase primarily because it came in a really fetching brown and purple color scheme. Highly unusual for luggage carousel spotting! Coordinated with clothes I wore frequently for travel! The presence of cute little daisies in charming spots could also have been a factor.
The more similar your trips, and the more similar your needs during travel, the less likely it is that you need a variety of pieces of luggage. If, on the other hand, you sometimes fly carry on only in basic economy, but other times enjoy extended voyages with extensive wardrobe requirements, you might appreciate having a range of bags that can exactly suit the given style of travel.
If I didn’t have the budget or the storage space for all four types of luggage, I would rank their order of importance to me exactly as I introduced them above:
- Ultra-lightweight carry on,
- Sturdy check-able duffle in a moderate size that could also be carried on,
- Specialized bag optimized for organization,
- Specialized larger bag for extra long trips with more specific requirements.
For someone who flies rarely or has the strength to find all carry on luggage of trivial weight, I would prioritize item #2 above all else in most cases. A sturdy rectangular bag is the most versatile option available, by far.
Some people can make do with everyday items (shopping bags or school day packs) in lieu of travel gear; some people are willing to spend more on luggage than they do on the trip itself. Most of us fall somewhere in between.
A good brand will only produce bags of high quality, but that won’t matter if you buy the wrong bag for your needs.