My Luggage Needs A Makeover, Stat!

Filed Under: Advice

There are areas of my life where I’d like to think that I’m fairly competent (like writing 10 blog posts per day, knowing everything about 90 Day Fiancé, and taking good pictures of my dog). Then there are areas of my life where I’m a hot mess.

I’m a mess when it comes to anything material. I’m just a creature of habit, and I hate replacing things. Not because of the cost, necessarily, but rather because I’m someone who rarely knows what I want, but rather I typically only know what I don’t want.

My entire travel setup is so bad right now. So bad. Both of my carry-ons are basically broken. My camera is basically broken. My MacBook Air is falling apart. My Bose headphones are basically broken… and that’s only the beginning.

Both Ford and Tiffany have been telling me that I need to start replacing this stuff, and at this point I’ve basically been given an ultimatum to make a decision by this weekend, or else.

I need luggage advice

After doing quite a bit of research I’m not sure there’s a perfect option out there for me. So I think I just need to be talked into something. Let me share my current setup, and then what I think I’m looking for.

I recently asked you guys for recommendations on a camera as well, and I really appreciate all the feedback, which has given me so much to think about. Tiffany pointed out that Sony is coming out with the RXII soon, which is supposed to be a significant upgrade from the camera I have right now. I’ve decided to wait until that comes out to make a final decision (given my familiarity with that camera), so hopefully that’s not a mistake.

My current carry-on setup

Here’s what I’m currently wheeling through airports:

I’ve had the standard 20″ Tumi Alpha since 2013, and it has done the trick.

But at this point it’s in awful shape. Several of the zippers have fallen off, including the ones to open the main part of the bag. Furthermore, when I roll the bag it makes horrible squeaking noises, and the wheel has quite a bit of resistance. It’s just embarrassing at this point.

It would appear that Tumi has some sort of a five year warranty, though I guess I’m just outside of that, so won’t get it fixed.

Then I also have a cool weekender bag I like. It has served its purpose, as I’ve had it for many years. One of the zippers is broken, and it also doesn’t really meet my needs anymore.

Why? Because when I bought the bag I lived in hotels full time, and my top priority was maximizing my carry-on space. The weekender bag is huge, and basically the size of my 20″ carry-on. Amazingly they consistently let me take both on a plane.

But nowadays I’m looking for a smaller bag, and also one with more compartments, so I can better stay organized (this one has virtually no compartments).

What I’m looking for in a carry-on

I can be talked out of this, but in general:

  • I like soft-sided bags, since they give me the flexibility to overstuff them if needed (and I even like expandable bags, since worst case scenario I can then check a bag if I’m carrying a lot)
  • I have a strong preference for two wheel bags over four wheel bags (I’ll talk more about why below)
  • I can see everyone right now yelling at their computer screen saying “get Briggs & Riley, they’re the best and have an amazing warranty,” though I dislike the way their bags look; maybe I’m completely off base there, and it’ll grow on me?

Why do I have a strong preference for two wheels over four wheels? Mainly because I have wrist pain (which I’m being treated for), and the act of dragging sideways hurts my wrists.

My current setup is perfect in that regard. I have my carry-on, and then I strap the other bag on the back. The weight balances out, and I could literally drag the whole thing with one finger and feel nothing. It’s perfect. So I’d really like a setup that allows me to strap my personal item to the back of my carry-on.

My recent trip to Japan reinforced my love of two wheel bags. Ford has a four wheeler and struggled because in Japan they seem to have those little yellow things that stick up from the floor everywhere, and that’s a pain if you have four wheels, while it wasn’t an issue at all for me.

I recognize you can just elect to use two wheels of a four wheel carry-on, but in my experience it’s just not as practical as a two wheeler.

Then again, I do have an Amex Offer for Rimowa

What I’m looking for in a personal item/backpack

I’m looking for a much smaller personal item that allows me to keep my electronics well organized. It only needs to have room for a laptop, headphones, chargers, a passport wallet, converter, etc.

I’d be happy having a much smaller bag than I currently have. Ideally it would also strap to the back of my bag, and wouldn’t look horrible either.

I’m flexible as to whether that comes in the form of a backpack, a smaller duffel/weekender, or whatever…

Bottom line

I feel like I’m one of the few people who still prefers a bag with two wheels, which is a real challenge, because most new bags nowadays seem to have four wheels. It really does minimize the impact on my wrists to have two wheels, but it could also be that I’m just thinking of four wheel luggage wrong.

Then I try to complement that with a backpack or duffel or something, and then I get overwhelmed and get stuck with my current setup.

So, brilliant readers, please enlighten me! What do I do? For me this isn’t a decision I take lightly, given just how much I use my luggage.

  1. Check out the Eagle Creek Convertabrief and Eagle Creek Tarmac 22.

    It’s less capacity than you currently have, but may suit your needs. Both are highly adaptable luggage, albeit a bit less stylish than what you’re probably used to.

    A lot of the design and functionality of both bags is quite thoughtful.

  2. Tumi zippers are designed to break easily so they don’t mess with actual zipping system. Bring it in to any store they will attach a new zippers in few seconds.
    You can definitely stuff more in the two wheeler over four wheeler. I went for a travelpro crew 5 for a very reason, but newer TUMI Alpha3 series is much more classy.

  3. Stick to Tumi, I have an Alpha 3 carry-on, a Sheppard bagpack and a weekender and couldn’t be happier.

    Just don’t buy the new Rimowas, their build quality went down the drain since LMWH took over!

  4. Soft-side, expandable, two-wheels, pockets galore, lifetime warranty, looks very nice. You just described this….

    I know people there if you need a contact.

    I think they look almost exactly like Tumi but better quality and more features. Note lifetime warranty is for repair. If the bag is unrepairable, they give you a credit for a new bag but it wouldn’t cover the complete price.

  5. I’m in the Briggs and Riley camp and love their stuff. For a cabin unwheeled bag, it’s hard to beat the Framed Weekender. My wife says it looks like a large doctors bag – but it is awesome, with a computer pouch and the best passport small items side pocket ever. You should look at this bag.

    Couple this with a 2 wheel domestic or international carry on bag (again Briggs and Riley) and you can pack from 4 days to three weeks (with a little laundry on the road). There is a navy blue collection that is very snazzy.

  6. You don’t need to do it stat if it is just zipper pulls and wheels. Get a pack of replacement zipper pulls and google luggage rollerblade wheel replacement.

  7. “those little yellow things that stick up from the floor everywhere…”
    Tactile paving? 🙂 #wordoftheday

  8. Get the Travelpro Maxlite 4 22″ Expandable Rollaboard Suitcase. I have this one and it works a charm!

  9. I really like the Wandrd backpack. It seems design for travel with easy access to the camera while the bag is on the back, and you can access the top portion rolled portion even when it’s opened like a clam. The top rolled portion is nice as you can expand the bag to fit your needs.

  10. Rimowa luggage are beautiful when you buy at the store but once you put them to use it looks like you took them to a war. If you are OCD (I think you are) you will hate the way the Rimowa looks after 1 single trip.

  11. I only use Timuk2 luggage now and highly recommend it. It has a lifetime warranty and is easy to get fixed or replaced (either bring it to a store or they will send you a box to mail it to them). It is only 7 lbs and has the most comfortable handle and glides very smoothly on its rollerblade wheels. It has traveled around the world with me and has ALWAYS fit in the overhead bin wheels first.

  12. I’m intrigued by the new TravelPro Crew series. Just can’t decide between the Global size or the Max size.

  13. I’m have precisely the same connundrum myself. I currently have a TravelPro Crew 5 (22″ x 14 x 9), and a generous-size briefcase that I can stuff mightily for when I’m not checking a bag. I also have a miniscule TravelPro EU carryon size (20.5″), and a nice 21″ duffel. I don’t love any of them.

    I have one bag that works well, but it’s not a carry on; that’s an Eagle Creek Tarmac AWD 26. It’s a 4-wheeler that works brilliantly (better than any other bag I’ve ever used), and it’s lighter than my TravelPro 22″ carryon. I tried their 22″ version but I didn’t like it. I prefer a deep bag with a flip lid; Eagle Creek is half-and-half. I only bring that when I need a pair of hiking boots or expect to bring back a ton of souvenirs (or a few bottles of rare Scotch from specialty UK shops).

    Given decreasing weight limits I want a durable but ultra-lightweight standard 22″ rollaboard. I’m with you in the 2-wheel department, too. My Crew 5 is very easy to wheel but weighs 11 pounds empty!

  14. I was going to say Briggs & Riley until you said you didn’t like the way they look. I dropped the $$ for the international carry on expandable and the medium expandable for a checked bag. Every time I use them it validates the spend. Plus I know I can get them repaired should they ever break. But to each his own.

  15. Peak Design everyday backpack is a great carryon. Comes in two sizes, lots of storage/arrangement options and doesn’t stand out like a lot of other bags. Watch one of their videos and you can see a lot of thought was put into the layout. Also has the setup to put over a luggage handle. If you want to see one in person REI has them as do some Best Buy’s in their camera equipment section.

  16. the faire leather bond briefcase is a potential option for your carry-on. it’s got a lot of (bordering on an excess of) internal organization features. i’ve been using one daily for a little over a year, and it’s holding up to abuse very well. it’s great if most of what you’re lugging is electronic and small. i can get a kindle, a tablet, and either a 14″ latitude or an xps 13 plus their chargers and my qc25’s in the main pocket with room to spare for a power converter and other crap. there are an abundance of options for storage passport wallet and cables/whatever in the other pocket.

    the main drawback in my experience is it’s not easy to stuff more than one large paper file or book/3 ring binder in it which i personally need for work a couple times a month, so i wasn’t able to totally ditch the bigger briefcase it was supposed to replace. but it might do the trick for you.

  17. Another vote for Travelpro! They are so durable, help you keep organized, soft sided, and have two wheels.

  18. Always happy w/my 2 wheel Tumi. I won’t do four wheel bags.
    And as mentioned, any Tumi store will replace the pulls on your zippers.

  19. I hate 4-wheelers, and I’ve been using G-RO stuff for a couple of years:

    They boast of “re-inventing the wheel” and they pretty much have: the axle-less design means their carryone bags have 10-15% more capacity than the competition, and the giant wheels make staircases and uneven pavements a doddle (those stupid tiny wheels on spinner bags are useless on anything other than ultrasmooth airport terminal floors – and even there, as Ford discovered, they have limitations).

    The coloured wheels look unusual but mean you can instantly spot your bag on a carousel, if it comes to that.

    Their Multitasker is perfect (for me) for weekends; the Carry-on is fine (for me) for up to a week in warmer climates.

    I think what makes good luggage is really personal (though ironically this sector is full of “me-too” brands).

  20. I have Rimowa, Tumi, and Briggs & Riley. Though I also didn’t *love* the appearance of Briggs & Riley, I think it’s the best practical option.

    Rimowa makes no sense because it’s extremely fragile and will show signs of wear immediately after one trip — it can’t withstand your frequent travel, and with the hard case, you don’t have flexibility to overpack.

    Tumi is OK but not amazing — it also shows a lot of wear for me.

    What pushes B&R over the edge is they have a system that lets you overpack and then compress it down to fit within airline limits. You can effectively pack way more stuff in the same size luggage as a result. So if you’re going for a small personal item you’ll appreciate having that extra cushion. The appearance will grow on you. Bottom line B&R is super functional and convenient. Wirecutter correctly recommends them for frequent travelers.

  21. Always do 2 wheel roller cases. They work much better over snow, rain, rocks, cobblestones, etc.

  22. Considering how many miles you put on your bag, I would join the chorus of Briggs & Riley baseline series. Their bags are just super durable, have the best compression system for when you want to fit a lot of days worth of clothes into a single carry on. The baseline domestic carry-on is damn good and while I’m only flying 125-150k miles per year, I’ve been using the same bag for 5 years and it still looks virtually brand new.

    My wife has a travelpro bag designed for crew members which, while also durable, doesn’t seem to have as much interior space and also is easier to overstuff, adding a steeper curve to the bag which (even as a united 1k) makes flight attendants take notice and forces her to be gate checked.

    If you’re looking for a weekender bag, I recently got the Tortuga Setout Duffle Bag and I absolutely love it. It’s super easy to keep organized with lots of well placed pockets, it has a separate shoe compartment, which I personally like especially if I’m going to have sneakers for working out or potentially going a bit off-road, and it has a built in laptop sleeve. It also ticks off all the other usually requirements (waterproof, fits under a seat or in the overhead, removable shoulder strap).

    If you’re thinking more of a backpack, I also have and like the Peak Design Everyday Backpack. It’s *technically* a camera bag, meant for photographers with tripods and lenses and the like, but I use it as my work/commuter bag. The 20 liter version easily holds everything I need in my life from my various electronics, to my collapsible water bottle, etc. What makes the bag special is two-fold: First, it has this unusual side-opening system that you kind of have to see in action to understand. The most annoying thing about a backpack is that sometimes you need to get something that’s fallen to the bottom, which requires taking off the pack and digging through all of your stuff. With the Everyday bag, you can sling it off one shoulder and open it from the side in virtually one smooth motion. The second aspect is it has these dividers in the interior that lets you compartmentalize your bag, keeping everything in its place and super organized. It also has tons of extra sleeves and pockets built into the interior sides of the bag for storing the small stuff (memory cards for your camera, pens/pencils, flash drives, etc. I also use this space for storing things like medications, hand sanitizer, a backup battery for my phone). You can see the whole thing in action here: and reviews are generally positive.

  23. On the rare occasion I use a suitcase it’s a soft sided Travelpro Platinum Magna 2. They come in every size imaginable. I have four of them stored like Russian nesting dolls. They all have a handle on the bottom (even the smallest 16 inch spinner) making them easy to lift when placing in an overhead bin. And they all have magnets that keep the wheels perfectly straight to completely eliminate the pesky wobble of every other rolling suitcase on the market.
    As for a shoulder bag check out Saddleback Leather. With a 100 year unconditional guarantee it’ll be the last bag you’ll ever buy. I own the Classic Briefcase XL. 99% of the time it’s the only thing I travel with.

  24. I get attached to routine as well. I just replaced my standard set-up (very similar to yours) after zipper failures and a lot of wear.
    I went with the Mountain Hardwear Juggernaut 45 and the Columbia PFF Meridian pack. I was very picky about the pack regarding pockets and tablet storage.
    I just stumbled upon them at the Columbia Employee Store where there’s a steep discount. Total cost was around $250.

  25. @ DCJoe
    Thanks for confirming my thought on the MaxLite 5. I travel far less than Ben or most others here (maybe 2 or 3 return air trips a year, once to Europe and a bunch of car road trips) so I don’t need something that’s intended to live out of half the year. But at the same time, durability over, say, 10+ years is desirable. I still like my ancient TravelPro Crew 3 rollaboard suiter!

    I bought the Crew 11 International-sized bag and it’s fine to use in conjunction with the bigger checked bag, but for international carryon-only, I think I can bring more stuff in a duffel. I’m a very large person, so each individual item of clothing is larger and heavier than for a tiny lady or even an average-sized gentleman, thus baggage tare weight is significantly more important!

    I will check out the MaxLite 5 and the *IT* carryon (, but honestly don’t think a $50 bag will be in the same class or be anywhere near as durable as the spendier TravelPros.

  26. You live in South Florida. TravelPro has an office with showroom in Boca. Go check their stuff out

    It’s time to go with the same luggage that airline crews travel with. You won’t be disappointed.

  27. The B&R has held up better for me over the years than the Alpha. We tend to overload our bags and the build quality for B&R cannot be beaten. The B&R little orange front pocket is always a lifesaver for those things you need to get to fast. 2 wheels over 4 because I know where I am going and want to get there fast. I also don’t want to be the dork chasing my 4 wheel bag because uneven pavement and transitions happen.

    Backpack, take a look at the Gruv Gear Club Bag. It’s designed for musicians and production guys. The Bento storage system is life changing – even if you use it with a different bag or in your suitcase. Don’t buy the black one, you can’t find anything in it, always look for a bag that has a bright color interior so you can find that usb cable that somehow made it to the bottom and your battery is at 4%

    Either way, look forward to what you pick and hope to hear about it

  28. Tom Bihn makes some fantastic bags that would meet your accessory bag requirement. I have the Aeronaut 45 which I’ve had for 3 years now and it wears like iron (still looks new). I do probably 150k bis a year and it’s held up. The bonus with it is that I can take it on a CRJ 200 and it fits in the overhead bin, but meets the max carry-on size. They do a great job with accessory pockets and are big on using packing cubes and having places to clip various items. Really well engineered.

  29. Tumi at one point had a lifetime warranty that your Alpha may be covered by – I’d do some googling on that. Even still, replacing the zipper pulls, wheels, and wheel bearings should be pretty easy and cheap.

    Fellow soft-sided-2-wheeler fan and long-time consultant, here. I’ve had a bunch of carry-ons, and my bottom line is: stick with the Tumi (your Alpha or otherwise). I avoided Tumi for a long time, because I didn’t want to have the same bag as every other consultant. Two years ago, I finally went for the Alpha 2 International 22″ Expandable 2-wheel. I’ve never looked back – the quality of the materials is just so much higher. I’ve since replaced my laptop bag with an Alpha Bravo. And there are fewer and fewer 2-wheel carry-on options, putting Tumi even further out in front.

    Many have mentioned TravelPro, but I would tell you to avoid it – I think of these as basically disposable and much better for the casual traveler. Yes the Platinum warranty is good, but you WILL be sending it in for repairs. Also, the bags that I had were actually a shade bigger than carry-on size limits, and I did occasionally struggle to stuff it up top on older planes/foreign carriers.
    My dad is a big B&R guy, and he’s happy with it. But I 1) wouldn’t dare give up those few cubic inches around the handle where I put my socks and other small items and 2) I just can’t see the plastic-framed expansion system standing up to my packing approach for long trips (expand the bag, fill it, sit on it to compress contents, zip-down the expander to achieve carry-on size).
    I’ve also had a couple Victorinox, and there was a significant decline in quality from the first to the second, for basically the same price.
    Samsonite, American Tourister, and Delsey are all nonstarters. None of my colleagues’ have worn well, and you’d get better value from TravelPro or even Kirkland.

  30. Go . 2 wheels Victorinox Vx Touring Wheeled 2-in-1, which you can also use as a backpack in situation where you do not want to use the wheels at all –>

    Or if you can stomach the 4 wheels, then look at the expandable Spectra Global Carry-On. We use them since years, and they are robust, practical, great quality & durability –>

  31. For your personal item, definitely check out Lo & Sons. On the men’s side, they have backpacks, duffels, and briefcases. All of their travel bags have a luggage strap so you can attach it to your suitcase handle and they have compartments for EVERYTHING. All of the bags I’ve used or seen from them have been very well thought out and cleverly designed.

    They also have a decent warranty and even if you’re outside of your warranty, they’ll usually fix stuff anyways (they actually say this in their terms, but I know of people who had issues with an item and got a brand new one years after purchase at no cost). I’ve also found their customer service to be super responsive. I use their OMG bag, which is for women, and I have packed that thing to the brim to the point I thought it was going to break, and five years later, including many stints of using it as my daily work bag, it’s just now starting to show some wear. I also own their Claremont camera bag and just got my mom their Waverley purse. Even though I haven’t used their men’s products, I have no hesitation recommending them. Great quality.

  32. Check out Tortuga’s smaller bags or their daypacks for your personal item. I use the Setout Daypack and the Outbreaker 45L for my primary bag, but you won’t want the latter as it’s a backpack and not a roller.

  33. Go .

    Victorinox two-wheels Vx Touring, which you can also use as a backpack in situations where you don’t want to use the wheels (

    Or (with 4 wheels) the expandable Spectra 2.0 Global Carry-On ( We use it since years and would not change to another model.

  34. Alright Ben, go to your closest airport and look for any pilot, chances are they will have a Luggage Works bag. Not pretty and not light, but built to last and I am still amazed as to what I can get in it. You can sit on it, try that with any other bag. They have lots of attachable accessory bags. They will overhaul it and give you a loaner while they are doing it. I swear by mine and in over 20 years as a professionally pilot I don’t and wouldn’t leave home with out mine!

  35. Agree with folks on the Briggs & Riley – the look will grow on you (I hated them even after my boyfriend got one but the functionality won me over and now I actually think it looks nice).

    Also, are you saying you don’t like how B&R look but you’re fine with your Tumi? I think black B&R’s look nicer than the Tumi model you’re currently using…even travel scars aside.

  36. I hate 4-wheel spinner bags. Part of that is that I hate 4-wheel spinner bag people. They meander slowly throughout the airport, pulling their bags beside them, blocking those of us who know where they are going from getting anywhere. In addition, 4 wheels is 2 more wheels to break.

    As far as a new bag goes, Travelpro offers many 2-wheel options with a good warranty and easy to replace wheels. They are durable and much cheaper than brands like Tumi, etc.

  37. I would suggest taking the Tumi bag into a Tumi store and asking them to send to Tumi. Even if the bag is outside the warrantly, you can still pay to have it fixed. How much it costs depends on all they need to do. I have done this at least 3x for a bag I bought used in 2001. I love that bag and so I would rather pay for repairs than buy a new one.

    I believe they will ask you to pay shipping fee ($25) at the time of dropoff. After Tumi determines how much it will cost to fix then they will contact you and let you know. You then get to make the call if the repair bill is worth it. If you choose not to, then they just send you back the bag unrepaired.

  38. Try the G-Ro carry on (two big wheels but perfect for Eurotrips and anywhere else you may want to walk). Pair that with a Nomad Lane duffel and you are set!

  39. Hey Lucky, some other people have mentioned the brand but check out Peak Design, I use their 13″ Everyday Messenger bag and it’s an absolute godsend though some prefer the Everyday Backpack, they’re infinitely customisable with all sorts of pockets and slots, and they also come with internal dividers that let you separate stuff out. They’re also expandable which I love, they can be super compact and light holding just the essentials or hold two or three days worth of gear. The Messenger back also has a strap to go over the handles on a cabin bag which I love. They’re super in to collaborations as well so definitely get in touch with them if you’re thinking of going with them!

  40. I second the vote for Lo & Sons for a “personal item,” and have a two wheel TravelPro suitcase I really like (I think it’s the Platinum Magna line).

  41. Go with Rimowa and never look back. I used to be a Tumi diehard … but Rimowa makes Tumi look like a bad Chinese knockoff.

    The way the wheels effortlessly glide is incredible. I have one piece that’s logged probably 300,000 miles, Asia and back many times, and rolls like it’s brand new.

    Any wear and tear is part of the charm.
    Service, if you should need it, is 5-star.

    And it’s modern, hip and fun, and not fuddy-duddy and boring like everything else.

  42. I have a rather affordable Travelpro 20″ and I couldnt be more pleased with it. Very light, rolls easy, seems reasonably sturdy… What else can you ask for?

    Camera? How about a Ricoh GR III?

    Headphones? The AKG N60 is amazing for the money and the most comfortable one I had so far.

  43. For the smaller personal item/bag, a friend of mine convinced me to get one of eBags Slim Laptop backpacks and I thank him every time I see him. It fits all the necessities you listed and at the bottom it has a removable crush proof “pocket” that eBags recommends for the AC converters, but I also use it for my Bose QC35 which fit in there perfectly.

  44. Once you find a carry-on bag that you like, I strongly recommend get a set of packing cubes. You won’t need compartments in your bag to keep things organized and you simply take the packing cube out of the bag and put in into a hotel drawer. The come in a variety of sizes. Just make sure you pick sizes that fit well into whatever bag you select.
    I also like to use airline amenity kit cases to store small items — chargers, batteries, cables etc. If I recall you mentioned that years ago, but I wanted to pass that on to your readers.

  45. For your personal item, consider the Tumi Alpha Bravo Albany. I have been shocked at how it is simultaneously smaller and way larger than my last bag. It’s fairly compact but is so well designed it holds twice as much stuff as other bags I’ve used. Not a weekender, but great for electronics, etc.

  46. If you don’t like to replace things then the only answer is Briggs & Riley.

    100+ days a year on road for 17 years for me. Same backpack, same carry on, same rolling duffel. Every few years I sent it in, they clean it up and send back for free. No receipt needed.

    Otherwise I can’t help you.

  47. Others have mentioned this, but I just want to reinforce that Tumi zipper pulls are designed to come off fairly easily (as are most suitcase zippers), since you don’t want it getting caught in gears somewhere and ripping the bag apart. But they can be replaced trivially, for free, out of warranty at any Tumi store. I have done this at a Tampa mall and at the Hong Kong airport and it took seconds and was super-easy.

    I have a Tumi international carry-on and a Briggs & Riley baseline and am not totally happy with either, but think Briggs is in general better than Tumi. The Tumi seems more durable, but less well designed; it can tip forward and is less side-to-side stable since the wheels are inset somewhat from the sides. The Briggs is a better design but feels a little more dinged up: the wheels don’t rotate as easily and the extendable handle is slightly bent. I think these two things are fixable if I bother. If I were buying a new one, I would get another Briggs or a Rimowa.

  48. If you are considereing backpacks maybe something from the travel line from Aer? Got the travel pack 2 (the black one, made of ballistic nylon), pretty satisified with it; if you do just need a second smaller bag their flight pack is also a solid option

  49. Add one more to the B & R train. I am downright abusive to my international baseline and my @work medium backpack. They both look great and nothing has gone wrong. I also like that they’re a little less flashy and attention grabbing than a Tumi.

  50. Just came here to say 90 Day Fiance is SO GOOD and SOO TERRIBLE at the same time. Glad to know my favorite blogger is also a fan of my favorite guilty pleasure 🙂

  51. I to have a wrist problem from a quad bike accident and prefer a four wheeler but tend to pull it sideways I.e. With the handle to the side not the front. Might be worth a try.

  52. I just picked up a Porter bag from Yoshida & Company – had my eye on it for a while and took advantage of being in Tokyo to pick one out in person. Super happy so far and the construction is tight.

    I also have the B&R Baseline domestic carry on and can echo what others are saying – not the flashiest bag, but quality of build can’t be beat by Rimowa/Tumi/TravelPro.

    Good luck!

  53. I *was* going to say B&R, but if you don’t like the look, oh well… They look very unoffensive to me though. The compression mechanism on the Baseline line is superb.

    Why don’t you just get another Tumi, same model as before? Seems like it has worked for you for many years.

    Btw, my suitcase preferences are exactly the same as yours: soft-sided (so a hard no on Rimowa from me), two-wheeled, expandable.

    For personal items/backpack, I swear by RedOxx, but their bags are very rugged and definitely not the style you seem to prefer! They are however absolutely indestructible.

  54. I use TUMI as a laptop bag. Honestly, I got 4 of them, in any size. But I literally hate TUMI suitcases: The zippers are outside, so they break easily. And I had quite a few broken handles.

    I started to buy the mid-range RIMOWA suitcases and they work best for me.

    I just bought the “Cabin Essential” in black matte last week. Why?

    – Scratches are less prominent on a dark surface.
    – The “Cabin Essential” has a handle with 2 bars.
    – 36 litres packing volume.
    – size that will be cabin size for EVERY airline: 55 x 39 x 23 cm. They got a “Cabin Plus” but I would not risk it with your travel itinerary.
    – 4 wheels that work perfectly. No, I do not understand your argument for 2 wheels. I usually have a laptop bag or a soft bag that I just place on top of the RIMOWA. And with with an extra attachment for the suitcase handle so it will not fall off easily.

    It is quite pricey but I managed to get it with a 20% discount at €400 instead of €500. Too bad that RIMOWA dealers are not allowed to advertise specific RIMOWA discounts but 20% is what you will find on the internet if you look around:

    If you want a cheaper solution, try MUJI. It is a 4-wheeler as well, but it has a stop mechanism that you might like and the reviews for this one are awesome, and it gives you 35 litres packing space: “Hard Case Trolley (35L) With Stopper & Adjustable Carry-Bar”

    I cannot give you good advice on your second bag, since I would use one of my TUMI laptop bags. Usualy the TUMI Alpha 2 Expandable bag at 9.5 x 37 x 28 cm for my 13″ laptop.

  55. I’m with Ford with the “four wheels are better than two” philosophy, so no useful advice for the carryon. As for the personal item, one of my male colleagues has the Tumi Alpha Bravo Kings Backpack, pricey but very nice. I use the Tumi Voyageur Madrid duffel, billed as a women’s bag but I can see the crossover. It’s enormous at 14” x 22” x 8” but it collapses nicely, weighs only 2.3 pounds, fits under the seat provided it’s not overpacked and I have never been challenged by its size (although I have EXP and One World Emerald).

    It’s been a long time since you purchased new luggage so I strongly suggest you go to some luggage stores and look at all the new offerings – they’re better than ever!

  56. I’m a huge fan of AER, modern, sleek bags out of San Francisco. Their Travel Pack 2 is my backpack/personal item of choice for 1-2 day trips and its easy to connect it to my rollaboard for longer trips and it fits under the seat in front of me. I also like some of what Thule has put out but it can be a bit too sporty.

    I really wanted to get a two wheeled, aluminum Rimowa carry-on but never pulled the trigger and now they don’t make them anymore. I had a Tumi carry-on but moved over to TravelPro a few years ago because I go through these every few years and figured I could buy 3-4 travelpros (you can find them for less than $150 online) for the price of one Tumi bag. I too really dislike the way briggs and riley look. It reminds me of my grandparents luggage.

  57. Ben, I’m obsessed with this topic more than I am points and miles. Tom Bihn Synapse 25 is magical. Holds more than most 30 Liter packs somehow and changes the game in terms of organization. Check out Chase Reeves review on it on youtube. Also, backpack > wheels x 10 unless you have a physical challenge, and in your case (wrist), you would benefit immensely. I could talk forever on the topic, but I think that video review will suffice just fine. The fact that you don’t typically use a backpack is all the more reason to try one. I’ll send you mine to try if you’d like.

  58. Maybe it’s just me and my aesthetic, but every time I see a Tumi bag I think “you paid how much for that ugly thing?”. B&R isn’t much better either. My current carryon isn’t that great, but it sure looks better than any of those bags.

    For accessory bag/backpack/duffel, I was quite impressed by the Nomatic backpack that my coworker recently got. I’m generally pretty skeptical of internet startup brands like this that claim to have reinvented the wheel, but these backs look really well built and thoughtfully designed.

  59. @The nice Paul I like the concept of the G-Ro the big Wheels make a lot of sense but why to they have to include that ‘smart luggage’ charging station or at least make a version with out it. It just makes it not difficult if I ever want to check it in. When I travel I’m always carrying battery packs with me and having them integrated with my luggage, besides things need to be USB-C with power delivery no or it’s not good to me.

    I have two rolling carry ons one mandarina duck which is over 15 years old and seemingly indestructible and one Briggs and Riley rolling suiter. I’d happily recommend either of them, sanely mandarina duck only seem to do 4- wheel trolleys

    @lucky it’s a shame you didn’t look for a backpack/personal item in japan they have some really good stuff. A trip to any branch of Loft would have had you sorted.

  60. @Ed

    Yeah, I just ignore the smart gubbins in my G-ROs.

    They’ve just announced a new bag with no smart wiring, two large wheels plus two spinners – the SIX. It’s designed to be pushed. Maximum size for standard carryon.

    Not my cup of tea, but it might be ideal for someone.

  61. Since you travel a lot, I don’t see why you don’t try out Proteca. Japanese made, 5 year warranty, superior quality to Rimowa/Briggs. And you won’t look like everyone else who has the exact same Rimowa bag. They have a soft and hard product line, and I can speak from experience when I say that they will repair bags even without warranty.

  62. I have the previous version of your Tumi and still going strong. yours is 100% fixable and either FOC or minimal cost, so take it to the store.
    Or buy a new one (outlet stuff is cheaper also) – but really stick with Tumi. Can’t go wrong with it.

  63. Popular post for comments and I appreciate the thoughts on 2wheels v 4 since I sometimes envy the 4

    BUT that said, I’m a Briggs & Riley fan. I bought my Baseline in 1999 after I broke my arm but needed to travel and it was on sale. I’ve sent it in twice for repairs.

    My day pack which sits on the B&R with me holding the shoulder straps tight to the wheelie handle is a Northface Surge with all the compartments and computer sleeves you’ll need along with water bottle holders

  64. I got the Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox backpack two years ago and it perfectly fit my needs.

    When collapsed, it has a really small footprint, so it’s nice if you’re just roaming a city, but the main compartment is expandable, which allows it to comfortably fit a 13″ Laptop, something to drink, headphones and a small camera (I personally carry a Fujifilm camera which is definitely larger than the Sony RX series).

    So it works perfectly as personal item / carry on. It also has a flap to slide over your average luggage handle.

    Sadly they seem to have discontinued the exact model I’m referring to, I can only find some old stock in less favourable (i.e. flashy) colors.

    Maybe there is a newer version available. Either way I couldn’t help but recommend this particular one, as after 6+ month of looking for a suitable backpack / bag, this was the first to tick all the boxes.

  65. Eagle Creek. When it comes to luggage and packs I generally gravitate towards those that also make a name in outdoor brands (Osprey is another good one). I’ve had my Eagle Creek carry on roller bag for 10 years and you wouldn’t know it. It’s the max size for a carry on but does expand if you need to overs stuff it and check.

    I have the Eagle Creek cargo hauler for more hybrid trips as I like the fact it has a water proof compartment that collapses into the main compartment. This allows you to move dirty into clean without mixing the two. In a pinch it turns from a duffle into a backpack although I wouldn’t use it as one for long periods of time.

    For shorter trips I like my Osprey 46 porter. I don’t need to carry a separate pack then for my tablet/headphones and it is roomy enough for multiple nights. After using a backpack, navigating anything with a wheeled bag becomes a giant pain.

  66. You should bring the bag to a Tumi store anyway and ask about repairs without mentioning when you bought it. The last two times I had something repaired by Tumi I brought my receipt and they specifically did not want / need to look at it.

  67. It’s unlikely that there will be a RX1R3 given the Zeiss ZX1. There is only so much market out there for fixed lense full frame point and shoot, plus Zeiss did previous RX1 lenses so they are kind of a joint venture. Just buy a RX1R2 (or wait for ZX1 to be available)

  68. Are bindles back in yet? How cool would it be rocking into first class with a handkerchief tied to a stick.

  69. As much as I love B&R, my goodness that stuff is well built, I’ll give you a downside I haven’t seen mentioned yet: the stuff is so expensive that it makes your luggage a target for thieves.

    Beyond that I have 2 basic rules for luggage: do not buy black. Everyone has black. If there is a problem at the airport, finding your luggage is 100x harder if it is black like everyone else.

    The other rule is never, ever buy the 4 wheeled spinner luggage. The way the airlines treat the luggage, the wheels get broken off constantly. OTOH, the way B&R stands behind their luggage, if you are worried about breakage, that tips the scale back to B&R.

  70. I have that same Tumi, which I love, and I attach an incase slim icon backpack. The backpack has an outside padded access for my MacBook Pro. As noted above, Tumi will take care of your zippers, but if the wheel is bad and out of warranty, my friend has the Alpha that took the place of the one you and I have. It’s not bad. Seems a little bulkier, but also has more protection for the corners.

  71. I recently got the Nomad Lane Bento bag and I’d consider it my best travel purchase ever. It’s incredibly well designed and very high quality down to every last component. It’s perfect for a quick weekend trip but also is a great companion to a bigger roller bag. I’ve taken it on everything from quick day trips to 6 weeks traveling around the world and it’s just fantastic.

    Now the bummer… It’s currently sold out 🙁 If you can hold on for a bit longer on the weekender bag, I’d highly recommend it.

  72. Another vote for the Timbuk2. Love the bag for the compartments and capacity. Used it for the first time on most recent trip and was very impressed. Lots of well thought out storage spaces. It’s taking me a while to get used to going back to 2 wheels again, and its empty weight isn’t exactly super lightweight. The weight may be due to the full hard ‘back’ where the telescopic handle is house, but it makes for a much hardier product, unlike my horrendous experience with Eastpack Tranverz range, which failed after one short flight from LHR to LIS. Never going near that brand again.

    I also ended up with the Wingman carry-on Travel bag, which converts into a backpack or shoulder bag. Again, so many useful compartments and zipped areas.

  73. I’ll ditto what everyone else is saying. the briggs and riley is awesome. Maybe you don’t like the look of the short and squat one, but this one is just like the tumi:

    Couple that with something from Lo & Sons that slides over the handle. Super easy to travel with.

    Watch the video about what fits inside. You’ll be amazed.

  74. look at Mulholland Luggage out of SF. I’ve had a suede leather carry-on from them for probably 15 or more years and it’s the best bag I’ve ever had. About ten years ago one of the zippers broke so I sent it to them to repair. When it was ready I called them to give them a cc number to pay for it and they told me there was no charge, that they take pride in their products. I’ve been talking them up ever since

  75. TravelPro! I’ve had mine (international carryon size) for 8 years, taking 12-14 round trips a year. Fits everything I need for up to 2 weeks, expands if needed, and always fits in the overhead bin. It survived being lugged through the cobblestone streets of Cesky Krumlov in the pouring rain and keeps on rolling as smooth as ever.

  76. Look, what’s not being said here is that labels like Tumi and Travelpro have different levels of durability and build quality.

    What is bring said brings me hope. Where I live, it’s very hard to find luggage that’s not some kind of four-wheel spinner bag. To someone trying to buy a two-wheeler, sales staff deploy the “idiot old person” treatment. But, yes, I sometimes need to drag my luggage 1 km before getting to the airport train

  77. Bring nothing. Buy everything on the spot. Charge with whatever signup bonus cards you have.

    See, you save money on luggage!

  78. Hi, I am a luggage import manufacturer (we use one of the same factories as B&R) and also, a very frequent traveler. Although we make luggage I only use Tumi myself on the road. My main bag is a Tumi Alpha 22″ 2 wheel upright bought in 2012. Since then, I’ve put about 1,000,000 miles on it The bag looks great except for some unavoidable scuffs and works perfectly. The good news about Tumi is they use a screw construction as opposed to riveted so defective parts can be easily replaced such as the wheel problem you mention. Just take your bag to a Tumi store and they will expedite it free of charge to the repair center in Atlanta. Your corner wheels togtchwer with the housings can be replaced as well as zipper pulls and anything else that is bothering you. If they are out of parts for your model, theyy will give you a very generous allowance towards picking out a new one. Just one note of caution: The new 22″ Alphas are a bit smaller than the last generation….not in the 22″ height but they are narrower. I use every inch of packing space on a long trip and a 22″ upright. You can find great deals on new and gently used Tumi 1 generation old product on eBay. I bought my wife a near perfect 22″ Alpha for $85.00. If you prefer, you can send the bag to Tumi: Just call Customer Service (number is on Google).

    Regarding your second carry on, the bag looks great. You may wish to just get some small organizer cubes to keep everything where you want. I have olpted for a Tumi backpack in ballistic nylon as my second. Everyone is different but the backpack works for me and has lots of sections and compartments.

    If I am adding a cruise or occasion that requires hanging items, you can triple fold them ant put in your Tumi (each piece in its own dry cleaner’s plastic). or use a simple unstructured soft garment bag, no frame except for the metal top poece which supports the handle and the garment stay. I have a Hartmann ballistic which has long enough handles to hang forward from the upright 3 stage posts. It weighs nothing and can take 1 to 10 hangers, the more hangers, the more bulk. Safe travels and hope this helps!

  79. @Joseph N. : what is your evidence that B&R are targeted by thieves? I can guarantee you thieves would go after Rimowa and Tumi way before B&R. B&R are an extremely well built product and well known by travelers but not a brand people brag about. I personally have 6 B&T bags that are checked all the time for the last 10 years and they were never targeted by thieves.

  80. Despite you saying you don’t like them – i’ve had my B&R baseline international 2 wheel carry on since 2010 – it gets used and abused almost every week of the year – zips still all perfect – in spite of overstuffing. Wheels still go round without sticking or squeaking. And the compression system is always there should you need it. North Face Surge back
    Pack a recent addition – seems ok but only 6 months in!

  81. Has anyone had experience replacing Tumi wheels? My carry on is out of warranty and the local store told me I’ll need to send it to Tumi for repair. Surely there’s an easier and cheaper way?

  82. I’d highly recommend the Tumi T-Pass Business Class Brief Pack. It has a padded laptop sleeve that can be accessed separately from the main body of the bag so you can overstuff your bag without making it impossible to get your laptop out and also has a slip on the back so you can slide it over the handle of your rolling bag so you don’t have to carry it on your back if you don’t want to.

  83. So today I took the initiative to head off to Macy’s and JCPenny near me, after thoroughly examining my TravelPro Crew5 22″ bag and figuring out what I wanted to change. Except for the weight (9.8 pounds empty), honestly I didn’t like a single new bag I saw there and decided to stick with my Crew5 until it falls apart—which I sincerely doubt will happen, given 10+ years of moderate use and its still in great shape. Just one small fabric repair in all that time.

    I learned my lesson about spinners last year when my Eagle Creek and I went to Prague (and Cesky Krumlov, too! @C) and was navigating cobblestones with the spinner. Two-wheel soft sided (or a duffel) is the only way to go for the way I travel.

    If I had to do it over again (say for a lost/destroyed bag, etc), I’d go B&R for sure. Yeah, they’re kinda fugly and heavy, but the reviews and loyalty of road warriors speaks to their durability. And if you’re a million-miler plus, that’s the name of the game. I want a boring looking bag, to be honest. It doesn’t attract any attention.

  84. Dude with all the publicity you bring you could probably get everyone of the brands to give you a free bag and you can review and test all bags on all your upcomong flights?
    Then when your done you can give them away to readers like myself for suggesting such things haha 🙂

  85. Ebag motherlode roller 2 wheel and a nice small/medium backpack is the way to go. You’ll thank me later.

  86. If you are so good at taking pictures of the dog, then please post more pictures of the dog!!!

    We love dogs more than your bloggers 😉

  87. @Ben I agree with those who have pointed you toward Wirecutter, the one source (along with Consumer Reports) that is 100% trustworthy in their well vetted product evaluations. So, if nouveau riche prestige labels are not important to your self esteem, Wirecutter recommends the Travelpro Platinum Elite (N.B. There is a 2 wheeled version, see link below). Here’s what they write:

    “We’ve tested 47 bags over the past five years and are convinced that the Travelpro Platinum Elite is the best carry-on luggage for most travelers. It packs five days’ worth of clothes into standard US carry-on dimensions1 and has premium build-quality touches you’d expect from a $500 bag at about half the price. It’s a bag that you can rely on for life, even if it’s damaged by airlines—a rarity at any price.

    Travelpro’s Platinum line of luggage has held our top pick for almost every iteration of this carry-on luggage review because it addresses the concerns of most travelers at an affordable price: It features smooth-rolling, user-replaceable wheels; solid and comfortable, telescoping handles; and a hard-wearing nylon exterior propped up by a solid internal chassis, all backed by a lifetime warranty that covers airline damage and shipping to the repair facility (as long as you register the luggage within 120 days of purchase, which is easy to do on any smartphone), along with a full catalog of other user-replaceable parts. The Elite only improves on past iterations in the Platinum line by reducing the size of the stowed handle (which used to jut out about an inch) and adding a second zippered, exterior pocket for easy access on the go and a USB pass-through extension that lets you insert your own battery pack for charging your phone. And at 7.8 pounds when empty, this carry-on bag is about half a pound lighter than its predecessor.

    The spinner luggage configuration stands out in particular because of its MagnaTrac wheels, which magnetically snap into a forward position when the bag is moved. The small tracking assistance makes a large difference when you’re navigating the Elite through a crowded airport or down a busy street. It also has an easy-to-use, removable garment bag. If you prefer more packing capacity (the equivalent of squeezing in two more sweatshirts), larger wheels that run more smoothly over rough terrain, and a more protective built-in garment folder,2 we also like the two-wheeled 22-inch version, especially for longer trips. But after several years of testing experience, we think the superior maneuverability of spinner luggage, along with improvements in manufacturing processes, make four-wheel bags a better choice for most people.

    Measuring 23 by 13.5 by 9 inches, the Elite carry-on bag hits the upper margins of actual carry-on size limits and could get you gate-checked by an overzealous agent. However, it fits into most standard-size baggage caddies at check-in, including American’s and United’s. I’ve personally traveled with a Platinum line bag this size for more than 45,000 miles spread across 50 flights, from regional to long-haul to international routes, and never had an issue fitting within gate-side luggage sizers. If you’re nervous about getting caught at the gate or often fly in very small regional planes, Travelpro also makes a slightly smaller, 20-inch Platinum Elite as well as a slimmer International configuration, but these hold less (naturally) and lack a suiter insert.”

    Link to 2 wheeled:

    Link to 4 wheeled:

  88. For the personal item: the Tom Bihn Pilot. It’s perfect for the needs you outline. It’s great for a laptop, one front pocket is perfect for an the over-ear Bose headphones; the other fits a wallet, small camera, etc. There’s a waterbottle pocket in between the two front pockets: that can also be used for easy access to a small camera (like the Sony RX-whatever, which I’ve stashed in there before.) And it slips over a handle. And it’s made for abuse and will last.

    For the main bag: I agree with your hatred of B&R. I borrowed my partner’s for a trip (whatever the largest carry-on version is) and hated it the entire time. It was very heavy even when empty. It was hard to maneuver. The suiter and built-in organization was utterly useless for me. And I felt like some sad, middle management person wheeling it around.

  89. Another vote to check out the Peak Design Everyday Backpack. Built as a camera bag, really well made, and looks nice. I think my favorite feature is the way the organization system works, it’s super flexible and you can configure it on the fly in no time – you don’t have to un-velcro little dividers and stuff like that. Try to watch a video, because all the features aren’t immediately obvious looking at it.

    I use the everyday backpack for all my trips now, photo or work oriented. Combined with some small mesh pouches I use to further organize my work stuff, it’s great. The field pouch is also nice, and the tech pouch looks nice, but I haven’t bought one yet.

  90. For what it is worth, I have an eBags backpack (not sure if it is the professional or professional weekender) for work and I really like it. It is slim with a lot of compartments for odds and ends. Plenty of space for laptop, camera, passport, etc.

  91. Oh thank god. A comments section that has real solid recommendations and is not shoving poorly made stupidly popular social media-bags down your throat (coughAwaycoughTPGcough)

  92. And- wow! how many suggestions there are?!
    Backpack is the only way to go. Anything more is too much.

  93. For a personal item, I recommend the Filson 24-hr bag. I use it as a hybrid gym+work bag in NYC, and as my personal item when flying. Much more space than the Away Everywhere Bag, which I also tried. If you want more space, there is also the 48-hr bag.

  94. (You probably have) Though I would suggest looking through Samsonite, American Tourister and Antler because they all have some good stuff (Antler especially I love their products, durable stylish, classy and efficient)

    But here are a few recommendations

    Also agree with the other reader who said the Away ‘every where bag’ I don’t have one yet though recently ordered one and am very excited, It slips on to your suitcase, has plenty of compartments (laptop, charger, cords etc) is very stylish available in a plethora of colours and is made out of high quality durable material (leather) and has the option of adding a shoulder strap which you could strap to your suitcase (as well as hand held) and also has a luggage sleeve.

  95. For the hand carry bag check out the range of Porter bags at the Monocle shop. Well built, sharp looking and best of all very intelligently designed. I bought on recently that has e different compartments to keep things organised including an easy access central compartment from which your laptop can be quickly removed and returned for security checks.

  96. After 20 years and a million miles, I wish I had purchased Briggs and Riley back in 1999. It is guaranteed for your lifetime! They repair or replace! My advice is “Buy Cheap, Buy Twice! ” (or 8 or 9 times!)

  97. I’ve had a Briggs and Riley carry on for 10+ years and it still looks and works like new, even with years of abuse. Highly recommend.

  98. I have not used a roller bag in 15 years. Deuter backpacks with front zippers and packing cubes can get you everywhere you need to be in good order and last forever. They are soft-sided and slim so 2 weeks of clothes will fit in any overhead of any plane. Gotta run to catch a train? Gotta jump into a car at a packed airport arrivals lane? Gotta get up/down stairs? Gotta lean against something in a packed, lounge-free terminal? The ease of a well-built, well-loaded backpack cannot be beat.

  99. I don’t love the company name but it seems that the Aviator 40l by may be a good choice with one of their backpacks that has the hookup system, maybe the Avenue.

  100. TravelPro Magna 2 and a Red Oxx backpack. This combo has worked well, for me, for a few years now.

  101. I’ve had B&r for almost 10 years. It’s in great shape. I’ve had to replace a couple of small things on it, but I feel confident knowing if anything ever happens to it, it will be replaced. Buying Tumi is an absolute waste of money. You’re paying for a terrible brand.

  102. I swear by this bag (I have in in dark green color though):
    it fits much more than it seems to and very conveniently designed (you can open the top compartment without opening the whole bag)…it’s inexpensive yet durable…
    my 2nd one is this:
    it’s also very conveniently designed, very light and fits a lot (and I like it that it rolls by your side, not behind you like the previous one)…the downside – it’s expensive, so I take it only where I pretty much know I would not have to check it in…

  103. Glad to hear I’m not the only one infuriated by those cursed yellow bands of bumps everywhere in Japan! Fail to see their purpose. Answers, anyone?

  104. And now, for something completely different, a National Geographic “camera” backpack, in which I carry an iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Air/2, iPad 6g, and a load of accessories in (velcro-reconfigurable) compartments:

    (This will hold a 13″/15″ laptop in the compartment that holds the iPad Pro)

    If you need a still-larger backpack, they also sell:

  105. I beg you to go to a store to try their wheels. You’d be amazed by how quiet and high quality the suitcase is.

    This is a Taiwanese brand called Departure. It is a supplier to Rimowa’s wheels. Not the prettiest design, but the handles and wheels are likely the highest quality in the market.

    You might have to come to Asia to feel the wheels yourself. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.

  106. Bose is coming out with BRAND NEW noise cancelling headphones-the 700- on June 30, but you can pre order them on their website, so now would be the perfect time to get a new pair.

    Duffle Bag you should try a leather one that will last you a lifetime-Ghurka, Coach, or if you wanna do it like tpg himself-Tom Ford. 😉

    Backpacks either a “technical” one like Peak Design or a luxurious one that will also last for a long time-look at Prada or LV.

    Roller bags Im not sure since you want 2 wheels and dont like hard sided, otherwise I’d just say Away or Rimowa.

  107. It seems like everyone here will only consider a wheeled bag yet I see many comments related to speed bumps, cobblestones, etc. The solution is simple – a medium sized backpack like the Osprey Farpoint. You may end up looking like a backpacker but the ability to go anywhere easily, especially stairs far outweighs those concerns in my opinion. I am 58 years old and travel most of the year.

  108. “Amazingly they consistently let me take both on a plane.”
    Of course Ben since you always fly Business class.
    Try to take both of your bags on RyanAir in Europe and let us know.

  109. For backpacks, I am a huge fan of Lo&Sons- I love their travel as well as casual backpacks. I traveled for a few months last year with my largeish Dell and it fit in the Lo&Sons backpack – which fit under my seat. I love how the backpack is set up and it does a great job of protection and has a ton of pockets which works well for chargers and other random inflight items. I have the Lo&Sons Hanover ( and it does a great job. I had previously bought a different bag which had more protection but I’ve been using this now exclusively for a lot of travel and it does a great job. It also easily packs on to any overhead carry-on so that works great as well.

    I think having a key carryon/overhead bag is important as well. Last year I upgraded my luggage to a 360 degree wheel bag from just a straight pull bag. I can’t overestimate how great of an upgrade this was. When you are traveling for months on end, this is such a key upgrade. My current overhead carryon is a Samsonite that has a 360 degree wheel. I don’t know if the brand matters but, for me, the 360 degree wheel was just amazing for my travel.

  110. Just to follow up. Having a backpack with pockets is key for me. I am always freaked out I am going to lose my keys so I love that my Lo&Sons backpack has a key hook & pocket that lets me put my keychain in and secure it. I clip it, zip it and forget about it for the trip. Pockets are key. As well as having a structured pack. For me, a backpack is perfect. It is easy to carry or to slip onto my carryon. If you have other priorities, just need to find a bag that maximizes those. Other people may be different but after traveling for several months last year this works best for me.

  111. I just love all my suitcases, weekenders and other bags from the Como based company Bric`s
    Elegant, very long lasting and should fit every travel need! One of the small weekenders is my every day bag and it could not look better and fresher after five years of constant use.

  112. @ Glenn t: it is a guidance system for blind people, to help them know where to go and warn them of obstacles and potential dangers like stairs and roads.

  113. I rotate through several ( mid range, not designer) but have a soft spot for an ancient Travelpro. Whilst it does make me look a bit like Pa Kettle , I don’t care about that. More importantly: no one wants to steal it, it’s indestructible, cheap as chips. Delsey is my usual alternate.

  114. Ben,
    Tumi is/was a great brand of quality, BUT, huge Samsonite conglomerate bought it over, which as anyone in the manufacturing industry knows, this will mean cuts on the product.

    Already all zipper pulls have become a problem. Yes some stores will replace, but not all. Meanwhile a black wire twist pull can be used effectively.

    My imagination is curtailed to think about food mergers and what is going to be cut.

    Meanwhile, good luck.

  115. I’d look into a sturdy TravelPro (e.g. Platinum Magna, Platinum Elite, or Crew Expert) with a J hook or a clip for your personal bag.

    For the smaller bag, they look a little geeky but the eBags Professional laptop backpack series is really useful. I personally use the junior size one but the slim also seems like a good option. Quite the pragmatic option though and not the most fashionable, even when ordered in a soft grey.

  116. Have Tumi fix your old bag. What’s the point of buying a high-end bag if you don’t take advantage of their reparability?

    That said, I’ve had a Bottega Veneta weekend duffel for a decade and it’s in beautiful shape.

    For two wheeled roll-aboards look at Hideo Wakamatsu’s tarpaulin bag.

  117. Re: those yellow bumps on the ground in Japan….they’re for blind people. We also have them here in Korea.

  118. Might not be available anymore but the Victorinox Werks Traveler 5.0 is fantastic. Great capacity (45 liters), lots of pockets, accessories for packing a suit if needed, and what I really like, it is LIGHT (7.3 lbs). Was the lightest weight, greatest capacity, international airline compliant carry-on I could find after checking many brands.

    Please be sure to let us know what you ultimately buy and why.

  119. In the same camp as Paolo. I used to sell and service luggage, including TravelPro. I’ve updated my pieces over the years but still find myself invariably grabbing a TravelPro Crew Series 20″ two-wheeled rollaboard that is going on 23 years old. It refuses to die, has never been serviced, all original zippers, wheels and handles, no scuffs or obvious visible signs of wear. It isn’t pretty or trendy, but neither is an old reliable workhorse.

  120. I travel with a single bag – the Osprey Farpoint 40L. Suitable for 7 days or 7 months, with some creative packing and being comfortable with living lightly. Great quality, lifetime return guarantee and comfortable to travel with. That’s the bag I recommend to all my users and clients. I receive excellent feedback.

    I know you like the wheeled bags, but I have never been fond of them for a variety of practical reasons.

  121. Regarding the yellow bumps, they’re all over San Diego and in other California cities – they’re for the disabled. I’ve never had issues rolling over them with my spinner luggage, I just tilt it in two wheels and pull it behind me. There is also a weird highly textured flooring treatment inside the PHX AA terminal which was not well thought out but as far as I know is not related to disabled passengers.

  122. I own the same Tumi bag since 2005. It in a bad shape, but when I know that I have to check in my luggage, I use that. My main carry on bag is Rimowa Classic since 2015. It’s sturdy and handsome. I haven’t had any problem, but then I don’t travel as much as you do. It has been carried all over the world and checked in at the gate a few times. I covered dings and scratches with stickers that I buy as souvenirs. I have been told that Rimowa luggage is cheaper in Germany.

  123. I’m checking out many of the above suggestions. Still haven’t found a clamshell opening backpack (like Tortuga and others) that slides over a luggage handle. Also not a fan of the huge pockets some of them have on the waist straps. I’m a woman with a bad back so I check my main bag. I just want to be able to carry plenty of stuff on the plane/trains with me and not hurt my back walking through airports and to hotels.

  124. With the AMEX offer for Rimowa (20,000 points for $500 purchase) why would you get anything else? The smaller carryon in the polycarbonate version with NO ZIPPERS.

    Blue matte finish. Love the aluminum original but I am really afraid of being forced to gate check it on a regional flight.

    Arlo Skye is another option. Very stylish. And of course Away.

  125. @Lucky
    I think you may have gotten the camera part mixed up. You mentioned that the “RXII” is coming out. There are only two top of the line RX-series cameras that are second generation; the RX1RII, which is kind of similar to the RX100 line but it has a different lens and a much larger full frame sensor, and was released back in 2015 I believe, and the RX0II, an action camera with the RX100’s 1 inch lens and was released earlier this year. I’m sure that the camera you wrote above is the RX0II, which again, isn’t a premium point and shoot, but instead is an action camera. The camera I most likely think you will purchase is the RX100VI, which was released last year, and retains the controls of your III, but has a new 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 lens.

  126. Broken record, but get the B&R. It’s boring and black, just like your (Though the new ones are more attractive.)

    Then go spend the money you’ll save on never having to buy another roller bag on an under seat statement piece.

    The last time I sent my original, circa 2005 B&R in for repair, they sent it back with the next-generation expansion system retrofitted into it. For free. When the wheel started to squeak, they mailed me a tool-free repair kit at no charge. And they cover airline damage just the same as defects.

    I eventually did buy a new one — but only because my boyfriend needed a suitcase!

  127. Osprey Ozone 22 (wheeled) or Osprey Meridian with detachable daypacks. Main bag fits nicely in overhead bins, daypack fits under the seat. Easy to detach, durable, and comes with a lifetime warranty!

    Took a family of 6 on a 10 day trip to Europe with a combination of 4 of these Ospreys. Worked everywhere (planes, buses, trains, rental cars).

  128. @Andrew…. WHO in the world would name their company “Douchebags”? I thought you were pulling a fast one….. but, holy cow, that company does exist! LOL

  129. AA flight attendant for 29 years. On my personal time I carry eBays motherload suitcase and backpack. They are fantastic. Fit in the sizer etc and the back pack is like a tote but has straps for converting to pack for Europe/trains etc. would never go bag to anything else. Soft and easily overstuffed if necessary

  130. Get a backpack or duffel bag that has a sleeve that can slip over the handle of your luggage so it rests on top of your luggage. I have a Perry Ellis backpack that is not the biggest bag you can get but it does slip over the luggage handle and has four side pockets that I use for electronic accessories and toiletries. Using those four side pockets saves me a lot of space on the inside of my carryon.

  131. TravelPro 21 inch (weighs a little over 5 lbs) bag on sale at BJ’s (Arlington, VA) this afternoon for $59.95. Had larger size for – I think – $89.95

  132. Tumi t-pass back pack
    Briggs & Reily international upright
    Hook+Albert Gen 2 Garment Weekender

  133. My tips, fix if you can. If it’s zipper pulls vs zippers you can get that fixed. Most wheels are rollerblade wheels that you can easily swap.

    Briggs, I have two large garment bags that I got on a bargain basement sale when the seller was going out of business. Great product but just pricey. Their rollaboards keep suits in great shape but don’t give you a lot of space.

    For a rollerboard, I love a good travel pro. Gets the job done and built for reliability. Just be mindful that there are consumer versions and crew versions. Some versions with the word crew on them are really consumer bags.

    Tumi is overpriced and designed for people that want the brand. I have a handful of Tumi bags and use them when I need to be flashy. Durability is not a high point.

  134. Felipe’s comment on Aer got no uptake but it’s definitely worth a look. American company, quality product, stylish, small committed team that turns out really well designed basic luggage (bags and carry-on, no wheelies).

    Even if you already have a carry on you can “add” to it with their sling bag 2; ostensibly for the gym this is the perfect small second bag when you only have carry on. The side zipper is perfect for passport, wallet, phone (and I add a pen). Inside your laptop fits easily. There are two interior mesh pockets; I put a pair of sunglasses in one. There is a bottom zip compartment too, which you could put shoes in, but I usually shove charging cables and adapters. I’m in year four of one piece, in perfect condition, not a mark of wear and tear.

    Aer has a lot of incredible products. Whenever I have their gear I get asked about them.

  135. Love love my G-RO. I agree that it’s the one of the best out there if not THE best.

    The two wheeler is very solidly built, is cavernous inside and still has some thoughtful organization. I can for sure fit more in this than my previous TravelPro carry on.

    The best part is that the size of the wheels makes the bag feel lighter than it is when you are rolling it, which is awesome. I don’t use the battery pack but it does allow you to hook up a battery and then charge from the plugs on top.

    The new G-RO SIX seems to combine the best of spinner maneuverability and the two wheeler rolling when needed, I would consider it if I didn’t already have the original (holding up very well over 3-4 years).

    Their backpacks or the expandable Nomatic laptop backpack (expandable from 20L to 30L) I think would be great additions for a personal item.

    The lockable zippers on the backpacks and built-in TSA zippier locks on the G-RO are a big plus too.

    They have frequent sales (25-40% off). And if anyone wants a referral code you can use this as well to save when they aren’t having a sale:

  136. Briggs and Riely! I did yell at my screen!
    I have had mine for 10 years: only 1. 8 million miles, however I travel 4 times a month (RT) and I live in hotels 155 days a year. I have had handles, wheels, zippers all replaced and the bag still looks good. I just looked at it just now and it still looks good and it is that Olive green that I thought would look like…. after a few trips. It cleans up nice. AND B&R has offered to upgrade me everytime I send it for a repair! What a deal!
    I cannot see how you can own anything else the way you travel!! Come on you have the money! Buy one if you don’t like it return it!
    WOW Lucky Come on!

  137. At the risk of being late to all this, I want to second the sole, earlier recommendation for Lat56 Road Warrior. I have an RW_01.1 from the 2015 launch that’s holding up well after 15-20 r/t, 60-75k miles per year, plus a lot of street travel between hotel-office-train station/metro.
    The suit packing system is awesome for those who still need to wear suit jackets and blazers.
    Distinctive looks, lightweight (8lbs/3.7kg empty), and rock solid. I can’t say enough.

  138. Hey there! I used to face the same problem 2 years ago. I use to travel to various countries with my family. Note that I have two kids aged 4 and 6. So, no doubt I carry massive luggage all the time. Making it over is complex. I used to roll up the clothes that take minimum space. The most needed things on the side pockets. And I use Waterproof luggage. Search amazon for a suitable one.

  139. Packing cubes changed my life. But then the problem I had was we’d have no place to put all the packing cubes when we were in a hotel for a while. So then I got this thing and it is perfect. I just pull it out and hang it in a closet and I’m ready to go.

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