What companies make good lightweight luggage?
October 21, 2004 2:13 PM   Subscribe

TravelFilter: What companies make good lightweight luggage?

The dilemma: I'm going to China for a business-and-pleasure trip. I'm there for several weeks and in numerous climates, so I need a decent size bag for all the stuff I need to bring. I also need to pack one or two business suits.

The kicker is that China has strict baggage restrictions on its airlines: 107" maximum length+width+height, and 44 lbs. maximum weight. My current suitcases are heavy, durability-oriented luggage, so with weight at a premium, I need to buy some new (preferably cost-conscious) bags.

What lightweight suitcases should I consider? I'd like something on wheels and with a few useful pockets. I've seen a few options for full-size bags that weigh around 10 pounds, but I'm not familiar with the brands.
posted by werty to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Tumi is good; Kipling is good; the L.L. Bean luggage is good; the Land's End luggage is good.

I have now given you my feedback on the luggage that is owned by me and my husband and our parents and our brothers. My husband and I have all Kipling luggage; I have had some of my Kipling bags for at least twelve years, and they're incredibly sturdy.

However, here's a site that has reviews of luggage from people other than me.

Have fun in China! I envy you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:16 PM on October 21, 2004

Rick Steves has some pretty neat carry-on bags...maybe not big enough for what you're looking for. Maybe get two of those roll-ons?
posted by jacobsee at 3:20 PM on October 21, 2004

Is that check-in, or carry-on, or both? I'm assuming you can check 20kgs and then carry on more.

I often try and carry-on only. I've had a Tumi-Dakota cabin roller for about three years, it's been great. It's been hard wearing, and you can cram a lot in. It fits into overhead bins lengthways rather than sideways, which is very convenient, and also stops you looking like a dork as you try and shove a large bag in. The longest I've lived out of this is about 5 weeks.

You might want a garment bag for the suits, I think, or else you'll wince every time you cram them somewhere they're not meant to go. Then more clothes can go in the garment bag.

You can also 'pack small.' I'm increasingly a fan of those 'high tech/moisture wicking fibre' garments from camping and sports shops. They're comfortable, pack up small, can be washed and drip-dried very easily, look smart and wrinkle free after they've been hung up, you can layer them for different climates, etc. Any article of clothing now comes with its high tech, lightweight equivalent; e.g. you can save a bunch of space/weight just with thin underwear and socks.

Finally bear in mind that you could also probably buy most everyday clothes in China cheaper, and discard them when you don't need them.
posted by carter at 3:35 PM on October 21, 2004

So these two hyenas have to go to the airport, to catch a flight to go on holiday.

On the way to the airport, and worried about the quality of airline food, they decide to pack some snacks, and so they stop and pick up any road-kill they see lying by the side of the road. They do quite well, and soon they have half a dozen mice, some rabbits, a couple of snakes, and a racoon hanging off their belts.

They get to the airport, check their suitcases in, go through security, and get to the gate. Pretty soon the flight is called, but before they can board, the gate attendant stops them, and tells them that they can't get on. "Whyever not?", asks one of the hyenas.

"I'm sorry sir, but you're only allowed two pieces of carrion per person," says the attendant.

posted by carter at 3:47 PM on October 21, 2004

Onebag has some good information for you. I spent a long time trying to find a bag small enough for my week long trips to Europe. I finally setteled on a bag from Eddie Bauer. I'm not sure it's going to last a lifetime, but it's done well enough so far.

Can't find it on their website, but it's worth looking at a few stores like this. They'll often have what you want for a very good price.
posted by daver at 4:41 PM on October 21, 2004

I totally agree with doing the Columbus thing. Bring your suits and your shoes a few changes of clothes, and buy the rest there. I have a couple good high quality t-shirts I got there for something around 50 cents a piece. Typical tourist fare but of all my t-shirts from that era it's the only one not to have any holes in it. Also think about fedexing your stuff to your hotel. I've never had experience with doing that internationally but it is an option.
posted by geoff. at 5:51 PM on October 21, 2004

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