If someone attacks me, I'll knock them over with my 50 lbs grad student rolling bag of doom!!!
September 25, 2010 9:44 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a rolling bag~!

I'm a grad student and I also teach two classes. Between the classes I teach and the classes I take, I end up with a lot of stuff to carry to school each day. I have an office, so at least I'm not lugging it all over campus, but it's the getting to the office and leaving the office at night that becomes a pain. I often leave campus around 9 pm and I don't feel like it's a good idea to be walking around in the dark like that, with my arms weighed down with my shoulder bag, a heavy laptop bag, and totebag filled with misc papers. And with my phone in my hand, I'm pretty much useless and defenseless.

Anyway, I decided to get a rolling bag to solve this whole problem. But I can't seem to find one that I like. I admit that I'm picky. I'm not really into the bags that look like backpacks (though, if it's cute enough I might consider it) or the standard black rolling laptop bag. And from a more practical standpoint, I do have quite a bit of stuff, so I doubt a laptop bag would be big enough anyway.

I thought of just getting a rolling bag like the kind you'd take to the airport, but most of the ones I've found are too big or look very...travel-ly?

So please help me find a bag! Being a grad student, I don't have a that big of a price range, but I won't specify anything, because I don't want to limit what you guys might suggest.

Design-wise: I like light colors, pastels, and also jewel tones. I don't like animal prints (i've seen bunches of rolling animal-print totes -__-). I also like cute things veryyyyy much, but I guess cute is subjective, so maybe that's not really useful info.

posted by joyeuxamelie to Shopping (13 answers total)
A couple of my coworkers use these, they're pretty big and super cute.
posted by lannanh at 10:08 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

e-bags has some cute ones. I could swear I've seen a similar question here before, but my search-fu is failing.
posted by dogmom at 10:30 PM on September 25, 2010

Ok, not quite your snowflake, but there may be good ideas here.
posted by dogmom at 10:38 PM on September 25, 2010

Or this
posted by lannanh at 10:41 PM on September 25, 2010

Get a bicycle trailer instead. This model, the Burley Travoy, can be carted about by hand as easily as behind a bike. You can use the stylin' luggage designed for it, or strap your own indie-cred bags to it. If zombies lurch out at you from the underbrush, just drop the handle and high-tail it... or since it's designed to work at high speeds, hang on and haul butt.

Also, you can hook it up to a bike, which may be convenient if the campus is huge or your living arrangements are nearby.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:51 PM on September 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

How about a Zuca? They're mainly designed for travel and what not, but they're highly customizeable.
posted by arishaun at 1:46 AM on September 26, 2010

I think that if the design element is really important to you, you have two viable options - a rolling tote, which comes from the "grandma shopper" heritage and tends to be available in colors and patterns, or a rolling backpack for kids, because you'll have vastly more selection for cute than with the adult styles. Unfortunately, rolling turtle / bunny / cuteness backpacks for adults are pretty thin on the ground but finding a kids one big enough to serve your needs is going to be a problem.

Are you crafty? Because if this really bothered me, I'd buy a generic rolling tote bag, top stitch panels in a fabric I liked over the outward faces, and work from there. (Someone really needs to open an Etsy shop with this as a product...)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:05 AM on September 26, 2010

It's far from pretty, but since you only want it for to and fro the car, maybe something like this? I see teachers at my son's school who have to go from classroom to classroom using them quite a bit, and it folds down to take up hardly any space when not in use.
posted by lemniskate at 5:52 AM on September 26, 2010

And since I am apparently all about the not-cute-but-cheap, this rollaway tool bag from Harbor Freight might be an option as well.
posted by lemniskate at 5:54 AM on September 26, 2010

I just wanted to pop in to say that you should try to look at the bags (or at least something of the same size) in person before buying -- many of the rolling briefcases/laptop bags just don't have that much space -- especially if you have to carry any books at all.

Rolling totes are great but there's no organization at all -- everything just gets dumped in one bag. (Same for rolling duffels, though there may be more organization in those and they can be more fashionable.) Backpacks on wheels seem to have the best blend of space and organization, but I agree that they're not stylish. And rolling briefcases can be super stylish and have lots of organization but, again, not much space.

I think there's probably a tradeoff here, so other than looks, what is the most important feature to you? Having lots of extra space? Being able to organize your stuff? A dedicated laptop compartment (most travel-type bags won't have this)?
posted by devinemissk at 6:45 AM on September 26, 2010

Crumpler has a good selection of bags. Only 3 rollers, but they seem designed around organization rather than "one big pocket".
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:04 AM on September 26, 2010

I have a rolling crate - this would be the deluxe version since it has a lid and could be used as a seat which mine doesn't.
It isn't very cute but it protects delicate stuff (like laptops because I can be klutzy) and keeps paper stuff organized. I especially like that it folds very flat when I don't need it.
posted by jaimystery at 7:42 AM on September 26, 2010

I would search for craft and/or scrapbooking rolling totes. These will have various pockets and also come in nifty patterns.
posted by vespabelle at 10:37 AM on September 26, 2010

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