Where in New York should I buy some luggage?
December 2, 2010 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Where in New York should I buy some luggage? And what kind?

I need to buy two large suitcases, preferably with rollers. They need to be pretty resilient, and (consequently) they don't have to be the cheapest available--though I don't think I'm ready for Globe-Trotter prices, either.

I have seen this thread, which has given me some ideas of brands to look out for--more suggestions are welcome. But more precisely, where would you buy these things in NYC? Is Macy's the best bet? (It's certainly nice and close to Penn Station, which is convenient for me.)

Possibly relevant, to anyone who suggests I should buy online instead: I will be leaving the country with these bags, permanently, just before Christmas. If I order online, I need to be sure they will arrive within a week so I know how much of my stuff needs to be shipped rather than taken on the plane, and there will be little or no leeway for dealing with any problems. ("But I ordered CANARY YELLOW!") This is why I think I'll be better off buying them in-store, but I'd be happy to hear about on-line options if you really think that would work.

posted by lapsangsouchong to Shopping (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I highly, highly recommend ebags.

They seem to be running some kind of free two-day shipping deal if you sign up for a service you then have to remember to cancel in a month. Might be worth it. Also, 20% off lots of stuff this week.

I have two different rollie bags from them and some toiletry kits and love them all. (Though I'm annoyed they quit making the cool collapsible luggage.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:20 PM on December 2, 2010

If you don't have extremely specific needs, Century 21 has a great luggage section. If all you need is a couple of affordable decent quality rolling suitcases, that's where I'd go.
posted by Sara C. at 3:27 PM on December 2, 2010

In a similar timing/situation to yours, I went to the Burton store in Soho. I freakin' love my Burton luggage and I love that store despite not being a skater or snowboarder or in any other way their target market. I've had one of them for four years, another for three after getting another one. They're both tough, functional, dependable, problem-free and yet clearly easy to resolve problems if they were to arise. You can look at them their bags on their site to see if they seems workable to you.
posted by xueexueg at 3:42 PM on December 2, 2010

Last time I had to get new luggage, I went to Ross Dress for Less and picked up a SwissGear to check and a Samsonite carryon. They've been fine and the price was reasonable. You'll have to weed through a lot of chaff, but they do have decent luggage.

The EBags lifetime warranty, BTW, is amazing. If you go that route, I've found them quite accommodating-- they replaced my five-year-old Downloader backpack this year for free and let me change the color, no questions asked, didn't have to return the old one. They upgraded my friend to a bigger pack when his died, again with no trouble. Their gear is sturdy to boot and nicely thought out.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:50 PM on December 2, 2010

TJ Maxx has great deals on name brand luggage.
posted by kimdog at 3:54 PM on December 2, 2010

A warranty would be great, but the problem is that I'm leaving the country--presumably it'll be hard to take that warranty with me (to the UK)? Not that they wouldn't honour it, but sending a large suitcase back to the USA--if that's required--might be kind of awkward.

Good suggestions so far. Thanks!
posted by lapsangsouchong at 3:56 PM on December 2, 2010

Check out Filene's Basement or Nordstrom's Rack for discounted luggage.
posted by lsemel at 5:45 PM on December 2, 2010

I was your local health food clerk, but now I'm now working for a chain of luggage stores, mainly for the online division. So if you need soy-based luggage... I am your man!

So, I guess I can give you the basic questions we use in the store:

- How often are you going to travel?
- Is it going to be mostly confined to one area of the world?
- Is it going to be for business?
- Are you going to check and how much are you going to check?
- How long do you want it to last?

That thread you linked to was from a year ago, and I can say that in the last year, a lot of things have changed in the luggage industry, partially because of TSA requirements and partially because many luggage brands retired old lines and launched new lines this year. For starters, Pathfinder and Andiamo Luggage, while technically not out of business, haven't answered their phones in over a year. No one offers any warranty service on their lines as no one will reimbursed for them or even get parts... however, you can usually find them at a DEEP discount.

Brands to Avoid/be cautious about:
- Pathfinder/Andiamo - Only buy if you don't care about the warranty but want a good bag.
- Samsonite and/or American Tourister, at the moment - This is a personal feeling, but they're in bankruptcy and no one is sure if they're going to survive it. They closed all retail stores after last thanksgiving. American Tourister has basically been Wal-Mart brand luggage for the last 10 years anyway.
- Wenger - Wenger is the "Genuine Swiss Army Knife Maker" while Victorinox is the Original SA Maker. Wenger makes the "Swiss Gear" bags you pick up at Target. Basically, Wenger has long been considered a knock-off. Victorinox has bought Wenger this year and plans to make the brand, and it's warranty, disappear very quickly.

Brands to Consider:
- Victorinox (Price Range $200-$400) - Lifetime Warranty covers everything, including airline damage on three of their luggage lines: NXT, Werks Traveler, and Tourbach. NXT and Werks Traveler just got refreshed to new lines but there's plenty of the old lines (NXT 4.0 and Werks 3.0) out there on sale between 20%-30% off or more.
- Briggs & Riley (Price Range $200-$600) - Briggs & Riley bags are nice, the handle system is on the outside so you don't have to pack your socks and undewear around the handle to make it flat. BRX is a new line, really light weight and relatively inexpensive. Baseline and Transcend are both on sale for $50 off any piece over $299 bucks. Lifetime Warranty covers everything, including airline damage and they do have a repair center in the UK.
- Hartmann (Price Range $200-$1500) - Just launched new warranties where several of their lines have full coverage for the lifetime warranty. Biggest range of prices, newest line is Zoom, which you can pick up on a confusing sale that's 40% off + 20% off. Basically it means you can pick up some Hartmann luggage for less than $200. Full belting leather bags are going to run you $700 for the carry-on.
- Antler (Price Range $100-$400) - Antler doesn't have a lifetime warranty, most of their warranties are limited to workmanship and materials for 5-10 years, but they're a pretty sturdy brand and they're based in the UK, you'll have no problem getting service over there.

Should you buy online?

Sure, but I'd take into consideration where they're located. Are they on the east coast? I know that if I ship to NY (from NC) with UPS ground, it's only going to take 3 days to get there at most, but it can take 5 days or more to ship to the West Coast. You need to make sure you can make that trip three times in case of problems. So look for a seller on the east coast.
posted by aristan at 6:00 PM on December 2, 2010 [5 favorites]

To save you some shoe leather - there don't seem to be any Ross locations in New York City.
posted by Sara C. at 6:13 PM on December 2, 2010

lapsangsouchong, it sounds like you've made your decision on what you want already, but, seriously, http://www.onebag.com/ is worth a read if only to get some more good ideas about what luggage to choose.
posted by dubitable at 7:31 PM on December 2, 2010

dubitable, I quite agree that travelling light is great. I do it, in fact, and it looks like that site is full of useful tips that'll help me next time I'm planning a holiday. Thanks!

However, please note the words "I will be leaving the country with these cases, permanently". On this occasion, it's not one carry-on bag that I need.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 2:15 PM on December 3, 2010

I understand well what you need, and did, in fact, read all the words in your question. I'm going to be leaving the country myself, semi-permanently, next March. So I thought that site would be helpful generally: for example, the tips to choose non-rounded luggage for it's utility are spot-on regardless of whether or not you are buying just one bag or ten. Sorry I wasn't more clear.
posted by dubitable at 5:51 PM on December 3, 2010

No worries, and sorry if that response was a bit grump--probably the very fact that I'm planning a journey where I can't travel light is making me tetchy.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 6:38 PM on December 3, 2010

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