Need a carry-on suitcase!
July 22, 2011 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Need a new carry-on wheeled suitcase

Mr Honey Badger needs a new suitcase. Here are the parameters:

must be carry-on sized for airplane trips (mostly US domestic trips)
must be wheeled (don't care what kind, for angled or upright rolling is fine)
must have lots of pockets and zippers
must have retractable handle
must be durable, last for a decade, maybe?

We'd like to spend about $200, if possible.

There are so many good brands, I don't know if there's a real difference between Skyway, TravelPro, Atlantic, Samsonite, etc

posted by honey badger to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I got a couple Briggs & Riley rolling carryons last year. Very durable and maneuverable with a lifetime warranty. They'll repair it for you if it's damaged, even if it's damaged by the airline. Well thought out design and pockets. There was also a larger version of our suitcases that were expandable. I can't remember the name of the product line, but I'm pretty impressed by their stuff so we'll buy that brand again when we need larger luggage. Should meet all your criteria. I can't remember how much we paid, but it was on sale.
posted by jroybal at 1:59 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used to have an Atlantic. It lasted for, hmm...nine years maybe? That's almost a decade! The zipper finally busted on my trip home for Christmas last year and I got a new TravelPro. The TravelPro seems lighter, but that could just be my imagination. Both are great on pockets and compartments, but they seem to have different "philosophies" going on. I prefer the pocket layout on my old one, but I'm sure once I have my TravelPro for 9 years I'll get pretty attached to the pocket layout on it, too.
posted by phunniemee at 2:05 PM on July 22, 2011

I'm looking at their site now, and I think ours were part of last year's version of the Transcend line. Seeing current pieces and prices, I'm not sure if you'll find anything in that price range.
posted by jroybal at 2:06 PM on July 22, 2011

I have Wenger rolling case - probably something like this - which I have been using for frequent business trips around the comparatively size restricted world of European air travel. It has borne up pretty well over the past year so I'd recommend.

I like the fact that it has a low centre of gravity: I have had many small bags that are built tall and thin - meaning that they tend to fall over when you let go of them. I like that fact that it includes a laptop bag - which can either be stuck in a compartment or carried separately. I can take this into work when I get to my destination - or leave it behind if I am not on business.

I don't like the fact that it weighs about 5 kilos when empty (Ryanair enforce a 10Kg weight restriction for carry on luggage - check you will not be coming up against this sort of obstacle too much if you go for something like this). I also resent that quite a lot of the space is taken up by compartments, padding, wheels, etc. But that seems to be a feature of all wheeled luggage.
posted by rongorongo at 2:09 PM on July 22, 2011

I like the Patagonia Maximum Legal Carryon.
posted by k8t at 2:14 PM on July 22, 2011

If you have a TJ Maxx/Marshall's nearby, check their selection out. They have a fair amount of "brand" luggage (DVF, Polo, etc.) but they also have a lot of nice TravelPro/Samsonite stuff as well, with great prices. You'll also be able to see the features up close.
posted by Madamina at 2:20 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

About nine or so years ago - maybe even a full decade I found a black Pathfinder carryon roll-aboard bag at the Goodwill in Albuquerque. It was in great condition but you could tell it'd been used a bit.

In the decade or so since I bought it that bag has been all over the world (literally hundreds of thousands of miles) and doesn't look a day older than it did when I bought it and I have never had one moment's trouble with the bag.

I've purchased other suitcases/bags over the years for one reason or another, but I keep coming back to that bag. It's just that good.

Sadly, Pathfinder has stopped making luggage, but you can still find some 22 inch roll-aboards at Amazon and other places. Worth every penny.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:41 PM on July 22, 2011

I have a Samsonite one I love, it's similar to this but the one I have is an older one with the pockets in a different order.

I've flogged that baby to death, traveled all over with it and its still going strong. One thing I love about it is that the laptop section is at the back so your computer is protected by the things you've packed and the collapsible handles, instead of on the front taking all the blows. I know you didn't mention laptops but its great for anything breakable and has lots of pockets in that section for cables or whatever. Great quality construction, lots of pockets and zippers which I love as everything has a place.
posted by wwax at 6:22 PM on July 22, 2011

I would highly recommend luggage that has 4 wheels as opposed to two. They act like casters and you can roll your luggage next to you instead of dragging it behind you. This is especially helpful in crowded areas and for waiting in long slow moving lines.
posted by comatose at 7:31 PM on July 22, 2011

I have the 17" version of this, and it's been great. It doesn't expand, which is its only real drawback, but it holds more than you think, and is super lightweight.
posted by heurtebise at 8:18 AM on July 23, 2011

>I would highly recommend luggage that has 4 wheels as opposed to two

No doubt Mr Honey Badger is a much cooler customer than I am and would never find himself ignominiously chasing his 4 wheeled bag as it makes a (surprisingly fast) escape attempt down the aisle of a crowded, accelerating airport shuttle bus. For my part, I can only confess that this - or similar - has happened to me several times.
posted by rongorongo at 2:49 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

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