Need big, light bags/suitcases
December 12, 2011 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Big, light luggage or alternative? I'll probably move overseas, want to take the max weight in my (checked) bags, hope to have as little weight as possible glommed up by the bags themselves. I'm okay with something not likely to last a long time and cheap is good, though at the risk of stating the obvious, don't want something real vulnerable to tearing on the flight(s) over there. Thanks for any suggestions you can share.
posted by ambient2 to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: why even bother with luggage? maximize volume by packing stuff into huge boxes.
posted by lia at 2:31 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Agree with lia - a good sturdy box is the way to go here. Light and cheap. Tape the hell out of them and check those bad boys without a second thought. Alternatively - and even lighter? Tyvek bags. Don't know how big they come, but look around.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:40 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If the idea is having things work out after a search boxes might be an issue, using big less expensive bags can work. Add those wrap straps with a buckle to any bags you think are burst prone. Sub wrap your goods inside wit h clear packing wrap too or use packing bags inside.
posted by Freedomboy at 2:41 PM on December 12, 2011

Use a duffle bag if you don't want to use boxes. They're super light and the army ones are pretty hardy.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:51 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Check to see if your airline accept Action Packers. Then your luggage can double as storage when you're there.
posted by wallaby at 3:06 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you are starting to get to the stage where you are maxing out the amount of stuff that you can carry in checked luggage - and you are not desperately worried about waiting several weeks for your possessions to get there - then ocean shipping could work out as a more cost effective option. See this askme for example.
posted by rongorongo at 3:22 PM on December 12, 2011

Best answer: When my family moved overseas (and flew back and forth a few summers), we found large, good-quality duffle bags were great, and they seemed to hold up better and weigh less than rolling suitcases.

And while rolling bags seem more convenient, if you are maxing out your allocation, you're going to be loading everything onto a baggage cart at the airport, so it doesn't matter if it's awkward.

You don't want to cheap out too much--we bought an inexpensive child seat carrier, and it was ripped by the time we arrived in Egypt from the US. You want something that will at least last through the return trip home.

I think we had good luck with the bags we bought from Lands End.
posted by bluedaisy at 4:03 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: REI sells store-brand duffel bags in a variety of sizes that are light, durable, and pretty cheap. I swear by them. I know you said you didn't care if they lasted, but they will.
posted by willbaude at 6:08 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Old School Army duffle bags are the best! If you need something for more delicate items, look at yard sales for hard-shell Sampsonite luggage.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:26 PM on December 12, 2011

You want This.

Mr. nadise and I moved to New Zealand from the US in 6 of these. They're hard-sided and durable but light and inexpensive, and they have wheels. Best of all, they're within an inch on all sides of the size limit for cargo. The only caveat is that they're easy to make heavy, so be aware that weight limits apply (check your airline's weight limit for international travel; it's usually higher than for domestic).

Good luck!
posted by nadise at 9:35 PM on December 12, 2011

Use a duffle bag if you don't want to use boxes. They're super light and the army ones are pretty hardy.

Old School Army duffle bags are the best!


I came in to say this too. I used an old Army duffel to pack everything I wanted to bring when I joined Peace Corps, including a trumpet in its case, and had everything I needed.
posted by solotoro at 9:45 AM on December 13, 2011

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