What's the biggest & best checked luggage I can take around the world?
November 9, 2017 9:17 AM   Subscribe

So I'm heading around the world for three months. I bought a luggage set and it fell apart, luckily, before I got going. So now I'm looking whatever the biggest checked bag is that I can take with me. Ideally it's strong, light, rolls well and isn't black (ideally red or brown). So I can find it on the luggage carousel. What's the right Joe Vs. The Volcano luggage for me?
posted by rileyray3000 to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Don't have a recommendation for a particular line or piece, but brand-wise, Briggs & Riley is a really solid choice.
posted by neroli at 9:22 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

What's your goals here? Do you have a really bulky thing you're bringing with you? Most airlines have a 50lbs weight limit and size isn't the primary issue (what I've found from moving across oceans with just a suitcase 5 times now)
posted by raccoon409 at 9:22 AM on November 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

I travel 150+ days a year for work, and I use almost exclusively Burton Luggage. There's lots of unique colorways to choose from, and they'll replace it if it wears out.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:24 AM on November 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Choosing the biggest bag you can find is a guaranteed prescription for ruining your round-the-world trip. Are you planning to bring a porter with you? I would instead be looking for the best bag for your trip.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:58 AM on November 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Those of us in the adventure travel field swear by Eagle Creek luggage - they are designed for expedition style travel and can handle being tossed around airport carousels, dragged along stone paths and tossed into the back of oxen carts. They come in a multitude of sizes and have a lifetime guarantee. I have one Eagle Creek carry-on that would be nearly perfect except it doesn't expand. It's lasted probably 20 international trips by now. The fact that it doesn't expand discourages me from buying useless tchotchkes.

I have a larger Eagle Creek large suitcase that was damaged and they fixed it free and even rushed the delivery once I told them I was leaving for a trip within two weeks.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:03 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have followed the Wirecutter guide on all things luggage and always been pleased.
posted by Mid at 10:04 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sorry, I linked to carry-on, which is what I use, but here is their page for checked bags.
posted by Mid at 10:06 AM on November 9, 2017

2nding Briggs & Riley. Legit lifetime guarantee and they are nice looking, and come in different, unique enough to recognize on the conveyor, colors. Only downside is price.
posted by Grither at 10:51 AM on November 9, 2017

Third for Briggs and Riley. I travel a ton, my B&R bags have been through the wringer, and are still going strong.

I do have black, but when I check bags, I mark mine with a uniquely colored luggage strap which I can spot a mile away.
posted by primethyme at 3:54 PM on November 9, 2017

Hat tip: They have laundry around the world.
posted by sandmanwv at 7:57 PM on November 9, 2017

I travel a lot, and I've found carrying a fairly small, lightweight backpack is the easiest way to have a comfortable trip. If you're on your own, don't assume everything will be as easy as it might be if you've got a tour group or fixer of some sort meeting you at the airport.

I use an Osprey Ozone 46 liter pack that's sturdy and holds just about everything I should need, if not more. Which is to say that if I end up trying to stuff it to the brim, I'm unhappy with the weight I'm carrying. Yes, I could use wheeled luggage, but the moment you get off nicely paved sidewalks it becomes a bug, not a feature. In my experience, even the very luggage you select can end up being a huge limiting factor in a trip. You'll have so, so much more flexibility (to walk rather than taking a taxi a relatively short distance, to change plans at the spur of a moment, to carry it on rather than checking it, to avoid the baggage fees of low-budget airlines with $40 base fares all over Asia, to hop in a car full of new friends going the same way you are) with small, lightweight luggage. Really, I think it's common for less experienced travelers to overthink and overpack, but in nearly every case you can get what you need once you're there. If in doubt, the answer is probably don't bring it.

That said, when I moved to Singapore for six months I used this enormous REI Wheely Beast to bring about 50lbs of books on the plane, and it held up very nicely (and looks genuinely made to last--got excellent reviews online, has big, clunky wheels and a sturdy zipper--though I haven't put it properly through its paces).

Honestly, the only essential things I travel with that I probably can't get elsewhere: some merino wool layers, a Kindle, a Diva Cup, Birkenstock Mayaris (which you can buy anywhere but I already own them and they're excellent walking sandals, if not suited to water/rain), and my prescriptions.
posted by tapir-whorf at 8:18 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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