The best, chic lightweight luggage

Salsa Air by Rimowa, cute light luggageSalsa Air by Rimowa, cute light luggage

Why does something so fun have to be so ugly? I’m talking luggage. I go through a suitcase every year or two, and each time I start shopping for a new one, it’s an ordeal. Most cases are either really plain, really expensive or designed for teenagers (if they’re in colors beyond basic black and blue). I figure I’m not the only one who has this issue, so I thought I’d show you my thought process behind this important shopping decision as I look for my summer suitcase.

Steamline Correspondent Stowaway

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I’m a travel writer by trade, so the name Correspondent tugs at my heart strings. And the vintage vibe is cool; I love the retro detail, and punchy orange and white — one of my fave color combos. This suitcase would look as good decorating my office as it would a hotel room.

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I love the inside, all cheery and stripes. It’s like wearing a fun bra under a conservative outfit — your fun little secret. So here’s the bad part: It’s heavy. Dimensions are just  23 x 15.7 x 7.8 inches, and it weights 11.2 lbs — which is more than the hand weights I exercise with! More weight on the frame means less weight in the bag, so not ideal if I want to avoid hefty overweight luggage fees when I overpack. So as much as I love you, Steamline, not this time.

Lipault Paris 4-wheeled packing case 

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I first saw this little number at a cute shop in Healdsburg; the salesgirl said Lipault has the lightest luggage on the market. The secret is the material: it’s made of nylon twill. It’s also foldable, which is great if I’m in a cramped cruise cabin or want to tuck it into a spare closet between trips.  It’s nice and roomy at 28.3 x 19.3 x 10.2 inches, but made of nylon twill, which keeps it light — this one is only 6.6 lbs. I also love the color, cheery and easy to spot on a baggage carousel.

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The inside is one big compartment, with no bulky inserts and dividers. I prefer a divider but can do without if it’s a great suitcase.  My real problem is the interior color. I wear a lot of black, especially when I travel. I could see this bag being an issue when I’m digging through my suitcase in a dim hotel room. So it’s a no-go for now, but if they revisit the interior color, I’ll give it a try.

Rimowa Salsa Air Multiwheel

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That leads us to Rimowa’s Salsa Air. Again, great name: I love music and love to eat so it works on two levels. It’s sturdy and comes in a cute array of colors, a plus. But hard sides are con to me because you can’t expand when you overshop on the road (it happens a lot). That said, hard sides keep your belongings protected when your bag is tossed around in the baggage compartment, so maybe that’s a wash. This one is 26.8 x 17.5 x 10 inches and super light: only 6.4 lbs.

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The interior is pretty, with pale lining and pockets to hold in each side. I like anything that keeps me organized when I travel, as I’m usually moving hotels every other night and do a lot of “OMG it’s checkout time already?” packing.

Salsa Air by Rimowa, cute light luggage

 

It also comes in all these colors! I like the lime but think purple will hide dirt and scratches a little better. So Rimowa it is! Now I just have to wait til it goes on sale…

 

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