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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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…