Adventure worthy roller case for international travel

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by spagthorpe, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I've got some work travel coming up again, and find myself without a suitcase of any kind. I have some crappy ones on the opposite coast, but nothing I'd buy again.

    So what is worth buying? It's go to fit in the overhead on international flights, as I hate checking anything. I don't know, maybe getting one of those plastic tank like suitcases the flightcrews use isn't the worst way to go, but if it ends up in Madrid and I'm in Frankfurt, then it will suck. I doubt the flight crews have to check their stuff.
    #1
  2. tspoto

    tspoto Adventurer

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    I use one as my checked bag, but they make them to fit into the overhead as well.
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  3. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Unless you are going to a war zone, I would recommend staying away from Pelican looking cases. It attracts attention of customs agents.
    #3
  4. Fubar36x

    Fubar36x Adventurer

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    Rick Steves has a nice Euro size carry on. I have their US sized carry on and it has held up well for several years now.
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  5. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    I like heavy-duty zippers, large, heavy-duty wheels that have minimal exposed bits, and overall dimensions that maximize the limited space that you are allowed-- particularly if you're looking to avoid check-in on int'l flights, imo, one of your priorities is maximizing your volume. The int'l carry-on standard is the most size-constrained, and fitting more than a few days worth of stuff (or accommodating anything more than "breathing, crapping, and not being naked") in is tough...particularly if you're bringing over stuff for both work *and* leisure.

    I find that my carry-on crap doesn't have to be nearly as bomb-proof as my check-in luggage, since I have no intention of handling my luggage like an ape. My check-in luggage looks a bit worn (not worn out, but certainly worn). My carry-on is really in damn good shape, considering that it had been used weekly for 4 yrs straight. That being said, on the occasional times where I'm on a puddle-jumper, that ran out of overhead room for 20" roll-aboards, there's definitely chances for crap to happen, and the majority of scuffs and damage have happened in these scenarios, where you have to gate check things, and you get off the plane to find a giant grease mark doing down the front of your bag. Nice. :huh On that note: dark colors are better than light colors.

    Brands? Mine are Tumi's Alpha line (mostly because I could burn amex points on them to get them for free)...not their 4-wheeled stuff...their 2-wheeled stuff. I'm sure there're others that fit the bill, but it'll be years and years before I buy another set of luggage, so I'll never know.
    #5
  6. ig_88e

    ig_88e Been here awhile

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    I used a Pelican for a while when I was working in Alaska. Anywhere else it's overkill. And HEAVY. When I put my computer and a bunch of other stuff in, my shoulder hated me. I would avoid it.

    I use a small duffel most of the time. I have one by Briggs and Riley that I've probably carried 3-400,000 miles. It's getting tired. I could send it for replacement, but I think I got my moneys worth.

    For rollaboards my wife and I have Eagle Creek Tarmac 20s. They have a 22, that is supposed to be 'legal' but I think the 20 just fits easier in most places. They are spendy, but they are light, have some nice internal storage features, and have a no questions asked lifetime warranty. I don't use it for work travel, so I expect it to last decades. Decently large wheels too.

    Looking at their website, they now call it the Tarmac 20 Widebody. Not sure what dimensions changed. I would check it out in a store, not buy online.
    #6
  7. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    I have an Osprey non-wheel that I love, can easily fit a week's worth in, and still fit in the overhead. They now offer that same bag with wheels. I forget which model it is, but here's the website.
    #7
  8. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    edit: IATA says I was dead wrong... you're right, 22"s are allowed I've gotten away with my 24" on flights to the UK. I've also had to check it on flights to the UK. It's rare that they're actually looking or giving a damn.
    #8
  9. 35xj

    35xj Been here awhile

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    klim makes a pretty tough one
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  10. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    I see people coming onto planes with full blown hiking backpacks- the huge framed kind. What are they, 36" :norton

    Then you have the twats with multiple bags spread across multiple bins.
    #10
  11. PvtIdaho

    PvtIdaho Deck Spotter

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  12. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    Yeah, that shit pisses me off. I've seen people getting on planes with ridiculous stuff. One guy had this dried bush that was about half the size of a christmas tree. As a carryon. Yeah, I'm sure it would get messed up checked, but wtf are you bringing it on a plane. Yeah, same with backpacks and stuff. I know that if I bring something too large though, it'll be that one day I get someone actually following the guidelines.
    #12
  13. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I might have to actually make my annual trip to a shopping mall and look at some. What I'm not seeing on most of these sites is how tall it is with the handle out. I'm 6'5", and I've used these in the past where I was hunched over trying to walk with it. Not fun in the larger airports.
    #13
  14. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

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  15. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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  16. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    When I travel over-seas I find the shittiest roller at WalMart for $20. It lasts about 10 trips - 5 round trips. It attracts zero attention through customs versus fancy Prada and Gucci bags these other fellers like to "taut" around.
    #16
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Be very careful with carry-on bags. For example Itihad airlines allows exactly one carry-on bag. It can only weigh 7 kilos, and must be a very defined size. Soft bags fit the sizers best, but unless you travel very lights, 15 pounds is not much.

    Jim :brow

    PS I don't play around on international travel, I always check a half empty large bag in case I do some shopping for friends and family.
    #17
  18. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    Good point about non-wheeled bags. There's alot more chances of them gate-checking you w/ any bag that sports a chassis/wheels. And it definitely consumes alot of internal space.

    And wheels aren't always great. Rolling luggage is great for short stints between the cab 'n the airplane. But it sucks for long stretches of sidewalk, ...even annoying in carpet, and useless in dirt. It's really hard on the wheels, and doesn't go over bumps/curbs/stairs well.

    I go wheel-less if I know I'm going to be hoofing it alot. It gets heavy, though, depending on what you're packing. I tend to go for a legitimate backpack with suspension, ergonomics, meant to fit *me*, and a waist belt to keep the weight off my shoulders. And I tend to go for LARGE packs, so I can throw my underseat bag in there too. I'm that guy with the backpack. :lol3 But by the time I'm on the plane, it's cinched down, with half its contents below my seat.
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  19. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    I agree with this. The Osprey I have has the backpack stuff built in, but can also be hidden in the back. I generally keep it all hidden but for one shoulder strap and carry it as a duffle. I wanna say it is the Porter 46.

    It has two compression straps, so I can make it pretty small to easily fit an overhead.

    Wheeled is great if you have a lot of airport to cover, but once on the ground and outside, a backpack is much better.
    #19
  20. gremor

    gremor RS'er

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    X2 on the Patagonia MLC if you carry on.

    Even on the little 50 seat jets you can get them in the overhead, all the wheeled bags go in the cargo bay.
    #20