December is a weird time of the year. It’s cold enough (and has been cold for long enough) that you really just want a holiday, but it’s also filled with so many family events and holiday parties that you really don’t want to go. January and February, however, have always seemed to me like the perfect time of year to take off: you have to start budgeting for it early, but then you can have a little weekend getaway to get yourself through the long winter. A little piece of carry-on, like the Jump Tanoma Luggage is the perfect way to get you through it.

This year, I have a slew of holiday parties lined up for Christmas, and there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be than right here. But come January, when I know it’ll be even more bracing outside, I’d love to think I’ve “earned” a little break. My mom and I are scheduled to visit family in the States for a few days, which I’d say is very rightly carry-on territory!

Even in the winter, a carry-on is my preferred way to travel. It’s a little less expensive to take on the plane (and why do we suddenly have to pay for baggage on top of the hundreds of dollars we’re already paying for a seat?). Plus, there’s no chance of your luggage being lost, stolen, or opened without your knowledge.

Why the Jump Tanoma 21″ Luggage excels as a carry-on

One of the problems that I have with discount airlines—aside from everything—is that they charge through the nose for every add-on. Want to sit in a seat? You’ll have to pay for that selection! Want to eat during your five-hour flight? Here’s a vendor menu! Need to take more than one tiny purse with you? There’s a fee for that, too!

I prefer to travel with carry-on luggage, but it’s getting more difficult to do so. Led by low-cost carriers, airlines have started restricting your baggage by your seat number, ticket type, or “zone.” The result is that more and more people are flying with cabin luggage to cut down on costs—and it won’t all fit.

Pieces like the Jump Tanoma are great because they let you prioritize your carry-on accessibility, but they come with a built-in, TSA-friendly lock just in case. So, if you end up having to check your luggage before boarding, it’s easy to lock it up while cursing silently at the fates. And, if you do end up getting to take your Tanoma on board (and I hope you do), its smooth sides and flexible top carry handle make it easy to slide into the overhead bins.

As a self-admitted klutz, suitcase siding is important to me. Anything too ridged will be excessively heavy, but anything too smooth tends to scratch easily and show signs of wear. This line from Jump hits a nice middle ground; the vertical ridges make each piece easy to identify (even in black or grey), and the textured bumps disguise scratches and scuff marks. Plus, Jump offers a limited warranty on their hard shell luggage: the shell is guaranteed to be break-resistant for five years.

What’s inside the Jump Tanoma

The Tanoma has a pretty standard interior for a piece of nice luggage. Each half of this hardshell suitcase is lined in nylon that unzips down the middle, and there’s a partition to hold the contents of each side down. I really love the fact that hard shell luggage opens down the centre: I feel like it makes the most out of a small space, and helps me stay organized when I’m living out of a suitcase. The fact that it looks sleeker than soft shell luggage is an added bonus.

As someone who never unpacks in a hotel room (I’ve only ever done it twice, and only because I was staying for a month on each occasion), having two halves in my suitcase makes a world of difference. It’s so much easier than digging around in a piece of soft shelled luggage, and I love being able to zip or buckle up one side to neatly flip the whole thing shut. (Company doesn’t need to see my sloppily-folded t-shirts!)

The bottom half of the Jump Tanoma features elastic straps and an easy-close clasp. I love these elastic clasps—they really took off about five years ago, and you never have to worry about pinching your finger in them. The upper half zips shut with mesh.

What’s on the outside of the Tanoma?

Exactly what you want! Or, at least, exactly what I want. The Tanoma is made from ultra-lightweight polypropylene (I think it feels like regular lightweight luggage), and it has four super-smooth 360-degree spinner wheels. Each wheel is a two-part duo, so the Tanoma rolls smoothly even on high-pile carpet.

This piece of Jump luggage has a unique telescopic handle that I haven’t seen before, and I really liked it. Its rods have a bit of a curve to them, and there’s just something about it that feels way more durable than my Swiss Gear pieces (even though Jump retails for a fraction of the cost.) I’m able to swing this luggage around by its aluminum handle, and it doesn’t feel shaky at all while retracting. I could be wrong—after all, I’ve had this piece for less than a month—but I have a good feeling about these handles.

As mentioned earlier, the Tanoma also has a TSA lock attached to double-slider zippers. It works smoothly with a three-digit combination lock, and the zipper pulls lock-in and pop out nicely. You’ll also find a zippered expandable compartment, which is essential in any piece of carry-on!

If you’re jetting off this season but need to update your luggage first, the Jump Tanoma is a great option. It’s well-made with remarkable affordability, and if you—like myself—hate blue, it’s also available in red, black, and grey. The only thing that it’s lacking is a partition pocket, which I swear by: they’re perfect for keeping your important documents, like travel itineraries and maps, in a place where they can’t be lost.

Shop the Jump Tanoma and other pieces of carry-on luggage online at Best Buy.