Choosing a new luggage set is kind of like choosing a new boyfriend: you want something cute, but the right kind of cute; sturdy, but the right kind of sturdy, and cutting-edge, but not confusingly cutting-edge. We at the Plug-in Blog can’t help you chose a life partner, but I can certainly help you with picking out the perfect set of luggage to accompany you on your fall/winter getaways!
Go for quality
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always gone for the boring option. It’s cool; there’s no need to talk around it–I like my basics unassuming and reliable, and I’m proud of it!
So, when I choose things like a new handbag or a new piece of luggage, I tend to opt for classic, dependable styles. Sometimes that means blending into the crowd, but it’s in the little nuances that you’ll stick out: things like the fact that your luggage can make it a decade before needing to be replaced, or the way that it/ll accumulates little scratches and scuffs like battle scars without ever giving an inch. While your co-workers and fellow book club members will be on their second, third, or fourth sets of bright, shiny suitcases, you’ll still be on your first, sturdy and stately as they were on day one.
With high-quality, high-end luggage, you get all of the good stuff: the too-cool-for-trends design, the super robust construction, and the aircraft-grade materials. You get dependability and durability, all wrapped up in one water-resistant package.
A great carry-on is an essential piece of your luggage wardrobe, and the TUMI Tegra-Lite Max 22″ International 4-Wheeled Expandable Carry-On Luggage in Black is a prime example of carry-on at its best. At first glance, it’s a hardside case with a roomy front pocket, a super lightweight design, and double 360˚ turning wheels. But look at it in greater detail and you’ll notice that the case is made from Tegris, a lightweight, polypropylene thermoplastic composite material used in body armour and Nascar race cars, and the X-Brace 45 Extension Handle (have you ever noticed how the handle is always the first thing to break on cheap luggage?) is made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
Then, there are the little things, like the interior pockets (great for safely storing your odds and ends!), the patented TUMI Omega Closure system, and the Tumi Tracer product registry, which’ll help get your luggage back to you even if the airline sends it to another continent entirely.
TUMI also makes a matching TUMI Tegra-Lite Max 21″ 2-Wheeled Expandable Briefcase, which is basically the most spy-like briefcase you’ll ever see. It offers all the same great things as the Tegra-Lite Carry-On, but it’s a discreet 21 inches and features a built-in paper organizer, tech pockets, a removable padded laptop pocket, and an Add-a-Bag sleeve for anyone carrying an additional purse, tote, or satchel.
Unique style options
Luxury and Tegris aside, the thing about the high-end luggage is that, well… it’s high-end luggage, and sometimes you don’t want to be spending $700 on a suitcase if you know in your heart of hearts that your adorable four-year-old is just going to spill orange juice all over its insides anyways.
So, for the casual traveller, or the family who’s headed off on a big summer trip, sometimes a stylish set is a better option. Unique luggage can be a conversation starter and a major time-saver, and Best Buy offers a number of sets that mix unisex design with reliability at a great price point. These brand-new matching sets will always be easy to spot on the luggage carousel (no matter which size you’re using at the time), and they’re easy to stack into each other like little matryoshka dolls during the months you spend at home!
For an eye-catching, easy-to-spot set, my first recommendation is the Swiss Gear Extravagance 3-Piece Hard Side 4-Wheeled Expandable Luggage Set in Ruby Red. It doesn’t have designs splashed over the hard cases, so they’re unique without putting you into a box. With the Swiss Gear Extravagance set, your luggage is going to be fun, but you won’t end up experiencing the Dora phenomenon as your kids get older–you know, that thing that happens when they pick an item with their favourite character painted on it but then refuse to be seen with it a mere two years later, when their former favourite is now “for babies, mom!”
Other great options include the Samsonite Tech 2 3-Piece 4-Wheeled Expandable Luggage Set in Light Blue, which has four multidirectional spinner wheels, a split case design, and screams “boys weekend in the Alps” as much as it does “work conference in Hawaii.” It’s the kind of design that, for lack of a less clichéd term, can grow up with you.
Then there’s the Kenneth Cole Departure Point 3-Piece Hard Side 8-Wheeled Luggage Set, which leans neither unisex-feminine nor unisex-masculine. These eight-wheeled, 360-degree luggage pieces give nothing away, and feature a bottom-heavy design. The cases unzip closer to one side, so 80% of your stuff rests in one compartment while the other 20% is zipped safely into a sectioned-off top.
The Departure Point set actually looks almost exactly like my current set of luggage (although my set’s a couple years old, now), and I have to say, I’m pretty darn happy with mine. It’s aggressively ambiguous, perfect for a side-storer (you know, the type that takes a week-long trip and leaves almost everything in their suitcase, lying on its back with its top flipped up), and pairs perfectly with the roll-‘n-store method of packing.
Hardware meets hardcase
No matter the industry, there’s always a cutting edge. And in the luggage world, that cutting edge is all about tech and wheels right now–not unlike how things are in the world of cars.
There are a lot of super-cool luggage options with eight wheels and 360 degree mobility, from the TUMI Tegra-Lite Max 22″ International 4-Wheeled Expandable Carry-On Luggage in Black that we talked about above to the Swiss Gear Cross 28″ Hard Side 8-Wheeled Expandable Luggage in Black. But what if… what if super-smooth rolling and high-tech materials still aren’t quite what you’re looking for?
Well, then let me introduce you to one final, super-cool piece of luggage that really focuses on cutting-edge functionality. The Benetton Weigh It 29″ Hard Side 4-Wheeled Luggage, which looks a little bit like a blue Chiclet, is designed with an integrated luggage scale that takes the guesswork out of airline weight restrictions. It’s perfect for all of us super-packers, who can somehow manage to fit thirty pounds worth of cotton and spandex into 22 inches of hardcase and zippers, and even better for those who routinely carry heavy objects in their luggage.
I’m serious: the Benetton Weigh It line comes with integrated digital luggage scales that turn on at the press of a button. If you don’t believe me, just look toward the image to the left, or use your disbelief as an excuse to buy the 29″ Hard Side Luggage, plan a trip to Cancun, and show it off to all of your friends.
Welcome to the 21st century, folks.