For a short time about 10 years ago, I reverted back to traveling with wheels. But after having to gate check those bags on regional jets, and getting a few back with missing zipper pulls--which the airline won't pay to fix--I returned to non-wheeled bags. I've never had a problem since then.
I think it's ironic that people will come to a forum owned by a company that makes non-wheeled bags and discusses why they prefer products made by the competition. Isn't that like being invited to friend "A"'s house for dinner and telling her you prefer friend "B"'s cooking?
The problem are not the bags or the people, the problems are the airlines.
Years ago, every January, I flew legacy U.S airlines, now out of business, from California to Florida to Montreal, Air Canada from Montreal to Toronto and the same U.S legacy airlines from Toronto to the Midwest then to California.
We had to have warm weather dress and casual clothes, as well as freezing cold weather dress and casual clothes and no possibility of laundering,
We packed an Aeronaut sized bag which we checked and a Western Flyer sized one which carried on as well as a "foldable" nylon monstrosity which would not fold due to its stiffness.
Travel to airport, checking line, hurried dash to the gate, long wait for the plane, disorganized boarding with males passengers shoving and cute ladies have fellow male passengers shove enormous rolling suitcases into the overheads. Filling them up in no time flat.
Unpleasant flight with carry-on crammed under the previous seat which was reclining to one's nose, rude flight crew annoyed when I asked them for more regular beverages but seemingly delighted to provide already unruly passengers with more booze.
Very long trek from gate to carousel, very long wait at the carousel to haul pieces of light luggage, a small piece missing on arrival after one trip.
Some family members insisted, despite my protests, we take packages to others and that meant even longer check in and carousel time. The packages always arrived first at the carousel but our bag(s) were usually at the middle or the tail end,
Of course, the imbibed owners of the rolling monsters hogs were already boarding their taxis or their hotels/car rental shuttles.
So you bet your rollers, I don't like monster rolling bags.
The key word here is monster.
Once, my husband bought a monster duffel when, too tired to do precision packing involving numerous gift added to our load, I gave up. He shoved his readily replaceable stuff into the duffel and checked it.
If he had to check his monster duffel, why were not the owners of the monster rollers asked to do so?
After discovery Southwest then Tom Bihn Inc, travel became much easier.
Unfortunately, any trip outside the U.S involves the dreaded legacy airlines.
I am ready to go Phileas Fogg using trains and boats.
Having health issues, right now, I can definitely relate to pain associated with physical effort.
However, I have never owned a roller bag, I found out, unless one does car/hotel parking lot/conference/car or airport/ shuttle/ car rental or hotel/ conference/ airport a rolling thing is a pain in the muscles in addition to the nerves.
At one point, I owned hard sided luggage and a little folding cart, very very annoying to deal with.
Maverick posted a picture of lighter and better designed folding cart and, at one point, I might need one.
At this time, myself and many of us might need one of those cute 4 wheeled walkers. ;)
The floor of the TB factory is smooth so we could race (Tom frowns) or not! ;)
No, it's OK. There's a lot of general travel talk here that I find useful, and I'm sure others do too. Personally I have quite a few Tom Bihn pieces, varying from items I carry every day to luggage. I also have a little roller bag that I use sometimes too (checked more often than carry-on, though it very easily fits into the overhead.). It's not always feasible or healthy to carry all my things without wheels, and it's a good idea to be flexible and adapt to the circumstances.
Originally Posted by Frank II
I love the fact that the topics here can wander off into discussions of products that may suit members' needs when they are not quite met by a TB product. I think it's a sign of a fine company that TB is confident enough of their own quality and appeal to allow "competition" to be mentioned here.
Originally Posted by Frank II
I have a number of TB bags and accessories and will no doubt accumulate more. But I am not a "one bagger" at heart, although I can see (from stories here and elsewhere) if one travelled the US airways much at all, the appeal would be strong.
For anything bigger than a Western Flyer I would probably always want wheels - and I do not feel bad about it. Anything larger than a WF will also be checked, which is a risk I'm happy to take - because I really cannot be bothered wrangling a big bag in the cabin.
(note that I don't fly much domestically, and don't need to worry about the cost of checked luggage on my international flights)
I really enjoy the friendly atmosphere on these forums and have become a bit of a TB evangelist to anyone who will listen IRL. I've learned lots here from those who are - shall we say fanatical? - about packing small and light. But we have to remember that needs and desires vary and anyone who appreciates a fabulously well made bag should feel welcome.
I don't think TB is actually in competition with the manufacturers of roll aboard bags, and there are many people who love and buy lots of TB bags - even if they don't buy the ones others use as their main travel bag. So I think the discussion is fine.
I've been a one-bagger for ages, but usually with a roll aboard bag. I don't think I cause problems for other people. I'm able to lift my own bag, and I know how it is supposed to sit in the overhead. I don't stand around dithering while a line builds behind me. Even so, I sometimes like to do a backpack-style bag, depending on where I am bound. Both modes of travel have their virtues. What is not virtuous is when people bring on a maximum size carry on (which they stow sideways in the overhead), plus a giant purse or briefcase and a few shopping bags crammed to the max. I can see why the flight attendants get perturbed!
I also don't see a problem with reasonable discussion of wheeled bags here. I think that of the multitude of fantastic bags and other products that Tom Bihn makes, about 3 or 4 - let's say the WF, the TS, the Aeronaut and the BB (perhaps also the Super Ego/Ego, maybe) could be said to offer a direct alternative to MLC-type wheeled carry on bags, and one of those itself has the option of a rolling luggage handle sleeve. So even though Tom might not like them much, I am assuming he understands that wheeled bags are a fair choice for many.
I first started thinking seriously about one bag travel through discovering Doug Dyment's fantastic site onebag.com and then of course OBOW (thanks Frank II :)). I have definitely become a much more streamlined packer (nearly a one bagger!) as a result of what i have learned on those sites and this one. The problem I have always had though is not what to do about packing shoes etc ;), but that there really is a weight beyond which I cannot comfortably carry a non-wheeled bag for any practical distance. I should say that I am a fit, active woman who works out regularly and has no medical conditions. Perhaps I am just a wimp. But I don't think so! Each to their own, but I find it hard to believe that most people are genuinely happy lugging 25+ pounds on their backs or shoulders. Having said that I am sure there are plenty who have no problem with it (would be interesting to see men:women). The weight constraint I have set for myself (7 kg) basically rules out any non-wheeled bag bigger than a Tri-Star for me. Plus flying Australian and Asian airlines that is the weight limit anyway. So in fact there is no competition at all in my bag collection (which includes both wheeled and non-wheeled) - it's horses for courses.
My only peeve with wheeled bags (that fit into the overhead) is when the owners ignore flight attendants' instructions about how to place the bags in the bin. They always seem to put them in sideways as if they're the only people on the flight!
When I pack any carry-on, I do a couple of shoulder-presses with the bag to make sure I can safely lift it into the bin.
I have never had to gate check my Aeronaut. I've chosen to gate-check my Tri-Star for very tiny planes. I would LOVE to pack so lightly that I would never need to gate-check, but I can't see myself traveling without a 15" laptop and a DSLR rig. I feel lucky that I can manage to carry-on only with those items!
There have been rumors floating around about a new, slightly smaller version of the Aeronaut being developed by Tom Bihn, and I believe Darcy has even confirmed this, but there's been no official announcement as of yet. It sounds like this "Aeronaut-Lite" would be just to what you are looking for.
Originally Posted by cjedj