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Thread: What Other Tom Bihn Fans Use Rollerboard Luggage?

  1. #1
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    What Other Tom Bihn Fans Use Rollerboard Luggage?

    I'm a big fan of Bihn products for soft luggage but recently made the transition to a roller board for my primary carryon. I travel for work, you see, on a weekly basis. Even though I'm fairly young (35), I've developed neck and back problems over the years, probably from too much computer work and from carrying 25 to 30 pounds carryon slung over my back/shoulder twice a week between a Brain Bag as my personal item and a Red Oxx Airboss as my primary carryon

    I know my carryon is quite heavy compared to what most carry, but since I travel for work, I'm rarely home and live out of my luggage so I overpack to have the conveniences I want and also need to carry things for work such as my issued 4 pound brick of a laptop plus my personal laptop (macbook air). I also know my carryons are quite large, since the Brainbag is probably double what's allowed as a personal item, but I never have a problem fitting it under the seat in front of me.

    Earlier this year, I switched to a roller board and love it. I can't believe I thought I was too tough or too manly to use one before. It really is 1000x easier to travel. For my personal item, I picked up a Western Flyer with roller board sleeve back to slip on top. I pack the Western Flyer with the items I need for the airplane, including my personal laptop, iPad, snack, etc. Then once I arrive at the hotel, I re-pack the Western Flyer with my work-issued laptop and any work items I need and use it as my "briefcase" for work at the client site.

    As much as I love the idea of one-bagging it, and of ultra-light travel, it seems like more of a fantasy to me than a reality. I travel with some gym equipment, a white noise machine, 4 pound work laptop, business clothes and personal clothes. I pack dress shoes in the main carryon and wear sneakers on the plane for comfort, to avoid scuffing the dress shoes, and because I need a pair of sneakers for when I land for the gym anyway. I've looked into getting those minimalistic toe-shoes for travel gym use, but that would necessitate me to wear the dress shoes on the plane, and I normally wear shorts when I travel, so that would look odd.

    Also, now that I'm used to the roller board, using it twice a week for the last 6 months, I can't imagine ever not using a roller board again, even if I was traveling for personal reasons and traveling light. It's really not as inconvenient as it looked. Running through a crowded airport to make a gate connection isn't difficult. There's a place to wheel it everywhere I've wanted to go. It takes all of the stress off my back, neck, and shoulders.

    Am I the only Bihn fan who likes a roller board? Are the two things mutually exclusive? I'd love to see more Bihn items with Rollerboard Sleeves on the back like the Western flyer I have. If the new Aeronaught 30 had a sleeve on the back, it might be my personal "personal item" second bag. As I said, I never have a problem with the personal item being considered too large, as long as it fits under the seat in front of me, and even my stuffed Brain Bag fits just fine. I don't carry the Brain Bag anymore because I'm taking everything off my back/shoulders and strapping it to the roller board.

    I still enjoy my Bihn packing cubes within my roller board. Any other Roller board fans here that combine their use with Bihn products? Any chance/hints of new products that interface with a roller board through a sleeve?

  2. #2
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    Dh and I use briggs riley brx 22 inch roller suitcases. However we always check them. He has a bad back and i am too short and weak to lift a 30 lb suitcase into an overhead bin. We usually travel for 2-4 weeks at a time. Recently got the wf with luggage sleeve. It was my large carryon for the plane. Dh has a small tote with wheels after last years trek through LHR with a shoulder bag. I can slip the wf over the handles for walking throuh the airport. We also took a ship recently. Same setup was handy for walking on and off board.
    My first TB purchase was actually the travel tray and organizer pouches.
    We also traveled by train in europe. I put the wf on top of the suitcase, used copilot as my purse. DH slipped the tote on top of his roller board.

    I did order the a30 but wish it had a luggage sleeve. Will probaly just use for local car trips.

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    I use a rollerboard all the time. I have trouble with my balance and fatigue, due to some weird physical issues. Sometimes I need to use a cane because of the balance problems, and I am also only 35. I use my TB bags mainly as my personal items (my synapse, swift or pilot, depending on need) although I do have a TriStar, but I only plan to use that for 2-3 day trips when traveling super light.

    Some people like to/can travel ultralight. I do when I travel for leisure, but when I travel for conferences, or go to visit family for long vacations I totally use a rollerboard. There is nothing wrong with doing so... Some people can't heft an Aeronaut, for many reasons. A rollerboard doesn't make you a wimp or overhead bin hog, so long as it's not one of those ridiculously huge bags.

  4. #4
    Registered User TMerrell's Avatar
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    I travel about half the month for work. My roller board is a Briggs & Riley 22 inch. I have never had to check it. I pair it with a Zephyr or Synapse 25


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I also use a roll-aboard as my main carry for air travel along with either my S25 or Pilot as my personal carry. I travel to remote places that do not always have smooth surfaces to roll on. I don't care. I have an EC 22" and a cheap Rick Steves 20" for travel. I use one or the other. For car travel, I use a duffle, plus a TB bag for personal carry. My travel is always for leisure at this stage of my life. I pack the same number of clothing items whether I'm going away for one week or one month.
    Last edited by monkeylady; 07-04-2014 at 10:21 PM.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    I like a combination of roll-aboard and backpacks, too. Each of us has a backpack as our personal item, and between the four of us we have one roll-aboard. The suitcase has basics in case our luggage doesn't make it. I suppose we could get to the point where we have two bags for four people (a family we know with two kids did just that last summer, so it's quite feasible), but I like having a few more choices available when I get to where I'm going.

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    I actually carry a really small folding dolly when I fly with heavy bags and no roller.
    It is the size of a small tripod sort of and folds out to a fairly wide base unit that will easily work with my TriStar or bigger Patagonia bag that is like an oversized Aeronaut when I carry it.

    I do have a few rollers too but find they seem to limit the size of the load I can carry in general.

    I do often use a Pelican or SKB roller though for tools and electronics because if I need to check anyway I might as well make it good!

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    I have a 22" Ebags Motherlode roller that I use when I travel domestically (US) and need/want to pack a bit more or will have the convenience of easy transport (e.g., no metro/train travel required). I love that bag. I do now have a Tristar and have used that twice; I also ordered an A30 and am looking forward to using that for weekend trips (I chose the A30 over the Smart Alec as I like the clamshell opening of the A30). For car travel I use either the roller board or a Bric duffle. For international travel I almost always go wheel-less and use either an ancient Eagle Creek hybrid without the attachable backpack (Continental Journey, I think)--it is just indestructible. For all trips I always carry an additional tote or cross-body bag for personal items.

    And unusually, I will travel in November domestically on Frontier Airlines with no luggage at all. I will use only a bigger purse I have to hold a small supply of clothing and personal effects; this is due to their incredibly restrictive luggage policy and my refusal to pay extra for carry-on luggage . The purse is a variation of the Baggallini Santiago purse that was sold at The Container Store here in the U.S. This is the first time I will only travel with a purse and I'm looking forward to seeing how I do!
    Last edited by Holly; 07-04-2014 at 07:13 PM.

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    Airlines are starting to crack down on the size of both carry-ons and personal items. I'm estimating that within 6 months, just about every U.S. carrier will get strict with exact dimensions and like United, have sizers for both carry-on and personal items. It's a moneymaker for the airlines. (AA has already started to sporadically put sizers at some airports prior to security.)

    So, that means, anyone using a Western Flyer as their "personal" item will soon be out of luck. It will be too big. As will the Brain Bag and S25.

    And make sure your rollaboard is no more that 22 x 14 x 9 including wheels and handles. Forget the old 45" total. That's going bye bye.

    You're going to start seeing a slew of new, smaller wheeled bags that fit the sizers and weigh less. I just got sent one for review that measures 21 x 14 x 8.5 including wheels and handles and weighs 5.5 lbs. And...it has hideaway backpack straps as well. Surprisingly solid and strong material.

    Oh, and for those who continuing to carry-on heavy, your photo might wind up on the internet. https://twitter.com/CarryonShame
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

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    Registered User TMerrell's Avatar
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    I travel about half the month for work. My roller is a Briggs & Riley U122CX. It works perfectly with my Zephyr. For personal travel, I leave the Zephyr at home and take my Synapse 25.
    Last edited by TMerrell; 07-04-2014 at 08:11 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User Aeon's Avatar
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    I use a roller when what I'm packing reaches about 18 lbs or more. I can physically carry that amount without issue but prefer not to. I become grumpy and irritable, and then kick myself for feeling that way when I could have easily changed my method of carry. I prefer a backpack for travel, but cannot combine it with anything larger than a SE for essentials. Anything else becomes awkward to carry with the backpack and sends me off-balance. I'm lucky that I can one-bag pretty easily, but if I ever have to split my load into two bags I'd only consider using a rolling suitcase.
    so far: small clear OP (steel), small padded OP, small and medium DOP (burnt orange), Side Effect (black/steel), Synapse 19 (burnt orange/steel), Synapse 25 (burnt orange/steel)

    want: Aeronaut 30 (black/steel), more BURNT ORANGE: OPs, keystraps, Side Effect, Ballistic Nylon, 200d Dyneema

  12. #12
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    I have a carry-on sized Eagle Creek Load Warrior Wheeled Duffle for when I need to bring my tripod along on a trip.
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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    can a shorter person fit the synapse 25? like 5'3"?
    Hawaii likes this.

  14. #14
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    We recently returned from a 6 week trip to Europe and New York. Our carry ons were a western flyer and an ego - personal items a small cafe bag and an ipad ristretto (original).

    We checked two 25in hard sided roller cases and used a folding trolley for the WF and Ego in the airport. Mr Daisy uses the trolley for his Empire Builder when he travels for business - a great computer bag but heavy even empty.

    Using the trolley lets us use our lovely TB bags and protect our backs at the same time.
    List under construction ....

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @meekasmom

    Here is an excellent previous post by dorayme (5'2") showing how many backpacks fit (Synapse 25, 19, Brain Bag, Western Flyer, etc)

    Who says short people can't carry big bags?

    Hope this help

    Cheers!
    eWalker likes this.
    Zephyr/SA/BB (Black/Black/Steel), S25/TS/WF/A45 (Black/Iberian), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), CP (Black/Steel), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

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