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Thread: Advice for the Non-Tom Bihn Approved Travel Style

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Advice for the Non-Tom Bihn Approved Travel Style

    While I LOVE my Tom Bihn bags I want some rolling luggage. As I have gotten older my travel style has evolved and I tend to stay in nicer places where rolling luggage isn't overly tedious. That said I need help picking a size for a piece that will be checked.

    I have a Rimowa Topas 22" cabin multi-wheel IATA that I have had for a while now and I was thinking of getting a larger Rimowa Topas. How much volume do I need for 2-4 week vacations? I am a pretty light packer and I generally travel with my Brain Bag (though not packed to the hilt) so there would be some flexibility there. I am up for having a hotel do my laundry once a trip.

    Would a 26" trolly be too unwieldy? I am used to carrying a 15 year old 22" Tumi trolly (old carry on size) which was perfect but the new carry on size is too small for anything over a week. Since I am going to be checking a bag I figure I might as well have something larger.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    haraya likes this.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Badger State
    I took a look at the Topas 26" Multiwheel and it looks pretty nice. If you can get your usual load-out into a BB, the Topas seems like it would hold enough for 2-4 weeks, especially if you're planning to do laundry.

    One thing I guess could be important to consider is the weight. The case weighs 11.9 pounds empty. I suppose that conceivably you could pack enough in it to exceed the weight limits of your preferred carrier, although when I browsed on Flyertalk people seemed to be able to get away with checking the 29" and even the 32" with little hassle.

  3. #3
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Cambridge, UK
    I can't speak for brands, since I'm in the UK and I'm guessing you're in the US, but I'm only 5'2" and *ahem* a lady of a certain age, and I find a 26" wheeled case to be a perfect size for long trips. I chose an ultra-lightweight model (only 5.6lb) with an expanding zip section - I try to do without unzipping it on the way out, so I always have room for purchases

    The bag I linked to has made 3 trips to the US so far, with no sign of damage beyond the usual wear on the wheels. Even with three bottles of wine from a visit to Napa Valley, it came in well under airline weight limits - TBH I would struggle with a bag any heavier.

    I generally take a small carry-on as well, with toiletries and a change of clothes (in case my checked bag goes astray) - something I intend to use my new Western Flyer for in future! I think with some laundry mid-trip, those two would easily cover you for 2-4 weeks.
    Last edited by scribe; 04-15-2014 at 12:43 AM.
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    My favorite wheeled luggage right now is Crumpler. I have 2 carry-on rollers, plus 2 check in sizes.

    I love the funky colors of their new line but they also come in black, these 2 are just over 7 lbs:
    LLA 68CM CHECK IN LUGGAGE - 66cm Lightweight Check-in Luggage | Crumpler
    LLA 78CM CHECK IN LUGGAGE - 76cm Lightweight Check-in Luggage | Crumpler

    The one I have is slightly heavier but still under 10 lbs (and it is RED, still nice looking but good in a sea of black bags)
    DRY RED NO 11 - 76cm Check-in Luggage | Crumpler

    and the other one I have is 7.5 lbs:

    And in terms of checking in luggage, to minimize my costs, I got a United Mileage explorer card. I travel almost exclusively on United as they are one of the only airlines that has a direct flight from my nearby airports and the other airport I visit often on the other side of the country. They also happened to have a direct flight to Rome for me which made me happy for my upcoming trip. You get free check-ins and I think it is only $75/year? Depending on your most convenient airline, if you haven't done so already, I'd look to see if getting their credit card would minimize your check in fees.

  5. #5
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    The Osprey Ozone series is pretty nice. Very light and strong, though not capacious because of the design.
    Please bring back the Portable Culture patch!

  6. #6
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Colorado Springs
    I have to check a bag for my 2-week-long grad school residencies. Last year I checked this bag, which is a good value option and fairly lightweight. It doesn't have many extra features, but TB and other packing tools do well to organize the unstructured space. My purple bag is meant for fun, rather than quiet respectability - it's easy to see on a baggage carousel.

    eBags TLS 25" Expandable Upright -

    For carryon, I used a small wheeled trolley and an S19. It was easy to piggyback the trolley onto the larger bag, wear the backpack, and maneuver on my own from the airport.

  7. #7
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I have a 25" hard sided delsey spinner which suits me very well - We tend to travel fairly slowly, staying in one place 4 nights or more so wheeled luggage is not a big hassle. The delsey is still small enough to lug up stairs if absolutely necessary - one particularly gorgeous and expensive but lift-less hotel in Monpellier springs to mind.

    For our upcoming trip I'm considering a wheeled carry-on as well but there will be lots of Tom Bihn products inside those bags. I need to take my S19 or SA out for a long walk or two to confirm whether I can take one of them. I had a WF size/style bag on our last trip and it was too heavy (even with the excellent Absolute strap) so will be either downsizing my carryon or going wheeled. It's the long hauls on foot through the airports that are the killer - at our destination my carryon can ride on the spinner.

    I really don't think Tom would begrudge my aching shoulders the wheels.
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