how to buy luggage

About.com’s guide to honeymoons and romantic travel, Susan Breslow Sardone, provides a list of carry-on size and weight limits for many international airlines — but you should still double-check with your airline, domestic or international, to confirm their most up-to-date requirements.
Also, keep in mind that some luggage manufacturers list the internal (packing) measurements for their bags, but airlines go by the external measurements.
Do read the fine print on any luggage policies — size and weight limits still apply, and if you go over in either case, you can expect to pay extra fees.
Best Carry-On Luggage: Which brands are the best choices for your carry-on luggage? Editors say Patagonia, Red Oxx, Tom Bihn and Mother Lode are the best carry-ons.
Best Rolling Luggage: What is the best rolling luggage? Editors say eBags, Briggs & Riley and Gregory make the best rolling luggage on the market.
Airlines charge you to check your bag, but limit the size of a free carry-on to a size that isn’t practical for more than a short trip.
Start by shopping airlines when you buy your tickets — if multiple carriers allow similar fares, check to see which has the most generous policy for checked bags.

Finally, once you decide on the piece consider what you can do to tweak it a little by adding tie down loops, extra attached cords, a waist strap if you have a back pack type with wheels, a stitch on exterior pocket for bottled water, or other things you might want.
First Class: Telescoping handles made of lightweight, durable aircraft aluminum that retract & lock at two different places for travelers of all heights.
General rule: check with the airline for specific details as most domestic & international flights have different standards for carry-on luggage.
Picking your bag shouldn’t be hard! Built to withstand the wear & tear of travel, hardsides are made from tougher materials like ABS plastic or highly durable polycarbonates.
Designed to simplify & improve travel, Calvin Klein uses the finest materials to put long-lasting durability and standout style on the frequent flyer’s itinerary.
Easy to carry up stairs or place in an overhead bin, lightweight bags often feature high-density foam to maintain their shape & structure.
Composite polycarbonate: Crafted with a layer of polycarbonate on top, this less-expensive blend is lightweight & still very durable.
With its strong commitment to quality, travel-changing history and countless accolades, it’s no wonder travelers keep coming back to Travelpro time & time again.
Pack the light way! Innovative frames, high-tech fabrics & incredibly light handle & wheel systems allow you to pack more without worrying about airline fees.
Convenient compartments, zip pockets & mesh pockets stash accessories, toiletries, cell phones, chargers, glasses and more to make organized, secure travel a reality.
Polycarbonate bags take weight & stress in stride and always return to their original shape.
Available in a range of shapes & sizes, spinner wheels often pivot a full 360° to quickly turn corners & change directions in an instant without applying any pressure to your wrist.
The smart design is great for pushing and pulling, plus it stands completely upright even when open, so packing & unpacking are easy.
Pack & roll! The ultimate in mobility, spinners are uprights with four multi-directional wheels that rotate on two axes and always follow your lead.
"Poor quality zippers can burst without warning." So what makes for a great zipper? Thaw says the zippers should "work effortlessly." Look for zippers that are large and most of all durable; a thin plastic or cheap metal zipper (which might feel pliable in your hand) means that no matter the cost of the bag, you might be facing a difficult repair in your future.
So as with many products, real value comes with quality materials, construction, a good warranty, and that ineffable "feel." If you have luggage advice or a good suitcase story, let us know in the comments below.
"A luxury brand could cost three times or more than a similarly made bag," says Jeff Thaw, vice president of Roncato USA, which makes its luggage in Italy.
And when faced with cheap luggage options, how do you know if it’s just a waste of cash? DealNews spoke with several industry experts who shared their thoughts on how to land the best luggage for your money.
One agent puts the bags on the belt loader, which carries it up to an agent inside the cargo hold who throws it 50 feet to the back where another agent stacks all the bags as if it were a game of Tetris.  Wheels and handles oftentimes break or crack on impact and anything fragile inside that is not packed well doesn’t stand much of a chance.  Don’t put red wine or alcohol in your suitcase ever.  I would never check any fragile items in a soft sided suitcase, unless it was professionally packaged.
The four cardinal questions for understanding airline luggage rules are: How big? How many? How heavy? How much? Airlines restrict the size, weight, and number of bags you can carry on and/or check.
Can’t make up your mind? If you want flexibility between roller and non-roller you can buy a suitcase without wheels and also buy a collapsible luggage cart that can be brought on board a plane and stowed underneath the seat in front of you.
To, from, and within the United States, the answer is usually (but not always) this: one checked bag (stored in the plane’s luggage hold), one carry-on bag (stored in the cabin’s overhead bin), and one personal item (stowed beneath the seat in front of you).
In an iconic early-1970s TV ad, a gorilla in a zoo hurls, kicks, and stomps on an American Tourister suitcase (video). The point, of course, was to demonstrate that if American Tourister luggage could survive a few rounds with a primate, it could take the worst abuse from any traveler, airline baggage handler, or hotel bellhop.
Make sure the wheels are at least 2 1/2 inches in diameter, can spin 360 degrees, are spaced as wide apart as possible, and are recessed into the bag’s frame for protection (this also makes wheeled bags easier to stow in overhead bins).
Soft-sided luggage and backpacks are a good choice for car travel and for carry-ons, as such bags are lightweight, more flexible (i.e., can be squeezed into the overhead bins) and can be expanded.
If you travel a lot, tend to check bags on planes, or often pack electronics or other fragile items, buy luggage that’s hardy and sturdy.
In order for garment bags to allow for layering, hold clothes in place and reduce wrinkles, it’s best that they have two brackets for clothes hangers, two upper cross straps and a center cross strap.
Although hard-sided luggage is heavy, it can take more abuse than fabric bags and still protect the contents.
Carry-on luggage: Although airlines create their own rules regarding the size of carry-on luggage allowed, most airlines will accept carry-on bags with dimensions of 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.
Having the right luggage and bags for you makes getting to your destination easier and less stressful, so you can focus on why you’re traveling, whether it’s business or pleasure.
Matching luggage sets make it easier to spot your family’s bags on baggage carousel so you won’t leave any pieces.
Soft-sided, fabric luggage conforms to its contents and the shape of overhead storage bins very well, making it a good choice for carry-on luggage.
Larger luggage sets are typically the best for family travel when you need to fit everything you want to take and have room to bring back souvenirs.
If flying, stick to carry-on luggage, so you don’t have to wait for your bags when you land.
A good piece of luggage makes traveling so much easier because when your suitcase is organized, you feel like your life is in order, even when you are a long way from home.
Rolling luggage is also a good idea so your kid’s don’t have to struggle with heavy bags.
Luggage sets: The number of pieces a luggage set includes will vary, but typically they will include a few suitcases of varying size that can nest within each other and, sometimes, a handbag, garment bag and toiletry bag.
You want to be able to get through the airport easily and you want to be able to find what you are looking for in your luggage so you can look your best and be prepared for your meeting or convention.
Put luggage tags on all your bags so they can be more quickly identified and returned to you if they are lost.
Luggage sets are a great value, providing you with suitcases perfectly suited for almost any type of travel.
Most bags, from backpacks to larger luggage pieces, can be purchased with wheels, back straps or retractable handles.
Choosing the right luggage can help prevent these minor tragedies, in addition to other inconveniences like pesky baggage fees for an oversized piece or the embarrassment of trying to squeeze your massive nylon duffel into the overhead compartment as impatient passengers struggle to get by.
Pick the right carry-on and experience the freedom of traveling without checked bags — you won’t have to worry about lost luggage or extra fees if you can pack what you need in a good-sized carry-on.
Many modern duffels have accessories like wheels or a retractable handle; these bags are often sold as "travel duffels." While a traditional small or medium duffel bag will fit nicely in the overhead compartment, it may strain your arm or shoulder if you have to carry it for long distances.
They’re reputable among frequent travelers and carry a full line of luggage, garment bags, briefcases, duffel bags, carry-ons and more.
Soft bags are more common than hard-shell luggage and are easier to squeeze into overhead compartments.
Soft bags are available in a wide variety of models; for example, you can purchase a carry-on with a zippered backpack attachment, or a duffel that can be either strapped to your back or wheeled through the airport.
While handles and back straps are consistently useful features, some travelers get frustrated by stiff luggage wheels, which can inadvertently lead a heavy bag across the foot of an innocent bystander.
Check your airline’s website for information on what size bags you can check or bring onboard, and keep in mind that many airlines have different size requirements for international and domestic flights.
We these bags — but make sure to tape down any wayward straps if you check your backpack to keep them from getting entangled in the baggage carousel.
I am obsessed with Samantha Brown luggage and have purchased every set she has had on HSN!! I travel on business quite frequently and am constantly asked about my beautiful luggage.
My favorite is the canary yellow Samantha Brown luggage I purchased last year.
One thing I’ve learned in this process is that there is not one piece of luggage that fits everyone’s needs or travel personality.
Hi Samantha, I have your luggage and I just LOVE it!! It went to Sweden and Denmark with me and I got a ton of complements on it, and those Scandinavians know good stuff.
Just say no to black luggage! A few years ago I introduced my favorite color, canary yellow for a few of my bags (did I mention I have a luggage line?) and it sold out immediately.
I get so many compliments on my luggage every time I travel! My daughter has been trying to steal the underseater because it is the perfect size to carry on a plane.
I would love it if you would do a wheeled backpack – I want to travel with my nieces and nephews who travel with backpacks, but I want something with panache and citified, not something schleppy and student looking, eventhough it’s a backpack! Plus your pocket placement is inspired and I think you would do justice to something like a backpack.
If you tend to travel with items that could be easily damaged, then go with a harder side piece of luggage.
I love your luggage on HSN! But I need a 24″-25″ bag.
I agree I would really love for you to come up with a line of luggage for men or take what you have an make it more masculine.
The purpose of this article is not to promote my line, but to give you some insight into the types of things I look for in my own experience with luggage and what I considered when designing my own line.
Occasionally travelers will phone the store in the hopes that a missing article has turned up, but Cantrell says the center can’t assist with such requests because of the sheer volume of lost luggage it receives.
So I went to Scottsboro, AL, to the privately run Unclaimed Baggage Center (unclaimedbaggage.com), which has exclusive contracts with all the major U.S. airlines to buy luggage declared lost after 90 days.
When lost luggage arrives, much of the contents are thrown away or donated to charities, but the rest is placed on the store’s retail shelves: diamond rings, designer shoes, surfboards, even wedding gowns.
Investing in travel toiletries instead of taking full-sized versions of your shampoos, soaps and other personal care items makes it easier to fit everything you need into your luggage.
You don’t want to arrive at your destination only to find that your conditioner or body lotion has leaked all over you clothes. Toiletry bags separate your personal care items from everything else so you can stay organized and avoid messes.
Some bags like those from Royce Leather and Luggage by O come complete with a set of small essential items including scissors, nail clippers and even travel-size razors.
Learn about the importance of carrying a bag that has a compartment for a computer with help from a certified travel counselor and agent in this free video on buying luggage.
Plastics and Metals   Hard-sided cases are usually made of materials such as polypropylene, ABS plastics, or metal; or box-constructed cases with metal or wood frames on all six sides, covered with leather, vinyl or fabric.
HARDWARE Zippers — How is the zipper constructed? Is it manufactured using polyester coils, continuous molding, or brass? Will it self-repair? How is the zipper applied to the bag? Is the size of the zipper relative to the size of the bag? How durable is the zipper?   Construction, application and size are important elements in zipper longevity.
EDGES Edges — Are the edges turned, bound, welted or burnished? Does the edge offer protection and attractiveness to the bag?   Edges protect the sides of a piece of luggage.
They may also want to consider new design aspects of luggage, such as "transformer" bags which begin as one bag and end up as another, piggyback bags where one bag is attached to another by a zipper, or special luggage packing systems which are designed to organize clothes and keep them wrinkle-free.
Zippers are manufactured in three basic constructions:     Polyester coils — Made by weaving or sewing the nylon coil to the tape.
Michelle Marini Pittenger, of the Travel Goods Association (TGA), offers some advice for travellers: When purchasing luggage, consumers need to make informed decisions about the materials used in constructing a piece, the type of hardware used, and the organizational features which give a piece versatility.
Leather — Is the bag "top-grain" or full-grain" leather? Is the leather less expensive because it is "split" or processed leather? Leather is widely used for luggage and business cases and comes in different qualities.
Nylon zippers can be dyed to match luggage and leather.
"The most important thing for any luggage consumer is to make sure the functional parts are sound," Thaw says.
So the next time you travel, whether it’s an overnight stay at Aunt Sally’s, or a 14-day cruise, get the right garment bag, backpack, duffle bag, carry-on, tote, or suitcase on eBay, the world’s most inclusive luggage store.
You’ll find the most trusted brands in luggage, including American Tourister, Atlantic, Briggs & Riley, Eagle Creek, Hartmann, Samsonite, Travelpro, and Tumi, on eBay.
Once you know what type of luggage you want, go to the Travel portal, click Luggage, and start searching for items on eBay.
Guide: Luggage – What to look for when buying a bag.
Then there are the luggage companies that will go to great lengths to put wheels on their bags so they can market them as rollaboards, but putting the wheels and the handles on take up so much of the bag’s interior room that the bags themselves become inpractical.
The enormous 42-inch wheeled Ripcord duffel series (remember, just because it has wheels doesn’t mean you can shove it into the overheard compartment), is about $149.
The Wheeled Duffel has corner protectors and reinforced wheel housings to guard the in-line skate wheels.
This spinner upright features multi-directional wheels mounted at each corner that allow for 360-degree rolling.
Ever wonder why airlines lose, delay and damage bags? We asked an airline baggage handler who, of course, spoke to us anonymously, what it’s like in the belly of the beast and on the tarmac.
One agent puts the bags on the belt loader, which carries it up to an agent inside the cargo hold who throws it 50 feet to the back where another agent stacks all the bags as if it were a game of Tetris.
Bags can also get damaged by loose ends getting caught in the belt, which can tear off straps, zippers or handles.
We see open bags all the time because the zipper just started coming apart, and yes, things do fall out of these open bags.
We try to scan all the bags going on a flight, but the scanners are all wireless now and don’t always work due to bad connections or getting locked up.
Those fragile stickers don’t get noticed very often in the rush of loading bags unless it is an obvious shape, such as a musical instrument.
My best guess as to why airlines don’t cover common damages, such as wheels, handles and straps, is because they break so often that they would be paying out all the time.
Due to the nature of some aircraft, it would be impossible to turn around a 737 or 757 in an hour or less without throwing bags because it’s just faster.
Your bags are just put in a can and that can is loaded on the plane by machine so there is no bag throwing.
I understand @MAXB comment– I think instead of banning carry on, airlines should implement a process where people without carry-on luggage should get off the plane at the destination first– this is already starting to happen when boarding.
I hope this never comes true for those of us who travel with items that can’t be checked! I do think though that the trend of these giant carry-on bags is quite ridiculous…especially when it takes an age for the person to manoeuvre the bag into the bin or when they whinge about how this very very large bag won’t fit in the bin on a crowded plane.
By the way, I think it is quite interesting that you think other people shouldn’t have a problem with waiting a few minutes but are complaining that other people having carry on luggage means that YOU have to wait for a few minutes.
BTW, we travel abroad at least once a year (have visited every continent except Antarctica) and our luggage has been one BRIC’s 28/29" rolling plastic luggage and a BRIC’s duffle bag for carry-on for me.
And my partner’s is a TUMI 28/29" rolling plastic luggage and a TUMI flight/duffle carry-on for the last 5 years.
When boarding (or getting off ) a plane, those people with carry-ons are blocking the way for everyone else (putting up the bag in the overhead compartment, etc,), just because they do not want to wait five minutes for their luggage.
I’m not a wealthy person, but I knew because I travel frequently, and I wanted luggage that would last, I saved up and purchased luggage still serving me 10 years later.
Flying in the U.S.: I have no problem with checked baggage, but I have an awful lot of stuff I still need to carry on these days (medication, electronics, etc.). I’ll also sometimes use a very small but expandable bag as a carryon, and then check it when I come home.
Real talk, though: these prices are almost totally out of the bounds of what I consider a reasonable price for luggage as a twentysomething who doesn’t travel a whole bunch but obviously does need some suitcases for now and again.
I would NEVER have paid retail for this luggage, but getting a set of five suitcases and a carry on for that price rivaled any discount store/brand that I’d ever seen, let alone "luxury" luggage.

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