Okay, so I know this one will generate a ton of discussion. Let me say first that I travel by plane every week. My travel typically involves North America and Europe. I travel roughly 300K miles a year and spend 250+ nights in hotels each year... so my bag has been through it.
I currently carry a Briggs and Riley Domestic Carry On Garment Bag - Upright (I HATE the horizontal ones, they never fit anything - I know some of you out there will disagree, but I have tried 3 different ones Tumi, B&R and TravelPro and returned them all). I love the bag, and it fits lots of stuff, the unique clamshell compartment helps to get hanging stuff in one side and folding items in the other. http://www.briggs-riley.com/shop/type/carry-on/domestic-carry-on-upright-garment-bag
However, in traveling more and more to Europe, I have had the occasionally over zealous agent make me check the bag as technically it does not meet EU standards (less forgiving that US). So, that and some recent time in the Frankfurt LH Lounge made me start thinking about Rimowa, for a couple of reasons, size (better EU compliance) and weight. Then I read some reviews about cracked plastic and shied away.
The lifetime warranty on B&R is great, but paying $50 to 75 each time to ship it back makes the warranty less attractive. I have basically paid for the bag 1.5 times now.
So, I am curious, what do you other frequent travelers recommend... hit me with your best shot.
mrbmbrown, I gave up on the old-style hanging garment bags because the FAs always want to take them from you and hang them somewhere, and I'm deathly afraid of forgetting them after forgetting my Burberry trench coat twice. Luckily, I was able to retrieve the coat both times but it still makes me nervous. I just use a Samsonite soft-side lightweight roller/spinner carryon. I've noticed the flight crew seem to use Travel Pro so maybe those are better. Since I fly a lot on regional jets, I often have to gate check my carryon which is not fun but there is no extra charge for it. If I had a Rimowa or LV or another designer brand, I'd be worried about someone stealing it just for the bag. Bad part about the Samsonite is wear and tear on the fabric and zippers, along with rain soaking through a bit when the bag's been out on the tarmac in a downpour which seems to happen more often than you'd think it would.
Good thing Tommo781 explained, as I was about to post the lyrics from "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas
Whilst lurking a few days ago, I did think exactly that Tommo781 and was mighty disappointed to find the thread was about baggage. I'm so pleased it's been redirected down a happier road... So my Carry On Quote is from "Carry on Camping"
Mr Muggins, whilst hiking comes across an attractive farm girl struggling to lead a cow down a country lane
Muggins: Oh hello, I say what are you doing with that old cow?
Farmgirl: I'm taking her to be serviced by the bull
Muggins: Oh, couldn't your father do that?
Farmgirl: No, it has to be the bull
Sorry to read you didn't like the Travel Pro as I had my first recommended by my good friend an airline pilot which clearly would know what was the best for packing and longevity. So I bought two of the airline crew preferred bag which turned out to be 24" in length for my Wife and myself, traveled all over, mainland U.S., Hawaii, Europe and South America and could always fit in the necessary items never once having an issue with airlines wanting to check the roll-a-board.
Not sure how many miles ended up on my bag as I went over a million miler and then one day one of the wheels just fell apart so it was time to either fix it or get a new one. I opted to retire them both and purchased new ones, this time got the 22" and was surprised to find it held just about if not the same amount of stuff as the larger one. After many more miles both on regional carriers where you gate check the bag they look brand new and we still love them and their ease to pack/use.
Since you made reference to the European airlines wanting you to check your bag thought I'd toss this in. On our last to Europe we flew Lufthansa from Houston and all over Europe on them and their regional partners, not once did we get questioned about the size of the carry-on. Leaving Munich for Houston on United in Business Class, the Lufthansa gate agent made my Wife put her bag into the little container to see if it fit. Now granted she had some books and mags in the front compartment so it was a little thicker than normal.....bang, check it! I managed to take those out of hers and carry them in my arm as we boarded so we could carry it on while others that had much larger bags strolled right on down the jet bridge!!!
When we got on the plane I told her that she was being pulled out of line due to being a female and there was no way a woman could get all her belongings in a roll-a-board.
Travel Pro continues to get our vote.
You may want to check this discussion for an answer;
I have a Tumi backpack that I love it is great, and a carry on (Continental) that I like but the handle got stuck so I need to have it repaired.
We love our Eddie Bauer Adventurer backpacks! Lightweight and highly portable. We've never been forced to check these! We either wear or roll up our business/dress clothing, always bring our computers, an extra pair of shoes and have been comfortable for 14 day vacations, wearing/carrying our coats/jackets/sweaters when necessary. Recently navigated 5 days in NYC, Astoria and Teaneck, NJ, without a car, carrying everything with us from stay to stay. C
I have a Hartmann international size spinner that I've been very happy with. It meets European carry-on requirements (slightly shorter and a little bit deeper). It was more than I usually spend, but it's held up quite well for both carry on and checking. I got it around this time of year, as well, and it was on clearance at a mall luggage store.
I have Tumi (and a Rolex) but still I only buy it when deeply discounted. I've got the green and orange large backpack listed at $400+ for $125 at Ross downtown Miami. This is the most comfortable and versatile backpack I've seen, but I wouldn't have bought it at full price. Also I bought the continental carryout at the Tumi outlet in Orlando when they had the regular line at 60% discount. Tumi has a regular line and an outlet line, the outlet line is less expensive but I do not like it as it seems flimsy to me. I only buy the regular line but at the outlet for the discount. I am planning a trip to Europe so I'm planning on buying an International carry out, Macy's has the Victorinox at 40%, and the Delsey at 60% still I would rather buy Tumi, so I keep searching the stores for discounts. At the Last Call store in Dolphin Mall (Miami) they had the Tumi at a deep discount but they were sold very quickly and didn't have the international carry out. My rule is I won't buy it unless it is 60%off or more!. Hope this helps. Happy travels
Costco ('Kirkland Signature' - available online only): Kirkland Signature™ Upright 21.5" Black Carry-on
May not last as long as Tumi or Briggs, but at $100, it's a great value. I fly ~100k miles a year.
Bought a Briggs at the Rack a couple years ago. It's literally a hair too long to fit in most 737's, which I normally fly, but fits in the newer overhead bins so I'll use it more in the future. My Costco suitcase feels as well built as the Briggs.
I'm going to play devils advocate here...how will you know until you're on the plane if it is a new B738 or B739 with the larger overhead bins or an older one?
I have a 22" Travel Pro which fits into all the luggage rack test things at most gates and on the older B737, B738 and B739 it will not fit vertically into the overheads until you get back to Row 3, from there back it fits in fine as well as in any Row of the new aircraft. So my guess is you're traveling in First Class often!!!!
Glad to have devils advocates in these woods. While I do regularly fly first class which has smaller bins the first few rows, my Briggs unfortunately doesn't fit even back in coach. It's insane how close it is to fitting but doesn't fit. I've thought more than once about sanding down some plastic parts to make it work. I've seen other people with my exact bag put theirs horizontally and block 2 spots, but the social no-no of that behavior is not something I'm will to put up with flying weekly.
I fly Alaska and they've got new bins that put bags on their sides. I'm curious how my Briggs will fit in them.
You've also tried with the wheels out? I'm not at all against the horizontal storing of our roll-a-boards if they won't go in vertically, if it doesn't fit you have no other choice and I'm not checking a bag as baggage claim in an airlines last chance to disappoint a passenger!!
Tried every which way. When I put it horizontal and overhead space runs out, 95% of the time someone would look at it and think "oh, it'll fit the other way," move it, and either 1.) I notice and have to awkwardly stop them or 2.) don't notice it and a flight attendant scorns me and checks the bag.
I've had the Flight Attendants attempt to turn in the other way and I tell them about the old planes and Row 3, new planes fits in any overhead and they just look at me like, WOW, you know more about these planes than we do!! Yet never had one try to check it, they just give me more drinks!!!!
Regrading your No. 1 comment, most than I've run into attempting to move the bag I simply let them know that I'm sorry it won't fit and it is legal size, that's why I get on the plane first when I am fairly sure it's an older B73X.