Must Have Luggage

That could be a noun, were it hyphenated, but it’s a short phrase describing a need.

We have luggage. It’s pretty battered. It has served us well, but it’s nearing the end of its own personal journey.

What have you personally used for lugging stuff around (that’s what you do with luggage, you lug) that you’d never leave home without? What would you recommend for a family of 3 who don’t have a budget but still need good solid luggage?

What I really want is Joe’s trunks (4 of them) from Joe Vs. the Volcano. I suspect that’s not in my immediate future.


  1. For my birthday, my folks gave me luggage. Silver suitcases that work like those Russian nesting dolls. FIVE of them.

    As a 50-year-old with a backpack, a carry-on shoulder bag, and a husband with a carry-on wheeled suitcase, I have managed fine. This summer, I will be part of a whole new class of traveller.

    I gave the biggest suitcase to a family member … we bury our bodies, I didn’t need a suitcase that would accommodate one. Plus, there was NO place in the house big enough to store it. The others are coming to NYC. I guess we’ll find out how the flexible, hard-shell with wheels life works.

  2. In the course of 25 years of traveling, we have run through a few sets of “bags”. Numerous no-names that held up for 5 to 10 trips. One of the latter Samsonite fabric models made in Asia broke fastest, may have been lifted or stuck at the front pouch that tore the main body. Junk after 3 trips.

    Three trips ago we ruminated on cost performance and sprung on a Rimowa soft plastic shell. One of those they filled with veggies and let the Elephants have a go. The test passed.
    Ours has scuffs and bruises of course, but nothing serious. If it lasts only 6 trips it was worth the extra expense. And it is lighter, reducing the risk of overweight baggage charges.

  3. Rimowa looks like good stuff. I have a friend who designed an entire motorcycle, engine included, out of polycarbonate (he had three metal pieces inside the firing chamber.) Solid stuff.

    When I get to that price range, I’m more likely to go with leather. Saddleback makes stuff I could kick around with for the rest of whatever:

    I figure if living on the road saves us $500/month and earns $500/month extra, we could get all the Saddleback leather we need in about five months, and then have it forever. I know weight is a factor, and leather isn’t light, but it’s a trade-off I’m willing to make for the pure pleasure I get from a good piece of leather.

  4. Those Saddleback bags and wallets look awesome.

    You have inspired me Joel. I am asking for a new wallet for Fathers Day this year, may cost a bit for shipping to Australia though.


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