Beth Smith

The Next Great Bag Search

 This first photo is for Jillian.  Just because. Orange Crystals on Pink yarn would be lovely I think.

OK.  On to the search.  A little background. I finally bought myself a travel wheel this year.  A Schacht Sidekick. I never found one that I loved enough to own before but this was the one.  It folds compactly and is easy to throw over your shoulder and take to classes, spin ins and guild meetings.  One drawback is that it’s a bit too tall to take as a carry-on on an airplane.  So now I need to figure out how to transport the thing when I am going to teach at places that aren’t in driving distance. SOAR is coming in just 3 weeks. I’m running out of time to plan my packing.

More background. When we went to Peru in November I went to Marshalls and purchased a hard side suitcase with spinner wheels.  Most hard side suitcases only come with spinner wheels these days. I filled it with fiber and a spinning wheel and a charkha.  It weighed just under 50 pounds with all of the stuff in it. I checked it in Detroit and the next time I saw it was in Lima when I had to pick up my bags for customs. Did it come off in Detroit or at the flight change in Florida? I don’t know but for the rest of the trip that suitcase was horrible to drag around.

I save the receipt and the tags that came with the bag. No warranty on the wheels coming off when flying. Bummer.

So now I need another bag because that one went to the garbage. I want something hard sided and light weight since the Sidekick is 13 pounds. I also want something with some kind of guarantee. So I decided to go to the actual luggage store.

 The first bag we tried was a carry on size duffel with a zipper part in the bottom.  It didn’t work because the drive wheel is a tiny bit too wide and about an inch too high.

 Not sure if this photo shows it very well…

 Here’s another carry on bag…not cuttin’ it.

 Camparison of size with another carry on.  Thing is, the wheel might work on its own as a carryon but I would hate to risk it. I’ve been on flights where they made me put my carry on under the plane. That would be sad.

 Another view.  So we started to look at other options.

 I like that one. There is a stretchy strap to keep it in place with a zippered bit that goes over top as well as room all around the wheel so I can wrap it in bubble wrap before packing it.  I wish it were a bright color but I can’t complain too much. It’s also very sturdy and resists very well when I try to push the sides in. This one also comes in silver.

 I like the look of that one (it’s shiny) but it didn’t have the extra protection of the stretchy band to go over the wheel. This one also comes in red.

 That one was a bit too small. Very little room around the edges and I want to be able to put some buffering all around before I trust it to an airplane.

 This is the from the same collection but bigger. I love the look of this one and the wheel fits very nicely and the interior is pretty lovely. No other colors are available.

 So we’ve narrowed it down to these three. Pretty, sturdy, shiny..

 Ok, I got rid of pretty because it wasn’t as sturdy/strong as the other two. Then I had to make a final decision.

I went with very sturdy in silver.
Also, since I purchased this at the Samsonite store I get a 10 year warranty where the wheels are covered. The delightful person who was helping me (I forgot her name because I am a nit wit) was fantastic and yes, I could have gotten this cheaper on line. but I spent over an hour in the store and this woman was so helpful and smiley and put up with all of my pulling things down that I want their store to stay there. I will definitely shop there again.

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