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Wheeled Bags

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    Originally posted by eristick View Post
    There are eleventy-seven manufacturers of wheeled bags. I think that the reviews at Travel Insider are nice because they cover all price points.

    True and true (and that's a great link, by the way). However, imho, just about all of the eleventy-seven bags out there are, with the exception of TravelPro and some of Eagle Creek, generally crap. They're either too heavy (Samsonite, e.g), not sufficiently well made (American Tourister, e.g), give few features for the price (Porter Case, e.g), or are just overpriced (Briggs & Riley and many others).

    My hope, and it may need to just remain a hope, is that Tom Bihn can do for this niche what he's done for backpacks and computer bags. A lot of mfr's make bags you can put your laptop in. NONE of them are as good as Tom's.
    Last edited by dsg29; 07-03-2007, 10:02 AM. Reason: mistyped
    It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.


      Originally posted by dsg29 View Post
      or are just overpriced (Briggs & Riley and many others).
      I'd expect that if TB made a wheeled bag, it'd be in a similar price range actually.


        where I am with wheels...

        It seems like last year sometime there was a post that Tom was checking out wheel parts. I used to have an old (bought new in the early 90's) 22" Tumi rolling case which was great--there is (or WAS) a reason to spend more money on them. I've since sold it. I was considering an Andiamo wheeled case recently (they also were worth the money) but their new stuff (in my opinion) is not as nice as their older products--they used to look more simple and less "tricked-out"--I really don't want or need shiny contrasting hardware on a black bag or a strip of dead animal skin embossed with the brand name. Nor do I want a Ducati motorbike-themed garish thing on wheels (Tumi). Both Tumi and Andiamo are no longer made in the States. But you can still buy them at the same ever-inflating prices (now that they are made overseas for less labor costs) at a nice upscale luggage store in a high-rent district staffed by Americans who may or may not make a little over minimum wage. All the more reason to avoid these brands.

        Since using the Aeronaut and following travel-light advice, I haven't missed my set of wheels and I'm happier for it but once in awhile I might like to transport something fragile or take some suits with me so I've been saving up for a 26" aluminum Zero Halliburton. My partner has a few of these (but BIGGER) and they are tanks. Oddly, ZH was just bought by a Japanese company. I'd definitely consider any thing made by Bihn and co. It's just that for a wheeled bag, I'm looking for something lifelong and the ZH cases are seriously rugged. I was thinking how nice one of my big Tom Bihn purple "portable culture" stickers would look slapped on a rolling silver ZH case with a black Aeronaut piggy-backed on it. I'd check the ZH and carry the Aeronaut on-board as usual.

        If I had a lot of money to blow on a rolling hard case, I'd consider Globe-Trotter luggage which has been made in England for eons with a secret "vulcan fibre" material: http://www.globe-trotterltd.com/ It's very "old world"-they look like steamer trunks and they're good enough for the queen..........................to afford.

        I suppose my requirements for a rolling bag (like a diesel truck--ZH) are very different than from baggage I can carry (like a sports car--Bihn bags). I also want a fairly large (in my case--26") rolling case because I don't see the point of having a little bag with wheels when I could just carry it and also with the one bag carry-on limit now, what's the point of checking a little bag? It also can't be so heavy that it's over the 50# limit once filled. But if Tom has some ideas, I'd most definitely be interested. Consider this a thumbs-up for experimenting with a new product. Please keep us filled-in on any developments. You're the best!


          Well, I guess you could say I use wheeled luggage. I use a Classic Fellow
          rollator from Ahlberg Leber in Sweden. My bag is either a midsize duffle bag
          from Bailey Works or Tough Traveler. In either case, the duffle bag fits nicely
          on the front of my rollator's reinforced mesh shelf. I use a large cafe bag as
          my everyday carry bag and Imago as a brief case for business.

          Click http://www.ahlbergleber.com/Sidor/pr...lassic_eng.htm
          to view my rollator. BTW, I was featured in a NY Times article with my
          rollator about 5 years ago.

          I have had zero problems bringing my carryon duffle and rollator directly to
          the plane. This setup has worked very well for me.

          FYI: The best rollators come from Sweden or Western Europe. The top
          brand names are Ahlberg Leber, SamHall, Etac, Dolomite, and from Canada
          checkout, the Dana Douglas Infinity 500.

          Do not bother with cheap Asia knockoffs, as with most things in life, you get
          what you pay for.
          Last edited by PM4HIRE; 07-04-2007, 04:38 PM.
          Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA

          Travel Lite & Smart


            The evolution of the search

            Ok, so now I'm starting to hone in on a wheeled option, as the standard third bag to go along with my SmartAlec and Aeronaut. The more I look, the more I circle back to TravelPro, specifically the Crew6 22" Rollaboard Suiter (though I fully intend for this to be checked more often than not).
            Anyone out there with TravelPro experience?
            It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.


              i'm torn on this one.

              i've travelled both ways - i've carried everything i need for a week long trip in an aeronaut and it's worked great. i've also carried the bare necessities onboard and checked in the rest, and i've liked being able to travel light.

              i think both solutions fit particular needs, and you cannot dismiss one or the other.

              specially if i am traveling with my son and wife, we have no option but to check in luggage (we're still carrying quite a bit onboard to keep them entertained in-flight). and it's easier for such multiple or large checked bags to have wheels. imagine maverick walking through an airport pulling 2 26" suitcases, one with each hand, with the buzz or the smart alec on his back.

              if it's just me for a week long trip, i have gone with just the aeronaut with a brain cell inside, and it's worked well.

              however, with the nature of air travel these days, even if i can take everything with me in one bag, i prefer to travel light to make it easier to get through security lines. specially if my travel involves transit trough another country (traveling via europe to india and back, for example), where you need to go through security again in the country through which you are transiting, the less i carry onboard, the better.

              i carried just the buzz onboard for my trip to the uk, and then picked up my small wheeled suitcase from baggage claim and it made the trip easy. this was just a 5 day trip - i could actually have carried the wheeled suitcase onboard. maybe i'm getting old .


                I don't really have a choice for the vast majority of my trips. My SmartAlec is my laptop/wallet/MP3/sunglasses/critical stuff backpack (with Monolith, Snake Charmer and Freudian Slip tucked inside), and the Aeronaut is the other carryon (with Ultimate Strap). Books in one side pocket, toiletries in the other, and the center compartment reserved for medical equipment that must be carried on (CPAP, to treat sleep apnea.....those of you who know what it is know why it has to be taken along, and carried aboard. For those who don't know, it's sort of a small reverse-vacuum cleaner. It's the thing that keeps me from dying in my sleep), along with a windbreaker and a pair of shoes.

                Everything else (clothes and those toiletries/liquids that are deemed far too dangerous to be allowed in the passenger cabin, such as cologne) get checked. This is basically for any trip of 2 days or more. The vast majority of my trips are 3-5 days, so this is what I need for around 95% of my travel, and I travel on average 2-3 times a month.

                Hence the importance of my wheeled luggage search. Please, Tom! I'm loyal. I'm happy to be a guinea pig. Consider it, please!
                It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.


                  I love the aeronaut. It is quite possibly the best bag I've ever owned. However, when travelling back home (Costa Rica) I oftentimes need to pack not only clothes for 2 or so weeks but also assorted gifts and requested us merchandise for friends and family. A bit much for my noble aeronaut so some checked luggage is usually necessary.

                  My old cheapo wheeled duffel served me well for a good 3 or 4 years worth of trips but, it has developed several holes. I was looking at buying a new one for my upcoming november trip and would be ALL OVER a Tom Bihn made wheeled duffel. I can dream can't I?

                  As far as briefcases go, yeah, we don't need no stinkin' wheels!


                    I say go for it. Clearly many opionions against such a bag are based, at least in large part, on existing wheeled options, which are deemed sub-par. Clearly there is a market need for bags with wheels. Tom Bihn would only launch a wheeled bag if it was designed better than those that already exist. If Tom can close the demand and design gap that currently exists, then it's not at all going against what the company stands for.


                      After other forumites input, I think that a wheeled duffle would be good.


                        Originally posted by Hugh View Post
                        like a sports car--Bihn bags
                        I like that - it's how I like to think of them (especially the Aeronaut).
                        For what it's worth, our production VP June Johnson rolls her eyes whenever we've discussed making rolling luggage. I'm sure we could do it, just not yet convinced it would be worth the trouble. Odd to me no one has mentioned Patagonia's rolling stock - anyone care to weigh in on Yvonne Chouinard's attempt at bags-on-wheels?
                        And to those who feel their advanced years may dictate rolling luggage, remember that weight-bearing exercises are crucial to maintaining bone mass after the age of 30 or 35: I say <A href="http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15377">"Do not go gentle into that good night"</A>.
                        Last edited by Tom Bihn; 07-17-2007, 12:30 PM. Reason: broken link


                          No mas

                          Ok Tom, I officially withdraw the request. If the production VP rolls her eyes when the topic is broached and The Man is quoting Dylan Thomas to talk me out of the product I desperately want and need (I truly do, regardless of bone mass), then it's clear that this product is never going to be taken seriously, much less produced. Fair enough. TB's products are still the best in their categories, and I shall continue to love and cherish my Aeronaut and SmartAlec, and prosletyze to all who ask about them. I'll just set my sights elsewhere for the wheeled luggage, right now somewhere between LL Bean and TravelPro.

                          Regardless of the outcome, I'm very appreciative for the chance to have brought this request directly to Tom. Consumers don't often get that kind of access. Tom, you're still The Man!
                          It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.


                            I've used a Dakota 27" expandable rolling suiter (sorry I can't find a model # or I'd share it) for 7 years now. It barely shows any wear or tear - it seems to be nearly as well made as a Tom Bihn bag. I couldn't do all of the airport travel that I do without it. Highly recommended.

                            But I do wish that TB would decide to make something like this. I'm assuming that eventually my Dakota will wear out and will have to be replaced.
                            Jim Hall
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                            My TB bags: 2 - Empire Builder 1 - Checkpoint Flyer


                              I just returned from a trip using my carry on (no wheels) bag.
                              After arriving early, a 1.5 hour plane delay, and lugging the bag all over the airport, I will use wheels forever more when I am traveling by myself.
                              When I have someone to watch my bag while I go to the bathroom, etc., I still may take the bag without wheels.


                                Originally posted by jehingr View Post
                                But I do wish that TB would decide to make something like this. I'm assuming that eventually my Dakota will wear out and will have to be replaced.

                                I think we've pretty well established that it's not going to happen. After much research and deliberation, I've settled on buying a rolling TravelPro Crew 6 bag sometime soon.
                                It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.