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Wheeled Bags

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    When I first discovered Tom Bihn bags, I had a wheeled suitcase that I was happy with. It held enough, and it was convenient enough. Everyone else has wheeled luggage, so it seemed like the way to go.

    But it was at this website (the forum or the FAQ, I don't remember) where I learned about the downsides of wheeled luggage -- the extra weight and the loss of space. And along the lines of OneBag.com, I was carrying too much.

    It was a revelation for me.
    That describes my situation precisely. I've been working on the amount of weight I carry, have moved on from my wheeled luggage (a trusty set from Air Canada that came with a lifetime warranty and is still going strong at over 10 years old) to an Aeronaut and couldn't be happier. Which is not to say that wheeled luggage doesn't suit most people. The only problem is weight restrictions - my carry-on suitcases have always been overpacked and probably weighed twice the allowed limit. But most airlines didn't use to care about the weight of carry-on luggage too much. That is now changing and to be able to bring more with me, I had to look for lighter bags, and lighter bags do not have wheels. It's as simple as that.

    I think the market is saturated with good wheeled options; Tom Bihn would be smarter to invest in lighter luggage...


      Well. I'm back at the office and this thread caught my eye. I think it's time for some kind of wheels. Backpacking, shoulder-carrying and hand carry are great options, but once a load hits 24lbs and the situation is business travel , wheels really do help- ever see what a heavy shoulder bag does to a nice suite jacket? I HATE those box wheeled carry-ons- so an Aeronaut Bag SHAPE & size with roller-blade wheels would be really appreciated. Tumi gets pretty close though.
      Last edited by Zephyrnoid; 07-23-2008, 12:25 PM.


        Originally posted by Tom Bihn View Post
        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>.
        Spoken like a man who is still in great shape - would that we all could face our encroaching years with such a blessing! Unfortunately, many of us have already broken down faster than we could regenerate and really do need the wheels to get through the triathlon that plane travel has become. Even those who aren't necessarily aged can still be moderately decrepit - my husband suffers from a degenerating hip from a childhood injury and ever since has been considered mildly disabled because of it - and those with physical limitations really need the help.

        Please, Tom, not everyone who buys your products is as "tough-and-sporty" as those products are, and not everyone can hope to be so with mere changes in lifestyle. ;~)

        ~ hb33, who, with a recent back injury, is a big proponent of wheels ~
        Last edited by honeybee33; 08-02-2008, 12:27 AM.
        "To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee" ... and a Cork Swift, Forest/Cork Imago, Coyote/Steel LS, Black Buzz, Wasabi and Black SSBs, LSBs in every color, YSSs in every color and size, coupla 3DCOCs, all the KTPs, and countless OPs. ~ apologies to Emily Dickinson.


          Originally posted by Darcy View Post
          Reading <b><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/28/fashion/28work.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=health&a dxnnlx=1183141909-lvYLWUYlINNmx6m7Fltr8A">"Your Briefcase Just Ran Over My Toe"</a></b> (an article in the New York Times on wheeled luggage) made me wonder: would you like to see a TOM BIHN wheeled bag? If so, why? Or does the idea of a TOM BIHN wheeled bag go against everything that we're about?
          How about this...an option for wheels -- just to keep the purist concept going! Wheels, for some of us who are mature of body but still think like a 30 something, would be nice on those damp days (or when we have packed the kitchen sink in our our favorite Bihn bag) when arthritis throws us curve balls
          Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!


            Originally posted by dsg29 View Post
            This topic couldn't have come at a better time for me. I travel WAY too much, and because of various circumstances, I'm pretty well obligated to have three bags: My Tom Bihn SmartAlec (it's red, dammit. I'm the one who keeps insisting that calling it crimson is to misunderstand what crimson looks like), my red Tom Bihn Aeronaut, and something I have to check. That last bag is my problem. For comfort and convenience, I need a wheeled bag, but i haven't found exactly the one I like yet. I have a small, squarish wheeled bag from LL Bean, but it's not terribly capacious. I have a big, cheap red one, but it keeps falling over when I stand it up, and it's heavy even when it's empty. I just got a wheeled duffel which fits a lot of stuff (good!) is very light (good!) but its extension handle broke after its third use (bad!), and so it's not going to work out, either.

            I would LOVE a Tom Bihn wheeled duffel or something similar. In fact, I'd be happy to be a tester. I fly a lot, I need to pack between 3-5 days worth of clothes at a time, it has to be lightweight, strong, be able to stand up straight when packed, and (of course) very well made.

            Not everyone needs something like this, but a lot of us do. Does it "go against the Tom Bihn ethic"? Perhaps it does. Is that a sufficient reason to forego a product that a TON of people would appreciate? I think not.

            Please please please!! There are a lot of us out there who want a small but roomy, light, well-made wheeled piece of luggage. This is a niche that's screaming to be filled.
            Well Said! I second that!!

            PS - I would be happy to be a tester, too!
            Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!


              Originally posted by dsg29 View Post
              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?
              YES! And, they are awesome. One draw back we encountered a couple of years ago: We had to fly several airlines and each had a different idea of carryon dimensions had to be. We ended up having to check the bags on a particular airline but not on others. Check with the airlines or measure well if you want to carryon!

              Otherwise the TravelPro is the best we have come across - well worth the $$.
              Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!


                Thanks for the kudos. A lot has happened since that post. First, I acknowledged once and for all that for his own, perfectly well-founded reasons, Tom is just not going to make a wheeled bag. Secondly, I determined that I couldn't wait him out, even if he were eventually to change his mind. So I went out and got myself a very nice TravelPro rollaboard (the 22" model, I think). I'm very impressed with it. It comes everywhere on all trips of three days or more, which for me is all of them. It gets checked, and the SmartAlec and Aeronaut are the carryons. This has been a great choice, and I'm pleased with the decision.

                While I feel badly that TB has decided against a wheeled bag, I respect the decision. Sometimes it's best to stick with what you know you do well, rather than make a halfhearted attempt to do what everyone else is already doing better. I'm a software trainer, and I wish certain software vendors would heed that same logic!
                It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.


                  You are welcome! Glad you like our WHEELED bag!!
                  Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!


                    Wheeled Bags or luggage cart

                    Using luggage cart could be the solution as you can use in with any TB bag.


                      I want a laptop bag with four wheels!!!! That could crossover as a cane-like affair.


                        Been there, done that.

                        Many moons ago, I used a 2 wheeled cart with 2 hard sided pieces of luggage.

                        I could not stand it, first, I am much too tall.

                        The reason wheeled bags or luggage cart vendors do not show picture of people using them is that one has to be well under 5' 7" or 1 meter 75.

                        Second, the luggage or cart need to be tilted leaving your hand and harm bearing the brunt of many pounds or kilos that presumably your back cannot handle on it's own.

                        Third, Let's talk about the back's reaction after being forced to help one side of the body bear an average of 30 to 40 pounds, it's not pretty and very painful.

                        The only solution would be a four wheeled luggage or cart.
                        In the spirit of fairness, I surfed the net to find 4 wheeled luggage carts (could not find any) or 4 wheeled luggage.

                        I tried to find the biggest 4 wheeled luggage, if I check, the less bags, the better.
                        I found 2, one soft sided 31.3" H x 22.2" W x 12.8" D, 20.8 lbs (empty) around $300 and one hard sided 32.3" H x 21.7" W x 13.4" D, 13 lbs (empty) around $1,300.

                        I know from experience that the soft side luggage is going to tip over unless pushed at a snail pace, on even surfaces, the wheels are far too small for the luggage size and the width/height ration is not good. If it tips, one is looking at hoisting 28 to 30 pounds of stuff off the floor.

                        The hard sided piece looks sturdier, the wheels are much bigger and the height to width ration is much better, I don't know how stable the luggage would be but... it is and looks like an expensive piece of luggage, which means almost certain "inspection for valuables" on all legs of the trip.

                        The bottom line is, tall wheeled luggage tip over, compact ones require the owner to bend significantly.

                        They are only good if one must check luggage and risk for them to be lost, damaged or "inspected for valuables" on each and every leg of one's trip.

                        You will also have to pay extra $15 extra for each bags with most airlines in the U.S.

                        In Europe, the fee is by weight so the monstrous check in are going to cost you pretty euros.

                        That's why I don't like wheeled luggage
                        Last edited by backpack; 01-31-2009, 04:21 PM.


                          I'm disable and used the rollator below to carry luggage, usually a medium size duffle bag.
                          Attached Files
                          Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA

                          Travel Lite & Smart


                            That Rollator looks great and much more stable than the "luggage" solution for
                            people who cannot carry bags.

                            Thanks for the link PM4HIRE.


                              some people have an inherent dislike for wheeled luggage. i find that strange. i think a combo of wheeled luggage and messenger bags and/or backpacks is great. one wheelie and another bag is a great combo package. sometimes u have to carry the wheelie up the stairs - but that is where good design comes in - the eagle creek wheelie i have has the most comfy handle in the world - very well designed. that little time i spend going up stairs is made up for by the rest my body gets from not having to carry two bags on my shoulders.

                              if TB wants to make wheeled luggage because they believe it is a good form factor that fulfills a certain duty for many a traveler i would love to see them make one. i would like to see more than just a wheelie duffle too. i mean a real wheelie carry on piece.

                              my current travel combo is an eagle creek wheelie carry-on with a super-ego.


                                For what it's worth, a company called Tutto makes a 4 wheeled bag that worked very nicely. It is not terribly tippy; you can pull it easily - admittedly if your taller than about 5'10" then you may be stooping a bit, and it is highly maneuverable. It can be pulled up and down stairs. It is quite light with the frame on the outside. The "Regulation Carry-On" fits easily in the overhead bins of larger aircraft (including larger regional jets) and it will fit under most seats - unless you are lucky enough to have an entertainment unit there. You still need to get onboard early enough for space to be available. I have never had it turned back by gate crew. My wife and I have had 2 of these for quite some time and they have held up beautifully. They are essentially open rectangular spaces so you can bundle pack or use cubes. There is a side pocket big enough to fold in a suit - wrinkling has been minimal.

                                I use this bag for about 1/3 of my trips - those where I know I am going to have to carry a bunch and walk across some pretty big airports with long distances between gates - Atlanta, Phoenix, O'Hare. Given a choice I will simply use my ID and WF; however, there are times when a rolling bag is really needed (at least for me.)

                                I do not work for Tutto, nor do I receive anything from them. (I ran into their representatives at a professional meeting in the exhibits area when one employee was effortlessly pulling another employee who was seated on top of the bag. I was intrigued and ended up buying one on the spot.) If fact, customer service is not great - if you need something, you can call and leave a message or send an email. When they do not generally acknowledge receipt of the question/call, they do send replies or items in a decent timeframe - nowhere near as satisfying experience as with the TB folks. Just my 2 cents for those who may want/need a 4 wheeled bag.
                                Last edited by rabergnc; 02-01-2009, 01:58 PM. Reason: typos, typos, ptyos