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  1. #1
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    What to do on the days you need your wheels

    Thereís a real divide about rolling Ďví true carry Ďcarry oní

    Objectively I think we all know what the pros and cons are of both. I travel internationally about once a month at the moment and have found a pattern I wanted to share.

    Due to the long distances at the airports I travel through, Iíve defaulted to a Samsonite Pro-Dlx 55cm x 40cm x 20cm upright (2 wheels - I canít stand spinners in small cabin bags that donít go in a straight line) and a Tom Bihn personal item. I use the personal item as well since rolling luggage seems to (mostly) be devoid of organisational features and I donít want to open the case for every item I need access to. The personal item could be an S19, Pilot, Co-Pilot, Daylight Briefcase or Cadet. This works well.

    Iím packing for a very short 48hr international trip this week and realised that i really wanted to one-bag it. The Tristar is my one bag solution normally due to its excellent organisational features. But Iím a bit achy all over from a nasty chesty cough and donít fancy carrying anything, not even a personal item if i donít have to.

    Tom Bihn to the rescue. What I noticed was that the inside of the samsonite wasnít that far off the dimensions of my Tristar (and also the litreage). I packed the case in a way which mirrored as best as possible, the layout of the Tristar.



    I packed my Eagle Creek 18 folder with clothes. My Tristar small pouch with shoes and underwear. And my Daylight Briefcase (which isnít far off the medium packing cube size) with papers and work bits.



    As I didnít want to carry a personal item separately, I did pack my Side Kick with in flight items for on the plane.



    My laptop just slides into the front pocket of the roller, just like it can in the backpack strap panel in the Tristar.



    In many ways, I just repacked my Tristar into a 55cm roller using pretty much the same cubes and TB items I would have used. This almost feels like a Tristar with wheels. Now if TB decided the move into rolling luggage, a Tristar with wheels would be the obvious move.

    Life isnít always about carrying your carry on. In the same way its not always about wheels. Iím a Tom Bihn traveller even on the days where I need my wheels.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  2. #2
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    You do you, and that's the best anyone can ask for! Whatever works for you and makes you happy, as travel can be stressful enough.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  3. #3
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    While I do appreciate attempting to TB one bag it, there are times I wish more of the TB bags had a pass through for slipping over a roller bag handle. It's times like that when I want to use a TB bag, but end up using a different brand so it doesn't slip off the roller bag.

    While roller bags have a lot of wasted space for the wheels and the handle, there are times, when I just need to roll my luggage because carrying isn't an option.

    Then again, my last trip had a lot of cobblestones and stairs, and using the A45 in backpack mode was perfect.

    In the end, I own both types of bags and use whatever is best for the trip.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 06-25-2018 at 10:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    One of my deeper philosophies of one-bag travel is that everything should have a greater purpose; a briefcase that doubles as a backpack, a jacket that doubles as an inflight blanket, etc. I just can't get that from the roller bags. When travelling with kids, they work as a sedan chair for a lazy toddler if you work at it, but otherwise, the wheels and the handles are just wasted "stuff". Maybe an extending rollerhandle that doubled as a photo-tripod or something, that could get me interested.

    That, and the mad rush to get on the plane first and claim the necessary overhead space. With a one-bag sized for under seat, I prefer to kick back in the terminal, and be the last one on the plane. Perhaps a roller version of the WF will appeal to me as my back ages.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    One of my deeper philosophies of one-bag travel is that everything should have a greater purpose; a briefcase that doubles as a backpack, a jacket that doubles as an inflight blanket, etc. I just can't get that from the roller bags. When travelling with kids, they work as a sedan chair for a lazy toddler if you work at it, but otherwise, the wheels and the handles are just wasted "stuff".
    I use my roller bag as a foot rest in the terminal during long waits or layovers. Helps to elevate the legs to prevent DVTs! Duffles etc. don’t work and I’m forced to sit on the ground (ick!)
    Luminary 12 with a MCB Freudian Slip, Daylight Backpack, EDC Side Effect or Side Effect, zippered Large and Small Shopbags, Co-Pilot, Travel Tray, Snake Charmer

  6. #6
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    I have sooooo many bags, TB, non-TB, roller, backpack, shoulder tote, cross-body, etc. I'd say my carry changes for every trip, for a variety of reasons.

    For instance, a 3-day work trip to DC: if it's February, then everything goes into my A30 in backpack mode. It's warm enough there even in winter not to need a ton of heavy clothes, but cool enough I don't worry about becoming a sweaty mess with a big backpack. If it's August, then it's my 17" roller and a small backpack or tote, because it's HOT there, and rolling luggage is less work in the heat. I could probably list 10 other examples if I felt like that much typing.

    One thing that tends to stay more consistent is accessory-type bags. I pretty much never leave for a trip without a Travel Tray and a Small Shop Bag. I have a Snake Charmer that stays packed with travel essentials, and it gets tossed in whatever bag I am carrying (or rolling).

    There's no reason in my mind to be so prescriptive about packing or carrying certain bags that one style or another is a no-go. Except for spinners, you will never, ever, ever convince me on spinners Big Grin

    P.S. @Perseffect I love the look of that Samsonite roller, and I wish I'd seen something similar when I was on the hunt for a replacement for my 11-year-old TravelPro.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  7. #7
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    I love spinners, but I also bought good ones (Briggs & Riley), so they roll very smoothly. They are so much easier to roll than the 2 wheel bag you drag behind you. On the downside, spinners have less interior volume than a 2 wheeler, because the extra set of wheels takes up more space on the outside.

    What I don't like about spinners is that between the wheels and the telescoping handle, my A45 has soooo much more interior useable volume that the roller bags seem like a waste. It's definitely a trade-off as to which way I decide to pack for a trip.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 06-26-2018 at 04:35 PM.

  8. #8
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    I will admit I've looked at rolling luggage more than a few times, partly because it sometimes seems more professional (ie checking into a nice hotel) and maybe to see if the grass is greener. However I have yet to find anything that matches my criteria - a: because I need a bag that fits under the seat since I fly mostly regional jets and most wheeled luggage automatically gets gate-checked and because (b) I am a control freak and want my bags with me (see a). (C) there really aren't any smaller wheeled bags I like the aesthetics of, have wheels positioned where they could not easily be broken off and I could easily pack. (D) I always wind up walking a ton through airports or (e) running to catch a flight since my previous flight was delayed or both (d) and (e). So it seems simpler to stick with a backpack.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I love spinners, but I also bought good ones (Briggs & Riley), so they roll very smoothly. They are so much easier to roll than the 2 wheel bag you drag behind you.
    Well, they're easier in an airport concourse where everything is designed with super-smooth surfaces, but they're a lot worse on city streets.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvn View Post
    Well, they're easier in an airport concourse where everything is designed with super-smooth surfaces, but they're a lot worse on city streets.
    Another spinner fan here. On city streets you just tilt the bag and use two wheels. No different than two wheeled rollers.

    Real downside of spinners is their ability to take off on their own on sloped pavement. Iíve learned to keep an eye on mine but put it on its side when I was on a ship recently. I could just imagine what adventures my spinner would have had on the high seas. Wink

    To each her own...

  11. #11
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    When our American Tourister carry-on finally died (the wheels had gotten flattened on one side so they went thump-thump-thumb everywhere and the zipper wasn't working). To be fair, it got 20-ish years of lots and lots of use.

    We bought Samsonite Stryde items, to replace it. The carryon and the medium size. So far, they've been great. Light weight, and smooth to drag along. https://shop.samsonite.com/luggage/s...78651XXXX.html

    I have several big LLBean duffels of various sizes, including BIG, and I considered a TB to replace. But really, I only like smaller duffels these days. The big ones are HEAVY. So, wheels.
    Last edited by CathyWeeks; 06-27-2018 at 06:51 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist View Post
    I have yet to find anything that matches my criteria - a: because I need a bag that fits under the seat since I fly mostly regional jets and most wheeled luggage automatically gets gate-checked and because (b) I am a control freak and want my bags with me...
    Same here. The airlines are pushing enough people to under-seat that that there are quite a few underseat rollers around these days. I find that they usually end up putting them in the overhead anyway.

    The smaller the roller bag is, the more telescoping the handle must do, and the larger the diameter they get. I had a Wenger Patriot before my WF, and it was the best underseat contender at that time. But the handles made a good half of the overnight pocket nearly unusable, so I hacked the hanging folder pocket to carry packing cubes. And the shape of it never filled the underseat quite right; fully packed, the WF fits sideways to give more room to move around in your seat, or lengthwise to let you stretch a leg out on either side of the bag. Fully packed, the Wenger had to go in the bin (at least it had a nesting briefcase that could be hauled out for use on the plane.)

    I'd rather find a way to get my WF on a cart than get a roller bag.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist View Post
    However I have yet to find anything that matches my criteria - a: because I need a bag that fits under the seat since I fly mostly regional jets and most wheeled luggage automatically gets gate-checked ...
    There are occasions when I want to roll a small bag rather than carry my Aeronaut and the bag that met my needs is the now-discontinued Rimowa Salsa Business Trolley (similar to this; Rimowa only sells 4-wheel models now I think?) Anyway, it's tiny, my boyfriend borrows it for business travel when he has lots of files that are too heavy to carry comfortably, and it fits an incredible amount for the 23L or so capacity. There's an internal file thing that snaps out and you're left with an empty square which I then fill with various TB packing cubes.

    I think it fits on regional jets-- I fly mostly internationally, and I will say that it fits into the side bins on the upper deck of a 747, which are pretty small.

    I've also put my Aeronaut (either a 30 or 45, when I'm really going heavy) on top of the small roller when I need more stuff; the two bags work really well together.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveltech View Post
    Another spinner fan here. On city streets you just tilt the bag and use two wheels. No different than two wheeled rollers.
    That's absolutely not true in my experience, there's a huge difference in stability over rough terrain between the large, rollerblade-type wheels used on two-wheel bags compared to the caster-types on spinners.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvn View Post
    That's absolutely not true in my experience, there's a huge difference in stability over rough terrain between the large, rollerblade-type wheels used on two-wheel bags compared to the caster-types on spinners.
    The question is really this: what is suitable for this trip, to this destination, using this mode of transport? Are the city streets considered 'rough terrain' where you're going? How are you getting where you're going?

    I've visited cities with streets/sidewalks so smooth they are actually slippery when wet. And some places have sidewalks perforated by tree roots, missing or chipped concrete, gravel, etc.

    When I was doing mostly car-airport-car-hotel/relative's house, the luggage wheels hit the ground only at the airport and spinners are wonderful for those smooth floors, plus you can keep the case close alongside instead of dragging it behind taking up more space.

    Now I do a lot of bus/train/walking trips and I am typically pushing a stroller so wheeled luggage is completely out of the question. I'm a little obsessed with maximising the stroller basket so I am considering what bags will best fit that space, which is more square. Two NFTDs (40L total) will likely fit better than my MRD, which holds 36L. The trade off is that it's two bags to carry instead of one.

    It's all about tailoring the bag for the occasion, and for me that is part of the fun!

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