Saturday, January 8, 2011

Out with the Old and In with the New

Perhaps I'm naive, but I thought there wouldn't be as much travel for me this year as last year. I still don't think I'd do over 100K miles in 6 months. However, it's the second weekend of January, and here I am on another trip.

Well, on my last flight from Taiwan, the TSA brutalized my luggage enough that I had to purchase a new carry-on. Ten years ago, I bought my Dakota Metro after spending 15 minutes at the Bag 'n' Baggage store at the mall. This time, I spent hours researching the best brands and models, agonized over 2 vs 4 wheels and hard case vs cloth. Some requirements:
  • Big enough for a week-long trip with work and workout clothes.
  • International carry-on (20" length).
  • Durability. It sucks to drag along a broken suitcase when you're thousands of miles from home. For some reason, emotions get amplified the further you are from home.
  • Ability to sit atop the luggage. I like to sit on it when I'm waiting around - either in a line somewhere or just before I board the plane. I try not to be gate lice, but there are times when I arrive a few minutes beforehand.
As long as the hard-cased 4-wheelers have been out, I wasn't sold on the durability. So, I went with a Briggs and Riley Transcend 20" Wide Body. Since B&R have a true lifetime warranty, I figured they'd have to build bags to last and learn from their mistakes. I was concerned about going from a 22" to 20", but I'm short and my inseam makes it easy to fit pants folded in half. Also, I can use the extra space on the wide body to store my travel food (Jane snacks during the week and the random packaged food when I return).

Strange that I have an entire post dedicated to my luggage, but it's important when it's your traveling companion for weeks (or months) on the road.

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