Image by: geishaboy500
By Phillip K. Issa
That cardboard box with a candy-bar wrapper for a handle that you’ve been schlepping around airports across the globe needs to go. And you have an entire set! I can clearly see “Gateway” there on the side and those unmistakable cow color motif.
While nobody reading this actually uses a cardboard box for luggage, I am trying to make a point. A very, very funny, yet very serious point.
And that point is unless you recently bought a new set of bags, inherited grandma’s $2000 (1937 prices) hand-made stage coach chests, or travel with just a wallet and a passport – chances are your current luggage could use an upgrade.
Yes, it is true that luggage gets beaten, battered and bruised by baggage handlers, cab drivers and, heck, even you. Bag abuser! But that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a sense of style whilst walking through LaGuardia.
Like the cheerleaders in that famously awful movie franchise said: Bring it.
Luggage Should Last Forever … Like Luggage
Good luggage, while very expensive, can also last forever and can be handed down from one generation to the next, which is why you need to choose your colors and coverings very carefully, although the look of the luggage isn’t your main concern.
You need to look at how well it is all put together. Is this bag or set made for the long-haul, or will you be back again in three years to drop some more coin on another set? As commonly used bags give out on cheaper sets, you are (most likely) forced to buy replacements that no longer match.
Then you end up with a bunch of miss-matched bags that would make a hobo proud. Don’t be a hobo.
OK, we get it, your job requires you to be a frequent flyer. And consequently, that means more opportunities for damaged baggage as well as entire losses of pieces and valuables altogether. So naturally, you will want luggage that is durable and stylish without going overboard on cost.
But don’t just grab some bags from Walmart or out of an alleyway (real Louie Vuitton!) – well-built luggage that is also classically stylish will actually hedge against loss and damage as the baggage handlers, etc. will respect your things more than that piece of knock-off Samsonite shit sitting next to yours.
Yeah, I said it.
Quality Is The Key
Really, every luggage purchaser – no matter how often they travel – should look for and consider the following:
- Wheels: if you are going to go for a set with wheels – which is advisable, at least for your smaller trip bags – make sure they are super sturdy and up to the task at hand
- Leather: Leather is very heavy. If you must, stick with top grains
- Frames: Metal frames are great, but they are heavy. Go with fiberglass for the best combination of weight and strength
- Edges: All bag edges and seams should be reinforced with piping, leather or something else to absorb the wear and tear
- Seams: Go lockstitched or go home
- Nylon: Very durable, just not as stylish as leather. You can find nylon bags that look exquisite, however, you just have to shop around
- Handle: Only get a set of bags that feature handles that have been screwed into place
- Zippers: Only buy bags with zippers that have “taped seams”