Luggage you can love
Luggage has entered the world of high tech. It’s smarter and lighter than products introduced only a few years ago, and you can track some of it yourself with GPS and associated apps. TSA-approved locks let you use fingerprint-sensor technology to open it. Here’s a look at some of our favorite new and soon-to-be-introduced luggage sets:
G-Ro. With a carry-on that has been on the market nearly a year, G-Ro will introduce four new companion bags via Kickstarter this June. The company claims that its bags’ oversized wheels perform better and are more durable than standard wheels. The carry-on, in durable nylon ballistic weave, includes a power bank capable of charging your laptop, phone, or tablet up to four times via two USB outlets. The bag includes a Tile bluetooth luggage tracker and a TSA-approved lock and comes with a lifetime warranty. $449
Raden. Made from durable light polycarbonate, Raden luggage uses a companion app to inform you of its location and weight. (The case’s handle doubles as a scale.) The app also reports weather conditions, traffic alerts, and flight details, and the luggage incorporates a battery that can charge your mobile phone up to five times via two ports on the exterior of the case, which is available in two sizes. (The removable battery can be used as a standalone charger.) $295–$395
Rimowa. This company’s latest model is the Limbo, a lightweight polycarbonate bag. The line is waterproof and zipperless—thus tamper-proof—with an exterior caddy strap, TSA-approved locks, a versatile handle, and four easily gliding wheels. When you fly by either Lufthansa or EVA Airlines, you can check your bag from home with an app on your smartphone via E Ink technology. As there is no paper tag to be potentially lost or ripped, your bag has less chance of getting lost. The luggage, available in 12 sizes, comes with a five-year warranty. $695–$825
IT Luggage. At four pounds, this is the world’s lightest double-wheeled rollerboard. The posterior is rugged polyester with a water-resistant backing that won’t tear or fray and can be wiped clean. The bag is reinforced with aluminum tubing and fiberglass rods to provide strength and structure. An 18-inch-long outside pocket holds a tablet and an additional pocket takes electronics and personal items. The polyester-lined interior has adjustable straps to buckle clothes down and the 19-inch telescoping and locking handle sports a padded grip. The bag, which has a 10-year warranty, comes in two sizes. $150–$200
Briggs & Riley. This company, which introduced the first wheeled luggage in 1970, has created the Transcend VX with a zipperless variable expansion option (just snap a small panel in the interior, and the bag expands up to 2.5 inches). There are double spinner wheels and a signature Outsider handle providing a flat-packing bar inside the bag. The sleek new spinners come in three colors and can be paired with a companion cabin bag, shopping tote, or cargo backpack. A SmartLink system attaches one hard-sided bag to another for easy transport and specially designed pockets allow for quick storage of small items at security checkpoints. The Briggs & Riley Transcend VX collection includes spinners in five sizes, rolling cabin back, cargo backpack, shopping tote, and toiletry kit, all with lifetime warranties. $69–$529
Travelmate Robotics. This California company’s bag, the Travelmate, includes a handle that you apparently won’t often need to use. Billed as a “fully autonomous robot suitcase” and expected to be available this year, the suitcase integrates with your smartphone and moves on its own without being held. The manufacturer claims it can match your speed accurately (up to 6.75 miles per hour), navigate through large crowds, and avoid objects in its path. $499
Micro Luggage: Getting from an FBO to a business jet is typically a snap, but what about those long walks to the gate when you use airlines? Micro Luggage makes those treks just as easy. The case comes with an attached scooter so you can pull it, ride it to the gate, and then fold the scooter flat against the luggage. The hard-shell case is small enough to fit in the overhead if you’re flying commercial, and its structure makes it ideal for use as a carrier bag, trolley, and last but not least, as a kickboard with a case. $300
If Luggage Isn’t Your Bag
Tired of packing and unpacking, taking clothes to the dry cleaner, or dragging your bags onto airplanes? Several businesses will do the work for you:
Dufl. This company sends you a large suitcase to fill with clothes you typically wear on the road. Once it’s packed, you schedule a pickup and Dufl delivers the bag to a warehouse where its contents are inventoried, photographed, cleaned, and stored. Then, when you’re about to make a trip, you use an app to select which clothes you’d like to take and enter your destination and arrival date. You travel luggage free and find your bag waiting for you at your destination. When it’s time to go home, you can use the app to schedule a pickup and leave your bag at the hotel desk. The service charges $9.95 per month for storage and $99 per round trip in the U.S., which includes pickup and delivery, dry cleaning, laundering, ironing, sourcing, packing, and shipping.
Luggage Forward. With this service, you do have to pack, but you don’t have to carry; and when you fly the airlines, you don’t need to check luggage or deal with baggage claim. Luggage Forward picks up your bags at your home or office and delivers them to your destination, worldwide. You can book the service online or by phone with the company, which offers an on-time guarantee. Charges, which can be calculated online, depend on your itinerary, what you’re shipping, and how quickly you need a pickup.
Babierge. Have small children? This company rents and delivers all the baby equipment you need while on vacation, including cribs, car seats, strollers, infant swings, bathtubs, books, games, toys, diapers, wipes, food, and drinks. Babierge operates in 82 travel destinations in the U.S. and Canada. —M.G.
Several major U.S. airlines announced plans last December to ban checked bags that incorporate non-removable lithium ion batteries, because the batteries have the potential to explode. None of the luggage items featured here have non-removable batteries. —Ed.