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Chhose Luggage Eagle Creek®  Tarmac Plus One Bag Rolling Carry-on
Choose Luggage

We’ve compiled the most important factors to consider when selecting the perfect bag.

Size: You have many options when it comes to bag size, but the numbers you need to know are the guidelines for carry-on luggage. These days, it can be hard to know what to expect at the security gate or check in, but the basic rule is that length + width + height of carry-on bags should add up to 45” or less. However, you should always check with your airline before you travel, as regulations vary, especially between domestic and international flights. You can also see our frequently updated Carry-On/Check-In Luggage Guidelines.

Rolling Luggage

Travel Plans: It’s not just your destination, but your plans that may determine the type of bag that works best for you. For example, rolling luggage might seem like a perfect choice until you hit the cobblestone streets of Florence or the wheel-wrecking sands of Cairo. Generally speaking, rolling bags are easy, ergonomic, and come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. They are ideal for:

  • European and other urban destinations without much luggage-in-tow walking
  • Cruises
  • Business trips

Duffle BagA duffel or shoulder bag style is a better choice for:

  • More exotic and remote destinations
  • Train travel and any situation in which you will need to lift your bag overhead
  • Anywhere with sand

Duffel and shoulder bags are generally your lightest weight option, without much internal structure. If you’re taking a walking tour or other type of travel in which you’ll need to carry your gear with you over an extended length of time, invest in a well-fitted backpack with good hip support to help distribute the load. Small carry-on bags, totes and small shoulder bags are perfect companion pieces to any of the above styles, and also work for the very light packer and short getaways.

Quantity: Many items that were once allowed on board now must be checked. Your airline may also restrict the weight and quantity of bags you are permitted to carry on board. Women’s purses, once an overlooked item, now often count as carry-on luggage.

Most international travelers these days opt for a small suite of luggage pieces in varying sizes, including one larger piece of checked luggage, one carry-on bag, plus a small purse or laptop tote. This combination allows for maximum versatility, as well as giving you a place to pack liquid toiletries or other objects no longer allowed in-flight.

What to look for in a great bag: No matter where you’re traveling, look for these features to ensure you’re getting a quality piece of luggage:

  • Durability: A bag is only as good as it performs. Look for reinforced seams and corners, durable zippers and forgiving materials such as rip-stop or ballistic nylon that will look good and hold up after the bag has been around a few luggage carousels.

  • Expandability: It may be sleek and stylish, but if the bag won’t fit everything you need, plus the large souvenirs you collect, it’s not for you. A word of warning though, if the bag exceeds carry-on size when expanded it will need to be checked. This can be an issue with luggage that has auto-expand features and is close to the limit for carry-on dimensions.
  • Cinch or Compression Straps
  • Cinch or compression straps: Not only will these straps help reduce the size of your packed items, they can also keep items from shifting in transit, which helps your clothes emerge with fewer wrinkles. Certain pieces of luggage also have panels between the straps to help disperse tension.

  • Organized pockets: Most people have an opinion on the perfect number and arrangement of pockets, but everyone agrees that several well-placed internal and external pockets can help make travel easier.
  • Piggy Back Straps
  • Piggy Back Strap: Found on many smaller bags, these straps often leave people wondering, “What are these for?” In fact, they are very handy, allowing you to slip a bag over the extended handle of your larger rolling luggage. Once you try them, you’ll never go without again.

  • HandlesWell-designed and well-positioned handles: When your bag is flying around the luggage carousel, will you be able to grab it? Look for padded handles on the body of the bag, in addition to long shoulder straps or handles. Retractable handles that have multiple positions allow you to adjust the length to suit various heights.

  • Rolling Features
  • Well designed rolling features: Look for large, sturdy wheels, which reduce the amount of movement as you cross floor surfaces, and make it easier to roll up over curbs and thresholds. Instead of smooth in-line skate-style wheels, many newer bags have larger, “off-road” wheels, which are designed suit a variety of terrains.

A few final notes:

  • Luggage TagsMake sure your luggage has secure, covered ID tags on both the outside and inside (in case the outside tag gets lost). If these are not built-in features on your bag, buy some rugged tags or tape a business card to the interior.

  • Luggage Locks
  • For domestic flights, use only TSA-accepted luggage locks on bags, whether for check-in or carry-on—otherwise they may be cut off by security checkers.



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