PACKING A PUNCH

I am getting ready to pack for a work trip and trying to decide which suitcase to take. I have been through many a luggage set in my time – some a lot better than others. Which got me to thinking… does money buy you happiness (and security, longevity and style) when it comes to suitcases? (and for the record, yes I think it does!)

Here are the key things to look for when next making a luggage purchase.

1. Quality — we know baggage handlers don’t love your luggage as much as you do, so know it will take beating!
2. Transportability — a good set of wheels people, and a handle that won’t break
3. Airline Limits —  Don’t get something so heavy that it breaks all weight rules, and that’s before you have packed
4. Zippers – Make sure it’s a YKK made one or be ready for it not to last

Hard-sided or soft? A very personal choice, but hard-sided is certainly convincing more and more non-believers that it is better. Samsonite Winfield Expandable Spinner is one of the best (and lightest) but if you have the cash you can’t go past Rimowa cases. Tumi is as popular as ever, and they seem to excel at carry on bags. Victorinox are study (especially their soft bags) but they won’t be the lightest bag on the market.

The latest fads
Road Warrior - the suitcase collapses for easy storage to half its size. Perfect if you spend more time at home, than on the road. http://www.roadwarriorluggage.com
Samsonite Compressor – zip free expander suitcase that customs fits to the amount you fit (and stops your clothes from moving about once packed) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-l6oOT4LiI

Oh and losing your luggage just got a whole lot more expensive if you own one of these suitcases. Henk is one of the most expensive brands on the market with prices around $30,000 a piece. It has 500 separate parts, 22 of which move, and is made from Italian burl, black ebony, horse hair, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, magnesium, parachute fabric and fine leathers. And the beauty is even when it’s fully packed it will only feel like you’re wheeling 25 grams. http://www.henk.com

So you may want to think twice before you check that in!

WIRED WEDNESDAY

If you are like me, I hate travelling with multiple battery packs, adapters and cords – especially when you are carrying it as hand luggage on the plane. Or you are running out of battery constantly.

A new solution is the PowerBag – These high-tech bags can charge up to four mobile devices at a time via Apple, micro-USB, mini-USB and regular USB connectors. The battery in the bag itself can be charged by plugging the backpack into a power socket. Makes life so much easier.

My favourite is the “Sling”, and it comes in lots of colours!

http://www.mypowerbag.com/