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Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

Syracuse, New York
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Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

Hello! Thanks for reading this -- I'm hoping to get some good suggestions as I've looked at this forum and haven't really found what I was looking for. There's some good individual product reviews, but I'm looking for someone to help steer me in the right direction for some luggage ideas. Here's the background:

We are avid travelers with at least two vacations each year -- 2012 we're taking 4. Typically they are beach vacations but we've booked a multi-city European vacation for the end of January / beginning of February. With that being said, the beach vacations are pretty easy luggage wise and we've been reluctant to spend $$$ on new bags as the old beat up ones we have do just fine! But I think the time has come to get new luggage for the Europe vacation since we'll be on and off trains quite a bit moving from Rome to Milan and then to Paris.

So the criteria here is lightweight and durable. Something easy to get on and off the trains but also roomy and sturdy. We have a vacation coming up in less than 3 weeks so I'd like to get something and use it now! No sense wasting time and waiting until Europe when we have a couple trips before then.

Any ideas? We do check our bags so carry-on pieces aren't necessary. Just medium-large suitcases (probably 2 or 3) that we can use on our upcoming trips.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Dennis

PA
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1. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

Wife and I have been using REMOWA SALSA AIR 27 inch which only weigh 7 lbs. thus allowing for 42lbs of stuff for 50lb checked bag. Great to pull or push and used on Swiss rail(off/on repeatedly) with no trouble or slow up. May however, stretch the budget but years of use should decrease the cost. Just google and pick your price just don't order from the factory in Germany as delivery will be longer as they go thru customs

Spain
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for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick
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2. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

If you are using trains then take the smallest case you can as baggage space is limited. i travel with a 21 inch case and a laptiop bag so does DH. That is quite enough luggage to cart around. Pack a nylon tote tu use as an extra bag for the return trip.

Buffalo, New York
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for Playa del Carmen
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3. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

The new Tegra series from Tumi is both light weight and durable. On the less expensive side right now their outlets are having a sale on older models of hard sided luggage so you might want to look into that too!

Edinburgh, United...
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for Costa Teguise
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4. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

I go for eastpak transfer and jansport footlocker

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

For your European trip, I agree with keenvisitor. One 21inch carryon sized bag each, plus a backpack or laptop bag each. You will be dealing with stairs in the Italian train stations. You will not be sorry that you packed light. There are places to get your laundry done mid-trip if you need to.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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6. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

Asone can see from the comments already posted there are a plethera of options open to you. Go down to your local bag store or major retailer and see what they have on offer. Weight is a consideration as is size as is the quality of the luggage. Also check out what type of warranty's are offered. many luggage manufacturers in our part of the world offer world wide 10 year guarantees which I have called upon once. A quality guarantee is an indication of quality of product with a good company behind them. In my instance two cases were damaged at an airport and the nearest retailer replaced them without question. The brands around here change pretty often as most luggage sold down under is chinese made even if the company isnt.

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

Have just come back from European holiday. The only other piece of advice I can offer is get a suitcase with 4 wheels that can be wheeled sideways. That way you can wheel it in between the seats on trains.

Dothan, Alabama
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8. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

I have used Swiss for a while now. They are mid priced and do not make me cry if it is crushed, lost, burned (don't ask) etc. They make a very nice four wheel 21-inch carry on that seems to hold twice as much stuff as you think. They also make a backpack/wheeled bag as a computer bag that is very versatile. In 3 seconds, I can go from pulling it behind me, to carrying it as a backpack. For long trips that need a carry on, I take a duffle style bag that has a hard bottom section and a gym style top section for massive expansion.

I travel by car, train, bus, helicopter, and airline; this is what I use.

Sydney
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9. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

We've just come back from a trip to Paris, Milan and Rome, two adults, two teenagers and we had a range of bags that I borrowed from an A380 captain friend of mine. I would have to say that generally Samsonite do everything right although the one thing you definitely want is four wheels. The two wheel bags were a lot more painful and as TravelGertie6 said, the four wheels up the train were so much easier. Some things I'd consider:

* If you get a hard case I prefer clips to zips to close the case and the clips should have a 'lock' position so they don't pop open in transit (in addition to a main clip that actually locks the case)

* The lock should be TSA approved

* Four wheels - good ones, European streets and footpaths are crap.

* Compartments inside. Two of our cases were just the case so everything got thrown in together. The more compartments you can get the better.

* Weight of our bags of similar size weighed in between 4Kg and 7Kg so there can be quite a difference in weight.

* Carry handle on top. Two of the bags only had the extendable handle on the top side. It's best if there's an additional carry strap handle so you can pick the bag up vertically easier.

* I also preferred the squarer of our bags, it was around 60cm long. It was easier to stack, fit and put things on, especially when we were cramming all for of us into a station wagon.

For carry on I use a small and unfortunately emmasculating over the shoulder man bag from Ricardo. Whilst I'm strictly butter side up bongo boy it sadly fits my iPad, headphones, documents, glasses and everything I need on the plane perfectly yet still fits under the seat so it stays handy.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Best Lightweight Luggage Set for European Vacation?

We use a 24 inch soft bag with two wheels. One of those packed full weighs about 20 kg (44lbs) and that is reaching our limit for lifting up stairs and onto trains. Anything bigger will be too heavy for some airlines, depending on which you fly.