It’s no secret that I love to travel. I generally take a few trips per year, although my last extended overseas trip was to India two years ago, I enjoy the shorter local trips of 4-5 days usually a lot more. Those types of trips are just enough to keep me recharged and let’s me bank my vacations days for the unexpected days off.
When travelling, I have two main dependable pieces of luggage that I use, one of them is a MEC faster roller (40-Litre) carry-on. This bag has been more places than some people have been! It’s been to Asia, parts of Europe, Latin America and all over North America. It’s been insanely dependable and is backed by MEC’s great warranty.
In fact, the one I currently have is actually a replacement. The first one that I bought went with me to New York and the carry-on handle just wouldn’t come out easily, so six months after I bought it, it went back to MEC. Without any hassle they replaced it with another one that I’ve had ever since. This bag has been loving dubbed ‘Horchada’, for it’s number of visits to the Caribbean and Mexico in particular. Unfortunately Horchada is great for overnight or at most 2 days trips but seriously anything longer than that and I would have to whip out my gigantor Samsonite. The Samsonite is a mega large suitcase, that while is great and durable very heavy, and unless I’m going away for weeks, really don’t want to haul it out of the locker.
Which brings me to the point of the post, I am in need of an in between bag. Something that sits between Horchada and the Samonsite that I can take on trips between 3-5 days. I have several week long trips planned for the remainder of the year, New York in a week, then San Fran, and then another trip to probably Chicago and then finally North Carolina, so I really do need one bag that won’t weigh me down, but is of decent size to carry all my things there and back with souvenirs. Believe it or not, this is harder than it looks to find but I think the search is over.
First let me digress for a bit, I’m a huge Crumpler fan, have been for years. I have a camera bags, 3 laptop bags, and laptop sleeve, one of the most durable bags I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. These bags too have been put through the ringer, yet the all look absolutely brand new. The last time I was in the Crumpler store (@ Queen and Dovercourt) I was looking at their luggage and fell in love with the bag they named ‘Period Charmer’, a beautifully built suit-case size bag with everything nicely compartmentalized, what I mean is – basically a pocket for everything. At the time, I didn’t need a new piece of luggage, and couldn’t really justify the insane price for it either. However learning about luggage that explodes on the plane, and luggage that falls apart when hit with a little abuse makes me appreciate quality a whole lot more than I used too. I’ve seen the inside guts of a bag that just didn’t make it through on the conveyer belt, and the horror of the owner realizing that everyone at the airport now knows that he likes to wear Spiderman underwear.
Crumpler has a new line of bags called Dry Red, that comes in various sizes, No. 4 is the one I have my eye on! I will entrust a stress-free trip to the Dry Red Series No. 4 (in Black of course), it’s a heavy duty wheelie that has a semi-soft side case, sturdy and can accommodate up to 58 litres, but is very light and weighs 3.7 kilograms so zipping through the airport to Starbucks and duty-free will be carefree and zippy. It has six storage zones, first a front zippered pocket with four-compartment organizer and key/padlock loop, twin gripper zippered 58-litre main cargo space, a zippered mesh pocket on the underside of the flap, two zippered sidewall mesh pockets with a foldaway shoe bag (fantastic for those of us that always take more than one pair of footwear), an eye mask (yes an eye mask) with it’s own carry bag. If your OCD as I am then this is the bag for you!! The grip on the trolley handle is even made out of neoprene, with antijam wheels so you don’t have to worry about the boulders you have to push over at the aiport!
It’s not a cheap date though, at around $369 + tax, although I believe Crumpler is having a sale right now. Knowing Crumpler durability though I think this will last a couple of years (probably not a life time, no luggage is that good). I’m headed to the Crumpler store tomorrow and hopefully will be convinced that this indeed will be a good investment!
In any case, I will post an update to this post later this week on either the purchase or why I didn’t, but from the basic research I’ve done on the web it seems like an excellent option for a mid-sized piece of luggage! If the said piece of luggage is purchased, I’ll also provide some updates based on my upcoming New York trip to give you guys an idea of how it’s held up.