I need a new suitcase. I’m leaving for Japan next week. The two I have are broken and they didn’t last long. I’ve been kind of obsessed with luggage for several months now.
I spent part of my last holiday in France making a special cover for one of them, out of vintage tea towels.
I wanted to protect it. But one of the wheel corners has collapsed, meaning it’s now impossible to wheel around. My other suitcase, a hard shell red and white spotted one I bought in South Africa five years ago for about £90, has cracks and holes in it and one of the wheels no longer works.
I’ve been looking at suitcases around the internet. While I love the style of the vintage looking Unitravel, it’s doubled in price over the last couple of years and isn’t strong enough for air travel.
I bought this one by Ho-Jax off amazon. It. looks similar to the vintage Unitravel but costs less. But when it came, it looked so disappointingly cheap and nasty I sent it back. That’s the trouble with internet shopping.
What I want, what I really really want, is a Globe-Trotter suitcase. They are gorgeous but also a couple of thousand quid. They last forever, in fact age improves them, they are repairable, lightweight (made from cardboard), vintage, strong. I love this blog post ‘How great things age’ about one man’s stylish Globe-Trotter.
I’m on the look out for a second-hand one. I’ve heard you can get the Globe-Trotter factory, which is British and uses Victorian machinery, to add wheels and straps. I don’t have the money for what I really really want. Globe-Trotters are the suitcase equivalent of an Aga, fantastically expensive but solid, traditional, beautiful, functional, and lasts a lifetime. Those are my design values. This is what the Queen uses.
I’ve also discovered this Czech factory Kazeto which sells vintage style suitcases, with wooden slats, at a more reasonable price, but they aren’t on wheels.
So looking further afield into more modern baggage, there is the Away suitcase which I spied being wheeled about by food writer Meera Sodha last year when we did a press trip together.
‘My husband bought me it as a present’ she mentioned.
So I’m envious twice over, not only has she got a husband, but he’s the kind of guy who buys thoughtful elegant presents. Away comes in stylish pastel shades like millennial pink and has a mobile phone charging facility. Brilliant.
I’m also fascinated by Crash baggage – these witty suitcases come already damaged- pre-dented- and in bright colours. I love the transparent one, but you’d have to pack carefully- no period underwear and nothing illegal. Do customs just wave you through?
In the past I’ve crammed suitcases full of aubergines, butter, artichokes. So the transparent Crash suitcase would suit me. As a food and wine writer, I always get check-in luggage, so I can bring home liquids or foods surrounded in liquid.
For non check-in, I use a small backpack stuffed with laptop and camera which I don’t want to risk checking in. I need another one of those too. My Cath Kidston day pack, bought in the sale at an airport, is falling apart, zips are broken and the side pockets aren’t large enough for a water bottle.
The Union Jack holdall on wheels below lasted a considerable amount of time considering it only cost £25. But it died in India.
What kind of suitcase do you use? Do you go hard shell or soft? Vintage or modern? Cheap or expensive? Comment here with recommendations please.
Eagle Creek Tarmac for dashing across ferry ports and anywhere where the surface is uneven. Samsonite for gliding through airports.
interesting.I didn’t know about Eagle Creek Tarmac. Thanks for the suggestion
You need to be redy