I warned you that sometimes I think about truly unimportant and banal subjects like mascara or shoes or if should renew my subscription to Elle. This last week I have been obsessed with carry-on luggage. Lately whenever my mind wanders it starts weighing the advantages of Polycarbonate versus Rugged 1200 X 1200 Denier Polyester and steel wire construction. I start comparing classic Tumi to Halliburton Zeroroller Carry-On silver with suiter to Rimowa the new “it” luggage except it’s been since 1898. These may not be huge issues but they have been taking up enough space in my brain that I have gone out and done a comprehensive study of carry-on luggage and it’s advancements in the last ten years.
I had go back ten years as that is the last time I bought a new carry-on. I have a classic Tumi; I love Tumi they promise you it lasts ten years and they do. I know mine is ten years old as I remember it being involved in an incident when Lucy was still in a stroller and Glenn left it at security. He was in charge of the carry-ons and I was in charge of all the crap you schlep when your kids are babies. We got to the gate, the plane was about to take off, I went for my carry-on and it wasn’t there.
I asked Glenn – scratch that –I barked at Glenn (as something out of order was about to happen and my evil airport twin was taking over my personality) “Where is my carry-on?” He looked blankly at me and I snapped “You didn’t leave it did you?” Glenn is very laissez faire about these things. He said “Guess so.” Guess So????? “Everything important is in there, my computer, my jewelry, my lists…” I kept going as I sprinted back to security to blessedly to find it sitting there. So much for bags left unattended being taken in for inspection and tossed.
This was over nine years ago and the bag has served me well.
And it still does and I quite like it. It has tons of pockets on the inside and outside. It has wheels though they are wearing down and I have learned of late, like everything else they have made great advancements in luggage wheels since Lucy was born. And the other thing they have done, which I was totally unaware until my last week of luggage research is they have made everything much, much lighter; many of them weigh half of what the old ones did.
It is summer, many of you might be going away or some of you might be sick of your carry-ons, or like mine yours may have passed their expiration date and you want something lighter and easier to manage. In that case click read more and you can take advantage of my research and I will throw in a story about how Glenn told an airport security guy that he had a small penis, the security guy – not Glenn.
In our family of four along with having different daily personalities we have very different airport personalities. In keeping with my high-strung nature I start worrying about being on time to the airport around the time I book the flight. I am always way early to the airport and this especially drives Taylor crazy. Yet once I get there, I’m fine as long as everything is on time. But when the plane is delayed or late I’m the one up at the desk torturing the person who knows nothing for information. I have my evil airport twin, she stays in check as long as all goes well, the second the plan is off schedule she comes out and reeks havoc. I take endless teasing for her from the rest of the family. Glenn on the other hand has this I’m not paying attention to the rules thing that takes over when we get to an airport. Taylor and I literally take his Blackberry away at customs as you are told specifically not to use them, but he feels that means everyone but him. I have gone into other lines and pretended I’m not with him. He also makes jokes that customs officers don’t find funny. Like about how the guy in back may have a kilo of coke in his clarinet or something. He thinks it’s amusing and it’s not; it’s usually four am and customs officers are not trained in comedy improv. I end up telling Glenn to be quiet and smiling at the customs guy and explaining the idiosyncratic irony that is the core of American humor.
There was the time we were coming back from India and the one thing along with drugs they don’t want you to bring out is fruits and vegetables and especially mangoes – so when they asked us if we were carrying anything – Glenn chimes in with “We have a whole box of mangoes.” Thank you – an hour while they search through our stuff. Then he tells them it was a joke. No one was laughing.
For some reason the second we leave home Taylor becomes obsessed with access to a Starbucks. Will there be one at the airport before security, after security, when we land? What if there isn’t, should we stop now? Her entire pre and post boarding experience involves either her confiscating Glenn’s phone or loudly fretting about Starbucks.
At this stage Lucy is just worried about being left, as in December, while I was with Taylor at where else but Starbucks – and Glenn was on his Blackberry supposedly watching Lucy she somehow got lost and we had to go retrieve her from the information desk after the PA system announced would “Mr. or Mrs. Horowitz please come get their child.”
It was on this same trip that Glenn had his run in with the guy who checks your passport and ID and allows you to follow through to proper security.
The guy at the first checkpoint told us to proceed to one line so like good little travelers we all filed into it. Taylor muttering about Starbucks, me worried already about how long security would be and might we miss our flight, and Glenn tap, tap, tapping away on his Blackberry.
So we get to Checkpoint Charlie and he looks at Glenn and says, “You don’t belong in this line.”
Glenn says and he was right, “The other guy back there told us to come here.”
Charlie says, “That guy is not me.” Letting us know in this little patch of the airport Charlie ruled.
“But the other guy told us to come here.” Glenn was not going to drop it. The fact he was right was irrelevant at that point; Charlie’s biceps were bigger than Glenn’s head, he had that airport security attitude of I’m making a shit salary and you’re going to Tokyo so I hate you on sight, plus I think he might have been armed. Even if he wasn’t it was time to let him be in command. But Glenn’s Mr. Irony airport twin was coming out, plus he didn’t like someone telling him he was wrong when he knew he was right.
I could tell he was in his I’m going to make an inappropriate airport remark mood.
Taylor and I exchanged looks, though her eyes quickly darted back to search out the green and white nirvana sign of Starbucks.
But all Glenn did was keep on topic, “ The other guy told me to get in this line.”
Whew. Nothing incendiary in that.
Charlie started getting red, not good. “ Did that guy have a badge?” he snarled pointing to his chest.
“His was bigger” Glenn said. There it was – so NOT what to say. I thought Charlie was going to explode or take Glenn in and lock him up for an hour and then we would miss our flight.
“My badge is the only badge that counts.” he bellowed as he thrust Glenn’s passport and boarding pass at him. ” And don’t you ever forget it.” Taylor ushered Glenn to security before anyone ushered him anywhere else. I meanwhile made apologizes and told Checkpoint Charlie Glenn got nervous at airports – lie – and that Charlie had the biggest, nicest badge I had ever seen and he was totally right and I was really sorry and I wished he and his family a happy holiday and then I darted away to join Glenn and the kids. I then told Glenn as I was removing my belt and shoes, and taking my little three ounces of liquid and laptop out of my carry-on – that you don’t tell a guy wearing a badge that someone else has a bigger badge; it’s like telling him he has a small dick which is exactly what he was doing. Glenn just smiled.
Then I hoisted my really heavy Tumi onto the conveyer belt and went through security.
It was shortly after that we lost Lucy and I became aware of how very heavy my carry-on really was.
When you have to deal with things like this in airports you need to travel lightly.
After my trip to LA two weeks ago when I pulled my back hoisting my faithful, overstuffed Tumi up into the overhead compartment I realized I needed to rethink my carry-on situation.
I noticed all around me these slick, shiny, four wheeled carry-ons. And I saw people glide theirs effortlessly as opposed to me dragging mine and hitting people in the chins as I tried to maneuver it down the aisles. This has to do with the four wheeler as opposed to the two wheeler of yesteryear.
Then I became obsessed with carry -on’s and decided the time had come to get a new one.
So in my true OCD fashion I did massive research – I am yet to purchase – perhaps some of you can weigh in with your own opinions or experience. This is what I came up with.
This is what got my attention. I pass a store each morning that sells them. They are made in Germany and according to all reports the best thing on the market. They come in great colors and this weighs in at seven and a half pounds. $395.00.
This is the inside of the heavier Rimowa. It has more room- and one little zipper pocket. I like those little interior pockets. But of the lightweight ones it is in the nicest.
Look how well made it is. If you buy it it will last and take much abuse.
It’s little sister. A pound lighter. But with that pound you lose a shit load of room. And the inside….$450.00???? Not sure why. It doesn’t hold as much.
And the inside is not nearly as nice. It has no zipper pockets. I take more to the office than this one holds.
Top of the line Samsonite. They also jumped on the Polycarbonate band wagon. It’s small and easy to handle. Again, not so great inside and it’s more than the Rimowa. It claims to be the lightest suitcase ever weighing in at 4.9 lbs.. It just doesn’t hold enough for me. But if weight is an issue, this is the bag. $399.95
I’m not loving the inside of these – especially when you compare them with the old Tumis or the Rimowa.
Not the top of the line Samsonite. Though for the price I like it better – it has the same space problems as the more expensive one. But you can get it online suitcase.com for $219.00. Best deal out there in a light weight bag.
The new light weight Tumi. It’s not that light weight. I like the color and the pockets. Tumi clearly does not like it as they are discontinuing it and it’s on sale everywhere. I am committed to Polycarbonate luggage. Once you have touched handled it you understand why. These are on sale for $295.00
But then I fell in love with this. It’s by Halliburton. I fear I would think of Dick Cheney every time I read the name.
It defeats the purpose of everything I want to do. First off they are very heavy, though they do make a Polycarbonate they feel heavy too. This one is really heavy. They are way pricey. More than I will spend. The inside is gorgeous with pockets and they even have a mini garment bag.
Look how nice the inside is. But it is heavy and seven hundred and fifty dollars. I wish it were not such a happy looking bag. It’s for models and people who have others to carry their luggage for them: Not for women who have to run through security incase their husband offends the guard or their child is misplaced.
PHOTOS BY TAYLOR TEMPLETON that’s why they are good for a change!