Skinny luggage? Make that lightweight – so lightweight in fact that, in the case of one manufacturer, size (read weight) has been totally redefined – and in the age of checked and excess baggage fees, that can mean hefty savings. Meet several svelte cases that show that sometimes being a lightweight isn’t such a bad thing: Antler’s New Size Zero; Ricardo Beverly Hills’ Consumers Digest “Best Buy” award-winning IZOD PerformX brand WheelAboard™; and a trio of lightweight but seriously hardworking bags from High Sierra Sports Company.
Antler’s New Size Zero luggage in black and bronze is so lightweight you can lift it with your little finger – and that includes the jumbo 30” wheeled upright. The collection ($39-$239.95) includes 22”, 27” and 30” uprights, a wheeled duffle and a weekender tote and coordinating “grab bag” that are accepted as single pieces even at London’s famously picky Heathrow airport.
If you haven’t heard of Antler Luggage, you will. Europe’s lightweight luggage experts from the venerable 91-year old British firm have specialized in lightweight luggage for years and have long been the #1 brand in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Last year, Antler burst onto the U.S. luggage scene, bringing stylish good looks and ultra-light bags to consumers getting hammered by excess baggage fees.
Something had to give – and, happily, it was luggage weight. The standard airline weight max is 50 pounds per bag and the average 30” bag weighs 14 pounds. That leaves 36 pounds for belongings. But since Size Zero’s 30” bag weighs in at a skinny 7.3 pounds – nearly half the average – you can pack 6.7 more pounds of essentials without giving the airlines a single penny more. Best of all, unlike other ultra-light bags, Size Zero won’t crumple like a paper airplane when it’s buried on the bottom of a baggage heap. The secret? Antler’s patented flexible frame and corner protection system, a crush-proof, squish-proof engineering marvel.
Lightweight luggage a Consumers Digest ‘Best Buy’ award-winner
Ricardo Beverly Hills’ IZOD PerformX brand WheelAboard™ ($200), a Consumers Digest “Best Buy” award recipient, is lightweight luggage that is also recognized as an excellent value. Not only that, but it is in a class nearly by itself: A Consumers Digest “Best Buy” rating is awarded to fewer than three percent of the competing models in any given product category.
Part of the four-piece IZOD PerformX collection, which exemplifies the essence of the IZOD brand through its distinctive and versatile good looks and quality construction, the IZOD PerformX brand WheelAboard™ is designed for both business and leisure travelers. Collection pieces are fabricated of micro ballistic Terylene – meaning they are not only good looking, but easy-to-clean, built to last and lightweight to boot. The WheelAboard™ weighs in at 7.9 pounds. Another collection piece, the 25” Check Through Piece ($260), weighs in at just 9.75 pounds.
One of the largest luggage companies in the United States, Ricardo Beverly Hills has been in business for more than 30 years and is an acknowledged fashion leader and trendsetter in the luggage industry. Recently named in National Geographic’s book, The Ten Best of Everything by veteran travelers Nathaniel and Andrew Lande, Ricardo Beverly Hills is synonymous with unique and innovative luggage collections that offer quality and value at affordable prices.
High Sierra Sports Company lets travelers pack their gear without packing on the pounds. The company’s new EL 100 22” Carry-On Wheeled Upright ($119.99) from the Elevate Collection features a main compartment that expands two inches for additional packing space when you need it. Its EL101 25” Wheeled Upright ($139.99), also from the Elevate Collection, has an expandable main compartment equipped with a zippered mesh pocket for travel items and hold-down straps to keep clothing in place, plus two front pockets to keep tickets and magazines within reach – a whopping 4,028 cubic inches of space in all. And the AT504 Carry-On Wheeled Computer Upright ($129.99), from High Sierra’s ATGO Collection, has plenty of packing room and organizational features while holding its weight at a trim 7.7 pounds.
Each piece has built-in high density foam structure so that, no matter what you pack, the bag will maintain its good looks while minimizing weight. The 22” Carry-On Wheeled Upright and the 25” Wheeled Upright are both constructed of Grid-Weave Duralite,® Mini-Weave Duralite® and Duraweave® and have a main compartment that expands for additional storage capacity and a book-style opening, plus large mesh pocket and lots of other pockets to keep travel necessities organized.
The Carry-On Wheeled Computer Upright, made of 1680 denier Duraweave,® Metallic Mini-Weave, 900 denier Duralite®, has a large, expanding main compartment with book-style opening and interior clothing hold-down straps, plus a separate compartment with padded sleeve that protects most 17” notebook computers. A zippered divider panel between the front and main compartments can be rolled up and easily secured to create one large compartment.
Each of these new, light pieces by High Sierra features recessed, telescoping aircraft aluminum handle system with locking mechanism, inline skate-style wheels and reflective piping for added safety, among their many amenities.
With all the lightweight luggage options from High Sierra, Ricardo Beverly Hills and Antler, you can pack what you need while still keeping things light. And if that means your wallet will be weighed down a little more with the cash you save on excess baggage fees, that’s a good thing.
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