As every traveller knows, there's nothing worse than carting heavy, ungainly luggage around an airport, through hot, dusty streets or up endless stairs in that hotel where your room with a view on the top floor doesn't seem such a good idea when the lift's out of order. Thanks goodness for the invention of the wheeled suitcase. How that simple idea improved our lot and made travelling so much easier.
Then along came cheap flights and extra costs for onboard luggage and crazy prices for extra kilos. Nowadays, not only has ease of movement become important but also the weight and size of our bags. With every kilo counting and, as a travel blogger, needing to take more electrical stuff, as well as the necessary clothes and toiletries, I decided it was time to find really decent luggage. The ‘Travelling Light’ hunt for the ideal suitcase was on.
Now, I must admit, I don’t really ‘travel light’ (see photo above for what I took on the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ cruise to Norway!) and given the chance I WILL take the kitchen sink. You never know, maybe you can’t get an ensuite room and you’d be so glad you’d brought it … But nor do I need 26 matching bags in every size from purse to steamer trunk. I was simply looking for a suitcase to take my belongings on trips longer than a few days. But oh heavens, what a lot of choice there is. I asked fellow travellers, researched the internet and also looked in local shops for ideas. Having recently got a super lightweight cabin bag I realised I wanted something equally light but with plenty of space and, of course, wheels. I eventually chose the Karrimor ‘Global Equator 70’ Wheeled Travel Case; just the name makes me feel well-travelled.
Designed for the hardiest of adventurers this great bag combines innovation with versatility so I can use it anywhere, anytime with no worry about it falling to bits when roughly treated by tired luggage handlers in some far flung airport, or when it topples off the luggage Tower of Pisa that appears daily on our busy trains.
According to the blurb on the label its key features are:
- Rugged wheel system (they are VERY strong)
- Lockable zips (necessary nowadays)
- Large internal zipped mesh pocket (very big)
- Internal zipped pocket (great for knick knacks)
- Internal security pocket (who doesn't know about that zipped lining thing?!)
- Side compression straps (ideal for squeezing in as much as possible)
- External zipped pocket (enormous)
- Airmesh padded grab handle (very comfy and easy to get hold of when bag is trundling round conveyor belt)
- Rigid base (can take lots of knocks by those baggage handlers)
Apparently the 70 stands for litres, which I have never understood – I mean, who'd want to fill it with ANY amount of liquid? It weighs in at just under 3kgs – which is about 2/3 less than my old suitcase. And when every kilo counts that is incredibly important. Another plus is that it's oblong and fairly narrow so takes up less room when standing or sideways on, unlike some big square bags. Probably the thing that most impresses me is the very sturdy handle that telescopes out – it is so solid and unwavering, unlike another cheap suitcase I got last year which broke after two trips.
OK so it's grey, which isn't my favourite colour but it's practical so I compromised here. My only quibble is that there are not enough pockets on the outside. It's clearly been designed by a guy and like cars, there's never enough space for bits and bobs. Or maybe that's just me â€¦ Even for a winter’s holiday in somewhere the climate might change by the day (Scandinavia springs to mind, and the UK of course) I can fill the bag with every type of garment, shoes, books, laptop, cameras etc AND still lift it up. Perfect.
Already this year's travel is a lot more enjoyable with the right kit. If you see a quirky traveller trundling through the airport with a compact grey bag and a smug smile on her face, it's me – finally really travelling light.
I have also got a very light hand luggage bag – you can see it here.