Expensive vs Cheap Luggage | Is more expensive luggage really worth it?

Everyone seems to have had some degree of experience with the inexpensive suitcase that has lasted for years and is battered and loved down to its fraying handle, and in contrast the expensive suitcase which the wheel fell off on its maiden voyage. So, is it really worthwhile spending more money on quality luggage, or is it just luck of the draw (or baggage handler)?


There is such a huge variety of suitcase models available, with prices from as low as $50 right through to thousands of dollars; so what exactly are you paying for in the more expensive models? As with all things today where there is a fashion element, the very top end has a designer/brand premium, once you go over about $1500 RRP for a large suitcase, the prices will reflect the designer, brand, leather or materials, hand finishing or limited edition.

Similarly, at the bottom end, anything below about $180 RRP for a large suitcase will be a copy and/or make use of very inexpensive materials. Whilst copies don’t always mean horrible quality – when you’re counting on moving parts and major pressure points, the copies have not been designed specifically with consideration to the parts, and will therefore break down sooner rather than later. For example, on an original design, the wheel might have been specifically chosen as its load bearing point is strengthened, an inexpensive copy will bulk purchase a similar looking wheel and attach it, so as soon as there is a full load in the suitcase, the cracks will appear (pun intended!)


So, what should you be paying for a suitcase? The answer is, the price of the suitcase you are looking for will relate to what attributes you are wanting, and how expensive those are. If you are wanting the lightest suitcase available, then you are actually needing fairly breakthrough technology and expensive materials. The hardware needs to be as light as possible, whilst offering enough strength to support a fully loaded case and stand up to the strains of baggage handling. That is far harder to achieve than a strong, heavy suitcase.


Additionally, if you are wanting any packing features, such as internal organisation, laptop compartments, expanders and so on, these will push the price up. And features such as durable double wheels, lockable handles and flexible but strong frames, built in locks and warranties will mean more dollars.


To return to our original question of does more expensive equal a better suitcase, the answer is, in most instances yes it does, and this better suitcase will last longer and offer you more. That does not mean that we think everyone should spend $500 on a new suitcase – a suitcase that expensive will suit certain travellers but not all.  As a guide, a mid range suitcase from one of the major brands will cost around $299 – $399 full RRP (for a large suitcase).  These suitcases will include the following;

·        Quality materials and construction, perfectly suitable for the majority of casual travellers

·        Considered design and quality tested

·        Relatively lightweight, not the lightest available though

·        4 Spinner wheels

·        Built in lock

·        Lined interior

·        Warranty cover


It’s rare that you wouldn’t find a suitcase in this bracket on sale year-round, so expect to pay about $180 for a large suitcase. 

From there, if you would like additional features such as expandable, double wheels, even lighter, improved strength (for frequent flyers), longer or more inclusive warranties or internal organisation than $180 would be your starting point and prices would go upward depending on what you’re after.


So just like a cheap T-shirt will shrink after one wash, a cheap suitcase could fail you quickly, and there is nothing worse than being stuck with a suitcase with 3 wobbly wheels when you’re trying to do a city dash to make your flight. It is worth it to invest in decent luggage, however that doesn’t mean spending $500 apiece.


In our opinion the below suitcases offer terrific value for money in their category: 


1)     American Tourister Applite


Entry level pricing for a well-designed suitcase with an expander, a built in TSA lock, double spinner wheels and contrast interior. American Tourister is owned by Samsonite, so you have the benefit of Samsonite’s extensive luggage testing and quality materials, in addition to a solid 10 year warranty. The Applite has been around for a few years and it has served our customers well, we see very few warranty claims on this line. 

Applite 82cm Suitcase RRP: $299 Our Price $179.40. Shop it here


2)     Samsonite B-Lite


The Samsonite B-Lite has been around for a few years, and comparatively to some newer models it’s plainer and a little clunkier, however, its so generous for its size than you can often size down and its got double spinner wheels, a built in TSA lock, its expandable, fully lined and has a Samsonite global warranty. The B-lite range is also extensive so you can mix and match to find a bag combo that fits your needs exactly.

B-Lite 78cm Suitcase RRP: $449 Our Price $269.40. Shop it here



1)     Antler Juno 2


The Antler Juno is a hugely popular case, customers are drawn to the colour options (there are 10!) and the price point, however from our perspective this case ticks many of the key quality boxes also. Made from a durable polypropylene the suitcase is strong and reasonably light, there are double spinner wheels a built in TSA lock and Antler 10-year warranty.

Antler Juno 2 Large Suitcase RRP: $299 Our Price $179.40. Shop it here

2)     American Tourister Curio


This suitcase came out on top of the Choice suitcase reviews, which is terrific, however we believe the criteria for the awards is not as extensive as it should be. It considered material quality, but not usability, practicality and endurance across different travel circumstances, so the results whilst correct, only consider one part of the equation. In terms of the Curio though, it backs up that it has a quality polypropylene construction, it’s also reasonably lightweight and features double spinner wheels, built in TSA lock and 10-year warranty. It’s very similar to the Juno 2, but from the American Tourister brand which is owned by Samsonite. It features a distinctive circular pattern and is available in 3 colours.

Curio 80cm Suitcase RRP: $339 Our Price $203.40. Shop it here

 And while we’re on the subject…

Samsonite Cosmolite – is it worth the money?


The Cosmolite and all the suitcases in Samsonite’s Curv range are priced from $899 RRP for a large, and we’re always fielding the ‘is it worth it’ question. Whilst we don’t believe the Cosmolite or Curv suitcases are for every traveller, we do believe their prices are correct for the products and very worthwhile for some travellers. The Curv technology is absolutely breakthrough, and since its entry on to the market in 2011, no other manufacturer has come close to presenting a similar material.  The Curv suitcases are the lightest on the market, by some margin, and the material is highly resilient and suitable for frequent travel.  In the 7 years we have been selling them, we have never seen a Curv suitcase cracked.  Whilst they are not completely immune to baggage handlers, they perform exceptionally well and the material itself is unmatched.  We do recommend Curv suitcases to travellers seeking the lightest and best performing suitcases. 

The Curv Suitcases include the Cosmolites, Firelites, Lite-shocks, Lite-Cubes & Lite-Locked




Suitcase Size Guide | 5 things to consider before buying a large suitcase

The vast majority of customers who enter our store for a suitcase come in with the intention of buying a large size and we always ask them to stop and consider this.  At first thought it makes sense, buy the maximum size and then you can fill it as much as needed for each trip – simply leaving some empty space if you don’t need the entire capacity.  However, a large suitcase does have some major restrictions, so read our suitcase size guide with 5 things to consider before buying a large suitcase.



1. Will you need to carry your suitcase?

This may seem obvious, but with the high-quality wheels on luggage these days, we often get away with getting door to door without actually lifting the bag.  A full large suitcase can be heavy and awkward to carry. Obviously, you will normally stick to the packing limit of up to 23kg, however, even at this weight a large suitcase would be hard to carry for a distance. Consider whether you have stairs at your house, or at your destination or a rough surface that the bag will need to be carried over. If you will need to carry your suitcase, consider a medium, it’s a more manageable size to pick up and carry, even at maximum weight capacity.


2. Will you be travelling by car or bus in your journey (including taxis)?

Car boots are only so big, and one large suitcase can be all that fits in the boot. Or in the case of compact cars, taxis or other local transport, a large suitcase may not even fit. Also consider what your travel companions are taking, for 2 people, 2 large suitcases and 2 cabin suitcases, it would be questionable whether everything would all fit in a NYC cab.  If you’re on a tour bus, restrictions may apply anyway.  And if you’re heading to Greece, Africa or Asia, consider how your large suitcase will work when getting around by donkey, jeep or tuk tuk.


3. Are you travelling on your own and wanting to catch cabs or public transport?

Similar to the previous point, but more on a logistic level. Consider being on your own, with your large suitcase and your cabin bag, attempting to hail a cab on a busy Parisian street, and attempting to load your suitcase and other gear in the rain, in a hurry, with cars honking because your blocking the traffic. It’s stressful and hard to manage – especially if you need assistance lifting the weight of the case! Same story for public transport – lugging your suitcase on to a busy subway and through crowded metro stations is seriously hard work and will have you wondering why on earth you needed that fifth pair of shoes you probably won’t wear!


4. Do you have somewhere to store a large suitcase?

Large suitcases are bulky.  They don’t easily store in a cupboard or under the bed. If you have a small place or limited storage then consider whether you really need a large suitcase.  A medium is a bit easier to manage as they can often squeeze into the top of a wardrobe or the bottom of the linen cabinet.


5. They can encourage over packing

A full large suitcase (even the superlight ones!) is generally hovering on or over your 20-25kg limit, and no one likes an overweight fee!

If you consider the above 5 points and still think a large is the way to go, then go for it, if you can work around those issues then a large suitcase will work for you.  However, if you think you may encounter issues like we’ve outlined above, the combination of a medium plus a cabin suitcase normally gives you a similar total capacity to a large suitcase, and gives you more versatility for different trips – you can take one or the other or both as needed.

Here are 4 alternatives to buying a large suitcase, that when combined give you 100L + packing capacity:

Victorinox Spectra Medium Expandable Suitcase


Whilst just shy of the 100L capacity goal, we’ll forgive it as this is the only 2 in 1 option.  This medium suitcase has a huge expander that takes it up to 91L. It is effectively a medium and a large suitcase in one, and you can adapt it to suit your needs.

Shop it here

Samsonite Octolite 68cm Suitcase + Samsonite Octolite 55cm Cabin Suitcase


The 68cm Octolite is a very compact and convenient size, yet a generous 75L. If you purchase the matching cabin suitcase, you get an additional 35L for a total of 110L. Having 2 sizes gives you flexibility with an option for weekends, a week away and longer trips, and they store inside each other.

Shop the 68cm Octolite here, and the cabin 55cm size here

Samsonite B-Lite 71cm Expandable Suitcase + Samsonite B-Lite Carry-on Bag


The 71cm expandable B-Lite suitcase already has a generous 88L of packing space, and it expands up to 94L. By purchasing the matching soft carry-on bag you get an additional 30L of packing space.  The Carry-on bag can also be used for weekends away or as a gym bag giving you more value for your money.

Shop the B-Lite 71cm suitcase here, and the Carry-On Bag here

Any medium suitcase + the Samsonite foldable duffel


This handy foldable duffel bag gives you an extra 40L of packing space whenever you need it! It folds down to a pocket size package that you can tuck into your suitcase or cabin bag – then simply unfold it if needed for overflow or extra gear you’re bringing home. The great thing about these foldable bags is that you can use them whilst you’re on holiday as a day bag or beach bag.

Shop the Samsonite foldable duffel here

Or shop all foldable bags here 

Images 1, 3, 4 & 5 via Samsonite AU Instagram / Image 2 via Victorinox Instagram


Which is the right suitcase for you? | Backpackers

There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the perfect suitcase for your circumstances, however we have noticed that our customers will typically fall into one of four categories; the casual traveller, the business traveller, the adventure traveller and the backpacker. Here are our top picks for these 4 types of travellers.

This week we will look at the ‘Backpacker’



The Backpacker

If a backpacker takes a suitcase are they still a backpacker? It’s true that due to the nature of a backpacker’s travel (multiple destinations in one extended trip – usually staying only a few nights in one location before moving on), that a backpack is the most sensible option. It allows the bag to be carried when moving from one destination to the next and means the carrier is unrestricted in what they do. It doesn’t make sense for a backpacker to take a hiking pack though – unless they are hiking at some stage. Hiking packs are designed for hiking, not for long term living out of your bag.

Often times backpackers could get away with a suitcase – the convenience of the wheels would make getting around much easier and they are easier to pack and live out of. Their only disadvantage is that they are cumbersome to carry, so for the off occasion the backpacker needs to pick them up they are not suitable. Thankfully these are no longer the only two options – with the world of wheeled backpacks, wheeled duffel bags and travel packs, backpackers can select something far more suited to their needs.

Wheeled backpacks are a great all-rounder choice. Look for one with a panel opening that packs like a suitcase. If you will need to carry your bag for extended periods ensure the pack has a comfortable harness and a waist strap for extra support. Also consider getting a removable daypack, as this will allow you to have a small bag for daytrips and overnight trips that attaches to the big bag making managing the two far easier.

If you opt for a travel pack, look for the same features, a panel opening and removable daypack, these make living out of the bag much easier.

Key Factors to consider when choosing a bag are:

  • Wheeled or not – This depends on where you are going and what you are doing. Read out post on which is better here.
  • Budget – Backpackers tend to be budget travellers; however the bag is something you should invest some money into. You need something with decent quality zips, wheels and materials to see you through. A backpacker is harder on their bag in the one trip then most suitcases see in their lifetime. It’s also very difficult to get your bag repaired when you’re kayaking in Africa, a broken bag can ruin your trip.
  • Size – It’s tempting to get the biggest option available as backpackers go on long trips, however it’s important to get the biggest size you can that is comfortable to carry. If it’s too heavy once it’s full to carry comfortably, then it’s too big.
  • Wheels – Look for high quality, big wheels and a high clearance from the ground so that it can be wheeled over rough surfaces. Also look for lots of hardware around the base that protects the fabric from wear and tear when the bag is being dragged.
  • Packing Features – Avoid top loading packs, they are designed to be weatherproof for hikers but make it really difficult to pack and find things in. Look for a panel opening that packs like a suitcase, then if you want additional compartments there are options for sleeping bags, wet compartments and shoe compartments.
  • Additional Luggage – Backpackers should avoid additional bags as they need to keep things simple to make it easy to get around and also to secure in hostels and lockers. Look for a daypack that attaches to your main pack – even when both are full.  If you need a smaller handbag or travel bag opt for a cross body design that can be worn at the same time as the pack.
  • Accessories – packing organisers are amazingly useful for backpackers, they help keep your gear organised which makes you feel a little more in control when you’re on the move. Also consider a cable lock to secure all the compartments on your bag, and allows you to lock your bag to your bed or public transport for additional security when you’re in hostels or moving about.

Most Popular Options


The Osprey Sojourn Range –

The Osprey Sojourn is perfect for backpackers. It’s a premium quality backpack on wheels, and it’s loaded with practical features for all different sorts of trips. Available in 3 sizes, the Sojourn packs like a suitcase making it easy to access your gear, and the included backpack harness is an anti-gravity harness with waist strap, allowing the user to carry the pack for short distances up to day trips or a 2-day hike depending on pack weight. The Sojourn features a high road chassis (high clearance from the ground) and oversized durable wheels ensuring the case is durable enough to be dragged off road.


The Osprey Sojourn is a more expensive bag in its category, it is however backed by a lifetime warranty and comes highly backed by the staff at The Luggage Professionals.



Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Travel Pack – The Farpoint and Fairview range are travel packs designed specifically for men (Farpoint) and women (Fairview), that integrate a comfortable harness and a high quality pack that has a panel opening. With the gender specific fit, the pack is comfortable to carry even for extended periods of time, yet the panel opening makes it easy to live out of.



Also consider the Osprey Daylite daypack which attached to both the Sojourns and Farpoints/Fairviews.

Images via Osprey


Which is the right suitcase for you? | Adventure Travellers

There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the perfect suitcase for your circumstances, however we have noticed that our customers will typically fall into one of four categories; the casual traveller, the business traveller, the adventure traveller and the backpacker. Here are our top picks for these 4 types of travellers.

This week we will look at the ‘Adventure Traveller’




The Adventure Traveller


We define Adventure travellers as anyone who is doing more than simply travelling to and staying in a hotel, but who is not backpacking or hiking with their pack. This covers a broad spectrum, and will general include ‘backpackers’ (those who aren’t walking with their packs for long distances), those on extended trips which involve moving about and anyone surfing, fishing, boating or just staying off the beaten track a little. These travellers will be wheeling their case most of the time – and need the convenience of wheels to enable them to move about easily. Yet they also need the flexibility of external pockets, the ability to carry the bag when needed and the ability to load it into a car, bus, train or boat easily.  They may also need the option to store the bag and use a daypack or smaller bag for a night or two – essentially, they demand durability, functionality and most importantly the flexibility that a traditional suitcase may not offer.

Whilst you may not consider yourself an adventure traveller, it’s worth considering you’re in between trips away – your major holiday might be a hotel stay, but if you do car trips or camping in between times, then it’s worth considering a bag to suit these activities also. The key factors we tell them to consider are:

  • Soft or hard – Generally soft or more flexible cases suit adventure travellers, they are easier to load into vehicles and have external pockets or features that are useful when travelling off the beaten path.
  • Budget – there is a broad range of bags across all price points, however it is worth noting that generally these bags include more features than a straightforward suitcase and the prices can reflect this. Match up your budget to the demands you are putting on the case, if it’s a once a year car trip you won’t need to spend so much, 5 months traversing Africa – then it’s better to invest in a premium bag.
  • Size – This is totally dependent on your trip and also subsequent trips. If you do a real variety of travel, look for a case that has a zip off day pack or squashes down so you can adjust the size to suit.
  • Wheels – 2 or 4 wheels would suit. It’s more important to ensure the rear wheel quality will stand up to your trip demands. Generally, once you’re outside the airport, the case will be dragged on 2 wheels, so look for large wheels with good clearance from the ground that will handle cobblestones, dirt paths and grass etc.
  • Packing Features – This is the most important consideration.  A wheeled backpack or wheeled duffel bag are very popular options for adventure travellers. They offer a large main packing space but offer additional functionality such as removable daypacks, all wheel capable wheels, external pockets and specialised gear compartments, attachment points for extra gear, and most importantly, many have backpack straps so you can carry your luggage as needed.

This is a useful function beyond simply walking or trekking with your bag, being apple to carry your luggage on your back serves you very well when travelling by train, moving about busy cities that may involve stairs and uneven surfaces and getting your bag up and down from your top floor air bnb apartment.

  • Additional Luggage – Adventure travellers should try and limit the total number of bags they have to make life easy when carrying it all together. If you have additional bags, look for ones that attach to your main bag for easy transiting or that keep your hands free, such as a cross body bag or convertible bag.
  • Accessories – an adventure traveller will need travel adaptors, a toiletry bag, a foldable bag (this packs inside your main pack and gives you a small, lightweight bag to use for the beach, day trips or an overnight trip), padlocks and security items to suit your destination.


Most Popular Options


Images 1 & 2 via Osprey Packs

The Osprey Sojourn Range – The Osprey Sojourn is the perfect cross over bag for adventure travellers. It’s a premium quality backpack on wheels, and it’s loaded with practical features for all different sorts of trips. Available in 3 sizes, the Sojourn packs like a suitcase making it easy to access your gear, and the included backpack harness is an anti-gravity harness with waist strap, allowing the user to carry the pack for short distances up to day trips or a 2-day hike depending on pack weight. The backpack harness is removable should you want to use the case for later trips where you don’t require the pack feature. The Sojourn features a high road chassis (high clearance from the ground) and oversized durable wheels ensuring the case is durable enough to be dragged off road. The compression straps allow you to compress the bag, reducing the size and keeping your items inside secure when the bag is not full.


The Osprey Sojourn is a more expensive bag in its category, it is however backed by a lifetime warranty and comes highly backed by the staff at The Luggage Professionals.



Image via Victorinox

Victorinox VX Touring Range – For those adventure travellers where hotels feature more than hostels, but whom would still benefit from a more versatile case, the Victorinox VX Touring range fits the bill. This is a range of expanding duffel bags with the convenience of high quality wheels and trolley. This range is super lightweight and has a large cavity that packs like a suitcase as well as two wet/dry pockets. There is a laptop sleeve in the front pocket, attach a bag capability and external hardware to protect the case when off road and ensure stability when full and standing upright. The range is available in 5 sizes ensuring the right fit for any trip.




Which is the right suitcase for you? | Business Travellers

There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the perfect suitcase for your circumstances, however we have noticed that our customers will typically fall into one of four categories; the casual traveller, the business traveller, the adventure traveller and the backpacker. Here are our top picks for these 4 types of travellers.

This week we will look at the ‘Business Traveller’ – check back over the next few weeks for casual, adventure and backpacker top picks!


The Business Traveller

Business travellers demand more from their luggage as they travel more frequently than a casual traveller, they often have more specific requirements such as tech storage or garment carrier inclusions and business travellers require reliability – a wobbly wheel just won’t do when racing from the plane to your meeting. So whilst business travellers are not usually venturing off the beaten path, they do tend to have their bags with them more than a casual traveller so durability is key. Business travellers also look for bags that will last a few years of frequent travel with a solid warranty so repairs are fast and fuss free.

Business travellers include anyone who has one big international conference a year, to those that traverse interstate weekly, they typically have the same basic needs from their luggage. The key factors we tell them to consider are:

  • Soft or hard – this is personal preference, see our soft vs. hard suitcase guide for advice!
  • Budget – given your frequency of use, then investing more into your case will ensure you get premium parts and materials for durability, a reliable warranty and additional packing features such as laptop compartments or garment carriers.
  • Size – this depends on the sort of travel you do. The general rule is the smaller it is the easier it is to manage and the more versatile it will be across different trips requirements. Do consider whether your business travel includes mini bus transport or group scenarios in which suitcase size needs to be factored in.
  • Wheels – 4 wheels is virtually standard on suitcases now, however once outside the airport most people still drag their bag on 2 wheels, particularly as you move between meetings or around cities. For this reason, ensure the rear wheels on the case are particularly stable and high quality.
  • Packing Features – consider whether you need a laptop compartment, file compartment, specialist equipment storage, a garment carrier and so on. Some ranges include garment carriers inside them, and there are many cabin suitcases that now incorporate laptops and file storage allowing you to use them as suitcase or mobile office.
  • Additional Luggage – It’s typical for a business traveller to have a cabin sized mobile office on wheels and a large suitcase if required. The mobile office can act as your briefcase when you arrive, however look for a design that is versatile allowing you to use it as luggage, or a briefcase and an in between. Also make sure it is easy to manage with your large suitcase if you need both.
  • Accessories – a business traveller will require adaptors, luggage sorters (including tech compartments for chargers and cords), a toiletry bag and possibly a travel wallet to keep travel related documentation and money sorted.

Most Popular Options


The Victorinox WT Werks range –

The Werks collection has long been a favourite of business travellers. It’s tough and reliable, with an excellent warranty (covering airline damage) and the case has been designed with business travel in mind. The range itself is expansive with everything from suitcases to garment carriers and duffel bags, allowing travellers to mix and match exactly what they need. The bags all work together, with straps to hook the handheld bags to the trolley bags for easy coordination when using them together. The suitcases all include integrated and removable garment carriers. And there is a range of business briefcases to match, meaning just about any business travellers needs can be met from this one range.



Victorinox Spectra Range –

Victorinox are known for catering to the business traveller, and their key hard suitcase range is no exception. A wide range when you include the game changing Spectra expandable, the range includes cabin suitcases with removable mobile office capability allowing complete versatility for different types of travel. The Expandable collection allows you to have 2 suitcase sizes in one, meaning you can half the amount of luggage you need for all your different business trips – and Victorinox’s large range of briefcases and soft bags will easily work with the Spectra’s.



Images via @victorinox Instagram


Which is the right suitcase for you? | Casual Travellers

There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the perfect suitcase for your circumstances, however we have noticed that our customers will typically fall into one of four categories; the casual traveller, the business traveller, the adventure traveller and the backpacker. Here are our top picks for these 4 types of travellers.

This week we will look at the ‘Casual Traveller’ – check back over the next 3 weeks for business, adventure and backpacker top picks!


Image via @chloe_bh Instagram

The Casual Traveller

Casual travellers will typically have one main holiday per year up to 3 weeks and a couple of smaller getaways throughout the year. Whilst casual travellers may travel domestically or internationally and may have a huge variety of trips planned, the key thing is they are flying in, checking into a hotel and pretty much staying in the one spot before flying home – or they may move around two or three locations, but each location will be hotel style accommodation.

The vast majority of our customers are casual travellers, we advise the casual traveller to think beyond just the one trip and buy something that will suit them for up to 5 years if not longer. They key factors we tell them to think about are:

  • Soft or hard – this is personal preference, see our soft vs. hard suitcase guide for advice!
  • Budget – casual travellers don’t need to buy top of the line luggage, normally it doesn’t get used enough to justify the cost. However you should invest in a reputable brand with a solid warranty and solid construction. We recommend spending between $150 – $300.
  • Size – where possible we push people toward medium suitcases, they are easier to manage when you need to lift them and fit in car boots more easily (important to consider as your next trip may be a road trip!), they are also easier to store at home. If extra space is needed then you can add a cabin bag or look for one of the smaller of the large suitcases.
  • 4 Wheels – most casual travellers opt for 4 wheels, they are easy to manage through airports and hotels. Look for ‘double’ spinner wheels for more durability.
  • Suitcase features – the top features a casual traveller will use are built in locks, durable wheels, durable zips and durable handles. Also, suitcases do ensure some rough handling, major brands can be repaired more easily should any damage occur (under warranty or not).
  • Additional Luggage – For casual travellers, you don’t necessarily need a matching cabin suitcase. If you do a lot of domestic flights for the weekend or overnight, then a matching cabin suitcase is ideal, it will serve you well for all trips. If your other mini-trips away are car trips or a bit of a mix, also consider a duffel bag or weekender style bag. Just look for a model with a loop on it so it can slide over your suitcase trolley handle when being used together.
  • Accessories – casual travellers will generally need locks (if not built in); travel adaptors; a toiletry bag; luggage organisers, waterproof bags or plastic bags and a neck pillow as the key essentials.

Most Popular Options


Image via @mysamsonite Instagram

The Samsonite B-Lite range – The B-Lite collection is a big range which includes 5 trolley cases and a range of soft bags and toiletry bags to match allowing travellers to pick out items that will fit their needs. The B-Lite collection also has design inclusions that set it apart – the double wheels and strength in the handles are superior to many of the main competitors at this price point.



Image via @americantourister_au Instagram

American Tourister Bon Air Range – The Bon Air is a fantastic balance between weight, function, aesthetics and quality. Again it has the double wheels that give it an edge over similar bags


Next week we will take a look at which is the right suitcase for business travellers.


Which is Better | Wheeled Backpacks vs Backpacks

Perhaps third on our staff’s frequently asked questions list is should I take a wheeled backpack or a backpack, and what’s the difference? We’ve delved deep into the Wheeled Backpack vs Backpack argument.

This is the latest in our “Which is better” posts – in case you missed it our earlier posts, find them here:

Hard vs Soft suitcases’  and ‘2 Wheel vs 4 Wheel Suitcases

wheeled backpack vs travel kpack

Images via Osprey Packs

For once this FAQ has a clearly defined answer. It’s simple: will you need to carry this pack for trekking or extended walking (full day of intense walking or 3+ days of easy walking) at any point on your trip?

Yes > A travel pack is the way to go

No > A wheeled backpack is your answer

So that should be that right? Wrong! Backpacking or adventure trips are rarely that cut and dry – take for example the person travelling for one year with a 3 day trek booked in the middle, do they really have to cart a pack around for 362 days simply so they are more comfortable on the trek? Well yes and no, read on!

wheeled backpack vs backpack

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Wheeled Backpack


  • It’s like a suitcase you can take off road. And for this reason they are ideal for more than just gap years. When the terrain becomes too much for the wheels to handle, simply pick it up and put it on your back. This is not limited to just walking to a campsite – dirt roads in off-the-beaten-track towns, cobblestones, stairs, railways & subways, packed sidewalks, rainy, muddy or snowy conditions or sea adventures are all examples of conditions that may cause your suitcase to be less helpful and more of a liability.
  • They combine the best bits of a suitcase – the wheels and handle (obviously) but also the packing structure – they generally open out like a suitcase making them easy to pack and find what you’re after.
  • And the best bits of a travel pack – many models come with a removable day pack, giving you options when you travel, plus they feature things like compression straps, tie ons and quick access pockets just like a travel pack would.
  • The quality and range of wheeled backpacks has really improved in recent years, models on the market now have terrific support and excellent padding and comfort when being carried, so they can be carried more readily and for longer than earlier generations of wheeled backpacks.


  • When using it as a suitcase you do lose a lot of space and some weight to the harness. Some wheeled backpacks do have the option of a removable harness, which cancels out this negative – Osprey’s wheeled backpacks all have this option).
  • When using it as a backpack you have the additional weight of the handle and wheels to carry – and also the discomfort. The handle is a rigid pole that runs down the back of the case – it takes quite a bit of support and padding to ensure the pack is comfortable and supportive despite this straight metal rod.  The wheels whilst often wide set; can only be so far apart, they can dig into your hips after a while.


Photo by Nat Saggers of Checkin-Out 

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Backpack


  • The latest batch of travel packs and backpacks offer such great support and comfort with such a range of sizes and packing options available. Osprey Packs even have packs especially designed for men and women, meaning your pack is fitted perfectly and you’re ready for even the longest on foot adventure.
  • If you’re trekking or walking on your trip, a travel pack is most definitely the way to go. A comfortable and suitable design allows you to enjoy your adventure and not be weighed down and miserable with an ill-fitting or too heavy bag.


  • Perhaps the biggest downside to travel packs is they are really only suited to trekking or walking trips, which can often mean they are a single trip purchase, where a wheeled backpack can be used for all sorts of travel.


So now you know what type of bag you’re buying, how do you then know which one to buy? Our advice here is to match the bag up to the length and ruggedness of the trip. It may seem counter-intuitive to advise a backpacking student to send $300+ on their bag, but well, they should. They live out of their bag for months at a time, drag it and throw it, wear it, sleep on it, rely on it. Their bag is their life – and if it breaks, well then, their life is broken. Maybe not so dire, but it will feel like it in that moment when you’re zip is broken, clothes are leaking and the next main town stop to get it repaired is 3 weeks away.

So our main tips are these:

  • The longer your trip, the better quality the bag should be.
  • The more rugged your trip, the better quality your bag should be.


What to look for when purchasing a wheeled backpack

  • The key things for a wheeled backpack are the same as on a suitcase. The zips, wheels, material, handle and warranty
    • Zips – they should be rugged, large and lockable (on all pockets if that’s what you need)
    • Wheels – wheeled backpacks always have 2 wheels, so look for large wheels with a durable tread, preferably on an axis (avoid smaller roller blade wheels) and a generous kickplate and protective plastic housing around the base of the case. This will absorb the impact of being dragged upstairs and so on, rather than wearing through the fabric.
    • Material – rip stop nylon, water resistant, thick and highly resilient.
    • Handle – the poles should be sturdy – a warped pole can mean a handle that stops going up and down so the poles should be sturdy and have adequate protection from getting damaged.
    • Warranty – the warranty is generally a good indicator of quality, 1-3 years would be sufficient for a shorter and less rugged trip, 5-10 years is ideal and lifetime means the company really back their product – look for lifetime if you really need something high quality (Osprey’s lifetime warranty is a good example!)
    • Pack comfort and support – if you are purchasing the wheeled backpack just so you can catch a train or get across the odd paddock then you can get away with something simpler and lighter, it should always have a lumbar or chest strap though if it’s over 50L. For anyone who will need to actually carry their pack, look for adjustable shoulder straps with great padding and comfort, test it out in the shop or before you go with the bag weighted to check the support.
    • Features such as a removable day pack, raincoat, mesh panels and so on are dependent on your specific needs for your trip.


What to look for when purchasing a backpack

  • If possible, visit us in store and try some on. The harness systems on travel packs are very sophisticated now, and its best to get matched up and test it out.
  • If that’s not possible, give yourself time if buying online. We allow refunds for 100 days – so you can order it, test it out at home and then swap it if need be.
  • In terms of quality indicators, zips, material, harness and warranty will be your biggest clues;
    • Zips – they should be rugged, large and lockable (on all pockets if that’s what you need)
    • Material – rip stop nylon, water resistant, thick and highly resilient.
    • Harness – the more sophisticated the harness is the more comfortable the bag will be – things such as height adjustable straps, breathable mesh panels, lumbar and chest straps, even weight distribution and so on will make a huge difference 7 days in to your trek.
    • Warranty – the warranty is generally a good indicator of quality, 1-3 years would be sufficient for a shorter or lighter trip, 5-10 years is ideal and lifetime means the company really back their product – look for lifetime if you really need something high quality (Osprey’s lifetime warranty is a good example!) When your comfort and back health are in question, buy the best quality you can afford.
    • Features such as size, capacity, removable day pack, tie downs, raincoats, packing style and so on will all depend on what sort of trip you’re doing.

So there you have it – our comprehensive guide to wheeled backpack vs backpack, a seemingly simple question!

And to answer the question we posed earlier about the traveller with a 3 day trek booked in the middle of their year long trip – the best option would be a wheeled backpack with a generous removable day pack. Take the day pack on the trek and leave your bigger case behind.


Wheeled Backpack: Osprey Sojourn 28 Wheeled Backpack. This top of the line wheeled backpack features a fully loaded harness (which is removable), high clearance trolley system and superior wheels. It’s also backed by their lifetime warranty, it’s one of the toughest in the game.

RRP: $399.95   $319.95

Wheeled Backpack Honourable Mention: Caribee Fast Track 75 Wheeled Travel Pack.  Caribee have really knuckled down in understanding how people use this bag, it’s got loads of great usable features including a detachable day pack, integrated show bag and internal organisation.

RRP: $445  $311.50

Mens Backpack: Osprey Waypoint 80 Men’s Travel Pack. RRP $349.95 $319.95
Women’s Backpack: Osprey Xena 70 Womens Travel Pack  RRP $449.95 $369.95
Both are specifically designed for optimum comfort and weight distribution for men or women and are loaded with features that make even the most intense trekking paths easier to navigate.

Shop our range of Wheeled Backpacks HERE

Shop our range of travel packs and backpacks HERE


Top 10 ‘Back to Work’ Innovations in business bags


top 10 back to work innovations

It’s mid Jan, so by now we’re shaking off the post holiday blues and getting started on goals for 2017. These innovations in briefcases and business bags can upgrade your work experience this year.

1. Expandable Briefcases: Not necessarily a new innovation, however the latest batch from Victorinox & Samsonite feature specialised storage for your laptop + tablet with an expandable sections for either files or some overnight necessities. You will also find most designs have a sleeve on the back that fits over your suitcase handle for better integrated travel and an organisational panel in the front pocket. The latest batch are savvy and relate to modern workers – an upgrade could make the world of difference to your commute and day to day use!

Shop our range of briefcases here.

Our top pick is the Victorinox Lexicon Professional La Salle 15 Laptop Briefcase - a premium quality briefcase with a lifetime warranty – it’s smart, savvy, has looks to kill and will last beyond retirement.  Was $629. Now $377.40

2. IPad/Tablet Briefcases: If you no longer need to cart your laptop to and fro but wouldn’t be caught dead without your tablet – there is an emerging range of shoulder bags, satchels and mini briefcases designed to fit this job. Ranging from casual to smart casual to business with added features such as anti-theft technology and convertible straps you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Shop the range of iPad/tablet briefcases here.

Find anti-theft iPad/tablet bags here

Our top pick is the Victorinox Werks Professional Analyst 10 Tablet Briefcase – this mini-briefcase is smart enough to wear with your suit and features a deluxe organisational panel in the front pocket. Was $185. Now $111

3. New Collection of Women’s Business Bags: For years the choice was to stick with the big, black, bulky men’s designs or opt for overly feminine designs. The new batch from the likes of Samsonite and Pacsafe include shoulder bags and backpacks with colour options ranging from black to nude to grey and red. These bags are professional, lightweight and well designed.

Shop the range here.

Our top picks include the Samsonite Boulevard and City Air range and the Pacsafe Slingsafe range.

4. Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks: The answer to all your hot-desking frustrations! The emergence of new open plan and hot desking style offices is terrific – except when you want to duck out to the coffee shop to grab a coffee without first gathering all your bits to put in a locker and risk losing your spot. The range of anti-theft backpacks have slash proof lining, lockable pockets and you can lock the strap to a fixed pole so no one can run off with it, keeping you gear safe at all times.

Shop the range here

Top Pick: Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 anti-theft 25L backpack - this backpack has storage for up to a 15 inch laptop, plus more and has 6 anti-theft safe guard features; it’s available in a range of colours and is designed for both men and women. Was $199.95 Now $169.96

5. The new Prodigy mobile office by Samsonite: This is a well designed carry on size suitcase with generous packing space and a fast access front sleeve for your laptop, tablet and personal effects. This makes getting through airport security a breeze and also makes going from airport to meeting to hotel a much simpler task. Most innovative of all is that it’s one of the first premium quality mobile offices that comes in a colour option other than black.

Find the Samsonite Prodigy Mobile Office Here. Was $429. Now $257.40

6. Convertible Bags: Depending on what line of work you’re in, your bag might just need to do more. Attend a meeting with your tablet as a shoulder bag, convert it to a backpack to jump on your motor cycle to get on site, then convert it to a waist pack to keep your hands free.

This is all possible with the following convertible designs:

7. Convertible Cabin Suitcase/Mobile Office: Storing 2 different cabin bags, one for your business trips and one for your leisure trips can be a right pain. Surely it would be easier if they were both the one case? Well now they are – the Victorinox Spectra range of cabin suitcases all feature a removable ‘business panel’, which when attached houses your laptop and work gear with packing space behind, or simply remove it when you want to dedicate the whole suitcase to board shorts and snorkel gear.

Shop the Victorinox Spectra Range here

8. A gym/weekend bag to match your suit: Speaking of one bag to meet all your needs, The Victorinox Architecture Urban Rappard Expandable Satchel is a premium quality duffel bag that is smart enough to take to the office with your gym kit inside. This all purpose bag is expandable too, so it’s makes a great weekend bag or cabin bag for your travels as needed. It comes with Victorinox’s lifetime warranty, it’s quality and versatility make it well worth the investment.

Was $559. Now $335.40

9. Portable Safe: Is your office less high rise and more work site? Or perhaps less desk and more cliff top? Modern connectivity means we can now work everywhere, but this also means you might find yourself having to stash your laptop on a busy building site, or carting your camera to a shoot in the middle of a market – Pacsafe’s range of portable safe’s could be the answer for you.

Find them here.

10. Hi Vis Gear: Whether it’s a workplace necessity or you simply want to be seen when you’re cycling home, the Caribee range of high vis bags is essential.



2 Suitcases in 1 – The New Victorinox Spectra Expandable Luggage Range

Expanding hard suitcases are hard to find – the new Victorinox Spectra has a HUGE expander to solve all your problems!

The new Victorinox Spectra release has been designed to solve two big problems – firstly, it gives you multiple size options in the one suitcase, so no need to store a whole family of luggage to give yourself options, this is highly important for all those living in small apartments with no storage to speak of! Problem 2 – having a cabin size suitcase that adapts to different airline allowances.

Expandable hard suitcases are rare and the Spectra in unique in it’s huge 47% expansion in the medium and large cases, that’s unheard of even in soft luggage and truly gives you multiple suitcase options in the one bag.

The expandable Spectra luggage is ideal for frequent travellers, the idea being one case is perfect for a one week trip, a quick size adjustment and it’s ready to go for your 3 week trip. Everything is covered.

The case itself packs more like a soft case, the central zip releases the expander, so the case is accessed through the lid flap, everything packs into the main compartment. This has a couple of benefits, the main being that it takes up less room on the floor when you’re packing or living out of your bag. One drawback though is that it can be harder to find things in a deeper compartment.

The cabin bag has an extra trick up it’s sleeve also – the removable electronics sleeve allows you to turn the case into a mobile office, with padded storage for your laptop and tablet, and packing space for a night or two behind. For a weekend holiday simply remove the electronics sleeve, leave your work at home and off you go. So again – 2 suitcases in one!

Victorinox has really thought through the challenges that modern travellers face – multi-functionality is so important in our world where space is becoming premium. We demand more from our gear – and this case really delivers, it’s well designed and highly functional.

Other included features are Victorinox’s built in TSA lock with free ‘The Access’ combination lock recover program – a program which allows you to lodge your combination online securely and retrieve it again later should you ever forget it. The Swiss Tracker Bag Tracking Program will reunite you with your bag anywhere in the world – should you happen to be separated for it, also free.

Find further specifications or to purchase the suitcase follow the links below;

Victorinox Spectra Expandable Global Carry-On Hard Suitcase $799 $479.40

Victorinox Spectra Medium Expandable Suitcase $1020 $612

Victorinox Spectra Large Expandable Suitcase $1100 $660


If you’re looking for an expandable hard suitcase, also check out the Bon Air Collection by American Tourister for Samsonite – here.



8 Anti Travel Rules for first time International Travellers

Look at you… breaking all the rules on your first overseas trip! But some rules are made to be broken, and these travel rules are it.

If you’re heading overseas for the first time there are so many checklists, rules and guides that it’s easy to get carried away. It’s understandable, you’re heading into the unknown and it is better to be prepared, it’s always essential you have your passport and visas in check and you will be more comfortable if you have the right gear. However, there is a product sold for just about every need, and before you board the plane with every travel gizmo ever conceived take a look at our anti rules.

best travel tips for first time international travellers

Via @saasha_burns

Don’t buy Travel Clothing

Heading on a safari in Africa? Or perhaps a day trek in Bali? You won’t need a safari suit, or even zip off trousers, you also won’t need hiking boots. Consider what you would wear doing the same activity in Australia and take that – your board shorts and runners will do the job just fine. You will need Aerogard though and sunscreen and it’s far easier to take them from home then find them in a Turkish market.


Take One Adapter, One power board

This one’s simple, taking 3 devices that will need charging? Take one adapter and one power board. Just ensure it’s a high quality power board that will accommodate different wattage’s of different countries.


Shop for travel adapters here


Avoid Currency Converters

Do your research on this one – have a look at what the best option is for the country you are going to and also look into it with your bank, but in our experience one of the best methods of handling currency conversions is to simply use our normal savings card and withdraw money at an ATM as soon as you arrive in your destinations airport, then as you need it afterward. This is convenient (no extra work at all), banks usually only charge a flat rate fee per transaction and you get an on the spot exchange rate. We work to the theory that we take about $500 – $1000 cash out at once to limit the transactions you need, but that does of course depend on where you are and how secure it is to be carrying large amounts of cash on you.  One thing to always keep in mind however you organise your currency though is always have local currency on you before leaving the airport – and having USD$100 on you can get you out of some sticky situations (here’s looking at you surprise Visa in Indonesia and speeding fine in Africa)!

best travel tips for first time international travellers

Take as much luggage as you want… so long as you can get it where it needs to be! Image via Samsonite.

Take as much as you want

… as long as you can carry it! Ok so this one’s a little sneaky as it is in line with advice we’re all well versed in – but seriously, if you’re heading to a resort in Hawaii and there is door to door transport on each end, take as much as you want, or as much as the airline will allow, we’re all for it! If however, you will be in a situation where you need to pick up your own bag, make sure you can. And we’re not just talking about being able to carry your pack if you’re backpacking, consider yourself hailing a cab in NYC or Rome and trying to get 2 oversized suitcases in the tiny boots on your own without getting run over, you need to be able to lift your bag on your own. And if you’re travelling in pairs or more, your combined bags need to fit into whatever transport you have arranged on the other end.


Our favourite oversized suitcase for over packers is 81cm Cosmolite (it’s so light you can probably still lift it with 13 pairs of shoes and a brick or two inside)


You can use your phone

Yes roaming charges are outrageous and we don’t recommend that avenue. In many countries though data sim cards are super simple to get and inexpensive, even if you’re only somewhere for a couple of days it’s a very viable option. Make a phone store you’re first port of call.


Ditch the guidebooks

They are a handy place to start your research, whether it’s online guides or our trusty Lonely Planets, but consider this, are your favourite places in your city listed in the local travel guide? Probably not.

These guides are fantastic for learning about major attractions and how best to navigate them, they are not so great for ‘hidden gems’ and restaurants and bars though. Do some research before you go and write down your must do’s. Do these in the first couple of days as you settle in and get a feel for a place. Along the way ask your hotel staff, the staff in the museum and people you meet along the way to share their favourite places – then go there. And if all else fails, jump in a cab and ask them to take you to their favourite restaurant.


pacsafe anti theft travel tips

Staying secure doesn’t have to mean a money belt! Image via @pacsafeofficial

Ditch the money belt

Go on, the thieves are on the lookout for it anyway! Again, this is dependent on where you are travelling to so do your research, but for your typical tourist trying to avoid being pick pocketed is a matter of blending in and being alert. Organising your valuables from top to toe in money belts and magic socks is like a beacon to a well versed thief.

Scenario: you are in a rush to pay for your melting Gelato so you stash your purse back in the front pocket of your handbag (not its usual spot), you then get to the Duomo and go to get your purse to buy your ticket only to find it missing – you panic, you frantically throw your bag on the ground emptying the contents everywhere only for it to fall out of the front pocket where you stashed it twenty minutes ago. Classic Tourist.

Things get lost, forgotten and taken when you break from your routine. The best thing is to stick to your routine as closely as possible; we do recommend the following tips;

  • First up, take photos of your passport and credit cards and email them to yourself. Stolen passports and credit cards can be solved very quickly if you have copies in your email so don’t panic.
  • Take your usual purse or wallet but empty of all non-essential stuff before you leave.
  • If you’re purse or wallet is valuable in itself take a less expensive one with a similar layout
  • Don’t take your passport and extra credit cards out with you unless it’s safer than leaving them behind or unless you need them that day.
  • Likewise, don’t carry all your cash if you don’t need to
  • Your handbag should have basic security, such as a zip to close it or an internal zipped pocket – It’s great to stick to your usual handbag if possible, if security is a real concern (and it is if you are visiting lots of tourist attractions each day) then anti-theft handbags are great, choose a design that replicates your usual handbag the closest.
  • Men should not carry their wallets in their back pockets – break this habit before your travel, your side pocket is much more secure.
  • If you change your wallet and bag or both – make the change a few weeks before you go so everything is seamless by the time you’re on holiday.
  • At the end of the day, where there are large groups of tourists there will be opportunistic thieves.  Lost passports and cards can be solved, cash is upsetting, but again not the end of the world; the most upsetting thing to lose usually is a phone or camera due to the photos. Back up your phone’s photos before you go and if you’re taking lots of snaps along the way, back those up every couple of days. If you are robbed, it shouldn’t ruin your holiday – it’s happened to the best of us, and if it hasn’t, well they just haven’t ventured far enough off the beaten track yet!


Pacsafe are unbeatable when it comes to finding the right anti-theft solution – find the right solution for you here

8 tips for first time travellers

Neck pillows will make or break you. Image via @cabeautravel

Pssst – here’s a little known secret, they give you pillows on the aeroplane

Not that you would believe it with the number of brightly coloured neck pillows hanging out of everyone’s backpacks at the airport. It is true, so a neck pillow is not actually an in-flight essential. And we will save you the $40 you might be tempted to spend on one of the bean filled versions at the airport – they are a nuisance to carry and they are uncomfortable. They will be in the bin at the other end, we promise. Before you gleefully cross if off your list though, neck pillows do have their use, and we can’t recommend (certain) ones enough. The pillows on the aeroplane have questionable hygiene, so there’s that, and they actually don’t make the best neck pillows. They do make great lumbar pillows though! If you consider that you will be sitting up using this pillow anything that has big bulk at the back will simply push your head forward into a very uncomfortable position, here are our neck pillow essentials;

  • Your neck pillow should have a pliable (foam) back to it, be flat or ridged at the back or be inflatable. That way there is no bulk behind your neck but you can rest your head to the sides to get some rest without resorting to taking a nap on your neighbours shoulder.
  • Your neck pillow should be able to easily be packed into your luggage – if it doesn’t fit, forget it. Spend the extra money to get one that folds or squashes down, or a less expensive alternative is an inflatable one.
  • Neck pillows are actually far handier beyond the plane – car trips, long ferry trips and train trips, now, none of these places actually do offer pillows and you will feel mighty smug with your hot pink neck noodle at midnight on the bullet train.


Cabeau neck pillows are the best – in case you missed it, I hate neck pillows, but Cabeau one’s are fast making me a convert!


So there you have it – our rule breaking travel rules!