Monday, January 21, 2008

Rugged Luggage From Land's End

Land's End stuff may not be flashy, but it's long-lasting and affordable, which is right up my alley for this particular travel gear blog. I'm a fan of their fleeces and other clothing, but most people don't realize that they make some fine luggage as well.

My wife has been around the globe three times with me as a backpacker and can pack light when she has to. When it's time to go visit her mom in Florida though, in go the six pairs of shoes, four exercise outfits, and enough other clothes to outfit a village. (Yes, my mother-in-law does have a washer and dryer. Grrrr...) This all goes in a huge suitcase that is a hernia threat each time I have to lift it, so next trip I'm using a somewhat lighter 27-inch version from Land's End. "Lighter" is a relative term when you've got something with big wheels and a swivel handle though and this one comes in at 13 pounds. Fine for domestic U.S. travel, but don't try flying into London with it and then boarding a budget airline.

As expected, this is a rugged, well-made suitcase that should last for a decade or more. I have no idea what "1682-denier ballistic nylon" is, but I assume it's pretty strong stuff and it's said to resist tears, abrasions, and moisture. The in-line skate wheels are smooth and go over bumpy curbs with ease, while the ergonomic swivel handle allows my other half to pull half her closet behind her with a minimum of crashes. This thing cries out for packing cubes though. While the huge compartment allows you to pack a lot, everything is tossed in together, with only two front pockets and an expansion area allowing some separation. (It does come with a laundry bag though.)

Land's End sells an array of luggage that's less stodgy than that big monster, of course. There's a nice duffel bag in 7 colors that maxes out at $70 for the largest size. They also sell a nice rugged rolling duffel bag, some indestructible hardside suitcases, and a piece I'm really lusting over: a $290 leather weekend bag. My closet is full though. bags.

See the whole range here: Land's End home and travel.

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