Get Them Going With Luggage and Leather Goods
By Emily Tipping
According to the Suitcase.com study, 48 percent of respondents are packing lighter and using smaller bags, and 58 percent will only purchase luggage made with lightweight materials.
In fact, the biggest overall trend affecting the luggage brought to market, according to Mike Landry, director of special markets for Tumi Inc., is "… the proliferance of luggage fees and what that has to do with what people are taking on an airplane. It really has truly changed how people travel. People are gun-shy about overweight bags."
As a result of these trends, Landry said Tumi has been "… rethinking materials, features and engineering. We're relying on design and development to take out every spare ounce that can be taken out." As a result, the 22-inch Vapor weighs in at just over 7 pounds.
Another lightweight piece that makes a good option for carry-on whether you're flying domestic or international, Tumi's Alpha Continental Carry-On features a shorter and wider configuration, with the packing capacity of a 22-inch case. It fits easily in the overhead and will be accepted by most domestic airlines and many international carriers. Made from Tumi's signature ballistic nylon, its main compartment also expands 2.5 inches and features a removable garment sleeve.
Mitchell agreed that consumers are demanding lighter weights in their luggage. "I can't speak for other brands," he said, "But what we're hearing loud and clear is that there is a big emphasis on weight because of the fees charged by airlines. When it hits 51 pounds, the cash register goes off."
In response, Samsonite developed L.I.F.T., or lightweight innovation for travel. "The 21-inch carry-on weighs less than 7 pounds but still maintains our quality standard," Mitchell said. "The other pieces, which you would check, are also significantly lighter."
"Highlighting the lightweight construction of luggage is very important," said Jessica Erdman, sales and marketing manager with Top Brands Inc. "The less that the suitcase weighs, the more the traveler can pack. Delsey now offers a 25-inch and 29-inch upright with a built-in weight indicator that turns red when the bag exceeds 50 pounds. These added features are convenient for travelers to ensure they are not paying added overweight fees."
Delsey's Helium Lite 2.0 collection, available through Top Brands, is another extremely lightweight, fully featured option. The built-in overweight indicator allows you to easily determine if your bag weighs more than 50 pounds. It is constructed with a fiberglass graphite frame to keep weight minimum and the suitcase durable. The trolley features a fully lined interior with tie-down straps and pockets for easy storage and security. It is also expandable up to 2 inches for extra packing space.
For adventurous travelers who take packing light seriously, the Briggs & Riley BRX collection, available through Incentive Concepts, features an Exchange Duffle and a 22-inch Upright Carry-on. The duffle converts easily into a backpack, making it two bags in one. The carry-on features an easy-pack main compartment with wide nylon compression panels to keep gear flat and neat. The inside top lid features a wet/dry pocket and essentials compartment for additional organization. The external buckle system allows any two BRX bags to quickly connect together to become one checkable piece of luggage or an even easier carry-on.
High Sierra's Carry-on Wheeled Business Upright features special, built-in, high-density foam structure to help maintain the bag's shape while minimizing its weight. It features a large main compartment with book-style opening, and expands 2.5 inches for additional storage. It also includes a separate compartment with a padded sleeve to protect most 17-inch notebook computers.