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Best college student luggage, again

patientpatient Registered User Posts: 1,458 Member
edited February 2005 in Parents Forum
I know that there was a thread on this last year. Would people, especially whose kids travel to college by air, please share their favorite luggage information? Particularly as to duffle bags, size/brand/model. Wheeled or not and why? This is for summer travel for all 3 kids--one for two months on the East Coast, another for 2 weeks in the midwest. I'm sure all those incoming college freshmen can learn from this too.....
Post edited by patient on

Replies to: Best college student luggage, again

  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    I went on a month-long trip using a wheeled 36" duffel by Travelpro. It has a bottom section for flat items such as clothes and a large section for everything else; also it has many outside pockets for last minute items. It was very convenient. I stuffed in a smaller duffel bag to carry things I might buy while abroad. It really needs to be wheeled as it's so big.
    For shorter trips, especially for students going home, a smaller duffel is a good idea. I would still suggest wheels. It can be mighty tiring carrying the stuff while waiting in line.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,887 Super Moderator
    One of the parents last year said that her son went to school using 2 extra large LLbean duffels (I forgot who it was, but I am still eternally grateful) Daughter went off to school with 2Xl LL bean duffels (one rolling which even has a pull up handle. she has an assortment of bags for tips home.
  • fendergirlfendergirl Registered User Posts: 4,694 Senior Member
    i don't know about veryone else, but my duffle bag is wonderful. every spring break we drive down to florida (this year there is 36 of us) and we each bring one duffle bag of clothing - there isn't room for more.. so i would say definately send some kind of duffle bag, cause you never know when you'll need it. they sell cheap ones that zip up really small at walmart for like ten bucks.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 21,835 Senior Member
    Be careful with the really large duffels and suitcases. It is easy to get them overweight and the airlines have gotten really strict about this. D came home from boarding school once and had to pay $50 for the overweight bag.
    S has a really strong Northface duffel that I got at an outdoors store. It is a good size and is bright yellow. No wheels,though.
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,337 Senior Member
    8 years ago I bought 5 different unique colored XL LL Bean duffel bags, one for each member of the family for home leave. No wheels, as they add weight and make packing them in cars or vans more difficult. Now each person has the L size as well in the same color and they have been all over the world many times and really have held up. They self-reinforce as they have built in outside straps (superior design- they also have a reinforced bottom). My son went off to college in two of the XL size, I bought him the other one this summer (his are "pilot yellow"). Inside he packed his L size as well, for shorter trips. Since the bags are unusual colors, I can get them at the LL Bean factory store we go to in the summer for less than retail price usually. Weird colors are great for traveling! Unlike other duffel bags, they also do not get a very bad smell after a year or two...

    The XL duffels without wheels are great for hauling stuff and for trips when you just plop yourself in one location for the duration. I wouldn't take them on a trip when you had to move around a lot. The L duffels work for this purpose, however. We also have bought a set of the LL Bean duffels with wheels for 3 of us(same can't miss em colors)- they have the same packing capacity as the L size. These are nice for those of us trying to nurse bad shoulders or for when the 9 year old needs to deal with her own, but the teenagers fling around the bags without wheels (even packed to the 70 pound international limit)...

    Son's bag went missing when he traveled back to school after Christmas- flight delays and snow. It was quickly found and returned to him and he told me that he plans to buy yellow duffel bags his whole life, since the kids whose black bags went missing had to wait longer!!
  • daffodil22daffodil22 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I've had the same L.L. Bean large duffel since fourth grade, and use it frequently. It's still in great shape, amazingly!
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,887 Super Moderator

    Please forgive my senior moment and once again, thank you, thank you

    Her's are blue and it was worth the $5 for the monogramming, because she can always find her stuff :)
  • chocoholicchocoholic Registered User Posts: 2,995 Senior Member
    It was quickly found and returned to him and he told me that he plans to buy yellow duffel bags his whole life, since the kids whose black bags went missing had to wait longer!!
    hahaha, that is so true. While we are waiting for our black luggage to disintegrate, we always use rainbow-striped luggage straps on the black suitcases, so they stand out in a crowd.

    But really, LLBean is the best. Even the kids' school bags just take such a beating, and not a whimper out of them.

    Do kids going off to college use book-backs at all, or has it all been reduced to a laptop-bag?
  • Maize&BlueMaize&Blue Registered User Posts: 636 Member
    Both kids have duffles on wheels purchased from REI - don't recall the particular brand. Very sturdy, well-made. They work great getting through airports and to shuttle buses. A colored strap on each does help ID the bags. D also purchased bag for laptop/books from REI. One of the new kinds whose weight on the back is supported by straps that go across the chest and one shoulder. She says it's the most comfortable of all that she's had through the years.
  • fendergirlfendergirl Registered User Posts: 4,694 Senior Member
    when i graduated high school my parents got me a luggage set - it came with three different sized suitcases (small, medium, large) and a duffle bag. i still have them all, except for the medium sized suitcase, which my ex-best-friend still hasn't returned.. i have a feeling i'm not getting it back.
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,337 Senior Member
    if it were "pilot yellow" she would probably remember it wasn't hers and return it to you (Just kidding!!)...

    Once at the LLBean factory store there was a "resale" of a duffel that had my husband's initials..I took it as a sign and bought it even though it wasn't his "family-designated color"...we also monogram! Glad they worked for you..
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 7,740 Senior Member
    travelpro has outlet store by us, so we have several with wheels in different sizes. i have teal, which stands out.
  • lizschuplizschup Registered User Posts: 957 Member
    Well I'll be the odd man out and recommend the Swiss Army luggage. It's sleek, very light, and rolls like a dream. It also zips out to a larger size. My son loves his and if I was going to replace my heavy Dakota luggage, I would get the Swiss Army. It also comes in bright blue and red. I think they have a rolling duffle as well. It is one of the lightest pieces of luggage around or at least it was when we bought it two years ago.
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    Well, I travel (for up to a month) with a single 20" Eagle rolling suitcase (with removable backpack) and a daypack, but that's for minimal packing for travel, where I follow my mother's advice: get out what you want to take, then take out half. Wait a few days, and take out half again.

    My son went to college with 3 Lands End extra large duffels, one of which was his sheets, pillows, towels, and surge protector extension cords--and was sent ahead with a friend who lived in Boston and had been visiting. At this point, everything he has at college fits into four extra large duffels--but that's because one of them is his dive gear.

    We have many large Lands End duffels around here, because we use them for summer storage of SCUBA equipment, ski clothes, and blankets, as well as for travel. We started using them for a trip to Africa in 2000 (where we were told what size duffel to bring) and now use them for any trip requiring checked luggage. All are monogrammed with DH's last name, which is exceedingly uncommon in the US. They are also bright yellow. Haven't had a problem with lost luggage since we got them. (They are cheap enough that we can leave the SCUBA gear packed between trips, which is nice. That way it's always ready to go.)

    When I've had expensive luggage, I've worried that people would think there was something worth stealing in it.
  • cangelcangel Registered User Posts: 4,127 Senior Member
    Thanks for the tips, I will share one. I read this tip on a travel web site, and it works great. Instead of names or initials, put a screen name or ISP account name on your luggage with fabric paint - we use my husbands' AOL account name on all of ours - the bright white fabric paint grabs your eye on the farthest side of the luggage carousel, and it doesn't really reveal anything about you.
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