four wheelin’

The travel bug has hit me again as I plan my next trip down under. When will I find somewhere else to go? At any rate, I have become jealous of the folks I see gliding through the airport with 4 wheels on their bags and am thinking it might be time to upgrade. My luggage is just a few years old but it’s worth a look anyway . . . here are some of the top options for the design conscious traveler:

Mandarina Duck Work Young Trolly SeriesMandarinaMy current luggage is Mandarina Duck and I love it. Not only is it great looking it is super sturdy and has one bright yellow wheel making it easy to spot coming down the conveyer belt, a feature that is sadly gone in their four wheel models. My preference is for soft sided luggage — I am not a fan of two smaller halves that hard sides come with and prefer one large compartment for packing. Plus, I adore the dark blue color this series comes in. From carry on to extra extra large with many size options in between. $275 – $479. A top contender!

StarkTrip by DelseystarktripI have already professed my love for the duffel bag in this range. And I’m a sucker for matchy matchy when it comes to my luggage. As nice as the four wheel offerings are with many great features — great looks in a sophisticated charcoal color, soft sides, that same anti-theft and stainproof/waterproof fabric, plus ample room due to the wide handle construction that doesn’t take any inner space away from the center of the bag — that same handle construction also makes using this bag in the two wheel mode awkward. Having owned a previous version of this design, I can tell you that wide handle with its sharp corners hits you in the legs when pulling on two wheels. In four wheel mode I would expect this wide handle might be a plus but proceed with caution. There are two sizes of the four wheel bags in this large collection with prices as high as the design $550 & $680.

Muji’s Valise Hard Carry SuitcasesMujiTruth be told, as much as I dislike hard sided luggage I did purchase one of these in the carry on size just the other day (as yet unused). I’ve been eying these bags for years on every trip to Muji. Something about that navy blue color and the low low price just spoke to me. I especially like the wheel locking feature on the back. So will I go larger? That remains to be seen. But a good test for under $200. Muji also makes a soft sided 4-wheel collection at equally good prices but you will have to forgo that sexy blue for mainstream black.

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