hunt for the perfect carry on suitcase...

it seemed like a good idea at the time, to use a small army surplus duffle bag when i decided to pack for a 10 day trip. i pack pretty light.

no checked luggage = no lost luggage. right?

heavy duffle bag full of mexican chocolate and coffee + sunburned shoulders = a bad time.

wheels on carry on luggage = a real good idea.

i went to to j&r (on-line only, didn't make it to the store), filene's basement (two manhattan locations), burlington coat factory (brooklyn and manhattan), macy's (didn't get past the lobby, too overwhelming), daffy's (brooklyn and manhattan), target, bed bath & beyond and t.j maxx. um, this is why i like to shop on own. when i'm on a mission, i'm extremely picky, and i really like to take my time.

here's what i was looking for: carry-on size, super lightweight, drives well, black, good looking, and within my budget of $100.

my top three picks happened to be at t.j. maxx...

HEYS 20" SPINNER: this is the suitcase that started it all. i was on a mission to find a hardsell heys carry-on spinner in nyc. a suitcase from a canadian company. makes sense right? i had played with these before, and marveled at how light they were and the 4 wheel drive spinner system... glidey. retails for about $100. and sell for slightly more in the u.s. i found them at filene's basement, but not in the color i wanted, i found pink orange, yellow, and zebra stripes but finally found a black one at for $59.99, only after a lot of digging.

good: price, weight, color, super glidey, expands 25%
bad: a ton of people have the same suitcase, ugly lining, strong chemical smell inside

SAMSONITE BLACK LABEL X'LITE 22" UPRIGHT: and then i saw THIS. these pictures don't do it justice at all. it's super flashy. like a suitcase with rims, and a custom paintjob. shiny black with chrome and brushed stainless steel trim, and a red canvas lining, with sooo many pockets, zippers, straps, and shiny silver hardware.

good: black, really really good looking, super lightweight, rolls well,
bad: no price, not tags, no waranty info, worried it's going to be really really expensive. like all the black label line. smaller than the heys, no 4WD

SAMSONITE BLACK LABEL by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN CROCODILE SPINNER in WHITE: priced at$130. it usually retails for over $670. It was amazing. It came w/shoe bags, laundry bags an amazing lock, and about 5 booklets. I was tempted to get it, but the white would get dirty really quickly, and the zipper SUCKED! i was shocked. it had this beautiful bright silver zipper, but it got stuck about 10 times when i tried to open the suitcase.

good: not $670, beautiful & unique, tons extras (bags, lock, luggage tag), lightweight
bad: a bit over my budget, wrong color, crappy zipper

um... but if they had this chrome version, i would have gotten it, zipper or no zipper. i'd hold it together with duct tape. who cares. i'd turn it into a cat bed while at home so i could look at it all the time.

i narrowed it down to the two black suitcases. and took them for a long walk around the store. and i still couldn't decide, so i walked them to the cash register. i asked them for a price check- waited 10 minutes. well worth the wait. the samsonite black label x'lite turned out to be... $59.99. SOLD!

as soon as i got back to my friend elisa's. i did a bit of suitcase research. it retails for $660, but it's now on sale for $461.99 on the samsonite site. i paid $59.99. really, i would have lost $$ by not buying it. um, i wouldn't have needed it if i didn't buy so many chocolate snacks from trader joe's. well, that's a lie. i had a spare duffle bag in my duffle bag. i just wanted to buy a carry-on suitcase. i also need it for my upcoming trip to paris and london with yana. right? right?

oh, so i used to think, buying nice luggage is just an invitation to have your luggage stolen at the airport. what kind of fool uses louis vuitton luggage? the luggage is likely worth more ($3100) than it's contents. unless it's an LV case full of jewels, which is always what i look out for on the luggage carousel. but nice luggage for $60? no big deal.

i took my new suitcase for a walk. the nice old security guard man at the the barnes and nobles was fascinated by my new purchase, i told him i thought it looked like a car or a transformer. he said it didn't.

the end.


  1. hey elaine! yeah, i think the suitcase you got is really nice!!! i got my shitty one at target 5 years ago. it does the trick. yeah, i think there's no point in having really expensive luggage. it gets beat up pretty quickly.

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