Our Best Bags, Bags, Bags...
love bags -- big, small or in between. We're constantly
on the lookout for the perfect suitcase, backpack
and purse. This article is an ongoing discussion of
the styles and brands our readers recommend. Do you
have a product to add? Send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and put the words, ''Bag Lady' in the subject line.
best travel bag that I own is my LeSportsac.
It is my carry on case for airline travel. At 16
inches in length (approx 41cm) it is smaller than
the maximum size allowed. Extremely light, my bright
red bag holds water, toiletries, books, some clothes
and shoes. It doesn't contain everything for long
trips but for very brief travels, it works. Having
a light and small carry on forces you to think about
what you really need to take. I also use their small
handbags for travel. Everything is washable. I put
them all in the washing machine after trips. Website:
Cyrel, Toronto, Canada
a three week trip to China and Micronesia a few
years ago, I picked up a Healthy
Back Bag made by Ameribag.
With several plane changes during the trip, this
was to be my second carry-on, the first being the
only suitcase I was taking. As I raced around the
different airports, this bag left no pain or strain
on my shoulder. I continue to take it on all trips,
as well as to work everyday. It lasts, even though
I have often filled it beyond capacity. The zipper
is inc redibly strong and the most reliable I've
ever had on any bag. As a bonus, it can also serve
as a purse, shopping bag or day pack when at your
destination. You can find these at luggage stores
and various online retailers.
Barbara, Port Orange, Florida
am a lover of containers of all types and purses,
packs, luggage are all a part of that. I think the
best travel bag for me are the Mountain
Equipment Co-op medium purses. They
are big enough for a magazine, book, travel info,
camera, sunglasses, medications and it doesn't look
huge. And there are lots of compartments. It comes
in a couple of colours and has a nice long strap
so that one can carry it over the shoulder and across
the chest. I have had it for many years, it still
looks good and only cost 15 dollars. My mom travels
with the smaller version and adores it. Website:
Christy, Sudbury, Canada
MEC is my
absolute piece of travel gear is not actually a
piece of clothing but a travel purse, lightweight,
the ideal size with several zippered compartments
for 'stuff' plus a latch closure. It can be worn
across the chest for added security. It's available
from MEC (Mountain Co-Op Equipment), it's called
MEC Small Carry All
Shoulder Bag, Product Number: 4004-126.
Katrina, Burlington, Canada
made in Canada...
an American but I think the world's best travel
purses are made by Derek
Alexander of Calgary, Alberta. I
have never seen them in the U.S., so the last time
I was in Canada I bought three of them. They have
long shoulder straps wide enough to be comfortable,
the right number of pockets in the right places,
and are made of beautiful black leather with brown
leather accents. But the best thing is, the place
where your money and credit cards go is easy to
manipulate without opening the whole compartment
and exposing your valuables, and passports and tickets
are easy to slip in and out of the front pockets
when you are moving through security lines.
Jennifer, Tacoma, Washington, USA
Chopper Bag is best...
think that the best travel bag is my Australian
'Chopper Bag' by Dominant Leathergoods.
Canvas and leather, it blends in in 5-star hotels
as well as camping trips. In two sizes and a myriad
of colours (my blue is best) they withstand airline
baggage handlers with ease. With a strong lockable
zip, and strap closure that protects the handles
my bags have been in solid use for five years. The
small bag is wonderful for a few nights away, and
the large one I struggle to fill for a month overseas.
They also do custom bags - I have one for my fencing
gear, and the quality is wonderful. These bags are
made from 12 oz waterproof canvas with chrome leather
base and handles. They are fully lined with a 9
oz waterproof canvas and have a large top opening
area and strap closure to protect the zip. Website:
Zelda, Hobart, Tazmania
bags are French...
favorite traveling bags, both as a purse and a larger
carryon/weekend bag, are by Herve
Chapelier and Longchamp. There
are Chapelier stores in Paris in many neighborhoods
(Rue St. Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement) and
the larger department stores carry Longchamp in
major cities in Europe and the States. In Paris
watch for sales in January and June/July of colors
from the past season. I bought a Chapelier small
bag (mostly black with blue trim) and a travel bag
(dark green-on sale) in the Rue St. Sulpice store.
At Gatwick or Heathrow one summer I bought a Longchamp
travel bag also on sale (dusty pink). They are a
strong nylon or some other man-made material and
are washable. They fold up so I pack the travel
bag in my suitcase and take it with me. I also bought
a Longchamp not-too-large, green backpack at a summer
sale (also on the Rue St. Sulpice). When I am returning
home, I take the dark green bag with me to carry
magazines and for dutyfree purchases. Chapelier
has a web site and you can mix and match the colors
to see what your bag would look like like. Website:
Barbara, Walnut Creek, USA
jewelry when travelling...
have found a great little accessory to use for your
jewelry when traveling (and trendy too!). Coach
Factory Stores often have small
leather pill box containers on sale and they come
in all the fashion colors. They are about 2 inches
high and 3 inches wide with a zipper and include
three plastic pill bottles. I put my jewelry in
the pill bottles which keeps it sorted and untangled.
The box fits nicely into my purse when traveling
by air, so no worries about losing my jewelry if
my luggage goes missing.
P.S. These boxes are often marked
down and then have an added 20% off so quite reasonable
for a very durable and attractive case. Website:
Tammy, British Colombia, Canada
I use my
know those reusable, recyclable bags that grocery
stores are selling so we avoid using plastic ones?
I especially like the ones offered by Whole
Foods ($1.99). It's extremely light,
nicely designed and folds easily to fit into your
carry-on or your suitcase. I use mine to carry extras
when I'm doing a lot of train travel -- my snacks,
water, newspaper, etc. When I'm flying home I stuff
it with all the goodies I've picked up along the
way and it works very well. I think if it was designed
to carry groceries it's a lot stronger than the
department store bags I often have to resort to.
Of course, the top of the bag doesn't have a zipper
so I tie the handles together to be sure the contents
don't fall out in the plane's overhead bin.
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada