You’ve seen what I’m going to pack, now I thought it was time to show you what exactly I’m going to pack it in. I’ve used each of these pieces enough to give you a pretty thorough review. I’ve you are in the market or just curious about what I’m using, read on!
I own the Fallbrook, two piece set from Ricardo Beverly Hills that I purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond (linked here). It was already on clearance at the time of my purchase and I was able to use a 20% off coupon in addition so I got a hell of a deal for the set.
My large, checked bag is a 27 inch, hard-sided, expandable spinner. It’s dimensions are 7 x 19.5 x 11.5 inches. My flight (as do most others) allow for a total maximum dimension of 158 centimeters which generally allows for a 28 inch suitcase. However, I really wanted a 27 inch suitcase to 1.) keep me from overpacking weight-wise and 2.) ensure that my suitcase would abide by even the most strict of airlines. This suitcase adds up to roughly 108 centimeters – well below the 158 allowance – so I should have no problems with it.
I weighed my bag in at 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs) however the website says it weighs 11.3 lbs. My luggage scale, although cheep, has proven on more than one occasion to be pretty accurate so I would tend to say that my reading is more accurate and that the website is being cautious. Either way, (and especially in comparison to my carry-on) I am very happy with the weight of this piece of luggage when compared to its price and quality.
The interior is roomy with a middle divider attached to the top of the suitcase. There are a few pouches and a suit holder as well as tie down straps. I like this design a lot however, the seam that attaches the zipper to the outer portion of the suitcase has torn. It seems to have been a factory defect and should repair with ease with some upholstery thread although I have not attempted to do so yet.
My carry on is much the same design as it’s larger counterpart except that it does not feature as many internal pockets. This piece measures in at 20 x 14 x 10 inches and 7.8 lbs (7.05 lbs by my measure). My flight allows for a carry-on of 55 x 40 x 20 cm and my case converted to centimeters is 50.8 x 35.6 x 25.4. I could potentially have problems with my suitcase being too thick, however this piece has been on a half a dozen planes at this point and has always fit with room to spare, so it will be interesting to see if I have any problems. I already know that this bag will not be packed very full and there is at least an inch of flexible zipper along its length that would compress to fit into a tight space so I think that will make up for the extra 5 cm.
This slight measurement discrepancy coupled with the fact that my carry-on is so heavy in comparison to Condor’s strict economy class weigh requirement make this carry-on subpar for my needs on this excursion. However, on all of my previous trip, this suitcase has performed beautifully. Also noteworthy to point out; the peacock blue color of these suitcases is VERY easy to pick out at the luggage claim. There are other suitcases out there this color but this set has an almost iridescent finish which was completely unique at every airport I’ve been to.
I am in love with my backpack. I took a lot of time trying on packs and doing research before buying this one. It happened to be on clearance for around 44€ at a backpacking/sporting goods store in Berlin last summer but was full price at Amazon and other stores online at the time I was looking so I feel like I got a pretty great deal. It has since been completely discontinued but you can see the old Amazon page here if your wish.
The quality of this pack is INSANE! I have used this bag for everything from school to backpacking to overnight trips home for the weekend. This design is a bit harder to find in packs of it’s size, but I highly recommend holding out for a pack with an upper and lower compartment that can be unzipped into one large compartment. This allows for such a versatile bag. I prefer to use my pack with the two compartments separated because it keeps me from having to dig through the entire bag to find the items at the bottom.
Other feature of the pack are two mesh water bottle pouches on the side, a small pouch on the front, a laptop compartment along the back, a little pouch on the top of the laptop section, a small pouch on the bottom of the bag with complementary rain cover, bungee tie-downs on the front, compression straps on the sides, and structured airflow panels along the back.
There are a couple of loops in various places where I could attach a sleeping or compression bag and I already have an add on pouch that attaches to the waist strap. Finally, the front bungie tie-downs are set up in such a way that you can unhook all but the top and bottom to accommodate for a very large item. These options combine for a page that can expand to fit any adventure I may take.
For being a 23 liter bag, it holds so much! I never felt like I was dragged down by my pack and it was even small enough to look like the average commuter bag in Europe. This helped me to keep from looking like a tourist which was/is very important to me as a woman traveling mostly alone. The only thing I would change is the ability to secure the bag. With so many pouches and zippers, completely locking the bag down would require a corded lock whereas many bags just require a simple padlock. This negative is contrasted with how small and light the bag is. I rarely encountered a time when I wanted to take the bag off and each of the times I did either had a storage locker or didn’t require me to lose sight of the bag.
There you have it! These are the pieces I am taking with me on my adventure. They were each selected with much thought and although they are not perfect, they are each the right balance between price, quality and function for my budget. Let me know if you have any questions!