Now that I am "commuting" from Chicago to San Francisco every third week for treatment, I've realized just how much I have a tendency to overpack. That may not seem shocking to anybody, but it was a shock to my back the first time I tried to do the roundtrip and could barely limp my way to ride share pickup stand because my heavy bags were more than my body could stand.
The first and most obvious solution was to pack less, and I am growing increasingly better at that**, but the next step was to upgrade my luggage. I knew what I wanted - a battery, something light, four direction wheels, good compartment organization and all with a sleek look I wouldn't mind living out of and a price tag that wouldn't break the bank.
As I began to do my online research, one brand started to stand out. Created by two Warby Parker alum, this suitcase was being touted as the suitcase by Vogue. It was showing up with it's distinctive label in the back of photos of my favorite bloggers. It was $225, pricing it well below similar offerings and it had a 30-day money back return policy.
I was determined to put it through the ringer, to really vet it.
Challenge 1: two weeks at home, carry on only, going from warm napa wedding to frosty SF and back again - with a social calendar so packed I am still recovering.
I stuffed this thing so full I thought the zipper would give out for real. I paired it with a duffel bag for my "personal item" which I filled with all my beauty goodies and electronics - making it about as heavy as my roller bag.
I woke up late for my very early morning flight and had to sprint through the airport to make my gate. The bag not only held up (and saved me time closing it!) but the wheels were awesomely balanced and I could sprint with my heavy duffel propped on top without fear of tipping over. I could charge my phone, I could fit everything in every single time I moved locations. I was sold.
The compression system is frankly awesome. That little board really let's you overpack by making it possible to squeeze a few extra bulky items on top. The hard side compartment is shockingly deep and fun to fill. The laundry bag was a godsend, and also somehow magically still fit everything once it was half crumpled balls of clothes and half folded things. The zipper survived my overpacking, and I found the pull design especially pleasant for my chemo-damaged hands. My only complaint is that the pull out handle can be a little sticky - but I am willing to forgive this because everything else is so much better than I ever hoped a suitcase could be at the $225 price point.
Verdict: SO WORTH IT
(also available in hunter green, navy and cream)