Choosing the right luggage is as important as gettting the right wardrobe to go in it.  The new weight rules for checked-in luggage make it imperative for traveling moms to find sturdy, but lightweight bags.

Choosing the right luggage is as important as gettting the right wardrobe to go in it.  The new weight rules for checked-in luggage make it imperative for traveling moms to find sturdy, but lightweight bags.

For our family vacation to Europe, we packed three bags:  a Land’s End Traveler Wheeled Duffel Bag shared by my daughter and me, a Wilson Duffel for the two boys and a Target duffel for my husband (who we lovingly refer to as Felix- he’s tidy). 

I also brought along one of Land’s Ends’ new lightweight travel bags – the Packable Duffel. It wound up being the bag I recommend most even though doesn’t have wheels. While traveling in  Sicily, we used it for short overnight mini-trips. Returning home, we checked it, stuffed with dirty clothes. The durability of the rip-stop material and the amount of stuff we could cram in it surprised me. This bag folds up to a compact 6.5×7.5 and has been added to my Must Pack list.  It is the perfect bag to bring along to check in case the luggage weight limit is exceeded or to use for extra purchases. That bag was definitely the most versatile and useful.

The day we landed, we put our duffels thru the riggors.  We wheeled them up and down innumerable staircases and along shoddy sidewalks and streets – and that was just the first day.  The bottom of our Wilson duffel (which to be fair, was more than three years old) broke in two pieces and ripped on the side.  The brand new duffel I bought at Target (off-brand, $26.99) sported a huge rip along the side, was stained and marked up and seemed precariously fragile.  For 27 bucks, I did not expect it to last forever but I did think it would make it through the trip.  The only bags that returned home unscathed were our Land’s End bags.

The Traveler Wheeled Duffel weighs in at seven pounds, is made of water and soil repellent material and can be monogrammed. We like the featherweight line so much that my daughter carries a Land’s End’s featherweight backpack to school.

Do you have a bag you love? Go to our message board and tell us what it is.