Why drag your luggage from the curb to the terminal when you can ride it? Yup, ride on luggage is not a pie-in-the-sky Jetson’s concept. It’s here today, already invading airports across the globe.
For anyone who has been in the market for a suitcase or luggage set, you already know that the buying process is akin to purchasing a car or a mattress: The reality is, you won’t know if you made the right decision until you start to use it on a regular basis.
And there are more options and considerations than ever before.
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From total luggage weight to navigability to the number of pockets to visibility – buying a suitcase takes some research.
Ride on luggage
Today, we bring you the Modobag, the self-proclaimed first motorized/smart/connected carry-on bag that is TSA and FAA compliant. In a nutshell, this piece of ride on luggage will take a person under 260lbs approximately 6 miles. It charges using a standard outlet in around an hour. It also boasts two USB charging stations and delivers over 4,000 charges throughout its lifetime. Add on a proprietary tracking app for an extra layer of loss prevention.
The motorized bag has come to life thanks to funding via Indiegogo.
As with any investment, you want to make sure you are purchasing what you actually need. If your travel generally consists of one annual vacation, ride on luggage is likely not for you. With a price tag that can exceed four digits, it’s unlikely the motorized purchase would ever pay for itself.
Plus, what type of person are you? I am a gadget junkie. But I’m also fairly quiet. I also pride myself on being an active person. So as much as I dig the convenience of rideable luggage, I would feel guilty sacrificing steps and likely be self-conscious over the additional attention early adopters are likely to get when they are zipping along at the airport.
There are plenty of people who like to walk but would love to simply scoot along after a long day of flying. Ride on luggage does sound like a hard deal to pass up on.
What makes the perfect carry-on?
The ideal carry-on is a subjective topic. Here are a few things that are important to me.
For years I made the mistake of throwing things into a duffel bag. The reality is, as you get older, draping anything over your shoulder for an extended period is not a good idea. As my work travel schedule picked up over the years, I finally caved to a set of wheels. I started with generic wheels, similar to the small ones you would find on a skateboard. However, this setup still requires the operator to manage a good portion of the weight. Enter spinner wheels. These move in all four directions and require less stability from the user.
My carry-on bag often includes an eclectic mix of stuff. To be blunt, I don’t need my boxers mingling with my protein bars; my hairspray spritzing my laptop. A useful bag will keep the separation of church and state at all times. I look for waterproof pockets (leaks happen!), mesh netting to hold an extra pair of shoes, and ways to divide all of my portable chargers and electronics.
Even if you opt for ride on luggage, keep in mind that these bags can weigh over 20 lbs. before you pack a single item! And curb jumps and stairs are a guarantee. Often, a hard case versus soft case carry-on comes down to sheer preference. The additional pockets, lighter weight and flexibility you get with soft luggage come with a tradeoff: less protection and weakened security.
Ripstop nylon is my bag material of choice. Aside from being weatherproof, it is tear and rip resistant, with an awesome strength-to-weight ratio. If you are in the market for a hard shell carry-on, consider polycarbonate. It’s fairly lightweight and impact-resistant.
It still blows my mind that the majority of luggage circling on the carousel is black or dark blue. When I check luggage, I try not to depend on a unique luggage tag or colorful knotted rope. Instead, I buy the most colorful bag I can find. Time is money, and the quicker I get my bag, the quicker I’m where I want to be – which is pretty much any place other than the airport. The same rule applies for carry-ons. Your item can shift during travel. You also might forget which bin you placed it in or, worse yet, it can be placed into a hold before you board.
Whether or not ride on luggage moves past the novelty stage remains to be seen. But with airlines turning bags into big business, I expect the future will hold greater fees for bigger carry-on bags. You’ll also have many travelers taking advantage of rewards offered to passengers willing to leave a lot of their stuff at home.
Keep in mind that airlines are permitted to have individual policies in regards to carry-on luggage. Be sure to check with your favorite air provider before making a luggage purchase.
So where do you sit when it comes to ride on luggage? Willing to put yourself out there and take it for a spin? Or will you stick to spinning wheels and people movers?