One of the first rules of experienced travelers is to avoid checking bags at all costs. That usually means using the most efficiently-designed baggage to maximize what you carry on. The default large suitcase has become the 22-inch rollerboard that’s as big as you’re allowed to take on board and fits into most overhead storage bins. The second bag is one that will fit under the seat in front of you. While there are many options, from a small duffle to a computer briefcase to a large tote bag, there’s a new product designed to match the maximum room under most economy seats. It’s rectangular-shaped designed to make use of every available inch.
WaterField, the company that designs and manufacture its bags in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco just introduced their X-Air Duffel. It has compartments for both clothing and your computer and other gear. When slipped onto the handle of your rollerboard, you have the maximum capacity for getting on board without having to talk your way past the luggage police.
Here’s a summary of this new product:
- Lightweight, Durable, Elegant: Handcrafted from waterproof, high-performance X-Pac® textile, full-grain leather accents, and YKK zippers, the duffel’s design keeps weight to a minimum and strength and style to a maximum.
- Mobile Office Compartment: Includes a TSA-friendly padded laptop sleeve (up to 16-inch MacBook Pro), a tablet pocket (up to 12.9-inch iPad), and multiple accessory pockets.
- Fits Under Most Airline Seats: Sized to maximize airline personal item capacity, enabling travelers to carry more onboard and avoid checking luggage.
- Suitcase-Style Access: Spacious main compartment fits multiple packing cubes; keeps items stable and organized with compression straps, organizational pockets, and a key tether.
- Easy-Access Pockets: Front quick-access pockets secure with self-finding magnetic Fidlock® buckles. Flush side pockets expand to hold large water bottles or other essentials. A full-length rear pocket stows magazines or quick-stash items.
- Multiple Carry Options: A wheeled suitcase passthrough, the company’s Supreme Suspension Strap, and 11-inch leather-wrapped handles (for a hand or shoulder carry) provide ultimate convenience.
- Interior Visibility: Gold, water-resistant lining ensures stored items are easily visible.
Like all of their products, they’re made to last almost forever. They’re constructed of really good materials, including leather and durable fabrics assembled with rugged stitching and fitted with strong hardware. This new bag costs $459 and is available in several colors.
The ultimate small wallet
My search for a small wallet designed to hold 6-12 credit cards, license and insurance cards, along with some bills and businses cards, led me to a wallet that I found on the internet and have been using since early this year. It’s made by Willow Craft Goods, a family owned and operated company located in Decatur, Texas.
The wallet is first very cleverly designed to provide separate compartments for your various cards and bills that make everything quick to access. The wallet is held together using two steel rivets, avoiding stiching that eventually fails. The wallets are made of beautiful thick leather that will last forever.
The model I’m using is the Swaddle Wallet in the original size. Here some pictures of my actual wallet in use. I paid $79 for it and consider it a real bargain. More importantl than the price, it’s a design that has worked perfectly for me and perhaps for you.