Luggage is something that many travellers may not put a lot of thought into, but for me, it can make or break a trip. I always have gear to carry, and there rarely seems to be one bag that does everything well.
Years ago I switched to a Manfrotto tripod that I could take apart and pack into a normal suitcase for most of my video work. Cameras had become lighter, and it only made sense to me not to be lugging another oversized bag. This approach worked to mixed success and do to my often heavy and overweight luggage I have destroyed a couple of suitcases — most recently a TravelPro that I purchased from The Bay.
When the TravelPro bit the dust on only my second trip, I couldn't justify purchasing another, and The Bay refused to handle the warranty. I was left limping along, literally, dragging the suitcase with the busted wheel all over different cities.
After a few trips like that, I finally broke down and bought a new suitcase. Enter the Burton Wheelie Sub.
I'll admit that it was the corduroy style "Brown-Beagle" waxed canvas that drew me in, but the bag itself seemed to tick all of my boxes. It is tall enough for a disassembled tripod to fit in it, the bottom portion of the case is reinforced with hard shell plastic, and it has some clever organizers built in — including a large pocket on the front for easy access items. The wheels are skateboard style, wide rubber, which means the suitcase is sturdy without making too much noise (hard plastic wheels are the worst, unless you want the whole world to know you're coming). Also, the fact that it is not black makes for an easier time spotting the thing in baggage claim, or describing it when it goes missing.
After 6 months and a dozen or so flights at least, my Burton suitcase is holding up well. The only thing is the brown is gradually turning into a dark grey as it gets tossed around different aircraft and baggage belts, but that's okay. I'll chalk the wear and tear up to street cred. All around this bag makes the top of my list for suitcases at the moment.
Chris Stenberg is a Canadian travel photographer, filmmaker and researcher. When he’s not wielding a camera or raising a family you can find him running, biking and boarding in the mountains or eating an apple under a tree in an orchard.