You’re packing for a trip – every mothers worst nightmare. Not only does the laundry need to be done, but inevitably someone will find a way to get covered in mud, your toddler will help themselves to an all-you-can-eat cereal buffet, and if you’ve got a dog, they likely found the stash of chocolate you were going to raid that night and are puking all over your new rug. The last thing that you want to worry about is whether or not your luggage is up to the adventure ahead.
Okay, packing for a trip usually isn’t quite that dramatic, but seriously it’s anything but low-stress.
Choosing luggage is just like choosing any piece of gear – you want something affordable, durable and versatile, because when you’re out on a big adventure with your family, those things matter A LOT. Not only do costs quickly multiply when you’re planning for the whole crew (in our case, we are lucky enough to multiply all those expenses times 6), but you need pieces that will really stand the test of time (and abuse kids will dish out), and gear that’s gonna multi-task. So far, we’re thrilled that High Sierra is making luggage that really fits those family friendly criteria!
Honestly, in our quest to find some great family luggage that will put up with our international escapades, High Sierra kept coming up again and again. Not only did it consistently get good reviews (typically 4/5), but their bags were usually the most affordable. So we decided to put them to the test. So far, we’re thrilled with what we’ve seen:
Retails for $380, but I always see it WAY on sale – Buy it for under $130 here.
This bag may quickly become my favorite piece of luggage, since it’s ridiculously versatile. Here’s what I loved about it:
Wheels and backpack straps – the perfect combination
It’s BIG, yet still small enough to fly overseas with
A few big compartments that can be separate, making it a fantastic bag for people to share
Water resistant fabric in case things get a little crazy during your travels
Good for traveling on varied terrain
The big downside (that you’ll also find with most big bags) is that it’s really easy to overfill it and exceed the weight limits. And while I love the separate compartments, the fabric is fairly thin so we’ll need to be careful to help that hold up well (um, are our kids the only ones who like to play inside luggage…). Overall, to this point I’d give it 8.5/10
Retail $320, though usually more than 50% off!
I am quickly learning that spinner bags are a traveling parents best friend. Not necessarily for themselves, but for their kids – spinners are a piece of cake to push. Truly, we filled this bag up all the way, and our almost 2-year-old could still push it (obviously not far…he’s just 2). Unlike the traditional rolling bag, you don’t need to tip it to push it, you simply keep it upright. This makes having your kids handle their own luggage a piece of cake (a skill that comes in super handy when you’re MOVING overseas with 15 suitcases, 5 backpacks, 4 car seats, a huge stroller, 3 kids, and a 9-month pregnant wife…;). Here’s more that we love:
Handle goes up and down easily (kids can do it alone)
Wheels seem durable (have held up great so far and are much higher quality than many we’ve seen)
Lightweight 8.4 lbs
Easy to push
A perfect bag for a longer trip
Downsides? Although it’s a 28″ bag, it’s not very wide so it doesn’t fit quite as much as other “large” bags (the duffel above held more).
Have you tried High Sierra luggage? We’d love to hear if you love it as well!