I’ve noticed luggage gets some attention around Boardingarea, mostly being given away, and that’s great for travelers! I am always on the lookout for the perfect solution when it comes to luggage. I’ve yet to find it. I have a Samsonite roller that I like just fine for most trips. In fact, I did three weeks in Europe with it last year. While I like the bag, I don’t love it. It’s sturdy, for sure, but that comes with a price. It’s a little heavy, and just leaves me thinking I need something else for some trips. While I’m sure I would love one of the various Tumi bags, the price tag for most of those is a little offputting for me. I spent a bit of my airline career “below wing” and the idea of accidentally being forced to check a $400 bag at some point just about brings tears to my eyes.

Recently, I was poking around eBags.com (affiliate link) trying to get some ideas when the term “International Carry On” appeared. While not recent, in my younger, better hair days, I accrued more than my share of international airline travel and something told me to check these out as I knew they were probably on the smallish side. I was in the market for a small bag that could cover a 2-night business trip and I thought a 19″ to 20″ bag might fit the bill. The word “Sale” caught my eye and I was drawn to an offering from Kenneth Cole.

The “Out of Bounds 20″ Molded Upright Spinner” looked attractive enough, and the pricepoint of around $60 seemed worth a gamble. After a few weeks, and five trips I can say that I actually do love this bag just a little! 🙂 In fact, I was a little sad when I had to leave it in the closet for my 5-day trip last week. You can see the marketing shots in the link above, but here’s the real thing live from MJ on Travel World HQ.

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I have easily fit enough business casual clothing along with workout gear, toiletries, etc. for a 3-night trip. Busy business (i.e. the kind that requires suits, ties, and fancy shoes 🙂 ) maxes at 2 nights comfortably for me. Of course, this max is my subjective opinion, and does not apply at all if you plan to launder your clothes while away. Keep in mind that I carry a bit of extra stuff for diabetes management too. This bag is sturdy, but very light, and I’ve yet to find an overhead bin in which it doesn’t fit comfortably in, including some of the notoriously “tight” overheads towards the front of the narrowbody Boeing products. My only complaint is that if the bag is lightly packed while your briefcase is not so light, it can tip over so you have to think about where you “park” the bag in that configuration.

In summary, I really like my new 20″ spinner bag from Kenneth Cole. It looks nice, is well constructed, and holds what I need for up to a 3-night business trip. Better yet, it didn’t set me back a cool few hundred bucks. So tell me….am I paranoid for not wanting to shell out a lot of money for a Tumi bag? I can be convinced.

-MJ, August 12, 2013