Collapsible Bags for Traveling Convenience
Two different options for you to
Many of us suffer from a
luggage imbalance. We either start our journey with much more in
our bags than when we return, or (more commonly!) we bring back
many more things than we started off with.
And while we're on our
journey, we might find ourselves needing a 'day bag' - something
lightweight and convenient to carry the day's souvenir shopping
Here are interesting solutions
to both these needs.
Fold'n Go Convertible Luggage
Folds down to carry empty, opens up for
This can be carried,
empty, as a lie flat package.
Unfold and open it, and it changes into a semi-rigid sided suitcase, a bit smaller than
a pilot's bag.
Sometimes I like to travel
light when setting out on a journey, but I know I'll be
returning home with considerably more things. Perhaps
brochures from a trade show, or maybe gifts and goods from
wherever I'm visiting.
In such cases I take an
expandable (or should I say, collapsible?) bag with me.
When traveling empty, it simply squashes into the other bag,
taking up little space; and when traveling full, it carries a full load inside it.
Typically such bags are just
soft nylon bags with no internal shape of their own.
This is not a problem if you're filling the bag with
clothes, but if you're wanting to protect a pile of brochures,
perhaps, you need something with some more rigid framework
Here now is a great product
that does exactly that. When collapsed, it is a compact
lie-flat piece measuring about 17½" x 6" x 1". When opened
up, it forms a semi-rigid sided small suitcase measuring 17½" x
13" x 6". You can see both opened and collapsed forms in
the picture, above.
The suitcase has semi-rigid
panels that fit around the four narrow sides of the case.
The two big sides have no protection, other than the fabric
There is a main compartment
inside the suitcase and two mesh external pockets (perhaps one
for the ubiquitous water bottle and the other for whatever you wish).
It is easy to open into
its suitcase form and easy to collapse into its carrying
It felt flimsy when first unfolded and set in its suitcase shape. So, to
test, I put 20lbs of wine bottles and other objects in it, and
carried it around for a while. It held its shape
perfectly, and so perhaps it should be better described as
'lightweight' rather than 'flimsy'. Truly, suitcases are
things where lighter is almost always better!
It is described as being
made from 420D nylon fabric and is available in black and red.
The suitcase weighs 1½ lbs.
A nylon only bag, without the side panel reinforcing, would
typically weigh about half this. If weight is your most
important consideration, you'll probably prefer a plain
simple nylon expandable bag, such as an
Eagle Creek Packable Tote
But if you like the idea of a collapsible
suitcase that gives extra protection to its contents, this
Fold N' Go Suitcase
would be your better choice.
It is sold through Magellan's for $19.85.
Pico Pico Key Chain Tote Bag
A key ring accessory for us all
A full size shopping
bag that fits on your key ring.
This accessory is ideal
for your days out while on vacation. Invariably you'll
end up buying something and have no convenient way of
Here's the simple
One of the things I have
learned, in foreign countries, is to always keep a carry bag
with me. Many times when buying something from a street
stall, or even from a regular shop, it will be handed over
unwrapped, or in a box rather than a bag. This can be very
inconvenient if you need to carry it with you for
the rest of the day before returning to your hotel.
Here is an excellent
solution - Kiva's Pico Pico Key Chain Tote Bag. When not in use, it is a small pouch, measuring
about 4½" x 2½" x ¾", and weighing a mere 2¼ ounces.
even a lanyard on it if you want to fasten it to your keyring or
waist pack, and is small enough to fit in any
purse or pocket.
When the urge to
splurge hits you, and you end up buying a souvenir or anything
else, you simply unzip the pouch and open it up into a full
size carry bag measuring 16" x 14½" x 4". The picture
above gives you a feeling for how big it becomes and how much you
could put in it.
Indeed, the bag can be
useful at home, too, for those of us who don't like wasting
supermarket bags. Keep this with you and use it whenever
you're buying groceries at the local supermarket.
When you've emptied the bag,
simply stuff it back into its miniature pouch and keep it with
you until next time.
The bag is made out of
40d rip-stop taffeta. Taffeta is a fancy way of saying 'very
thin nylon'. It doesn't feel very strong (which is
unsurprising considering how light it is), and you wouldn't put
sharp objects in it, but for normal purposes and not unduly
heavy loads, it should be perfect.
The bag is light, small,
easy to open out and close down again, and inexpensive. It
is available in several different colors, and costs only
$12.85 from Magellan's.
It is a great little something for
yourself, and also good as an inexpensive gift to give 'the
person who has everything' in your life.
Update - this item seems to
be discontinued, I found a few (in Nov 07) at rei.com in their
closeout for $5.93 each.
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16 Apr 2004, last update
28 Nov 2012
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