Contact Us   Site Map

The correct selection of suitcases won't make your luggage any lighter, but might make it easier to manage.

Here are two solutions to common needs while we're traveling.

 
 
Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
Noise Reducing Headphones
International Cell Phone Service
GSM cell phone unlocking FAQs
Unlock Your GSM Cell Phone
Portable MP3 Players
GPS series of articles
Should you choose an iPhone or Android series
Apple iPhone review series
iPhone 3G/3GS Battery replacement
Third Rail iPhone 4/4S External Battery
Apple iPad review series
iPad/Tablet Buying Guide
Google Nexus 7 review
Netflix Streaming Video
Sharing Internet Access series
Microsoft OneNote review
T-mobile/Google G1 phone review series
Blackberry review and user tips
Palm Tungsten T3
Motorola V3 Razr cell phone review
Motorola V600 cell phone review
Nokia 3650 cell phone review
SIM Saver GSM Phone Backup and Copy Device
Clipper Gear Micro Light
Amazon's new (Sep '11) Kindles and Fire review
Review of the Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle eBook reader review
Amazon Kindle 2 preview
Sony PRS-500 eBook reader review
Audible Digital Talking Books review
Home Security Video Monitoring
Quik Pod review
Joby Gorillapod review
Satellite Radio Service
Satellite Phone Service
All About Speech Recognition Software
2005 Best Travel Technology Awards
How to connect to the Internet when away from home/office
Bluetooth wireless networking
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset
Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Packet 8 VoIP phone service
Sugarsynch software review
iTwin remote access device
Barracuda Spam Firewall review
Cell Phone Emergency Power Recharger series
First Class Sleeper
Roboform Password Manager review
Securikey USB Computer Protection Key review
Steripen UV Water Purifiers
ScanGaugeII OBDII review
SafeDriver review
Expandable Bags for Traveling Convenience
USB Flash Drive
Vonage VoIP phone service
Laptop Screen Privacy Filter
AViiQ Laptop Stands
Aviator Laptop Computer Stand
No Luggage Worries
Pack-a-Cone roadside safety flashing cone
Emergency Self charging Radio
Evac-U8 Emergency Escape Smoke Hood
MyTag Luggage Tags
Beware of Checked Baggage Xray Machines
SearchAlert TSA approved lock
Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and splitter
Dry Pak protective pouch
Boom Noise Canceling Headset
Ety-Com Noise Canceling Headset
Nectar Blueclip BT headset holders
Skullcandy Link Headset Mixer
Lingo Pacifica 10 language talking translator
Nexcell NiMH rechargeable battery kit
Jet Lag Causes and Cures
SuddenStop License Frame
CoolIT USB Beverage cooler
Travel ID and Document Pouches
Protect Yourself Against Document Loss
Personal Radio Service
PicoPad Wallet Notes
Times Electronic Crossword Puzzles
Slim Cam 300 micro digital camera review
Stopping Spam
BottleWise Bottle Carrier review
The End of the Internet as We Know it?
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
 
Search
Looking for something else? Search over two million words of free information on our site.
Custom Search
 
Free Newsletter

In addition to our feature articles, we offer you a free weekly newsletter with a mix of news and opinions on travel related topics.

 

 View Sample
Privacy Policy

 
Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information
 
Reader's Replies

If you'd like to add your own commentary, send me a note.

 

Expandable and Collapsible Bags for Traveling Convenience

Two different options for you to consider
 

 

 

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 in.

Here are interesting solutions to both these needs.

 

Kiva Fold'n Go Convertible Luggage

Folds down to carry empty, opens up for use
 

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 to it.

Here now is a great product that does exactly that.  When collapsed, it is a compact lie-flat piece measuring about 17" x 6" x 1".  When opened up, it forms a semi-rigid sided small suitcase measuring 17" 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 itself.

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 sheet-like form.

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 1 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 for $29.85 from Magellan's.

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.

Kiva 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 carrying it.

Here's the simple lightweight solution.

 

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 4" x 2" x ", and weighing a mere 2 ounces.  There is 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 14" 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.

 

If so, please donate to keep the website free and fund the addition of more articles like this. Any help is most appreciated - simply click below to securely send a contribution through a credit card and Paypal.

 

Originally published 16 Apr 2004, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
Related Articles
Carry-on Luggage review series
Checked Luggage review series

Travel Coin Wallet
Expandable and Collapsible Bags
MyTag Luggage Tags
Wrinkle Free Clothing when traveling
Steripen Classic Water Purifier
Steripen Traveler and Adventurer
Steripen Solar Recharger
Travel ID and Document Pouch
FirstClass Sleeper
TravelRest travel pillow
Luggage Locator review
Nice Flights Jet Seat Airplane Seat Cover
Traveling Flower Vase
SearchAlert Suitcase Locks
Packing Tips
 
 
 

 


Your Feedback

How Would You Rate this Article

Poor
Average
Good

Was the Article Length and Coverage

Too short/simplistic
About right 
Too long/complex

Would You Like More Articles on this Subject

No
Maybe
Yes

Back to Top