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2 different sized carry-ons --will the IATA regulations make one useless?
on December 7, 2013
Update: The IATA was threatening to reduce the allowable size of a carry on to 21.5" x 13.5" x 7.5" (So far, as of June 2015 they've dropped this, but you never know.) The smaller bag in this set is 21", unlike most bags which are usually 22". However it's two inches longer than allowed and we watched people forced to check a bag (and pay) that didn't fit into a gauge at an American airport this summer. So this set, with the "boarding bag" may well be useful. Hence, I updated the review to add a star. If you have this set, you may find there are situations where one of the bags is going to be the one you need to use.
The These bags look like a good deal for a set of two--a checked and a carry-on. But the set is really two carry-on bags, one 21" carry-on size and one laptop or "boarding bag" carry-on size. So be careful.
The "boarding bag" or smaller bag is more like a laptop roller, and the larger bag is a 21" bag that is the standard sized "rollaboard" which most of us own. As you are allowed ONE carry-on bag on board and ONE personal piece (briefcase, handbag or small backpack) you may NOT to be able to carry on both of these bags onboard at the same time.
However, if you want a set of lightweight carry-ons of two different sizes--then this may work for you. Nothing wrong with the bags--they are lightweight but sturdy. However, size-wise, may not be what you need. Here are the dimensions:
The dimensions for the carry-on-sized piece are 21" x 15" 7.5"
The dimensions for the "boarding bag" sized piece are 15" x 14" X 7.5.
The set has all-directional spinner wheels, but I find those more of use on big suitcases, especially hard sides. It's nice to have them on these bags, but not essential.
The weight of each bag is about 6 lbs, which IS very lightweight; standard 21" bags tend to weigh in around 9lbs so this is helpful for lifting up the carry-on into the overhead.
If you take regional air, the smaller carry-on could be useful because some of those overhead compartments are very cramped, or...if you only need to take a change of a few clothes and are using the carry-on for photo equipment, you don't need the larger 21"--so that option is nice to have. The smaller of the two bags could also work for a child (though if they pack their stuffed toys, it could end up being too small. Small stature doesn't equal small amount of stuff!)
The smaller piece opens at the top of the front flap so you can remove your laptop for going through airport screening. The smaller sized bag is reported to have only enough room in the front pocket for a smaller laptop or netbook. For a large laptop, it would go in the main compartment. The larger of the two is a standard 21" carry-on.
The small bag is shipped inside the larger bag, so you can store them that way also.
The smaller piece opens at the top of the front flap so you can remove your laptop for going through airport screening. The larger is, as I said, the standard 21" carry-on or rolling case.
Summary: At the sale price, this is about the cost of a 21" carry-on, so you are essentially getting an extra bag for free. But if you are looking at this as a full luggage set (checked bag and carry-on) you really want at least a 24" or 25" and the 21" for typical use. These are nice, rugged bags that don't weigh too much. If you need a very small carry-on as an option, this set is great. If you are looking for a checked-carry-on combination set, this isn't what you want, unless you typically check a 21" bag.