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How to pack 10 extra pounds of stuff for free or the return of the duffel bag.

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So I am packing for my next trip. Dive gear and photo gear is heavy stuff. No way I am going to pay Continental $200 extra for having a bag more than 50 pounds.

 

I decide to weigh my empty wheeled 30" suitcase. 12 pounds. I check online and the average wheeled suitcase that meets the airline max 62 linear inch size requirements weighs 12 pounds. Wheeled duffels are slightly lighter. Super light bags are 8-10 pounds and cost $300 or more.

 

Out of curiosity I look at non-wheeled duffels. Eagle Creek 30" duffel. $85 for this years model, $65 for last years model, weight............ 2 pounds.

 

Looks like I am going to use one of those $2 airport luggage carts and get a little more exercise carrying a duffel. At least I'll be able to bring 48 pounds of stuff instead of 38.

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Great idea. The current lightweight rolling Stahlsac I use is around 8 lbs, and the large Eagle Creek 35" duffel is 2 lb 9 oz (which will hold free-diving fins!).

 

20301-BK.jpg

http://www.eaglecreek.com/bags_luggage/duf...l-XLarge-20301/

 

Also, airport luggage carts are $4 here in SF. Where are they $2??

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I have a Porter case for carry-on that converts to a cart that can work well with this set-up. Hmmmm. The duffels hold up okay through being checked?

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Reviewers say that it holds up in the hold...

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I don't think I have ever been to an airport where I have had to pay for a luggage cart.

 

Which is handy, as for long trips or if I just have lots of luggage, all my big bags are duffels.

Actually now my weekend bag is a duffel too !

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I have a Porter case for carry-on that converts to a cart that can work well with this set-up. Hmmmm. The duffels hold up okay through being checked?

Problem is Porter Case PCII doesn't fit Sizewise dimensions and is HEAVY. And they also don't hold up well in checked in. I've got 3 broken ones to prove it.

 

Reviewers say that it holds up in the hold...

Are these any stronger than 1200 ballistic nylon? My old ballistic duffels got ripped apart at the seams when caught on something. Happened to me @ LAX and CDG. I swore them off because of that.

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I am a firm believer in North Face Base Camp duffel bags. I have got a number of these over the years, all of which are going strong having served my travel needs both for work and play.

 

The material is resistant to tears and scraps as well as being water resistant. They also have straps so you can carry them as a duffel or as a backpack which is useful is you are caught out by lack of cart etc.

 

They come in a variety of sizes with the large weighing in at 1.7 kgs (3.9lbs).

 

Cost is also pretty reasonable given the life time warranty.

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My Eagle duffel is now packed. I have the big one that Eric alluded to. I purchased it for free diving fins, also. I have two sets of dive gear and half my clothes in it at just under 50lbs.

 

This is a repeat route we are taking, so I know that there will be luggage carts all along the way. I had to carry the thing for a distance the last time I used it, which isn't fun.

 

Two trips and it has a nice tear in it, which I have duck taped on the inside.

 

I paid about $40 on Amazon.

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Below is the fabric specs Eagle Creek lists.

 

Fabric:

 

420D Helix™-e Dual Ripstop, 420D Helix™-e Double Box, 900D Astra-e

 

I have no idea what any of that means. Fabric looks sturdy, but it is thin. At 2lbs there has to been some kind of compromise.

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Vango 120 ltr and 90 ltr duffels have performed flawlessly and are equipped with stowable back-pack straps.

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I use Hagor 100 liter soldier's kitbags. The bag itself is 1 kg (2 lbs), and I can easily fit all my dive and travel gear into one bag that weighs 16 kg (35 lbs). You can carry the bag as a rucksack and it take really rough handling. It is also very cheap at under 70 EUR (used army surplus even cheaper), available both in black and green. I have used these bags on many really long and rough trips and they are still in good condition.

 

Here is a link to Hagor's web page:

http://www.hagor.com/HTMLs/galleryW.aspx?C...3&BSP=12188

 

Here's a shop in Finland that sells them for 69 EUR:

http://www.varusteleka.fi/product/isot-lau...usta/_2IL0Y6NL8

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Late reply but duffles made by Mountain Tools, Wild Things, North Face and some other climbing gear mfgs are the way to go. They withstand a lot. I have schlepped my bags for over 15 years all over the world and they are holding up fine (They even held up well to being pissed on by mules). The biggest concern is always the zippers.

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We've been using 2 LL Bean large duffels for many many years. They're rock solid and dirt cheap (around $50 if I remember correctly). I can highly recommend them.

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We've been using 2 LL Bean large duffels for many many years. They're rock solid and dirt cheap (around $50 if I remember correctly). I can highly recommend them.

I use the DiveCaddy for my scuba gear. I can fit my Vortex V-12 (i have a size 12 shoe), my Oceanic Probe LX (size XL if not mistaken), 1st/2nd stage with octopus and pressure gauge, 5MM full wetsuit, hood, pinnacle boots (7mm i believe), gloves, mask, battery box (think small pellican box full of batteries), and two head mounted Sun Tilos lights. All of this comes to just about 50 lbs. I have flown US Airways four times and Southwest (ok Southwest doesn't really count since they couldn't care less). Absolutely no problems using it as a carry on - and dammit, 50 lbs is heavier then I thought it would be lol.

 

For my camera, I have my nauticam 550d, one strobe (i could probably get a 2nd in there), some misc stuff (cables, dive watch, medicine, moisture munchers) stored in a medical bag. The bag is JUST big enough to fit all of that stuff. It's my "purse" carry-on. Again, same as above, no issues going places with it.

 

As far as TSA search, depending on which airport I go to and who I deal with, ends up being what gets searched. One time they wanted to see my camera bag, and another time they wanted to see my battery box. They never once asked me to undo my dive caddy bag.

 

Yes the dive caddy is pricey, but I do love it. For the most part I carry ALL of my dive gear with me (exception dive knife, and a few other minor things). That's comfort. If the airline loses my suitcase at most I will be out a dive knife, a spare light, a few nicknacks, and clothing. The most important thing is that the dive WILL GO ON!

 

Now once I start diving with my dry suit I will be taking that with me to destinations with cold water....that is definitely going in the suit case. I need to get dive insurance for gear lol

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... duffles made by Mountain Tools, Wild Things, North Face and some other climbing gear mfgs are the way to go... ... the biggest concern is always the zippers.

 

My biggest concern is me!

 

I may be getting old, but I'm hoping to blame an expanding amount of gear: my spine is now complaining about humping two North Face duffels and I've invested in the (wheeled) tourist versions...

 

Tim

 

:(

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That's another thing I like about Singapore Airport - luggage carts are free!

 

And yes, why do so many bags have great outsides and cheap zippers?!

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Another vote for the North Face Camp bag. It's stood up to years of dive trips for me, and I stuff it right up t the 50 pound mark. Being waterproof really helps too.

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