The smartest thing you bring on vacation could be an empty suitcase. We’ve picked our favorite transformers.
That spontaneous vacation shopping spree boosted your wardrobe significantly, but it dramatically shrunk the free space in your suitcase. How can you avoid lugging home your new treasures in the paper sack they came in? By packing a spare suitcase, of course. These are our seven favorite luggage items—rollers, carry-ons, and duffels—that fold and stow, ready for a spontaneous afternoon of souvenir-hunting.
Depending on how long you plan to vacation (or if you need to extend), the water and tear-resistant nylon fabric Zipsak Boost! Carry On by Biaggi can go from overhead luggage size to checked bagged capacity with an easy pull of the wrist. The 22-inch Zipsak is a great way to save the checked bag fee one way when you want to load up on souvenirs on the way back. $90
Available for pre-order on the Kickstarter site, Néit is the “world’s first smart, collapsible hard-case luggage.” The Néit travel app allows you to locate your luggage when the airlines mess up by using a suitcase-embedded GPS tracker. The app provides access to your boarding pass and eliminates frustration by allowing users to book hotels and flights in one place. Oh yeah, and the glossy, black roller collapses to a slender three inches thick. $180
Your boss called to nag you about something insignificant while you were enjoying a piña colada on the beach 3,000 miles away, but instead of heading home, you decide to extend your trip and buy a few more days’ worth of clothing. The Eagle Creek Packable Duffel fits snuggly in your carry on or checked bag, so you’ll be able to save your newly acquired goods without issue. Your job, however? That might require slightly more maneuvering. $36
The Biaggi Leggero 29-inch foldable spinner was made for that nook in your closet. The seven-pound hard case folds flat and has 360-degree spinner wheels, an aircraft-grade aluminum handle, a three-digit TSA-approved lock, and foam padding for water resistance. If only it could walk the dog, too. $190
5. G.H. Bass & Co.
An affordable option for the frugal traveler, G.H. Bass’s ultra light duffel can pack into your big luggage for those gotta-have-it souvenir emergencies. The tear- and water-resistant duffel is feather-light and compresses neatly into a bag with handles. $20
Long layovers are less painful with the Barracuda Carry-On. The collapsible luggage is even more impressive than its compacting abilities: pop out the built-in laptop tray in the handle, and enjoy coffee in one of its two cup holders. It boasts location tracking ability and a built-in USB charger, but the removable battery means the Barracuda won’t affected by new airline bans on some smart luggage. $350
The top portion of the Mar Vista 2.0 20-inch rolling city duffel folds down to save space in your closet, but when you’re ready to load up, there’s lots of room for your travel necessities. Gadget freaks will enjoy the many compartments for storing gear: two angled side pockets, two large front pockets, and a microfiber-lined pocket for stowing your delicate beach shades and iPhones. $100
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