By now you probably suspect that if I can go ga-ga over a laptop bag, the right suitcase could probably send me over the moon. You wouldn’t be wrong. My husband and I both own this bag and won’t even look at another. Why would we? We’ve watched our Patagonia Freewheeler take a fall from the top of a heap from a makeshift luggage cart on a rustic airstrip in Myanmar, without so much as a torn corner or bent frame. It’s trailed after us over cobbled streets and bounced up railway station steps, been dropped roughly from the rooftops of third-world buses and lashed to camels in the Sahara. And, when it finally did, after a decade of traveling the world, tear slightly along a seam, when we returned it to Patagonia for repair, they sent us a new one - free.
Made from tough ballistic cloth nylon, this water-repellent free-wheeling suitcase sports the same wheels as those found on the best inline skates. The designers at Patagonia seem to have thought of everything a traveler needs: Its duffle-style top compartment collapses snuggly into a hard-sided bottom to slide easily under a ship’s bed or the floor of a hotel closet and a zippered lower compartment keeps your shoes and dirty laundry separate. $350.00; www.patagonia.com