Posted July 29, 2008 in Gear Reviews by Jim Markel
The industry is abuzz about the airlines and their new checked bag fees. Travelers feeling the pinch in their wallets want to know what are the best carry on bags out there. Recently, the popular "travel experiences" website Fodor’s created a Carry-on Bag Buyer’s Guide to help travelers make informed decisions regarding traveling light. Fodors criteria was:
How did the Sky Train stack up?
Weight: Most U.S. airlines allow a maximum of 40 pounds and international flights usually no more than 16 pounds (8 kilos). So a Sky Train, at 3 1/2 pounds empty and with the retractable backpack straps made the grade.
Expandable: Some so called expandable bags really do expand; past the legal limit of 22" x 14" x 9". Here again, the Sky Train is reverse engineered. Rather than "expand" you can "compress" your clothing inside the bag. This is especially helpful when you go to store your bag in the overhead bin.
Zippers: Red Oxx uses #10 YKK self-locking zippers. Though they are nylon, instead of metal, Red Oxx believes they work better in cold weather because they won’t stick and are nearly as strong as metal zippers.
Even if your rigid-side carry-on is not over the 21" maximum, if the plane is crowded, the airline may make you check your bag. This is because it’s harder to fit it in the overhead bin. It also won’t "give" if the bins are full.
Dubbed the choice for best "travel pack," The Sky Train excels as an ideal choice for carry-on travel. At least that’s what the pros say.