My old luggage was a workhorse whose blue color, which I adored when it was new so many miles ago, had turned to shabby gray. I was actually happy when I found it in the baggage carousel missing its handle, demanding to be tossed out.

My new carry-on — by Lipault, a French company entering this market — is sleek, chocolate brown and basically as stylish as a French model. It makes me feel like a first-class act, even if I’m flying coach. The lightweight piece folds and slips into a storage bag to keep away the dust. Lipault offers a range of eye-catching colors, including aqua, tangerine and a shiny red patent. (My two-wheeled Continental Carry-on is currently on sale at for $140. AAA Minneapolis and other online sites also offer Lipault).

As my daughter prepped for camp, it was time for more shopping. (My chic bag was not going to a cabin with a dozen tweens.) At REI, we were tempted by an Eagle Creek piece that looked like a backpack on wheels, especially after we learned that the company offers a lifetime guarantee (Check out the nifty Load Warrior Wheeled Duffel, which is on sale now for $184 at We wound up with the streamlined Osprey Ozone Wheeled 18-incher ($200 at REI), because it is ultralight and looks cool in mossy green.

Then one day, a bag arrived at the office from Travel Pros: a carry-on with my face splashed across the front. The Minnetonka-based company sent the laugh-inducing luggage ­— believe me, colleagues laughed — to announce their new product designed to be customized with photos, called MyFlyBag (learn more at

With all these options, you might wish airline handlers would rip your old luggage, too.


Contact travel editor Kerri Westenberg at and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.