I've always used a traditional suitcase when I travel, but often think about changing to a backpack. However, I tend to get really tight muscles, sometimes with pain, in my neck and shoulders so a backpack doesn't make the most sense to me. But lately a new class of suitcase has come out, a hybrid. A suitcase with both wheels and backpack straps. Unfortunately, there are only about 5-10 on the market and not all come with a waist strap, a must if you're actually going to carry your suitcase on your back. With my upcoming trip to the UK I decided it was time to buy one. I decided on the Victorinox E-Motion 360 Trek Pack Plus 26 inch. They do make a womens version in 24 inch, but I decided to go with the larger suitcase. The pre-packed weight of this bag is just under 10 pounds.
The exterior of the suitcase. The suitcase has a small detachable pack on the front. It is small though large enough for a book, magazine, wallet and a few toiletries, more on that at the end of the post. If you're going to be using the wheels of the suitcase the back zips up hiding the shoulder and waist straps. The only issue with this is that the flap that covers these straps just hangs there when it is unzipped. I'm sure they could have come up with a way of securing that flap. The other issue I have found is that as a 5 foot, thin woman the waist strap is loose on me. I'm not sure how that will work out for me if I have to actually put it on my back.
At the bottom of the suitcase there is a shoe compartment. It's accessible from the outside and has a sleeve to protect the contents of the suitcase from the shoes. I'm not sure how useful this will be as I usually bring more then 1 extra pair of shoes with me, but it seems nifty. The inside is pretty bare, in the photo you can see the single post for the handle, I liked that the single post takes up less room then suitcases with 2 posts for the handle. The walls of the suitcase look white, but that is actually cardboard that keeps the shape of the suitcase.
This is the small backpack that attaches to the front. This also has backpack straps that can be tucked away. This zips onto the suitcase at the top and on the bottom are clips that also help secure it to the main body. There are two compartments to this pack 1 larger one that is open and the smaller one in the front as shown in the photo with some compartments in it. There is also a compartment on the side that can hold a water/drink bottle.
I'm pretty excited about this suitcase and hope it's the answer to some of my luggage issues, especially since I already have a couple pieces of luggage. I'm not sure if I'll be taking this to Las Vegas with me, but I will be taking it on my Contiki trip, I'm sure I will encounter at least one hotel without an elevator there and will be pulling those straps out.