Travel Bags for Thailand - Upright Wheeled

Luggage trolley handle too short When you start looking at the differences between "standard" suitcases and upright wheeled luggage, the subtleties need examination. Neither is perfect for all situations involving international air travel. But when you add "third world destination to your evaluation", upright wheeled bags tend to stand out.

If you have ever tried to tow a standard suitcase, you may have noticed a few issues.

  • Tethers don't steer too well
  • Narrow wheeled types with tethers fall over often
  • Flip-up handle models tend to hit your heels when you walk
  • Tall? Handles & tethers are often too short so you need to stoop

Note: Be sure to check where you're staying before committing to a roller bag. Outside of major tourist areas, Thai sidewalks can be uneven, poorly paved, and riddled with potholes.

Within Bangkok itself, there are major stairways to access public transport, and without adequate planning you may find yourself carrying your roller bag by its handle. Plan ahead and the bag could pay off, otherwise it's probably best to pick something wheel-less.

So what's the answer? Probably an upright wheeled bag with rugged design, large wheels; and a recessed, locking, telescoping trolley handle.

But is it expandable? A real benefit is a well-designed bag that has an expandable gusset sewn in. That gusset can add 20-30% more capacity to your bag without taxing the zippers. That's an excellent feature for outbound lightweight travel when you will be returning with holiday purchases.

Can you carry it? Look for heavy duty "D" rings mounted with heavily double stitched attachment straps. That bag should also have a heavy duty carrying strap with shoulder padding.

Carrying a wheeled soft side won't be as comfortable as carrying a backpack, but negotiating rough sidewalks, no pavement, knee-high curbs, sewer grates, and stairs sure beats trying to deal with wheels alone.

About those wheels. Make sure they are recessed, durable, and large. Tiny wheels look nice but anything other than a completely smooth surface will have you wondering why you bought that bag.

An added bonus is buying firm rubber wheels that are not completely hard. Even rolling across grout lines in tile with hard plastic wheels can be noisy.