Have Bag, Will Travel

Kelly Rizzo, intrepid traveler and host of Eat Travel Rock, touts her favorite travel bag: the Tegra-Lite Max Continental expandable carry-on by Tumi.

By Kelly Rizzo

May 08, 2019 10:00 AM

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Picking the perfect travel bag is like seeking out a soulmate. You’re searching for an unbreakable bond to endure life’s miles of trials and tribulations together—and keep a few secrets (or secret compartments) safe and sound along the way. 

If you’re a luggage connoisseur like me, then you know that Tumi is the desired brand for providing such a longterm commitment. No one beats the beloved American luggage label when it comes to craftsmanship, luxuriousness, ingenuity and style. Tumi has long been my trusted brand for larger suitcases for longer trips. However, I just purchased their new carry-on—the Tegra-Lite Max Continental expandable carry-on ($875)—and I know that it will be by my side for years to come.

Here’s why: The Tegra-Lite Max is a road warrior. It’s constructed from a revolutionary composite material called Tegris that’s used in the making of Nascar race cars and in the protective gear for NFL players. (Tumi has received the worldwide exclusive rights to use Tegris within the travel industry.) The Tegra-Lite Max is edgy, cool and comes in a carbon black color or a lighter silver graphite. Sure, at $875 it’s an investment; however, it has a 5-year warranty for peace of mind. And to get personal, Tumi will even monogram an ultra-chic, leather plaque for you, too. 

But the key for me is that it’s expandable, plus it has a builtin garment bag. So even if you’re taking off on a short trip, you can rest assured knowing that you can pack luxury items of clothing and that they will be well-preserved (read: wrinkle-free dresses and shoes that aren’t smushed).  

My expert travel tips for packing as much as possible into a carry-on?  

  1. DO NOT use packing cubes with a carry-on of this size. They take up extra space and are only useful for larger suitcases. 
  2. DO pack your toiletries in your other personal carry-on/backpack to keep messy makeup, lotions and potions away from your clothes.
  3. DO wear your bulkiest pair of shoes and jacket on the plane so they don’t take up valuable real estate in your luggage.
  4. And remember, the expandable zipper is your best friend!

The Tegra-Lite Max Continental Expandable Carry-On, $875, by Tumi is available at tumi.com

Tumi’s Tegra-Lite Max Continental Expandable Carry-On in black