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Press Release07/15/14 - Chicago Tribune

Tough, sleek luggage

Tough, sleek luggage

By Ross Werland, Tribune Newspapers

1:22 p.m. CDT, July 15, 2014


Name: TRS Ballistic Carry-On by Club Glove

What it is: A two-wheeled tough, stylish carry-on that pairs nicely with its larger sibling, the TRS Ballistic Check-In, whose attachment strap slides over the telescoping handle of the carry-on to create a weightless combo that will glide through the airport. There also is an extra-large check-in model, and the smaller pieces fit inside the larger one like nesting dolls, making storage easier. The carry-on measures 22 1/2 inches in length and weighs 9 pounds. Ballistic bags also come with packing modules that fit inside to ease the process.

The good: The carry-on bag, like the larger versions, is distinctive in shape, being almost square in width and depth at 13 by 9 inches. That means it's more linear (and seemingly easier to fit in an overhead bin). Even with the larger bags attached behind it, they will trail you neatly so you won't have to dodge people with fatter suitcases while walking through an airport. The carry-on may be my all-time favorite because of the shape, ease of use and toughness. These Ballistic bags are built (in the U.S.) with a stronger-than-normal Cordura nylon fabric and armored with a wheeled plate. The straps are made of seat belt material (just try to rip that!) with heavy-duty rivets. I tried the black and bronze model, which is a very sharp look. (It also comes in all black.) To my horror, I realized I didn't stow the looped strap that attaches the check-in to the carry-on. When the checked bag showed up on the conveyor, however, the strap was hanging free but undamaged — tough stuff. And not a blemish anywhere.

The bad: The only thing I missed are 360-degree wheels, but the slender design helps make up for more limited two-wheel maneuverability. Also, this is pricey luggage, but it's built to last, which likely is why the company notes the large number of road warriors in pro sports who use it.

Cost: $699 for the carry-on (check-in is $750, and check-in XL is $799).

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