I’m the kind of one that, when touring, likes to carry again some native taste. And by that, I imply bottles of alcohol, whether or not they be wines from Italy or whiskeys from Eire.
Up to now, getting my cargo residence safely has meant haphazardly rolling the bottles in T-shirts, stuffing them in my checked baggage and hoping for the perfect. However then I discovered the VinGardeValise Grande suitcase, baggage designed particularly to make it secure and simple to journey with a bevy of drinks.
I instantly ordered one forward of a visit to Eire to try it out.
For many who wish to return residence with wine or different spirits, this checked suitcase is a must have. We discovered it extremely packable and light-weight (even with six bottles), and it saved our bottles secure throughout a transatlantic flight.
The Grande suitcase comes with 12 foam inserts which can be game-changing for a wine and spirits connoisseur. Formed like conventional 750-milliliter wine bottles, they maintain bottles of any form. In our testing, three whiskeys, a bottle of wine, a bottle of gin and a bottle of olive oil (all a part of a balanced journey food plan, in fact) match simply but snugly regardless of their various sizes and shapes. The inserts — in addition to a high foam panel that rests flat atop the bottles, which is then secured by straps — are designed to maintain your bottles secure and sound, and so they did an excellent job on our journey.
What was most spectacular is that not one bottle a lot as confirmed the slightest signal of rattling throughout our seven-hour transatlantic flight (and the customary throwing round by baggage handlers). That’s fairly a departure from my former roll-and-tuck technique of packing bottles, which finally left all my finds on the backside of my suitcase bumping up in opposition to one another.
The VinGardeValise’s exterior proved sturdy too, although it’s total much less scratch-resistant than the Away bag my journey companion introduced alongside. After lugging it abroad twice and thru two busy airports, it solely confirmed a number of scuffs on the nook guards — however no scuffing on the face.
Considered one of my prime worries was that having half the suitcase devoted to bottles of alcohol, I wouldn’t be capable of match a lot else. And as a continual overpacker (4 nights away? In fact I want 14 pairs of boxers!), I used to be positive I’d want one other checked bag.
I eliminated six of the inserts from one half of the bag so I may pack garments. Utilizing all 12 inserts that include the Grande bag means you’re utilizing the bag solely for bottles, which to me is a bit excessive. I managed to restrain myself a bit, however even with half the case devoted to bottles, I used to be capable of match sufficient garments for 2 weeks of chilly, wet Eire climate — a Barbour jacket, a wool jacket, six heavy sweaters, 5 pairs of pants, a number of shirts and different odds and ends. I did, nevertheless, should stuff my further pair of sneakers in my carry-on luggage.
It’s surprisingly straightforward to deal with
When unpacked, the suitcase weighs 14 kilos. In comparison with two of the best hard-shell checked bags we’ve tested, the Away Medium and the Samsonite Freeform Medium Spinner, which weigh 9.9 kilos and eight.48 kilos, respectively, I used to be frightened the bag would simply exceed the airline’s weight restrict.
However even filled with six bottles and two weeks’ value of clothes, the packed bag solely weighed in at 45 kilos (20 kilograms), properly beneath the 50-pound restrict on most airways. So my fears of paying extra fees had been alleviated. Comparatively, The Away Large checked bag that my journey companion took, which weighs 11.6 kilos when empty, was filled with a bit extra clothes and three pairs of sneakers (together with a number of extra bits and items) and weighed in at 50 kilos for our journey. So whereas the bigger Away was roomier and we had been capable of match extra clothes inside, it finally was a bit extra of a nuisance to tug alongside — and extra prone to overpacking and added obese baggage charges.
The deal with is just too brief
That is definitely nitpicking, however one massive draw back — particularly for somebody with lengthy legs — is that the telescopic deal with was shorter than the handles on our favourite checked baggage. It doesn’t lengthen so far as the handles used on both the Away Medium Bag or the Samsonite Freeform Medium Spinner, and it was noticeable whereas we made our approach by the airport.
When dragging the bag behind me, I discovered myself kicking it with my heels extra typically than I would like. So, I resorted to rolling the VinGardeValise off to my facet to keep away from doing so.
Clearly, not everyone seems to be trying to lug residence a number of bottles from their vacation spot. Whereas we preferred nearly every part concerning the bag, for those who don’t share our interest, there’s a greater bag fitted to you on the market. We’d advocate both the Away Medium Bag or the Samsonite Freeform Medium Spinner for common journey.
Whereas the VinGardeValise is rugged, comparatively light-weight and can maintain every part you’d want, you’re paying a useless premium for those who’re not utilizing it to hold wine when in comparison with the $345 Away Medium and $180 Samsonite Freeform.
The VinGardeValise is usually geared towards vacationers who want to carry wine and different bottles with them. Subsequently, it’s laborious to make an apples-to-apples comparability to different baggage.
What’s extra, if in case you have one other suitcase you’re keen on and need to maintain, you possibly can buy VinGardeValise inserts individually with a purpose to flip it right into a wine-protecting savant. We do have to say that we imagine it’s the general ruggedness of the VinGardeValise (not simply the inserts, however the heavy-duty nook guards and hard exterior shell) that helps present full safety in opposition to bottles shuffling or breaking.
Evaluating the VinGardeValise as an on a regular basis suitcase, we did discover that it scuffed lower than the Away bag on its face, and felt extra high-end and reliable than the Samsonite, which feels to be a bit cheaper.
For anybody who likes to carry again bottles from their journey locations, the VinGardeValise is a no brainer. It retains bottles cosy and guarded all through the journey expertise whereas additionally proving to be extremely packable and light-weight.
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