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Whether it’s tucked under an airplane seat or toted from meeting to meeting, a briefcase still says “I mean business.” But it needs to protect without drawing attention. It has a compartment for a 17 inch laptop, padded areas for a tablet or e reader, a fleece lining to protect smartphones and an RFID blocking compartment to prevent hackers from tapping into radio emitting IDs and credit cards. That’s a rare occurrence now, but it may become a real threat in the future.
2. on, traveler
Briggs Riley also makes an outstanding rolling carry on that crams more into less space. The Baseline U122CX ($469) meets most domestic carry on size restrictions (hopefully, picky United and American won’t begrudge you the half inch overage) and lets you squeeze up to 25 percent more clothing into the same space (going from roughly 44 liters to more than 55 liters). Essentially, it uses a pair of interior ratchets that expand the bag while you pack. Then, after you’ve zipped it up, you press down on the sides and it squeezes everything down again to official carry on size. My favorite is the Morphus 30 ($470), a big roller with a secret: It’s really two bags in one. The front part can be unzipped to become a large duffel or backpack, while hidden underneath is another bag that folds out while still attached t asics gel o the wheeled back. It essentially doubles the capacity of the bag (from 93 liters) with another 91 liter bag, making it ideal for travelers who collect a lot of souvenirs. The bag’s hard polycarbonate back presents a tough backside that can protect stashed electronics, and the entire roller bag can be turned into a backpack using hidden straps. That feature came in handy when I scrambled down a muddy hill in the rain with the Morphus securely strapped on my back. There’s a top pocket for a camera or a phone and side and rear pockets for quick access to cables. And for that formal business meeting, there’s a special “flight locker” organizer for suit and shoes. Best of all, the Contrail’s sturdy internal aluminum frame with a raised base will keep your gear dry even if you stand the bag in a puddle of water, which I freely admit I have done.
For those who can’t pack light (you know who you are), there’s the Ogio Rig 9800. Ogio is well known among golfers for its Chamber Cart Bag, which k asics gel eeps clubs from banging against each other. But it also makes a variety of luggage, totes and bags. The Rig 9800 is the big b asics gel oy, with a capacious 123 liter capacity enough to hold a small child (though we don’t recommend it). It has a hard plastic back, big wheels and extra padding, including a spot for a ski or bike helmet. Hey, travel is supposed to be fun.