Best suitcase in the world just keeps rolling along

This is the season when most of the western world is focused on buying stuff. New stuff. Better stuff. More flashy stuff to give and to get.

Yet, I'd like to take a moment to appreciate something old.

My suitcase.

It just keeps rolling along.

And in this disposable world, I wonder if you, too, have a trusty, sturdy suitcase that has been a loyal travel companion for many years across many miles, outliving all predictions and standing up to the roughest treatment baggage handlers can give.

Luggage and other travel bags sell more briskly every year. Globally, sales are expected to hit $12.9 billion in 2015 as more people around the world gain the means and opportunity to take vacations.

Suitcases now come in a mind-boggling array of prints and patterns, hard-sided and ultra-lightweight. The online luggage store sells 1,011 styles of rolling carry-on bags alone.

But new isn't always better.

In fact, the hero in my luggage arsenal is a rolling 21-inch carry-on bag that has taken me all over the world for the last nine years. It never wears out. The metal zippers never break. The handle still works.


It wasn't expensive. I bought it at Kmart in St. Clair Shores, possibly in 2005, probably for about $US69.

But here is why it is a good travel companion. It is not much to look at, but it fits in everywhere, even in airplane overhead compartments.

It is never flashy, yet neither is it dull.

The brand is American Tourister. It is made of some kind of nondescript forest green nubby fabric that seems impervious to scratches, scrapes, tears or being thrown around in trunks and luggage compartments. After all these years, the only damage is a slight fraying of the trim on the front of the suitcase.

Modestly jaunty, it just keeps doing its job.

Today, I am on my way to report in Orlando, Florida, so the suitcase is filled with shorts and sandals.

In October it came with me for 13 days in Turkey, packed with enough stuff to get me through that trip and still have room for souvenirs.

There's a small gold ribbon and a red luggage tag on its handle, which helps it stand out at baggage claim.

But at home it does not mind being shoved in a basement closet with six fancier, trendier expensive pieces of luggage.

Because it is, by now, a very wise suitcase. It's seen it all.