ANTLER LUGGAGE

The airlines need a paradigm shift.  It is a crowded world and the airlines should take a case study of work flow, or more appropriately, cabin flow.  Instead of charging fliers up to $100 for each checked bag, they should be charging for each carry-on bag to eliminate the last minute bump and squeeze and push and tug and punch to get a bag into the overhead bin. If everyone checked their bags at the gate for free some companies may go out of business, such as luggage forwarding companies. More passengers would also bring less aisle jamming problems onboard and the plane may actually take off on time.

With the airlines getting lighter in weight because of components made from Kevlar, why not make the luggage lighter?  A British-based luggage manufacturers now offers U.S. fliers their luggage line that is featherweight — Antler's New Size Zero Luggage that weighs seven pounds LESS than other comparable sized luggage.


Antler Airstream 22

Click photo for the
Antler AirStream.






Antler’s AirStream Expandable is a 4 wheeled carry-on with dimensions of 22" x 14" x  9/11". You probably won’t need the ten year warranty for defects because the material is rugged 900 Denier Polyester.  There’s no problem hauling it up a non-operating airport escalator. It rolls on its axis like ball bearings. Antler’s AirStream is so light I can lift it with a pinky finger, but it expands out with a zipper with the dimensions the same as my old luggage.

Luggage restrictions on overseas airlines are more stringent than in the U.S.; their overweight checked bag limit fees are sky high.  While in Turkey and flying to Cairo I had to take things out of my old luggage and stuff them into my pockets while the attendant and others watched. My bag was even stuck in the sizing frame.  That problem is now solved with the Antler’s luggage line.

The airlines are numbers crunchers. The standard airline weight max is 50 lbs. per bag (less overseas). The average 30" bag weighs 14 lbs. That leaves you 36 lbs. for belongings. But, since Size Zero's 30" bag weighs in at a skinny 7.3 lbs. — nearly half the average — you can pack more precious stuff (a whopping 42.7 lbs. total), without paying the airlines a penny more.

Best of all, unlike other ultra-light bags, Size Zero won't crumple like a paper airplane when it's buried on the bottom of a baggage pile-up. The secret: Antler's patented flexible frame and corner protection system, a crush-proof, squish-proof engineering marvel.


Antler Airstream 2 Hanger Garment Carrier Charcoal - Antler Garment Bags
Click photo for the
AirStream 2 Garment Carrier.


Haven't heard of Antler Luggage in the USA? You will. Antler is a venerable, 91 year old British firm that has specialized in lightweight luggage for years. And while it's a new name to us Yanks-the company is now in the U.S. market.  Antler has long been the #1 brand in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

In the UK, luggage typically weighs about one-third less than its heftier American cousins. Antler's engineers have already devoted decades to solving the age-old puzzle of weight vs. durability. They're Europe's lightweight luggage experts, but they're anything but lightweight when it comes to smart luggage design. They even include a small lightweight laundry bag that can serve as a shoe bag.

Antler's Size Zero collection includes uprights (22", 27", and 30"), a wheeled duffle, plus a weekender tote and coordinating "grab bag" that are accepted as single piece by London's famously picky Heathrow airport. The 30" bag, in black or bronze, retails for $239.95; the collection is priced from $ 39.00-$ 239.95.

Size Zero is just one of seven lines (or "ranges," as they're called across the pond) that Antler has launched in the U.S. to date. The bags also have TSA approved locks. The company also manufactures hard luggage cases. I am checking them now online for a possible computer case.

Antler Luggage can be found in specialty stores nationwide and online at www.antlerusa.com



BAGPATCH -

Now that you have ordered your new Antler Luggage how can you recognize it coming around the baggage carousel?

Exim Multiproducts, Inc. produces BAGPATCH — colorful, durable, peel-and-stick woven labels for luggage to help travelers of all ages locate their bags fast, and prevent someone else from taking them.

BAGPATCH fabric labels come in a wide variety of vibrant colors and fun sayings that make them more than practical travel gadgets. They make a statement about the people who own the bags. The BAGPATCH brand has been developed and brought to market by veteran corporate marketing communications professional, Brenda Noah-Navarro. "I have traveled significantly all over the world. Like many travelers, I've lost my bags or had people mistake my bags for theirs. Even if taken by mistake, retrieving lost bags is a real hassle. BAGPATCH is my solution for this very real problem," says Noah-Navarro.

Ms. Noah-Navarro, a marketer who studies travel demographics, has seen a rise in multi-generation travel. As she notes, "Despite the economy, more family groups are carrying more bags, resulting in a greater need to keep track of everyone's possessions. This low-cost solution is catching on quickly with the traveling public."

Exim Multiproducts, Inc. was founded in South Florida in 1984 as an export-import business with Latin America. During one of her many international business trips, co-owner Brenda Noah-Navarro was inspired to create BAGPATCH to help travelers identify their luggage quickly from a crowd of look-alikes.

For more information on BAGPATCH, please visit http://www.bagpatch.com or send an email to info@bagpatch.com



EXOFFICIO -

Any experienced traveler will tell you to leave the heavy cotton clothing at home to bring down the bag weight. When I travel I turn to the outdoors apparel manufacturers for lightweight styles that are rugged, easy to wash out in a hotel sink, and that are quick drying, and wrinkle free.

What’s great about Exofficio apparel products is most of them are treated with Insect Shield Permethrin insect repellant, which repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges. 

I really appreciate Exofficio’s Bugs Away Purdom Vented Hiker socks made from NatureSpun Recycled Polyester, wool, spandex, and nylon.  The socks are soft and light but customized-to-the-foot fitting with heel and toe padding, mesh venting, and compression technology.

One of Exofficio’s coolest products is their Sol Cool Neck Gaiter.  I certainly wish I had one when hiking in the Nubian Desert to Armada Temple recently. The flat yarns in the gaiter wick moisture and discharge body heat while blocking UV rays up to 50+ UPF, and solar radiation. 

The specialty cloth feels smooth as silk, is quick drying, lightweight, and odor resistant.  It can stretch into a balaclava to keep the head cool and is easy to breathe through as a kerchief, which would have been handy in that sandstorm I experienced in Egypt.  The unisex garment should be in your luggage, it turns sweat into refrigerant, converting the gaiter into cool, refreshing fabric. It could serve double duty as a mosquito net for the head too.

Exofficio’s GeoTrek’r Field Collection includes long- and short-sleeve styles.  I appreciated their Rainier design with sun protection UPF 30+ built in. It has a vented mesh neck flap and underarm venting, I could wear this shirt not only in the backcountry when trout fishing, but also onboard a luxury cruise ship plying the Nile with Great Safaris www.greatsafaris.com  

The  Rainier is wrinkle resistant and weighs less than three ounces.  The pockets are Velcro shutting, I like that.

My experience with nylon garments in the past is if I perspire the cloth makes me itch, not so with the Rainier.  The technology has improved the rip-stop nylon, making Exofficio’s proprietary yarn more like silk, and the underarm and neck venting prevents me from overheating.

Repeloff is a Blistex proprietary fabric that they call SUPER DWR (Durable Water Resistant) and I must also state, stain resistant and abrasive resistant, but it is still breathable. 

Exofficio has incorporated the fabric into a line of snappy looking pants in their Nio Amphi Collection.  The soft-as-cotton feel comes with 30+ Sun Guard protection.  I liked the deep pockets in front and zippered back pockets. I am always carrying around a junk drawer in my pockets when traveling.  I like a wider ankle cut, which these pants have too. The fabric is called Nio Nycott and is Teflon treated, but is 100% Nylon.  The pants weigh less than three ounces per square yard, with the nylon stretching belt adding a little bit overall. I think a hummingbird weighs more.

For something a little more rugged but still de rigueur go with Exofficio’s Ruffian Collection of pants (see photo).

There are double duty (four in all) back pockets, two open, and two zippered. The pants are 45% nylon and 65% cotton, so they weigh a little more than the Repeloff line, but at six ounces per square yard, overall they are still lighter than that airport meal you just ate. 

The still are tough, resistant, and easy-drying.  The cargo saddle pockets on the thighs are great for us gear heads that can’s going into the bush without extra video batteries, chewing gum, compass, etc.  

Exofficio calls the fabric Roughian Canvas and it does have a kind of canvas feel, but softer.  They are water and stain resistant with 50+ Sun Guard. They come with no belt and the belt loops are larger than the Repeloff line.  I pack both pants for different conditions.

When packing roll your pants from the cuff to belt for a tighter fit in your packing cube.

For more information on Exofficio contact:
www.exofficio.com
800/644-7303



ROYAL ROBBINS

The coolest look to stay warm this autumn and winter is with Royal Robbins' shirt jackets, such as the Billy Goat Bedford, with a UPF rating of 50+.

The forest-green color of my Billy Goat blends well in the pine forests wherre I live, so sneaking up on wilflife for photographs is more secretive. Another great feature of the Billy Goat is the zip secure pocket on the front and one deep zippered pocket on the inside, and the velcro pocket on the inside. A wool batting is sewn into the chest area on the inside for greater warmth. The canvas-like fabric is strong and durable and I am sure it will never wear out or go out of style or tear.

The Billy Goat may be a little heavier than other carry-on clothes but with a double duty as a shirt and a jacket, it is ideal for temperate climes travel. The jean-type snaps hold the jacket securely together in front and and at the cuffs, keeping the howling winds out.

Royal Robbins has a complete line of styles of outdoor apparel for men and women, so check them out at www.RoyalRobbins.com



GOTOOB -

GoToob by humangear gives conventional travel-sized bottles a makeover. These squeezable travel tubes ensure you get every last drop of your toiletries, are carry-on TSA approved, and won’t leak

Prices start at about $19.95. 

I hate to carry hard plastic containers in my bags because as I use the ingredients the bottle remains the same size.  With GoToob bottles they squash down but don't spill out the contents — they have screw on caps (with flip tops for dispensing) and the plastic feels like gummy bears. 

The bottles come in a couple of sizes and the company makes a GoCup that expands when pulled up.  They also have pill cups too.  For more info log on to www.GoToob.com

Okay, there you have some tips on decreasing the luggage weight game. I have to run to catch a flight, now it is the airline wait game!

— Feature and opening photo by Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine.