Every traveler knows that packing light is a talent worth perfecting. Meeting TSA weight regulations requires patience, versatility and an exceptional display of restraint—which means items like wooden-heeled platform shoes and War and Peace are best left home
. Innovative new luggage designs, however, are making packing less stressful by provoking a minimalist, utilitarian aesthetic that seems intended to send packrats scurrying.
To create its new Tegra-Lite line
of ultra-lightweight, sleekly contoured luggage, Tumi enlisted Milliken
, a producer of plastics that counts race car builders and football gear designers among its clients. This high-tech collaboration required Tumi to overhaul its design process. Milliken’s super-strong Tegris composite isn’t pressed and stretched like the luggage brand’s traditional method of shaping; rather, it’s cut into sheets and folded to maintain the bonds that make up a lattice of highly durable plastic. The result is a 65-percent lighter rolling bag that’s built to withstand the battery of frequent travel. This is one suitcase that’s ready to get down to business.
Duffle bags aren’t just for the gym anymore. After discovering ’70s athletic bag brand Dubbel Duffle
in a Brooklyn vintage clothing store, accessories designer China Young
revamped the forgotten label for downtown department store Opening Ceremony
. At the crux of Young’s update is meticulous engineering that modernizes the bag’s multipurpose appeal. The roomy carryall comes in vibrant contrasting colors, and unzips to double its original size—perfect for trips that include serious shopping excursions. The soft, yet resilient, water-resistant twill nylon duffle contains loads of interior pockets for optimum storage, and can morph into a variety of other convenient forms, including a backpack and messenger bag.
Based on the notion that the backpack
is the essential accessory for urban survival, the minimalist black versions from Los Angeles-based Ignoble Bags
prioritize utility without sacrificing good design. Each high-quality bag is roomy, practical and aesthetically clean, shirking the bells-and-whistles look that’s become ubiquitous (and likely to become passé). Ignoble currently makes five incarnations of the backpack—in shapes like the Seedpod
, the Cocoon
, and the Classic Rucksack
—each with a unique style, loading set-up, and storage capacity. These are bags that are built to last, as Ignoble manufactures in limited runs at a “military-grade production facility” in Southern California.