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I'm looking for some luggage that could start out as of carry-on size plus "personal item" (like a duffel) for our flight (checking the carry-on is not a problem) and then somehow combine into a single piece of luggage (such as strapped together) because our tour's luggage service is restricting us to a single bag each (at 20 kg). We cannot manage a medium size suitcase that weighs 20kg, because of our backs and because of the size of our car. We need to travel with two lighter and smaller bags.

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    Could you use something like two smaller duffel bags which you then put inside a very large duffel bag? The large bag could be packed inside one of the small ones when not in use. – Nate Eldredge May 15 '16 at 3:41
  • I'd double check that straped luggage counts as a single piece. I've recently started seeing signs at airline check-in counters and your agencies indicating that straped luggage will still count as the number of pieces that are strapped together. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas May 16 '16 at 1:46
  • Close voters: note that this is not a question about price-shopping for goods and services, so voting to close as a question about price-shopping for goods and services makes no sense. – David Richerby Feb 23 '17 at 12:45
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There are luggage sets that combine a bigger bag and a backpack, such as Eagle Creeks Switchback series (http://shop.eaglecreek.com/switchback-carryon/d/1283_cl_-1). You could pack bulky lightweight items in the big part and heavier small items in the zip off daypack. Split them apart when driving, then zip together for the flight and tour. (other companies may offer lower cost versions of the concept).

Or as Nate mentioned, use two smaller soft-sided bags and a bigger basic duffel to carry them both on the flight and tour. I often pack two smaller bags into a larger duffel when traveling and restricted on how much I can check in.

  • One of the bags has to be a wheeled carry on because that's the suitcase we usually use and we don't want to buy something we'll never use again. If we have to do that, we might as well pay the extra bag fee to the tour company. Sorry, should have specified that. – littleann May 15 '16 at 5:25
  • You can find zip off day pack combos on wheeled carry on sized bags as well (Eagle Creek Morpheus). But if you are wanting to use your old bag and find something to add, you are likely limited to simply strapping a 2nd bag on the outside (risk of detaching) or using the duffel bag concept Nate & I mentioned – user13044 May 15 '16 at 5:41
  • We do need to buy one new bag in any case, but we would only use a wheeled 21" carry-on for other trips and don't see a point in buying a unique bag for just this one trip. Thanks for the Eagle Creek tip. I will look at those. – littleann May 15 '16 at 6:00
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    High Sierra, Osprey, REI all also have carry on sized wheeled luggage with zip off daypacks. – user13044 May 15 '16 at 6:13
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I find the Patagonia Transport Tote 20L perfect for the purpose you describe. It has a 'sleeve' on one side, allowing the tote to slip over wheeled luggage handle. I don't know where you're located, but here's the link to the US web site: www.patagonia.com/us/product/transport-tote-20-liters?p=49460-1

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This is quite common for backpacks. The one I use is from Monterra which is available in multiple sizes. It splits into a small daypack and large backpack. The nice thing is that it does not have to be used as a backpack. The straps fold inside a zipper compartment and there is an add-on shoulder strap, so that it can be used as a large shoulder bag. When need to have a single piece, both halves attach together with a zipper plus 4 clips for added security.

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