Every year, The Travel Goods Association hosts an annual show highlighting new innovations in luggage. For 2014, it’s better wheels, sturdier handles, and smarter pockets. Yes, the focus is on improving the product and making luggage more usable. In fact, this year saw design solutions address some of the most common complaints about luggage.
There was also a focus on attracting the right audience for your product, and there are 2014 luggage innovations that improve the travel experience for all different kinds of travelers.
For the Business Traveler
Year after year, lightweight luggage continues to be a trend. But there is also a competing focus on durability and usability—the two features that matter most for business travelers. Those road warriors are looking for a bag that can endure years and years of high-volume, high-frequency travel. They are willing to spend extra for a bag that is guaranteed durable.
This year, business travelers are some of the most coveted customers. Back in style are new garment bag solutions. Pathfinder is reintroducing the vertical garment bag with its Revolution Plus Collection 22” Vertical Garment Bag. On the outside it may look like a standard two-wheel carry-on, but inside is a suiting compartment that fits three suits. The bag itself can even be hung up in the closet as you pack.
But that’s not the only mobile closet. Max Mirani has a hard-side international carry-on that hangs in the closet, with an innovative shelf and compartment system. There are pockets for undergarments, ties, and accessories.
For Female Travelers
Orange is indeed the new black. Bright colors are one of the most common innovation manufacturers use to bring in female travelers. In fact, two big name manufacturers admitted that black is the least popular option for female-targeted bags. This year, Isaac Mizrahi released his first female-focused line of luggage. Female travelers are targeted with his collection of bright colors, metallic textures, and dramatic patterns.
Victoria by Victorinox is launching in August. It’s the company’s first female-centric line. The multi-purpose bags are designed by women for women to work for day-to-day usage as well as travel. There are a few women-friendly innovations like a lined pocket for sunglasses and pen holders that are wide enough to also hold lipstick.
Good gear is essential for adventure travel. For this market, the ability to provide durable storage solutions is important. However, flexibility is key.
Out in 2014, Eagle Creek has a small but revolutionary development. All of its No Matter What Flashpoint Duffels can now transform from rolling duffels to a backpacks with the new Quick Snap Strap. Add the strap to your bag and you can roll through the airport. Then convert to a backpack to go straight onto the trail.
For golf bags to skis and other equipment, Pivotal Gear aims to make transporting bulky items more ergonomic. Its bags have 360-degree rotating handles that let you choose a horizontal or vertical hold.
It’s hard for families to travel light, but there are ways to transport all the luggage they need more efficiently.
Atlantic Luggage’s Compass® Unite collection provides a solution with its Link2Go system. It lets them connect bags—back to back—with Velcro straps. One parent can roll two pieces with one hand, or one person can handle four pieces.
For theme park trips, parents can make piggyback rides more ergonomic by carrying their kids almost like a backpack. The Piggyback Rider is a child carrier that allows kids to stand on a shoulder-mounted foot bar with shoulder-strap handles.
For more luggage options, check out:
- 2014 Luggage Innovations
- The Best Carry-On Luggage Under $300
- Carry-on Comparison: The Best Bag for Packing
- 4 Steps to Better Packing
By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com