It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; that festive time when travelers’ thoughts turn to beating airline baggage charges. Park your complaints about cramped seats.The growing gripe in the flying experience lies in luggage fees as costs for checked bags rise (and weight allowances reduce).
But there is a loopy loophole that luggage jackets want to solve.Airlines don’t (yet) regulate the weight of passengers’ clothing. Why carry luggage when you can wear it instead?
New luggage jackets let you skirt the rules as you cram your essentials into their roomy reinforced pouches. So what if you look like the Michelin man, you’ve saved cash and beaten baggage claim lines too. And ponder the carbon reduction as you lessen dependence on diesel-fueled baggage tugs and electric baggage handling systems. Fashion can save the world!
1. Rufus Roo (about $50 above) is the simplest form of wearable luggage: an ultra-light polyester utility vest with huge pockets that can stow a weekend’s worth of clothes and amusements, even a laptop. Load it up, pop it on, and catwalk your way through check-in.
Stuff it into the overhead bin once you board the plane. It’s got a 10kg loading limit, likely because the fabric is so thin. It also comes in tiny sizes, letting the kids earn their plane fare by schlepping their own gear.
(about $115) (above) was created more to provide additional storage than to replace a full suitcase. It’s a stylized flak-jacket with 12 concealed pockets. Two external pockets allow easy access to essentials like your phone, passport, or tickets. This one comes with a loading max of 5kg.
3. Jaktogo (starting at about $105) also works as a garment just long enough to get you past boarding. It’s enormous (pictured above and in lead “x-ray” photo) with massive pockets and a complicated packing process that involves lots of Velcro. Made of polyester, it’s lightweight and weather resistant, and also comes in leather and denim versions. Assume a positive reply to the query, “Does this suitcase make my ass look big?”, but there’s no flight discount gain without a bit of sartorial pain.
4. Bagket (about $115) is a shape-shifting jacket that allows you to carry it as a bag until you check-in. Then put it on as a jacket, bypassing baggage baloney, and cleverly revert it to a carry-on case once you board the flight. It’s big, with 22 pockets. Made from strong polyamide fabric with durable shoulder straps and heavy duty zippers, it seems able to exceed the recommended 7kg of packing. Check out the video, above, to see how it works.
The concept of dual-function clothing isn’t new.. My job once demanded frequent flying between Dublin and Glasgow; a 50 minute flight on an infamous low-cost Irish carrier. My meager carry-on was given over to a laptop and paperwork. I could snap up toothpaste and shampoo once I landed, but what about everything else?
Decades earlier, I’d scored a bright orange field jacket at a Patagonia discount outlet in Maine. Lightweight yet impervious to wind and water, it was my go-to gear for sailing or skiing, with enough pockets to replace a backpack.
It wasn’t rocket science to see how this beauty could fix my airborne commute, and it became my flying uniform. Pockets bulged with socks and underwear, a paperback and travel documents, and a few sheep’s worth of yarn to keep me knitting along the way. The only limit on what I could (freely!) take with me was the weight my back could handle.
Today there are loads of wearable luggage options on the market. Check them out; they’ll help you to Keep Calm and Carry On.