No matter what kind of trip I’m going on, I almost always choose a backpack.

IT’S NOT ALWAYS the most convenient thing. It can be a pain to get to stuff I need (especially when I pack in a hurry). It can weigh down on my shoulders when I’m coming home with even more stuff I don’t need (such as a 1lb fudge “sausage”). But I do it because I hate wheeling my luggage.

The wheeled suitcase seems like such a smart idea, and I suppose it is, if you only ever wheel it on smooth, flat surfaces in mostly empty areas. It’s not just baggage — I’ve tried wheels for my drum cases too. Inevitably, I end up hoisting them up. Because when you’re dealing with curbs, bumpy streets, escalators, stairs, subways, buses, and planes, all stuffed with people (and their sensitive ankles), the wheels are much more of a hindrance than anything else.

When I opened the box and took out my Gregory Alpaca 28, I looked at the wheels and had a realization. The reason most wheeled suitcases (and instrument cases) fail is simple — the size of the wheels.

They’re always tiny, even if the bag itself is huge. The balance is off. No wonder the smallest crack in the road tilts it, leaving me dragging the thing on its side in a rush to cross before the light turns.

The Alpaca’s wheels are surprisingly large. The handle is extra wide, and the back is hard plastic. It’s the sturdiest suitcase I’ve ever owned, for sure.

Hurrying through downtown, crossing intersections, dealing with hills, bumps, crowds — it stayed upright the entire time, even when I yanked it up curbs. I dragged the Alpaca through a train station, on the train, and through the airport. Handing it to the baggage handler to check was the first time I lifted it off the ground since leaving home.

I wonder if I can fit my drums in it.

The Alpaca 28’s features include:

  • Wide aluminum handle 
  • Bumpers on the back and bottom 
  • Convertible carry strap quickly attaches
  • Keeper strap for attaching briefcase or carry-on
  • 4″ oversized wheels
  • Top zippered stash pocket
  • External compression straps can be configured for crossover compression
  • ID card pocket on outside of luggage leaves business card visible, but personal info protected
  • Grab handles on the top, side, and bottom
  • Interior compression straps and zippered organization pocket with key clip
This contest is closed.

And the winner is…Meghan Finley!

Thanks to all who entered! Stay tuned for more Goods giveaways.