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Super-light and made with abrasion-resistant fabric, the Vx Touring Expandable Large Duffel is the ideal companion for explorers who want to carry on the road and wheel onto the plane. Features a space-saving monopole handle (instead of the usual double pole), compression straps, expansion zips and pouches at the back to separate shoes or wet swimmers. (RRP $739)
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Want to avoid the baggage queue? Crumpler’s Vis-a-Vis Cabin case has a slim profile, chic matte finish and simple exterior, and a very decent 47-litre capacity with an interior compression system for maximum stowage. Four easy-glide wheels make for a smooth transit experience and the optional bright blue handles will definitely stand out on the baggage carousel (RRP $495).
The global trek
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Made from Macpac’s signature hardwearing, weather-resistant canvas, the rugged Genesis AzTec 70 is the ultimate pack for an action-packed world tour. It opens from the top and front and has an optional inner divider, lockable zips, a detachable 15-litre pack and a comfy harness, which lets you move with relative ease and comes with a protective cover for when your pack is in transit (RRP $579.99).
The long haul
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For regular international flights, look for something durable, lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. Samsonite’s 75-centimetre Lite-Shock weighs in at 2.5 kilograms and has a 98-litre capacity (the 81cm model has a whopping 124-litre capacity). The distinctive hard, ridged surface makes it incredibly tough, it has a limited 10-year warranty, and the wheels and bottom grip make for easy handling (RRP $849).
The weekend getaway
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For short hops, it’s sometimes easier to just throw everything into a handy carryall, rather than carefully pack a suitcase, and be on your way. The Weekend Bag by Rains has a capacity of 44 litres, features top and shoulder handles, is water-resistant right down to the zipper and, with its stylish looks, is as at home in back of a car as it is in an overhead compartment (RRP $139.99).
The family holiday
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This four-wheeled 81-centimetre Antler Oxygen Softside Spinner is great value and has a simple, easy-to-use design. Perfect for those travelling with children, this case expands to hold up to 128 litres so groups can combine luggage to make things easier on the go (RRP $349, also available on the Qantas Store).
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Let children wheel their own Trunki and suddenly travelling will become so much more exciting. These fun hard cases come in bright colours and designs – some resemble animals and insects – and they have plenty of handles and a straps for kids to latch onto, to pull their case along, and even teddy-bear seatbelts (RRP $89.95, also available on the Qantas Store).
The working break
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Not really getting away from it all? If you’re travelling with your mobile workstation for a day or two, the Incase EO laptop duffel is the way to go. It’s carry-on-sized with a capacity of 42 litres. A special padded side-sleeve safely houses a laptop and water-resistant side panels provide protection from the elements (RRP $249.95).
The scenic journey
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If you splashed out on a camera and can’t quite bring yourself to spend big on a dedicated camera bag, consider Topi Designs’ Camera Cube. It’s a padded, protective case with adjustable inserts and a drawstring closure at the top. Fitting handily into a decent-sized backpack or bag, it makes any bag a camera bag – and it has a lifetime warranty (RRP $74.95).
The shopping holiday
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Tumi’s Alpha 2 is packed full of nifty features to make it great for those who pack – and shop – to excess. It has a cleverly designed Lever-Lock Expansion System and recessed wheels to provide even more room, plus handles all round, a reinforced frame and a super-strong handle mechanism to deal with an extra-heavy load (RRP $1740).
The business trip
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Regular business travellers would do well to invest in a durable, reliable carry-on that never goes out of style. Rimowa’s newly updated, iconic aluminium-body 34-litre Topas Cabin Multiwheel fits the bill – and everything you need for short trips (RRP $1370).