I go through more pieces of luggage than I do shoes. Especially now, seeing as I really only have two pairs of shoes (but that’s another story). Anyway, as I was saying, I go through luggage like it is my job. And sometimes it kind of is. After all, how else can I tell you what luggage I love that rocks my world and what luggage isn’t worth the major moolah I put down on it?
Even though it has been awhile since I have traveled long-term, it doesn’t mean I don’t still travel. In fact, I pack up a bag pretty often for travel — whether it is nearby like the tropical paradise of Koh Samui, or as far as possible from Thailand (like Delaware).
Regardless of how far from “home” I am headed, or how long I am away, one thing remains true: I need a good piece of luggage. No, I need an awesome piece of luggage.
I’ve hauled backpacks like the REI one which eventually crashed and burned after a rigorous seven months of on-the-road love, and I’ve pulled along the “world’s lightest luggage,” the fabulouIT Luggage World’s Lightest It-0-1 (probably one of the best and truly lightest pieces of luggage I’ve taken around the world).
And then, I got to try out the Kelty Ascender 22 Expandable Carry-On Luggage.
In terms of a piece of carry-on luggage that can hold my stuff (especially when I want to pack most of my closet), it is my dream bag. Last year, it traveled basically around the world with me, with stops in Delaware, Vegas and then, ultimately, Thailand. It’s been to Kuala Lumpur. And, next month, it is replacing my trusty brown REI backpack (the day pack is forever unattached now to the pack, and that is just no bueno) as my backpack with wheels.
Because that is how my Kelty Ascender rolls.
Why I’m a Kelty girl
Let me count the ways.
First, it is equipped with comfortable straps which let me take it off the chasis to simply fit on my back (which is the plan for Europe because of all of the stairs and general wheel-unfriendly roads and sidewalks). While it does not have a hip belt to keep my back from breaking, so long as I don’t pack it full of crap, the straps and using it as a backpack aren’t a problem.
Two, it expands. Like I said, now I can shop until I (almost) drop and be able to cram it all into my Kelty. Because it is modular, I can expand areas of the luggage, plus the external chassis, too. It can go from a 40-liter carry-on to a 70-liter checked bag. That gives plenty of room for the user to add more during their travels.
Three, it is durable. The polyester can get put through the ringer and it isn’t likely to tear. Thank goodness. I tend to put things through the ringer. My cats have even had a go at shredding the exterior and they have failed. Miserably.
Four, it is smooth. Those wheels … so long as I’m not pulling it along the streets of Chiang Mai, I swear, it is like butter.
And, last, it isn’t ugly. I know, I know. Looks shouldn’t be important. But, this statement is coming from a girl who carried around a two-toned poop brown backpack for seven months in Europe. It’s time to have something that looks a little nicer for the travels.
The bottom line: Although this piece of luggage is a higher price tag than most expandable carry-ons, it is a sturdy and durable product and offers flexibility in terms of size and load.
Editor’s Note: The links in this post go to my Amazon Affiliate, which means when you order something from Amazon by entering the site via my link, I make a small amount of money. This small amount of money helps contribute to the up-keep of my site. Thank you for your support.
And one more Editor’s Note: Kelty provided me with the Ascender for review purposes. However, all opinions are my own. If you have questions regarding this, please read my disclosure policy.