How Travelpro Tests Its Luggage

April 26, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

We at Travelpro recognize that the purchase of rolling luggage from our Platinum® 7 collection is not something you take lightly. It can be a considerable investment that you want to make sure is sound. That’s why our Platinum 7 “Worry Free” Warranty reads:

The Travelpro® Worry Free Warranty guarantees your Platinum 7 luggage is free from defects in materials and workmanship, and also covers repairs of damage caused by the mishandling of a common carrier for the life of the bag.

Imagine that, a lifetime guarantee that you won’t have to pay for damage caused by airline baggage handlers.

A manufacturer would have to be extremely confident in both the materials used in and testing performed on its Rollaboards in order to offer such a warranty. Whether it’s the Platinum 7 collection or any of our other lines, Travelpro is confident about the durability of its luggage.

We test all materials and components to the highest industry standards. Our ergonomic, telescoping handle system is tested over 15,000 open/close cycles to ensure durability and stability. Travelpro’s removable, sealed, ball-bearing, in-line wheels are tested for 30 miles to ensure rolling smoothness year after year.

All Platinum 7 bags are constructed with 2000 Denier Ballistic nylon fabric that features a stain and abrasion resistant DuraGuard™ coating that is thoroughly tested for water repellency, color fading and seam strength. The Platinum 7 polypropylene honeycomb framing system provides exceptional durability while reducing the overall weight of the bag.

All luggage in the Platinum 7 collection feature self-repairing nylon coil zipper systems that ensure flawless operation and provide consistent closures. The main zipper undergoes a wear resistance test that includes 7,500 open/close cycles. The luggage also includes rubber skid guards, molded wheel housings and corner guards to protect against damage.

In short, Travelpro’s design team focuses on product durability all through the development and testing process. We recognize that any manufacturer can offer a bag that doesn’t weigh much. The challenge is to provide a lightweight bag that stands up to the rigors that a bag goes through in its lifecycle.

Have we succeeded? Could we offer a lifetime warranty on our products if they weren’t extremely durable?

T-Pro Bold In the Amazon with Mark Eveleigh (video)

January 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark Eveleigh is a photojournalist, adventure traveler, and book author, and a good one at that. He is one of Press Gazette’s 50 top travel journalists, because he truly visits all corners of the globe, showing us things we only hear about in magazines and read about in, well, Mark Eveleigh books.

To our mind, there’s no one better to field test the new rugged TPro® Bold collection from Travelpro than Mark Eveleigh. We handed him a couple TPro Bold bags and a Crew 8 backpack, and sent him to Latin America. He has already been to Chiapas, Mexico, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and today is his video installment from the Amazon River. (He wrote about his Amazon River travels last month, but we now have his video from the trip.

How Your Luggage Is Handled

January 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If you think air travel is tough, be thankful you’re not a checked bag. Granted, you have to navigate congested terminals and crowded airplanes. But, you don’t have to do so via conveyor systems, sorting stations, and rotating carousels.

Luggage being loaded onto an airplaneDespite the fact that airline personnel do their best to make sure your bags arrive on time and intact, checked luggage endures a lot in transit. At the check-in counter, it’s tagged and placed on a conveyor belt. Needless to say, bags with loose straps, open flaps or other stray material run the risk of being caught in the belt and damaged.

Depending on the size of the airport, your luggage may be transported on conveyor systems over long distances. And, at each junction, they are scanned and re-routed by automated “pushers” to the appropriate conveyor within the network.

In smaller airports without extensive automated systems, time pressures can contribute to. . . more “vigorous” handling of your luggage. Baggage handlers are held accountable when loading delays cause late departures. In their haste to make sure that all luggage makes the flight, these handlers don’t always treat each bag with the tender loving care you do.

So, what’s a frequent traveler to do? Invest in durable, dependable Travelpro® luggage, of course.

All Travelpro products are manufactured with strong, lightweight honeycomb frames and durable fabrics that are coated for water resistance. Reinforced extension and carry handles along with sealed bearing wheels enhance durability. Plus, features like corner protectors, kick plates and back skid guards all add years to your bag’s service life.

A great way to avoid having checked bags damaged is to not check them in the first place. Travelpro offers many types and styles of lightweight carry-on models that meet airline size restrictions. This eliminates not only threat of luggage-eating carousels, but the cost of checking bags at departure and the headache of retrieving them upon arrival.

Throughout the development process, Travelpro’s design team focuses on both product durability and weight reduction. We recognize that any manufacturer can offer a bag that doesn’t weigh much. The challenge is to provide a lightweight bag that stands up to overworked baggage handlers and crowded conveyer systems worldwide.

Have we succeeded? Could we offer a lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects on our products if they weren’t extremely durable?

Photo: Ellenm1 (Flickr)

Mark Eveleigh: ‘1000 Miles Up the Amazon River’

December 16, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Mark Eveleigh’s job takes him everywhere. The globe-trekking Englishman is a photojournalist, adventure traveler, and book author. He has been called one of Press Gazette’s 50 top travel journalists, and for good reason. The man travels the world, visiting places we’ve only seen on documentaries and in National Geographic.

So who better to put our new rugged TPro® Bold collection from Travelpro through its paces than Mark Eveleigh? We gave him a couple TPro Bold bags and a Crew 8 backpack, and sent him down to Latin America. He has already been to Chiapas, Mexico, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and today we find him cruising the Amazon River.

Byline: 1000 miles up the Amazon River

There is a barely noticeable change in the rhythm of my swaying hammock. Normally I might not even notice it but, after so many hours on the boat, I seem to have become attuned to the thrum of the throbbing diesel engine. By now I feel every creak of the old wooden hull through my hammock strings.

Also I am packed so tightly among my fellow travellers that every change in momentum causes us to bump repeatedly against each other like so many little rowing boats moored in a changing tide. There are more than a hundred of us strung up in cargo boat’s middle deck and mine is only one of several drowsy head that peers up over the side to see what has caused this interruption to our cradle-like rocking.

The equatorial sun is already glinting piercingly off the rippled face of the Amazon and, up ahead, I can see a dugout canoe making a beeline to intercept us. The skipper has clearly cut his engine speed to avoid a full-bore collision with this little boat. As we come closer I see that the dugout is being paddled by three little girls. The oldest may barely be eight years old.

They are still heading straight into the path of the massive cargo boat. Just as collision and disaster seems inevitable however the girl in the bow leans out with a metal grappling hook and, in a flash of white-water, their little boat has spun ninety degrees and is effectively surfing on our bow wave. The girls work fast, like the experienced sailors they already are, to secure their craft to our hull.

Life is tough for the people of remote Amazon settlements and the few reais that these girls can make selling coconut candy (or the few packages of half-eaten food that the passengers give them) could make all the difference to their family. Brazil is a relatively rich country by South American standards yet these girls must risk their lives several times a day running these hazardous little boarding party raids on passing cargo boats.

Over the course of the last 2 months my trusty Travelpro luggage has meandered the best part of 10,000 miles from Mexico City south to Sao Paulo before turning north again to the equator and the Amazon. It has been subjected to the battering of baggage handlers from seven different countries and has travelled by rail, road and dirt-tracks, on motorbike taxis and pickup trucks. Even on horseback and in the ‘cargo sack’ of a hang-glider!

By the time I reach Manaus, the so-called ‘Gateway to the Amazon,’ it has taken me exactly 100 hours by cargo boat to get upriver from the oceanic port of Belem. From here I must take a series of consecutively smaller boats as I head deeper into the world’s greatest rainforest. By the time I am a farther twenty-four hours up the river, near the Rio Negro tributary, I am in a dugout canoe, clawing my way along a shallow stream with a paddle. We cross a shrinking lagoon (the Amazon is the driest it has been for almost fifty years) where caiman bask and piranha hunt and pitch our hammocks in a jungle glade where we are lulled to sleep by the distant roar of a troop of howler monkeys. Apart from the agonising bite of a bullet ant in the early hours, and the last hammering downpour of the waning monsoon just before dawn, I have a wonderful night’s sleep.

To many people the world’s great jungles are a place of danger and threat, where life is lived more intensely than in the world’s most frenetic city. To others it is a profoundly relaxing place; I rarely sleep more soundly than I do in the jungle (bullet ants aside!). My only disappointment is that we have not been revisited by the jaguar that, my guide tells me, is occasionally seen passing through this glade on his hunting forays.

I sit on the pontoon of a local houseboat the next morning and watch fish jumping and the shadows of clouds playing over the lagoon. A five year old boy displays his already formidable canoeing skills out on the water and I think once again what a privilege it has been to spend this time getting to know the Amazon.

Then the realisation that I am still only halfway up the world’s greatest river pops up once again…I take this as reassurance that I will certainly be back again one day!

©Mark Eveleigh, 2010

Mark Eveleigh: Somewhere in Central Brazil

December 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark Eveleigh is a photojournalist, adventure traveler, and book author from Spain, and one of Press Gazette’s 50 top travel journalists. We wanted Mark to put the new rugged TPro® Bold collection from Travelpro through the paces that only a professional adventure traveler like Mark could give it. So we gave him a couple TPro Bold bags and a Crew 8 backpack, and sent him down to Latin America. He has already been to Chiapas, Mexico, and today we find him in Brazil.

Mark says he has one of the best jobs in the world. After reading today’s post from Central Brazil, we can’t decide if we agree or disagree. (We’re leaning toward agree, although we could do without the dengue fever.)

“When the going gets weird the weird turn pro.” – Hunter S Thompson.

I’m writing this at the tail end of an epic bus journey across Brazil. We left Sao Paulo in a fine springtime drizzle forty hours ago and my GPS, propped in the bus windows, tells me that in another eight hours we should be reaching the tropical humidity of Belem, half a degree south of the equator.

Even in the air-con cocoon of the sleeper bus my internal temperature is oscillating wildly as my body fights off the last effects of a bout of dengue fever (souvenir of a recent assignment in the Nicaraguan jungle). There is nothing I can do here but to wait for it all to pass. I can only look on it philosophically as one of those minor trials that Joseph Conrad once described as ‘the playful paw-strokes of the wilderness.’

I have been working as a freelance travel photojournalist for more than thirteen years now and although I have mostly been lucky with my health (apart from a couple of cases of malaria) and I have come to look on such inconveniences in the same light as erratic internet connections and warm beer. At times they are simply part of price that has to be paid to do what I still – even at the worst moments – consider to be one of the best jobs in the world.

Since I tend to specialise in adventure travel and expeditions, I see good health as being just as crucial as using the most reliable electronics and the strongest, most durable luggage I can lay my hands on. I often have to move fast and – increasingly in this technological, rapid response era – I am rarely in a position to travel light. I train hard and try to be as fit as possible so that I am ready for any eventuality while on expedition. I expect the equipment and luggage I use to resist the same harsh situations. I was therefore delighted when Travelpro asked me to give their tough new T-Pro Bold line a serious ‘test-drive’ under rigorous conditions in a series of assignments and expeditions which, over the course of the next few months, would take me to Latin America, West Africa, Australia and South East Asia.

Already this year I have worked on assignments in Vietnam, Thailand, India, Spain, Hungary, Oman, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and, now, Brazil. I worked out of a houseboat in Kashmir, a beach shack in the Gulf of Thailand and a hammock on Panama’s Pacific coast. I travelled by tuk-tuk, motorbike taxi, train, 4×4, tri-shaw, canoe, speedboat, ferry, hang-glider, horse, elephant and a 1960’s Enfield Bullet motorcycle. I travelled by rail on the luxurious Maharajas Express through Rajasthan and in a ‘hard-sleep’ compartment on Vietnam’s rattling Reunification Express. I set up the first major surfing expedition to explore the coast of Oman and led an expedition into ‘unexplored’ (at least to outsiders) rainforest with the Lacandon Maya people of Chiapas, Mexico.

Even at the worst moments I have never had cause to review my idea that this is the best job in the world. But it certainly has more ups and downs that most people would ever imagine. There is no such thing as routine but over the coming months in this blog I will be doing my best to give an honest idea of what day-to-day life is really like for a roving Travelpro travel-writer.

©Mark Eveleigh, 2010

The TPro Bold Collection – Your Adventure Starts Here

November 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Adventure travel is not for the faint of heart, nor the frail of luggage.

Travel writer Mark Eveleigh sporting his TPro Rolling Duffel

Mark Eveleigh sporting his TPro Rolling Duffel.

Travelpro understands the extreme conditions an adventure traveler’s bags must withstand, and has developed TPro Bold – a line of compact, lightweight and ultra-portable luggage that is more than up to the challenge.

Travelpro’s TPro Bold collection includes the following state-of-the-art models:

  • Carry-On Backpack
  • 22″ Carry-On Expandable Duffel Bag
  • 22″ Carry-On Expandable Rollaboard
  • 25″ Expandable Rollaboard
  • 28″ Expandable Rollaboard
  • 26″ Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel
  • 30″ Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel

As every adventurer knows, one of the keys to a successful excursion is luggage survival. The Travelpro design team also knew that, and engineered the TPro Bold line with the following features:

  • Rugged polyester fabric with DuraGuard™ coating provides stain, water and abrasion resistance.
  • Dense EVA foam construction, exceptionally durable and light.
  • Ergonomic, high-strength zipper pulls and self-repairing nylon coil zippers ensure effortless opening and closing.

Mobility is also crucial to adventure travel. Accordingly, the TPro Bold collection offers:

  • Oversized inline skate wheels tested over 30 miles to ensure smooth rolling.
  • Full-width bottom foot provides bag stability in upright position.
  • Telescoping handle durability tested over 15000 cycles.
  • TPR grip ensures comfortable handling.
  • Three-sided carry handles ease lifting into and out of overhead bins.
  • Deep smaller front pocket stores tickets, boarding passes, wallet and more.
  • Large front pocket stores laptop, iPod®, jackets and last minute items.
  • Carribiner on side securely holds keys, and doubles as a convenient bottle opener.
  • iPod earphone port allows you to listen to music while hiding electronics.
  • Quickloop attaches backpack to rolling luggage.
  • Sunglass strap on backpack conveniently stores sunglasses and eyeglasses.

    An adventurer traveler’s bag must also accommodate all the gear needed for the excursion. The TPro Bold line can handle anything an outdoorsman requires:

  • Roomy main compartment on uprights expands 2 1/2″ to maximize packing flexibility
  • Foam padded front pocket provides protection and easy access to laptops or iPods
  • Multiple interior pockets effortlessly organize accessories and clothing
  • Dual side accessory pockets can be used to store umbrellas, shoes, maps and last minute items
  • Water-resistant lined pocket conveniently stores beverages and hot/cold food
  • Rollaboards feature zippered pocket that store water bottles or accessories.

The sporty good looks make a statement, the features add the exclamation point. Travelpro’s TPro Bold Collection – Your adventure starts here.

For more information on Travelpro luggage, visit our Travelpro Retail Locator on our website.

Travel Writer Mark Eveleigh Takes TPro Bold Bags into Chiapas Rainforest

November 10, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

Mark Eveleigh is a photojournalist, adventure traveler, and book author. In fact, he is one of Press Gazette’s 50 top travel journalists. We wanted to see what Mark thought about the new rugged TPro® Bold collection from Travelpro, and whether they would stand up to the hard wear that a professional adventure traveler could give it. So we did what came naturally: gave him a couple TPro Bold bags and a Crew 8 backpack, dropped him in Chiapas, Mexico, and asked him to tell us what he found.

Here’s his latest entry from Chiapas.

The muddy water is up to thigh level and mosquitoes buzz in a hazy cloud around our heads. Things seem to be looking up: yesterday the water had been so high we had to fell trees for bridges and the mosquitoes had swarmed in masses that seemed almost solid.

Travel writer Mark Chiapas shows off his Crew 8 Backpack

Travel writer Mark Chiapas shows off his Crew 8 Backpack

The jungle is never an easy place to travel but the Lacandon rainforest in Chiapas, southern Mexico, is delivering challenges that I have not faced before. In the past few days there have been times when I’ve wondered if we have bitten off more than we could chew in this rash attempt to explore this uncharted section of jungle at the end of such a heavy rainy-season.

A few weeks earlier I had been contacted by Travelpro who was launching their TPro® Bold™ line and were keen for me to test their equipment under extreme situations on a series of very different expeditions. I knew that Travelpro bags were already the luggage of choice for the most demanding frequent fliers and that the crew of many airlines refuse to use anything else…so I was very excited to hear that they had designed a super-rugged range, ideal for the sort of expeditions and remote travel that I tend to specialise in.

As a freelance travel journalist I was setting off on a long run of assignments that would offer perfect proving ground for top quality equipment. The Chiapas expedition would be a baptism of fire, then a shorter jungle trip in Nicaragua. After that I would be travelling up the Amazon and chasing a rush of Brazilian assignments. Then it would be off to Africa for a month exploring and mapping Ghana’s national parks with a 4×4. In early 2011 I would do another ‘tour of duty’ through Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia.

Mark Eveleigh sporting his TPro Rolling Duffel

Mark Eveleigh sporting his TPro Rolling Duffel.

I was well aware of Travelpro’s reputation for tough, durable, user-friendly equipment and was convinced that the new, super-rugged TPro Bold equipment would live up to the sort of hammering that the next seven months on the road would hold in store.

But halfway through our trek, Chiapas is already proving tougher than I’d ever imagined. We are travelling with guides from the local Lacandon Maya community and, even with their experience and skill in jungle survival, it is hard to battle our way through the swampy forest to the mysterious island pyramid that remains sacred to their people. We cut a rudimentary boardwalk of branches to cross a swamp of sinking sand that is several metres deep and given a chance could swallow a man in moments. We cross Lacanja Lake in a leaky dugout, trying not to think about the huge alligators that are said to inhabit the lake: “oh, it’s fine,” Marcelino, our head guide, tells me optimistically, “they only come out at night.” It seems reasonable though to expect that seven of us splashing away from a sinking canoe might be cause enough for the ‘gators to make an exception!

When we arrive at the island, we hang our hammocks on top of the ancient pyramid and build a campfire under driving rain, fending off tarantulas that would like to share our shelter.

An old stock phrase in my profession has it that there are no bad experiences for a travel journalist…just good material. I begin to wonder though if this expedition is over-delivering when I am stung by a vicious tracker wasp that locks up my throat and sets my heart into overdrive with the scorpion-like venom of its sting.

The next day we are faced with another problem. Very few people have ever been to the far side of the lake and by mid-morning we are still scouting the cliff-face looking for a way up to the Sierra de Lacanja ridge. As Marcelino lowers the rope for the last of the luggage and my TPro Bold kitbag starts off on its vertical journey up to the ledge I joke that we are as good as home.
As it turns out though our cautious climb up the jungle-covered rock-face is just a practise run for still more obstacles that the gods of the Maya seem determined to place in our path. Two more days of negotiating the swamplands remain ahead and finally we will need to cross the Rio Lacanja in full flood.

No bad experiences…

©Mark Eveleigh, 2010

For more information on Travelpro luggage, visit our Travelpro Retail Locator on our website.

Where Would You Take Your New Tpro Bold Bag?

October 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

We’re very excited to launch our new T-Pro® Bold luggage collection in early November. T-Pro Bold by Travelpro is compact, lightweight and portable. It travels over rough terrain as easily as city streets. Inspired by adventure travelers, Bold is the ultimate in action luggage.

The T-Pro Bold is made to the same exacting testing standards as the rest of our Travelpro® collections — Crew 8, Platinum® 6, the WalkAbout® Lite 3 — durable, versatile and stylish as they comel.

When you think of the T-Pro Bold, think of throwing your bag into the back of the Jeep for an exciting weekend excursion. Or taking it up to the lake cabin for some fishing or hunting. Or the long ski weekend in the mountains or a short stay at the beach. These bags were inspired by adventure travelers, and they’re made for the adventurer in all of us.

T-Pro Bold stores everything from food and electronics to clothing and more. It stores and protects your gear whether you’re winding your way through city streets, or traipsing the trails to get to your next campsite. The collection includes a backpack, duffel bag, two rolling duffels and two upright Rollaboards.

Our T-Pro Bold Carry-On Backpack only weighs 2.5 pounds, but it includes a water bottle side pocket, phone holder, earphone port, a side pocket for maps, and even a sunglasses strap. And the sleeve is padded to protect your laptop. So, while we’ve made this to be lightweight, we’re not sacrificing durability. Your laptop will be just as safe in the wild as it is in the office.

So where would you take your T-Pro Bold? What would you take with you? Where is your dream trip and how would you use our luggage to get you there? Join our Facebook page, and leave a comment.

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