Roll into Savings: The History of the Industry’s First Rollaboard® (15% off Rollaboards)

April 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s hard to remember a time when it was a struggle to lug your luggage through an airport, but it did exist. Travelers had to literally manhandle their suitcases using the handles throughout the airport and to hoist 30 – 40 pound bags onto and off baggage carousels. But everything changed when one airline professional grew weary of the process and decided he could make it better.

Northwest Airlines 747 pilot, Bob Plath, crisscrossed the globe a thousand times over, suitcase in tow. He’d seen firsthand what happened to his luggage and those of others over time and saw the toll it took on travelers hauling it through terminals. He thought there had to be something better.

When he discovered there wasn’t, he invented it.

Travelpro Crew 11 Group Photo including spinner and Rollaboard bags

Travelpro Crew 11 Collection — with both spinner and Rollaboard bags

What Plath created in his garage in 1987 was completely revolutionary. Before his brainchild, all luggage was oriented horizontally. Heavy, inflexible suitcases with handles on top that had to be carried through airports. The only other integrated rolling option was a horizontal model featuring four small wheels and a strap for pulling, that collided with your heels due to the poor balance and ergonomics. Plath’s innovation began with reorienting his bag vertically, and placing larger, stable wheels and a retractable handle system.

Soon fellow pilots and flight attendants began asking him to make what he coined the Rollaboard® for them. When passengers began noticing and asking airline personnel where they had purchased their bags, Plath moved the operation out of his garage into a 185,000 square foot warehouse. He left Northwest in 1991 to focus solely on what has become the industry standard in luggage and the precursor to all other upright, wheeled luggage rolling through the world’s airports.

The Rollaboard changed travel in several fundamental ways:

  • Airport security procedures and equipment were standardized to accommodate increased use of carry-ons.
  • Airlines reconfigured their fleets with overhead storage bins that could hold the new carry-ons.
  • The struggling luggage industry was revived as travelers replaced old horizontal luggage with the much easier-to-use Rollaboards®. Other manufacturers scrambled to develop products that would compete with the new standard.
  • The tourism industry also received a boost as travel was simplified for everyone, regardless of their conditioning or physical limitations.

Today, our garment bags, suitcases, executive rolling briefcases, rolling duffel bags, rolling totes, and checkpoint-friendly backpacks are the choice of over 90 airlines and frequent travelers worldwide. This week, we’re celebrating how our founder’s revolutionary innovation changed travel as we know it by offering you 15 percent off all Rollaboard® models from our TPro® Bold™ 2.0, Maxlite® 5, Crew™ 11 and Platinum® Magna™ 2 series when you visit

Are you old enough to remember those hand-carried suitcases? Or are you fortunate enough to have never been saddled with them? Do you have any great stories to share about the first time you ever used a Rollaboard, or the last time you hand-carried your luggage? Share them with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Crew™ 11 Luggage Roundup: Spinner vs Rollaboard

November 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

I was asked recently which of our pieces of luggage within the Crew™ 11 Collection works better for the business traveler, the Spinner (8 wheels) or the Rollaboard® (2 wheels). This is a tough call, because both of them are great products, but in fact there are reasons that one may work better than the other in certain situations.

Both the 21″ Expandable Spinner and the 22″ Expandable Rollaboard® are designed with the frequent traveler in mind. Each bag fits in most overhead bins, and has many features that make either an excellent choice for anyone who spends a lot of time maneuvering through airports and hotels.

Both Crew 11 models have the Suiter system, which protects jackets and dress clothes from excessive wrinkling. The main difference between the two with regard to this feature is that the Spinner’s suiter is a “drop in” version, while the suiter for the Rollaboard® is built into the lid. The Rollaboard® has a slightly larger compartment due to the 2 wheel design so it’s suiter can actually fold up into the lid.

Travelpro Crew 11 Group Photo

Travelpro Crew 11 Collection — with both spinner and rollaboard bags

Now, the biggest difference: the wheels. This is where most people make their choice. First, the Spinner features MagnaTrac™ self-aligning wheels. This patented design allows you to push the bag with one hand or pull it behind you, and it will always roll perfectly straight, with minimal effort or resistance. This 360-degree maneuverability alleviates arm strain that can occur when pulling a Rollaboard behind you.
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Travelpro Made, Mother Approved: The 2016 Mother’s Day Travelpro Gift Guide

April 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ensure Life is a Trip for your Loved Ones with Coveted and Creative Gifts

Travelpro® and Atlantic® Luggage, two of the most prestigious brands in the travel industry, are proud to present the much-anticipated 2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Finding the perfect gift for your wife or mom can create anxiety every Mother’s Day, which is why Travelpro and Atlantic make your life easier with luggage selections that the special women in your life will delight in, not only on May 8th, but for years to come.

Atlantic Unite2 Collection

The Atlantic Unite2 Collection

The first two pieces featured in the Guide are the creative and value-conscious Atlantic® Unite™ 2 21″ and 25″ Spinners, available in durable black and blue fabric colors. You will be amazed by these offerings from the market leader in lightweight, affordable luggage. These Unite 2 Spinners have design innovations such as the Link2Go™ System which easily connects luggage together with Velcro straps, so you can push two pieces with one hand.

Atlantic goes the extra mile with the addition of an external USB port and integrated battery pouch in the Carry-On Spinner model, which provides convenient access to power your phone and tablet on the move. Masterfully versatile, the affordable Unite 2 collection gives you a choice of ideal gifts for family travelers who need an extra hand and electronic devices that are always available for immediate use.
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Shopping for Luggage: Get the Lowdown on the Handle System

April 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

We all know it’s the little things that make or break your travel experience. But if you break something on your luggage, your travel experience may end up being one you want to forget.

You may not have given thought to these three little important items — the handle extension system, the carry handles, and the handle grips — but let me tell you, if you don’t consider them when you’re purchasing your luggage, you’ll be cursing them when you’re on the go. Let’s talk about what to look for.

Travelpro Maxlite 4 Collection

Travelpro Maxlite 4 Collection. Check out those great handles!

It’s all but impossible to purchase a rolling bag that doesn’t have a handle extension system, but not all systems are created equal! Most are constructed of lightweight aluminum and have multiple stops within the extension so that they can be adjusted for different heights. Travelpro thinks this system is so critical to a successful travel experience that we’ve patented ours. It’s called Powerscope.
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The Perfect Gift for Your Special Someone is in the ‘2016 Travelpro Valentine’s Travel Gift Guide’

February 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Make February 14th the Most Memorable Day Ever

Create an unforgettable impression this Valentine’s Day by foregoing the usual “roses and chocolate” routine by presenting your loved ones with something they won’t expect from the Travelpro® and Atlantic® collections of innovative, high quality luggage. Surprise them with one of these amazing products that will guarantee their next trip is a pleasant journey: Atlantic® Unite™ 2 21″ Expandable Spinner; Travelpro® Platinum® Magna™ 2 Checkpoint Friendly Business Brief; Travelpro® Platinum Magna™ 2 Spinner Tote; Travelpro® Maxlite® 4 21″ Expandable Spinner; or T-Pro® Bold™ 2.0 by Travelpro® 26″ Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel.

“Sometimes it’s important to think ‘outside the box’ and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to do that. Wives, husbands and loved ones will never forget your thoughtfulness if you present them with one of our outstanding briefs, duffels or Spinner luggage on this special day,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands.Atlantic Unite2 Detail - Expand

Begin your search for the ideal present by considering the Atlantic Unite 2 21″ Expandable Spinner, the newest offering from the market leader in lightweight, affordable luggage. The Unite 2 collection features unique design innovations that will amaze your loved ones such as the Link2Go™ System which connects spinner luggage together with Velcro straps, so you can easily push two pieces with one hand. This system gives traveling families the option to roll more pieces more easily by connecting luggage back-to-back, allowing them to roll through busy airports with much less effort. But the exciting new features don’t stop there. How convenient would it be to charge your smart phone or tablet while traveling? Atlantic has solved that problem with the addition of an external USB port and integrated battery pouch which provides convenient access to power electronic essentials on the move.

Just as brilliant is the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Checkpoint Friendly Business Brief, with a slim design which easily fits beneath most airplane seats. The checkpoint-friendly design allows you to pass through security without removing your laptop and has features such as a padded laptop and tablet sleeve. A built-in organizer in the front pocket holds keys, pens, business cards and other business essentials. In addition, an RFID blocking interior pocket keeps credit cards and passports hidden to protect against identity theft. Constructed with rugged, fashionably textured nylon fabric with water-, stain- and abrasion resistant DuraGuard® coating, this brief features stylish leather accents that add luxury you are sure to appreciate.

The Guide continues to wow with the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Spinner Tote, a carry-on piece which fits in most airplane overhead bins and is ideal for 1 – 2 day trips. This multipurpose tote is perfect for efficient travel and as a daily briefcase to roll to and from the office. The padded corduroy laptop and tablet sleeves fit most 15.6″ laptops and standard size tablets, while the built-in organizer holds keys, pens, business cards and other business essentials. An RFID blocking interior pocket keeps credit cards and passports hidden to protect against loss and identity theft and an extra front pocket allows for quick access to small items. The dual wheel Spinner System features patented MagnaTrac™ magnetic wheels that instantly align to always roll straight.

Lighter and stronger than ever, the Travelpro Maxlite 4 21″ Expandable Spinner allows you to travel with more comfort and convenience than you could ever imagine. Weighing less than six pounds, this spinner features the patented Contour Grip which provides more comfort and control for easy mobility through busy airports. Maxlite 4 makes travel a pleasure, rather than a hassle, because every piece is tested to our most demanding standards and backed by our reassuring Lifetime Warranty.

Tpro Bold 2 Duffel - Open

Tpro Bold 2 Rolling Duffel

The T-Pro Bold 2.0 Collection by Travelpro is ready to go anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, over rough terrain or down busy city streets. Amazingly durable, lightweight and versatile, the 26″ Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel is the ultimate gift for individuals and families with a sense of adventure. Made of high-density polyester fabric with a water-repellent coating for greater stain and abrasion resistance, this rugged duffel features multiple carry handles which make it easy to lift in and out of a car. It includes a zippered divider panel for two separate packing spaces or, if opened, one large main compartment.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard® wheeled luggage, Travelpro® has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations.

Among other honors received, in 2015, The Wirecutter, a cutting-edge source known for promoting the ‘best gadgets and gear for people who quickly want to know what to get’ tested 31 bags over the last three years and determined that the Travelpro® Platinum® Magna™ 2 22″ Expandable Rollaboard® Suiter is the best carry-on bag on the market. The Travelpro® Crew™ 10 22″ Expandable Rollaboard® Suiter received the 2nd place award.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

About Atlantic® Luggage

Since 1919, the Atlantic® brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, from cleverly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic-branded luggage comprises superior quality and durability. Whether for business or recreation, travel is more pleasurable with Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro® family of products. Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

Shopping for Luggage: An Exhaustive Guide to Luggage Wheels

February 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

You have to go back quite a ways in luggage history to find suitcases that do not have wheels. Once reserved for larger suitcases to help manage the weight, now almost all carry-ons and larger suitcases use wheels.

And what’s true in luggage is true in life: what goes around, comes around. Especially in luggage wheels. Not all luggage wheels are created equal, so here’s what to look for when you’re buying your next set of rolling or spinning luggage:

First, we divide our luggage into two types: Rollaboard® luggage and Spinners.

Crew 10 Black 20" Rollaboard

Our Crew 10 Black 20″ Rollaboard

Rollaboard bags

While generally referred to as “upright suitcases” or “rolling suitcases,” we use the term Rollaboard luggage — since we invented the bag in the first place — and define this class as upright luggage that has only two wheels.

These two in-line wheels are much like those on rollerblades and are larger in diameter than those found on spinners. They are built into the bag and do not protrude completely from the base of the luggage.

This offers crash guard protection so the wheels last longer and function better. Typically, the higher-end luggage wheels contain sealed ball bearings so grit and grime cannot affect the wheel’s ability to roll smoothly. Because of their larger circumference, they maneuver better on carpeted areas and rougher terrain, like streets and brick roads.


T-pro Bold 2 with spinner wheels

Tpro Bold 2 with spinner wheels

Spinners are the next class of wheeled bag, and their wheels are placed in each corner of the case. They’re different from wheels on Rollaboard luggage in that they rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to push it alongside you as you walk through an airport or pull it behind you. You can make sharp turns, and the wheel mechanism will turn with you.

There are two classes of Spinners — 4-wheel and 8-wheel. Four-wheel Spinners have one wheel at each corner and eight-wheel Spinners have two positioned at each corner.

In both types, the bearings are not in the actual wheel but in the neck of the entire wheel assembly. This is what allows them to spin freely. They are smaller in diameter, and therefore less efficient in going over grooves in sidewalks or crossing elevator thresholds. (But you can always tip the bag and maneuver it like Rollaboard luggage to get over the rough spots.)

What we’re especially proud of in our own Spinner wheels is an innovation called MagnaTrac™. Most Spinner luggage drifts or pulls, putting a strain on your shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand, as you fight to keep it in line. MagnaTrac wheels have magnets built into the wheel’s neck, so that the wheels automatically align as the bag is pushed along beside you. This patented technology keeps the bag moving straight and it doesn’t fight you. This means you’re not working as hard to move your bag through an airport or hotel lobby, and your trip will be that much easier.

Do you have any questions about wheeled bags? Which ones do you prefer? Ask your questions, or leave a comment, in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

Travel Light, Travel Right with New Travelpro Maxlite Hardside Luggage Collection

April 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Durable, Super-Light Spinner Luggage Features a Stylish Hard-Shell Design

Travelpro has reached new innovative heights with its introduction of the Maxlite Hardside Collection, a breakthrough in hardside luggage durability, style and value. This amazingly lightweight 4-piece series consists of a Business Plus, 21″, 25″ and 29″ expandable hardside spinner models which feature a strong 100% polycarbonate hard shell for ultimate protection. The patented Contour Grip provides superior comfort and control to an 8-wheel spinner system that rolls effortlessly in any direction. The roomy main compartment expands 2″ to maximize space and packing flexibility.

“As the originator of Rollaboard luggage, Travelpro has always been a leader in the travel goods industry,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “The Maxlite Hardside Collection integrates our most recent innovations into hardside luggage design, making it stand out in the mind of the customer.”

Travelpro Maxlite Hardside Collection

Travelpro Maxlite Hardside Collection

This series is packed with extra touches, such as a telescoping aluminum, airline-grade handle which adds strength and stability and has stops at 38″ and an extra-tall 42.5″ to accommodate users of different heights. Durable crash protection is provided by protective side feet, molded wheel housings and built-in skid guards. High mileage travel is a breeze with high-performance wheels that are tested to the same standards as those of our more expensive collections. To secure the luggage contents, the Maxlite Hardside series utilizes high-tensile strength zipper pulls to fasten directly to the built-in TSA lock. Split construction allows for easy packing of clothes and contents within two full compartments which include a built-in mesh pocket handy for electronics, power cables and cords.

Travelpro offers business travelers a great option — the Maxlite 19″ Business-Plus Hardside Carry- On. Unique to this model, the Business-Plus has a full exterior pocket that opens for easy access to a business organizer for storing files, paperwork, a cell phone, pens, cables and more. Two padded sleeves conveniently store and protect both a laptop and a tablet.

Available in grape and black glossy shell colors, the Maxlite Hardside Collection is a bold fusion of fashion and functionality.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

Travelpro Voted World’s Best Luggage by Premier Traveler Magazine (PRESS RELEASE)

February 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Premier Traveler Readers Voted Travelpro Platinum Magna Collection the “World’s Best Luggage” Award

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a market leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, was honored to receive the World’s Best Luggage Award for its Platinum Magna luggage collection from Premier Traveler Magazine’s reader-selected “Best of 2013 list”. Travelpro CEO, Rob Rankin, was on hand to receive the award at Premier Traveler Magazine’s festive gala event, celebrating the upper echelon of the global travel industry, held at the Sofitel Los Angeles Hotel.

Platinum Mangna 21 inch spinner

Platinum Mangna 21 inch spinner

Over 14,000 Premier Traveler subscribers were invited to vote for the Best of 2013 Awards in a survey posted on from June 1st through September 20th, 2013. The survey consisted of open-ended questions only, with no company names given or choices provided. As a result, the luggage Premier Traveler readers favored most was Travelpro, the luggage choice of flight crews and frequent travelers and its innovative Platinum Magna collection.

“We want to thank Premier Traveler subscribers, our customers, retail partners and the media for all their complementary comments on our products,” said Scott Applebee, Travelpro’s Vice President of Marketing, after receiving the award from Premier Traveler readers. “By listening to customer feedback via social media, product reviews and observational research, we were able to identify the implicit needs of the customer that led to the development of the innovative Platinum Magna magnetic 8-wheel spinner system, which eliminates the drifting and pulling effect that is typically seen in other 4- and 8-wheel Spinner luggage.”

The Platinum Magna Collection introduces four revolutionary patent-pending features, including the MagnaTrac magnetic 8-wheel spinner system, with user removable and replaceable Spinner wheels, as well as the Duraframe framing system, the PowerScope extension handle and the Contour handle grip. The end result of these features is the luggage is easier to move, more durable, lighter weight and more comfortable to grip. The entire groundbreaking Platinum Magna collection is backed by the Travelpro “Worry-Free” lifetime warranty.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. Travelpro was honored to receive the New Product Innovation Award from the Travel Goods Association (TGA) in March 2013 for the revolutionary Platinum Magna luggage collection.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About Premier Traveler

Premier Traveler was designed with its readers in mind: frequent travelers who are perpetually on-the go (both domestically and abroad), who have high expectations and a taste for luxury. With a focus on excellence in writing and response to reader requests, Premier Traveler provides valuable and relevant insights in an intelligent, energetic style. The magazine is noted for responding to its readers, by providing detailed informational surveys, insider reviews and in-depth answers to issues concerning frequent travelers.

Packing for 60 Days in a Rollaboard

May 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

What if we told you that you could pack for eight weeks in just one carry-on bag? Sounds crazy, right? We thought that idea was crazy too, until we saw the video below created by John Holloway, owner of a travel outfitters store and manager of In the eight-minute video — which is worth watching in its entirety — Holloway demonstrates how to pack an entire rack of clothes into a carry-on.

It’s called the bundle method, and it’s a little hard to explain, but the video explains it perfectly. The idea is that you’re creating a bundle of your clothes, softly folded together, and laid flat. Using a layering and folding (but not creasing) process, Holloway was able to pack an entire rack of clothes into one rollaboard bag, toiletries and all! And he swears that when you unpack at your hotel, your clothes will be unwrinkled. It may seem too good to be true, but Holloway makes it look effortless.

We first heard about Holloway’s packing method through Christopher Penn, an expert in technology, marketing, and social media, and a frequent traveler himself.

Penn shared a couple videos of Holloway’s on his blog and he shared that using the Holloway packing procedure, he was able to pack a week’s worth of clothes in a carry-on with almost no ironing needed when he arrived at his destination. is a great resource for more tips on — what else? — packing light. On the site you can shop for wrinkle-free clothes, purchase travel accessories, and gather even more traveling advice.

Next time you have to pack for an extended trip, watch Holloway’s video and follow the packing method. Then after you arrive at your hotel and unpack your bag, come back to this blog and let us know if it worked for you.

Do you have any other insight into packing light? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Atlantic Compass 2 25″ Bag Rated a “Best Buy” by Consumer Digest

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We were very excited when the prestigious Consumer Digest magazine designated our Atlantic Compass 2 25” bag as a “Best Buy” in the economy class.

Atlantic Compass 2 25 inch rolling suiter

Atlantic Compass 2 25 inch rolling suiter

A “Best Buy” product offers the best value for a given amount of money. In addition, the publication measures each product in a number of factors including ease-of-use, range of features, best styling, lowest maintenance need, best warranty, etc.

Here’s the writeup from their issue:

The Compass 2 25 is the least expensive 25-inch check-through model that we evaluated that has four wheels, which makes this model easier to maneuver than are models that have two wheels. Although this model’s polyester shell is typical among models that are in this price range, its capability to expand by 2-1/2 inches is better than that of any other economy wheeled check-through upright.

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