My last piece of luggage was a Mandarina Duck that I bought in Hong Kong on sale. It was the last one on the shelf and it was on sale and it was a steal. An Italian brand, Mandarina Duck was the rage of Hong Kong chic, and I was so pleased with myself for snagging it when I did. It is a dusty blue with its signature one yellow wheel, and always distinguishes itself on the baggage carousel. The bag has been with me faithfully for over a decade without a dent or a rip in the body – a mix of nylon and hard plastic. It’s worn around the edges and is marked up – but who wouldn’t be who’s been halfway around the world and back? I didn’t think I needed new luggage until the Lipault sauntered into my life. And that’s what this French bag does. It is so jaunty it practically wears a beret.
Travel writer friend Annie Fitzsimmons had a carry-on wheeled lime color Lipault and it took my breath away. As soon as I could get my hands on the 26” bag I retired my faithful Mandarina Duck. I chose a deep purple and it is true this bag is fit for royalty. This particular style of Lipault is called 0% and is meant to fold flat. It arrives in its own slim plastic carry case – luggage with its own luggage! – similar to that for a blanket. Once out of the plastic bag the Lipault pops up into a luxurious art in its own right. This might be nylon but it feels like silk. The handles are thick and cushiony. I picked the 0% based on the fact that I’m about to embark on an Orion cruise on a small passenger ship in Western Australia and I wanted a bag that could stow away easily. I’m looking forward to the trip and finding out if I was on the right track. Stay tuned!