Why Weight Doesn’t Matter as Much as You’d Think

Tarmac 22 Rolling Carry-On

Tarmac 22" Rolling Carry-On

When shopping for a piece of luggage, people tend to be hyper-aware of the bags’ weight. Here at Travel Essentials we believe that while weight is important, and no one wants a heavy, clunky bag, it shouldn’t be the most important factor in your decision. In fact, most bags fall into a fairly close range of weights, making the “weight of the bag” very secondary for most travelers. Weight differences, in the end, are not as dramatic as they might seem at first.

To illustrate this point, we have to do a little math (don’t worry, you won’t need a calculator). We’ve done this countless times with customers on the sales floor, and it usually helps people to look at luggage shopping in a new light.

Briggs & Riley U422LX Carry-On

Briggs & Riley U422LX Carry-On

In this example, we will use our two most popular carry-on sized rolling bags – the Tarmac 22″ from Eagle Creek and the U422LX from Briggs & Riley. These bags are our best sellers because we make sure that our customers know we think these two bags are the best value in their respective classes in the entire luggage industry.

Eagle Creek’s specifications list the Tarmac 22 at 8 lbs. Our digital scale here in the store confirms that weight. Briggs & Riley does not provide a weight for the U422LX, but our scale weighs it in at a healthy 12 lbs 14oz. It seems like a huge difference, but keep in mind that the Briggs bag is made of ballistic nylon and offers a very useful (and very cool) locking expansion system, and a detachable garment bag.

So we start with a rather drastic change in weight:

Eagle Creek Tarmac 22″ = 8 lbs
Briggs & Riley U422LX = 12 lbs 14oz

The Briggs bag is 4 lbs and 14 oz heavier than the Tarmac. Expressed as a percentage, that’s 38% heavier! The difference shocks a lot of customers when they pick up the empty bags to feel the weight difference. But who travels with an empty bag?

The average traveler packs about 23 pounds worth of clothing, toiletries and other gear into a 22″ bag (that’s the maximum carry-on size allowed on a plane.) So, let’s do a little more math.

Eagle Creek Tarmac 22″ = 8 lbs + 23 lbs of gear = 31 lbs total
Briggs & Riley U422LX = 12 lbs 14oz + 23 lbs of gear = 35 lbs 14oz total

Comparing the two bags while packed makes that 4lb 14oz difference far less dramatic. Now, the Briggs & Riley U422LX is only 14% heavier than the Tarmac 22″.

Maybe that small difference matters to you – some people simply want or need a lighter bag. But, if you can handle a few extra pounds, and if a heavier bag offers the features and style that is right for you as a traveler, we encourage you to look past a bag’s heft and choose the right bag, even if it weighs a bit more.

More Information on These Bags
The Eagle Creek Tarmac Series

The Tarmac 22″ Rolling Carry-On Bag

The Briggs & Riley u422LX Rolling Carry-On (On sale now!)