Let’s face it, moving a family around on vacation can feel like a military logistics operation. And for every baby in tow, you have to double your travel luggage and bags. If you don’t want to travel with luggage, check out this post. Otherwise, read on.
It doesn’t make it any easier that airlines often hire baboons for baggage handlers. I’m reminded of that 70’s Samsonite commercial where the gorilla gets his hands on an indestructible Samsonite suitcase, throws it around the zoo but is unable to break it. In truth, I am told that when they actually filmed this commercial they went through several sets of luggage. On the first take, the gorilla ripped the case in two and used one half as a drinking vessel to get water from his artificial pond.
If you don’t want the gorilla to make a drinking cup out of your travel baggage, you need something indestructible… something rugged… travel gear that can survive a nuclear war AND a family holiday. This is where the Hardigg line of Pelican Storm Cases comes in. The best luggage for airplane travel IMHO. If you haven’t read Road Warrior’s post on this – do so now – otherwise, you only have yourself to blame.
The Storm Cases by Hardigg are, essentially, high-impact Pelican travel cases (with pressure equalisation valves) that can go to high altitude and in the sea without compromising their contents. For this reason, they are popular with divers, military personnel, mercenaries, police, TV camera crews and anyone else that doesn’t want their equipment (or weaponry) destroyed in transit.
They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. Plus, you can purchase velcro organiser partitions and cut-out foam to fit your equipment perfectly in order to make it as snug as a hen’s egg in transit. The handles are firm and well built. Everything is uber-practical and no-nonsense. Also, check out their mobile-office products: bookshelves, desks, etc that can be packed up and put on the road at a moment’s notice. Great for terrorist task teams and/or family picnics.
We got our hands on an orange-coloured iM2950 a year ago, which – ironically – isn’t offered direct from Hardigg anymore (although other models are available in orange). Perhaps we know the answer why. On travelling to SFO airport, it was taken from baggage and put into a Homeland Securities inspection. Apparently, it’s often used to transport armaments like Stinger missiles. To be fair, they dealt with it swiftly and we got it back after a 20 minute delay. Best put TSA approved locks on that one!
Anyways, to make a long story short, what’s good enough for globetrotting paramilitary is good enough for us. If your luggage can be dropped from a moving helicopter, plane, or amphibious lander without a care in the world, then it’s going to survive your trip to the Ibiza. It might even survive your children.
It must be said, however, that these Hardigg travel cases are not light weight. Waterproof – yes – but not lightweight. They are made of solid plastic. The kind that can take a bullet at close range without breaking a sweat. This is better suited to the Road Warrior than the JetSetter, perhaps. Still, if the Tsunami comes, your luggage will survive it.
They come in all shapes and sizes, including carry luggage that could double (in a pinch) as carry on bags. If you want to take some precious camera equipment on board, for example, this is your best bet.
We like the iM2950 because it has wheels and a pull out handle, which makes it more user-friendly. There are other models that have these too – check out the Hardigg website for the full product line.
Bear in mind, though, that these cases are so durable and so strong that you can fill them to the gills and easily go over the airline maximum. I went to a trade show once with one of these, filled up on books and pamphlets… and when I got to the airport it was 62Kg! I realised it was heavy but not THAT heavy, because it was still easy enough to wheel around. It just took three of us to get into the taxi.