How often do you find yourself schlepping a bag from meeting to meeting around town, pulling one through an airport – especially standing in a security line or at a crowded gate waiting for your group number to be called, dragging one up-and-down aisles at a convention, and wishing you could sit down for just a minute, or just had something to lean on, to take a load off if only for a couple of seconds.
I've got a bag for you.
It is – they are – called Walkin' Bags (there are several models). Walkin' Bags actually have been around for awhile, but I'd never heard of them until last month, so I suspected that, perhaps, you hadn't either.
Walkin' Bags are rolling bags, all the size of airplane carry-on bags, developed out of self-interest and need by a polio survivor.
There are three major differences between Walkin' Bags and normal wheelies:
One – Four Wheels: Most models have four wheels, each able to spin 360 degrees, so it won't tip over when you turn a corner.
Two – Lean-On Handle: The frame and especially the curved retractable handle, are built to be leaned on – heavily. It can support up to 250 pounds and extends to six different height levels. In other words, it's a rolling handrail with a bag attached.
Three – Built-in Seat: Three Walkin' Bag models include a flip-down seat. When I first heard and read about this flip-down seat, I thought it would look stupid – or, more importantly, make me look stupid – and would make the bag ridiculously heavy. Wrong on all counts.
Closed, the seat just looks a frame and is mostly unseen since its behind the bag. When you've flipped it down and are sitting on it you do initially feel a bit self-conscious. But when you look around at all the sore-legged souls staring at you by turns quizzically and jealously, the initial embarrassment disappears, perhaps replaced by guilt. But as your barking dogs quiet, you'll feel nothing but selfish relief and pity for those more concerned with how they look than with how they feel.
With one or two practice tries, you can quickly flip the seat up and open and push/slide it shut again with one hand in a single motion. The seat sits 15 1/4 inches off the ground – which makes it a bit of a squat for a 6-footer like myself, but still better than standing – has an area of 9 by 9 inches (about the size of a child's stool), and can support up to 300 pounds.
I found the seat well balanced, with not even a hint it might tip over. And the bags are shockingly light considering the addition of the seat – none are heavier than 6.8 pounds empty. A sturdy leather strap makes actually carrying the bag easy and comfortable.
I know I'll be getting myself one in time for the next industry exposition.