With airlines charging for more than one (or in some cases, any) bags, one of the pieces of luggage that now tend to be overlooked are garment bags. Once a -must- to help carry those suits, dresses or any formal clothes, they've become more of a burden because of a lack of flexibility and alternate storage options. Many travelers have resorted to packing everything in their luggage and dealing with the wrinkles when they've reached their hotel room.
Two garment bags from Modrec International change that, combining the comfort of your favorite garment bag with the storage options of your overnight bag or carry-on luggage. The "Lima" and "Manhattan" bags are part of the Gino Ferrari line from Modrec, and feature enough room for you to pack your garments and suits, with plenty of room for other necessities. Best of all, it's a single piece of all-purpose luggage convenient for that short trip away from home. The Lima is a handheld option, not unlike a briefcase, but with numerous pockets or, for just a bit more, you could look at picking up the Manhattan. Both bags feature a soft shell exterior made of rugged, high density interwoven polyester, and are water-resistant. The sturdy self-healing zipper goes through middle of the bag to open from the middle, and unlike most standard garment bags, both of these can stand on their own if need be. There are even outer pockets for last minute items you may be grabbing on the way out of the house.
The Lima is a good bag for shorter business trips, and holds up to four garments. If you find you will only be a day or two, or are even escaping out of town for the weekend, this should be all you need. As I'd mentioned, this is more of a handheld option (a shoulder strap is included too) and feels a bit like a laptop bag. When you open the Lima, you'll see that the main garment area is protected on either side by two zippered clothing areas: one dual-chamber zip-up, and a mesh-style zip for thinner clothes or undergarments. Those pieces are fastened with buttons in the middle of the back, and cannot be detached. The simplicity of the bag's design makes it a quick pick-up option when needed, and leaves you without having to struggle. At around five pounds, this is a lighter option as well, meaning that you can worry more about what you're putting inside the bag without having to worry that it all ends up too heavy.
The dual-wheeled Manhattan Suit Carrier back is a much more luxurious option. With similar height and width dimensions to the Lima (it is an inch deeper,) the Manhattan features a pull-out metal handle along with wheels in the back. Similar to the Lima, it opens and closes through a zipper that runs through the middle, however, has room for two extra garments and weighs less (around six pounds.) When you open the Manhattan, you'll see that it also has a zip-up outer protective shell that has mesh inserts included, and once you unzip into the main garment area, there are more mesh pockets to add more items, as well as a detachable piece at the bottom. This piece serves two purposes: One side has a drawstring insert for smaller/thinner clothing, while the other side has a sponge roller, meant to stabilize and keep the bottom half of your clothing from moving and rumpling while in transit. A soft stabilizing clip in the middle also keeps your garments from moving, while providing that it itself doesn't damage anything. While carrying nearly the same dimensions and lighter weight as the Lima, the flexible storage options and the better use of space within the Manhattan make it a more tempting option for longer business trips, or short vacations.
As with most pieces of luggage, one of the biggest concerns are how quickly the zippers will wear out. It seems that broken zippers seem to occur as often (if not more) than a big simply wearing out. The Zippers and their pulls on these two pieces of luggage are amongst the thickest and sturdiest I've seen on a piece of luggage and are self-healing, meaning that they have been built to keep themselves from breaking due to simple wear and tear, and you should be safe to take this on hundreds of trips. The bags also come with a lifetime manufacturer's warranty for defects and they fold down well. With both bags being less than a foot tall each when laid flat, it provides for easy storage when not in use.