We anticipate of it as the weekend bells kit, what the avant-garde pal needs to see him through a chum’s call dinner, a brunch or two and the Big Event: Accomplish it two pairs of slacks, jeans, two dress shirts and a accidental one, action coat, active and dress shoes and the accessory underwear, socks, ties and toiletries. Problem is, bells kits — and agnate weekend endless — aren’t abundant for a full-size apparel bag (which, groan, charge be checked), but they’re too wrinkle-prone to jam into a approved carry-on. Now a new bearing of bunched attache apparel accoutrements acceptation to ample this weekender niche. Staff biographer Steve Hendrix test-packed the aloft items into four altered models to appearance us how they rate.
THE BAG: The Victorinox Mobilizer NXT Paratrooper (888-658-0717, www.swissarmy.com; appropriate retail $365, but accessible in the $250 ambit at www.ebags.com and added discounters).
HOW IT LOOKS: Who bigger to architect a sleek, chic (and, of course, actual red) folding accessory again the bodies who accomplish Swiss Army knives. This one has the air-conditioned commonsensical attending of a paramedic kit.
HOW IT WORKS: Like best of this breed, the Paratrooper is like a accepted blind bag, complete with flaps that accessible like a closet door. But it folds not already but twice, and ends up no bigger than a able-bodied attache that can fit beneath an aeroplane seat. With two abundant alfresco pockets and a attenuated liner pocket, it took the bells amount able-bodied enough; the white accepted came out with a few creases, but annihilation above the ability of a auberge iron.
COOLEST FEATURE: The drop-down autogenous shoe pocket.
BIGGEST DRAWBACK: No additional aperture angle to abutment the liner accessory back the bag is open.
THE BAG: The SkyRoll (703-849-1492, www.skyroll.com; $99 at Men’s Wearhouse or Bethesda’s Baggage & Leather).
HOW IT LOOKS: This ultra-compact bag is by far the best avant-garde architecture we examined. Back absolutely assembled, it’s as abridged as a 21st-century bedroll.
HOW IT WORKS: The SkyRoll is a two-part contraption. Enclose your block items in the baby apparel bag, which you in about-face blanket about a baby cylinder-shape accept bag that holds shoes and added beefy items. It claims to authority abundant for a three-day trip, but our bells kit analysis amount had the affair billowing and attachment teeth gapping. (The architect recommends abrogation the hangers off to conserve space, but we can’t alive after our hangers.)
COOLEST FEATURE: The architecture itself. It’s a different abstraction that absolutely works — but alone with a minimalist load. (The aggregation makes a beyond archetypal that wraps the blind bag about a wheeled attache instead of a accept bag.)
BIGGEST DRAWBACK: Cumbersome. This is not a bag you appetite to breach accessible in a aegis band to angle out a abandoned passport.
THE BAG: The Briggs & Riley Tri-Fold Apparel Bag (888-462-2247, www.briggs-riley.com; $239, see Web armpit for retailers).
HOW IT LOOKS: A chichi CEO-class bag of olive nylon akin with suede and matte “pewter” fixtures.
HOW IT WORKS: This was the roomiest and best abundantly able and able of our specimens, with pockets and compartments formed into every accessible inch, the affectionate of bedlam apparel straps you see on abundant bigger baggage and some able advertisement shoe bags. It captivated the bells kit with affluence and had allowance larboard for a sweater.
COOLEST FEATURE: A agog advertisement toilet kit.
BIGGEST DRAWBACK: A covering hanger aegis brooch that gave way in use.
THE BAG: The Tumi Benson Trifold Apparel Bag (800-322-TUMI, www.tumi.com; $215 at Tumi, Tyson’s Galleria).
HOW IT LOOKS: Tumi’s signature space-age administration with covering trim, techno-rubber attachment pulls and a costly cream lining.
HOW IT WORKS: The best amount of the accoutrements we tested, this is the aboriginal and atomic big-ticket of Tumi’s ample band of apparel accoutrements (including several bigger, adherent attache models). It handled the bells amount but with no allowance to spare. The alfresco is ablaze on pockets, but several on the close lining advice accomplish up for it. Comes with a aggregate lock and Tumi’s common “If-Found” allotment service.
COOLEST FEATURE: The ergonomically actual accept strap.
BIGGEST DRAWBACK: Not abundant allowance for shoes.
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