VICE

2022-06-25 08:17:48 By : Ms. Winnie Chen

Red-eye flights are the worst. Time after time, we convince ourselves that we can somehow sleep five and a half hours in the middle of the night while sitting upright between a frat bro guffawing over Anchorman 2 and a four-year-old screaming because they have an ear infection. Good luck, pal. It ain't gonna happen. 

But you know what sucks worse than a red eye? Arriving at your destination, eyes bloodshot and morale drained, and having no clue when you're going to get your bag back—especially if it's virtually identical to every other black, nylon suitcase cruising through that cavernous arrival hall in Terminal 3. Your hopes are stoked and then dashed over and over as every doppelganger bag comes down the conveyor belt—which you have to awkwardly fondle just to be sure it isn't yours, getting sweatier and more frantic by the moment—and as more and more minutes pass, you become convinced that maybe your bag isn't going to come at all. (And unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't.) 

There's an easy fix for at least one part of this problem: Get a bag that screams, "IT'S MEEE!!!" 

A bag that stands out in the crowd helps make your journey easier end to end—and also makes you less likely to accidentally leave it by the gate while you go to Hudson News to peruse the new flavors of M&Ms and read all the gossip out of the tabloid rags without having to pay for them. Luggage is looking cooler than ever, with all kinds of vibey aesthetics to be served on roller wheels. 

Forget black-on-black. Forget Away bags, which are nice but so ubiquitous you still might get your stuff mixed up with that of another traveler. Want a see-through, red-trimmed shell? Some Talented Mr. Ripley-ass Italian vacation energy? A duffel bag with Karl Marx on it, for some reason? All these options and more await. 

Like one-of-a-kind 90s Chicago Bulls icon Dennis Rodman, your suitcase can be a true expression of individuality. Perhaps the best way to ensure this is by custom-designing it, which is an option offered by luggage brand ROAM. Pick the colors for everything from the hardshell to the zippers to the side handle. The interior also has a special compression packing system that allows you to maximize the space for all your sweatshirts, sneaks, and other essentials.  

OK, so clear luggage sounds kind of weird at first—definitely not disputing that. But the raw confidence and hard flex of grabbing one of these streetwear-chic, see-through jawns is very powerful. Heys makes a few transparent styles with bold, colorful trim. Just make sure to tuck away all your unmentionables in an opaque bag or at least surround them on all sides with your coolest band shirts. 

Paravel makes gorgeous suitcases that are also produced using carbon-neutral materials and practices, and have old-school good looks to boot. This olive green color goes with everything, from your Juicy Couture sweatsuit to your camo jumpsuit, and still won't blend in when you need to spot it in a sea of black. 

People love all things from the outdoor gear brand YETI because they're incredibly rugged and understated-cool, and their luggage is no exception. The Crossroads duffel bag is for longer trips where you might need to throw your bag around, but also wanna stay organized—it's full of pockets and compartments for keeping everything in its right place. And it comes in aquifer blue green, in case you need to stand out.

Rimowa is the crème de la crème of fine luggage, and you might not be the only person in the lounge with one of their bags. But you just might be the only person with their bright, cherry-red hardshell suitcase, which is pretty much impossible to let out of your sight.

Never tired: leopard print. But especially wired: tortoiseshell, especially when it's applied to a mega-accessory like this Herschel hardshell. 

If you’re a big fan of outdoorsy 90s prints and bohemian-folksy charm, this Steve Madden number is truly the bag for you. Lightweight and expandable with 4-spinner wheels, it’s got all the bells and whistles for modern comfort and function, but also has a Dunkaroos-era Billabong aesthetic. And if that print really speaks to you, grab the three-piece luggage set.

Crash Baggage makes tongue-in-cheek (but strangely appealing) suitcases that come pre-pummeled with giant dents. This is one of those high-fashion flexes that can be totally puzzling but still make you whisper "I want that." The grey version even sold out, but there are still yellow, orange, and blue versions available. 

A simple way of ensuring that everyone knows that chic forest-green trunk set is yours? Personalize it! This gorgeous set from July can be personalized for an extra hundred bones, and you can choose from 10 different typefaces and even add emoji. It also comes with leather-finished straps, signature SilentMove 360° spinner wheels, a nylon stain-proof laundry bag, and a lifetime guarantee.

Arlo Skye collaborated with funky pattern masters Dusen Dusen on this bag full of surprises. From the outside, it's a cheery egg-yolk yellow—but the interior lining is laden with colorful squiggles. Plus, Arlo Skye is known for making super-light bags that have integrated airline-compatible, built-in USB chargers, so you'll never run out of juice while you're on the go. 

Baboon to the Moon is one of those brands that is suddenly… just… everywhere. Remember in the 90s when Kipling bags were considered the absolute bomb, with their swinging monkey keychains and wide assortment of shades? B2tM seems to be the modern equivalent. They make feature-packed bags (loads of handles, compartments, zips, and clips) that come in nine eye-catching colors, plus limited-run printed linings. You're not gonna lose sight of a bright-orange bag. 

Wrangler's smart luggage line integrates a patented 3-in-1 cup holder, USB port, and phone holder, so you can loiter outside the airport Starbucks in comfort while you wait for your delayed flight for hours! It also comes in three sizes, as well as in burnt orange, olive green, and a slick navy. 

…Because we can’t see any downsides to this rosy Betsey Johnson luggage. Ladies, femmes, and men who are comfortable with your florals, gather round and enjoy this durable polycarbonate suitcase emblazoned with gorgeous, gorgeous roses. It’s lightweight, sturdy, definitely unique, and unapologetically romantic.

You know how you can pretty much guarantee that no one else will have the same bag as you? By grabbing an out-of-print, delightfully barfy "acid green" duffle aggressively emblazoned with the Supreme logo. However, you might attract some hanger-on skater dudes who want to talk about the latest drop. 

Terrazzo is everywhere right now (so says Vogue, and our own eyes), including on suitcases. Calpak bags are hugely popular for their durability and super-smooth gliding wheels, and this one comes in that fun, neutral speckle-print (which also helpfully conceals any smudges). 

Don’t worry, not literally. But this top-rated COOLIFE suitcase set comes in several eye-catching shades, from neon green to yellow to teal to orange, so there’s a zero percent chance someone can yoink your bag and claim it as their own. With nearly 14,000 positive reviews on Amazon, buyers frequently cite the easy-glidin’ wheels, durable hardshells, and affordable price as the set’s best features.

If you've ever wanted a duffle bag emblazoned with an image of famed German economist and communist icon Karl Marx… that's a possibility, folks. Although, isn't there something strangely capitalist about this existing and being sold on Redbubble dot com?

Safe travels, my special and unique snowflakes. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.