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Because of the amount of traveling we do, we're pretty particular about the suitcases we use. They have to keep the stuff inside protected from the gentle ministrations of assorted baggage handlers (and my own clumsiness). In the US, every manufacturer has ceased manufacturing (or offering) hard sided suitcases, other than those with zippers. The sides are thin and push in and the zippers are fragile. The only exception are the cases made in Germany by Rimowa which are extremely expensive. Samsonite makes lightweight, but tough hard sided cases in Europe which are not distributed in the US. They are functionally equivalent to the plastic Rimona's, but cost a fraction of the price (while still not cheap by US standards). A large bag (depending on specific style) runs about 200 Euros in Italy (same bag is 200 pounds in the UK, for example), from which I would get back about 28 Euros in VAT tax rebate when I take it from the EU.

I now own two of those Samsonite bags. I bought one while living in Vienna and the other during a return trip. I love 'em. They're great for rolling over the cobblestones.

I also have two of the old Travelpro carry ons that you mentioned. One has well over a million miles on it and has had both wheels replaced after they wore out. With all the (free) repairs it's had, it looks pretty ugly, but I love it.

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