I’m not really a fashionista, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love to turn a few heads when I have my act together, especially when I’m at an airport and feel like I stand out as sharp and alert in a crowd of tired travelers, and walking by with a Ricardo Beverly Hills suitcase does just that.
I am what you’d call the ‘Carry-on Queen’.
Blame it on the fact that I am based out of Atlanta where the baggage carousels at the airport tend to take forever to deliver checked bags. Seriously. You can stand there for a good 45 minutes after your flight and still be waiting for checked bags to come spitting out onto the conveyor belt. I have endured that wait one too many times, so now I only use carry-on bags.
I’ve mastered the art of fitting everything I’d typically pack into a bigger suitcase into my smaller carry-on and can tell you the secret is to roll everything. And stuff things, too. That means my hairbrushes go inside my running shoes. Every little corner is filled to capacity. I thought having a hard-shell piece of luggage would make that harder to do, but now I know better.
I was given a Ricardo Elite Expandable Upright suitcase to test out on a recent trip. The fact that it was small enough to be considered a carry-on thrilled me and I was eager to give it a whirl.
Whirl is precisely the right term because the wheels on this suitcase are spinning superstars. Seriously. They’re pretty much silent and they had me making up dances to do around the suitcase because it just seemed so easy…when else do you have a dance partner that moves exactly how you want with the flick of your wrist? They may sound extreme, but it’s true. The wheels are specifically engineered for a smooth, silent, effortless transport. The handle is curved to perfectly fit the palm of your hand (see, that dance partner analogy isn’t so crazy sounding now, is it?).
And the fact that it’s expandable? Well, that’s my saving grace on trips when I only take a carry-on bag. That extra inch you get by unzipping the expandable section is all you need to bring home the extra something you picked up while you were away.
Plus, it’s so pretty.
It’s sleek and shiny and I was more than a little upset when the baggage guys at the hotel put a sticker on it when they were holding it while I waited to get into my room. That sticker was like a black eye on this beauty. And I wish it was scratch-proof. The Ricardo web site says the bags are scratch and wear resistant, but it appears from my first use that it’s not as scratch and wear resistant as it needs to be for the guys who threw it under the bus on my transport from the airport. I shudder to think what it would look like if it had gone under the belly of the plane.
The site says it’s made of ‘High-impact MAKROLON® polycarbonate from Bayer MaterialScience offers superior hardside protection.’ I don’t really know what that is, but it feels like a hard cover that offers some give.
Oh, and the inside…how I love the inside of this carry-on. One side looks like your basic suitcase, though it’s lined with a cloth to compliment the outside. But the other side…well, it has a zippered compartment to make it possible to keep items completely separate from the other and much more organized. There’s also a zippered pocket running down the middle that you can use for small, thin items, like jewelry if you’d like.
The Ricardo Elite also has a TSA approved combination lock that you can set when you want to be sure to keep prying eyes and hands out of your luggage. I haven’t tried that yet…I’m not too tech savvy, so that intimidates me a little, but admit I should master it before my next trip, especially if I want to store my laptop or camera inside the suitcase when I travel…even when just leaving those items in the hotel room while I’m out having fun.
And I know this is a little thing, but that’s always the stuff that sells me on a purchase of this type…the Ricardo has a little button on the back that operates like a hook to allow you to connect another bag or item to the suitcase while you roll it along on your journey. It’s retractable and elastic, so it can wrap around a variety of items.
On top of all this, it comes with a 3 year performance guarantee, which tells me the company believes in its product.
And did I mention it looks awesome? Seriously. It’s hard not to feel like you stand out in the crowd when you have the Ricardo Elite beside you.