You might have heard the news — Oprah just released her 2019 Favorite Things list, and it’s chock-full of must-have, savvy products for travelers. But long before Oprah declared her love for Calpak’s soft-side Luka luggage, I tried the new collection myself and instantly became obsessed.
One of the main things I’ve learned in my 25+ years as a flight attendant’s daughter is the importance of the carry-on suitcase. After flying standby for the majority of my life, I realized there’s nothing more helpful than having a lightweight bag that holds a lot, and can easily fit in the overhead bin (especially if it’s over-stuffed!). Plus, if you’re flying as a stand-by passenger, checking a bag isn’t always ideal in case you don’t make the flight you originally planned on taking, which means that handy carry-on is more crucial than ever. So when I discovered Calpak’s new line of soft-side luggage that launched in August, I was happy to find that the collection checked all of my boxes.
Related: Oprah’s Favorite Travel Accessory Will Keep Both Your Toiletries and Jewelry Organized
While I’d gotten used to hardside luggage, these Calpak soft-side bags feel lighter, which makes lifting them into the overhead bin easier. And the flexibility of the fabric also makes it easier to squeeze in that last-minute item you can’t decide if it’s worth leaving behind.
Plus, the polyester fabric is scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it getting scuffs and marks if you have to check it for a flight. With an exterior front and side pockets, plus two interior pockets and compression straps, it gives you plenty of room to organize items inside the suitcase along with extra space in the outer pockets to stow items (like your laptop or boarding pass) that you need easy access to. My biggest pet peeve in a suitcase is when it doesn't have a side handle — trust me, it’s super handy for lifting — and luckily, the Calpak suitcase has both a top and side fabric-padded handle.
Available in black, silver, or a pretty chrome-bronze color, the suitcase is one of two bags that Oprah (and I) are currently loving. You can coordinate the suitcase to its matching duffel bag, which would work great as your one personal carry-on item since it has nine pockets – including the trolley pocket that goes over suitcase handles — and a separate shoe compartment. Whether you want to go with a monochromatic look or mix and match shades, you can shop Oprah’s Calpak picks below.
Calpak Luka Duffel
Calpak Luka Belt Bag Credit: Courtesy of Amazon
To buy: amazon.com or calpaktravel.com, $98
Calpak Luka Carry-On Luggage
Calpak Luka 21-Inch Soft Side Spinner Carry-On Suitcase Credit: Courtesy of Amazon
To buy: amazon.com or calpaktravel.com, $165