It comes in two models — a two-wheel carry-on and a four-wheel, although this is called an eight-wheel because each set of wheels is a double.
The brand has been around since 2007 and is based in Scotland, hence the Latitude 56 Degrees branding.
I’m still not sure about this idea of being an “Urban Warrior”, but since there’s no reference to it on the exterior of the cases — just the stylish white and red Lat 56 Degrees logo — it doesn’t really matter.
These new cases are part of the “Road Warrior” range, which will probably go down well in the US.
Many of the bags in the range aren’t wheeled, but are ones you carry. The materials are light enough for that to be realistic, but I’ve found that as I get older I pack heavier and grow weaker, and have come to rely on wheels.
Eventually, I suppose I will need wheels for myself, but at this mid-point, wheels on my luggage suffice. So I’m glad they have appeared on this new collection, or I would have had to pass this review on to a younger member of the team.
The new bag is distinctive without looking quite so extraordinary as the Garment Bag.
I’m impressed that even after nearly a decade the brand has stuck to its guns with the exterior which is striking – a sorted of moulded rubber exterior, extremely hard wearing, hard to scuff and which seems to keep its colour even after a fair amount of punishment.
Lat 56 calls this “military-spec moulded EVA foam + ballistic nylon” which, if you are in manufacturing, might mean something, but to me is completely incomprehensible. Perhaps it’s to do with the warrior theme.
The interior is arresting, although not quite as blood-red as these pictures make it appear. The top half of the bag is where you can place your shirts loose, or, more advisedly, take advantage of the Suit Packing System which I tested in the previous review.
As I said there, I’ve used lots of these packing systems and after a couple of trips I end up taking them out of the bag and leaving them in a corner of the bedroom from which they are taken to a charity shop after a few months.
Not this one, though. It’s a deceptively simple system, but once again I found it worked for keeping a suit, with an extra pair of trousers and including a shirt, crease-free.
In part, that’s because there’s nothing complicated about it – the large bulky, but lightweight, hanger allows you to both hang your clothes and then roll them up around it, along with a firm bottom to the bottom of the suit carrier.
What’s good is that at the other end in the hotel, you can just unroll it all and then use the large red plastic hanger as a hanger in the hotel wardrobe. This saves the hassle of rehanging eveything when you get there, and also keeps all your items together.
The carry-on also includes a detachable, water-resistant sealed shoe/laundry bag which on a trip to Sao Paulo I used for electrical items since I wasn’t taking a spare pair of shoes, but which is useful/essential if you are.
There are also detachable pockets for underwear/socks (I didn’t use these, detaching them before I left, but it’s good to have the option).
The bag’s first assignment was for a five-day school trip with 30-odd school children flying Easyjet to Spain. It came back unmarked.
My 12-year-old son said he thought it was “amazing”, but wished I could have got the four-wheeled version (eight, in fact) since he wanted to join his friends in taking turns riding their own four-wheeled bags around Luton airport in the early morning until told to desist by their teachers. As he would say: “My bad”.
I got my hands on the bag the following day, and took it to Sao Paulo for a short three-day trip, two of which were spent on overnight flights to and from Brazil. You can read about my adventures here and here.
(Strangely enough, as I walked through London St Pancras with the bag I saw another passenger with not one but two pieces of Lat 56 luggage.)
At the airport, I made use of the external access to a pouch where you can place your 100ml toiletries bag, making light work of the hassle of separating it from your luggage for the security scan.
This zipped pocket is as waterproof as the rest of the bag. I tested this when I got back by pouring a bucket of water over it – the lawn got wet, the interior of the bag didn’t.
During the journey, pulling and pushing the bag through the airport, lifting it into overhead compartments and then getting it back down a moment later when I remembered something I needed, the bag felt high-quality – as it should at this price point.
Despite having an extremely heavy laptop bag on it for the whole journey, the handle remained firm and the structure of the bag did not threaten to buckle or bulge (it comes with a five-year guarantee). The bag wheeled well and was friction-free and silent.
The two-wheels have a good stabilising system, meaning the bag stays standing even when you let go of the handle, a detail forgotten by some other manufacturers.
What else? Well, the interior of the bag with its good quality, dark red lining, has some small zipped pockets for putting away smaller items, and it wipes clean as well – some toothpaste escaped at one point; my fault due to some bad packing.
If I had to find fault (and it’s my nature), it’s that there should be a side handle on the bag.
Its absence means that when I turned it onto its side to slide it between some seats on a train, or wanted to manoeuvre it out of the boot of a car, I had to grab the bag by its corners until I could get hold of the top handle, so a side handle would be useful.
Finally, there’s a small pocket on the back of the bag for placing a newspaper or a magazine, although I wouldn’t put an iPad in there unless you’re looking for a reason to buy a new one.
A superb bag. Well made, with lots of thought absorbed into the design, good materials and a five-year guarantee.
- PRICE £299
- WEIGHT 3.1kg (6.8lbs)
- DIMENSIONS 55 x 38 x 20cm (21.5 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches) (L x W x H)
- EXTERIOR MATERIAL Military-spec moulded EVA foam + Ballistic Nylon 1680 x 1680
- WARRANTY Five years
- CONTACT lat56.com