In 9.5 years, I've been through 4 computer bags, all rollers. I was beginning to think the last bag would never die, not that I have any problem with a bag lasting a while. It's just that I put them through a lot of use, and after about a year, I figure they're about gone. That's why I don't buy the expensive bags. It's better, I think, to buy off the bottom shelf, and then expect to swap out every year or so.
Yes, I once paid $350 for a fancy Wilson suitcase. It died in 18 months. I replaced it with a $50 5-in-1 from Kmart that lasted 12 months, probably because the abuse was spread out over four of the five bags.
Nonetheless, I bought the recently deceased computer bag at Staples some over two years ago. It was on a half-price rack, leather, and I gave in, paying the $80. It lived a long and useful life. Last May, the wheel bearings gave out in Brussels as I dragged it across a few miles of cobblestones for a week. Yeah, we had a mile walk across town to work each morning. The return to the hotel was no shorter.
Then last Wednesday, as I'm getting on the elevator in my apartment building, snap! There went the handle. The last time that happened, I was boarding a flight on US Airways. Fortunately, I had an upgrade to first class, and there was room to stash my case with the handle extended.
Bye, bye, fine and faithful friend.
A few days later, I'm passing by Staples, and I stop, go in, and find a cloth and vinyl Targus bag at $60 that wants to come home with me. Nope. There was nothing on the half-price shelf. The clerk pointed out that if I spent $5 on a replacement plan, I would get a 20% discount on the bag. Spend $5 more. Get $12 off. How do things like that work?
Meet my newest traveling companion.
The replacement plan went in the recycling.