A Crash Course in Luggage

My beloved “ketchup Packet” bag from Hideo.

I own some magical pieces that are that perfect combination of being a) timeless, b) sturdy, c) practical, d) design-y and e) cool as fuck.

My Hideo candy-apple red, hard-case wheeled carry-on suitcase, is one such piece.

I’ve had it for over fifteen years, and it’s on its last legs, or uh, wheels.

I call it the “ketchup packet”, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s been all over the United States and around the world. It’s been stretched and scratched and dropped and dinged. On the rare times I’ve had to check it, I can spot my brilliant bright bag bobbing along the carousel from a hundred yards down the concourse. I never did understand the logic of having a black bag like 95% of other travelers. Talk about a needle in a bag-stack.

After my last trip (Fresno, don’t judge) I noticed a crack when I unpacked.

It broke my heart.

I usually don’t mind an excuse to shop for something new, but this is different.

This garnet grip (my Italian grandma, or “Noni”, used to refer to her floral suitcase as her “grip” which always made me laugh) has held so much more than my Prozac, pens, power  adapters and giant underpants; It’s held memories (good and bad, but thankfully mostly good), dreams, anxieties, and blank. When I pull it down from my closet and toss on the bed for whatever trip I’m taking, the sight of that shiny ruby suitcase makes me smile no matter how stressful the packing or what awaits at the other end of the trip.

But I must move on.

I started my search by typing in the obvious: red Hideo luggage. Since this bag is long out of production, I knew I’d have to deal with finding something close but not “it.”

And indeed, Hideo had moved on and was now featuring the “Jelly Bean” line of hard-cased bags. While not the same “Ketchup Packet” bag I am loathe to replace, they were cute, colorful, design-y and no doubt durable. Viable option.


I continued my trip until I crashed into a pile of pockmarked carry-ons.

These beat-up bags were from Crash, a company I’d never heard of. How. Fucking. Genius.

For this line of luggage, the dents and dimples are the design. The ding is the new thing!

They come in loads of bright colors and sizes to either carry-on or check. Crash also carries toiletry, garment and other small interior soft-sided bags to keep your stuff organized.

I’m god-damned smitten.

My next trip is to Las Vegas to watch my dear friend John and his beautiful family be honored at the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Gala! And Major Pete is the keynote speaker! Maybe I’ll show up with a Jelly Bean. Maybe I’ll show up in bumps.

Either way, I’m coming in hot.


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