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Gear review: the Karrimor Transit 40 hybrid case

by in Features, Home.

For someone who travels a lot, I don’t mind admitting that I am awful at packing light. No matter how I try to keep to the minimum of luggage, I just can’t do it, even for a weekend away I just have to have a case in the hold as well as a carry-on. But the main problem for me is my camera gear – I don’t really go anywhere without my DSLR and at least two extra lenses, a bunch of filters, chargers, cleaning kit and so on – not to mention my laptop, power cord, mouse etc. I have found the perfect luggage for all this (review coming soon) but that’s my hand baggage allowance gone right there and I can’t fit anything else in.

So when I was offered the chance to try out the Karrimor Transit 40 by Sports Direct I jumped at the opportunity as this could be what I’m looking for – provided that I can leave the camera kit behind. The Transit 40 is namely a hybrid case; functioning best as a trolley but it can also be worn as a backpack. As the name suggests it has a capacity of 40 litres and is designed to be accepted as hand baggage on all flights – even EasyJet. This is enough for a weekend break or more if you are a little disciplined when deciding what to take. It’s a soft bag but the material is strong and the case seems very well made.

The telescopic handle works smoothly and is nice and strong, unlike a lot of the flimsy versions seen on cheap trolley cases. The case can be wheeled smoothly and the wheels look built to last. There are two handles on the bag which are also of high quality and good for lifting the bag into the overhead locker.

As mentioned this is best used as a trolley case but there are straps on the back of the bag which can be attached so it can be worn as a backpack. When not in use simply detach the clips on the strap ends and stow the straps in the pocket provided in the outer lining.

On the outside of the case is a large zip pocket which you could use for documents you need on the way to your destination – but I also managed to fit a light jacket in there too, making it easy to grab if the weather turned on me.

So here’s what I managed to fit in it. This is what it looked like when full and opened up (note the jacket protruding from the outside pocket).

I found ample space for the above: a lightweight jacket, a jumper, a shirt, a spare pair of jeans, a pair of outdoor shorts and swimming shorts, a spare pair of shoes (even my huge ones), three t-shirts, socks and underwear, toiletry bag and a laptop sleeve containing my laptop, power cord, travel adapter, point-and-shoot camera and charger and mobile phone charger. There was space for a little extra clothing but this lot should suffice for 2-4 days on the road. You could ask the airline whether you can take a camera round your neck if you just can’t live without a DSLR – usually they’ll accept this.

When it’s empty you can see just how much space there is inside. The Karrimor Transit 40 has one main section inside with straps to keep your luggage in place. Inside the lid is another zip pocket which I used for paperwork that I wouldn’t need on the journey itself.

Conclusion

I think Karrimor has cracked it here. 40 litres seems to be the perfect size and being designed specifically to be accepted as hand luggage on all airlines was a shrewd move. You’ll save a lot of money by travelling without checked baggage given the fees charged by most budget airlines. If you want more protection you’ll need a hard case but naturally this will add to the weight; and many airlines check this these days. I found this bag to be ideal for a short break and I have no hesitation in recommending the Karrimor Transit 40 if you are looking for a practical carry-on case. You’ll find this and other luggage at SportsDirect.

Disclosure: I was given this case for review purposes but put it through hell myself – the review reflects my own opinion and was not influenced by receiving the case free of charge.

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4 Responses to “Gear review: the Karrimor Transit 40 hybrid case”

  1. JohnsonApril 5, 2013 at 23:08 #

    I have the 70l version and it has basically fallen apart. As it has no support straps, carrying it about by the handles has caused the seams to come apart. On top of this, one of the wheels has collapsed. This is after a period of about six months only, I use it maybe 2 weeks out of three for a night or two.

    • Andy HiggsAugust 17, 2013 at 10:20 #

      That’s not good at all – I am still using my Transit 40 and nothing has gone wrong so far. It sounds like you have a badly-produced model and should complain to the store?

  2. AndreyAugust 16, 2013 at 22:51 #

    Andy,
    Thank you for review!
    Could you please specify what bag do you use for DSLR (“I have found the perfect luggage for all this (review coming soon) ” in the article).
    Thanks!

    • Andy HiggsAugust 17, 2013 at 10:18 #

      Hi Andrey,
      Yes, that review is still on the way, unfortunately…been very busy here at Grown-Up Travel Towers 🙂 I use the superb Think Tank Airport International v2.0. It’s expensive but I have never regretted the investment. I used it for a trip to America and it comfortably holds 2 DSLR bodies and four lenses as well as my laptop and a bunch of accessories. It is heavy when full so no use on the strict budget airlines who weigh your bags – although it would still be worth paying extra fees if possible. It’s very secure and sturdy and nothing has failed on me yet even after several years of hard use.
      Cheers,
      Andy