I know I mention this every time I review a suitcase, but I travel a lot. So, I’ve given the Caribee Global Explorer Bag a very thorough workout over the last year and a bit.
For context, every year, I spend at least 200 days away from home. I am very much the epitome of living out of a suitcase! And all that travel and time on the road causes a significant amount of wear and tear on whatever baggage I’m using.
So when I come across a piece of luggage that has held up to those riggers, I definitely want to tell the world about it. Trust me; there have been several bags that haven’t even lasted six months!
Let’s have a look at the Caribee Global Explorer Bag, what I like about it, what I think can be improved, and how I use the bag to see if it might also be a good fit for you.
What I Like About The Caribee Global Explorer Bag
I am very much a fan of the roller duffle style of suitcase. Something I’m sure you are aware of if you’ve read any of my other reviews. But the reason for that is, as a professional photographer, I often need to carry tripods and light stands when I travel, especially on flights. Having a tall but flexible bag allows me to do this without having to organise another bag.
Also, given that I spend so much time living out of whatever luggage I’m using, being able to open the bag in the middle and access most (if not everything) I’ve packed easily is also extremely important, especially in small hotel rooms where floor space is limited.
Ticking both of those boxes is how I decided to purchase the Caribee Global Explorer Bag when I was looking for a new suitcase over 12 months ago.
In fact, the Caribee Global Explorer Bag actually has three sections that can either be segregated for easy organisation or opened up entirely to give you plenty of space for larger items. I like to have two sections, one for clothes and one for everything else. So I’ve stashed one of the dividers off to the side. The dividers can’t be removed entirely, but they are thin enough that they can be rolled up out of the way, so you’ll never notice them, which is good.
The 125-litre capacity might be overkill for most people, but the bag isn’t noticeably bigger than some of the 100-litre bags I’ve owned before. That said, the extra space has come in handy from time to time. And if I’m packing light for a shorter trip, I use the compression straps on the sides of the bag to make sure everything is nice and secure.
I really like the wheels on the Caribee Global Explorer Bag. Firstly they are robust; I’ve dragged mine through cities, parks, and all sorts of different terrain getting equipment to and from jobs either on the way to or from airports and never had an issue.
But also the wheels aren’t loud. Other suitcases I’ve used have made a lot of noise when being pulled concrete and tiled floors. These ones are by no means quiet, but they aren’t inconveniently loud either, which helps when you are sharing accommodations or even just trying to be considerate to other people staying in your hotel.
Another thing I really appreciate about the Caribee Global Explorer Bag is the grab handles. No matter which way my bag ends up on the baggage carousel, there is going to be at least one handle available for me to grab my bag easily. Because we all know how delicately baggage handlers are with our luggage.
What I Don’t Like About The Caribee Global Explorer Bag
Now that I’ve ticked off all the good things about the Caribee Global Explorer Bag let’s have a look at some of the areas I think could be improved.
The first is the roller handle, and I’ve got a couple of issues with it. In terms of being a handle that you can use to navigate your bag around, it does that perfectly. It’s a very good height, and it’s very sturdy. However, when you need to stow the handle to check in your luggage, it’s hard to get all the way back in. I’ve often had to use a little bit of force to get the handle completely in. A big issue, no. But not ideal either.
Also, if you are paranoid about making sure that your luggage is locked, where the handle is stowed in the bag, the zipper basically allows direct access to the bottom section of the bag. Enough that you can get your whole hand inside and dig around. And its very difficult to put a lock on that zipper.
There is a bit of fabric there and some velcro that is supposed to hold it into place, but that really doesn’t do anything. To get around this, I tend to pack a larger item in this section of the bag that won’t fit out of this zipper to stop anything from coming out. Whether that be me forgetting to zip up the handle cover properly or if someone decides to poke around.
Another thing you will notice, if you travel as much as I do, is the wear and tear around the corners of the bag. Especially the top section. This is a very common issue with these style duffle roller bags, and usually, the main reason I need to get a new one.
That said, I have seen on bags from other manufacturers a little bit of extra protection on these corners to make sure they last a bit longer. The Caribee Global Explorer Bag does not, and you will start to notice damage to the exterior of the bag over time.
Is The Caribee Global Explorer Bag Any Good?
Well, ultimately, yes. I’m still using it, which is as good of a recommendation as I can offer.
The Caribee Global Explorer Bag has plenty of room, and the sections allow you to manage your luggage easily. It’s big without being noticeably too big. I’ve never had an issue checking it in on any airline. The only thing to watch out for is to make sure you don’t over-pack leading to the bag being too heavy. That is a very real possibility with this bag.
Other than the issues I mentioned earlier, it’s been robust, which is really handy for me. And the next time I need to buy a new suitcase, I will definitely seriously consider buying another one.
How I Use My Caribee Global Explorer Bag
As an added bonus, here are a couple of tips on how I use my Caribee Global Explorer Bag to help you if/when you purchase your own.
Given that I only use two sections, I pack my clothes and soft items in the top section and then put anything that needs a little more protection in the bottom section, like the tripod that I mentioned earlier. Not only does this make everything easy to access while I’m travelling, it also offers everything a little extra protection from being tossed around.
This also means there are two zippers designed to access the top section of the bag that I’ve literally never used.
There is also a small top pocket between the top grab handles that is probably ideal for holding small items, but again I’ve never used it. Instead, I keep all those small things in a packing cube inside the main bag or in my carry-on backpack.
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