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International Traveler Giraffe Luggage Review

Giraffe Spotted in Millennium Hotel Lobby: OK, so it wasnít a real four-legged giraffe, but it did make some heads snap when I strode into the chic new Millennium Boston with my wheeled International Traveler 21-inch Shiny Giraffe trotting along behind me.

Best of all, when I arrived at the airport terminal the next morning and the van driver asked me which luggage was mine, I didnít have to step off the curb to stand behind the van and point. I just said ďthe giraffeĒ and my bag was beside me in seconds.

At 21 inches I didnít need to check it in, but I decided to chance it, since Iíve never lost a bag on an American Airlines flight. It made the busy check-in attendant smile, and it was certainly easy to recognize when it rolled along the baggage belt a few hours later in Miami.

I had been concerned that the slightly convex sides would cut into my packing space, but the curvy contours didnít seem to make any difference, and the flexible hard Polycarbonate sides contained everything easily without bulging, even when I needed to push hard to fit in extra purchases for the flight home. It helped, too, that the luggage has an expandable zipper feature that increased its capacity by one-fourth, unusual for hard-sided luggage.

The interior is well designed, with the top section separated by a zippered divider and tie-down straps to keep everything neatly folded. Apart from the useful separator, it has a minimum of annoying interior do-dads to get in the way. Its dimensions are slightly wider than the average 21-inch roll-on.

The outside is just as functional, despite its playful zoo look. The handle locks in place and releases with a push-button and the wheels rolled easily. The balance is good, so when Iím rolling it there is a minimum of drag on my arm and shoulder, and it can stand up by itself without tipping over. Best of all, it weighs only slightly more than 7 pounds, so even when I add my briefcase (which attaches by a handy strap on the top) I could lift it on stairs.

What doesnít it have that I would like? I wish it were a little bit more giraffe-like, with four feet instead of two. This bag with four all-direction wheels would be dynamite.

And I do have one more complaint. After making it through all the hazards that face baggage in airports and on planes, it was stolen shortly after I got home. By a six-year-old who adores giraffes. I found it under her bed filled with a menagerie of stuffed animals.

Unfortunately, the five-year warranty doesnít cover six-year-olds, so I guess all I can do is get the matching zebra striped one for myself. Now that would really look sharp in the Millennium Bostonís red-and-black lobby!

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