AS THE LUGGAGE buyer, I find it fascinating to look at all the changes and
improvements that have taken place to
make transporting personal belongings
easier and more protected.
Let’s start with the
exterior. When the newer
incarnations of hard-side
luggage were introduced,
the upside was that they
were much lighter—about
25 to 30 percent lighter than
nylon or polyester fabric
luggage. The downside was
that the material, a lightweight plastic known as
ABS, was quite rigid, with
very little flex, which meant
it was subject to cracks.
That has changed, as
new plastic materials were
for example, is a top-quality
plastic that is super lightweight and very strong,
and can take on many different finishes
and colors. It also offers a little more flex
than ABS, which means it can withstand
the rigors of being banged around on the
plane and the luggage carousel. Costco has
been using polycarbonate on all of our
Kirkland Signature™ hard-side cases.
In the last year, we have started to see
another plastic, polypropylene, come onto
the scene. Polypropylene is stronger than
polycarbonate and even lighter, marrying
the utility of soft luggage with the durability and protection of hard cases.
We are offering a three-piece polypropylene set from Ricardo late this spring—
perfect timing for travel and an
outstanding value at $159.99.
Wheels have come far as well. It’s hard
to believe we went for so long without
wheeled luggage. What a difference!
No longer does luggage need to be lugged;
instead, we are able to wheel it through
the airport with ease.
The next innovation
was spinner-type wheels.
The ease of use and the
flexibility of four wheels at
any time is such a benefit.
The evolution has continued, with wheels going
from large single-wheel
spinners to double-wheel
spinners, and now
Samsonite is offering
a new wheel called the
“sphere wheel.” The large
round footprint makes this
wheel much more versatile
than previous wheel options
when rolling over changing
ground. We are offering this
in early spring.
Whether you buy lug-
gage from Costco.com or in a warehouse,
it should be noted that each piece goes
through rigorous testing protocols before
ever being sold. We stand behind our
items and encourage you to update your
luggage this year for spring and summer
travel. Bon voyage! C
IN MY OPINION, no device has had a
greater impact on improving travel than
the Global Positioning System (GPS)
device. It is also my opinion that no
company has had a greater impact on
the development and evolution of GPS
devices than Garmin.
This is why I’m particularly excited
about being able to offer the nüvi
2598LMTHD automotive GPS navigator,
Item #856694, to our Costco members
online and in the warehouses this month.
The nüvi has a bright 5-inch display, and
it arrives loaded with detailed maps of
North America and free lifetime map
updates up to four times per year, for the
life of your device.
HD Digital Traffic—usually an additional $69 accessory at retail, but included
in the Costco package—is a high-definition
digital traffic system receiving updates up
to every 30 seconds, up to 10
times faster than
other traffic systems. That means
that, if you are
driving 60 mph,
the nüvi is able
to receive traffic messages up to every half
mile, potentially saving you minutes or
even hours of delay.
The nüvi 2598LMTHD redefines spoken turn-by-turn directions with Garmin
Real Directions and Garmin Real Voice,
easy-to-understand driving directions with
refined speech technology that sounds
more natural, using recognizable landmarks, buildings and traffic lights. These
are features only available in Garmin’s
line of GPS navigators.
Bluetooth® compatible, the nüvi also
features Smartphone Link, a free mobile
app that connects the device with your
Android or iPhone, letting you use your
phone’s existing data plan to share information, such as where you parked,
points of interest and your destination.
Smartphone Link also gives you access
to Garmin Live Services, providing useful
real-time information such as weather
and traffic conditions.
Costco is able to offer this unit, with
HD Digital Traffic, at a lower price than
the unit alone at retail. C
Samsonite 2-piece set
(silver or black)
Ricardo of Beverly Hills
3-piece set (blue or black)
Luggage pictured is available in the
warehouse and on Costco.com.