Courtesy of Bugaboo

We got an early look at the stroller company's new $1,000 travel bags.

Christopher Tkaczyk
September 09, 2016
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The savvy designers of Bugaboo strollers are aiming to solve the world’s complaints about incompatible luggage.

The Dutch company whose popular buggies redefined baby transportation for parents in the 1990s have unveiled the Bugaboo Boxer, a new “mobility concept” luggage system of interlocking suitcases.

Often referred to as the Rolls Royce of baby carriages, Bugaboo's luxury strollers are known for their great design and exorbitant prices.

“Walk through any airport, train or bus station and you will see travelers struggle with their luggage,” said Max Barenbrug, Bugaboo’s co-founder and chief design officer. “It’s time to improve that. It's time for us to bring our design philosophy into the world of travel.”

The new luggage system marries the company's design tradition and ease-of-use with a new interlocking technology—and a price tag to match.

The editors at Travel + Leisure got an early look at a prototype of the new Bugaboo Boxer this week. Here’s what we discovered.

The first big takeaway

The system is designed to be pushed, not pulled, which makes for far easier mobility than most suitcases that have four wheels. (It also reminded us why luggage carts are available at many airports.)

The Boxer glided easily over carpeted and tiled floors, though we didn’t load them up to see how they’d maneuver when fully packed with clothes.

It’s surprisingly lightweight

The shiny polycarbonate walls of the suitcase are thin and look like they could take a few beatings, but might be susceptible to scratches or scruffs. The flimsiness of the walls might make us think twice about packing anything fragile.

There are three parts: a wheeled base, one carry-on bag, and one suitcase

The base or chassis has a telescoping handle, two large rear wheels, and a set of smaller wheels to support the weight of the suitcases. The two suitcases can be connected to the base or to each other using interlocking grooves, and both come with TSA locks and luggage straps.

Once all three pieces are connected, the system feels fairly secure, though one early critic says he lost the chassis when he was required by the airline to check his carry-on.

The chassis folds flat for stowage

Two small white buttons on the inside of the chassis must be pressed to disconnect either of the suitcases. The rear wheels are collapsible using a button on the handle. A white foot pedal at the base of chassis allows you to fold the under-wheels back into the chassis so it lies flat for easy transport (or cram it into an overhead compartment).

After a few failed attempts, this writer eventually got the wheels to fold back into place. The system is not as intuitive as one would expect, but once you get the hang of it, disassembling and reattaching the pieces becomes easy.

It’s not “smart” luggage

Bucking the trend for high-tech luggage introduced by most luxury luggage brands in recent years, the Bugaboo Boxer doesn’t have any digital components. There’s no built in GPS or power supply to charge your phone or laptop. Bugaboo is all about simplicity and ease of use.

It’s a very expensive investment

Plan to fork over at least $1,030 if you want the Boxer.

As the foundation for the system, the chassis ($630) will be needed if you’re planning to buy either of the two suitcases. It also comes with an organizer to store a small laptop or magazines, as well as an elastic strap that secures a suit coat or outerwear.

The Cabin Case ($400) is the carry-on size and meets most airline regulations for overhead bins. It comes with an inner wardrobe bag.

The Travel Case ($460) is the larger suitcase and is comparable to most checked luggage sizes. It also comes with an inner bag.

Both suitcases come in red, white, or black and can be mixed or matched. Bugaboo will also sell a fully loaded kit with all three major components for $1,490. A package for shorter trips includes the chassis and carry-on for $1,030. A mid-priced option with the larger suitcase and chassis includes a laptop bag and is priced at $1,370. All of the pieces can be purchases à la carte or as a package.

Bugaboo Boxer from Bugaboo on Vimeo.

The Bugaboo Boxer system will be available starting September 26.

Christopher Tkaczyk is the Senior News Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ctkaczyk.

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