INSET BELOW: Two views of Antler's Size Zero Cabin Suitcase, an ultralightweight 22" wheeled upright.
Not long ago, we received a press release from Antler Ltd, a long-established British luggage manufacturer that has been expanding into international markets. The release featured Antler's "Size Zero" collection of wheeled upright bags, which use high-tech construction techniques to to minimize luggage weight so travelers won't get whacked by the airlines' increasingly Draconian excess-baggage fees.
Such fees shouldn't be taken lightly, if you'll excuse the play on words: Condé Nast Traveler's "Ombudsman" column recently described the plight of a family on an international flight who were charged a staggering US $6,000 for 152 pounds or 69 kg of excess luggage.
Antler's Size Zero 22" upright weighs only 5.3 pounds or 2.4 kg, which is about 60 per cent of a comparable 22" upright's weight. Even the monster 30" size, which is best used for cruising or car travel, weighs only 7.3 pounds or 3.3 kg empty. That's remarkable for a well-made bag.
(Note: We recommend avoiding cheap suitcases that are light only because of their shoddy construction--e.g., easily-squashed cases that consist mostly of fabric with a metal hoop and a bit of plastic at the corners to give the illusion of structure.)
Antler Ltd. has promised to send us a 22" upright for examination, field testing, and a detailed review at Europeforvisitors.com. In the meantime, you can learn more about the company's Size Zero and other collections at www.antler.co.uk or www.antlerusa.com.
August, 2011 update: Since publishing this item a year ago, we've used the 22" Size Zero ourselves on several trips. The bag's light weight has been a blessing, but the locking mechanism inside the telescoping handle broke on the third trip, and the handle now telescopes only halfway.
Photos: Antler Ltd.