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For the over-packer Weighing in at less than three kilograms, the 26-inch Heys FlyLite has a hybrid design that makes over-packing a cinch: The hard-sided back and malleable Ballistic nylon shell (material that was originally developed by the U.S. military to make bulletproof armour) are sturdy and functional, allowing for plenty of room for that extra pair of shoes you can't bear to leave at home. $114.97, . Available at Sears.

For the romantic adventurer The SteamLine Luggage Explorer's boxy frame and leather straps throw us back to the days of transatlantic sailings and cross-country train rides, when travel was all about the journey. Currently on sale for $256 for the CarryOn and $280 for the Stowaway (shipping is free).

For the frequent flier Not only is the ZÜCA Pro the most well-organized carry-on bag we've found (it comes with five packing pouches, an FAA-compliant clear zip plastic toiletry bag, and packing tips to maximize the interior space), but it doubles as a chair so you don't have to fight for a seat at the airport. $304,

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For the stylista Brighten up the luggage carousel with the 26-inch Blossom Trolley designed by Hideo Wakamatsu, a large capacity hard-shell case that features smooth magnetic locks and four "silent-moving" wheels that make spinning through the airport fashionable and fun. $352;

For the 007 wannabe Rimowa's Topas Cabin Trolley is a classic 1950s-style carry-on with 21st-century stealth: The multiwheeled aluminum and magnesium body is specially built for adventurous trips to the tropics, protecting what's inside from shakes, stirs and extreme temperature fluctuations. $1,108;

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