With baggage fees and limited overhead space, finding the right suitcase for your family vacation is essential. You can often save a good amount of money by packing just carry-on luggage, but you’ll definitely need to be strategic with how you pack. I love our ZUCA bag because it makes it easy to stay organized with just carry-on bags. ZUCA is known for ice skating bags, makeup bags, and school bags. But they also make fabulous, lightweight rolling suitcases as well. Here’s our ZUCA bag review of the various types of ZUCA bags currently available.
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ZUCA Bag Review: Lightweight, Rolling Suitcases
ZUCA Mini Bags
My kids are now of the age where they want to pack their own suitcases. They are usually pretty responsible with them too – and by packing them carry-on bags, we can limit the amount of bags that we check when flying. The best kids’ suitcases need to be manageable, but big enough to actually fit their stuff. I also like my kids’ suitcases to be easy to pull and durable. On a recent sleepover, my daughter packed our new ZÜCA Mini – it fit her sleeping bag, clothes for the night, and toiletries! If you are looking for a new kids’ suitcase, the ZUCA Mini may be a good option.
It’s designed for kids aged 4 and up, and has a telescoping handle that extends to up to 16 inches above the bag – making pulling the bag convenient for both kids and adults (when the kids get tired). The polyurethane wheels make rolling easy for kids, and they flash when being pulled – both for fun and safety. The ZÜCA Mini meets FAA rules for carry-on bags – measuring 15.5″ high, 10″ wide, and 11″ deep.
Just like the ZÜCA Pro, the ZÜCA Mini includes the patented built-in seat on the top, which comes in handy when waiting at the gate or for a bus or taxi. It’s also useful in the airport when there aren’t enough seats for everyone. The bag weighs 7 pounds, but is very sturdy. The interior is very spacious and holds loads of stuff. My daughter really loves using it. The insert is removable and washable too – great for keeping it nice and clean between family vacations.
The ZÜCA Mini kids’ suitcase comes a variety of patterns and styles depending on your kids’ preferences. There’s also a new line of Hello Kitty branded bags, perfect for a Hello Kitty fan.
You can find these bags and make a purchase on Amazon.com.
ZUCA Pro Business Bag
The ZUCA Pro is billed as a business bag, but it’s also a great family carry-on bag for travel. It’s a black bag that comes with 5 utility pouches. These are similar to packing cubes, and stack into the bag on top of each other. The bag also comes with a cover to keep it clean.
Here are the specifications of the Pro Business bag:
- A telescoping handle that goes up to 41 inches. This makes rolling the bag so easy.
- A lightweight aluminum alloy fame that can support up to 300 lbs.
- Strong enough to support someone sitting on top, perfect for when you are waiting around at an airport or outside for a taxi or Uber.
- Hand washable nylon insert bag
- Polyurethane wheels that allow for a smooth ride around airports, train stations, and cities.
- 19.5″H x 10″W x 13.5″D (note that this is a different shape from most carry-on bags)
- 12 lbs with accessories included
- Meets FAA specifications for carry-ons (overhead, doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you)
When we use the ZUCA Pro bag as a family carry-on, I typically use one of the utility pouches for each of our family members. Each pouch can usually fit a change of clothes or two, and using the pouches is a great way to stay organized. You’ll be amazed at how much can be filled in this bag. I’ve been able to pack for a four day trip with just the ZUCA Pro and a backpack. It’s also so easy to pull out the pouches when you are at your destination, and put them right into the hotel room drawers.
The bag can get heavy, but the wheels and handle help make it so easy to pull. It usually fits in the overhead compartments, even though it’s shaped differently from other carry-on bags.
The ZUCA Pro bag gets a lot of attention in the airport. Every time I use it, people stop me in the airport and ask about it. I’ve even had people ask me what’s in it, assuming it was a speaker or other audio equipment.
You can find the ZUCA Pro bag on Amazon.
Cons of the ZUCA Bag
You may be wondering what the negatives of the bag are. It’s a fantastic carry-on bag, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Because of the shape and structure, it’s not as easy to store things that are unusually shaped, like a poster or tube. We typically bring several different carry-on bags, so it’s easy to pack those things in other bags. But just keep that in mind, especially if you are only bringing one bag. I leave the bag at home if I’m going to a conference, because it isn’t really well suited to carry promotional items I usually receive, like water bottles and coffee cups.
The company also offers a number of other bags. There are beauty bags, sport bags (including the popular ice skating bag), pet bags, and outdoor bags. They also offer items beyond the rolling suitcases, including a travel backpack, a smaller rolling bag, travel organizers and cases, and seat cushions for the top of the bag.
Originally posted in 2013, updated in 2018