Gear Guide – Victorinox Travel Luggage

December 12th, 2023
This shot of Harro’s of Sage Cattabriga-Alosa found it’s way onto a few ski mag covers and won photo of the year at teh Powder Awards.

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Mountainwatch | Tony Harrington

Let’s talk about practical travel, and in this case luggage. In 40 years of travelling, hauling heavy bags of surf and snow gear, cameras, lenses, computers, hard drives, tripods and a plethora of associated electronic equipment, I know something about dragging luggage around the world.

And on and off planes, carousels, boots and roofs of cars, trucks and buses, railways, train aisles, on bikes, in boats, up icy pathways, snowcats and even helicopters. No, I’m not trying to brag, just trying to paint a picture of scenarios where it matters that you need to have the right gear. And I’ll admit I’ve learned the hard way.

Harro’s gear: It is impossible to travel light when you are a professional snow and surf photographer.

In the past I’ve skimped in buying luggage, bought dozens of $70-$120 suitcases from shopping malls, $20 ones from St Vinnies, and along the way a couple from reputable brands. Occasionally I’d found something decent, but it wasn’t until I acquired a couple of Victorinox products that I can say that this is what I’ve been looking for.

Why? Strength, durability, build quality, functionality, manoeuvrability and lightness. And no, I didn’t read this from the brochure or copy and paste lines from their website to write that sentence. Two weeks ago, I had the same dilemma that I face every time this year. How to pack minimally (impossible) and how to pack practically and strategically with all that gear. I always leave the country with at least five bags and sometimes more – a ski bag, a couple Pelican cases for underwater housings, computers and monitors, plus a couple of luggage bags, 75% of which are filled with additional cameras, lenses, hard drives and an array of fragile necessities. Less than 25% is my clothes.

Harro always spends six weeks in Hawaii before heading to the snow and captured this photo at Waimea Bay last week.

I won’t go into the horror stories I’ve been through of lessor quality luggage bags failing half-way through their first, second or third trip, or times when a bag explodes as it comes off the carousal (that’s why I also carry a roll of good quality duct tape) … From my experience, if you pay little to start with for a sub-quality product, then it’s for sure going to kick you in your butt down the track and cost you more than if you went out and purchased a premium product in the first place.

That’s why I now travel with Victorinox luggage.  I chose a large Lexicon Hardside case and a Crosslight Wheeled Duffel as my go-to travel bags. I feel very comfortable in packing the Lexicon with sensitive equipment that’s simply wrapped in clothing for a bit of additional padding, even a hard drive if it’s placed in something sturdy. The Lexicon is extremely tough and light and this can mean the difference in staying under the 23kg for a check-in bag or paying an exorbitant amount in excess weight fees.

Excess baggage? Not me.

The Crosslight Wheeled Duffel is my go-to for everyday travel. I haven’t come across another duffel that is so sturdy in height, width and length or so light. I travel with a $20,000 Nikon lens wrapped in personal clothes in this bag and I’m more than happy with the protectiveness. Some professional photographers might cringe and say why I don’t invest in another Pelican case? but they aren’t the people paying my excess luggage fees or wrangling my luggage from Point A to B to C to D etc and back to point A again… The construction and build quality of the Crosslight is phenomenal.

Harro with his $20,000 lens.

The icing on the cake is the manoeuvrability of the luggage bags. Three weeks ago, I was travelling with five bags and a total of 140kg. One hand was on a trolley wrangling the two Pelican cases and a 32kg ski bag, and my other hand comfortably rolled both the Lexicon and Crosslight at the same time across car parks and throughout the airport. I know from vast experience how frustrating this can be with lessor quality luggage wheels that aren’t up for the challenge.

If not only for the practical reasons above of why you should consider a purchase of  Victorinox luggage, then check out their full features and product line-up at and of course, at the very least, never, ever leave home without a Swiss Army Work Champ. Quite simply one of the most useful pieces of kit you’ll ever need for everyday use, 24/7, 365 days a year.

The Swiss Army Work Champ comes in handy for tightening fin box screws on remote reefs and is also handy for binding adjustments on skis and snowboards.