I love Lat56 products, there is amazing quality to everything they produce. So I jumped at the change to review their twist on the overnight bag the Red-Eye Carry-on bag.
Its a completely different shape from the usual large garment/suit carriers you see, and makes a refreshingly small thing to sling over your shoulder in comparison.
So to test it out, I took it as my only bag on a weekend trip to Paris.
The Red-Eye features the standard Lat 56 ‘moulded EVA’ exterior which is extremely tough and durable and gives you confidence placing it on any surface. There is a carry handle on the the side, and two rings for the included shoulder strap.
It measures 55cm x 25cm x 20cm (21.5″ x 10″ x 7.5″) and is basically as wide as a suit jacket on a hanger. I found it quite easy to carry, you just need to remember its a bit wider than normal bags, so moving down a train aisle for example it can bang seats or people while its over your shoulder! I ended up taking it off and carrying it.
Inside the bag exudes quality, and is everything I have come to expect from Lat 56 products. Internal lining is their standard red soft almost velvet feel material. All the zips are solid and there is numerous internal pockets in the main compartment divders to store smaller loose items like toiletries etc.
The ingenious way it handles longer suits/dresses is how Lat 56 have achieved the small size of the bag. It’s a patented feature called the ‘Suit Packing System’ (SPS™) and this newer release of the bag has a longer suit bag to better accommodate longer items.
Hang your items on the custom moulded hanger, with ‘soft hook’, and then zip them inside the garment holder and fold up from the bottom. You end up with your clothes folded up neatly, without creases into a fraction of the size that is then safely zipped away in the top half of the bag. Its fascinating to do.
The other (larger) section of the bag is deceptively large, and you can pack everything else you might need for a few days away in it, including shoes if needed.
My trip away was by train, but the small size of the Red-Eye meant it didn’t have to endure the large baggage area at the end of trains, but fit comfortable on the overhead shelves on both standard UK trains, and the Eurostar.
Getting in and out of taxis with the bag was a breeze, no need to use the boot (trunk) at all, and I found the whole process so much easier than when carrying a traditional larger suitcase.
The bag was quite heavy, which is more of a testament to how much it will hold, but the extremely comfortable and well padded shoulder strap meant I didn’t have the traditional ‘sore shoulder’ syndrome you get when carrying something for prolonged periods. I walked from the Gare du Nord to my hotel which took about 25 minutes, but even that wasn’t a problem.
Another plus is that the casing is water resistant, so even walking in rain (thanks Paris!) you don’t need to worry.
At the hotel the small size meant it could be easily tucked in the bottom of the wardrobe, something you can ‘t always guarantee with larger bags and trendy ‘smaller’ wardrobes!
I liked this bag a lot, its a completely different way of solving the problem of travelling with clothes that need to still look smart the next day.
There is less room overall than a bigger suitcase, but the disparity is less than you you might imagine, and I was still able to take everything I would normally pack. The benefit of the Red-Eye’s smaller size and greater portability in comparison to a traditional suit carrier of wheeled suitcase is fantastic.
The price isn’t cheap at £199.00 but you’re buying a bag that will serve you for many years, and absolutely protect what’s inside it too.