Beat airline baggage charges: the best in wearable luggage reviewed
Looking for a way to beat the baggage charges? Innovators at Rufus Roo, Bagket and Jaktogo all have options for wearable luggage that can save you money instead of having to check a bag (take a look at all the airline weight limits on bags here!)
Capacity: 4/5 The Rufus Roo has four large, deep pockets, and two smaller ones, which were enough to get a Scotsman’s entire wedding gear inside, including kilt and shoes, and the Roo’s pouches can easily handle a weekend’s worth of clothes, plus a laptop, books and toiletries. The makers recommend you carry no more than 10kg in it – which is plenty.
Ease of use: 5/5 This is wearable luggage in its simplest form: a waistcoat with very large pockets. Just slip it on, fill your pockets, and then slip off and stash once you board the plane.
Durability: 3/5 The Roo is made from very lightweight polyester, great for packing it away, but we suspect it wouldn’t stand up to much punishment if you’re a frequent flyer, as the material is quite thin. Not built to last as long as the other jackets we tested.
Style Factor: 2/5 To get the most out of the Rufus Roo, the makers recommend buying a large size. The baggy fit certainly allows you to bulk it out with your belongings, but the oversized, loose-fitting waistcoat isn’t exactly the hottest look on the catwalk.
Value: 5/5 At £29.95 for an adult Roo, this is the cheapest luggage jacket in our test and with the cost of checking in a 20kg bag on Ryanair as much as £45 (or £140 if you do it at the airport!) – you’ll be making savings straight away.
Best for: bargain hunters A very keenly priced way to beat the baggage charge, the Roo is simple to use and has a large capacity. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to beat the baggage charge and don’t care about looks, this is the jacket for you.
Capacity: 3/5 The Stuffa is designed more as an additional storage space rather than a replacement for a bag, but the 12 pockets concealed within the lining of this bodywarmer (which can hold up to 5kg of clothing) along with the two external pockets for your phone, passport or tickets, offer a considerable amount of supplementary storage space, allowing you to travel lighter.
Ease of use: 5/5 The bodywarmer’s mesh pockets can be stuffed full of clothes very easily, then just slip the jacket on: simple.
Durability: 5/5 The Stuffa is a well-made and nicely designed product that looks the part and should stand the test of time.
Style Factor: 5/5 By far the most stylist garment in our test, this looks like a normal item of clothing (rather than a bin-bag) and you could happily wear this out and about without getting any odd looks.
Value: 4/5 It’s twice the price of the Roo – but for that extra money you do get a stylish jacket, albeit one with slightly less capacity.
Best for: stylish light-travellers If you want to save money on airline baggage charges, and look good whilst doing it, the Stuffa is the luggage jacket for you.
Bagket Waistcoast Jacket, from £69.99 (adult size)
The Bagket takes the wearable luggage one step further; it’s a jacket that converts into a bag – or a bag that transforms into a jacket. This means that you can pack it and carry it as a bag until you get to airport check-in. Once there, you convert it and slip it on as a jacket, bypassing the baggage charge, and once on board the plane, you convert it back to a bag and stash in the overhead locker.
Capacity: 5/5 The Bagket is big – with 22 pockets of various sizes, including those big enough to take a laptop, trainers and clothing and can be packed with up to 7kg of gear – but we suspect it could handle even more.
Ease of use: 4/5 It can take a little practice to get the distribution of you gear correct and if you don’t, folding it into a bag can be tricky. But once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’s a simple procedure.
Durability: 5/5 The Bagket is made of 100% polyamide, and has a sturdy, heavy-duty feel. The zips look tough and the carry strap is made from what looks like seat-belt material. We reckon the Bagket is built to last.
Style Factor: 3/5 The makers claim the Bagket is ‘fashionable’ but whilst it did score better than some of its rivals, we’re not convinced that it will be appearing in Vogue any time soon. In Jacket form it’s a bit boxy and you might be mistaken for a baggage handler at the airport, but in its bag form, its looks ok.
Value: 4/5 At £69.99 you’ll need to use this for a couple of trips before you make your money back, but the Bagket is built to last so you’ll be making savings for years.
Best for: travellers who want capacity and comfort It’s big, easy to convert between bag and jacket and built to last. A good comprise between form and function.
Jaktogo Travel Jacket, £65
Like the Bagket, the Jaktogo is designed to be used in bag form for most of its life, then converted to a jacket to pass through check-in and boarding - thus saving you money.
Capacity: 5/5 The Jaktogo has several massive pockets, and had the biggest capacity in our test. You could probably get a week’s worth of gear in here or more.
Ease of use: 3/5 It was a little tricky converting this from jacket to bag form, and slightly more difficult than the Bagket due to the numerous Velcro straps. Though we managed it in the end, it will take a little practice to do it quickly, and the design could be improved.
Durability: 5/5 The Jaktoko is made of polyester, which makes it reasonably light, as well as water and wind resistant. We think this would stand the test of time.
Style Factor: 2/5 It’s big, bulky, has no shape, and there are straps dangling off it; you won’t be winning the ‘best dressed at the airport’ award wearing this. For the ladies there is the ‘Dresstogo’, which looks not unlike a large bin bag and didn’t impress our female tester. However, the Jaktogo does also come in leather and denim versions which look marginally more stylish (but are about twice the price).
Value: 4/5 Similarly priced to the Bagket, the Jaktogo is good value and offered the most storage space per pound in our test.
Best for: family travellers (it carries a lot of stuff!) The Jaktogo’s biggest selling point is its huge capacity. If you’re looking to carry a lot of gear and don’t care what you look like, the Jaktogo is the one for you.
AyeGear H13 Hoodie with 13 Pockets, iPad or Tablet Pocket, from £69.99
AyeGear's 13 pocket hoodie is perfect for long flights where you know you'll want a thick jacket to warm you up, and sneak all your gadgets inside too.
Capacity: 3/5 There are multiple pockets all over the hoodie designed to fit phones, notebooks, your iPad, credit cards, coins and more, but one of the more common complaints is that many of the pockets are too small for a 'cabin baggage' style travel jacket. Compared to the Rufus Roo, it's designed for a different user.
Ease of use: 5/5 This hoodie is very easy to use, and the internal phone pockets are touch sensitive - meaning you don't have to get your phone out on a busy street or in wet weather conditions.
Durability: 4/5 Whilst the hoodie is made of fleece material which will keep you warm, it's not waterproof. It also might not be as long lasting as the other jackets here, as the material is softer with more stretch.
Style Factor: 5/5 This hoodie doesn't look anything like a piece of luggage - it looks like any other jumper you might wear when travelling. It was also worn by X Men director Bryan Singer when producing Days of Future Past, so, there's one stamp of approval!
Value: 4/5 At £70, you can probably find a cheaper hoodie with a few big pockets, but it's very handy if you're someone who likes to carry a lot of bits and pieces.
Best for: solo travellers wanting to keep warm The other jackets are much better suited to travellers with a lot of luggage. If you're a minimal packer and all you need is a tablet and your passport on the plane, this hoodie is ideal.
SCOTTeVEST Chloe Glow Women's Jacket with 15 Pockets, from £150
Women don't get an easy time of it when trying to fit into many of the more bulky luggage jackets, but SCOTTeVEST specialise in a more fitted line of jackets.
Capacity: 3/5 You can fit your essentials (phone, money, passport) as well as an iPad into this jacket, alongside whatever else you can cram into the pockets. However, don't expect to get 2 sets of clothes into this - you'll need a hand luggage case to fit in the rest of your goods.
Ease of use: 5/5 The jacket is stylish, simple and packs in your essentials. There's no complex bag transformation here, it's just a great way to travel with your important bits and pieces close to you.
Durability: 4/5 SCOTTeVEST now have a long line of travel clothes, so you can be sure their stuff is tough. There's also a hoodie, ready for when you fall asleep on the plane (there's even an infinity zip which closes it up, if you really don't want to talk to people!).
Style Factor: 5/5 The jacket is available in 3 different colours, all of which are slightly form fitting and have thumbholes in the hand sections too.
Value: 3/5 If you're going to be travelling a lot and you can see yourself using this daily too, the £150 is money well spent. Otherwise, it might be a little spendy if you're just using it for that one cheapo Ryanair flight.
Best for: women! SCOTTeVEST have an entire line of jackets, vests and t-shirts for men too, but this item is perfect if you're wanting to travel light and look good at the same time.
SCOTTeVEST Margaux Cargaux Travel Pants, with 11 Pockets, from £150
Well, if you're going to be carrying the jacket, why not get the pants to match? You'll never have to carry a handbag again...
Capacity: 2/5 You can hold digital cameras, phones and more in the pockets all over the pants, but bare in mind there is no iPad pocket in these.
Ease of use: 5/5 On first searching the pants, you might only find a few of the pockets - there are other that are hidden within the pockets, which make them perfect for travel in dangerous zone.
Durability: 4/5 The lightweight material will wear well in most circumstances.
Style Factor: 5/5 These travel pants don't look like travel pants at all. The material is wrinkle resistant, light weight, and there are ankle ties for changing them into capris (or protecting you from snakes/spiders).
Value: 3/5 Once again, unless you're a seasoned traveller and you know you need a good pair of travel pants to take you from check-in to volcano treks and local bazaars, the £150 price tag may be a little steep.
Best for: photographers/hikers/people with 'kit' Whilst you won't fit your outfits in for a weekend in Rome, these pants are perfect if you're someone who constantly has to carry memory cards, wires, phones, extra cash, hooks or any other tools you'll need during an 8+ hour period.
Tips for what you can and can't bring on board...
From baby food to mascara, here's a guide to what you can bring on board in your Rufus Roo.
Camping? Make sure you don't pack your tent pegs!
Don't want to style out a Stuffa jacket? Check out these backpacks and suitcases for weekend trips.
Ready to book your next flight and test out the hand luggage only rule? Book cheap flights, hotels and car hire with Skyscanner today.
*Prices correct as of April 2017. Prices are subject to change.