BEST FOR Taking lots of stuff one way
WEIGHTS & MEASURES The Fugu weighs in at 9.2 lbs. and measures 15.7 X 19.6 X 8.6 inches when folded up. Expanded the suitcase grows to 33.4 inches in height, not counting the removable wheels.
Space, space and more space – that’s what the Fugu Rollux has in abundance. For trips where you have more things going one direction but not the other, this is a convenient, sturdy, practical bag that offers a cost-effective way to avoid extra bag fees.
Fugu is a recent brand in the luggage business. It originally debuted with a bit of a “blow-up” bag – a pufferfish style packing concept which, with the help of strong lungs or an electric pump, would expand from small carryon to full blown cargo piece.
The most recent iteration from Fugu is the Rollux, a carry-on bag that, with a bit of luggage legerdemain, expands to a full size bag with removable rollers, an extendable handle, two separate carrying compartments and a few other benefits.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Ever been on one of those trips where you come back with twice as much as you brought? On a recent trip to Italy I ended up doing just that. It wasn’t that I went crazy on the fashion streets in Milan. It was all the notes, booklets and materials from a conference (OK, yes, and maybe a few clothes and gifts) I came home with.
Outbound I used the Rollux as my trip bag and carried it on the plane with me. On the return I had too much for a carryon bag. That’s when the Fugu design really comes into play. What starts out as the bottom of the carryon is actually two panels that fold out into a full-size compartment, expanding the fabric sides as it goes. Hinged panels on either side are locked in place with stiff wire braces, and the large straps that secured all this in carryon mode tuck neatly away. I had a full empty compartment to put things so I only had to check a large bag one-way.
A few things to note about the Rollux. First, in its expanded incarnation, it’s tall – much taller than a standard suitcase. That makes maneuvering in tight spaces a little more tricky. And it easily gobbles up the majority of trunk space in most any full-size sedan. While the folded away version is generous for a carryon bag, once the second compartment is deployed, it’s cavernous – there’s room for days and days. However the Rollux is different from the usual expandable suitcase in that you’re really getting two distinct compartments, not just one fatter space. So I found figuring how clothing is laid out and what goes where was definitely a challenge – but with all this space, the question was not, what can I leave out? but rather, how much more can I take?
Fugu has now out with a MiniRollux – a kind of expandable laptop or briefcase that measures an ample 5 X 15 inches and weighs in at less than 2.5 lbs. It fits onto the Rollux handles for rolling through airports and then transforms into a desk with a handy cup holder at odd working breaks taken on the go.
• Each Rollux comes with a USB charging port that can be connected to a powerbank for charging two devices simultaneously. The powerbank wasn’t included with the bag I tested, which is just as well, given the airlines’ requirement that these batteries be removed in checked baggage – you can choose to add one or not.
• The four spinner wheels navigate most floor surfaces smoothly. And they can be easily removed, which helps protect them from baggage-handler abuse and allows the bag, whether carry-on or full-size, to fit into tighter spaces.
• The fabric expands as well so that you can squeeze in even more extra items.
• The bag is a metallic slate color with a choice of colored stripe around the rim and matching the inside protective sleeves.