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Meet Kate and Her Dakine Carry On Valise Suitcase

suitcase review dakine carry on valise

This post is a part of a series about females traveling with suitcases. Today’s interview comes from Kate, who loves her Dakine Carry On Valise.

Tell us about your suitcase brand, style and price:

My beloved bag is the Dakine Carry On Valise 35L. I bought it six years ago (wow, can’t believe it’s been that long!) for $80 on Zappos.

>> Check for prices and styles of the Dakine Carry On Valise on Amazon. Please note, we are an Amazon affiliate, so if you make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Is it too big, too small, or just right?

It’s appropriate that I have hair like Goldilocks, because it is just right! I can always fit what I need into it, but it also keeps me from packing too much. Travel companions are often surprised at how lightly I packed when I show up with just this bag, but they should really be surprised by how much fits inside!

Is it fabric or hard shell?

It’s fabric, which I love for flexibility, with a hard bottom, which is great for durability. And this suitcase is definitely durable! I’ve used it exclusively for 6 years, and I’m just now ready to replace it – with another Dakine Carry On Valise!

suitcase review dakine carry on valise

Spinner or roller?

It is a two-wheeled roller, which maneuvers well. The straps on top also make it easy to carry if you’re on ground that’s not great for wheeling.

What made you choose your brand and style of suitcase?

I was searching for a smaller bag that I could carry on if I wanted to, but that also had style that stood out! The pattern on the Dakine (mine seems to have been discontinued, but there is a great selection of designs available) makes it easy to spot on a luggage carousel, and it also makes people smile when you roll it through the airport or down the street. I definitely wanted something soft-sided so that I can squish stuff into it and also squish it into tight spaces.

What features of the luggage do you love? Are there any you would like to see changed or improved?

I love the pocket situation! There is a zippered pocket on the outside, which is great for small things I might need easy access to, and there is an interior zippered pocket, too, which I use to corral jewelry and other accessories. Plus, there are three interior open elasticized pouches, which are absolutely perfect for socks and underwear.

suitcase review dakine carry on valise

Can you carry this suitcase onto airplanes?

Yep, I do all the time! I was actually a little worried when I bought it because the technical specs listed make it seem an inch or so too big in height and width, but it is a couple inches smaller in length, so I have never had a problem carrying it on. It fits well in the overhead bin (provided you’re not flying on a little puddle-jumper). Also, it has these cool flaps on the ends that snap down to keep it contained in size.

What sort of traveler and trip is this suitcase perfect for?

It’s perfect for a playful traveler who likes to have fun and show off their whimsical style, while also having a bag that’s practical for packing. It’s great for anything from a weekend trip to a couple weeks – and even longer trips, if you follow the tips on Her Packing List!

Would you recommend this suitcase to other traveling females?

A resounding yes! I adore this bag, and it makes me happy to pack!

About Kate: I’m a videographer by profession and a traveler by passion. My favorite souvenir is the scar from the broken nose I got in a snowball fight with strangers who became friends on a solo trip to Québec City for my 30th birthday. Follow your own compass to wonder, wander, discover and delight on my blog, Travel Like a Teddy Bear, and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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