For the Jet-setter
Yes, it’s a chain with outposts from here to Kuala Lumpur, but Flight 001 is to luggage what Apple stores are to personal electronics: It makes the future look sexier. The L.A. incarnation is, like the other shops, designed to evoke a spaceship fuselage. Shelves along the curved walls are stocked with top-of-the-line pieces, such as soft-sided trolleys from Lipault and fit-for-James Bond polycarbonate cases from Rimowa, not to mention geeky hipster gadgets galore. Where else are you going to pick up a “BRB” luggage tag or a Swiss Army knife with USB drives for all your devices? » 8321 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove, 323-966-0001.
For the Traditionalist
A family-run business for nearly 100 years, H. Savinar Luggage Co. takes pride in its old-school customer service. The store carries major brands (Samsonite, American Tourister, Tumi) and regularly hosts demonstrations on a variety of travel topics, like efficient packing—a skill that comes in handy these days with those additional airline baggage fees. What the shop lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for in deals and discounts, including free monogramming. » 4625 W. Washington Blvd., Mid City, 323-938-2501; 6931 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, 818-703-1313.
For the Thrill Seeker
If you’re an expert adventurer whose Facebook vacation photos look like National Geographic spreads, you’ll find the right mix of rugged, durable, and attractive luggage at Distant Lands. Besides the large suitcases with wheelies and spinners, you’ll discover backpacks and duffels fit for jungle treks and mountain climbs, along with carry-on bags for the weekend warrior. The place is packed floor to ceiling with travel books on everything from exploring far-flung destinations to hiking in your own backyard. There’s also a wide range of practical items, such as money belts, electrical adapters, camp gear, and toiletries. » 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 800-310-3220.
For the Connoisseur
What’s more iconic when it comes to glamorous travel than a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk? Each is still made by hand, using the same techniques dating back centuries. The brand may be a status symbol, but its products are a link to old-world craftsmanship at its most luxurious. » 295 N. Rodeo Dr.,
Beverly Hills, 310-859-0457.
Photograph by from left Tumi “T-Tech Cargo”/courtesy Tumi; Lipault “Paris Trolley”/courtesy Flight 001