I still want better luggage solutions
The more you travel the less luggage you want to take. Our world where a laptop and phone can almost do it all, combined with the cloud, is helping. But sometimes you have to bring stuff in checked suitcases.
When you do road trips, especially outside the USA, you learn that most cars don't have the trunk space of North American cars, not even close. You're lucky to get two rigid body suitcases in the typical small car, 3 needs a car with special capacity.
One way to carry more and still fit in the small trunk is to use a fully flexible duffel. You can only put non-fragile things, like clothes in your duffel, though. Usually that's doable, but it often means all the heavy things go in the box style suitcases and they don't get the padding of being packed with clothes.
My idea for the day is a duffel with a frame, possibly of aluminum poles, that can snap or screw together and give it strength. That way when they throw another bag on top of it, they won't crush what's inside. After you land, take apart the poles and your duffel can change shape to fit in your vehicle.
You could also do this with wheeled duffels, but they don't have the flexibility to fit anywhere. The ideal setup is a duffel that can securely go onto your rolling checked bag for easy transport to the rental car.
Other luggage thoughts
What's with the spinners?
I am surprised to see that 4 wheel "spinner" luggage has almost entirely taken over the bag market. Spinners can be slightly nicer on an airport smooth floor, but I find them harder to control than two wheeled draggers, and they are completely useless on rough surfaces outside, so you have to drag them on two of the wheels if you can.
But the big issue is that you get about 2" less bag with a spinner for the height. Is easy pushing in the airport worth that much less capacity?
Are any smart bags actually of value
I see a lot of kickstarters for various bags, many of them expensive "smart" bags. The most common features are built in cell phone chargers, which we all already have, and sometimes a locator tag. The phone chargers add weight and you often can't take them out to carry with you. Which means you need another battery, increasing the weight. In addition, you can't check them -- even at the gate -- unless you can remove the battery. Airlines aren't liking them.
Do any of the locators or proximity warnings actually work or add value? Sure, we all get paranoid about bags. A better solution for that is for the airlines to give us real time info on the progress of our bags as they scan them.
I have hopes for hanging shelf bags
I have seen a few bags whose insides are a series of shelves which unfold and hang in a closet. The goal is a laudable one we all want -- a bag that lets you access everything at once, so you don't have to pack and unpack.
Examples include the Rise and the Shelfpack -- the latter being heavy and stand-alone. Neither looks good for me yet. I carry fragiles in my bags which don't look like they could be trusted to these shelves, which would mean I would have to take them in and out each time before expanding the shelves.
If you read my article about road trip coolers you may know another type of bag that could be valuable, namely a cooler which can close securely shut and be used as luggage. When you get to your destination, take out the things you packed and put them in a small cloth or tyvek duffel that you packed inside, and now you have a good cooler for your road trip. I generally suspect that while people don't like leaving luggage in the back seat of a tourist car because thieves might decide to break in, a picnic cooler is probably not that attractive to thieves.
Even though I have about 20 schwag backpacks from conferences, I bought a higher end one as my laptop bag. I got the eBags professional weekender backpack, which is very popular and not cheap. The main feature I wanted from it (and from any other personal item bag) is that it has a pouch on the back you can put your rollaboard handle through, so it just rides on there easily.
I like all the different pockets it has, and the padding inside has probably saved my laptop a few times since bags like this tend to fall. But the bag is much too heavy, and it's also quite rigid. You can't really expand the large section if you have a bulky item, as I've been able to do with almost any other backpack. So I'm still hunting.
What do you want from your luggage?