As part of the decision not to hire a car but to travel round the UK in trains I decided to try a different kind of bag.
I'm not very excited by shopping generally but I do have some strange attractions, and one is for bags. I just like bags. Perhaps because it's so hard to find just the right bag? Who knows. Anyway we have one travel bag that everyone in the family likes. It's a lightweight case on wheels, just the right size for Easyjet's cabin bags, and can hold 44L. It's great and sometimes we compete to use it. But when it's heavy, carting it up and down stairs is awkward, and when I thought about station stairs I thought how good it would be to have the weight on your back.
We looked at trolleys that double as rucksacks, but they all seemed rather heavy to me and I didn't want wheel marks on my jacket. So I ordered a CabinMax bag from Amazon. I chose carefully the one that had as few negative reviews as possible and when it came I packed it carefully.
And it worked fine. It does end up rather heavy as you walk along. You take the weight through your hips and knees, but that's better than hauling something one-handed up the stairs.
Because you're carrying it you're careful not to take or buy anything heavy. So no buying books, for example. At Banner that stings a little, but we're planning to downsize anyway so I have to reduce my library, not augment it.
It had four little straps on the sides to squeeze it down to get into Easyjet's size restriction. It had four but one broke so now it has three. Not that that matters too much. The Easyjet people didn't even look at my bag - I guess the word CabinMax printed on it shows it will fit in the gauge - and I didn't stuff it out of shape anyway.
So all in all it worked fine. I would have preferred the strap not to break. But even if the bag had come back totally wrecked and needed to be thrown away it still would have been a very modest expense compared with car-hire.
Oh, an after-thought. I don't think Pat or Catrin would cope with the bag. Too much weight on the back. But Gwilym and I would be fine with it.