by Alex Palmer | May 22, 2014

As summer sets in, incentive winners are on the lookout for luggage and leather goods to enhance their weekend trips and outings -- products that are both lightweight and stylish. "If real estate is all about location, luggage is about weight -- or lack thereof," says Mike Landry, vice president of special sales for Tumi. "If you were to stand in the luggage area of any department store, you will see a parade of people picking up bags. Almost universally, they check the weight first, the price second."

Fortunately, luggage suppliers to the incentive industry offer a wealth of bags that won't break the scale. Here are three to consider.

Light as a Feather, Tough as Nails


For luggage that offers minimal weight and maximum durability, Landry points to Tumi's Tegra-Lite collection. Made from Tegris, the same material used in NASCAR racecars, these bags are made to glide swiftly through airports and airplane aisles while withstanding the tight space of an overhead luggage compartment. Interior accessory pockets and tie-down straps are suited for both business and leisure travel.

For the Jet Set   


This chic Jet Set tote from Michael Kors is ideal for on-the-go incentive recipients seeking a bag that works for a weekend trip, or an afternoon out. It features Michael Kors brown logo checkerboard PVC with buff leather trim, as well as a hanging "MK" circle logo charm. Its buckled shoulder straps make it an easy traveler, and its lined interior with center zip compartment (as well as one zip pocket and three open pockets) make it a convenient catchall for a winner’s travel necessities. Michael Kors products are available through Rymax Marketing Servicees, and the Jet Set tote’s suggested retail price is $298.

Kenneth Fishman, purchasing manager for Rymax, emphasizes that this tote and luggage in general makes for a good redeemer since it is not something that requires any fitting or adjustments — recipients can take it on a trip the moment they get it. "Additionally, a large number of people are replacing their old luggage with newer, lightweight, and more mobile options," he says. "They are also no longer choosing exclusively black color for their luggage, but instead opting for bright colors
which show off their personality."    

Ready for the Weekend


Speaking of bright colors, the Vera Bradley Weekender serves as a fashionable travel companion with a slightly psychedelic design. But the Weekender is not all style. With a newly added trolley sleeve, as well as five inner pockets, two back slip pockets, and a fully zippered front compartment, it's simple to access your goods. It comes in a number of color schemes (the Petal Paisley is pictured here), and retails for $98.

"When a program participant selects their award or gift, it is for a reason," says Jody Running, vice president of sales for Top Brands, the exclusive incentive partner for Vera Bradley products. "There is a sense of excitement that builds when that participant is looking forward to getting this award or gift, and the choice in award has to exceed that excitement. The right choice in awards creates memories, builds trust, and motivates."