There are times when I've reviewed a product, given it high praise and a week later it falls apart, which is rare, but it has happened. However, more often than not the opposite happens, the product gets used day after day, week and week, month after… you get the idea, and it just keeps on performing.
So credit where credit’s due, I thought it was about time I reintroduced you to a couple of Millican products that have been well used over the years, namely Jim The Holdall (read the original review here) and Peter The Wash Bag (original review). Although they’ve been with me for quite a number of years now, 2016 has been quite a busy year for them, as well as regular-ish trips to the gym, they’ve been living the high life in airport lounges and 5 Star hotels!
It all began early in the year when we took a flight to France, and stayed at the fabulous Mas De Pierre Hotel, Nice for the launch of the new Kia Sportage. Both Jim and Peter felt right at home in this 5 Star loveliness. A couple of less glamorous trips to Milton Keynes in a tired Travelodge followed, but they both took it on the chin (or should that be buckle). Next up, a Suzuki event at Crathorne Hall, North Yorkshire, where Peter got to cosy up to some rather swanky luxury toiletries in the opulent bathroom, and Jim and I enjoyed our time in, what I'm sure was, the largest suite in the hotel; it was stunning.
In September we all luxuriated in the very trendy King Street Townhouse, Manchester for the launch of the new SEAT Ateca, and then in the same week we headed off again to Carden Park in Cheshire for the launch of the updated Suzuki S-Cross. (This really is hard work!) October saw us on another flight, but instead of somewhere warm and exotic, it was a flight to Aberdeen, where we all had a indulgent night at Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course. Again, both Jim and Peter not only looked at home in this swanky hotel, but they stood up well to being squished in the smallest overhead lockers that I’ve ever seen, on any flight!
The thing is about ‘Peter, the Doctor’s Wash bag’ is that 'he' not only oozes quality, but he looks the part too. If you check out my original review you’ll read that Peter was inspired by the classic doctor’s bag with its easy access and wide opening top. Inside you’ll find one zipped and two elasticated pockets, and an easy-to-clean lining. There’s more space inside than any bloke will realistically ever need for a few days away.
With regards to Jim, well, I’m confident that he'll last another decade or two as Jorrit and Nicky pay amazing attention to detail and use only the sturdiest zips, handles, press studs and good quality leather. As I mentioned in my original review, Jim gets stuffed with damp and smelly gym kit, he was thrown in the back of my dirty old Land Rover for camping trips, and he still looks smart enough in an L405 Range Rover for posh weekends away.
What I really like about Jim, as well as being incredibly stylish, tough and functional, he has a large ‘U’ shaped opening for easy access and a separate bag for shoes or underwear (or whatever else smells that you don’t want contaminating your other gear).
What I’ve learnt about flying this year is that each airline has different rules on the size of hand luggage that you can take in the cabin, they really need to get their act together and have one size for all. Anyhow, the great thing about having a flexible canvas bag, like Jim (or his replacement, Harry the Gladstone bag), is that they can be ‘stuffed’ into a confined space unlike their polycarbonate cousins, who, if they're too big, may have to go in the hold and therefore add more money to the cost of your flight.
So, after having lived the high life during this year of flying Business Class and being put up in luxury 5 Star hotels, I have arrived upon a problem..........I may have to retire Jim from international travel.
I know, it’s a shocker. Unfortunately, now that I’ve got used to using hand luggage when I fly, for longer stays I need something a tad larger, but, more importantly, Jim doesn't offer the kind of sturdiness I need for both my laptop and camera.
Should I go for a traditional polycarbonate 4 wheeled carry-on after all?
Fear not dear reader, as I mentioned in Jim's initial review, although he’s no longer available he's been replaced by Stewart the 22 litre Courier Bag. With more internal and external pockets, including a large padded internal pocket for a 15" laptop, Harry appears to be Jim's worthy successor, and knowing Millican, he’ll be tough as old nails, as practical as a Swiss Army knife and will last decades.
Where can I find these beauties?