Physics, Mechanics

Haven’t written about the Zuca All-Terrain since its arrival, and that’s because we’ve been so frustrated with it.  One of its annoyances is that it seems unbalanced.  It’s extremely difficult to get it tilted back to where it will roll properly.  As a result, sometimes it drags its front feet across the hardwood floor of our front room.  However, this could be dealt with if the handle were more convenient.

There are three of us living here.  One is a science major, one is the daughter of a physicist, and one is a scientifically-minded teenager.  None of us can figure out how to get the handle to work right!

I had assumed this bag would be the standard Zuca but with bigger wheels.  Well, for some reason they redesigned the handle as well, and instead of the typical 2-pole retractable handle with a grip on top, this has a single pole.  (Did I mention this before?  Feels like I did.)

Anyway, the single pole is useless if we want to stack a second piece of luggage on top (for example, I own a handbag with the ‘sleeve’ on the back, which can be slid over a 2-pole system and rested on top of the luggage so it doesn’t need to be carried).  With a single pole the top bag just flips around and causes a nuisance.

But the very difficult part is that we keep pulling the pole out of its tube!

The pole consists of two loose pieces, which we can tell are supposed to stay connected by the ol’ “inner pole has a button, outer pole has a row of holes” type of arrangement.  Unfortunately for us, the button never really wants to pop out and stay in place!  And then, after we’ve removed those two pieces of pole completely, and Chris (usually) has manhandled them into their connection, we slide the pole back into the bag’s tube and try to lock it in place with a locking collar.  This rarely works.  Which means that every time we’ve gone out, so far, we’ve had to hand-carry this heavy bag full of photography gear, and not test the wheeling capabilities.  Naturally with a metal frame this is much heavier, now, than the old Kipling Sherpa, and also a little more awkward to carry because of its shape.

I’ve emailed Zuca asking for tips on how to manage the pole.  Perhaps in a production model, there would be detailed instructions, but on mine, a prototype, there were none.

The bag is in the car now, or else I’d include some photos here for you.  I’m planning an excursion to Pine Lake Park today.  Will report back once I have something new to report.

I don't even remember what this picture is.
I don’t even remember what this picture is.