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Suitcase wheels and important information about luggage

Lightweight carry-on luggage for travelling via plane is now more than ever an important purchase.

Many Airlines now charge for carry-on luggage as well as checked travel luggage. Why pay for the weight of your heavy suitcase alone, when you could be adding a few more clothing items and a pair of shoes with a newly purchased replacement, lightweight suitcase.

Buy it for life products have become a positive trend in today’s eco-minded culture and these carefully chosen suitcases are a good example of products that may just last a lifetime.

Suitcases rarely last a lifetime, for one reason or another they are replaced at a minimum of every 10 years. Buy it once and buy it for life comes close for lifetime luggage that is lightweight, good quality and has tons of satisfied customer reviews. The recommendations below come from my 40 years of travel around the world. Buying a good, high-quality suitcase is now more than ever an important choice. Forty years ago there were no rolling suitcases. I could give the man or woman a big hug who thought of putting wheels on a suitcase! A simple, terrific idea that has really made travel so much easier. However getting ON THE PLANE with your luggage is a huge hassle, more costly and we all really need to pay attention to the details.

Smart suitcases were all the rage in the year 2017, these travel suitcases had a built-in battery to allow charging of your smartphone, iPad or tablet via a cord from the suitcase battery compartment. However, most airlines have BANNED these suitcases completely for fear of a fire being started by one of these travel luggage bags or travel suitcases. So PLEASE, do not buy one of these types of suitcase.

A buyers guide for lightweight luggage

Luggage wheels

Imagine it is 1975 and you are carrying, yes carrying your suitcase from the taxi terminal to your hotel. Heavy thought, right? Well, if your wheels break off your suitcase that’s exactly what you will be doing even if it’s 2018! It happened to several of my friends while on their international travels. Even when just one wheel breaks on a 2 wheel-pull style suitcase you will still have to carry your heavy suitcase in the rain or hot, humid heat. Check the wheel design thoroughly. Wheels that are inside the suitcase outside dimensions are nice, but they take up a huge amount of space inside the suitcase. Look for wheels with strong metal axles that the wheel rotates around on. Hold the wheel and try to twist the wheel off the suitcase with your hand, there should be very little “play” or movement. Check out the overall material quality of the wheel assembly and how it is attached to the suitcase frame.

Next choice is 2 or 4 wheels. I am still undecided which is better. For me, a flat, smooth surface for the suitcase to travel on is fantastic with a 4 wheel “spinner suitcase” style. On rough surfaces such as streets and some sidewalks, I much prefer the 2 wheel style of luggage. Four-wheel, spinner style, of luggage can be difficult to handle on a  bus or train as the suitcase will effortlessly roll right down the aisle. Ask me how I know this. Two wheel suitcase design tend to take up room inside the suitcase, however, 4 wheel design is much more susceptible to breaking off due to the wheels vulnerability

Luggage handles

All rolling suitcases whether 2 wheels or 4 wheels have a telescopic handle. My recommendations in this article all have handles that feel good in the hand grip, collapse easily to stow away and feel solid when extended. Again the handle is vitally important to a rolling suitcase. A broken handle will also leave you having to carry the suitcase by its handles.

Speaking of handles, buy luggage that has, at the minimum, a traditional strap handle both at the top of the suitcase and on one of its sides. This will make it easy to manuever in your hotel room or on your bed at home.

Hard-sided Vs soft luggage

People buy hard sides luggage for security reasons, a knife cannot be used to cut open the suitcase and steal some contents. For me, this is not important, security is good everywhere and if a thief wants to get inside your suitcase..they will find a way. Some people like the style of hard sided, call me old fashioned but I like the fabric suitcase for style. Hard plastic sided suitcases scuff easier than fabric and marks can be difficult to remove. Buy a textured or ribbed, plastic hard sided luggage set, to minimize this sort of wear and tear

Soft-sided luggage has zippered out pockets, the hard-sided design rarely does. Fabric suitcases, soft-sided luggage, have the zips sewn to the fabric and this is often the failure point. However, by not overloading the suitcase and not being too hard on the zippers then this should not be a problem. A soft-sided suitcase can be squeezed under a seat or in the overhead bin, something you can not do with a hard-sided suitcase.

Another solution, albeit more expensive is hard sided aluminium luggage for travel. Impossible to cut through with a knife, retains its shape of the aluminium sides are not too thin and looks classy. They are more durable than the plastic hard-sided luggage. I actually own an older version of one of these Lanzzo aluminum suitcases. I have zero worries about my suitcase contents being spilt all over the baggage carousel on my arrival. Buying luggage that will last a lifetime may depend entirely on this one factor – hard or soft-sided?

Check the Warranty

If you want your travel bag or luggage to last for a generation or more then get the one with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Replacement or repair for free for life, from these fine companies:

• L.L.Bean

• Lands’ End

• Briggs& Riley

• eBags (house brand)

• Osprey

Hopefully, your purchase choice from my recommendations above will give you at least a decade of happy hassle-free travelling as far as your luggage is concerned. Maybe it will even last 30 years with good care and a wise design choice.

Clean rusty scissors or shop for new scissors?

Tips to clean knives and get rid of rust

1. White vinegar is an effective ingredient to get rid of rust from knives or scissors. You can use white vinegar to remove rust permanently.

2. Soak a cotton cloth piece in white vinegar and rub the knife blades. This helps remove small rust spots from the knife blades.

3. Always keep the blades dry as water forms rust on the metal. Use a clean and dry cloth piece to clean the knife.

Buying a good pair of scissors

Scissors can be a very important purchase for many professionals and ordinary household needs.

Working in the medical profession as as an engineer for 35 years I saw first hand how important good scissors were when used in surgery or simply cutting the end of a piece of gauze.

I would never want my hair cut with dull scissors, the results would not be attractive I’m sure. For a woman’s haircut, this is probably even more so!

There are scissors made for exacting jobs, such as cutting hair, paper, beards and cloth material.

For bigger hands and especially thumbs, check the ring size. Check that the blade length is not too long or too short.

Take a look at some of the highly rated selections here. I have done all the work for you buy reading lots of reviews and looking closely at the function, design and quality of each pair of scissors. I hope this information was helpful to you. Happy shopping.

Sunglasses for face shape. Buyers guide for sunglasses.

  • Aviators sunglasses– A Teardrop shaped lens with a thin metal frame. Popular with pilots, military personnel, and law enforcement personnel in the USA. They look great on any shape face but best on an oval shape face.
  • Wayfarers/Spicolis – Popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • Teashades – Popularized by John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne. They’re not very effective at keeping light out of your eyes, though.
  • Wraparounds – Associated with athletics and extreme sports.
  • Oversized – Associated with models and movie stars. Glamorous, darling
  • Mirrorshades – Mirrored coating on the surface. Used a lot by police officers in the US. They usually come in an aviator or wraparound shape

Sunglasses are not just about fashion. Sunglasses protect your eyes just like sunscreen protects your skin.
You can put a low-cost SP factor 10 on your skin and your skin will be damaged after about 30 minutes in full sun. Cheap sunglasses for your eyes are no different. Plus if you want to by sunglasses that will last a  lifetime then please read on…

Sunglasses are used for specific reasons by many people. Sunglasses are purchased to help with a more comfortable driving experience in a car or boat. Cutting down on glare and improving overall contrast and clarity can perhaps save you from a headache.Sunglasses are also needed by professionals: law enforcement, airline pilots and fire engine drivers to name just a few.

Golfers also buy sunglasses not (only) for aesthetics but for achieving that hole-in-one! Maybe that golfer you see on the course HAS paid 200 dollars for his or her sunglasses. But good sunglasses might have also helped him on the golf course also! Thier sunglasses DID protect their precious eyesight from the sun’s harmful rays.

Whatever the reason you want to buy sunglasses let the materials and quality of the sunglasses come first. Function over style.

My own Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are worth every penny I paid for them. They are comfortable, enhance the scenery around me and I know that they are also protecting my precious eyes.

Golfers sunglasses can help contrast the fairways and greens allowing you to play a better more comfortable game of golf. The design of the glasses must also allow you to swing the golf club as if no sunglasses were there at all. Some golfers sunglasses also have eye protection from high impact in the rare case a ball or club comes your way.

There are far more things to consider than just looking cool on the golf course or in your convertible sports car

Expensive sunglasses. Are they worth the money?

This is what you will get when spending less than $30 on sunglasses:

  • Inferior lens UV protection. Your glasses may indeed say “UV protection” but how much? Being outdoors in strong sunlight looking through dark plastic lenses forces your pupil to open wider, which in turn makes your eyes more susceptible to UV (ultraviolet) sun rays damage when cheaper lenses I used.
  • Shop for sunglasses that block out at least 96% of UVA sunlight rays and at least 99% of UVB sun rays.
  • Inferior lens shape. This is critical because cheap plastic lenses often will give you a distorted view oftentimes resulting in headaches.
  • Inferior frame materials. This is probably the most obvious difference. While it will not harm your health to have a cheap plastic frame it most likely can result in a broken frame within months of your purchase. I should know, having bought lots of sunglasses at 5 dollars each decades ago. Cheap sunglasses cannot handle the smallest abuse and often break. Plastic breaks, the hinge falls apart or the hinge just separates from the frame.
  • Inferior sunglass lens materials. Often acrylic is used and this is next to useless. NXT and glass are your best options.
  • If you prefer to shop for style over function then spending money on sunglasses is a great way to look the part at your afternoon tea party at the Hamptons. Please remember that names like Gucci and Prada will take your 500 dollars and offer you nothing more, often times less, than a 150 dollar pair of RAY-BAN’s. I am middle of the road in this regard, fashion over function can be found buying a pair of Persol sunglasses

A common argument:

The argument against spending more than ten dollars on sunglasses goes like this: “I only buy cheap sunglasses because I loose my sunglasses often or I sit on them in the car!” On the surface that sounds about right. However what I have found through my own experience is that spending about $100 dollars on sunglasses forces you to pay attention to the whereabouts of your sunglasses. I always use the case for my Ray Bans when not in use and I am always careful where I place them when I put them down. The more obvious benefit is that my eyes have better protection and the glasses are much better quality and design. I have owned this pair of Ray Bans since 2006! While owning these for 12 years hardly could be called “buying it for life” I think the reader will agree that 10 years or more owning the same pair of sunglasses is pretty damn good. Lifetime sunglasses will not break, but looking good on you is a lso a big MUST.

Buying guide for good sunglasses:

  • For sports such as running, fishing, or even walking a frame with rubberized arms would be an excellent choice. Close fitting to your face, letting in as little sunlight as possible on the sides and the top and bottom. In other words a close fit to your face. Remember if you buy your sunglasses on Amazon returning them is easy within 30 days. Often times return postage is paid for by Amazon. A close fit to the face not only keeps out sunlight but also the wind an added benefit when running or driving with the top down
  • Think about what predominant function you will be doing while wearing your sunglasses. The image below will guide you. One colour is missing is green, which also happens to be the tint on my Ray-Bans. A green lens, on a pair of sunglasses, also enhances contrast and that for me is important. Green and blue sunglass lenses also enhanced a yellow tennis ball!
Image titled Pick Sunglasses Step 7
  • The shape and size of your sunglasses frame should complement your face. Look at the examples below and the accompanying video to get an idea of what sunglasses frame shape you should buy when matched to the shape of your face.Image titled Pick Sunglasses Step 5 
    • Aviators – Teardrop-shaped lens and thin metal frames. Often used by pilots, military personnel, and law enforcement personnel in the US. Good with any face shape, but best with an oval shape.
    • Wayfarers/Spicolis – Popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
    • Teashades – Popularized by John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne. They’re not very effective at keeping light out of your eyes, though.
    • Wraparounds – Associated with athletics and extreme sports.
    • Oversized – Associated with models and movie stars. Glamorous, darling
    • Mirrorshades – Mirrored coating on the surface. Used a lot by police officers in the US. They usually come in an aviator or wraparound shape
  • Even a few scratches on the lens will make the sunglasses more difficult to see clearly. Caring for your sunglasses is important, however buying a very high-quality plastic called NXT polyurethane are will provide impact-resistance, are more flexible resulting in less likely to break, lighter weight and have greater optical clarity. These pair made by Costa del Mar have this plastic lens and are very popular.
  • Glass lenses are heavier, more expensive, and will “spider” if hit hard.
  • Polycarbonate lenses are not as scratch-resistant as NXT and provide less optical clarity than NXT polyurethane or glass, but the sunglasses are more affordable.
  • Polyamide is a less used material in sunglasses, which provides glass like optical clarity, without the danger of shattering.
  • There are significant differences in scratch resistance of polycarbonate lenses depending on the hard-coating finish applied during construction.
  • Acrylic is also affordable, but it’s the least durable and optically clear. They are also weak when exposed to heat and often deform. I do not recommend this material for your sunglasses.      

BIFL: Kitchen scissors and knives

Kitchen knives and kitchen scissors seem to be an item that some people are willing to spend LOTS of money on. Frankly spending 1,250 USD on a “good knife set” is such a waste of money.

A good kitchen knife made in the town of Seki can be bought for about 3000 yen or 27 USD. I bought one of these kitchen knives (chef knife) while visiting Seki, a small town in Japan, the samurai sword capital and now a manufacturer of excellent kitchen knives. I often see advertisements in the USA for knives, from Japan, selling for 300 USD each, however, it is not necessary to spend this much money to chop and dice your veggies. I have chosen some excellent kitchen knives for our readers to ponder over. I encourage you to read the reviews on these excellent recommendations

In the same category of a kitchen knife is the need for poultry shears. I actually use kitchen scissors about as often as I use a knife when preparing food in my kitchen. Again, please read the reviews in our recommendation


BIO BIFL: Cookware in the kitchen

Pots and pans in the kitchen are probably the biggest pain in the neck for me. They can often be difficult to clean, or often allow the food to burn easily. This also may also be operator error. Pots and pans, cookware also take up LOTS of space in my kitchen.

So for me choosing the correct size and style of pan is important, especially if a single cookware item can take the place of 2 or 3 others pots or pans. This article delves into your best choices in the kitchen for cookware.

If there was ever an item that should be/could be a “buy me once” products then certainly kitchen pots and pans should be on this list. In today’s eco-minded shoppers, a buy it for life mindset is front and centre of purchases both for their wallet and the environment.

Cast iron cookware can absolutely be a once in a lifetime purchase. Our Buy it once, Buy it for life motto will be a safe bet with cast iron cookware.

Cast iron cookware

Cast iron cookware is an all-time favourite with many mums, dads and professionals. These items can be either bare cast iron or enamelled. What is enamel coated cast iron? Well, the most aesthetically pleasing to look at on the stove or hanging on the wall is the enamelled version. The cast iron is enamelled, just like old bathtubs once were, with a very durable finish and come in some beautiful, often vivid colours. These enamelled cookware items can go from the stove or oven directly onto the dining table for serving. Obviously, use a really good trivet.

Bare cast iron might not look so nice in your kitchen or on the dining table, but it is lighter than its enamelled brother, has no finish to chip (think bathtubs) and often food tends to stick less to a well seasoned bare cast iron that the enamelled version.

Seasoning cast iron cookware

The “seasoning” of cast iron cookware is a word used to describe the preparation you need as the buyer, of a brand new cast iron cookware product. Seasoning will also benefit cast iron products that you might have bought secondhand at a garage sale or simply you just haven’t used that huge, heavy cast iron skillet that your family handed down to you until now.

The seasoning process will form a hard, protective coating on the otherwise bare cast iron cookware product. This protection is achieved by heating a very thin layer of fat onto the metal cast surface. When the seasoning process is done correctly and a number of times, the non-stick protective qualities is often far superior with respect to ability and safety

How to season a cast iron cookware item:

  • Step 1: Wash and Dry Your Cast iron product

Give the pan or pot a good scrub with warm, soapy water, then dry it thoroughly. Wait a few minutes for it to air dry and use a paper towel again to ensure the cookware is completely dry.

  • Step 2: Add the fatty layer

  • Step 3: Heat it in the Oven

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  • Step 4: Repeat 3 to 4 Times

Repeat: rub the cast iron pot or pan all over just like you did it the first time and then, as before, buff the cast iron surface with an old towel. Then return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Repeating this process and adding 3 or 4 layers of fatty oil to the surface will ensure a long lasting durable non-stick surface.

Good ideas for umbrellas

Buying an umbrella is not just to keep the rain off your head now. Umbrellas for keeping the sun off your head are important to millions of people in Asia and other hot, tropical climates. Even in the USA people have realised the importance and comfort of using an umbrella to keep the sun away from the face and head.

My favourite umbrella comes from a company that makes the Versa-brella. Its a big step up from a similar, much smaller version that I owned in the Eighties living in Santa Barbara. Take a look at the video. I think you will like it. If Not then take a look at some other selections I picked out for our readers.

The selection of boots in this article has been chosen from both personal experiences and from reading hundreds of reviews on Amazon. I have narrowed down your choices so that you may find the perfect rain boot for your needs. Ordering from Amazon also supports our work here at Buy it Once, Buy it for Life and yes we get a small commission from items you purchase via our website. Thanks!

Consumer wastefulness Vs products that last forever

A survey conducted in 2015 and commissioned by the British charity Barnardo’s, found that the majority of women’s clothing items are only worn 7 times on average. After 7 times, the article is relegated to the top shelf of a closet until it is finally donated or given to family or friends.

Combatting this wastefulness is at the heart of my business here at I have plenty of company and have scoured the internet and online shopping malls to find the most economical products in a growing number of clothing brands offering alternatives to this disposable shopping economy. Brands such as Zady, Cuyana, and The 30 Year Sweatshirt are becoming more and more popular as many of us find a way to make the world a greener place to live in. If not we, shall all surely drown in our own wastefulness!

Buy it for life and “buy me once” products have become a positive trend in today’s eco-minded culture. This website has researched carefully chosen items and are a good example of products that last a lifetime.

Each year the trend has been for Americans to buy more clothing each year than they have ever done so before. Consumers shopped for an average of 64 items of clothing each year and about seven pairs of shoes per year. In the 1990’s this figure was half. So with DOUBLE consumption, in just 20 years, manufacturers and purchasers are climbing onboard the idea of more will mean less. In the long-run.

I hope you enjoy perusing some of the products here at for these very reasons. Enjoy a beautiful day.

How to buy a refrigerator that lasts

Perhaps 50 years ago buying a refrigerator that lasts a lifetime was not so much of an issue. So many people today spend more than one thousand dollars on a cool refrigerator only to have a serious problem that costs another 500 dollars to fix just 1 year later.

If you are serious about buying a refrigerator that will last a few decades, lasting a lifetime depends on whether you are 20 years old now or 60 years old! This short article will help you decide on the best choice for your needs.   

A very important step in the buying process is to read the reviews on Amazon. I do this all the time even though I may not buy the item on Amazon. The reviews are real-world experiences. My choice has always been a bottom freezer model. I simply only use the freezer a very small portion of the time and so have the fridge compartments at eye level is much more convenient and comfortable to load and unload. I hope this helps with your decision! Diane


BIFL: Buying the best hair clippers for men

For many reasons, people want to buy and find the best hair clippers. Economics of a haircut, number of children and other family members and the mobility of an elderly person: all these factors play a part in deciding to buy a hair clipper set.

For me and my 3 young boys, it was about really wanting to cut their hair. My eldest wasn’t really keen on going to a barber shop and he was also a huge germophobic. So I decided to cut their hair myself. The learning curve was not huge, I watched a few YouTube videos while drinking my morning coffee.. and voila… I am a hairstylist. OK, not really but I managed.

I actually still own THIS HAIR CLIPPER SET that I bought about 7 years ago. Not a thing wrong with the clippers, great design, great quality. This item could definitely be put in the category of Buy it Once, Buy it for Life!

Take a look at some of the top-rated men’s hair clipper sets that I have picked out for our readers. I hope you find one that you like. Diane 

BIFL: The best air mattress

Whether you are on a small budget, live in a tiny room or are expecting visitors next weekend and inflatable air mattress is always a good thing to have handy.

The best inflatable air mattresses have self-contained inflation pumps, no you do not have to sit for 30 minutes with the hair dryer anymore and they also have comfortable no-sweat sleeping surfaces.

I actually own THIS AIR MATTRESS and have slept on it more times than I care to admit for one reason or another. However, the sleep I got from this inexpensive option, compared to the real thing, was amazing. Experimenting with the amount of inflation is key. If you overinflate then you tend to roll to one side. Underinflate in my back hurt a little. I ask Goldilocks.. and found the “just right” spot after about 4 nights.

As always, read the user reviews. I hope you find what you are looking for in an inflatable air mattress.