Rarely does a celebrity name attached to a product add anything but cachet. That's happily not the case with Kiva's new

Rick Steves luggage line

. Steves, whose Europe guidebooks and television series help travelers save money and experience the local flavor of destinations, had a hand in designing this well-thought-out collection.

My favorite item is the

Convertible Carry On Bag

. At 21 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches deep, the bag has impressive packing space. The sturdy but lightweight (3.5 pounds) nylon bag can be carried as a backpack or a suitcase. It has plenty of pockets inside and out, compression straps to stabilize the load, and two mesh organizer bags. A clip-on zippered pouch can provide quick access to cash, a passport, or other travel papers. Comes in five colors.

Rick Steves Convertible Carry On (RSK-43) lists for $99.95. Info: 1-800-645-8818,

» READ MORE: www.kivadesigns.com


- Judi Dash