Taking different amounts of stuff on your two flights across the Pacific? Mujirushi Ryohin is here to help.

When you’re going on a trip, obviously your suitcase needs to be able to hold all the stuff you’re taking with you. Just as importantly, though, it needs to hold everything you’re taking back at the end of your journey, and sometimes those two amounts can be very different.

For example, when I travel back home across the Pacific, I’ve usually got a year’s worth of Christmas and birthday presents for friends and family, all of which are staying in the States, which leaves the stuff I’m bringing back to Japan bouncing and banging around my half-empty suitcase. On the flip side, when overseas Japanophiles travel to Japan, they often pack light to leave room for souvenirs they plan to buy here, giving them the same problem on the first leg of their trip.

Japanese lifestyle brand Mujirushi Ryohin, also known as Muji internationally, understands this dilemma, and so it’s now offering an elegant solution with its Half-Thickness Storable Soft Carry Suitcase.

Carrying on Muji’s tradition of simple yet eye-pleasing aesthetics mixed with pure practicality, inside the central compartment of the polyester suitcase are flaps that can be folded out.

Once they’re in place, give the sides of the suitcase an upwards tug, and it expands to twice its starting thickness, allowing you to store more things for the latter half of your travels.

▼ Conversely, if you started your trip in the larger configuration and are coming home with less stuff than you took with you, you can compact the suitcase down.

Want something similar that you can use as an airplane carry-on? Muji also has an expandable (via a zipper) polyester tote bag designed to attach to the handle that pulls out of the top of the expandable suitcase, as shown in the video above. The adjustable size lets you cram extra things you’ll need during the flight into it, then switch to the less bulky size once you’ve checked into your hotel and aren’t walking around the city carrying so much stuff.

The expandable suitcase is offered in both small and large sizes, the 9,900-yen (US$88) small with a maximum carrying capacity of 36 liters and the 12,900-yen large with 63 liters. The 2,990-yen tote bag, when in its full size, will hold 18.5 liters. All three are available in black or navy blue, can be ordered directly from Muji (here, here, and here), and shouldn’t take up too much space in your Mujirushi micro-house.

Source: YouTube/MUJIglobal via Design Taxi
Top image: YouTube/MUJIglobal
Insert images: YouTube/MUJIglobal, Mujirushi Ryohin

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s calculating how many more boxes of Clif Bars he could have brought back to Japan if he’d had an expandable suitcase on his last trip.