Most helpful critical review
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Newer Model of a classic design, some drawbacks.
on October 31, 2012
I bought this to replace a black hardcase samsonite spinner I've been using for about 7 years that has started to fade. While still in the 10 year samsonite warranty, I felt it was time for something new. This one from its pictures and description has many of the features I want: Carry On, 4 Wheel Spinner, Proper Latches with TSA Lock, Telescoping Handles.
A note on dimensions: This unit is listed as being 9 x 19 x 14. American Airlines (my regular airline) says the maximum carry on size is 9 x 22 x 14 respectively. I can confirm this will fit in the overhead space of a Super 80 (McDonnell Douglas MD-80) on the "D, E, F" side of the plane EXCEPT in Bulkhead first class Row 3 as that one bin is slightly tapered. Anyone who's had any problem being able to carry-on this case should use one of those handy "Check your bag" stations setup in every airport, usually at almost every American Airlines departure gate as well. If it will fit in an MD80, I guarantee you it will fit in all 737, 747, etc in overhead. It will not (as many bags do not) fit in an Embrarer Regional or Canadian Regional Jet (ERJ or CRJ). However you can side check it as you're supposed to in these cases.
I have 2 big complaints about this case. First, just like my previous one, the rails for the telescoping handle are housed within the case itself instead of on the outside - this is fine, I like it that way. In my old case, this allowed me to roll up socks or other small items and jam them into the nooks and crannies around the tubing internally which housed the telescoping handles. However with this unit, they've put some thin plastic cover infront of those areas between the liner material and the tubes. There is a ton of wasted space in doing this, and I'm having to relearn how to pack this properly as my system is all messed up now. This is superficial I agree, but it's annoying to think of the wasted space. If you travel as much as I do, for as long as I do, every cubic inch makes a difference, and there doesn't appear to be a way to remove this plastic sheet without removing the liner...
Second, don't let the metallic look fool you. The lighting in the image makes you think it's much more sturdy than it is, and also the true color is much more grey. The external material is softer and prone to nicks and scratches easily, much more so than the old one I keep referring to. This is not just as a result of the color (black vs grey), but that the old one had a textured and matte exterior to it whereas this one is flat with a glossy finish. Scrapes and scratches are much more noticeable.
On a positive note - the wheels are good, but these degrade overtime, so I'll put it down to them just being new. It does glide effortlessly and even works well pushing ahead of you on carpet. I can also fit about 2 weeks worth of clothes if I pack carefully, most of my travel is only 1 week so I usually have plenty of space. On several occasions I've also opted to put my laptop and electronics in this, I feel much more comfortable doing so with the hard case than a fabric exterior. It has a rubber bumper pad on the back side (same side as handle) a few inches up - this seems to be placed perfectly for dragging the case up a flight of stairs for example, without damaging or scratching the case.
Overall it's OK/Good.