on March 14, 2013
I bought this luggage in the charcoal color after doing extensive research on different models, and after using it for over a year, I'm convinced I chose well. Here are 6 reasons why this luggage is awesome:
1. Size - This is the perfect size to pack your things in for an international flight (in economy class, that is). When I was a kid traveling with my parents, I used to pack my things in one of their full-size luggages (the ones around 29" long), and it was never full even when I had maxed out the weight limit of 50 lbs (i.e. my stuff would tumble around in the luggage while in transit). With this 25", I can pack my stuff in very neatly up to 50 lbs and it'll arrive at my destination the same way. I think there really is no reason to use a larger luggage unless you are a) traveling on business or first class where you are given more than a 50 lb per piece luggage limit, or b) packing lots of boxes with empty space inside your luggage, i.e. 10 pairs of shoes in their original shoeboxes.
2. Lightweight - Like I said, I wanted to stay under the 50-lb limit. But I also wanted to pack as much stuff as I could under 50 lbs, so I wanted the lightest luggage possible. I have back issues too, so I didn't want to struggle with lifting any more weight than was necessary. This piece is around 9 lbs when it's empty, so it's not the absolute lightest luggage on the market (the International Traveler IT-O-2 is about 3 lbs lighter), but it was the lightest one that met all my other criteria.
3. Easily maneuvered - I was initially skeptical of the spinner wheels, because they looked like they would break off easily, jutting out like that. I had only ever used luggage with recessed in-line wheels before, which I thought would always be more durable. But after a year of using this luggage, the wheels are still perfectly intact and I don't think I could go back to using non-spinner luggage. Since it spins 360 degrees, it is just so easy to get the luggage to go where you want it to go, which is crucial when you have to swiftly squeeze into a crowded rush-hour train on the way to the airport and the only floor space left for your luggage is at a really awkward angle.
4. Durable - I generally trust Samsonite to make good quality luggage that doesn't fall apart. It may not have a Tumi warranty, but this one has held up for over a year of use and looks like it could go for at least 10 more. I particularly love the side grip handles which are built into the luggage itself, sewn into the corners. These handles aren't coming off anytime soon! The luggage has a handle on the bottom end, too (3 handles in total: top, right, and bottom), so if you're lifting the luggage to face up you can hold the luggage with both hands, which leads to less wear and tear on the top handle.
5. Color - I decided that I was never going to buy black luggage because it's just too hard for me to spot it on a luggage carousel among all the millions of other black luggage at 2am, when my eyes are still bleary from jetlag. And even if I could, there's no telling how many other jetlagged travelers might mistake it for their bag and bring it home with them. My dad used to tie these brightly colored ribbons on the handles of our old black luggage to make it easier to spot on the carousel...a good workaround if you have no other option but black luggage, but I find it so much easier to just not buy black luggage in the first place. I picked the charcoal color because I wanted it to look classy and not too girly, so my husband doesn't mind being seen with it. I think this backfired on me though because now he likes to use my luggage more than his black one! Oh, and for those of you concerned about non-black luggage looking dirty, fear not---after much traveling I've only ever gotten a few small black smudges on it, and they were really easy to wipe off.
6. Beauty - This luggage definitely looks prettier than the IT-O-2 made by International Traveler, mainly because the exterior material of the IT-O-2 was wrinkly (like duffel bag material stretched over a luggage frame). I also didn't like that the telescoping handle of the IT-O-2 was so wide (basically as wide as the luggage itself). I like securing some bags on top of my luggage by looping the strap (or the built-in luggage pass-through) around the telescoping handle, and I won't be able to do that if the telescoping handle is too wide. The handle on this Samsonite is perfect.
By the way, I also have the matching 21" version of this luggage (the carry-on size). It nests inside the 25" one if you slip it in upside down (with the wheels of the 21" facing in the opposite direction of the wheels of the 25"). I like to wrap the 21" in a large plastic bag before nesting it so that any dirt on its wheels won't get inside my 25".
Other reviewers have complained that this bag tips over all the time. I personally have never had that problem. Perhaps Samsonite has fixed whatever was the issue.
Final word: BUY IT! You won't be sorry. Buy the 21", too.
on September 19, 2011
I bought this bag in blue-lovely, and easy to spot on carousel- and am so happy with it. took it to Spain for 9 day trip and it handled cobblestones with ease. On a smooth surface, you can just roll it along beside you without tilting it, using the shorter handle option; what a breeze. My husband liked it so well, he got a duplicate. His had a tendency to tip over, while mine did not, and I'm sure that's because I intentionally packed heavier items closer to the wheels. When he repacked, problem solved! I'm a reasonably light packer and I had plenty of room, even packed my soft airplane carryon inside it (and my husband packed his briefcase in his) when we took trains. I didn't need the expansion zipper. Zippers work well and handle worked well and comfortable. Side handles for lifting also nice.
on September 11, 2011
The bag was really great for our recent 2.5 week trip. The bag itself is very lightweight and EASY to spot the beautiful color on the baggage conveyor belt!! Unfortunately, the baggage handlers put a dent in a small portion of the structure just above one of the bottom back corners. I hope this doesn't create future issues.
MY only issue was that when fully packed and expanded, the bag would NOT stand up alone and kept falling forward! This is the only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars, but it really could be a major issue for someone.
on April 4, 2012
I got this for my husband's 30-day training trip to Europe on business. This bag is light and spacious and held plenty of clothing for about 9-10 days (thank goodness for laundry service!). It was still snowing and a business-casual dress code where he was going so there were a bunch of bulky items e.g. sweaters, fleece trousers, business suit, winter coat etc. He also had to bring some books/manuals for the training course and this one bag (+ a laptop bag, carried on) held everything comfortably.
It had a tendency to tip over when fully packed (but not expanded) but we repacked heavy items at the bottom and this helped to stabilize it somewhat. Once expanded, heavy items at the bottom didn't help though and it kept tipping over unless held or carefully positioned. This was kind of annoying but not a huge deal for him as he didn't expand it.
Many comments on the bag's good looks were received and the grey color is somewhat lighter than "Charcoal" implies, it's more silvery. We saw it in-store so no surprises. It's quite easy to spot on the carousel and handles are invaluable when manhandling it on and off taxis/carousels/hotel rooms. He specifically wanted a 4-wheel design as that would allow him to kick it along when standing in lines, and also make it easier to maneuver in elevators etc, and this didn't disappoint.
No comments on wear/tear as it's only been used for that one trip so far but it handled being dragged over cobblestones for 10min when his taxi dropped him at the wrong hotel :)
on January 30, 2014
This bag was lightweight, and the wheels seemed sturdy making bag easy to maneuver. The one major design flaw was the lack of easy access to the inside top half of the bag. The zipper on the netting on the top half is on the bottom, making it impossible to access items in it without fully opening bag and laying it flat. If you prop bag open on a hotel luggage rack, with top half leaning against the wall, you can not access items without having them fall out the bottom. I've never seen this design before, zipper is on the top on all other luggage we've ever owned. When a bag is open with top and bottom halves at right angle, the zipper needs to be on top for you to easily pack and unpack items. I'm returning this, but would have loved the bag if I could access items in top half more easily. Haven't seen this mentioned by other posters, so maybe others don't use the top half to pack stuff or don't mind laying the bag flat to access items.
on July 15, 2012
I bought this for a recent trip to Ireland and England. With the strict weight limits these days (especially flying within Europe) I wanted a lighter suitcase than I had. This fit the bill perfectly. It was big enough, while still allowing me to avoid excess baggage charges. The only drawback is that it easily tips over. I tried packing heavier items in the bottom, but it still was just a nudge away from tipping. The problem is exacerbated when the expansion zipper is opened, as the zipper only goes around 3 sides of the suitcase (not the bottom) which gives the standing suitcase a "V" type shape. All in all though, I really like the product.
on February 22, 2012
This bag makes traveling easier. It's light weight so I can lift it more easily or pack more and not go over the weight limit. The color is closer to royal blue than purple. It's easy to spot on the carousel. The four wheels make maneuvering a breeze. When I was checking in at the airport last week the baggage handler commented on how nice it was. Even my husband noticed how much lighter it was, so I just ordered one for him today.
on May 16, 2012
The quality of this bag was extremely disappointing. My wife and I have two carry-on Samsonite 21.5" spinners that have been around the world with us, so we specifically looked for a Samsonite when we needed a larger piece.
The bag went on exactly one round trip--four airplanes--and has been destroyed. A summary of the damage: one exterior zipper pull completely lost; one lower corner crushed in (making the bag unbalanced and impossible to roll); frame-integrity completely lost.
Of course, luggage sometimes gets treated roughly in transit, but the damage done in this case is pretty clearly the result of shoddy craftsmanship.
Needless to say, we're back on the market, and just ordered a 25" Victorianox instead.