Top positive review
178 people found this helpful
Light, easily maneuvered, durable, great color, classy-looking, and nests inside its 25" brother
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. Lightweight - It seems like airlines just keep reducing their carry-on weight limits. Hence the need for the lightest carry-on luggage possible so I can pack more stuff without exceeding the weight limit. This piece is around 7 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.
2. 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. It’s also much easier to get this through the center aisles of airplanes since you can roll it sideways.
3. 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. Zippers have never caught and have always moved smoothly. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Nesting Design - I have the matching 25" version of this luggage. This 21” 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". This nesting feature is great when you have VERY limited storage space!
A quirk of this luggage is that the telescoping handle tends to stop midway while pulling it out or sliding it back in. It actually seems to lock into that position until you press the button and pull again to extend the handle farther. The handle has never gotten permanently stuck in that midway position, so I think the handle may have actually been designed that way. It’s a convenient level for your hand to be at when you’re pulling the luggage along on your side (using all four spinner wheels), since you don’t want your hand too high while doing so. This was surprising to me at first and I even thought it was a defect, because my old Delsey always slid out smoothly. But I’ve grown to like it.
I do have to say though that with regards to size, this luggage is on the larger end for a carry-on. As some other reviewers have pointed out, it can be difficult to fit this into an overhead cabin in a small plane if you’re putting it in wheels first--you may have to put the luggage in sideways (if there’s room), or have the flight attendant put it in the special closet up front if there really is no overhead space left. I’ve only encountered this once or twice, though, so it’s never really bothered me too much.
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 25”, too.