on March 2, 2013
I got this suitcase set yesterday, and I'm very pleased with the design, construction, and, especially, price.
I did read several of the reviews here; some are pretty entertaining, especially those that complain that the suitcase is too small. (E.g., the guy who said his one pair of pants and two T-shirts filled the main suitcase. Huh? All I can figure is his pants are fashioned from a grizzly bear's hide, and his T-shirts are lined with sheepskin.)
Well, the dimensions for both pieces are provided in the item description, and they are accurate. Are some of these people buying only on the basis of pretty pictures?
I'm heading to the Philippines tomorrow for a two-week trip, so I did my packing today. Just as a point of reference that might be helpful, here's what fit:
In the main suitcase (with the 1" expansion zipper closed), I have: 1 pair of pants; 6 short-sleeve shirts; 3 long-sleeve shirts; 2 T-shirts; swim trunks; 12 sets of underwear and socks; 4 handkerchiefs; 2 pair of sunglasses; water mocs (which double as slippers); digital camera and charger; and a 13" laptop computer with power supply and mouse.
In the separate tote, I have: another 13" laptop computer and another digital camera with all cables and chargers; 6 print magazines; all my toiletries; an inflatable travel pillow; and a 5.5" x 8.5" notebook that I use to carry papers, passport, extra credit cards etc. The tote fits easily under a plane seat, and will have all the stuff I want during the flights.
Btw, I'm taking two cameras and computers because one of each will stay behind in the Philippines as gifts -- so, I'll have room on my return trip for a few souvenirs. Plus, I've still got that expansion zipper I can open up.
Btw #2, I am not a dwarf, with doll-size clothes; I'm an average old guy of average size (5'9", 170 lbs).
Btw #3, you people do know to roll rather than fold clothes, right? It saves space and helps reduce wrinkles.
Btw #4, on many of the smaller aircraft, they won't let you carry-on anything bigger than a 21" bag; they'll take it from you as you're boarding, and make you wait for it when you land.
Btw #5, on the puddle-jumper planes they use between islands in the Philippines, there's a luggage weight limit of only 15 to 20 kg total (and 8 kg for carry-ons) -- yet another reason to keep things simple.
Whether this set is right for you (or not) is going to depend on five things: destination, duration, purpose, statement, and style.
Destination: Where are you going? I'm headed to a hot climate. If I were going to Juneau in January, I'd need bulky stuff like sweaters, coats, etc. Note that I'm also not trying to lug along a lot of sports gear; I'll rent what I need.
Duration: How long are you going to stay? If you've done the math on my packing list, you've figured out that I might wear the same shirt twice. Oh, the horror!! Well, if any get too stinky, I'll rinse them out in the hotel sink.
Purpose: Why are you making the trip? i.e., what will you do when you get there? Mine's purely leisure, so I don't need to pack suits, ties, dress shoes and shirts, etc. Maybe you're a bridesmaid in a wedding, and you have to pack a big, ugly, pastel dress with matching shoes, I dunno.
Statement: Do you care what others think about your luggage? Seriously, to some people, this is an important fashion statement, so they buy Coach, Louis Vuitton, Tumi, et. al. I guess my statement is, "efficient cheapskate."
Style: What's your attitude about what's necessary? This is the biggie when it comes to luggage, and it's entirely personal. As you can tell from my packing list, I'm willing to "suffer" through the repetition of some clothing items. On the other hand, I once lived with a woman who -- even if we were headed to a beach in Mexico -- needed an entire suitcase devoted to nothing but her shoes. If that sounds like you, then yeah, this set might be too small.
UPDATE after 18 months:
I'm knocking off one star, because the outer fabric doesn't hold up over the long term. I had the mustard orange color, and it got very dirty and frayed from hundreds of planes, busses, boats, and taxis. At home, I tried to clean it with a damp rag and mild detergent, and the fabric practically disintegrated -- so much so as to be useless. SO, I threw out this set and will buy another of the same size. But considering the price paid, and the amount of use I got out of it -- more than 60.000 miles -- I *still* think this is a very good set.