Packing It Up in Style — A Suitcase Review

Posted by on Jun 23, 2012 in Sandbox Reviews, Uncategorized | 11 comments

At the top of my shopping list when I was in Halifax last summer was a new suitcase. I found a great one, big but not too big, and an animal print that would stand out on any airline conveyor belt. I still remember laughing when the woman explained the five year warranty on the frame and handle, and explaining to her that I didn’t live in Canada. Well, that must have been an omen. Unbeknownst to me, Air Canada did ruin the frame, and I didn’t discover the damage until I used the bag again a couple of months later. The handle no longer retracts. Sighhh…I’ve used it a couple of times since, and each time the handle gets a little more beat up.

Finally on Tuesday, I decided enough! and I headed off to the local department store. My budget was low, $125.00 max. I also wanted something light, and bright, and those wheels that kind of make your bag dance along the sidewalk.

After a lot of looking, and probably stressing out the sales people watching the crazy foreign lady take every bag off the shelf and give it a test spin down the isle, I chose a light bag at a good price. I had to compromise on the color, and I didn’t get the “dancing wheels”, but at a little over a hundred dollars, I can’t complain.

And here it is…

Not the bright color I had envisioned, but I can live with it. In this photo it could pass for black, but actually it’s brown.

The brand is Atlas (of course, made in China). The weight (or lack of it really impresses me), and it’s a perfect size 49x69x28cm. There’s an outside pocket, and both a side and top handle. There’s also a handy lock. It looks like it can handle a beating from the cargo hold and the conveyor belt.

And inside…

Honestly, the inside kind of reminds me of a coffin! The material is light and kind of shiny. I like the zippered pouch in the main part of the case. Great for storing underwear! Then there is the net bag inside the cover, and a place for shoes. I’m going to be able to organize everything perfectly.

I’m happy with my purchase, and pleased that I am taking off to Prague on Monday with a suitcase that is not damaged, at a price that didn’t break the bank.

What about you? Do you look for luggage that is good value for your money, or do you go for the expensive stuff?


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  1. Back when I used to do a lot of business travel my in-laws bought me some high end Samsonite luggage that the flight crews all used at the time. It’s not super light but it’s not at all heavy. That luggage has survived well over 12 years of frequent use and abuse all over the world with only one minor cut in the fabric to show for it.

    • I think you got lucky. When I traveled for business (In Canada), it didn’t matter whether my luggage was cheap or expensive. It always seemed to get damage. At that time I flew mostly Canadian. It seemed like they were forever repairing or replacing my luggage. In my experience, Air Canada is no better…:)

  2. $125 seems high for a suitcase for a budget traveler :-). But if it lasts you a few years then it pays off.

    Checked luggage takes a beating thus the airlines will always repair or replace if necessary. You just have to submit it before you leave the airport. That’s why its always a good idea to inspect your luggage once you pick it up and before you leave the airport.

    Does this fit in the overhead or do you have to check it? Hard to tell from your pictures.

    • Hi Kerwin…thanks for dropping by.

      I ended up paying 105,000Won for this case (approx. 115.00US). I probably could have gotten a cheaper bag at the market, but didn’t have time to get there. I will use this bag until it is on its last legs, believe me!

      I used to be the “queen” of getting my luggage repaired when I was a business traveler in Canada. I never left the airport without inspecting my bag, and still don’t. Unfortunately, the damage to my other bag was internal, and did not become apparent until long after I had left the airport…so annoying!

      I will be checking this bag. I’m going to Prague for a month, so need more than a carry-on 🙂

      • fair enough Lad E. :-). I just use a backpack as don’t have time to check anything :-).

  3. Less chance of someone stealing a plain brown case than a cute patterned or colourful one!

    Looks very practical.

    • So true…and despite the color, I am liking it!!

  4. A few years ago John and I finally go suitcases on wheels and that in itself made traveling and walking through airports much easier. I have a good one but sometimes – even for 1 2+ week trip I’ll carry all my stuff in a smallish knapsack. I love the fact that I can carry it all around with me.
    I think $115 is a steal of a deal and I hope you have a marvelous time in Prague.

    • Leigh…I’ll use a pack if I am only going for a day or two, but other than that it’s a suitcase these days. However, I do agree, it is nice to be able to carry everything on my back once in a while.

  5. That’s quite a sleek little number, looks like it’s got good storage capabilities too. Reminds me that I need to sort out my own write-up on this new Karrimor I’ve got.

  6. Will…it is turning out to be a great travel companion!

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