On the Case
This new polycarbonate case weighs only 9.2 lbs and is larger than its “short trip” description suggests.
April 30, 2018
Tumi V3 Short Trip Packing Case
It is easy to handle when filled, requiring little effort to maneuver thanks to four wheels. It has two main compartments, with a large zip-up pocket containing a plastic hanger bracket for storing suits. The other section is open and covered with dark gray lining, with X-shaped tie-down straps. A third compartment on the outside of the flap is useful for storing documents. A three-stage telescoping handle offers good control. It also has an integrated TSA lock.
VERDICT A solid, spacious case that is easy to handle. Best for trips lasting several days.
DIMENSIONS 26 in x 17.5 in x 10 in
VOLUME 2.15 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 9.2 lbs.
COLOR Deep blue, hot pink, mink, black
Victorinox Etherius Medium
Made from Bayer polycarbonate, this hard-shell case is streamlined and sturdy, with four wheels and a retractable handle that can be set at three different positions. Separate grips on the side and top make it simple to lift. It has two zip-up dividing walls made out of mesh and nylon fabric, plus two stretch Y-shaped compression straps to help keep clothes in place. It also expands to allow up to 27 percent more volume. A welcome layer of security comes from the Access lock combination recovery program, whereby owners can register their security codes online and retrieve them if forgotten.
VERDICT Stylish and good value for money, with utilitarian interiors that help to keep items in place.
DIMENSIONS 24.4 in x 17.7 in x 11.8 in
VOLUME 2.3 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 8.7 lbs.
COLOR Black, Evergreen, bronze, Dark Earth, Blue Lake, steel
Antler Oxygen Medium
The soft, polyester Antler Oxygen is a new ultra-light case with a strong, rip-resistant frame, as well as corner protectors designed to withstand the ravages of rough ground handling. Along with the expandable zip, the flexible material allows some give. It also has four wheels, top and side grip handles, an outer zip pocket concealed under a flap, plus TSA combination locks. Inside there is a mesh zip-up pocket and X-shaped straps for keeping items in place, although, when full, it can be a little unsteady. Carry on cases from the series come with a removable transparent toiletry bag.
VERDICT An extremely lightweight case made with durable fabric, although this picks up dirt easily.
27.5 in x 16.9 in x 10.6 in
VOLUME 2.6 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 4.9 lbs.
COLOR Blue, black, gray
Briggs and Riley Torq Large Spinner
This hard-shell case is extremely resilient, made with three layers of ultra-strong Makrolon polycarbonate. Inside, the front mesh pocket contains an adjustable loop for hanging suits, while the main compartment has two slender zip-up pockets on either side – good for holding small loose items – and a panel that attaches to the frame with clips, helping to compress the contents. Recessed double spinner wheels provide a decent level of control, while top and side grab points and molded side feet keep the bag unscathed when placed on its side. It is on the heavier side, but comes with a lifetime guarantee.
VERDICT Although weighty, the case is strong, with a number of compartments and panels to keep clothes wrinkle-free.
DIMENSIONS 30 in x 20 in x 12 in
VOLUME 3.75 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 13 lbs.
COLOR Cobalt, ruby, graphite, Tech Black
Samsonite Fuze Spinner
The name of this collection draws on its combination of hard and soft shell features, with the case boasting a robust, molded frame alongside soft, woven nylon panels that allow greater flexibility. It has double tube handles, top and side grab points, four smooth-running wheels, and front and back pockets that are handy for holding documents. There are interior straps to keep clothes in place, plus a zip-up compartment with an extra pocket to keep loose items. An outer zip allows the case to expand a further 1.6 inches, with TSA locks and a telescope handle that releases at two levels.
VERDICT A good-sized check-in case with plenty of pockets to help you stay organized. Black is best for hiding stains.
DIMENSIONS 32.2 in x 20.8 in x 13.4 in
VOLUME 4.3 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 9 lbs.
COLOR Blue Nights, black
PRICE £215 ($304)
Thule Subterra 3-in-1
An inventive case that splits into two, with a zip-on outer bag that detaches to create a cabin-size rolling duffel. A clip-on strap also allows the outer section to convert to a separate shoulder bag. The design is impressive, with segments attaching and detaching via a series of zips and fastenings. When all parts are attached to the trolley, plastic clips help to compress the contents. It has two wheels, a telescoping handle, top, side and bottom grab points, plus internal straps to keep clothes in place. An interior mesh pocket along the length of the bag is good for carrying keys and currency.
VERDICT The case holds just enough for a three to four-night trip, but its design is great if you want a number of bag options.
DIMENSIONS 14.2 in x 14.6 in x 21.7 in
VOLUME 2 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 7.6 lbs
COLOR Mineral, Dark Shadow
BRIC’s Life Rolling Duffel
This lightweight duffel markets itself as being environmentally friendly, made with synthetic suede and vegetable-tanned Tuscan leather finishes. Alongside its trolley handle, the case’s two wheels and anti-tilt feet are useful if you don’t want to use it as a holdall. If you do, the handle can be hidden with a zip closure, and the two slender grips can be joined with a button fastening for easy carrying. Inside, the duffel has two zip-up compartments and compression straps made from durable ribbon, while the top of the case has another pocket for extra storage.
VERDICT Elegant and functional, if perhaps not the most hardwearing. Great for a weekend trip.
DIMENSIONS 28 in x 14.5 in x 12.5 in
VOLUME 2.6 cu. ft.
WEIGHT 8.6 lbs.
COLOR Camel, olive, black, blue, brown