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Friday, February 23rd
Amazon Basics was started in 2009, originally designed as a private label for small electronic accessories: plugs, cables, and so on. As those items became more and more popular, Amazon expanded the "brand" to include more than 1,500 products ranging from personal care and beauty to office furniture and supplies - typically items that people buy frequently.
Selection can be tricky
Selection with the Amazon Basics luggage brand can be tricky. Looking under the Luggage subsection - you'll find it under the Garage heading, because that's where Amazon thinks most of us keep ours stored when not in use - you'll find the usual hard- and softsided suitcases and carry-ons, plus some accessories like packing cubes and umbrellas (?). Searching for the "luggage" keyword within the Amazon Basics brand is more hit-or-miss: on one pass, it returned 42 matches, but hitting refresh a few seconds later, that list went down to 27. And so it goes when shopping on Amazon, amirite?
Hard shell is most popular
With over 36,000 customer reviews at the time of this evaluation, the most popular luggage in the Amazon Basics line is the hard-shell suitcase set. You'll also see the components sold individually - but they each share the same ratings whether purchased one by one or as a set. Features include spinner wheels, plenty of interior compartments, and telescoping handles. Available sizes include a 21" carry-on plus two larger suitcases (26" and 30" ), Also, you could go with the basic black, but why not choose a color that will make your luggage easier to spot on the carousel? This set and its components also come in navy, royal blue, and orange, and if you click around in the options you'll also find a bright pink combo.
Disappointing warranty protection
One area to watch out for with this luggage brand is the warranty. There's nothing on the product listings that tells you how long you'll be covered. Searching through the Q&A and customer reviews, we found frequent mentions of a one-year period and lots of recommendations to purchase the extended protection plans (three years for $21.99 or four years for $29.99 on a 24" hardside suitcase). Even then, many customers who needed to make a claim under warranty said that either it was denied (ruled as damage not covered under the terms and conditions) or that it was difficult getting service from the third-party warranty company. Many mentioned that it would have been worth spending more to buy luggage from a brand with a strong manufacturer warranty instead of dealing with the process through Amazon.
High customer satisfaction
And yet, overall customer satisfaction with the Amazon Basics line is high. We put more stock in the reviews that say that the luggage has been used for multiple trips over several years, compared with those from customers who just barely got it out of the box and haven't put it to the test yet - and there are plenty of those to read through. It's easy to search through the customer reviews, photos and videos and see how these suitcases and carry-ons measure up, literally: if you're a frequent flier with a particular airline and you need to make sure your luggage is going to fit, you'll probably find photos of the dimension guides at the airport and even of the carry-on being placed into an overhead bin.
Amazon Prime benefits
And, of course, if you're one of the millions of Amazon Prime subscribers, you've got the advantage of free returns and fast delivery on pretty much everything in the Basics luggage lineup.
Good for the budget-conscious
We give Amazon Basics fairly high marks as a luggage brand for the budget-conscious shopper. Are these suitcases going to last you forever? Probably not, but you're not going into your purchase expecting a luxury brand here. As long as you keep your expectations in check, you'll get exactly what you pay for with Amazon Basics.
When it comes to buying your next set of luggage, your brand choice depends on several factors. Are you looking for the cheapest possible set to get your clothes from here to there? A designer label that conveys luxury and status? A mix of form, function, and value? Your answer to those questions will be a good jumping-off point as you decide which brand of luggage is right for you.
Do you have a preference for hard-sided or soft-sided carry-ons and suitcases? Some luggage brands offer both, while others specialize in one or the other. The same goes for the color and/or design: almost any brand will give you several options in basic black, but if you want your bags to stand out on the claim carousel at the airport - so that you spend as little time as possible trying to figure out which one is yours - your options may be more limited.
Still, almost every luggage brand has something that can catch your eye. Whether it's a bright solid color with contrasting accents, or a crazy pattern that's not likely to be repeated among your fellow passengers, you can usually find a piece that will stand out..
Another factor that will influence your luggage brand choice is your travel purpose. Taking the kids to Disneyland would require a very different assortment of carry-ons and suitcases (and sizes) from a couples' trip to hit the slopes at Vail or a solo backpacker adventure through Europe.
Once you've figured out if you need hard or soft luggage and determined what kind(s) of journeys you expect to put your bags through, what else will you need to consider as you choose a brand? Keep these factors in mind:
To help you get the right suitcases, carry-ons, and duffels for all of your travels, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked today's top luggage brands. We're sure that this information will make it easy to find the best gear to take you from Toledo to Tokyo, wherever you may roam. Bon voyage!
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