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Friday, February 23rd
Level8 is one of the newest luggage brands we've evaluated, getting its start in 2008. Based in New York, the company offers all hardsided luggage with a distinctly young, European feel: definitely nothing for small children or with garish colors and patterns.
Most popular Level8 line
The most popular line of Level8 luggage is the Grace series. Available as 2- or 3-piece sets or as individual components (20/24/28), over 2,500 people have given it a rating of four or five stars. Features include reinforced metal corners, 360-degree spinner wheels, telescoping handles, and handles on both the top and side. Colors in the Grace line include black, blue, gray, and red. The three-piece set is priced at $389.99, and individual pieces start at $119.99.
Another popular choice
The Luminous line is also well-liked, with more than 800 five-star ratings. This luggage line is very boxy-looking and comes with built-in TSA locks and spinner wheels. Size options include 20/24/28, with plain colors like black and navy and more novel ones like "pickle green" and "mint blue" . At $479.99, the three-piece set is more expensive than the Grace line, but still a good value overall compared with some luggage brands.
Level8's warranty is confusing: in some places, they say that they'll cover only manufacturing defects "within the warranty period" but then stop short of saying exactly how long that will be. In other places, it says that the warranty is "lifetime" and covers functional damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, or anything else that affects your use of the luggage - but the product description on some Level8 luggage only offered a two-year warranty. Not very clear, is it?
Questionable product description
We were similarly confused by some of Level8's product descriptions: on the Road Runner line, for example, some said it came with a USB charging port while others specifically excluded that feature. We were also dismayed by some of the typos we saw: "peices" and "labtops" , for example. Those seem like kinks that should have been worked out in the 14+ years the brand has been on the market. That might be part of the reason why the Better Business Bureau has Level8 as Not Rated: the BBB says that requests for background information have gone unanswered.
Positive customer feedback
Still, customer feedback for this brand is positive overall. Most Level8 luggage has hundreds of five-star reviews, if not thousands, and people say it holds up functionally (even if the airport handling leaves the expected scuffs). It's reassuring to see reviews from people who've dragged their Level8 luggage over cobblestones in Vienna and on dozens of domestic and international trips with no issues.
If you're feeling adventurous and want to take a chance on a lesser-known luggage company and you only want hard-side suitcases, Level8 could be a brand to try. Just realize that you might not have as much warranty coverage as you'd get with a rival manufacturer, depending on which Level8 description actually matches what they provide.
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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