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Samsonite Review

Friday, February 23rd

2024 Luggage Reviews

Samsonite Review 3.5 Star Rating

Samsonite

3.5 Star Rating
  • Almost 150 pieces to choose from in 50 different lines
  • Hardsided and softsided luggage available
  • In business for 100+ years
  • Warranty coverage ranges from three years to limited lifetime (no coverage for handling damage)

When you think of luggage brands, Samsonite is probably one of the first names that comes to mind. That's with good reason: the company has been in business for over 100 years and is practically synonymous with suitcases and other travel necessities.

Huge variety to choose from

Because Samsonite has over 50 product lines to choose from, the easiest way to shop this luggage brand is by the type you need. Hardside carry-on? Rolling duffel? A three-piece set of spinners? Yes, you can get all of that and more with the Samsonite label on it.

Samsonite's most popular line

With over 18,000 customer ratings averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars, Samsonite's Winfield 2 line is the brand's most popular series. The all-over brushed print of the polycarbonate exterior hides those scuffs that can be so common with hardsided luggage. You can buy the luggage in this series as individual pieces -20" carry-on, checked bags in 24" and 28" sizes - or as a set of two or three. Color choices run the rainbow, from charcoal to brushed white and many other hues in between. You'll pay $139.99 for the carry-on and $479.99 for the three-piece set. Key features include 360-degree spinner wheels, TSA-compatible combination locks, and zippered organizational pockets. The Winfield 2 line has a 10-year limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Trendy softsided choice

If you prefer softsided luggage, take a look at the Solyte DLX collection. Also boasting an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars (though with "just" under 2,000 reviews instead of 18,000), this series includes the traditional components of a luggage set: 20" carry-on, 25" medium checked bag, and 29" large checked bag. Your color choices in Solyte are a little more muted than the Winfield 2 collection, limited to midnight, navy, gray, cedar green, iris blue, and Mediterranean blue. Solyte luggage has spinner wheels, organizational pockets (including a WetPak), and a 10-year limited warranty. Expect to spend about $170 for the carry-on, $230 for the medium check bag, and just under $250 for the largest suitcase.

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Luggage that stands out

Need luggage that really stands out? If you can find it in stock, Samsonite's C-LITE Artist Collaboration series will practically guarantee that no one else will have the same suitcase as you. At the time of this review, the most recent artist featured in the series was Jean-Michel Basquiat: limited to a carry-on spinner ($600) and a large spinner ($700), the exterior designs include two of his works, one called "Pez Dispenser" and other called "Untitled Skull" . There's no shortage of features either, with TSA-approved combo locks, integrated USB ports, lining made from 100% recycled plastic, and exceptional impact resistance in the shell.

Substandard customer service

Unfortunately, despite being a household name in luggage, Samsonite is far from being the most well-loved brand. You'll first start to get that impression when you consider the "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, for the 112 complaints filed there over the last three years and failing to respond to or resolve more than two dozen of those. Both in the BBB listing and elsewhere, we found numerous comments from just the last few months describing the customer service from Samsonite as "a joke" . Even when trying to get repairs or replacements under warranty - for situations that ought to be a no-brainer to cover - people said that the parts are hard to come by, answers are few and far between, and it's a hassle all around.

One-stop shop

At the end of the day, Samsonite offers far more options for luggage than many of its rivals: if you're looking for something unique or you need a range of suitcases to choose from, this could be one-stop shopping. Plus, some customers have had a genuinely good experience with their Samsonite luggage. But, with hundreds of people describing the customer service department as "nightmarish" when trying to get help, we can't give Samsonite our strongest recommendation among luggage brands.

Which Luggage Brand is the Best?

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.

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Luggage FAQ

Not necessarily. Every company has to start somewhere, and a new brand might be the next big hit. However, sticking with luggage brands that have lots of customer reviews and a track record of honoring warranties is always a safer bet.
Definitely not. Some brands have limited lifetime coverage of manufacturer defects, while others only extend that protection in the first few years that you own your luggage. A very small number of luggage brands protect you against wear and tear, even airline mishandling, but the majority will only replace or repair your suitcase if something malfunctions (like a zipper breaks).
Unused? Yes, usually. Check the policy of the luggage brand you're considering if you think this is a real possibility.
In our experience, not usually. You're paying for the prestige and the look, but luxury luggage brands rarely match their more affordable counterparts with respect to durability and function. Even the ones that supposedly offer a "lifetime warranty" often fall down when it comes to honoring that promise. You're usually better off going with luggage that mixes form and function: what good is a fancy name if your suitcase busts open the first time it's thrown on an airport conveyor belt?
Very few. Even iconic brands like American Tourister and Samsonite are usually made in China.
Your features wish list depends on the kind of travel you anticipate doing. Adventurous, outdoorsy types might like duffel bags with compartments to separate muddy and wet clothing from dry, clean items. Business travelers or the tech savvy might appreciate a carry-on with a built-in USB port. Other commonly-sought features include spinner wheels, TSA-compatible locks, zippers to expand the packing capacity, and external handles that maximize interior packing space.
No. While most luggage brands do their best to designate their carry-ons as domestic- or international-sized, there are no guarantees. Helpful hint: read through the customer reviews on any piece you're considering and see if any mention your frequently-flown airlines.
That's like asking "Coke or Pepsi" . Soft-sided tends to weigh a little less and be more forgiving of cramming in that one last must-have item. Hard-sided is, well, harder. It can offer greater protection if you tend to travel with fragile belongings, but it also tends to get scuffed up quickly. It's really more a matter of personal preference than anything.
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Continued from above...

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:

  • Warranty. The most expensive suitcase won't be worth much if it falls apart and you can't get it replaced or repaired. Warranty coverage can vary widely, with some luggage brands offering just one or two years of protection and others giving you a limited lifetime plan. Read the fine print, though: some warranties include service on issues related to airline handling, but most don't. Also check to see if the warranty includes both repair and replacement or just one or the other.
  • Durability. Does the luggage hold up under normal use? All luggage will get scuffed over time, but some brands do a better job of concealing it. What do customers say about their experience with the brand, especially after multiple trips?
  • Customer service. Does the company have a reputation for providing helpful, efficient responses when there's a problem? Has the brand responded to any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau or in other places?

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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