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Friday, February 23rd
Thule got its start in Sweden in 1942. Best known for its bike and roof racks that allow you to transport yourself and your gear to all sorts of adventures, Thule won't surprise you by offering a luggage selection that mostly caters to intrepid wanderers - not necessarily to families headed to visit the famous Mouse or business travelers needing to maintain an uber-professional appearance.
7 different collections to choose from
Thule offers seven different collections of luggage, all with a limited lifetime warranty:
Limited lifetime warranty
Thule offers a limited lifetime warranty on all luggage. But, it's a little vague about what's covered and what's not, with wear-and-tear specifically excluded, along with scratches, accidents, and so forth. You're taking your chances that anything that goes wrong - a zipper falls off, a wheel on the duffel stops spinning - will be considered as "under warranty" . But, when we reached out to Thule via live chat, the representative said that with a sales receipt, it's usually easy to make a covered claim but warranty vs. wear-and-tear is determined on a case-by-case basis. Take that for what it's worth.
And if customer feedback for Thule in general is an indicator, you'd do well to pause before buying your luggage here. The company has a "D-" rating from the Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to a small number of complaints - but elsewhere, we found a couple hundred one-star reviews that also went unanswered by Thule. The products themselves seem to typically do what they promise, but the customer service team? Not so much.
Better for the outdoorsy traveler
If your travels are more of the outdoorsy kind and you need luggage that corresponds with that, Thule isn't a bad brand to check out. You probably don't need a Disney carry-on that fits into an overhead bin if you're about to go climbing in the Andes. For those travelers, Thule could be a good choice. However, we're not thrilled with the company's track record for responding to customer complaints, and many customers shopping for more traditional spinners and carry-ons won't find what they need here.
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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