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Which hardside luggage brands are the most reliable?

Charles Fazzino Carnevale by Heys USA

Charles Fazzino Carnevale by Heys USA

Britto Palm Collection by Heys USA

Britto Palm Collection by Heys USA

Heys zCase Collection in Metallic Silver

Heys zCase Collection in Metallic Silver

Heys Velocity Collection in Metallic Ruby Red

Heys Velocity Collection in Metallic Ruby Red

Rimowa Salsa Deluxe Collection

Rimowa Salsa Deluxe Collection

Rimowa Salsa Air

Rimowa Salsa Air

Tumi Vapor - Copper

Tumi Vapor - Copper

Tumi Vapor Black

Tumi Vapor Black

International Traveller Augusta Gold Leopard Pattern - 4 Wheel Spinners

International Traveller Augusta Gold Leopard Pattern - 4 Wheel Spinners

Heys USA EZ Computer Carry-Ons

Heys USA EZ Computer Carry-Ons

Which hardside luggage is most reliable?

A fellow Hubber asked me to write a hub addressing their question. The question was which hardside luggage is the most reliable? First, I would like to provide an understandable definition or distinction in product, so that my response is qualified. I’m not a chemical engineer or a science buff, so the fact of the matter is my descriptions will always be in layman’s terms. Polycarbonate is relatively new to the luggage industry. The most attractive properties of polycarbonate are the lightweight, flexibility, and durability characteristics. However, not all polycarbonate products are the same. The distinction is pure polycarbonate vs. polycarbonate composite. Although, most luggage vendors make a decision to produce one or the other, I know of some vendors that offer both varieties. The polycarbonate composite is far more prevalent, primarily because it is much more affordable. A polycarbonate composite is a layered plastic that generally has a ‘cap sheet’ of polycarbonate plastic on the surface layer. Although, a composite can actually have multiple layers, by definition a composite must have at least one layer other than the polycarbonate.

An amazing demonstration of the polycarbonate strength is to have an average sized adult stand up on top of the suitcase and watch the suitcase flex all the way to the floor. Once the person gets off the suitcase, you will miraculously see the suitcase return to the original shape. The outer surface color of a pure polycarbonate is fully penetrated or immersed into the material. Consequently, if there is a stress crease due to excessive weight or an excessive blow, you will notice the color of the crease is the same as the surface color. By comparison a polycarbonate composite will generally show a white crease or perhaps crack under the same degree of impact. Having said this, even the polycarbonate composites perform amazingly well especially considering their lightweight properties.

I would like to start with Rimowa®, the high quality German manufacturer, who was the first vendor in our luggage industry to offer pure polycarbonate in the year 2000. They have actually had their polycarbonate product tested by the German institute TUV. This institute is renowned for the endurance tests they conduct on vehicles for road safety. The outer material is not where Rimowa® stops, in fact they have a patented Multiwheel® system that is designed to roll in any direction on either two or four wheels. Additionally, the wheels are engineered to withstand the wear and tear you can expect from a substantial amount of weight and impact. Rimowa® offers collections with top-of-the-line zipper closures or with aluminum and magnesium frames. This frame adds a little more weight to the suitcase but offers more rigidity and durability. When you buy a Rolls Royce you expect to pay top dollar, well this is no exception. Rimowa® sets the standards in polycarbonate luggage, but they are also among the most expensive. The good news is that you absolutely get what you pay for, if you are a world-class traveler, I recommend that you pay more when you make your initial investment. Chances are you won’t ever have to replace this suitcase….until they come out with more bells and whistles that make your 2011 model look outdated. This pure polycarbonate ranges in price based on collection and size from $475 for their Salsa Air Cabin Multi Wheel Carry-On to $970 for their most deluxe Limbo 32” oversized Mulitwheel Trolley with aluminum frame.

New for Fall 2011 is the Victorinox Spectra™ Collection. The colors featured in North America are Red, Blue, and Black. What I like best about this collection is the bright iridescent finish that is also iconic on their Victorinox Swiss Army Knife collection. The Victorinox shield is clearly one of the most recognized logos throughout the world, so if you are looking for brand recognition, this should be your first choice! This collection is constructed of pure polycarbonate and not composite, as found on many competing lines. This line is an import product like most other polycarbonate brands, and unlike Rimowa® is not made in North America. Consequently, the prices are quite competitive among luggage brands made of pure polycarbonate. The Carry-On Upright is 299.99 and the collection graduates in price all the way up to the $369.99 for the 32" 8-Wheel Travel Case. The quality to price ratio makes this collection a serious contender! A highlight of the key features include a one-touch dual-trolley telescoping aluminum handle system; 8-Wheel Spinner for ease of maneuverability; Zippered closure with Travel Sentry Approved 3-dial combination lock, allowing U.S. TSA screeners to inspect your contents without breaking lock; Features both top and side mounted handles for quick/

Heys USA has had a meteoric growth in our industry. Here is a vendor who offers collections of Polycarbonate that are pure and other collections that are polycarbonate composite. What makes them so attractive is their high fashion philosophy and wide-range of colors and finishes. In my retail stores, we carry four collections: the zCase Collection, the Velocity Collection, the Britto Collection, and our newest Fazzino Collection. All four are polycarbonate composites with extremely high quality components such as the spinner wheels and telescoping handles. Best of all the prices on these collections are more affordable than the more expensive pure polycarbonates. The polycarbonate composite collections by Heys USA range from $180-$350 based on selected size. The Britto Collection actually has unique pop-art designs by the world renowned artist Romero Britto. Besides being durable and light weight, you can now ‘travel with your art’. New for Holiday 2011 is the collaboration with famed artist Charles Fazzino with the introduction of a very attractive Pop Art Collection named after the artist.

Tumi has a very appealing collection of polycarbonate called Vapor. They describe their product as triple-layered with a combination of polycarbonate and ABS Plastic. What I like best about this collection are the raised bumpers that are integrated into the product design. The bumpers are strategically placed at all the obvious stress points to contribute to the strength and durability of this exquisite looking case. This product has a brushed metallic finish that is something you expect to see on an exotic Italian sports car. The $425 through $595 price range on this collection is right in line for the quality they provide. It’s not pure polycarbonate, but you can expect substantial durability as a result of their quality components, bumper protection, and high quality polycarbonate composite. Exactly as you would expect from any Tumi product, this is an eyecatching collection.

Landor & Hawa also has a wide array of polycarbonate composites. Their prices are razor sharp, and this has to be my top recommendation for affordable polycarbonate suitcases. Although this is a composite, I have never had one returned with any issues related to durability. My favorite collection is the Augusta, which offers a 4-wheel spinner collection, and a textured finish that is quite resistant to scratches. We carry both the Black and the Beige/Silver colors, and we hope they add a few brighter colors to the collection. The nice aspect about L&H is that they are constantly moving forward, and just when you get attached to one collection….they move on with something new and improved. For a price of $110 for the 4-Wheeled Carry-on to $170 for the 4-Wheeled 28”, this is an easy decision.

My final comment regarding polycarbonate suitcases is to give consideration to the 4-Wheel Spinner system especially on the larger sizes. The extra weight for the additional two wheels is marginal, yet the benefit of the added maneuverability is well worth the added feature.


Lien Howe from Guangzhou on June 27, 2019:

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I like the Louis Vuitton Horizon 55 Rolling Luggage

beerme1 on February 09, 2016:

Thank you sir!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 09, 2016:

Hi beerme1,

We are in El Paso, Texas and our site is

Thanks again for your great question!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 09, 2016:

Hi beerme1,

Sorry I missed your earlier question, must have been traveling. However, I am quite familiar with Delsey Chatelet. In fact, they too use the same Bayer brand polycarbonate called Makrolon® that I describe in my above answer to Marissa. As mentioned in my earlier articles, 100% Polycarbonate is not synonymous with 100% pure or virgin Polycarbonate.

This Delsey Chalet Collection is 100% pure or virgin Polycarbonate and priced very fairly. Since it is not recycled Polycarbonate, you can expect more durability. Once again, you get exactly what you pay for in regards to quality and function. Additionally, this suitcase has Wheel-brakes (which are easy to engage). An excellent idea for Spinner wheels, so that you suitcase doesn't roll away when you are on an incline or otherwise. When engaged the front two spinner wheels will lock. If you have every wheeled your suitcase to a rental car or long-term parking, it is not uncommon to turn around and see that your spinner wheel suitcase is rolling away from you. The brakes are a very clever idea, not to mention it makes it easier if you want to roll the suitcase on the back two wheels like a Trolley Bag. I also like the high quality wheels, and practical lining. Good decision, you did your homework!

beerme1 on February 09, 2016:

Also, where can I find your store?

beerme1 on February 09, 2016:

Hello. I had asked you about 8 months ago ago if you had an opinion on Delsey Chatelet series of luggage?

Have you seen this set or can you speak about it's qualities?

Thank you

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 08, 2016:

Hi Marissa,

Thank you for your question about Samsonite Cruisair Deluxe. The product is very attractive and very fair priced. The quality is very good, and well worth the price you see advertised. Something you should know, is that in most circumstances you get what you pay for. The more expensive products generally have improved compositions, higher quality linings, hardware, components, etc. Not all Polycarbonate suitcases are the same, and today there is a great deal of ambiguity. We find that most suppliers have referred to 100% Polycarbonate as product that is not mixed with ABS or other compositions. However, that is not to be confused with 100% pure or virgin Polycarbonate. If the product is 100% virgin Polycarbonate it will be more expensive, not recycled, more durable and proportionately lighter. A better alternative if you travel with frequency.

Most of the Polycarbonate suitcases we see on the market have zipper closures vs. an aluminum frame. The Polycarbonate shell is very flexible and will flex with ease when the closure is zippered. However, with an aluminum frame, you will add weight to the suitcase and take away much of the natural flexibility of the Polycarbonate. Not to mention that aluminum frames are rather easy to knock out of alignment.

There is also a Chinese Bayer brand polycarbonate called Makrolon® polycarbonate and the Revo Luna Collection by Olivet is made of this superior 100% pure Polycarbonate. Best of all, it is actually assembled in the USA. Consequently, this gets my 'best value for the money ranking'. Since it is 100% virgin or pure Polycarbonate it is not recycled. The corners are just as strong as the main shell, which is not the circumstance on recycled Polycarbonate suitcases (even though confusingly described as 100% Polycarbonate). The 100% virgin Polycarbonate is also significantly lighter when compared to the model you reference. Please feel free to read up on this for comparison.

Wishing you pleasant and safe travels!

Marissa on February 07, 2016:

Have you heard anything about the Samsonite Cruisair DLX. I want to purchase the 26" or 30" on Amazon (a lot cheaper) but I can't find a lot of reviews. I know it's the updated model of Samsonite Cruisair Bold, has an aluminum frame and 100% polycarbonate. Do you have any recommendations close to this. Good quality and not too expensive.

I read a comment above saying that the quality of Samsonite lugage is going down. I don't want to waste my money in a product that's not going to last. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Ronald on October 17, 2015:

Thank you very much!!!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on October 15, 2015:

Hi Ronald,

Thanks for your question. I haven't seen the new Caterpillar polycarbonate luggage set at any of our trade shows or in store. I did pull it up on line and it is described online and see it is described at 100% pure polycarbonate. This implies it is not composite (a mixture) and the term 'virgin' or 'pure' implies that it is not recycled. Recycled polycarbonate will not have the same impact resistance as that of pure or virgin. It's not a bad price at $746/set of 3. However, visually it does look rather industrial. Which I say is appropriate considering they are using the Caterpillar license. There are definitely various grades of polycarbonate, and I still give my highest mark to the Rimowa German Bayer brand of polycarbonate. There is also a Chinese Bayer brand polycarbonate called Makrolon® polycarbonate and the Revo Luna Collection by Olivet, and it is actually assembled in the USA. This gets my 'best value for the money ranking'. Here is a link for your perusal:

Ronald on October 14, 2015:

what can you comments and give me some of your advise in new caterpillar polycarbonate written is100% pure polycarbonate.thank you...

beerme1 on May 30, 2015:

Hi. Do you have any thoughts on Delsey Chatelet series of luggage?

They say it's bayer 100% virgin makrolon polycarbonate.

Thank you

Susan on January 02, 2015:

I read the article and all your responses and have to say that this is above and beyond the best luggage advice I've found. My family and I travel a lot internationally and we've gone through several sets of luggage - so much so that I'm almost afraid to buy yet another disappointing product.

From your advise to others, I've narrowed my choices to Rimowa, Samsonite Cosmolite and Heys Cronos! We pack up and move every 3-4 years, so every family member is going to try a different brand this time and we'll see which survives the longest! Thanks so much

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on December 11, 2014:

Hi Juanita, we are a full-stocking dealer of Briggs & Riley as well. However, if you check the date this article was created, it was before Briggs & Riley launched their Torq Polycarbonate line. The Briggs & Riley Polycarbonate product has the same 'simple as that' lifetime warranty as the rest of their collection. So is it a 'best value' consideration? Absolutely, you get what you pay for, and this is no exception. The product is robust, one of the only lid opening packing systems in Polycarbonate luggage. While other brands generally are center divide construction. This feature is quite important to many people who are accustomed to packing in soft-sided luggage, as they 'forgot' how to pack in a split-divide case. The wheels, handle, components, telescoping handle, and lining are all true to form as you would expect with any Briggs & Riley case. The Cobalt Blue and Ruby Red Polycarbonate are brilliant colors, and the Graphite Gray is traditional for the more conservative buyer.

Concerning Rimowa, I maintain that it is the best Polycarbonate in the industry, exactly as the price would suggest. The choices and collections are expansive. Yet, like most luxury items the price may be an obstacle to some. I personally travel with the Rimowa Limbo Collection, and that is my preference.

Samsonite offers a host of Polycarbonate luggage collections, some of their collections are actually Polycarbonate composite while others are pure Polycarbonate (The Black Label Collection). Within the Samsonite Collection, the price is usually the best gauge of the quality level. Unless the product is discontinued and at close-out pricing. Travelpro has also entered the arena of Polycarbonate luggage, they too have an excellent product. If you continue to do your homework as it appears you have done, my best advise is to buy the product that fits into your budget, has the features you require, and meets your aesthetic expectations. The bar has been risen in this industry and there is a great deal to choose from.

The newest entry is a 'Made in USA' Polycarbonate product by Revo. I believe it should be hitting my stores next week. I'm sure the Polycarbonate material is imported, yet the product is assembled right in the USA (California). The price is less than Rimowa, and Briggs and falls close to the median price range of the Samsonite or Travel Pro product. However, as I'm writing this response I'm sure new product is being developed. Thanks for your comments, much appreciated!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on December 11, 2014:

Hi Abby, please excuse the delayed response. You ask a very good question, and I like the Hartmann Herringbone better as well. The PC4 was Hartmann's first generation of polycarbonate luggage and certainly a good value and nice looking. However, the high polished finish did show scratches much more easily than that of the Herringbone pattern. The Hartmann PC4 is discontinued, so the other disadvantage is that you couldn't readily find additional pieces if you were adding to your set over time. The Polycarbonate Polymer shell is certainly comparable in durability and not a combination of polycarbonate and abs plastic mixture.

Juanita on December 11, 2014:

How do you do a "most reliable " list without including Briggs & Riley?? I hear Rimowa is good and all, but is it REALLY better than Delsey, Travelpro, or Samsonite? I think you should do a comparison chart for the brands you think are the absolute best in the industry (kinda like they did on I'd really like to see that

Abby on May 20, 2014:

Thank you !!!

Abby on May 20, 2014:


Could you please let me know the difference between Hartmann's PC4 28'' vs Hartmann's Herringbone 26'' hardside?

I really like the look of the Heringbone and the size is perfect for me. It is slightly smaller than PC4. However, the current offer of PC4 is very tempting, only cost about $300. You mentioned that it's a pretty strong luggage as it is constructed from 100% virgin 4 layer polycarbonate material. Is the Heringbone one as strong or even better since it cost a little bit more? It is made of Ultra resilient poly-carbonate polymer shell. Does it mean it's not 100% Polycarbonate?

Which one do you think is a better option in terms of durability and functionality?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on May 17, 2014:

Hi Lissa,

I have been traveling myself, so please excuse my delayed response. I hope I am catching you before you make the trip. The question you ask, is actually more about personal preference than aesthetics. Rimowa uses the finest quality Bayer Brand 100% pure virgin Polycarbonate. There is no better, and in fact Rimowa was the company who pioneered this particular type of lightweight/durable plastic specifically for the luggage industry. Prior to Rimowa, this plastic was not used in this industry. You will be happy to know that the color of the inside, center and exterior are all the same identical color. By comparison, the Polycarbonate composites (are mixed with ABS or some other composition) and generally if they have an impact or stress crack you will notice that the 'composites' are usually white on the inside. This is not the circumstance with the pure polycarbonate suitcases such as Rimowa. Consequently, as they scratch they generally don't show the scuffs or scratches very easily. In fact, I periodically polish many of the scuffs and surface scratches out with a microfiber cloth. I personally prefer the glossy finish, and in our region the glossy finish well out-performs the matte finish. Yet both are extremely attractive. I would lean for the finish that you feel has the more pleasing aesthetic appeal. Neither is prone to show the scratches more so than the other. Safe travels!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on May 17, 2014:

Hi Alexia,

Please excuse my delayed response. The new compositions used in hardsided spinners today is quite incredible. Lightweight and durable. However, you should be aware that the quality of the wheel in hardside spinners will not necessarily be any better than that of the softsided luggage. Especially, if you are dragging the wheels on 'cobblestones'. Having said that, you do mention many great bags, yet I personally am not a big fan of the single telescoping handle system as found on the Rimowa Salsa Air and Samsonite Cosmolite. Naturally, this single telescoping handle does save a marginal amount of weight, but the difference is ever so slight. Both brands also have an entire line up of the more conventional double tube telescoping handle. Since durability is your priority I like the Rimowa Salsa Deluxe, Rimowa Salsa, or Rimowa Limbo. The Delsey Helium Aero is one of the best values for your money, and quite durable, yet not in the same league as that of the Rimowa products. The Tumi Vapor is somewhere in between, and has a skeletal frame as part of the design element that is made of a durable Polypropylene. This framing takes much of the abuse, before the beautiful glossy Polycarbonate body of the suitcase takes any of the scratches or scuffs. My retail store carries all the brands you mention, yet the Antler no longer has a US distributor. They are all great brands with excellent customer support options. You have done your homework, I hope you have a very memorable trip!

Lissa Hisshion on April 24, 2014:

Hi, I 'm planning to buy a Rimowa Trunk for my birthday in 2 weeks. I just couldn't decide if I should get it in matte or glossy finish. I know they will both have scratches eventually, but which finish do you think would be less prone to deep and obvious scratches?

Thank you,


Alexia from NJ/MNL on March 10, 2014:


My family and I are going to travel around Europe in the summer, which means dragging luggage around train platforms and cobblestones and I don't want to have to worry about my luggage breaking when i'm walking. My friend's softside spinner gave up three days into her European vacation and it left her in a bad mood. I'm planning on getting hardside spinners for each member of my family, 4 in all, but I can't seem to decide which luggage to commit to buying. I've sort of come to the conclusion that I should probably get each member of my family a different luggage brand to test out. Is that wise? I'm looking at the Rimowa Salsa Air, the Antler Juno, the Tumi Vapor, the Samsonite Cosmolite, the Delsey Helium Aero, and the Delsey Helium Shadow. Am I looking at the right stuff?

Thank you,


4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 22, 2014:

Hi Eva,

Thanks for your good questions. Of course, the 100% pure virgin Polycarbonate will be the best option, but also a more expensive choice. Especially, if you combine the more expensive material with a designer pattern, that the manufacturer has to pay a royalty to use. Consequently, the Britto collection by Heys was intentionally produced in Polycarbonate composite to appeal to a broader audience and market at a better price point. Of course, it still is not an inexpensive suitcase by any means!

The good news is that Polycarbonate composite is also very durable, yet very light weight. Normally, the 100% pure virgin polycarbonate suitcases do not lose strength when you mold the shells. Therefore, the corners are just as strong as the flat surfaces. By contrast, the Polycarbonate composites may be more prone to punctures or surface cracks (especially on the corners) than a pure polycarbonate. However, the strength of your suitcase comes from the packed contents. It is never a good idea to over pack a suitcase. Yet, if you pack a suitcase to full capacity, without a lot of gaps in the inside the suitcase is less prone to damage and your clothing is less prone to wrinkling. The flexibility of a Polycarbonate case, whether pure or composite, is inherent to this type of plastic. This is actually part of the reason this material is so durable. I view this feature as a benefit and not a disadvantage. Some suppliers use a metal frame instead of a zipper closure, and of course this will make the Polycarbonate suitcase more structured. I still prefer the zipper closure, as the metal frames can be knocked out of alignment rather easily. However, that is simply my personal preference.

Please use your 26" Britto case with confidence. They have a great set of spinner wheels that will perform well without any problem. Fortunately, any of the wheels should be damaged in transit, any qualified luggage repair center should be able to replace the wheels. Although, you might incur a crack or puncture in your suitcase at some point, it should not happen with ease, unless the suitcase is severely mishandled. Enjoy you purchase, and don't worry about checking your suitcase!

Eva on February 19, 2014:

Hi, I recently purchased the Heys Britto luggage in the carry-on size and 26" online because I love the design and I've heard good things about Heys.

I have a friend who has a Heys hard shell that is 100% polycarbonate and it seems quite durable and stiff. However, when I received my online purchase, I realized that mine was a polycarbonate composition and it seemed a little too flexible for checked-baggage-use.

I recently travelled with my carry-on and I love it, but I'm worried for my 26" since it is not 100% polycarbonate and it seems too flexible that it may be more prone to cracks and damages. I was wondering if you could give me your opinion. Is 100% polycarbonate better? Are the 360 degree spinner wheels durable enough for such a big luggage?

I just don't want to have to stress over a broken luggage during my travels... Thank you!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on December 06, 2013:

Hi John,

Thanks for your question. I fully understand your concern, as I too have cancer survivors in the family. Proposition 65 originated in California. However, with distribution throughout the country, and the growth of internet sales, any product that gets sent to California or a California resident should have this disclaimer. If you visit the OEHHA California Proposition 65 website, it will discuss this subject in far more detail and provide a list of the chemicals. Although, I am in no way qualified to answer any medical concerns about this topic, I do know that some of the chemicals used in the production of many products may be found on the list. Unfortunately, if there is a product that is free from any of these listed chemicals, I don't know what it is. Consequently, I am seeing these Prop 65 disclaimers on every product, not just Victorinox. I hope this answers your concerns.

John on December 06, 2013:

Hi, I just purchased the Victorinox spectra 29 spinner. When I got home I checked for more reviews and a Proposition 65 warning came up on the luggage. I was wondering if all polycarbonate luggage products have this warning, or is their a specific reason the model came with a warning. I tried looking it up but the information is not specific enough to the this brand. Thanks for any insight into this matter. I have two cancer survivors in my family and I want to make the right decision for them and I also do not want to support a product line that is dangerous to anyone.


4TRAVELTIPS (author) on November 20, 2013:

Hi Lisa,

The Samsonite Inova is a Makrolon Polycarbonate, which is both incredibly strong and lightweight. However, a single handle trolley is not for everyone. Although, it lightens up the load it doesn't allow you to 'piggy-back' the tote, business case, or companion bag that you would normally attach to the handle. Because of this I would lean towards the new Victorinox Spectra 2 as described in my comment to Paulette. Yet, if you are not bothered by the single telescoping handle, you can have confidence that the Samsonite Inova will offer both durability and the benefit of being exceedingly light weight.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on November 20, 2013:

Hi Paulette,

The Victorinox Swiss Army Spectra and the Hartmann PC4 are both pure polycarbonate suitcases, and very comparable in features and benefits. I would base your decision on which product appeals to you from a visual standpoint. If you do lean towards the Victorinox Swiss Army Spectra, I strongly encourage you to go with the new Spectra 2, which comes in a new range of matte finish (not high gloss) colors, such as Red; White, or Black. This newer generation now has corner guards. Enjoy your travels!

Lisa on November 13, 2013:


Wow, your site offers a wealth of information. Thank you for sharing. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the samsonite inova/silhouette vs the victorinox spectra with regards to durability. I travel overseas several times a year and would like to make sure my luggage can withstand the abuse. Thanks for your time!


paulette on November 12, 2013:

Between the 29 Swiss Army Spectra and the 29 Hartmann PC4 which is the better one? They are both about the same price.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on August 09, 2013:

Phillip, I must apologize for answering your questions out of order. Yet, in answer to your question, Bayer Material Science LLC produces the product called Macrolon® polycarbonate. Ever thought of going into the luggage business? Good Question!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on August 09, 2013:

Hi Phillip,

Thanks for your question. The Briggs & Riley Torq is pricier, yet the warranty makes it well woth the investment. I like the Hartmann PC4 and the Victorinox Spectra, which are both quality names and quality products. However, the baggage handlers can be rough on luggage and accidents will happen. I prefer the Birggs & Riley Torq hands down!

Phillip on August 09, 2013:

Also, aside from the TORQ (which is alot pricier...), I am choosing between that and the Victorinox spectra and the Hartmann PC4 (international carry-on). I think the Victorinox has slightly bigger dimensions but the Hartmann does have bumpers and more internal compartments for organisation. Which of the three would you recommend personally?

Phillip on August 09, 2013:

Hi, just wanted to know what your thoughts are on the Briggs and Riley TORQ collection. What exactly is virgin Makrolon polycarbonate (how does that compared to bayer polycarbonate)?

It seems to offer a lifetime warranty that includes airline damage which is very enticing.



4TRAVELTIPS (author) on August 01, 2013:

Hi Joyce and Anne,

Thanks for your question. Actually, you mention some very fine brands; Antler, Hartmann and Brics. Each of these brands offer smaller international sizes that will meet carry-on compliant standards of Aer Lingus and other carriers as well. However, today I am completing a new article on the subject of 'Spinner Luggage' because many consumers are unaware that they will be losing a marginal amount of packing space in a 4-wheel spinner carry-on vs. a 2-wheel trolley. My article will address this topic so that you can evaluate your priorities and pick the model that is best for your personal needs. Enjoy your travels!

Joyce and Anne on August 01, 2013:

We will be flying Aer Lingus to Dublin, and are concerned about the weight and size of our bag purchase. I prefer to have a carry on bag that will meet their sizing standards. Would you suggest one of these over another...Antler, Hartmann, or Bric's pinafarina?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on July 02, 2013:

Hi OceanGuy,

Thanks for your questions. Polycarbonate (PC) really became popular in the world of luggage quickly. Primarily, because it is very durable, lightweight, and still offers the protection of hard side luggage. However, your travel requirements seem to be different than the average traveler.

I can see by your comments that you have researched the subject in quite depth. In answer to your questions a glossy PC will indeed show scratches. Additionally, the German virgin PC will perform better than the Asian PC. Finally, an aluminum or Polypropylene (PP) frame will give far more rigidity to the otherwise flexible PC shells. However, most of the brands that offer this option are more than $300 range.

My concern is the value of your contents, and it sounds like your snorkeling equipment might be very high value and somewhat susceptible to damage from impact. The truth is that Polycarbonate (PC) is prone to compression. Especially, if your suitcase is under packed or if a substantial amount of weight is placed on top of your suitcase. I have a vivid memory of the time I saw a mountain of stacked suitcases on the cruise ship and hoped mine wasn’t on the bottom of that stack. Additionally, you never know how many suitcases could potentially be stacked on top of yours in the belly of the plane. For this reason I believe you should seriously consider a Polypropylene (PP) hard side suitcase. This type of plastic is frequently used for equipment, instrument, or gun cases because of its properties of durability. This type of plastic has high petroleum content and is prone to scratch, yet it is a far better solution in protecting your contents. I have researched the offerings and there are several products in every size that are under $300. Please call me at 1-800-592-1234 (Jerry) and I will suggest some choices that best suit your requirements. I certainly appreciate your kind words, and careful research.

OceanGuy on July 01, 2013:

Thanks for the wealth of information. I am currently considering options for a larger, hardside bag to use in international travel, including in developing island nations. I need to be able to protect snorkeling gear and other materials that are breakable through compression. My old 1990s Samsonite hardcases lost their handles early on, but were robust against baggage handlers until recently, when they gave up the ghost. I liked the "bomb proofing" (as your readers say), but also the fact that the aluminum frame was incompressible, and so the contents were protected against compression damage.

I have purchased a Hartmann PC4 27 inch spinner at a really good price (a further 25% below the current sale price).

I worry about both the scratching on the glossy black finish, and the fact that the contents would be vulnerable to compression, if the suitcase is filled very full (masks and the like). I also worry that the handles don't seem very secure against baggage handler jerks if fully loaded (to 50 lbs). Are these valid concerns? Would the Hartman in lighter colors scratch less? As I assume this is Asian polycarb, how important is it to be "German"?

Are there other 100% pure virgin polycarb hardcases, including perhaps with rigid frames rather than zippers, that I should consider, while still staying less than about $300?

Thanks in advance!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on June 06, 2013:

Hi Alison,

I carry both the Antler Liquis and the Delsey Helium Aero Collection. Both are very nice products, and feature rich for the price. The Delsey Aero is described as 100% Poycarbonate, which implies it is not virgin or pure. While the Antler Liquis is described as 3 layered pure virgin polycarbonate, which tells us the polycarbonate used for this product is not recycled. In my US market you can now buy the two larger Antler Liquis pieces in Blue or Chocolate and get the carryon for free. This extra promotion gives the edge to Antler for all the above reasons. However, I can't find fault with either product, as they are both great products, lightweight, full featured and priced competitively. Futhermore, both luggage companies are a delight to work with, and stand behind their product!

Alison on June 06, 2013:

I'm struggling to decide between the antler Liquis or the delsey Helium. Not sure which is the better quality suitcase and both are around the same price (£200) I'm looking at large (volume approx 100) and as lightweight as possible. So far I've narrowed it down to these two. Any advice is appreciated!!!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on June 05, 2013:

I'm very glad to hear that it was just the protective covering. One of my store managers always leaves this protective covering on the Britto bags until the product is sold, and then asks the customer if they would like us to peel it off. However, my other store manager prefers to peel it off before it is displayed, so the product doesn't have the 'cloudy look'. Apparently, the store that you purchased the product from forgot to mention that it had this clear plastic protective coating. I'm glad it turned out well

lcwms3 on June 05, 2013:

Thanks for your quick response. The peeling stuff is clear, so sounds like it is supposed to come off. Glad to hear it!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on June 05, 2013:

Dear lcwms3,

Thanks for you recent post. It sounds like you purchased a Britto suitcase that still had the clear plastic protective coating. Most retailers peel this off, before it is put on the sales floor. However, if you purchased a product that was fresh out of the box, perhaps the retailer neglected to take off this plastic coating. On the other hand, if this clear plastic coating that I refer to is no longer on your suitcase and you still get bubbling on the surface it sounds like a defect. If this is the circumstance please contact mea at and I will give you suggestions on how you can resolve this issue.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on June 05, 2013:

Dear pbfp,

I apologize for my delayed response. I was traveling during the time the post appeared. As you appropriately point out, there are a vast assortment of product and quality ranges in the world of polycarbonate luggage. Consequently, the price points are also quite diverse. My stores are in El Paso, Texas. Please feel free to contact me direct at and I will be happy to assist you in selecting the product that is right for your particular needs.

lcwms3 on June 05, 2013:

I just bought some Heys Britto luggage and the plastic coating has bubbled up on the edges and is peeling off already. I have not used the luggage yet. Is there something you recommend to stop the peeling, or is it supposed to be peeled off?

Thank you!

pbfp on May 21, 2013:

This was really helpful. I have been looking for new luggage -- very light weight is important and couldn't understand why luggage such as Heys could be sold at so many different price points -- the information given on the product pages really isn't helpful. Your explanations of the differences between the pure polycarbonate and the layered makes things clearer. Where is your store? I'd like your help in purchasing!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on April 27, 2013:

Thanks for your kind words Sammy!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on April 27, 2013:

Hi Diane,

Both Heys and Ricardo are excellent companies and both have a very impressive line up of Polycarbonite luggage. However, in order to best answer your question I need to know which two collections you are comparing. Each of these brands has a wide range of product. I will look for your next posting, and hope I can give you some guidance.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on April 27, 2013:

Hi Andy,

First I must say that I am so flattered to have a following from Canada. This product is not currently available in our US Market, yet I see that it is available by Heys in the Canada. The product is full featured, lightweight, and comes in a great choice of colors. The divided interior seems to have one zippered curtain divider and adjustable tie-tapes on the opposite side. This is the configuration that I prefer for packing. I like all the components, and the fact that it comes with an integrated TSA Combination Lock. It certainly is a great value for the 2-Piece Set and I'm sure will perform well. However, this is the Chinese version of 100% Polycarbonate. You can't quite compare it to the German Bayer brand Polycarbonate in durability or performance. However, at this price They Heys Carbonite is a good choice for most 'vacation travelers'. By comparison a frequent traveler/business traveler should indeed make sure they look for the genuine Bayer brand pure 100% virgin Polycarbonite. Although, it costs more, it is well worth the investment! Travel safe!

diane on April 27, 2013:

hi!!help me decide into which hardside luggage to buy between, heys & ricardo? thanks!

Andy on April 11, 2013:


I just bought this New Arrivals Heys Carbonite 2 Pc Set (21" and 26")

100% Polycarbonate.

It is my first hardside set and I've been using Delsey softsides set for a few years (20" and 29")

What are your thoughts on this new Carbonite line up from Heys?

Is it virgin or recycled polycarbonate?

Thanks in advance

Sammy on April 06, 2013:


You`re absolutely right; I just checked the tag on my Delsey Contour Light and it's made right here in Canada! It's sold by and other small retailers in malls and such. You're also right about Delsey`s high value offerings; my suitcase even came with a clever folding hanger that the much more expensive Hartmann PC4 lacked :) Its general build quality is also excellent and it has sturdy metal locks that's almost identical to my old, bombproof, 90's Samsonite luggage. The only negative thing that one can say about this suitcase it that it has small wheels, but I don`t mind that and the wheels are stubby and have a metal rod (some of the other suitcases I shopped had plastic rods!), so they're less likely to break.

Keep up the good work and all the best.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on April 06, 2013:

Hi Sammy,

Thanks for your comment and kind words. I believe the Delsey Contour Lite was created for another market (Canada). Consequently, I haven't seen it yet. Eventually, we will probably run across one in our repair department as we repair luggage for much of the airline industry. However, based on the information I can pull up it looks like a very nice product. I travel with a Rimowa Limbo, which also has an aluminum frame. The advantage of the aluminum frame is the rigidity it offers, considering the fact that the framless cases in polycarbonate are very flexible since the closure is only a zippered frame. No doubt the aluminum frame will give added protection to your electronic equipment. The only disadvantage to an aluminum frame is the fact that they can be knocked out of alignment with frequent travel, and the frame adds to the weight marginally. All and all, the trade-off is worth it. Delsey has always had a high quality to value ratio, enjoy your travels!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on April 06, 2013:

Hi Eric,

Both are durable, yet both can crack. Today, the polypropylene styles on the market are a thinner gauge than what was used a decade ago. The advantage is the fact that today's polypropylene (PP) is significantly lighter weight, yet it is more susceptible to to cracks than that of the heavier gauge used in the past. However, many of the Polycarbonate products on the market place are not actually 100% pure polycarbonate and more importantly, not 100% pure German (bayer brand polycarbonate). If the product is bayer brand German polycarbonate it will be identified as such. Of course, this is the lightest and most durable. However, this product does not come cheap, the 100% pure German brand polycarbonate will be more expensive, but well worth the investment.

Sammy on April 05, 2013:

Based on info obtained on this very useful website and after a long research, I settled on a Delsey Contour Lite suitcase, which I think is great! It's 100% PC, has a light aluminum metal frame so it weighs more or less as much as a frameless suitcase and it looks great. It also feels very sturdy, much more so than a frameless suitcase, which I couldn't bring myself to buy (or rather keep; I bought -and returned- a Hartmann PC4 and a couple of Heys frameless PC suitcases) since I felt that my belongings won't be properly protected from impacts inside it (I often travel with electronic/electric equipment) and they also seemed much easier to get into by would-be thieves (unscrupulous baggage handlers, etc.) I haven't actually traveled with the Delsey luggage yet, but I have a multi-leg trip to Europe coming up, which should be a good test .

Again, thanks a lot for this website and the wealth of luggage knowledge offered in it, much appreciated.

eric on April 01, 2013:

Hi, I am just wondering which luggage material is more durable and less prone to cracking or piercing - is it polycarbonate or polypropylene? Thanks in advance.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on March 10, 2013:

Hi Lisas229,

Since the Rimowa Salsa Air is pure Bayer brand Polycarbonate, the color is through-and-through. Therefore, you won't see the white crease marks that you would normally see on Polycarbonate composites. I just returned from a trade show, and was told that Navy is the #1 color in our US Market for the Salsa Air, it just passed up the Ultra Violet. However, in our geographic market the White sells extremely well. In fact, for us it is second to the Ultra Violet. You can actually wipe most of the surface scratches and/or smudges off with a clean micro fiber towel. I travel with the Midnight Blue in the Limbo series (which is a bit lighter than Navy) yet you have to be right on top of it before you see any scratches, and the deeper scratches are self colored. Therefore, it still looks awesome after all my international travels. We also replaced a top handle on Rimowa Salsa Air in White for one of our customers, and this couple travels extensively. Yet, surprisingly the white still looks great. Certainly, I can help you with your Rimowa needs, as we are an authorized dealer. You can reach me at 1-800-592-1234 Extension #105 (Jerry) or by email at The Domestic carry-on will fit on all overhead bins of full size domestic planes. None of the wheeled carry-ons will fit in the regional commuter jets, yet can be gate-checked upon boarding the plane.

Lisas229 on March 08, 2013:

Thanks! Three more questions:

1). which Rimowa color is less likely to show scratches: navy or white?

2). Is the legendary Rimowa customer service equally available even if I buy online and not from manufacturer's website (ie can I buy it from you!)

3). The dimensions of the Rimowa carryon add up to 45.3". Is it really not a problem to get it onboard as a carryon?

Thanks again, Lisa

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on March 08, 2013:

Hi Lisas229,

Thank you for your kind words. We are a dealer for Heys, Hartmann and Rimowa. However, two of the products you refer to by Heys doesn't appear to be available in our market, the Metallix and Zoom. Yet both of these are actually Polycarbonate Composite. This means the product is not a pure Polycarbonate, yet the price and value is very impressive. Each of these Heys collections have very nice components and high-quality Japanese Wheels. Although, the composites generally are more susceptible to cracks, the fact remains that even the Polycarbonate composites perform well and are still light weight. The Hartmann PC 4 is a 4-layered Polycarbonate which is pure, yet the grade of the Polycarbonate is not quite comparable to the 'best-in-class' Bayer brand German Polycarbonate such as that of the Rimowa Salsa Air. Based on the three collections you mentioned I tend to lean towards the Rimowa Salsa Air. Yet, if your budget doesn't allow you to go in this direction you can't go wrong with your other two selectons from Heys or Hartmann.

Lisas229 on March 08, 2013:

Thanks for the great public service you provide! I've been exhaustively researching hard sides with the primary goals of lightness and capacity, in the context of quality and attractiveness. I've narrowed it down to Rimowa Salsa Air vs a Heys light composite such as Metallix or Zoom vs Hartmann PC4 (in which case I'd have to get a different third piece, probably a coordinating Hartmann soft side). Factoring in the cost differential, with which of the three options do you think I'd get the most bang for the buck?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on March 03, 2013:

Hi Jay,

I am very impressed by your comment! You are correct, a lifetime warranty is only as good as the company that offers the warranty. I don't believe that Titan is out of business, they simply don't have a current US distributor. Therefore, it isn't practical or affordable to send it out of the country for warranty repairs or replacement. You did reference the 'Simple-as-That' Warranty which is offered by Briggs & Riley, and this company does have a lengthy track record. In fact, they will be offering this warranty on their new Polycarbonate Collection coming out in June or July 2013 (Available in Red, Graphite or Blue). Concerning your question on Delsey Helium Shadow 2.0, Delsey represents this as 100% Polycarbonate. It is lightweight, has an expandable feature, includes the TSA 3-Dial combo lock and has a textured finish, which doesn't seem to show the scuffs and scratches as easily as the high gloss finishes. The PC (Polycarbonate) used in this product is not the same gauge or strength as the German brand Bayer PC, but at the Delsey Shadow 2.0 price it is definitely a good value. I don't believe we ever had a generation 1 Delsey Helium Shadow 1 come back to our retail stores or online store with a problem. You've done your homework Jay!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on March 02, 2013:

Hi Allan,

Thank you for your question. The largest allowable carryon is 45" in total height, width and depth combined (22"H x 14"W x 9" D) . This measurement must be from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the handle. This size will fit in the overhead bin of most full size commercial airplanes, yet certainly will not fit in the smaller regional jet overhead bins. In fact, most wheeled carry-on suitcases are entirely too large for these regional jets and will usually be taken away as a 'gate check' upon boarding the plane.

Please keep in mind that each airline carrier establishes their own guidelines, and it is always prudent to check with your airline carrier before travel to see if their carry-on standards vary. Some International carriers have sized down carry-on compliant standards, hence the reasonably new term 'International Carry-On'. Most International Carry-On bags are 20" in height instead of 22". Rimowa offers the best bag in class (this is exactly what I carry). I love my Rimowa Limbo 22" Domestic Cabin Multiwheel Trolley. Thanks for your question, I already know you have excellent taste!

Allan on February 28, 2013:

Thank you for a most enriching and informative site.

My question is: what is the measurement for a suitcase, for being allowed to take it inside the flight cabin, to be stowed away in the baggage lockers above head,

Are exclusively thinking about purchasing a Rimowa case.

Pleas forgive me, if this question have already been asked.

Best regards




jay on February 27, 2013:

Greetings. As other posters have indicated, your info & your responses to the multitude of questions are incredibly helpful! As with most, I'm in the market for a hard-sided, polycarbonate suitcase.

My online research has exhausted all possible US-sold brands that offer cover-everything lifetime guarantees/warranties such as no-matter-what, simple-as-that, etc. (e.g., Titan, a brand that I have, no longer has US representation & thus, can't honor their warranty.) I'm now looking for other PC suitcases that offer lesser guarantees/warranties & believe that the Delsey Helium Shadow 2.0 offers me as much value-for-weight as any of the Hartman, Rimowa, Tumi, etc. high-end brands. Unfortunately, based upon what I've read in your previous responses, I have feeling that the Helium Shadow 2.0 line is not pure PC. Will you please clarify for me? What is your assessment of the Helium Shadow 2.0 line? If not a good value, I'll need to re-visit some of those high-end brands.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 21, 2013:

Hi Sammy,

The Samsonite of the 1990's was either Polypropylene (if unlined, and color coordinated interior) or an Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic (if lined and with a Magnesium Alloy frame). Both were very durable, yet much heavier than the product marketed today.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 21, 2013:

Hi Sammy,

I'm guessing you are referring to the Delsey Club 3-Pc set. The Polypropylene is a plastic material also knowed as injected molded plastic. The gauge of this modern version is much lighter than that of years ago, as weight is always an issue for consumers today. Consequently, the weight is not a vast increase vs. the Polycarbonate. The Delsey product you described is exceptionally durable and priced at a great value. The Hartmann PC4 is a 4-layered Polycarbonate, high gloss finish and trimmed in leather. Although, you are not comparing apples to apples, I would endorse either product depending on your personal preference and budget. Both will provide you years of dependable travel! You get an A+ for doing your research and homework.

Sammy on February 19, 2013:

One thing I forgot to add; I've been using a hardside Samsonite Silhouette since 1992 and it has been indestructible (used it for literally 100+ transatlantic trips). I don't know the material it's made of, but it's been bomb-proof. Does any manufacturer make anything like that now?

Sammy on February 18, 2013:

Hi, first of all, many thanks for the wealth of information that I've found on your hub. I'm in the market for hardside luggage and your insight has been most useful.

After poring through many of your answers above, I came to the conclusion that the luggage that would best fit my needs and -barely- my budget is the Hartmann PC4. In fact, I literally bought it online an hour ago! However, when I continued to read more comments/answers, I found a mention of very low cost hardside luggage at Costco, so I checked the Canadian Costco website and found a 3-piece Polypropylene Delsey set offered at $199!

Please let me know how good of a deal is this? I know you mentioned your preference to polycarbonate over polypropylene, mainly because of its lighter weight and resistance to scuffing, but I'm more interested in sturdiness and durability since I'm a very frequent traveler. With that in mind, would you still recommend polycarbonate luggage like the Hartmann over the aforementioned Delsey set which are priced at less than half of the Hartmann?

Sorry for droning on and thanks again!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 06, 2013:

Hi Vishal,

Makrolon® polycarbonate is a brand that I believe is manufactured in Asia. Naturally, Polycarbonate comes in various gauges of thickness which will affect the performance and durability factor. However, the product you reference is indeed an excellent value for the money. You can't go wrong at that price! This product also has some nice spinner wheels, nice styling and functional features and appointments as well.

Vishal on February 06, 2013:

Will you please give me your views regarding Kirkland Signature 29" Polycarbonate Spinner selling at Costco for $150. They say it,s 100% Marklon Polycarbonate. Is it a good buy. I need you expert opinion

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 04, 2013:

Hi Teri,

There appears to be contradictory information on various websites concerning the Sedona. Please fee free to call me at 1-800-592-1234, extension #105 and I will be happy to clarify any confusion. My name is Jerry.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 04, 2013:

Hi Vishal,

Some of the products you are asking about are not marketed in the USA, for instance the Heys Pacifica Elite is curently marketed in Canada. Although, I have noticed that the Samsonite Gravtec appears to be on closeout pricing in the USA. Both are Pure 100% Polycarbonate. However, the Heys is German made pure Polycarbonate, which is generally a higher grade, and more expensive form of the Polycarbonate. However, from the prices I can access in my market the Heys Pacifica Elite is indeed more expensive than the Samsonite Gravtec, which may be different in your market. Both have excellent features and nice construction. I noticed that the Heys Pacifica Elite is lighter, if weight is an issue. I'm actually leaning towards the Heys in this comparison, even though you will probably be paying a bit more. Heys is a reputable company indeed, yet so is Samsonite. You can't go wrong with either choice in this comparison, I recommend that you lean with your personal preference and buy the product that is most appealing to you. Enjoy your travels

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 04, 2013:

Hi Betweentheeyes,

Aluminum luggage is definitely heavier than Polycarbonate, yet there is a certain mystique and elegance to aluminum luggage. Not doubt Rimowa and Halliburton are my two favorites. Although, the aluminum will scratch and scuff, the lighter colors such as Silver, Gold, or Rimowa's Titanium in the Topas collection seems to age quite well. The lighter colors don't show the scratches as easily as the dark colors. However, the aluminum suitcases generally have a magnesium frame which is not only heavier, but more vulnerable to being knocked out of alignment. this is something to consider with your frequent traveler status. I prefer the 4-wheel versions over the 2-wheel, expecially for the larger checked sizes. However, many business travelers still pefer the 2-wheel in the carry-on size. A general rule of thumb is you will give up a couple inches of packing in the 4-wheel carry-on, as the airline carry-on regulations measure the suitcase from the bottom of the wheels to the top of the handle.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on February 04, 2013:

Hi Teri,

The Travelers Choice Sedona is a Polycarbonate, and confusingly described as '100% Polycarbonate', yet it is not 100% Pure Polycarbonate. The product is a Polycarbonate Composite, as mentioned in my other comments a composite is generally more vulnerable as the shells are molded. Therefore, the corners in particular are more susceptible to cracks or punctures. Yet, all things considered, especially the price....this product is a good value for the money. However, you can expect to pay more for the higher quality levels of Polycarbonate. In fact, not even all 'pure polycarbonate' suitcases are of the same quality and performance standards.

Vishal on February 03, 2013:

Will you please give me your opinion in regards to Samsonite Gravtec set and Heys Elite Pacifica. Are both pure polycarbonate or not. How is Heys brand in the market. Is it suppose to be a reputable company.

betweentheeyes on February 03, 2013:

Any thoughts on aluminum luggage - Rimowa and Zero Halliburton are the only two I know. I travel 30 times a year or more and durability is important as well as just liking what I am traveling with. Yes, they are heavier, I understand that.

On with the question: Z H Freewheeler with it's double wheel (2 and 4 wheel system) or the Rimowa Topas (4 wheeler)?

Teri on January 28, 2013:

Hi its time for some new luggage and have been researching and found the Travelers Choice Sedona. What's your take on this pure carbonate set?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on January 26, 2013:

Hi Victor G,

The only difference between these two products is a matter of personal preference. Neither product is marketed in the USA, it appears to be available primarily in the Canada market. However, neither is a PURE Polycarbonate, I am quite sure that the Samsonite Pursuit and the Heys Heritage are both Polycarbonate Composite. This is generally an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic with a Polycarbonate cap sheet. Therefore, neither product can accurately be described as 100% PURE polycarbonate. The Polycarbonate composites are more vulnerable to cracking than 100% pure Polycarbonate, yet they are far more affordable than 'PURE' Polycarbonates. The polycarbonate composites are particularly more vulnerable as the plastic sheets are molded, which means the corners are generally the weakest area of the bag. The bottom line is you generally get what you pay for in Polycarbonate luggage. Although there are some exceptions, the higher price products all have superior grades of Polycarbonate. In fact, there are even different qualities of 'Pure Polycarbonates'. Thanks again for your question.

Victor G on January 26, 2013:

Thanks for your opinion for pursuit model. Please give me your opinion for Heys Heritage collection. They say its 100% pure polycarbonate.Which one will you consider from Samsonite pursuit and Heys Heritage

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on January 24, 2013:

Hi Victor G,

The Samsonite Pursuit does not appear to be something marketed in the USA. Although, I read up on the product on the Samsonite Canada website. I have lately seen the description of '100% Polycarbonate', yet it doesn't say 100% 'pure' polycarbonate. However, I have never seen a 100% pure polycarbonate that sells for the economical price range of the Samsonite Pursuit. In fact, the Samsonite products that are 100% pure Polycarbonate are all quite a bit more expensive, such as the Samsonite Cosmolite. I believe this product will actually be a Polycarbonate Composite. Polycarbonate composites are still quite light weight, and most are durable, there is still an advantage to 100% pure. Thank you for your question!

Victor G on January 24, 2013:

I am planning to buy Samsonite Pursuit set. It says 100% polycarbonate. What you think about this that pursuit series is pure polycarbonate or polycarbonate/ABS. Any drawbacks for this particular model.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on January 23, 2013:

Hi Jacklined,

The Samsonite Hyperspace Collection is a very attractive and well priced Spinner series, yet the collection is softsided. However, the the two other collections the Samsonite Pixel Cube Collection and the Ricardo of Beverly Hills Roxbury are both Polycarbonate Hardside Luggage. Since my article is focused on Polycarbonate Hardside Luggage, I will make a comparison between the Ricardo Roxbury and the Samsonite Pixel Cube. Both products are represented as 100% pure polycarbonate, which indicates that are not Polycarbonate composite. The pure Polycarbonate's generally perform better and are more resistant to cracks or punctures. The Samsonite Pixel Cube has the 2-Wheel trolley on the carry-on size while the Ricardo Roxbury has the 4-Wheel Spinner on the carry-on. All the other sizes have the 4-Wheel spinner in either brand. Based on the expandable feature, 4-Wheel Spinners on all sizes, and the value pricing I'm leaning towards the Ricardo Roxbury. However, they are all very good products that offer great value for the money. You can't go wrong with any of your 3 choices. Thanks for your question, enjoy your travels!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on January 23, 2013:

The Heys Elite Cronos is one of the premier collections from Heys Luggage. It is in fact 100% pure virgin polycarbonate. The appointments, hardware, deluxe interior and TSA combination lock are definitely part of the selling features. The product is also very aesthetically pleasing. I certainly endorse the product.

jacklined on January 22, 2013:

hi traveler4tips,

I have been going forward and back about 3 luagges that I came across.

1-samsonite pixel cube collection;eventhough I liked it,I believe they are not %100 polycarb.r they?

2-samsonite hyper space spinner..

3-ricardo roxbury-it says its %100 polycard,but I couldn't be sure..

which would be the best pick for durabilty,easy to use and not to be easliy scracthed..(if u could compare them with the polycar material,wheels (rubber or plastic),and handling wise I would really appriate and which one would be ur best pick.thanks from now...

vipan on January 19, 2013:

how about Heys elite cronos series. They say its 100% german pure polycarbonate

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on January 10, 2013:

Hi earful,

Thanks for your two postings. I have a 26" size hardside, in fact today the 26" 4-wheel spinner, essentially is only 24" of packing space as the spinner wheels elevate the bag a few inches off the floor. Therefore, the 26" measurement actually refers to the exterior measurement from the bottom of wheels to the top of the handle. Consequently, I am left with 24" of packing space. This size seems to be perfect for the trips that are approximately one week. I can easily fit a sport coat or two, a few dress pants and casual wear, work out gear and a pair of tennis shoes.

Concerning, your next post the subject of nesting luggage had to be invented by the importers of luggage who developed incentives to save on ocean freight charges. By having 3" difference in height and width between the size of a suitcase collection. The smaller sizes will generally nest inside of the larger suitcases. For instance, a 29" suitcase can have a 26" a 22" and even a tote bag nested inside. Therefore, in this example the 26" and 22" and matching tote bag essentially ride for free. If 400 suitcase sets fit in a container you will have 1200 pieces that in theory ride for 'freight free' (3 nested pieces x 400 units). However, once the suitcases have been used and the wheels are soiled with debris, nesting these for storage can cause stains to your lining. Or as you appropriately point out, damage to center dividers. Especially dividers that are not flexible. If you have serious storage issues you might research Lipault, Biaggi or Road Warrior which all offer foldable luggage. Yet I should point out that all three of these brands are softsided luggage, despite the fact that we both seem to prefer Hardside Luggage!

earful on January 06, 2013:

A question with regard to storing hardside luggage. What is your opinion on nesting a matched set? The included manual states they "can be nested... to save space." I am interested in longevity, so when I tried nesting my 24 in the 29, I noticed the divider had to take on a stressed angle.

earful on January 06, 2013:

Your last comment was very useful re: fully packed to gain strength. I want to do everything possible to preserve my newly acquired 80's Samsonite ABS/magnesium frame luggage. Makes a good point to have more than one size hardside outside the carry-on. I was wondering what my model 24 Traveler was for as it's just larger than carry-on but not so big it needs wheels. For years, since I realized 8+ zippered compartments in soft luggage are more hassle than worth, so I've been keeping an eye out for quality clamshells. Although heavy and arguably dated this Samsonite set made in USA is likely the last time the company produced products that live up to their namesake.

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on January 05, 2013:

Dear Bargainhunter,

You did find a bargain indeed. Skyway was recently purchased by Ricardo of Beverly Hills (RBH), a first rate company indeed! RBH has the ability to develop cutting edge products at affordable prices. They use nice components, such as wheels, telescoping handles, hardware, etc. ABS is an abbreviation for the three chemicals that this particular plastic is made up of, which is acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Today ABS can be developed in comparable light weight gauges to that of Polycarbonate. Generally, a pure Polycarbonate Plastic is known to be just as strong on the molded corners of the hardsided shell as that of the front and back surface sheets. Consequently, suitcases made of ABS or ABS composite will be more vulnerable to cracking on the corners if mishandled. The general rule of thumb, is a properly packed hardsided suitcase gains strength. While an under packed or overpacked suitcase is more susceptible to damage.

For the price this Skyway Nimbus is an excellent value and comes in some great color options. Thanks for your question. Enjoy your travels!

bargainhunter on January 04, 2013:

What are your thoughts on Skyway? Their Nimbus hardside looks quite attractive for the price. According to their website, it's made of high-impact ABS material. The weight is comparable to other 100% Polycarbonate pieces with the same dimensions. Any issues with durability or performance?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on December 02, 2012:

Hi Sanj,

Please contact me at I will be more than happy to give you the selling points and feature benefits of the Samsonite Black Label Hommage III. However, the product is classified as soft-sided luggage, and not a Polycarbonate or Polycarbonate Composite (Hardside). Therefore, in an effort to keep this article and related comments focused on Polycarbonate Luggage, I would rather address your questions privately. I do thank you for your questions and recognize the careful research that you have dedicated to finding the best suitcase for your personal needs.

Sanj on December 01, 2012:

Thanks for all your responses. I have another question - I just saw the Samsonite Black Label Hommage 3 on sale. How is the quality of the luggage? Is it worth the asking price?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on November 27, 2012:

Hi Sanj,

You now sound like a Hartmann employee or a luggage salesman (ha-ha!). Obviously, you've done your homework, and yes the Hartmann is a 4-layered Polycarbonate, which is exactly where the acronym PC4 came from. By comparison, the Tumi Vapor is a Polycarbonate/ABS composite. Having said that both are infrequent visitors to our luggage repair department. The Tumi Vapor has been on the market for a longer period of time, so we have a bit more history on the Tumi Vapor vs. the Hartmann PC4. Yet, to date they are both outstanding 'workhorses'! They both perform exceedingly well with the rigors of airline travel. I should mention that the Tumi Vapor comes with a removable garment sleeve, and the Hartmann PC4 does not. Although, the sleeve is a nice feature, it may not be something that all travelers use. As mentioned in my above post, you can buy either with confidence. Both Hartmann and Tumi are first rate in the customer service department, and both use outstanding components on the bags you reference. Finally, I must applaud your careful research; this is the key to getting the best value for your money. Travel safe!

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on November 27, 2012:

Actually, the Hartmann PC4 is now advertised at 50% off the MSRP, and the Tumi Vapor is 40% off the MSRP on only the seasonal colors (while they last). The net price is now very close on both, which is why I recommend that you purchase the style, color and brand that you like the most. Both the Hartmann PC4 and Tumi Vapor are excellent products and well worth the investment. They are both extremely durable and lightweight. You are correct, both have a rubberized reinforcement on the highest stress point areas, which include the top corners and bottom corner wheels. The Tumi Vapor actually has raised bumpers that are part of the design element. This is a nice feature as this rubberized composition is slightly higher than the Polycarbonate Shells. Consequently, the high gloss Polycarbonate is less likely to touch the conveyer belts and scuff and scratch. Both Hartmann and Tumi Vapor are high gloss finish, so they are prone to scuff and scratch with normal wear and tear incured during typical airline travel. It sounds like you are leaning towards the Hartmann, and I will endorse your selection, as both brands and both products are excellent. They both come in a beautiful selection of colors, and speaking as a luggage salesman I must say they are as sexy as an Italian Race Car!

Sanj on November 26, 2012:

Also, my understanding is that the Vapor is not 100% poly whereas the PC4 is - is that correct?

Sanj on November 26, 2012:

Thanks for the response. It appears they both have the same reinforcement along the edges and both are on sale. Now that they are both going for 40% do you still prefer the Vapor?

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on November 26, 2012:

Hi Sanj,

Thank you for your question. The new Hartmann PC4 and the Tumi Vapor are both lightweight Polycarbonate 4-Wheel Spinner Upright Suitcases. Both are very fine products, durable, and extremely lightweight. We carry both in our store. However, today I'm leaning towards the Tumi Vapor if you can justify purchasing one of their seasonal colors. The Peacock Blue, Brown, Spruce, and Energy Print are all on sale for 40% off the suggested Retail. I am giving you a link to our page so that you can view the colors I refer to the images: Please keep in mind the Black, Silver, Chianti, and Copper are still regular price. The other colors are now 40% off the retail price. I also like the reinforcement that Tumi uses in all the vulnerable areas. This helps protect against the rigors of typical airline travel. The bottom line is you can't make a bad decision with either choice. They are two of my personal favorites. I can also be reached at 1-800-592-1234 (Jerry) if I can answer any more questions. Happy Holidays!

Sanj on November 25, 2012:

Hi, what do you think of the Hartman PC4 collection over the Tumi's?

mylittlebrownbag on November 01, 2012:

Thank you so much for the info ;)

4TRAVELTIPS (author) on October 31, 2012:

Hi Mylittlebrownbag,

The Samsonite Silhouette 12 has a 10 year warranty. This warranty offers you protection against manufacturer defects. Therefore, if your suitcase incurs any damages caused by such defects the repair will be covered under warranty. However, this warranty does not cover 'normal wear and tear' or carrier related (airline handling) damage. In such event it is recommended that you file a claim with the airline carrier in a timely manner (usually within 24 hours from the time you reach your final destination).

Concering the material, I believe this collection must be an ABS/Polycarbonate composite. Samsontie's actual description is Matiere synthetique, which is French and translates to 'synthetic material'. Generally, if the product is 100% virgin (or pure) Polycarbonate it is identified as such. Either way, this Samsonite Silhouette 12 is a great value at the closeout price. The new model Samsonite Silhouette Sphere will be out in January 2013.

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