Great, four-wheel spinning luggage has become quite the trend of late. And the hard-shell style bags have delivered plenty of durability to the mix. That’s why I was excited to test out the Lojel Cubo Small carry-on size bag.
It is visually appealing and a great size for carrying on your luggage rather than checking a bag. While many hard-shell carry-on bags may seem similar or difficult to redesign, there are always a few features that work well for some travelers (and occasionally others that do not).
The main zippered compartment is spacious with straps to keep clothes from moving around and getting wrinkled. If you are one that likes to stuff a bag full of souvenirs, the zipper is exceptionally sturdy and has a bit of leeway to stretch from the side of the bag (some hard-shell bags risk damaging the zipper if you stress it). The bag is designed to stretch as much as an inch in size.
It has a textured hard shell made from polycarbonate that keeps contents from freezing or overheating no matter what the temperature outside. This is a lesson I have learned the hard way when packing things like chocolate, which can become damaged if your bag is left in a hot car, for example. The material also is designed to handle use well with fewer scratches than other materials might have (the raised sections of the shell understandably help with that, too).
There is an exterior lock on the bag that you can program with your own numeric code. Handles on the top and side of the bag make it easy to pick up, and they are padded to decrease discomfort from carrying a bag when it is too heavy. There’s a sturdy travel organizer that goes with the bag; it is great for storing charging cables and smaller items that you do not want to get lost within the bag.
That outside pocket
One of the first things you notice of this bag is that large outside pocket that gives you immediate access to things without having to completely open the suitcase. Zippered and wide enough to fit a book, magazines, paperwork and a laptop, this is a great tool for a carry-on bag where you need quickly grab something in a hurry before stowing your bag.
Initially, I was worried that my items might be less secure in an outside pocket, but the sturdy material on the exterior is durable and bears the brunt of any major force (like if your bag were to be thrown up against a hard surface or someone were to stack another bag on top of yours). Your laptop, as large as 15 inches, stays in place thanks to a convenient pouch with a button strap that keeps it from moving around.
The exterior pocket serves as access to two areas of the bag. It can open to the front pocket section of the bag so there is no need to worry that your underwear or shoes will fall out or be exposed if just trying to reach a book or laptop.
Or you can unzip another area to gain access to the main compartment if you need to rearrange something. At first, this may not seem like a necessary feature, but if you have ever had to rearrange something or search for something in your bag, you will no longer need to expose the entire bag’s contents in public. Instead of flipping it halfway open on a larger table or the floor (you can still do that), you only need a smaller surface or chair, to gain access to the main compartment.
Where to find it
The Cubo design comes in various sizes and colors. The small version is the carry-on model with larger versions a great option for business or family travel when you can check a bag. All are available on the Lojel website (the Cubo Small is $250 with larger sizes being more expensive) and come with a ten-year warranty assuring you can travel as much as you want without worrying about the bag.
While I have not had a chance to test out the bag for several months yet, I found the bag’s wheels to be particularly durable and easy to roll across both hard surfaces and carpeting. This bag is a winner for frequent travelers worried about carry-on size restrictions as well as having enough space to pack it all in while staying organized.