Hard-shell luggage is all the rage, and rightfully so because of its ease of use and flexibility when it comes to traveling internationally or even domestically these days. The way bags get tossed around like nothing means protecting them from both the inside and outside is even more important than ever.
The recently introduced Speck Travel 22-inch Carryon-On Suitcase is sure to be a popular option among the most frequent of travelers for its durability and interior spaciousness. In fact, the brand was designed around appealing to “bleisure” travelers, you know, the ones that travel for both work and pleasure (often on the same trip). There are lots of bags on the market, and this bag seems to have been designed to avoid the pitfalls of other bags (retracting handles that can easily get stuck or wheels that don’t easily roll across uneven surfaces).
When I tested out this bag, I was excited to immediately find plentiful interior space and lots of interior pockets so that I could keep things like phone charging cords, battery packs, and other small items properly separately. Another important factor for me was weight because I travel mostly overseas, and airlines outside of the United States are notorious for weighing even carry-on baggage. I found that I had zero problem making this bag fit into either domestic or international carry-on sizers.
Empty, the bag was not the lightest out there, but it was certainly among the easiest to fill thanks to its large-size interiors. There was nothing jutting out to block space, which for me was important as I need maximum storage for long trips (I am a carry-on only type of guy). The wheels, too, were a pleasant surprise, as they were able to withstand brutal cobblestone streets and inconvenient pathways in places like Europe and Asia that were designed years ago. In fact, they were designed to be rolled along all kinds of surfaces when full or empty. Still, these bags were designed to be TSA-friendly, too, which is important in today’s security-focused environment. They have a built-in TSA lock so that your items are protected, but are still accessible to sticky-fingered TSA people for their impromptu checks.
Let’s get back to inside the bag. A mesh divider keeps things carefully separated so that you can find just what you need in a hurry. On either side, there is substantial space to store clothing neatly folded. I liked that I could keep it separated from heftier items like shoes, books, and bulky electrical cords. It was easy to keep clothing and personal items separated, and I liked how I was able to secure my clothes in place so that they would not move around in transit. That was important in keeping them from getting wrinkled.
The hardshell bag was quite durable and withstood lots of tossing and turning by ground staff, especially on regional jets where passengers often watch their bag getting thrown around like a basketball. Even when I packed fragile items between my clothes, it was impressive how the exterior shell of the bag kept my personal belongings safe and sound.
The lifetime warranty of these bags certainly puts it up against some of the bigger brand names, which are known for having strong durability and protection programs. For me, just seeing that lifetime warranty provided a lot of confidence for a brand with which I was otherwise unfamiliar.
The Speck Travel 22-inch Carry-On Suitcase was designed with the modern-day traveler in mind. It is available on the Speck Travel website or via major retailers online for $200.