I have to admit, I never thought of luggage as an important factor in traveling until a little over a year ago when I realized that most of the luggage I have been using ripped easily and weighed me down — not only were they cumbersome but the wheels were slow, something I had just grown used to over the years.
I set out to find the most stylish, fun, durable and functional luggage on the market and while I’m looking at less known brands, you can’t get down and out with luggage without trying the brand master, Samsonite. My family owned Samsonite luggage many moons ago, but I hadn’t used a Samsonite in over a decade – yes really.
In exploring their website, the collection that stood out for me most was The Silhouette Spinner collection, which is apparently a popular seller. It’s easy to see why after using their roller bags for a few months now.
While I got mine in blue (pictured above), the luggage collection also comes in black, espresso brown and port wine. In hindsight, I would have liked to try the port wine and should have gotten a carry on roller bag since it seems like the one I still lug around has got less than stellar wheels.
Speaking of wheels….
First and foremost, the Silhouette collection’s wheels are a key selling point. Samsonite didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel, however their intent was to take luggage maneuverability further than ever before. Think about it – how many times have you had to drag your 50 pound bag further than you had hoped and your arms are beat up by the time you get down the first escalator.
Their four spherical Spinner wheels give you unparalleled control and turning ability, letting you glide with ease to your next destination. In fact, you can literally push the bag gently and it will roll along with you. Sweet! What a godsend this has been on several trips with my 29″ soft roller sphere bag.
I prefer softside luggage although the collection comes in hard casing as well. In addition to the fabulous four, multi-directional spinner wheels for easier mobility, there’s a tri-fold suiter, with padded roll bars, which is a nice feature for business travel.
There’s also the retractable handle like all rollers have, however it doesn’t stick like so many of them do.
The bag has a water-resistant coating blended into the nylon fabric, which is an important feature if you do a lot of East Coast American or Northern European travel in the winter. On two separate trips, my bag came tumbling out of the baggage claim belt smothered in water from the rain outside. My clothes were kept dry, so the coating obviously works.
The coating is also supposed to help with poor handling scuffs and punctures and so far, so good – no punctures, holes or dents that are significant enough to note. Other things that help protect your clothing and gear include a high quality, durable zipper, which was an obvious grade above my previous two bags.
While it’s not the lightest bag on the market, it’s not the heaviest either — you’re looking at 12.5 pounds for the 29 inch Sphere roller and 8.5 pounds for the 21 inch bag. As a woman who has traveled since she was five and has been to over 80 countries, I still can’t seem to get my luggage weight down, so personally I’d love to see innovation around increased durability with decreased weight size – either that, or have the airlines loosen up their tighter than ever restrictions.
At the very least, their newer collection uses a polypropylene, honeycomb frame which is lighter than the older Silhouette series. They use a rugged Tri-core nylon fabric and offer expandable versions as well. They come with a hidden, tethered ID tag for added identity security as well, something that most travelers don’t think of and should…
Spinner Features include:
- Four multi-directional, spherical Spinner wheels for easy mobility. Rolls upright so there is no weight on your arm or shoulder.
- Fully-featured interiors with WetPak, mesh, and modesty pockets for increased organization.
- Tri-fold removable suiter provides added protection for business attire.
- Gel-infused, push-button locking handle provides a comfortable grip.
- 25″ and 29” cases feature a Travel Sentry combination lock for added peace of mind when checking in.
- Expandable options.
- Available Sizes – Spinners: 21”, 25”, 29”/20” WIDEbody Spinner / Weekender Boarding Bag / Spinner Boarding Bag / Ultra Valet Garment Bag / Spinner Garment Bag / 26” Duffel
- Available Colors – Black, Indigo Blue, Espresso Brown, and Port Wine as noted above.
While I haven’t had an opportunity to test out the carry on sphere (it’s on the list), their smaller sized rollers include a front, two-zip pocket detail for easy accessibility to smaller items.
There’s a 15.6” inch laptop compartment for a laptop and cords and the interior of the Silhouette Sphere luggage can easily be expanded for extra packing which is nice. Below pictured in port wine.
Its dimensions are 17.0″ x 14.0″ x 7.5″ and it weights in at 7.5 pounds.
Also on the list to test out is their garment bag from the Sphere collection. It too, has the four, multi-directional spherical Spinner wheels. Think of it as a wardrobe on wheels that stands upright when open to provide on-hanger packing and easy access to all contents.
It includes an inside hanger hook, extender panel for longer garments, lined shoe compartment, compression straps, and multiple pockets for exceptional packing and organization. This isn’t the bag for longer trips but for shorter business trips as it holds enough for around 3-4 days. For women who pack like me, it’s probably good for a 2.5-3 day trip. What can I say – I love my shoes!
It also includes the Travel Sentry combination lock for additional peace of mind when checking in. Dimensions are 24″X 19.75″X 10″ and it weighs 9.5 pounds. Below, it is shown in espresso brown.
I LOVE this collection and while I wish they offered some brighter fun and sophisticated colors (purple and a two-color earth tone would be great), the Indigo Blue is a happy color — yes, I think about this on the road, even for my bag — and it doesn’t show as much dirt or wear and tear as a lighter color might.
Two thumbs up! I’ve been using the bag for several months now and it’s crossed the Atlantic twice and has been across North America at least a half dozen times. While I can’t yet say how it will hold up over the course of a year of frequent travel, so far, so good – Samsonite has my vote for recommended durable luggage for both the leisure and business traveler.
Note the above review was originally published on NOVEMBER 30, 2014 however it is being reposted on April 29, 2015 with an update!
April 2015 UPDATE: Just a quick update on Samsonite several months after writing this original review. The two roller bags are still going strong — the quality is really a stand-out. The wheel technology is so good that the pieces just fly alongside me with barely any effort at all. The materials are also incredibly durable. Below is a shot of me on a more recent trip to New York with Samsonite luggage in tow.
For more information and to order (their site has special offers all the time and reduced prices), check out the Samsonite website and just type in Silhouette to see the wide array of options within that collection.
Note: We received luggage from Samsonite to test out but we didn’t get paid to write this review and I can assure you all opinions expressed are entirely my own. I absolutely love their luggage and use it regularly on trips.