At Tekuben, we’re working to help you make an informed luggage purchase. As such, we’ve taken the liberty of studying each luggage manufacturer’s catalogue and picking out the bags that we think is worthy of your consideration. Our picks are influenced by what we would look for in a carry on bag as well as the opinions of existing bag owners.
In this post, we take a look at the best carry on luggage that Samsonite has to offer. We believe these 9 bags are currently the most compelling carry on luggage out of Samsonite’s entire catalogue. The list below is followed by our quick take of each bag, providing our reasoning for recognizing the bag.
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You’ll notice that all of these Samsonite bags have 4-wheels and that 7 out of the 9 bags on this list are hard-shell. This is a reflection of Samsonite’s product design direction and what they believe the market wants. Also note that all of the hard-shell bags include a built in TSA Approved lock.
Let’s take a quick look now at each of these 9 best Samsonite carry on bags and see why they made it on this list.
Best Samsonite Carry On Luggage
Updated October, 2016
Why it made the list: Light, strong, pliable plastic. Arguably Samsonite’s best bag.
This is a Tekuben Approved™bag. The Firelite stands out in the lineup and the market because it’s made with Curv® – a very light and strong plastic that Samsonite has exclusive use of in the luggage space. The Firelite is the successor to the Cosmolite which is also featured on this list. The differences between them are minimal but for roughly the same price, we give the edge to the Firelite if you’re considering the two. It comes in different sizes, the smallest being the 55 cm/20 in version that is designed to fit into most airline cabins. The Firelite is made in Europe and is protected by a Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer’s defect. Owners of this bag like the fact that it’s so light and nimble, weighing a mere 4.5 lbs (2.05 kg) yet tough enough to survive the sugar cravings of 8th graders. As strong as the Curv material is however, the surface may be easy to scratch. Read our hands on review to learn more about the Samsonite Firelite. Or watch us unbox it in the video above.
Samsonite ARQ 20″
Why it made the list: Shock absorbing Aero-Trac™ wheels mounted onto a sleek polycarbonate box configured for maximum packing volume
The Samsonite ARQ 20″ is a hardshell spinner equipped with shock absorbing Aero-Trac™ wheels that the company claims will reduce rolling vibration and noise. The boxy shell is made out of polycarbonate and the internal compartments has what the company describes as a 20/80 Volumax™ configuration to maximize volume. The ARQ is available in 3 sizes: 20″, 25″ and 28″. And 3 colors: Cobalt Blue, Matte Graphite and Matte Copper. Note that the 20″ version does not have a side handle. MSRP is $365 USD.
Why it made the list: Same light weight and strength as the Firelite with a better TSA-Approved lock
The Cosmolite precedes the Firelite as the first Samsonite bag to use Curv®. While the Firelite has upgraded non-perforated handles and weather resistant zippers, the Cosmolite does offer an advantage with the easier to use TSA-Approved lock. The Cosmolite had a see through mesh divider but in version 3.0, now shares the Firelite’s solid divider. Ultimately, both bags are in a class of their own within Samsonite’s lineup (both bags are part of the “Black Label Series” here in the U.S.) and the choice between them would be decided by your preference of style.
Why it made the list: At 4.9 lbs, it’s the lightest bag in Samsonite’s lineup under $300
The Samsonite Neopulse is made in Europe out of 100% Bayer Makrolon® Polycarbonate, another strong plastic. This bag comes within a pound of the Firelite and Cosmolite while priced at nearly $200 USD less, making it an ideal option for travelers who want the weight savings without having to pay nearly half a grand. The Neopulse has a two-rod telescopic handle that makes it possible to secure and balance a briefcase or secondary carry on on top of the bag – a very functional feature for those who prefer to have a free hand when traveling with two bags. We look forward to getting our hands on the Neopulse for review soon.
Why it made the list: Samsonite’s only Aluminum framed 100% polycarbonate no zip bag in the U.S. market
If you’re after a Samsonite carry on with no zippers, the CruiseAir DLX is your only option. It’s not a bad option either. On the contrary, it’s reported to be quite good. The aluminum frame and closure offer better security than a zipper theoretically would. By all accounts, the CruiseAir DLX is a tank of a luggage and it weighs like one too at 9 lbs. It’s a bag that will make its presence felt. Be aware that even though it’s categorized as a carry on bag, at 23 in. x 14.5 in. x 10.5 in. including wheels and handles, the CruiseAir DLX may not be allowed onto some of the stricter cabins guarded by stickler attendants.
Why it made the list: Simple exterior to match a simple interior
The Samsonite Inova is a good option for those who are drawn to simple lines and a clean modern look. It is made out of 100% Makrolon® polycarbonate – similar to the material used to make the Neopulse – while it has a brushed finish to help prevent the appearance of scratches (though scratches are likely to happen and show anyway). The simplistic tone of the exterior is echoed in the interior that has no pockets. The border of the door-side zippered cover doesn’t take up much room, which is one of things we wish for on the Firelite. Note that at 15 in. wide, some airliners may reject it as cabin luggage as some owners have reported.
Why it made the list: Popular mid-range carry on that gets the job done without breaking the bank
We borrowed a Samsonite Winfield 2 from our friend for a 2-week trip through Europe. We were concerned about being able to stow this in the cabin, given the restrictive carry on allowances of our airliners, but we didn’t have any trouble. We flew with Norwegian, Vueling and Iberia. We were never asked to place the Winfield 2 in a size cage – maybe because we only had this and a duffel between the two of us. If we had four carry ons, it might have been different. This is a popular bag because it hits all the right points: 4-wheels for maneuverability, built-in locks, subdued styling, a low price point and a not-too-heavy weight of 6.7 lbs. The wheels met the demands of the roads all but a few times. We wish the lock was like that of the Cosmolite, Neopulse and Inova, which is easier to latch the zipper pulls onto. All in all though, this is a great bag for the price and owners seem to love it. At a MSRP of $139.99, you should find the Winfield 2 on sale under $100.
Why it made the list: The only hard-shell case on this list with the ability to expand
One of the features that travelers like is the versatility of a bag that has room to expand. Samsonite’s Omni PC is one of the few hard-shell bags that offer this feature. It’s priced within dollars of the Winfield 2, made out of the same 100% Polycarbonate material, weighs roughly the same and uses similar TSA-locks and wheels. The diamond texture on the Omni PC may prove to be better at hiding/preventing scratches than the glossy finish of the Winfield 2. As far as size goes, the Omni PC is half a inch taller and wider than the Winfield 2 when factoring in wheels and handles. The choice between the two will come down to style preference and how much the Omni PC’s ability to expand will be a benefit. It’s yet another highly rated Samsonite carry on that should be found on sale for less than $100.
Why it made the list: Classic Samsonite looks, durable and functional soft-shell carry on
While Samsonite’s catalog seems to be dominated by hard-sided suitcases, there are still a few soft-shell ones and we believe the Silhouette Sphere XV to be the very best among them. The XV is the latest edition to the Silhouette series and replaces our previous top pick on this list, the Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2. The XV continues the tradition of Silhouette bags with sensible styling, a durable nylon fabric with water-resistant coating. It rolls straight on sleek, Tru-Trac™ V-shaped camber instructed wheels and pulls comfortably with a wide, cushioned telescopic handle. Soft-shell bags typically offer better organization features than their hard-shell counterparts and the Silhouette XV does that with two external pockets, a water proof interior pocket for toiletries and a suiter. Soft-shell bags also tend to show better after wear than hard-shell bags. It has the ability to expand and it features three outside handles though we wish it had four. There are no built-in TSA-Approved locks and it weighs the second highest on this list at 8.7 lbs. Even so, this bag has its fans. It has a MSRP of $310 USD, but we’ve seen it on Amazon for around $150.
Why it made the list: Offers similar features to the Silhouette XV while being nearly 2 lbs. lighter
The Samsonite Solyte is a relatively new addition to the Samsonite roster. It’s a capable soft-shell carry on that is relatively light compared to other Samsonite fabric bags at 6.8 lbs. It is expandable, like the Omni PC. There are no big surprises or standout features with the Solyte. It serves well as a simple and reliable cabin bag and we expect it to continue receiving positive feedback.
That brings us to the end of our picks for the best Samsonite carry on luggage. We hope this list guides you towards making an informed purchase. We will keep this page updated as new products are released and we come across more feedback from owners.
Are you shopping for a Samsonite bag? Have one of the bags on this list? Have a Samsonite bag that you think should be on this list? Share your questions, thoughts and comments below. Safe and happy travels!