From Samsonite to Samson-lite: Cabin baggage put to the test

Pricewatch wheels out four cases to find out which is best value for money

Suitcases made by Samsonite are good. And rarely do they get better than this case, which has been "reinvented" using the "latest technologies and design aesthetics". That might explain why it is almost as light as air. Weighing in at just 2.6kg, it is easily the lightest of the cases we are reviewing, but despite that it seems remarkably sturdy and could easily stand up to a battering from baggage handlers. The wheels run with all the smoothness of James Bond in a bordello. Were money no object we would go for this all the time. Sadly, money is an object – or an obstacle. When we priced this in Arnotts last week is was at this sale price, which may be manageable, but the full price of €355 is steep.
Verdict: Very good.
Star rating: ****


This bag looks as cool as you would imagine any bag made in Italy from ultra-soft micro-suede would look. It has a pleasingly old-school feel and we like that it was made with a soft and pliable material rather than a hard plastic shell. Its design facilitates fitting more stuff in – although that might not be such a good thing if you are ordered to check it in at the airport because you have overfilled it. The wheels swivel smoothly too. But then there is the price. Sadly Pricewatch cannot justify spending more than €400 on a cabin bag. Even if it is great.
Verdict: Too dear for us.
Star rating: **


This is an okay price to pay for a good suitcase. It is hard-shelled and sturdy and the wheels turn with the best of them. While it may not be to everyone's taste, we like the lurid range of colours available, as it will set us apart from the pack and should make it easier to track down our luggage on airport conveyer belts and in overhead lockers. We also like the in-built combination lock and the nifty wheels.
Verdict: Bright and breezy.
Star rating: ***


As the cheapest case, this has an edge. While it may not last as long as a case from Samsonite, it costs about a tenth of the price, so it won't have to. It is very lightweight – just 300g more than its far more expensive rival. The four wheels give it all the control you should need, and there is enough space for a two-week break – once you pack wit military precision.
Verdict: Very good value.
Star rating: *****

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