In this Chester luggage review, we’ll test their quality, sum-up their product reviews, see what features they offer, discuss their warranty, and more. All, to find out if they’re worth it, and how they compare to similar competitors.
Although their brand is quite new and not that popular (yet), their luggage is seriously good. We’ve tested the Chester Minima Carry-On for ourselves, and so far, it’s held up really great.
Let’s get started.
On CleverJourney’s best luggage brands, Chester got the second place with 91 out of 100 points.
Here’s a summary of how we determined the 91 points. Further down into the review, we’ll go into more detail on each category, so you get a better understanding of how they performed.
- Built to last. We performed several tests and inspected the suitcase throughout, and we must say that the build quality on them is amazing. And we weren’t the only ones to agree, because their product reviews are exceptional.
- One of the best luggage warranties out there. Chester offers a 10-year warranty that covers the wheels, handles, zippers, and cracks in the hard shell. And what’s even better, all shipping costs to and from the repair center are covered.
- Minimalistic and simple. Chester will be perfect for minimalists, who are looking for a simple, but a well-built suitcase.
- Some competitors offer better features. Although Chester’s suitcases come with all the essentials, some of their competitors offer slightly more advanced features, like built-in suiters, GPS trackers, toiletry pouches, USB chargers, e.t.c.
- Fairly expensive. Expect to pay at least 200$ for their suitcases, which is pretty much. That said, when you consider the build quality and warranty, we’d say that they’re definitely worth the price for those who can afford it.
Chester is probably at the higher end of moderately priced suitcases, but in this category, they’re the best choice. At least, if you’re planning on getting a hardside suitcase.
They’re made from high-end materials, and are backed up by a solid 10-year warranty with no ‘hidden rocks.’ Also, their product reviews and nothing short of impressive, which says something about how well they’re made.
The only pitfalls are that their suitcases come with limited features and for some, a 200$ carry-on is just too expensive. If you’re a minimalist who’s looking for a durable hardside suitcase at a moderate price, Chester will be your best bet.Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on ChesterTravels
Key Facts About Chester Travels
Chester Travels inc. is a quite new luggage manufacturer, established in 2017.
Chester’s suitcases are all made in a minimalistic and simple vibe. The design is classic and minimal, they don’t come with too many unneeded features, and their policies are simple and understandable.
They’ve said that their main goal is to make simple and durable suitcases, which aren’t priced too high. In fact, they estimate that the average person usually pays 30% more for similar suitcases of comparable quality. (Hint – they’re probably talking about Away suitcases, which are fairly similar, but priced slightly higher.)
Right now, their suitcases are available for purchase on Amazon, Walmart, and chestertravels.com. We researched their product reviews on Amazon and Walmart for unbiased reviews, and we must say that they’re quite impressive.
Out of all the reviews that we researched, here are the main issues that people were concerned with:
- Because the main compartment is divided by an enclosed fabric sheet on both sides, you can’t fit in larger items, and there’s no room for packing cubes.
- The retractable handle has a larger end to it. When storing another bag on top of the suitcase and securing it with a strap around the handle, often the strap gets caught in the massive handle.
- Some people think that they’re too expensive.
These reviews are quite interesting, because, on almost all other suitcases, people complain about incorrect dimensions, broken wheels, handles, or zippers, bad support, pointless warranty, or cracks in the hard shell. On Chester’s suitcases, no people complained about these issues, which shows how well they’re made.
To test the quality and durability, we performed several tests on the Chester Minima carry-on. That said, we’d like to disclose, that we received this suitcase for free. Though, it doesn’t influence our verdict at all.
We started by checking out the main polycarbonate frame.
We pushed it down with all our strength and even stood on the suitcase quite a few times, and this didn’t result in any cracks. As you can see, the frame is flexible, but at the same time, quite strong.
Most other polycarbonate suitcases we’ve tested were much more flexible. By the way, polycarbonate is the most durable hardside luggage plastic, so it’s nice to know that they’ve used premium materials.
And even if you’d eventually get a crack, Chester’s warranty covers cracks in the frame for ten years, so you’d get a replacement.
Next, we checked out the spinner wheels, because these are most likely to break first on any suitcase.
Instead of regular wheels, Chester has opted to use double spinner wheels, which are more durable. They’re made from a thick plastic material, and they look fairly well-made.
The rubber part of the wheels seems fairly thick, which means that it shouldn’t degrade that easily.
From the inside, the wheels and handles are mounted with regular screws.
This is nice because if you’d ever run into any issues, Chester would be able to swap the parts with new ones quite easily.
The only thing that we didn’t like is the retractable handle. Yeah, it performed well, and overall was fairly good, but it seemed to wobble quite a bit. We’ve tested a lot of other suitcases with handles that felt much more rigid. That said, the handles are also protected by the 10-year warranty.
So overall, the build quality seemed to be on point. Aside from the handle, everything performed really well and didn’t look cheaply made.
And from what we gathered from all the customer reviews, we weren’t the only ones who were pleased with the quality. Almost nobody complained about durability issues.
Chester has said themselves that their main goal is to make minimalistic and simple suitcases.
What this means, is that you won’t find too many features there, like USB charging ports, toiletry pouches, external pockets, GPS tracking, suiter compartments, e.t.c. Their suitcases are simple but well-built.
Let’s start by checking out the interior.
When you open up the main compartment, it’s split into two equal parts, both enclosed with a fabric sheet. Usually, most hardside suitcases have this fabric divider only on one side. Having them on both sides ensures that when you open the bag up, nothing falls out.
As you can see in the picture above, both fabric dividers have built-in pockets, which is nice for storing all the smaller items.
Additionally, you also get this nylon laundry bag. Storing all the dirty clothes together with your clean ones isn’t particularly clever, as the clean clothes will start to have a weird odor, so having this separate pouch is a nice addition.
Other than that, the interior compartment is quite simple and effective.
Let’s continue with the exterior.
I weighed the bag, and it weighed just at 6.7 lbs (3.05 kg), which is a bit under their advertised 7 lbs.
In this article, we compared the average weight of the most popular carry-ons, and on average, a carry-on weighs 7.9 lbs, so Chester’s 6.7 lbs can be considered quite lightweight. To compare, the very similar Away international carry-on weighs 7.5 lbs, which is a bit more.
From the outside, the bag is protected with a built-in TSA-approved combination lock. This means that nobody can get inside the bag except the TSA agents at the airport security.
The lock performed quite well, and it appeared to be pretty well-built.
Next, we tested how well the spinner wheels performed. We tried rolling the bag on smooth surfaces like seen in the GIF above, as well as tarmac, and pavement bricks.
Not only do the wheels feel durable, but they also roll pretty smoothly. Some bags tend to kind of get stuck for a moment whenever you’re trying to rotate the bag, but we didn’t notice this issue with Chester luggage.
We also packed the bag full, and the bag didn’t flip over by itself, which is nice.
Having said that, we think that for this price, there could be a bit more features to this bag. For instance, an expandable zipper would be nice for those moments when you want to bring back a bunch of souvenirs and sweets. Or a built-in toiletry pouch. Or another handle at the bottom of the suitcase.
Of course, those features aren’t essential, but bags at this price point quite often are packed with more features. But if you’re a minimalist, the simplicity of the bag shouldn’t be an issue.
Everything, the exterior, the main compartment, their website, and even the little paper instructions were made in the same simple, minimalist style. It feels like Chester’s designers took a precise carving knife and cut out all the fat out of everything. Other brands feel somewhat commercial and soulless compared to Chester.
The Chester Minima carry-on is available in several colors, that look good for men and woman – black, charcoal gray, aluminum gray, ocean blue, sky blue, pink, and sand. (In our review, we tested the charcoal gray carry-on.)
Out of all the reviews that we read, these were the main adjectives used to describe their suitcases – cute, stunning, high-end, cool, and modern.
Based on everything mentioned above, we gave Chester 14 points in the design category, which is pretty much. We like that their style is so modern and simple.
We’ve reviewed a lot of different luggage brands, and Chester’s warranty is one of the best ones out there. It’s simple, short, written in understandable language, and there are no ‘hidden rocks.’
Chester Travel’s Warranty Terms
- Their suitcases must be used for travel by air, car, train, boat, and foot. (Not covered if used for other purposes.)
- Only valid for the original owner with proof of purchase.
- Covers cracks or breaks in the polycarbonate frame. (Scratches, dents, and stains aren’t covered.)
- Covers wheels, handles, and zippers that are broken no longer useable.
- Must be purchased from authorized resellers or Chester Travels themselves.
- All shipping costs are covered. (Noteworthy, because usually manufacturers cover only the return shipping costs.)
- Warranty is valid for ten years. (And a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.)
Arguably, only Briggs & Riley and Away luggage have better warranty terms than Chester. Briggs & Riley’s warranty covers pretty much everything for a lifetime, no proof of purchase is needed, and the warranty transfers to different owners. And Away’s warranty terms are pretty similar to Chester, but for a lifetime.
The main idea behind Chester Travels is to make high-end suitcases for affordable prices.
Although some may think that dropping 200$ for a single carry-on is completely nuts, it actually isn’t. Think about it. If you’re traveling frequently, why not get a single 200$ carry-on that will last you decades instead of several 70$ ones. Not only will it be cheaper in the long run, but you won’t have to deal with broken luggage in the middle of your vacation.
Chester’s statement that they’re usually 30% cheaper than most similar competitors is actually fairly accurate. At least, when compared to similar alternatives from Away, Travelpro, or Briggs & Riley.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve given Chester Travels 8 points out of 10 in the price category. It’s a fairly good result and in value a similar deal to Briggs & Riley and Travelpro.Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on ChesterTravels