Merax is an affordable luggage brand from Amazon.
Under the same company, they also sell Flieks suitcases, which are basically identical, just named differently. There isn’t much info about both brands online, so people usually don’t know whether they’re a good choice or not.
In this Merax luggage review, we’ll compare their suitcases to other luggage brands, evaluate their durability, customer reviews, features, warranty, and prices. All to determine whether Merax is a good choice or not.
On CleverJourney’s Best luggage brands, Merax got 70 points and took the 13th place on our leaderboard.
Here you can see how we determined the 70 points. Later down in the full review, we’ll go into more detail on each category, and explain why they gained that specific score.
- Affordable. Out of all the affordable luggage brands we’ve reviewed, Merax is the cheapest one. You can get a hardside carry-on for 50-60$, and a 3-piece luggage set for 90-140$, which is really cheap.
- Well-reviewed. Usually, their products are reviewed between 4.2-4.8 stars, which is a lot for an affordable brand. We believe that customer reviews are the most important thing that you should look at when getting luggage because they say a lot about how well they’re made.
- You shouldn’t count on their warranty. Although they say that their products are backed by a 5-year warranty, there are no warranty terms to be found online, and they can be only contacted through Amazon. Some people said that they’ve successfully gotten refunds, but you shouldn’t count on that. If their suitcases break, it’s best to just get a new one.
- Not built for frequent travelers. You really can’t expect a 50$ suitcase to last when used frequently. They’re made from cheap materials, and after a while will start to show signs of wear. Having said that, we believe that their quality will be good enough for people who travel 1-5 times per year. At that rate, they should last at least 2-5 years.
- Comes with only the most basic features. You won’t find any advanced packing features on Merax, like expandable zippers, toiletry pouches, laundry bags, e.t.c. Sometimes, even their combination locks aren’t TSA-approved.
Merax is very similar to Coolife. Both of them are popular on Amazon, and both are incredibly cheap. However, when put side by side, Merax is essentially a dumbed-down version of Coolife. They’re made from slightly worse materials and offer fewer features, which is why they’re priced around 10-30$ less.
In the affordable price range, they’re one of the best choices, right behind Coolife (76 points,) American Tourister (74 points,) and It Luggage (71 points.) All four brands are pretty solid, affordable choices, with only minor differences.
However, if you do decide to get them, remember that their durability won’t be enough for frequent travel and that their warranty is essentially useless.
Top-Rated Merax Suitcases
|Best hardside: P.E.T. 20-inch||Editors rating: 4.1|
|Best luggage set: P.E.T. 3-piece||Editors rating: 4.1|
|Best-looking: 3-Piece hardside||Editors rating: 4.2|
Key Facts About Merax
Comptree Inc was established back in 1994, Los Angeles, California. Merax is only a brand that Comptree uses for branding their products. In this review, we’ll be focusing only on Merax Travel, but they also use the same brand for home, office, fitness, pets, and kids products.
Most likely, Comptree is a Chinese company with offices in the U.S. because their website is in broken English. They’re a private label company, which means that all the manufacturing is done in China, and their U.S. facilities only serve for sales and distribution purposes.
We didn’t find any other online stores that sell Merax except Amazon. There, you’ll find around 20-30 of their listings for hardside suitcases and hardside luggage sets. They’re a tiny luggage brand, but their products have received pretty good reviews and are quite popular, which is why we decided to review them.
A few of their suitcases are sold under a different name – Flieks. They’re very similar to Merax, with only a few changes in the looks. In this review, we’re taking a look at both brands – Merax and Flieks, because they’re basically identical.
On average, Merax suitcases are reviewed at roughly 4.2 – 4.8 stars out of five on Amazon, which is really high. From all affordable luggage brands we’ve reviewed, Merax scored the second place in customer reviews, right behind Coolife.
That said, there was one model which was reviewed slightly worse – the Merax Travelhouse luggage set. It’s their cheapest luggage set, and it’s made from the lest-durable plastic in suitcases, ABS. People complained about broken zippers, handles, wheels, and cracks in the hard shell. But it looks like this is their only “bad apple,” because all other models have received only great reviews.
Here are the most common things that people mentioned in the reviews:
- Their suitcases are really lightweight.
- They look even better in real life.
- On some models, the combination locks aren’t TSA-approved, which makes them pretty much useless.
- The handles, zippers, and wheels can break pretty easily when checked-in.
- Cracks can start to appear in the hard shell after a while.
- Some people said that even their cheapest luggage sets had lasted 2-3 years without any issues.
- Sometimes, the dimensions are incorrect, and the smallest piece in their luggage sets is slightly too large to be used as a carry-on.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Merax suitcases aren’t made to last. They’re great as a short-term alternative, but shouldn’t be used for frequent travel.
Most of their suitcases are made from P.E.T. or ABS, and both are cheap luggage plastics and get cracks when bent under pressure. Ideally, you would want your suitcase made from polycarbonate or a polycarbonate/ABS mix, which would be much more durable. However, these types of suitcases usually cost much more.
Although some people complained about broken handles, zippers, and wheels, these issues weren’t too common. Most people said that they’re happy with their purchases and some even said that they’d used them for 2-3 years frequently without any issues.
People said that in real life, their suitcases don’t look cheap. The first impressions usually are that they’re well-made and will probably last a long time.
Having said that, we wouldn’t recommend Merax for business travelers and other people who travel frequently. Because they’re so affordable, they’re made from cheap materials and will most likely break when used frequently. Their durability will be good enough for people who travel 1-5 times per year and at that rate should last anywhere from 2-5 years.
Because Merax is so affordable, their suitcases are pretty basic and don’t come with too many features. Having said that, they’re still equipped with all the essentials you might need.
Essentially, they’re so lightweight only because they’re made from cheaper, lightweight plastics – ABS and P.E.T. Polycarbonate tends to be slightly heavier, but it’s much more durable compared to both materials.
Innovative Choice of Materials – P.E.T. Plastics
Merax is one of the few brands that use P.E.T. plastics in hardside luggage. Most commonly, manufacturers use ABS or Polycarbonate.
P.E.T. is very similar to ABS. Both materials are cheap and used in affordable hardside suitcases. However, P.E.T. is more flexible and less likely to crack.
It’s also more environmentally-friendly than ABS and made from non-toxic materials. People often complain that ABS suitcases have a chemical smell for the first weeks, which isn’t the case with P.E.T. suitcases.
TSA-Approved Locks Only on Some Models
Up to 2019, all of Merax suitcases came with regular combination locks that weren’t TSA-approved. These were essentially useless because you couldn’t use them when checking-in your bag. If a bag is locked with a regular lock, the TSA agents are allowed to break the lock without any consequences.
However, because people were not that happy about non-TSA-Approved locks, they recently started to implement TSA-approved ones. For instance, they recently updated the Merax P.E.T. 20-inch carry-on’s description, to add that all orders placed after 10.06.2019 will have TSA-approved locks.
So make sure to read through the description and confirm that their combination locks are TSA-approved.
Basic Packing Features
Unfortunately, Merax suitcases come with only the most essential packing features. The main compartments are usually quite spacious and come only with tie-down straps and one or two pockets for organization.
Essentially, that’s how they’re keeping their prices so low. If they’d add more advanced packing features, like expandable zippers, suiter compartments, TSA-approved toiletry pouches, laundry bags, e.t.c., they would have no option but to raise the prices by at least 10-50$.
The first one is modern, sleek, and business-oriented. These suitcases are usually under the Merax and Flieks brand and come in roughly 5-8 singular color options. These are by far their most popular options, and in our opinion, look quite good. In real life, they don’t look cheap and usually look pretty professional and well-made. In this style, we think that the Merax P.E.T. 20-inch hardside is one of their best-looking models.
The second style is only under its brand Flieks. These include various colorful patterns, which are mainly focused on the leisure audience. They’re slightly more expensive but look more colorful, which means that you won’t have a hard time finding your bags on the luggage carousel between all the other similar suitcases. For instance, the Flieks hardside 3-piece patterned luggage set is made in this style.
They’ve got a style for just about anyone, and none of their models look boring or cheap, which is why we’ve given them a fairly high rating in the design category – 13 out of 15 stars.
Unfortunately, Merax doesn’t offer a solid warranty for their suitcases.
In the product descriptions, they say that their suitcases are protected by a 5-year warranty. However, we looked everywhere, and we weren’t able to find their warranty terms and contact information. So, even if they do have a warranty, it probably covers only the most basic defects and is highly subjective.
That said, many people reported that they successfully got refunds or new suitcases when contacting the Merax through Amazon. (If you’re stuck, here’s a guide on how to contact a seller on Amazon.)
It appears that most of the times, they won’t ask you to send the old suitcase back. They’ll just send you a new one, or issue a partial or full refund. However, a lot of people also said that their warranty was declined by Merax representatives, so you should keep that in mind.
To sum up, we would highly encourage you to not count on Merax warranty working. If their suitcases break, sure, you can try to contact the seller on Amazon, but most likely you’ll have to get a new suitcase.
Out of all the affordable luggage brands, Merax is probably the cheapest option, right next to Rockland.
Here’s what you can expect to pay:
- Hardside carry-on: 50-60$.
- Hardside checked suitcase: 50-90$.
- 3-piece luggage set: 90-140$.
If you’re looking for a really cheap luggage set, you probably won’t find anything better at those prices. However, because they’re so cheap, their suitcases are usually packed with only the essential features, and built from the cheapest materials.
Merax really reminds us of Coolife. Essentially, you can get a Coolife suitcase for roughly 10-30$ more, which will be better. But if you’re fine with getting a simpler, dumbed-down version of Coolife, you can get a Merax for slightly less. Whichever brand you choose, both are incredibly cheap, and both are solid choices for a short-term option.
Individual Merax Suitcase Reviews
|- 21 x 15 x 8 inches|
|- 6 lbs (2.72 kg)|
|- Material: P.E.T.|
|- Editors rating: 4.1 / 5|
If you’re looking for a dirt-cheap hardside carry-on that’s somewhat durable, the Merax P.E.T. 20-inch carry-on is a really solid choice.
The hard shell is made out of P.E.T. plastic, which is more flexible, and slightly more durable than regular ABS, which is the most common material for affordable suitcases. Supposedly, Merax even tested this suitcase by driving a 2-ton truck over it, and no cracks appeared. Even if that’s true, P.E.T. is still less durable than polycarbonate, so don’t expect this suitcase to last for decades.
In features, this carry-on is pretty limited. Recently, it was updated with TSA-approved locks, so now it’s TSA-compliant. It comes with four regular spinner wheels, a retractable handle on top, but unfortunately no expandable zippers. The main compartment is really spacious, and at the same time, quite simple. In the middle, it’s divided by a fabric sheet that separates both sites, and inside you’ll find tie-down straps and one large pocket for organization.
Although in the product description it’s marked as 21 x 15 x 8 inches, some people said that in length it’s actually 23 inches, so it might be too big to be used as an international carry-on. That said, I’ve been using a similarly-sized carry-on for over two years now, and I’ve never had any issues with it because most of the times airlines don’t ask you to measure it.
Even though this carry-on is limited in features, it’s priced really affordably, which makes up for it. If you’re looking for a short-term suitcase for non-frequent travel, this one is a solid choice.
|- 20, 24, and 28 inches|
|- 24 lbs (10.8 kg)|
|- Material: P.E.T.|
|- Editors rating: 4.1 / 5|
The Merax P.E.T. 3-piece luggage set is one of the cheapest luggage sets on Amazon. Although it’s priced a few dollars above the Merax Travelhouse 3-piece luggage set, we think that this one is a smarter choice, because it’s built from better materials, and rated much better.
For a luggage set, it’s quite light, weighing only at 24 lbs. Similar sets usually weigh at around 26-30 lbs. Although it’s not as lightweight as IT Luggage or Lucas, this set from Merax is more durable. And if you’re checking-in your luggage, durability is a really important factor to consider, because baggage handlers don’t treat luggage lightly.
This set contains the Merax P.E.T. 20-inch carry-on, which we looked at earlier. The other two larger suitcases are essentially identical to the 20-inch carry-on, just larger.
A nice addition is that all three pieces fit inside each other, which is good because they’ll take up less space when not used.
|- 20, 25, and 29 inches|
|- 22.2 lbs (10.06 kg)|
|- Material: ABS + Polycarbonate|
|- Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
Now if you’re looking for something more colorful, you should check out this Flieks 3-piece patterned luggage set. It’s priced really cheaply and comes in five different prints that you can choose from.
Contrary to the 3-piece P.E.T. luggage set which we looked at earlier, this one is made from an ABS + Polycarbonate mix, which should be slightly more durable than P.E.T.
Because this set is so affordable, TSA-approved locks and expandable zippers aren’t included. Instead, this set comes with regular combination locks that aren’t TSA-approved. This means that you shouldn’t use them when checking-in your suitcases, because the TSA security agents are authorized to break the lock in case of additional inspection.
Other than that, this luggage set is pretty spacious from the inside, and all three pieces fit nicely inside one another.
Although in features this set is pretty basic, we think that it’s a solid choice for an affordable luggage set. It’s good-looking, built from durable plastic, really cheap, and comes with all the essentials, which is really all you’d ever need.