Samsonite is known as the go-to luggage brand for those who want reliability at reasonable prices.
But in the past decades, a lot of new brands have come up. Is Samsonite still the best choice?
In this Samsonite luggage review, we’ll find out. We’ll go in-depth on their quality, ratings, warranty, features, prices, and compare them to similar alternatives.
Although Samsonite isn’t the absolute winner on our leaderboard, they lived up to their name. Samsonite offers the perfect blend of quality, features, design, and prices, which explains how they’ve managed to become so large over the years.
You can see how the full rating was determined in this graph. Down below, we go in-depth on each category and explain why we’ve rated them at that particular rating.
- Solid build quality. Although we’ve seen better build quality on Travelpro, Chester, Briggs & Riley, and Tumi, Samsonite’s suitcases are made to last.
- Reliable warranty and support. Samsonite is very well known for their excellent support and warranty. Although they don’t offer a lifetime warranty, they do offer five and ten-year warranties.
- Excellent reviews. Because Samsonite is so popular, their bags have been tested by thousands of people. And the average rating usually is between 4-4.5 stars out of 5. Most of their buyers are repeat customers, who’ve been loyal to the brand for decades.
- Limited packing features. Most of their affordable suitcases don’t offer packing features that you would get excited about. Some newer brands are doing a much better job at coming up with unique and smart packing features.
- Some models can get expensive. Although you can get a good quality suitcase for about 100$, some of their premium models can cost up to 700$, and we don’t think they are worth that much.
Samsonite is an excellent option for leisure as well as business travel.
Although other brands may offer better durability, warranty, features, or look better, they usually lack in other aspects. Samsonite combines everything in a well-made suitcase that is a solid option for nearly everyone. Whether you’re a businessman, a single mom, or in your mid-20’traveling the world, by choosing Samsonite, you really can’t go wrong.
That said, we still think that Travelpro or Chester is a slightly better choice. They’re similarly priced, but are more reliable and have better warranty terms. And when compared to Delsey, Samsonite isn’t that much better. All four brands are solid options at the medium price point.
Top-Rated Samsonite Suitcases
|Best hardside: Winfield 2 carry-on||Editors rating: 4.5|
|Best softside: Silhouette XV carry-on||Editors rating: 4.5|
|Best luggage set: Winfield 2 3-piece||Editors rating: 4.4|
|Best-looking: Freeform carry-on||Editors rating: 4.3|
Key Facts About Samsonite
Samsonite International S.A. was established back in 1910. Right from the get-go, their main focus was manufacturing affordable luggage. Over the years, they ventured into other niches (for instance, furniture), but they weren’t too successful there.
Today, Samsonite is the most popular luggage brand on the market (three times bigger than the second place, Lois Vitton.) A high portion of their sales come from Samsonite retail stores, which are available in almost any metropolitan city across the globe.
Over the years Samsonite acquired several other luggage manufacturers, like American Tourister, Hartmann, Tumi, eBags, High Sierra, and Lipault. All brands combined, they’re pretty close to having a monopoly status in the market.
Although we’ve seen better reviews, Samsonite’s customer reviews are one of the best ones in the whole luggage industry. Most of their products receive 4-4.5 stars on various online stores, which is fairly high.
Because Samsonite has been around for a long time, a lot of their customers have been using their products for decades. It’s not uncommon for people to stay loyal only to Samsonite for decades, because they’ve always resonated with excellent warranty, support, and durability.
That said, we’ve seen a slight decrease in the customer reviews over the last decade. People are saying that their durability isn’t as good as it once was. If a decade ago you could expect their bags to last over ten years, now they’re closer to five.
And because of this, people are looking for new alternatives. For instance, some of their customers have been flocking over to Travelpro, which is similarly priced, but more durable and offers better warranty terms.
To determine how good their quality is, we tested the Silhouette fabric carry-on, the Winfield 2 hardside, and the Centri hardside at a local dealer. The retail salesperson allowed us to take a closer look and do a quick inspection, and we must say, we’re impressed by the results.
On the Silhouette, we liked how durable and massive the spinner wheels were. It’s not uncommon for spinner wheels to break off. On the Silhouette, the wheels are more rigid and massive than anything else we’ve seen.
Another thing that we noticed is that on all cases the retractable handle seemed to be really rigid. It didn’t wobble at all, which is nice.
When we inspected the Winfield 2 hardside, right off the bat, we noticed that the polycarbonate frame was incredibly flexible. We’ve tested a lot of hardside suitcases, and this one felt somewhat too flexible. We later investigated what other people had to say, and we confirmed that everyone thought the frame was too flexible. But it didn’t seem to cause any issues, because the increased flexibility resulted in fewer cracks.
Aside from our own tests, we researched a lot of customer reviews, to see how well their bags hold up after several years of use. Although a few people complained about broken spinner wheels and faulty handles, overall everyone was satisfied with the durability.
In this video, you can see how a Samsonite’s carry-on looks after 10 years of use. (Still fairly new, aside from slightly torn-up fabric.)
Because Samsonite has a huge budget, they can afford to spend a lot on R&D (Research and development.)
Many of their high-end bags come with new features that you won’t find elsewhere.
Innovative Cable TSA Locks for Fabric Suitcases
On most Samsonite’s hardside suitcases, you will find integrated TSA combination locks, which is nice. Especially if you’re paying 100$ or more for a hardside suitcase.
Where it gets interesting though is their fabric cases.
Most manufacturers have TSA locks only for hardside bags. However, Samsonite has managed to add TSA locks to fabric bags as well. On some of their fabric models, you’ll find a cable that pulls through all the exterior zippers and connects with a TSA lock. This way all of the outer pockets are locked, instead of just the main compartment.
Built-In USB Ports on Premium Models
On some premium models, you’ll find integrated USB ports. They’re useful for charging your electronics in airports, trains, and while commuting.
Basically, you can keep your power bank inside a dedicated pocket, and connect your mobile phone to the power bank through the USB port.
Right-Height Retractable Handle System
On their most recent models, Samsonite has implemented what they call the ‘Right Height’ handle system. Essentially, it’s a fancy way of naming a retractable handle with more-than-average fixed heights.
Usually, you get two to four fixed heights. In Samsonite’s system, you get eight, which can be beneficial to some people.
Durable Spinner Wheels
Most of Samsonite’s suitcases come with spinner wheels, which is nice. Based on other customer reviews, we didn’t see much issues with faulty spinner wheels, which is a common issue for most brands. This means that they’re well-made and you shouldn’t expect much issues with them.
On some of their newer models, instead of regular spinner wheels, you’ll get double wheels with the ‘Tru Trac’ technology. Essentially, this system improves steering and the ability to roll the suitcase in a straight line.
Water-Resistant Coatings on Fabric Suitcases
Almost all of Samsonite’s fabric bags offer water resistance to some degree. Some are coated with the ‘SamGuard’ water-resistant coating, and some made from naturally water-resistant materials, like ballistic nylon.
This doesn’t mean that you can go swimming with them. It just means that in light rain, the contents of your bag won’t get soaked.
Expandable Zippers on Most Models
We’re glad to see that this feature isn’t an extra and is included in most of their suitcases, both hardside and softside.
The expandable zipper allows the bag to expand by additional 1.5-2 inches, which results in an extra 15-25% packing volume. It’s especially handy for checked bags when you’re short on space.
Although Samsonite’s low-end fabric suitcases look a bit generic, we think that their hard shell bags look stunning. Especially, the Winfield 2 hardside, which looks sleek yet professional.
But above all, we like that Samsonite is consistent with their style.
They’re made for business professionals, frequent travelers, and people who appreciate discrete and sleek looks over flashy ones. When you check out their products, all of them are made in this professional style, which is good, because it keeps their brand at their core values.
Samsonite is well known for its outstanding warranty and friendly support. That’s why they’ve got loyal clients who remain loyal for decades.
All of Samsonite’s suitcases are covered by either: a limited global warranty, a limited 3-year warranty, or a limited 10-year warranty.
Unfortunately, their warranty doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, transportation damages, or any damages caused by improper use. Basically, they cover only manufacturing defects and defects from the use of improper materials.
It may not sound like much, but we’ve seen countless cases where their clients got free warranty repairs when it clearly wasn’t covered by the warranty policy. They go above and beyond to keep their customers loyal, so taking minor losses to keep their customers happy is essential.
Whenever their products have to be repaired, Samsonite offers these two options:
- The customer can ship the item to the warranty repair center at his own cost.
- The customer can go to the nearest Samsonite’s shop, and the dealer will ship it to the Samsonite’s repair center for a small fee of 10-15$, depending on how large the briefcase is.
We like the second option better, because Samsonite’s stores are available in almost all large cities, worldwide, and the fee is minimal.
Compared to their competitors, Samsonite has a reputable and dependable warranty, which is why we’ve given them 9 out of 10 points.
Although Samsonite’s suitcases may seem on the higher end, they actually aren’t. Yes, they do offer some premium suitcases that cost up to 700$; however, they have a wide variety of affordable bags that cost around 100$.
Taking everything into account, their affordable options in the 100-200$ price range offer the most value.
Individual Samsonite Suitcase Reviews
|23 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches|
|6.7 lbs (3.03 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.5 / 5|
Between all the Samsonite’s suitcases we’ve tested, the Winfield 2 hardside got us the most excited. Particularly, by the overall looks and durability.
Out of all Samsonite’s hardsides, this one is the sleekest and most professional. The outer shell is made out of polycarbonate, which is more durable than ABS. When compared to other hard shells, this one felt much more flexible, which supposedly results in fewer cracks down the line. It’s finished with a brushed anti-scratch pattern, that hides most of the tiny scratches from normal wear.
From outside, it’s fitted with four spinner wheels. Though, these didn’t feel as rigid as the spherical wheels on the Samsonite Silhouette XV. We wish they’d used those ones instead. It’s also fitted with a TSA compliant combination lock, top and side handles, and a retractable top handle.
The main compartment is split into two equal parts divided by a fabric sheet. Inside you’ll also find a smaller pocket and two compression straps for keeping your belongings in place.
Overall, it’s not too expensive, comes with decent features, is dependable, and backed with a 10-year warranty. This is the best option if you’re looking for a hardside suitcase from Samsonite (also one of the best options between ALL hardside carry-ons.)
|23 x 15 x 18.5 inches|
|8.7 lbs (3.94 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.5 / 5|
When compared to the Winfield 2, the softside Silhouette Xv 21-inch is much more advanced in packing features and some other areas.
The outer frame is made from rigged tri-core nylon that’s coated with water-resistant protection. We’re glad they’ve used nylon over polyester because it’s much more durable. Generally, the bag should withstand light rain without soaking the contents.
Overall, the bag feels solid and well-made. The Spherical spinner wheels roll smooth and in a straight line. And due to its dimensions, the bag fits almost all overhead compartments.
Outside, you’ll find handles on top, sides and the bottom, as well as a retractable handle on top. What’s cool about the retractable aluminum handle is that it has eight fixed positions instead of the usual three or four.
The main compartment is secured with a TSA-approved lock which isn’t too common for fabric suitcases. Inside the main compartment, you’ll find several pockets for smaller items, compression straps, a TSA-compliant toiletry pouch, and a hanger for shirts and other things that shouldn’t get wrinkled. Overall, a nice packing setup for a carry-on of this price.
Between all fabric suitcases that Samsonite offers, we believe that this one is the best. Mainly because it’s so affordable, yet offers so many features.
|20, 24, & 28 inches|
|26.67 lbs (12.09 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.4 / 5|
We think that the Winfield 2 3-piece luggage set is the best one that Samsonite has to offer. In fact, we believe that this is one of the best luggage sets on the market.
The set comes in 20, 24, and 28-inch suitcases. All three pieces nicely fit inside each other, so they don’t take too much space when stored in the attic. The brushed finish is available in several different colors – charcoal, deep blue, brushed anthracite, orange, and purple.
All three pieces are made from polycarbonate, which is more durable than ABS. The two largest pieces are fitted with expandable zippers, which allows the cases to expand by an additional 1.5 inches in width. Other than that, all three pieces are fitted with TSA-approved combination locks and four spinner wheels.
From inside, you get two separate compartments in each bag, both divided by a fabric sheet. There’s also a large zippered pocket for smaller items and an x shaped compression strap to keep your contents in place.
To sum up, we like how affordable, durable, and good-looking the Winfield 2 luggage set is, and that it’s backed by a 10-year Samsonite warranty.
|21.25 x 15.25 x 10 inches|
|6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.3 / 5|
We think that the Samsonite Freeform 21-inch hardside is the best-looking suitcases that Samsonite has to offer, especially in the white color. Also, it’s one of their cheapest hardside options.
The outer shell is made from polycarbonate (which is stronger than ABS) and feels sturdy. When compared to the Winfield 2 or Omni PC, the Freeform is also more lightweight. Although this case doesn’t have a patterned finish for hiding the scratches, their customers say that it doesn’t show that many scratches, including the one that comes in white. It’s available in black, navy, sage green, tangerine, and white.
From outside, the Freeform is fitted with double spinner wheels for smooth moveability, top and side handles, and a retractable handle on top. Although you don’t get any exterior pockets, the main compartment is locked with a TSA-approved combination lock.
From the interior, the bag is split into two parts. Inside, you will find two pockets for storing your smaller items and an x-shaped compression strap, so you can keep all of your clothes pushed down to the frame. If you would ever to run out of space, this bag is fitted with an expandable zipper for an additional two inches in width.
Although this carry-on is slightly oversized for the most common 22 x 14 x 9 size limit, most of their customers have successfully fitted the bag inside the airlines measuring boxes (though, a tight fit).
This bag comes with many features that you wouldn’t expect on a suitcase of this price. But the main reason why we’re so hyped about this case is its looks, especially in the white finish.