Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-Inch Carry On Luggage Review

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The Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-inch carry-on suitcase is built for people who want luggage with modern amenities but classic styling. Dual Spinner wheels and USB charging at an aggressive price point from a brand that is already known for selling affordable luggage that lasts.

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Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-Inch carry-on review featured image post

Our score: 76/100

Dimensions & Weight

8/10

Materials & Water-Resistance

10/15

Durability

15/20

Moveability

14/15

Features

7/10

Design

7/10

Warranty

8/10

Value

7/10

The Good

  • A handy liquids compartment helps avoid leaky luggage, one of the more common mini travel disasters.
  • Recessed USB Charging port. The covered port is there if you need it and easy to ignore if you don’t.
  • Well-known brand with a good warranty. 
  • Four Dual Spinner Wheels. Spinner wheels offer maximum maneuverability and medium durability.

The Bad

  • No integrated TSA lock. You will have to buy your own locks separately, if you travel with expensive equipment regularly it may be worth looking at other options.
  • No laptop compartment, those traveling with a laptop that can’t fit in their personal item will need to buy the equally expensive Solyte underseat companion bag.
  • Limited color selection. Blue, Black, and Grey are classic colors but that means your luggage will look like every other carry-on coming out of the baggage scanner.

Quick Take

The Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-inch carry-on is a solid well-priced piece of luggage that appeals to travelers with more classic and modest tastes. It has a unique expansion path with the stackable underseater bag sold separately, but stands as a good value on its own, albeit without laptop storage.

We like its maneuverability, adjustable handle, wet compartment, and no-frills USB charging. We would have liked to see integrated TSA locks at this price but are happy to recommend this bag because it does tick most of our boxes and is sold by a company with a good reputation and warranty.

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Full Review

Dimensions & Weight

The Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-inch Carry On measures in at a mostly airline friendly 22.0″ x 14.0″ x 9.5″ these dimensions include the spinner wheels which do stick out a fair bit. This falls roughly in line with most airlines’ carry-on restrictions. 

On paper, it does exceed a few airline guides by a half-inch to an inch here and there. Luckily, carry-on size and weight restrictions are rarely enforced strictly within the US and you may only run into issues on a few of the more strict European airlines. If you opt for a bag that meets almost every airline’s requirement for length, width, and height you end up with a very small bag.

The usable interior packing space, excluding the wheels, handles, and exterior pockets, measures: 19.0″ x 13.5″ x 7.75”

The bag weighs 7.1 lbs completely empty, which brings it just under our modern average weight calculations for this size-class of luggage. If you add your own power bank to utilize the included external USB charging, that number will be closer to 8 lbs.

Materials & Water-Resistance

Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-Inch Carry On Luggage Review 1

The Solyte DLX is a soft-sided suitcase made from polyester, or as Samsonite’s marketing department calls it, 100% rugged polyester. It is weather treated and you can expect reasonable water resistance, but not the same level of water-proofing you would get with a hard plastic composite shell.

By virtue of being a soft suitcase, it gives you some wiggle room to overpack or at least under-fold your clothes if you don’t always pack your things as neatly for the flight home. Officially Samsonite rates the expansion capabilities at three-quarters of an inch.

This bag is not water or rip-proof but it should be good enough for all but the most extreme travelers. If you plan on visiting the Philippines during typhoon season consider getting a hard shell suitcase. For everyone else, this should hold up just fine from curb to cabin and back.

Read Next: Samsonite Centric 24-Inch Checked Bag Review

Durability

One of the top concerns for any traveler buying a new piece of luggage is its durability. Whether you travel once a year or multiple times per month, you want to be confident your bag will make the trip back with you.

Wheels, Handles, zippers, and cloth corners are all the highest points of failure, in order. Pouring through user reviews online we have found no cause for alarm in any of these areas. Our hands-on impression of the handle was positive, feels comfortable, and sturdy for a push-button locking handle. The handle is not cushioned.

With carry-on luggage, you can better control the extremes your suitcase is subjected to, but even still zippers fail and wheels break. With a brand like Samsonite, you can at least be certain the design was thoroughly tested and you’re getting a product that passed a higher level of quality control than is the norm.

Moveability

Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-Inch Carry On Luggage Review 1

The underside of the Samsonite Solyte DLX is equipped with four dual spinner wheels using steel bearings, making it ultra agile in the airport or hotel. If you have never used a suitcase with dual spinner wheels before it’s tough to go back to the two-wheeled life. The 360-degree movement makes it easy to maneuver them sideways down narrow aisles that roller luggage would otherwise need to be carried down.

The suitcase is super smooth in all directions, as are all dual spinner wheels, which should help alleviate any strain on your wrist or shoulder. The wheels are a bit higher profile than most, which may help with clearance if you are dragging them through cobblestone streets, but that means you will have a slightly harder time fitting them in overhead compartments.

Overall, folks find the wheels a standout feature of the bag. Although this is a newer product line we couldn’t find any reports of broken wheels, only a few customers noting issues with them getting stuck in cracks. An unfortunate trade-off seen on most spinner wheels.

Read Next: Samsonite Freeform 21-Inch Carry On Luggage Review

Unique Features

Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-Inch Carry On Luggage Review 1

This carry-on is expandable with a 17.5” stackable under-seat bag from the Solyte line that is sold separately. The Underseat Solyte bag qualifies as a personal item for most airlines and uses a thick sleeve on the back to slot overtop the telescoping handle of this bag to rest neatly on top.

This Solyte bag is itself equipped with the same stacking sleeve, giving you the option to stack it atop a larger checked bag to make traveling with multiple bags easier.

There is no Laptop storage compartment on the 20” Solyte DLX, that feature is found only in the aforementioned  17.5” underseat add-on bag.

Waterproof interior zipped section to keep your 3.4 ounces of liquid from turning your neatly packed clothes into a sunblock salad nightmare.

Basic USB charging without an included power bank. Brands like Away Luggage include a nice little integrated power bank. But Samsonite’s decision to exclude the power bank has its merits, you aren’t paying for things you don’t need If you already own a power bank or simply don’t plan to use that feature.

One notable omission on this bag is the lack of an integrated TSA lock. While it’s certainly less important for carry-on luggage than a checked bag, a lock does force nosey TSA agents who want to dig through your bag to open it in front of you.

Design

Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-Inch Carry On Luggage Review 1

The Solyte line has classic understated styling that looks at home in the hand of any business professional. It comes in three colors; black, blue, and grey, or as Samsonite calls them midnight black, Mediterranean blue, and mineral grey. You can tell which color got shoehorned into that forced alliteration.

The colors are safe at the risk of being hard to differentiate from the deluge of other black, grey, and blue suitcases that will be stuffed beside it in the overhead bins.

The blue and the grey color options both have a light-blue lined interior while the inside of the black version is grey.

The included USB port is neatly integrated into the side behind a latch so you won’t look like you are wheeling around a computer case which is more than you can say for other modern luggage designs touting built-in charging.

Warranty

The 20-inch Solyte DLX is backed with a 10 Year Limited Warranty and since Samsonite has been in business for over 110 years you can likely count on them being around for another 10 years should you ever need to claim that warranty.

It’s important to keep in mind this warranty does not cover accidental damage or normal wear and tear. Their warranty is not user transferable, it applies only to the original purchaser or gift recipient and specifically covers a replacement or repair in the event of,  “manufacturing defects in material and workmanship”.

To make a warranty claim Samsonite requires that you provide your receipt and you will be responsible for the cost of shipping to their repair center, Samsonite will cover the return shipping. It’s not the most comprehensive coverage in the business but we don’t think most people need a particularly generous warranty for a carry-on. It’s the checked luggage that gets abused behind closed doors that you might need the extra coverage against accidental damage.

Regardless, Samsonite maintains high consumer report scores for customer satisfaction for a reason. When evaluating company warranties it’s important to look at more than what is strictly covered on paper. A comprehensive warranty that you have to jump through hoops and chase down support to exercise is not a great warranty.

Customer support is an integral part of any warranty and that requires support agents with fair judgment and a company that provides them the leeway and incentives needed to solve issues within reason. Samsonite has good support and even if your issue falls outside the purview of their stated warranty coverage their customer service has a solid reputation and is worth getting in touch with.

Value

On the lower-middle side of price for this size-class from Samsonite. Dual spinner wheels, USB charging, and a WetPak zip pocket make for a solid value proposition. Especially as this bag is rarely sold at MSRP.

There exist points of diminishing returns for all products and luggage is no different. Past a certain price point the features, warranty coverage, or material changes are not significant enough to warrant the accompanying rise in price. This bag sits right around one of those sweet spots but we would have liked to see TSA-approved locks and an integrated battery bank.

Our Verdict

The Samsonite Solyte DLX 20-inch carry-on bag has most of what we look for in a carry-on these days. We like the optional underseater bag and the one-handed stackable design that they utilize, but we don’t like that you have to buy the underseater if you need laptop storage. The 20-inch Solyte DLX just can’t fit more than a very small ultrabook in its outside pocket that measures 10″ x 12″, whereas the Solyte Underseater will fit most 15-inch laptops. If you need laptop storage you are better off buying a single bag that meets your needs, like the Travelpro Maxlite 5 19-Inch International carry-on, since the total price for the Solyte two bag set starts to get expensive. 

We like the size of the bag overall, big enough to fit a lot while flirting with the size limits of some US airlines without being a likely problem. It’s got a great deep main compartment that fits more than you need which is exactly how much most of us end up packing. The wheels are excellent, the handle should suit folks of all sizes, and we are relatively confident in its durability. The bag has been on the market long enough that thousands of people have put it through a year of travel or more and scouring the internet for every review we see very little cause for concern on its ability to stand the test of time. Outside of a few reports of broken zippers, the relative reports of failures as a percentage of reviews are well below the average.

You can almost always find this bag below MSRP and it’s a solid buy if you don’t want to spend more on advanced frills like soft foam comfort handles, GPS, advanced charging, locks, or laptop support. We think the 20-inch Solyte DLX does what a carry-on bag should and for a price we consider to be fair enough.

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