The Samsonite Winfield 2 is an older luggage set that has maintained its popularity over the years because of its solid value at an ever dropping price point. Entry-level luggage doesn’t have to be cheap, gaudy, and lacking modern comforts. We’ll tell you why Samsonite gets it mostly right with this luggage line and why we think it’s great for couples or small families that want to take a trip without blowing their travel budget on baggage before the vacation begins.
- Been on the market for years, durability is well-tested and user-approved
- Value. A bestseller for a reason, very attractive sale price
- A respected brand with a solid warranty
- Lightweight even by today’s standards
- Exterior easily scratches, especially the lighter colors
- No side-Handle or expansion on 20-inch carry on
The Samsonite Winfield 2 line of luggage is a top seller for them. It’s been on the market for the better part of a decade and even though Samsonite released an updated Winfield 3, these bags are still extremely popular. It owes this success to its solid design and increasingly aggressive sale prices.
Suitcases aren’t smartphones you don’t need to upgrade every couple of years. This set of luggage has everything you need from wheels to handle and it’s got a time-tested design. When we calculate our CJ consumer scale we normalize for time on the market to account for the increased reports of broken wheels and bent handles that you expect to see on a product that has been sold for 7 years compared to one that has only been available for 7 months. But even before accounting for time, this Winfield 2 line has surprisingly some of the best durability scores we have tested.
If you want a good deal on a set of polycarbonate luggage and are not scared of scratches, the Winfield 2 is the way to go.
Dimensions & Weight
The Samsonite Winfield 2 set comes with one carry on as well as a medium and large checked bag, the three sizes are 20, 24, and 28 inches.
The carry on measures in at 23.0″ x 13.5″ x 9.5″ for a total linear size of 46” and an impressive 6.7lbs.
Meanwhile the checked luggage measures in at 27.1″ x 17.0″ x 11.5″ for the 24-inch medium Winfield 2 suitcase and 31.4″ x 20.4″ x 13.0” for the large 24-inch bag. The checked bags also come in light for their size at 9.3 and 11.3lbs respectively.
The 20-inch carry on as well as the large 28-inch checked suitcase do push and exceed the limits of some airlines, and while that is not strictly enforced, it’s something to be aware of. If you do purchase, be mindful when you fly with a new airline on the linear restriction that would exclude these 46-linear inches and 64.8-linear inch bags.
Materials & Water-Resistance
These hardshell suitcases are made from that tried-and-true wonder-material known as polycarbonate or fancy-plastic as my grandfather calls it.
It’s lightweight, impact and water-resistant, and even though this luggage line has been on the market for over 6 years, you can rest assured it’s the same plastic polymer that hard-shell suitcases are made from today and will continue to be made from tomorrow.
These bags will stand up to tropical rainstorms or New York City puddles so you can rest easy wherever your travels take you.
Our hands-on experience with these bags was mostly positive. They move easily, the recessed handles feel solid, and the corners are all reinforced. The overall side-to-side flex of the empty suitcase was a bit more extreme than we like but the reality of structural rigidity is it comes with added weight. These suitcases are light so that’s a trade-off, they are also very inexpensive so for the price we feel they are more than adequate.
When we turn to our CJ consumer scoring criteria we see a pleasant surprise. As we mentioned at the onset of this article this older line of luggage manages to clock in an impressive score of 76.6 out of 100. This score is a culmination of verified owner sentiment toward the bag with an emphasis on durability by calculating reported incidents of failure.
The highest point of reported failure on this line of luggage was the zippers, mainly from the checked bags. We think this may have two explanations; firstly, the larger luggage is exposed to the horrors of baggage handlers, and second, the two checked suitcases have an expansion zipper to accommodate overpacking that the carry on does not. Using this expansion zipper, and overpacking in general, increases the stress on the zippers and seams.
In our own testing, we found the zippers to be a bit tight around the corners. Our suggestion would be to not use the expansion capabilities on these bags if you are concerned with longevity.
Spinner wheels are a staple of modern luggage and they come in two flavors; dual and single spinner wheels. Aptly named for having either one or two slightly-spaced independent points of contact per wheel. Ths luggage set comes with the single spinner wheels which suggest they will handle sidewalk cracks a bit worse than the dual-spinner variation which you will find on more expensive bags.
Either way, both are superior to Rollaboard wheels for most modern travelers, and the wheels on the Winfield 2 line performed as expected from our brief hands-on experience.
Let’s talk about the lock and the interior. All three bags come with a TSA 3-combination lock and it should be completely sufficient for deterring any would-be thieves.
You don’t need a 6-combination lock with biometric security to secure your bag because the truth is you can’t secure your bag. Anyone with access to a ballpoint pen can get into your zipper whether your luggage is locked or not.
TSA locks are about the illusion of security, much like the TSA themselves and at the very least they keep your zippers in place.
The interior of these bags are all identical, they include cross straps for the bottom compartments and a cloth zippered separator for the top compartment which has two mesh pockets for small items.
The split mesh pocket is slightly less useful when scaled down to the size of the 20-inch carry on, so we would have preferred if they used a single pocket to support larger items on that bag.
Unfortunately, there are some differences on the outside of the 20-inch carry-on. It lacks both the side handle and the zippered expansion capabilities of the larger 24 and 28 inch Winfield 2 suitcases.
Aesthetically the Winfield 2 seems like a winner if its popularity is any indication. The design holds up in our eyes but we would steer buyers toward the darker, less reflective colors as we think they will hide scratches a bit better. With 12 colors to choose from that still leaves you plenty of options.
If you want a different look, the Winfield 3 is available in Canada with an updated squared-off exterior design. All Winfield 3 luggage is slightly smaller across the board but without any other notable changes feature-wise.
The Samsonite Winfield 2 Set is backed with Samsonites reasonable 10 Year Limited Warranty. It is worth noting that this warranty does not cover accidental damage or normal wear and tear. Their warranty is also 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 only if the damage is deemed to be covered under warranty. If after inspection they deny your claim you will be stuck paying for the repair out of pocket or paying for them to ship back your unrepaired luggage.
It’s not the most comprehensive coverage in the business and we have seen an increase in reports of denied warranty claims in recent years but Samsonite still maintains a solid reputation even if it’s getting stingier with repairs.
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 the leeway needed to solve issues within reason. Samsonite has solid support and even when your issue falls outside the purview of their stated warranty coverage their customer service is worth getting in touch with.
This is why this luggage set is so popular. Value. It’s not the best looking or the most modern but most people just want a decent set of hardshell luggage at a price that doesn’t eat into their vacation budget.
For a family on a budget, these bags are a steal if you catch them on sale.
It’s worth reiterating the importance of knowing your linear bag restrictions before flying because if the larger 28-inch bag with its approximate 64.8-inch exterior gets you dinged for an oversized baggage fee then there go your savings. We talk about this in-depth in our primer on how to measure luggage before heading to the airport.
We like these bags, they’re a bit older and that’s completely fine. The durability you get for this price and weight is surprisingly good, if they aren’t on sale now then check back next week as they go on sale quite regularly.
You don’t need to pay a fortune to get good, usable luggage that should last long enough and the Winfield 2 from Samsonite is a perfect example.