Swiss Gear is known for making durable and well-made backpacks for travel and everyday use. They also make watches, belts, wallets, and travel accessories, but in this Swiss Gear luggage review, we will be looking only at their suitcases.
Although their backpacks are well-known, their luggage isn’t actually that popular. Most commonly, their bags can be found in local luggage retail stores.
Down below, we’ll look at their durability, customer feedback, features, warranty, and other aspects, and compare them with other luggage manufacturers.
Overall, we’re impressed by how affordable their suitcases are compared to other brands. For a single carry-on, expect to pay around 60-100$. Also, often their bags come with advanced packing features, which is not common for most affordable brands.
However, we’re not too impressed with their durability. Often, they use materials that are too weak to save some manufacturing costs. When it comes to quality, they’re doing a better job with their travel backpacks. If you’re looking for something more durable, check out Travelpro, which gained 90 out of 100 points on our rating scale.
That’s why we wouldn’t recommend their bags for serious frequent flyers. Swiss Gear is a solid choice for those who travel 3-10 times per year.
Swiss Gear’s main strengths
- Affordable prices. You can find a carry-on for 60-100$, which is considered affordable.
- Smart packing features. Swiss gear offers some of the best packing features across all affordable luggage brands. Packing organizers, neat inner compartments, compression straps, TSA-approved toiletry pouches, expandable width zippers, laptop compartments, and more.
Swiss Gear’s main weaknesses
- Weak warranty. Although the warranty may look good on the first glance, their support isn’t that helpful, and often broken bags aren’t covered by warranty when they should be.
- Not for frequent travelers. We’ve seen better-built bags in the affordable – medium price range. You shouldn’t experience any difficulties if you’re traveling 3-10 times per year though.
Founded in 1893
Polyester, polycarbonate, ABS, polypropylene
3-year warranty, 5-year warranty, 10-year warranty
Leisure, semi-frequent travel
Our top-rated Swiss Gear suitcases
If you’re looking for the most durable option from Swiss Gear, this 19-inch carry-on is probably the best option. It’s made from more durable materials and has some nice features.
What we like the most about the Getaway 20-inch carry-on is its minimalistic looks and affordable price. Although it doesn’t offer many features, it’s tech-friendly.
Getaway 21-inch duffel
A minimalistic weekend duffel with a garment folder to keep your shirts, dresses, suits, and dress pants wrinkle-free. One of the best duffel options on the market.
Some background information about Swiss Gear
Often people are confused about Swiss Gear, Wenger, Victorinox, and Alpine Swiss, so here’s a little breakdown.
Initially, there were only two brands in this seemingly similar pool of competitors – Victorinox and Wenger, both established in the 19th century. Both companies originated by making swiss army knives and transitioned to watches, belts, wallets, other types of knives, and travel bags. Both were copying each other and close rivals. That is until Victorinox bought Wenger in 2005.
Swiss Gear is actually only a label owned by Wenger, which means that all three – Swiss gear, Wenger, and Victorinox are actually the same company.
Recently though, another company sprung into action called Alpine Swiss. They’re established in 2010-2012 and don’t even come from Switzerland. Alpine Swiss is owned by a company based in Los Angles, USA, and they’re just monetizing on the Swiss product reputation. We’re not saying that Alpine Swiss offers lousy quality products, but they do look like they’re copying Swiss Gear, Wenger, and Victorinox.
Now when it comes to luggage Swiss Gear is very similar to Wenger, and both are targeted for the affordable-medium price range. Contrary, Victorinox luggage is different from both – It’s more durable, and focused on the medium-high price range.
To determine what other customers have to say about Swiss Gear, we researched several online places for reviews – Amazon, eBags, Target, Macy’s, and consumerreports.org. Of course, we filtered out all the fake reviews to find out the overall customer satisfaction scores.
To be frank, we’ve seen better reviews, even in the affordable price range. It turns out that most of their customers, who purchased their products within the last few years, only did it because of the brand.
Many people report, that they’ve owned Swiss Army or Wenger suitcases for a decade, and bought a new one only because the last one finally broke down. The overall sentiment is that the quality has declined over the years. However, we’ve seen this with almost any brand. It’s often just the nature of people to reminisce about the good old days when everything was much better.
When compared between all models, some perform better than others. For instance, they got some suitcases with ratings above 4.5 stars, and some with only 3-3.5 stars. It looks like some of their models are made from weaker materials, or have been rushed, which has resulted in specific flaws evident for most customers. For instance, most customers are satisfied with the Swiss Gear Sion 21-inch carry-on, but there are significant problems with the Swiss Gear 1900 series wheels.
We’ve reviewed the best models down below, and we avoided the ones with flaws and bad reviews.
To determine how durable their suitcases are, we did two things – We researched the customer feedback and did some tests in real life at their local dealer.
Let’s start with the real-life tests. At our local dealer, we found the SwissGear Sion 21-inch spinner, the Getaway 20-inch carry-on, the Getaway 21-inch duffel, and the 7272 19-inch hardside.
To be frank, all suitcases felt solid and well-made, especially the 7272 19-inch hardside. The 7272 didn’t feel too flexible, the handle was sturdy, and the spinner wheels rolled smoothly. We were also impressed with the Getaway collection, both the duffle and the carry-on. Although the bags were made from polyester, the material felt thick and more durable than regular polyester.
Though, when we tested the Sion 21-inch carry-on, the handle didn’t feel too solid. It was wobbly and not the best one we’ve seen. Other than that, the Sion didn’t look too durable when compared to Getaway or 7272. And we get that because it’s also the cheapest option out of all four.
Now to confirm our suspicions, it did turn out that other customers were not too happy about the shaky handle on the Sion 21. Some even had the handle broken only after a few uses.
Overall, the quality isn’t too good, but it’s not at the lower end either. We’ve rated their quality at 14 out of 20. Generally, Swiss Gear is suitable for leisure, and infrequent travelers, who travel less than ten times per year. In these terms, their suitcases should last anywhere from three to five years, which is pretty solid considering the price.
When compared to other affordable and moderately priced suitcases, Swiss Gear is doing a pretty good job when it comes to features. To compare, they’re better than the similarly priced American Tourister, but slightly behind Samsonite, which is more expensive.
Note, that we’ve seen some problems with the spinner wheels on their cheaper models. So we’d advise choosing a bag with large and bulky spinner wheels.
Most of their bags come with expandable zippers, which is nice.
Handy packing features
In packing features, Swiss Gear is ahead of Samsonite and American Tourister. You’ll find compression straps, organized interior and exterior pockets, organizer compartments, laptop sleeves, TSA approved toiletry pouches and more.
On some newer models, you’ll find dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves, and USB ports for easier charging.
We’re giving them only 12 out of 15 points because their lower-end suitcases don’t offer too many features.
Although we’re not big fans of how some of their affordable suitcases look like, we do like some of their medium tier ones, like the Getaway collection.
For instance, the most affordable models, like the 6283/Sion, 7297, and 1900 models all look pretty generic and cheap — nothing to get too excited about.
However, we do like the Getaway collection, which offers duffles, rolling duffles, backpacks, and variously sized suitcases. Its signature is the grey textured polyester fabric.
Also, some of their hardside bags look pretty solid, like the 7272, 7366, and 7330 collections.
Swiss Gear offers 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year warranties. However, for all luggage, duffels and travel bags, you’ll get a 5-year warranty if you purchase indirectly, and a 10-year warranty if you purchase through their online store.
The warranty terms
Swiss Gear covers only manufacturing defects or defects which result from normal use. They don’t cover accidents, airline damage, normal wear, improper use, or attempted fixes by unauthorized repair centers. However, if your bag gets damaged while it’s checked, we suggest filing a claim with the airline ASAP, as the airline is responsible for broken checked luggage.
To get your suitcase inspected, you will have to pay for the shipping to the repair center, which is usually 10-30$. When Swiss Gear checks your luggage, they’ll contact you if the defects are covered by warranty, and if not, offer you a paid repair. If you don’t want the repair to be done, they’ll send the suitcase back to you free of charge. Terms similar to these are pretty common among all luggage brands.
It may all sound good, but it’s just good on paper. In reality, we’ve seen several stories of bad customer support, warranties getting denied when Swiss Gear is clearly at fault, and warranties getting denied because of indirect purchases through other online stores.
That’s why we’ve rated their warranty only at 6 out of 10.
When it comes to pricing, Swiss Gear is somewhere in the affordable – moderately priced rage, very similar to the American Tourister.
Here’s what you can expect to pay:
- Fabric carry-on: 60-100$;
- Hardside carry-on: 70-140$;
Although they do have a few options above 200$, they’re not too popular, and in our opinion, not worth the price.
We noticed that the prices are usually slightly better on Amazon than on their official online store. We’d suggest comparing several different places, like Macy’s, Target, swissgear.com, Amazon, and eBags before purchasing because the prices vary between different retailers.
Swiss Gear luggage review: Our final verdict (70/100)
We believe that Swiss Gear is only right for those who are looking for a cheap short-term suitcase, and for those, who travel less than ten times per year. If so, you can expect their cases to last anywhere from three to five years.
In the affordable price range, Swiss Gear stands somewhere in the middle. For instance, a slightly better choice would be American Tourister, which gained 74 out of 100 points, yet costs roughly the same.
Overall, Swiss Gear isn’t a brand that you should stay away from, but their quality has declined from what it once was, and you can find something better at these prices.
|22.75 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches|
|6.9 lbs (3.12 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.3 / 5|
If you’re looking for a hardside carry-on in the medium price range, the Swiss Gear 7272 is overall a solid choice. It’s good-looking, offers some pretty advanced packing features, and isn’t too expensive.
First off, the hard shell is built out of polycarbonate, which is good because polycarbonate is stronger and more durable than ABS. It’s also more expensive, which explains why this hardside is priced in the mid-range. We tested the 7272 at a local dealer, and the frame didn’t feel too flexible. Overall, everything felt rigid and well-made. In addition, the double spinner wheels are also more massive and rigid than on other Swiss Gear suitcases.
The 7272 19-inch is also packed with many smart features. The main compartment is fitted with TSA-approved combination locks for additional security, and the suitcase is also expandable for additional 25% packing capacity. However, the most advanced feature on this suitcase is the USB charging port, which isn’t too common among bags of this price. Basically, you can store your power bank inside a dedicated pocket in the main compartment, and charge your electronics easier without pulling out the power bank.
This hardside carry-on also does a pretty good job at packing. The interior is fitted with two shoe pockets, compression straps, and two smaller pockets for storing all the smaller items.
What we didn’t like is that the 7272 doesn’t have any side handles, which are pretty useful in buses, trains, and in airplanes when putting the suitcase in the overhead bins. Not a big issue though.
Overall, the 7272 19-inch carry-on is a very well made suitcase and a solid choice for a hardside carry-on. We feel that it’s better built than most other Swiss Gear’s bags.
|22 x 13.75 x 9.25 inches|
|5.7 lbs (2.58 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
If you’re looking for a minimalistic carry-on that looks good and isn’t too expensive, you should check out the Swiss Gear Getaway 20-inch carry-on. Although it’s pretty affordable, it doesn’t look cheap.
The fabric Getaway Carry-on is made out of light-grey textured polyester, which is the signature look of the Getaway collection. We actually tested the whole collection in real life, and the fabric feels more durable than regular polyester. The stitching felt well-made. However, we weren’t too sure about how long the zippers would last because they were pretty thin.
In features, this bag doesn’t offer too much, because all the pockets, compartments, and some smaller elements are made in a unique, minimalistic way. For instance, the outer pocket opens up vertically, so that the zipper nicely blends in with the stitching. The side handle is made in-line with the frame to preserve the minimalistic look.
Although this bag doesn’t have spinner wheels or expandable width, it does offer a dedicated laptop pocket, and a dedicated tablet pocket, which is good for the tech-savvy individuals. Also, you get an external side pocket for an umbrella or a water bottle, which is unusual for suitcases. In the interior, you’ll also find compression straps and a zippered pocket for your smaller items.
Overall, a beautiful and simple weekend carry-on. We like that it’s not overpacked with features and looks minimalistic.
|22 x 11 x 12 inches|
|2.9 lbs (1.31 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.3 / 5|
Here’s another bag from the Getaway collection – The Getaway Everything 21-inch duffel. The bag intelligently unzips to gain access to the garment compartment, which ensures that your shirts, suits, dresses, or dress pants stay wrinkle-free. Although the concept isn’t new, Swiss Gear did a pretty good job here.
Although this bag doesn’t have any wheels, it does have a shoulder strap, which is nice. It’s made out of thick dark gray polyester, with the inside part being fully lined in a light gray finish. The Everything duffel looks very minimalistic, following the same style of the Getaway collection.
From the exterior, you’ll find a compartment on the back, and two side compartments for smaller items. They’re not too spacious though, and are only good for tiny things, like chargers, passport, keys, and similar items. Unfortunately, there isn’t a rear strap, that could be used to secure the bag on top of a rolling carry-on.
When you open the bag up, it lays out like a flat fabric sheet. From there, you can unzip the garment compartment and hang all the items that you need to keep wrinkle-free. Also, you’ll find two elastic side pockets meant for your shoes. The main compartment is perfect for a two to four-day getaway. The Getaway Everything duffel is also in the ideal size to be used as a carry-on: 22 x 11 x 12. Make sure not to overpack it though, because the most common size limit for airlines is 22 x 14 x 9 inches, which means that you should pack it in a way, that the width stays slightly flexible.
Overall, a nice duffel with a garment compartment. What we like the most though is the minimalistic style and affordable price.
|21.5 x 11 x 11 inches|
|4.7 lbs (2.13 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.1 / 5|
If you’d rather get a rolling duffel instead, the Swiss Gear Getaway 19-inch rolling duffel is a solid choice. It’s minimalistic, affordable, and in the perfect size to be used as a carry-on.
The outer fabric is made out of polyester in a dark-gray finish. We tested the Getaway collection in real life, and the actual material felt pretty thick, as opposed to the first impressions. Upon extending the aluminum handle, it felt sturdy and didn’t wobble at all, which is good. Also, when the handle is retracted, the bag looks like a regular duffel. At first glance, we didn’t notice that it had wheels and a handle.
When we tried rolling the duffel, the wheels rolled pretty smooth and quiet. It should also be mentioned that the wheels were pretty massive, which is a good thing. What we didn’t like though is that this bag didn’t have a shoulder strap.
From the exterior, the bag is fitted with only one front pocket. Also, not a big deal, but we thought that the opening for the main compartment could be slightly larger. From the interior, the main compartment is pretty simple and, aside from a large zippered mesh pocket, doesn’t offer any packing features.
Overall, we liked this duffel because of its minimalistic looks, rigid construction, and the affordable price. A solid option if you’re looking for a rolling duffel.
|22 x 14 x 9 inches|
|6.7 lbs (3.03 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4 / 5|
The Swiss Gear 6399 Vaud is a solid hardside carry-on that’s perfect for your business trips. It’s in the perfect size limit to be accepted by almost any airline, is priced moderately, and has some interesting features.
The outer frame is made out of ABS, which is less durable than polycarbonate, but more flexible and lightweight. It’s the main reason why we’ve rated this suitcase only at 4 out of 5. It’s finished in a textured silver or blue finish, that looks professional and sleek. Perfect for business travelers.
From outside, the bag is fitted with four rigid double spinner wheels. They’re pretty massive and roll smoothly. Although the bag has a top handle, we wish that it also had a side handle, which is useful in various situations when you need to pick up the suitcase sideways. Although the main compartment isn’t secured with a TSA lock, it’s expandable by two inches, which result in an additional 25% packing capacity.
The main compartment is pretty neat though. It’s split into two equal parts, both separated by a fabric sheet. Also, you’ll find two shoe pockets, two organization pockets, and x-shaped compression straps.
Though, the most interesting feature hides at the back of this suitcase. It has a patented cup holder, which is good if you’re a coffee drinker. It may seem pretty pointless, but I usually like to get a coffee when going through the airport or on my way to the hotel. Keeping both of your hands busy can be messy at times, so the cup holder could actually be pretty handy.
|22 x 14.25 x 10 inches|
|6.9 lbs (3.12 kg)|
|Editors rating: 3.8 / 5|
Out of all Swiss Gear’s hardsides, the 7366 is the cheapest one. Despite this fact, it actually comes with some pretty nice features.
The outer shell is made out of ABS, which isn’t as durable as polycarbonate, but slightly more flexible and lightweight. It’s finished in either a textured black or textured white finish. A solid choice for professionals and infrequent business travelers.
From the exterior, the 6366 hardside is fitted with four spinner wheels, which don’t look as sturdy as the wheels on the 6399 or the 7272. They’ve probably saved some expenses there, as this bag is pretty affordable. It’s also fitted with a TSA-approved combination lock, which isn’t too common for hardsides at this price. Same as the 6399 hardside, this one also has a cup holder fitted on the back side of the suitcase.
From the interior, the bag is pretty basic. The main compartment is split into two equal parts. Both parts are split by a fabric sheet, but one of the parts is fitted with compression straps and a single pocket for all the smaller items.
We wouldn’t recommend this suitcase to frequent travelers though. It’s suitable for those who travel less than ten times per year.