Thinking about getting a SwissGear suitcase?
Well, then you’re in the right place.
In this SwissGear luggage review, we’ll look at their quality, reviews, features, warranty, and compare them with other luggage manufacturers. All to find out if they’re a solid choice or not.
On Clever Journey’s Best Luggage Brands, SwissGear gained 70 points and took the 12th place on our leaderboard.
You can see how we determined the 70 points over here. We’ll go in-depth into each category down below in the full review.
- Affordable prices. You can find a carry-on for 60-100$, which is considered affordable.
- Smart packing features. SwissGear has the best packing features between all affordable luggage brands. You’ll find packing organizers, neat inner compartments, compression straps, TSA-approved toiletry pouches, expandable zippers, laptop compartments, and more.
- Don’t count on being covered by the warranty. Although the warranty may look good on paper, we can’t say that about their support. Some people complained that their bags weren’t covered by the warranty when they clearly should be.
- Not for frequent travelers. We’ve seen better-built bags in the affordable – medium price range. That said, you shouldn’t experience any problems if you’re traveling 1-2 times per year.
We believe that SwissGear is a solid choice for those who travel one or two times per year, or in other words, for those who travel only for leisure. If so, you can expect their suitcases to last anywhere from five to ten years.
In the affordable price range, SwissGear stands somewhere in the middle. They’re affordable and offer many appealing features, however, they aren’t too durable and their warranty is pretty weak. In the affordable range, we believe that American Tourister (74 points) or Coolife (76 points) is a slightly better choice.
SwissGear isn’t a brand that you should stay away from. But if you’re planning on traveling more than two times per year, we think that it’s worth investing 50$-80$ more, and getting Travelpro (90 points) or Samsonite (85 points.)
Top-Rated SwissGear Suitcases
|Best hardside: Energie carry-on||Editors rating: 4.4|
|Best softside: Sion carry-on||Editors rating: 4.1|
|For business: Vaud carry-on||Editors rating: 4.2|
Key Facts About SwissGear
Often people are confused with SwissGear, Wenger, Victorinox, and Alpine Swiss because the companies are so similar.
Initially, there were only Victorinox and Wenger, both established in the 19th century. Both companies started 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.
Nowadays, SwissGear, Wenger, and Victorinox are all under the same company. Only the products differ, with Victorinox targeting the high-end market, and both SwissGear and Wenger the middle-affordable end. In quality, price, and everything else, Wenger is very similar to SwissGear.
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 reputation. We’re not saying that Alpine Swiss offers lousy quality products, but it looks like they’re copying SwissGear, Wenger, and Victorinox.
SwissGear’s customer reviews range between 3.5-4.5 stars. It’s not a particularly stunning result, because even in the affordable price range, a lot of brands have much better reviews.
We read every review that we could get our hands on. And it turns out that most of SwissGear’s customers purchased only because they thought Swiss products should be really durable.
When we compared all of SwissGear’s luggage models, we noticed that some performed 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. For instance, while people love the SwissGear Sion 21-inch carry-on, most regret purchasing the SwissGear TravelGear 1900 22-inch carry-on because of the poorly-made wheels.
Also, a lot of people said that their durability has been steadily declining over the years. We found a lot of instances, where some people have used their suitcases for a decade or two, and when they finally replaced it, the new model lasted only a few months or years.
In this video, you can see a man comparing the quality between a four-year-old model to a newer identical model. You can see that the newer model isn’t as rigid as the older one.
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 carry-on and the SwissGear Energie 19-inch hardside carry-on, and several pieces of the Getaway collection.
Both suitcases felt solid and well-made, especially the Energie 19-inch hardside. The Energie carry-on 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 too wobbly. 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 after a while.
When we checked the reviews on other suitcases, we found that, although most people were satisfied with the reliability, some weren’t. Some people experienced issues with wheels, handles, and zippers.
SwissGear’s suitcases will be good for someone who’s traveling for leisure (1-2 times per year,) but not durable enough for frequent travelers.
When compared to other affordable luggage brands, SwissGear is doing a pretty good job when it comes to features. They’re better than the similarly priced American Tourister, but slightly behind Samsonite.
Most Bags Come With Spinner Wheels
Whatever suitcase you’re getting, it will probably come with regular or double spinner wheels.
It’s probably a good idea to choose a model that comes with large and bulky spinner wheels because some people complained about broken spinner wheels. For instance, on the SwissGear TravelGear 1900 22-inch carry-on, everyone complained about fragile wheels, which broke just after a few trips.
Expandable Zippers on Most Models
Most of their suitcases come with expandable zippers, which is nice. Essentially, the zipper lets you expand the bag by two inches, which gives an additional 15-25% packing space.
Useful Packing Features
Their bags come equipped with compression straps, various interior and exterior pockets for organization, laptop and tablet compartments, TSA approved toiletry pouches and other useful features.
Some Models are Tech-Friendly
On some newer models, you’ll find dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves, and USB ports for easier charging. The smaller compartments are especially handy for organizing chargers and all the other little gadgets.
It looks like SwissGear doesn’t pay too much attention to the looks.
Usually, their suitcases look pretty basic and don’t come in too many colors or patterns. Instead, they’re going for the professional, down-to-earth style, which perfectly fits their ‘Swiss quality’ brand.
However, we did like some of their suitcases more than others. For instance, the Getaway rolling duffel looks pretty neat. The textured gray fabric on the Getaway collection looks fairly modern and could be quite appealing for the younger ‘minimalist’ audience.
But overall, we think that there’s a lot of room for improvement in the design category. And that’s why we rated the design only at 10 out of 15 points.
SwissGear offers 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year warranties.
For all luggage, duffels and travel bags, you’ll get a 5-year warranty if you purchase indirectly (for instance, through Amazon), and a 10-year warranty if you purchase through their online store.
SwissGear’s Warranty Terms
SwissGear covers only manufacturing defects and defects that result from normal use. They don’t cover accidents, airline damage, normal wear, improper use, or attempted fixes by unauthorized repair centers.
To get your suitcase inspected, you will have to pay for the shipping to the repair center, which is usually around 10-30$. When SwissGear inspects your luggage, they’ll contact you and tell you if the issue is covered by the warranty. If not, they’ll offer a paid repair. If you don’t want the repair to be done, they’ll send the suitcase back to you free of charge.
Other People’s Experience With SwissGear’s Warranty
The warranty terms may sound good, but they’re good only on paper.
In reality, we found several stories on issues with their support. Sometimes, the repairs were denied for normal wear or manufacturing defects, which goes against their policy. And sometimes, the repairs were denied, because the person didn’t order the suitcase directly from their online store.
That’s why we’ve rated their warranty only at 6 out of 10.
When it comes to prices, SwissGear is somewhere in the affordable – medium price range. They’re priced very similarly to American Tourister.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Fabric carry-ons: 60-100$;
- Hardside carry-ons: 70-140$;
- Luggage sets: 250-400$
Although they do have a few models above 200$, they’re not too popular, and in our opinion, not worth the price.
For those who are looking for an affordable suitcase for leisure, SwissGear is a pretty good deal. Not as good as American Tourister, but they’re not too far off.
Individual SwissGear Suitcase Reviews
|- 22.75 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches|
|- 6.9 lbs (3.12 kg)|
|- Material: Polycarbonate|
|- Editors rating: 4.4 / 5|
If you’re looking for a hardside carry-on in the medium price range, the SwissGear Energie is a solid choice. It’s good-looking, offers some pretty advanced packing features, and isn’t too expensive.
The outer frame 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 Energie carry-on at a local dealer, and the frame didn’t feel too flexible. Everything felt rigid and well-made.
The Energie 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 an 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 Energie 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 Energie 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 SwissGear’s bags.
|- 22.75 x 14.25 x 10.25 inches|
|- 8 lbs (3.62 kg)|
|- Material: Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.1 / 5|
Not only is the Sion carry-on the best softside from Swissgear, but it’s also their most popular model.
The Sion has been around for a while now. From what we could find, this model is at least a decade old, with slight improvements over time. It’s been reviewed and used by many people, and most were happy with their purchase.
Because it’s so affordable, it’s made from polyester, which is a slightly less durable fabric than Nylon. But we didn’t find any significant issues with the fabric. In fact, a person who used the carry-on for five years had only minor exterior bruises and no tears.
From outside, the bag is fitted with four spinner wheels, top, bottom, and side handles, and two pockets for organization. The only issue we found is that people said that the retractable handle is pretty fragile. After a few trips, it may get wobbly or may stop working as it should.
Inside, the main compartment is quite roomy. You’ll find two compression straps, two zippered mesh pockets for organization, and a detachable TSA-approved toiletry pouch, which is nice. Also, the main compartment is expandable by two inches, which is good for times when you’re low on space.
Although we don’t think that this carry-on is the best option out there, it’s one of the best choices in the affordable range. You’ll have a hard time finding anything better than this for less than 80$.
|- 22 x 14 x 9 inches|
|- 6.7 lbs (3.03 kg)|
|- Material: ABS|
|- Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
The SwissGear Vaud is a solid hardside carry-on that’s perfect for business trips. It’s in the perfect size limit to be accepted by almost any airline, is priced moderately, and comes with some interesting features.
The outer frame is made out of ABS, which is less durable than polycarbonate but weighs less. It’s finished in a textured silver or blue finish, that looks professional and sleek.
From outside, the bag is fitted with four 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 results in an additional 25% packing space.
The main compartment is pretty neat. It’s split into two equal parts, both separated by a fabric sheet. 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 uncomfortable at times, so the cup holder could actually be pretty handy.