Does SwissGear makes good luggage or not, given that its parent company is best-known for making Swiss Army knives, not luggage?
In this SwissGear luggage review, we’ll look at their quality, reviews, features, warranty and compare them with other luggage manufacturers to find out if they’re a solid choice or not – not only for pocket knives but luggage as well.
On Clever Journey’s Best Luggage Brands, SwissGear gained 69 points. This places the brand in 13th place on our leaderboard. In the affordable range, they took 5th place alongside Lucas right after Coolife, American Tourister, Merax, and It Luggage, with Rockland being in last place.
You can see how we determined the 69 points over here. We’ll go in-depth into each category down below in the full review.
- Affordable Prices: SwissGear offers a wide variety of suitcases at competitive prices, with most of its individual products being priced below $100. Most luggage sets are also cheap, with some even under $150, which is usually the price for a carry-on from brands like Travelpro and Samsonite.
- Smart Packing Features: SwissGear has the best packing features among all affordable luggage brands. You’ll find packing organizers, neat inner compartments, compression straps, TSA-approved toiletry pouches, expandable zippers, laptop compartments, and more. Some models even include a USB port so that you can charge your devices while in the air.
- Great Value For Money: SwissGear offers features that brands like Mia Toro ITALY don’t provide to their customers, let alone affordable brands like Coolife and American Tourister. And, at the price range of $60-100, SwissGear’s suitcases are a steal.
- Don’t count on being covered by the warranty: Although SwissGear’s warranty may look good on paper, we can’t vouch for t their support. Some people complained that their suitcases weren’t covered by the warranty when they clearly should be.
- Not for frequent travelers: Generally speaking, SwissGear and other brands in the affordable range, like Merax and Lucas, aren’t the best when it comes to durability. So, if you travel more than 2-3 times per year, you should opt for a middle-class brand, like Samsonite or Traveler’s Choice.
We believe that SwissGear is a solid choice for those who travel one or two times per year, or in other words, for those who travel only for leisure. If so, you can expect their suitcases to last anywhere from five to ten years. The same can be said for brands like Merax and Lucas, which ranked similarly to SwissGear.
In the affordable price range, SwissGear stands somewhere in the middle. They’re inexpensive and offer the most appealing features; however, they aren’t too durable, and their warranty is pretty weak. In the affordable range, we believe that American Tourister or Coolife is a slightly better choice.
SwissGear by no means isn’t a brand that you should stay away from. However, if you’re planning on traveling more than two times per year, we think it’s worth investing 50$-80$ more and getting a suitcase by Travelpro or Samsonite (or other similarly-priced brands like Ricardo Beverly Hills and Delsey), which will be much more durable.
Top-Rated SwissGear Suitcases
|Best hardside checked: Energie||Editors rating: 4.1|
|Best softside checked: Sion||Editors rating: 4.0|
|Best hardside carry-on: 7366||Editors rating: 4.1|
|Best softside carry-on: 4010||Editors rating: 4.0|
|Best design: 7739||Editors rating: 3.9|
|Best for business: Vaud||Editors rating: 4.0|
|Best luggage set: 7910||Editors rating: 4.2|
Key Facts About SwissGear
Often people are confused with SwissGear, Wenger, and Victorinox 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. These two companies were arch-rivals, each trying to beat the other until Victorinox bought Wenger in 2005.
Nowadays, SwissGear, Wenger, and Victorinox are all under the same company. The products differ, with Victorinox targeting the high-end market and 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. The brand came into existence in 2010 and didn’t even come from Switzerland. Alpine Swiss is owned by a company based in Los Angeles, USA, and they’re just monetizing on the Swiss reputation. We’re not saying that Alpine Swiss offers bad quality products, but it looks like they’re copying SwissGear, Wenger, and Victorinox.
SwissGear’s customer reviews range between 3.5-4.5 stars. This isn’t great when we compare SwissGear to brands like American Tourister. In fact, most brands in the affordable range have better reviews… and that includes Rockland, the brand which ranks in 16th place on our Best Luggage Brands list.
We had a look through every review that we could get our hands on, and it turns out that most of SwissGear’s customers purchased its luggage only because they thought Swiss products should be durable. But, that isn’t the case with some of SwissGear’s suitcases.
When we compared all of SwissGear’s luggage models, we noticed that some performed better than others. For instance, they’ve 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 example, 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 past few years. We found a lot of instances where some people have used their suitcases for a decade, and when they finally replaced them, the new model lasted only a few months or years. This has been the case with many affordable luggage brands lately, with many offering below-par suitcases and trying to capitalize on the popularity they acquired.
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, along with several pieces of the Getaway collection.
Both suitcases felt solid and well-made, with the Energie 19-inch hardside being surprisingly great. 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 bag and the carry-on. Although the luggage was made from polyester, the material felt thick and more durable than regular polyester.
However, when we tested the Sion 21-inch carry-on, the handle didn’t feel too solid – it was too shaky. To confirm our suspicions, it did turn out that other customers were not too happy about the wobbly handle, which is present in the entire Sion collection. Some even had the handle broken after one trip!
When we checked the reviews on other suitcases, we found that, although most people were satisfied with the reliability, some weren’t. The main issues were that the wheels would stop rolling after a short time and that the handles would stop functioning correctly after a few trips. As with almost every other affordable luggage, the zippers weren’t good either, which isn’t surprising since most affordable luggage is made in China.
SwissGear’s suitcases will be good for someone traveling for leisure (1-2 times per year) but not durable enough for frequent travelers. That being said, there were some customers whose luggage has lasted for tens of trips across a decade. So, with extra care and some luck, the suitcases from SwissGear might be great even for frequent travelers.
Compared to other affordable luggage brands, SwissGear is doing a fantastic job with features. They’re better than the similarly priced American Tourister and are as good as Coolife and Samsonite (which costs more than SwissGear).
Here are some of the best features that SwissGear offers:
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. The same reviews are also present in most SwissGear’s models, so the spinner wheels aren’t as great as you might expect them to be.
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. This is always great, because who doesn’t like more room?
Useful Packing Features
When compared with other brands in the affordable price range, SwissGear probably offers the best packing features. We’d say they’re even better than Samsonite and Chester, both of which are much more expensive than SwissGear.
Their suitcases 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
You’ll find dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves on some newer models and USB ports for effortless charging. The smaller compartments are convenient for organizing chargers and all the other little gadgets. We didn’t expect these features from a brand like SwissGear, so seeing them was a pleasant surprise.
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. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t optimal when brands like Rockland and American Tourister offer customers a vast array of designs for the same price.
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 relatively modern and could appeal to the younger ‘minimalist’ audience.
But overall, we think that there’s a lot of room for improvement in the design category, which is why we rated the design only 11 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 (through Amazon or any other retailers) 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 regular use. They don’t cover accidents, airline damage, normal wear, improper use, or attempted fixes by unauthorized repair centers, which is typical for most luggage warranties.
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 great only on paper. In reality, we found several stories on issues with their support. Sometimes, the repairs were denied for regular wear or manufacturing defects, which goes against their policy. And sometimes, the repairs were dismissed, because the person didn’t order the suitcase directly from their online store.
That’s why we’ve rated their warranty only a 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 and It Luggage.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Fabric carry-ons: $60-100
- Hardside carry-ons: $70-140
- Luggage sets: $150-400
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, or Coolife but they’re not too far off.
How Does SwissGear Compare to Other Luggage Brands?
SwissGear is a great brand if you’re on a tight budget. It’s similar to most other brands in the affordable range, like Lucas, Merax, and It Luggage. At the same time, it ranks similar to brands from the middle class, like Ricardo Beverly Hills and Traveler’s Choice, when it comes to its features. It’s also slightly worse than the top choices in the affordable range, American Tourister and Coolife.
SwissGear isn’t that great when it comes to the reviews it’s received. The brand is on the lower spectrum in the affordable range, ranking similarly to Lucas and It Luggage but being beaten by Coolife and Merax by a lot. SwissGear’s suitcases also lack a design variety and a good warranty. While most similarly-priced brands are not offering the warranty terms of SwissGear (we’re looking at you, Rockland), customers have said that the warranty is a scam. SwissGear’s designs are minimalistic, which isn’t something we’ve seen in other similar brands.
But SwissGear offers great value, and it has some fantastic features for its price point, beating almost every other brand in the affordable range in that aspect. However, while they have many points in features, their durability needs some improvement, especially when it comes to their wheels and handles.
So, if you’re looking for a suitcase with a bunch of features that are usually found in more expensive models at a modest price, then SwissGear is for you. If you want something that will last you longer, you should opt for Coolife or American Tourister. But, if you just want something that looks stunning, Rockland is your best bet.
Individual SwissGear Suitcase Reviews
|- 27 x 19.5 x 11.5 inches|
|- 11 lbs (4.98 kg)|
|- Material: Polycarbonate|
|- Editors rating: 4.1 / 5|
Most of SwissGear’s luggage is hardside. But, the best hardside collection is by far the SwissGear Energie collection. It’s good-looking, and it offers great packing features without being too expensive.
The carry-on variant of the collection needs a special mention for being one of the few affordable suitcases to feature a USB charging port.
The outer frame of the checked bag 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 slightly higher than most other luggage in the affordable range.
The Energie checked luggage 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. The bag also comes with a side handle, which is excellent if you want to carry it around while on a bus or a train.
Overall, the Energie 27-inch checked suitcase is a much more well-made suitcase compared to similarly-priced luggage. We feel that it’s better built than most other SwissGear suitcases!
|- 26.25 x 16.75 x 11 inches|
|- 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)|
|- Material: Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.0 / 5|
The Sion collection is the most popular one from SwissGear. Most of the time, when someone says that they own a SwissGear, it’s either this one or the Sion carry-on. The Sion has been around for a while now. This model is at least a decade old, with slight improvements over time from what we could find. It’s been reviewed and used by many people, and most were happy with their purchase. It comes in a few different colors, with the black one being the best (as always).
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 material. On the 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 compression straps, 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 suitable for times when you’re low on space.
Although we don’t think that the SwissGear Sion 25-inch checked suitcase 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 $100. If you want something smaller, you could opt for the Sion carry-on, but keep in mind that its price has skyrocketed due to the pandemic.
This 18-inch hardside carry-on from SwissGear, codenamed as “7366”, is the best that SwissGear has to offer when it comes to hardside luggage. The suitcase is made from a mixture of ABS and polycarbonate, making it more durable than most similarly-priced luggage.
You won’t be able to get too creative with the design, however. That’s because the SwissGear 7366 comes in just one color, good ol’ black. While we understand that SwissGear is trying to promote its products’ “Swiss quality” by not adding too fancy colors and designs, we were disappointed to not see any other colors for this suitcase.
Despite not being creative, the 7366 has a plethora of features both outside and inside that justify its price. On the outside, the bag comes with four spinner wheels, which are reasonably durable according to customers, and a sturdy handle and a cup holder on the back.
As we take a deeper look inside, we’re greeted with a TSA-approved combination lock, a bunch of different compartments to place in your clothes and accessories, and compression straps to make sure that everything stays in place. These are pretty cool features when you take into account that the suitcase costs around $100
|- 21.5 x 15 x 9 inches|
|- 5.7 lbs (2.58 kg)|
|- Material: Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.0 / 5|
The SwissGear 4010 is a great softside carry-on, which isn’t only affordable but also innovative when it comes to its maneuverability. The suitcase is made purely of polyester, which is less durable than nylon but is much more affordable. This is why it is usually sold for under $100. Once again, however, you won’t be able to show your artistic side with your luggage, since this suitcase only comes in black.
On the outside, the SwissGear 4010 has many neat features, like four spinner wheels and an innovative handle, both of which accommodate for its great maneuverability. There’s also a pocket on the front of the bag, where you could fit any documents that you’d need to get in a hurry.
As we delve inside the suitcase, we get the usual packing features of a SwissGear suitcase. A large packing compartment with many pockets and tie-down straps to keep everything in place while you’re traveling.
Overall, we don’t have anything bad to say about the SwissGear 4010. While there might be some better options out there, like the It Luggage World's Lightest Los Angeles carry-on, you won’t find many bags that offer that many features and cost less than $100.
If you’re into retro designs, then the SwissGear 7739 is a must-buy for you. This 26-inch suitcase isn’t the best that SwissGear has to offer, but it’s worth mentioning it just for its stunning design.
The SwissGear 7739 is practically a downgrade to the Energie collection. This suitcase has nearly every feature of the Energie bags, including eight spinner wheels, top and side handles, and a sturdy aluminum retractable handle. The bag also has a TSA-approved lock so that the TSA won’t destroy this fantastic design. On the inside, the suitcase is identical to the Energie bags. This includes several pockets for your clothes and accessories, along with straps to keep them in place.
The main difference between the Energie collection and the SwissGear 7739 is that the latter is made from ABS rather than polycarbonate. So, it’s less durable, which justifies us calling it a downgrade. Then again, the SwissGear 7739 isn’t for frequent travelers, but it’s instead for those who travel once or twice a year but still want to travel in style.
The SwissGear Vaud is a solid hardside carry-on that’s perfect for business trips. It’s within the ideal size limit to be accepted by almost any airline, is priced moderately, and has some exciting 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.
On the outside, the bag is fitted with four double spinner wheels that are pretty massive and roll smoothly. Although the bag has a top handle, we wish that it also had a side handle, which is helpful 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 exciting feature hides at the back of this suitcase, which you can also find on the SwissGear 7366 model. It has a patented cup holder, which is good if you’re a coffee drinker. Keeping both of your hands busy while holding a cup of coffee can be uncomfortable at times, so the cup holder could be pretty handy.
Overall, the SwissGear Vaud is a great option for a few business trips. Another great alternative is the It Luggage Quaint hardside carry-on.
|- 27 & 20 inches|
|- 6.85/10.85 lbs (3.1/4.53 kg)|
|- Material: Polycarbonate|
|- Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
We kept the best for last. This is a new set from SwissGear, which is codenamed “7910”. It doesn’t have any new features other than the ones we’ve mentioned above, but we still believe it will be one of the most affordable sets.
Both suitcases are made from lightweight polycarbonate, meaning that they’ll be very durable. Unfortunately, the set is only available in black, but it’s one of the few pieces of luggage that looks great in black.
Unfortunately, it’s much more expensive compared to other luggage set from brands in the affordable range. However, the SwissGear 7910 combines every great feature that SwissGear has offered in previous models. This includes:
- TSA-approved combination locks
- Eight durable spinner wheels
- Side handles on the checked suitcase
- A USB port on the carry-on
- Every smart packing feature we’ve mentioned so far
If you manage to get a great discount on this set, you’d be looking at potentially the best 2-piece luggage set in the affordable range.