Christmas seems like it was ages and ages ago—and it was! I have been impatiently waiting for a reason to use the suitcase my parents gave me back in December. Finally, finally, my husband and I booked a weekend trip to Portland and I got to take my new hard shell spinning suitcase on its inaugural journey! I’d like to share my CALPAK luggage review with you in case you’re thinking of getting one.
This post is not sponsored but certain links may result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you.
I was looking for:
I decided I wanted to get a suitcase with four spinning wheels at the bottom instead of the traditional type with two non-rotating wheels. Here are all the requirements I was looking for:
- 4 spinning wheels
- Small in size (I hate checking a bag)*
- Classic, not trendy color
- Streamlined look
*eBags has an awesome chart which shows carry-on dimension standards for most airlines. This one is “international carry-on” size which means I should be able to get away with carrying it on 99% of the time.
This piece fits all my requirements and more.
It is super light, which is important since the whole point of having a carry-on is that you can put it above you in the plane. Even filled with clothes I can carry it for a while (up or down stairs, for example) by its handle. Speaking of which, the handle is very comfortable in hand. It’s heavy-duty but at the same time features a jelly rubber underside which relieves fatigue. It has a TSA Lock which I wasn’t specifically looking for, but is nice to have. The wheels are thick and seem like they will hold up for the long haul.
Transitioning from a normal carry-on to a hard-shell: it is taking me time to get used to the way this suitcase opens. All weekend I was nervous that something would scuff the exterior so I opened it on the bed, carpet, etc. However, It did pick up a scuff in the overhead bin and I was able to rub it off with a microfiber cloth.
Each side has equal capacity. The right side can be overfilled a little since the elastic strap accommodates more. The contents of the left side are held in place by a pouch that snaps in. The pouch does not have much give, but is a good, secure place to store more flat, delicate items, (like my new makeup palette I treated myself to after I realized all my makeup was 3 years old). Items on “top” of each side are enclosed securely in the center of the suitcase once closed.
How much did it fit?
This is a smaller suitcase than I am used to, but I was able to fit 3 outfits plus a camera bag and puffer coat (which squished down). I used a packing cube for the first time to hold my delicates and I really liked the organization it provided. There is an expandable zipper part which is standard on most carry-ons these days. I am confident I could pack for a week in this (especially since I always re-wear pants, one of the bulkiest items).
Where to Buy
If you want to check out CALPAK in person, find out if the Nordstrom near you carries their products. Some of their newest lines include a colorful partnership with blogger Oh Joy! and marble-look luggage (ironic considering how light these materials are). Of course, you can always see the newest pieces order on the CALPAK website.
You can also find them on eBags.com. I’ve used eBags several times and I’ve been really impressed with the excellent prices, super fast shipping, and rewards system. Not only that, but I shopped through the Southwest Airlines shopping portal and multiplied my points per dollar each time. If you haven’t shopped eBags yet, I think you are missing out. Use my link to get $10 off your first purchase ($25 and up) and I’ll get $10 too.
Thanks for checking out my CALPAK luggage review. Are you a carry-on person? Backpack person? Or do you always check your bag so you can stroll through the airport hands-free? Let me know in the comments!
All photos by Doug and Staci Jackson for The Voyageer.