Updated: Jun 28, 2019
How do you decide what luggage to purchase? I feel like this is a constant dilemma. There are so many to choose from and the prices are all over the place. For a long time we had a brown set from Chaps. It lasted quite a while. While not crazy expensive it served us well over the years. The really large piece held quite a bit, sometimes so much that it would end up overweight and then I looked like a goon at the ticket counter rearranging my items. It was larger than most and soft sided. The carry on that matched was roomy and the pockets on the outside protruded a bit so getting it in to the overhead bin was a challenge.
Last year when the handle broke on my large one I was on the hunt. Deciding on a new piece took some time. I read the blogs of travelers and the brands they use and why. I visited quite a few luggage stores. The range in price was crazy from $50 to $1000. How to decide what makes a suitcase worth more than my car payment? I checked on warranties, the wheels, size on the inside, extra inside pockets, hard case or soft, sturdy handle and so much more. Since I travel at least once a month, having something that would last was important.
I finally settled on a Tumi. Why? I like the size of the base, the wheels are on both sides of the opening for better balance. The warranty was very good and they had stand alone stores. The last one was very important to me, I'll explain in a few. Now the price was not inexpensive, but the one I purchased I had first seen in their store and then a few days later they sent it to the outlet, where I finally purchased the piece. I liked the color, reinforced corners and their sales staff was great.
Now why is a stand alone store important? When I have an issue with my luggage I can take it to them and they can help with repairs and anything else I may need. I have a Samsonite carry on that recently broke mid-travel....so embarrassing. The handle would not close down anymore. I took it in and they gave me a credit for it and I was able to replace it with a new two piece set. It was about $150 worth, plain black, but it works well. There is a difference in the quality. So I went with Tumi. Recently I purchased a new carry-on through Tumi. It went on sale and the salesman called me and said if I come in they could refund the difference. I had no idea, that is service.
The moral of the story is take your time. Sometimes you can find an expensive piece of luggage on sale at Nordstrom Rack. Just because you buy a brand from outside of a store location, they will still treat you like you bought it in store.....