Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Suitcase, 21-Inch
Last updated date: September 17, 2020
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This hardy piece of luggage can accommodate a surprising amount of gear thanks to the compression straps and expandable zipper sections. Even at maximum capacity, the 360-degree spinner wheels allow it to handle well. Perks like the TSA-compliant battery pack and USB port are a boon on long trips. In our analysis of 93 expert reviews, the Travelpro Travelpro Platinum Spinner Suitcase, 21-Inch placed 10th when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note September 17, 2020:
Checkout The Best Suitcase for a detailed review of all the top suitcases.
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From The Manufacturer
Maximize your carry-on with sophisticated style. The Platinum Elite 21" Expandable Carry-on spinner delivers big on form and function with a tip-resistant expansion that offers up to 2" more packing capacity, deluxe tie-down system, integrated accessory pockets and a removable quart-size wet pocket that is TSA compliant and perfect for toiletries. Plus, the drop-in, Fold-out suiter is specifically designed to accommodate hanging clothes and prevent wrinkling. Built-in USB port lets you power up on the go, while a dedicated powerbank pocket for your back-up battery adheres to FAA regulations. Perfect for short to medium-length trips, this carry-on spinner is crafted in style with premium fabrics, genuine leather and chrome zippers. Top-of-the-line mobility features include the precision glide system with eight magnatrac, self-aligning, 360-degree spinner wheels guided by an adjustable PowerScope extension handle with patented Contour grip and rubberized touch points for comfortable, easy maneuvering wherever you go. Backed by our built for a lifetime limited worry free warranty that covers the cost of repair for damage from airline or other common carrier for the life of the bag after registration under the trusted companion promise.
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An Overview On Suitcases
Even on your most uncomfortable economy flight, take heart in the fact that your luggage is probably having a worse time than you are. From the punishment of the initial packing ritual to the inevitable bumps and bruises administered by the baggage handlers, your suitcase bears it all without a complaint — if it’s made of quality stuff.
So how do you choose the right travel companion for your next trip? First things first: Consider the contents. Is this luggage going to be used for a short, solo trip or long family outings? If it’s the former, go with a compact carry-on bag. For the latter, you’re going to need an actual suitcase, the kind that will likely be checked in and stowed in a separate compartment during your flight.
Don’t fully trust the name given by the manufacturer, either. Many so-called “carry-on” bags may get rejected as such by some airlines, especially when they’re overstuffed. Check the dimensions: The standard size limit for carry-on luggage on most US airlines is 22 by 14 by 9 inches. For checked baggage, the general limit is 62 linear inches (that’s length, width and height added together). Whatever you’re choosing, make sure that it’s a bag you can move by yourself if you have to. Ideally, that includes the ability to lift it overhead at least once to stow it in an overhead compartment.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is structure. Luggage materials fall into two main categories: Hardside or softside. Hardside luggage is made of aluminum or polymers that offer lots of protection, making them the default choice for larger suitcases that will see lots of handling (and might need some extra security). Softside luggage is usually made from high-quality nylon or polyester, possibly with PVC panels or other reinforcing material to protect the inside. It’s more prone to scratches and wear, but offers a bit of flexibility when you need to stretch the capacity. This material is obviously lighter and most common for carry-on luggage.
Whatever the material, the details make a lot of difference. The first thing to check is the zippers. The most common types you’ll see on luggage are coil zippers or chain zippers. Coil zippers are typically made of nylon or plastic, and while they’re flexible and can “heal” if the zipper slips, they’re generally less durable and easier to tamper with. Chain zippers, as the name implies, are made with interlocking metal or plastic teeth. They’re more secure but a bit less flexible, and generally more expensive. Whichever the type, a good perk is a “closed-end” zipper style that can be opened from either end of the suitcase. Not only is this more convenient, but it also ensures that you can still open your luggage if one end breaks.
Just as you might with a used car, you’ll want to check the wheels. Spinner wheels are generally considered to be the best option for frequent travelers. They have a versatile mounting that allows them to rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to maneuver more easily in crowded airports. Just bear in mind that they can also roll off more easily when unattended. For that reason, those who travel in areas with a steep incline might go with a good set of fixed wheels.
Other factors to consider include the handle. In the best-case scenario, it will be retractable and built into the body of the suitcase so it’s harder to break or bend. And of course, you’ll want to consider the layout of the interior: Are there enough pockets for all your smaller items? Is there a separate compartment for dirty clothes? How much can you reasonably pack in?
For some of these questions, you’ll need to ask around, or check the reviews online. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the details! A good traveling companion is hard to find.
DWYM Fun Fact
Most every year, the TSA puts out their annual list of the strangest things Americans tried to pack inside their suitcases. Needless to say, it’s not a list you want to be on. Some of the most ambitious items people tried to bring aboard their flights in 2018 included an inert mortar round, a live cat (who either was intentionally stuffed in a suitcase or snuck in while her owners were packing) and a live python smuggled inside a hard drive.
The Suitcase Buying Guide
- One great perk of many modern suitcases is a USB charging port. They’re typically attached to a power bank so that you can juice up your phone on the go. While this can be a lifesaver on long layovers, make sure you can get a suitcase that allows you to easily remove the battery. Lithium-ion batteries can pose a fire hazard, and many airlines may require you to carry the power bank separately for that reason.
- Want a little extra peace of mind? Luggage tracking tags are another high-tech innovation that travelers can take advantage of. They’re tiny tags that you can insert into your suitcase and track by way of an app. The batteries on these tags are usually much smaller but double-check with your airline to make sure they’re compliant with all current regulations.