New Luggage - Delsey or Antler? Suitcase Covers?

Lynda2475

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My trusty Antler carry-on soft sided was damaged when I checked it on the flight to CBR for the AFF Weekend in 2019 after 13 years of reliable use; and my favourite 67cm Samsonsite checked hard case purchased for the bargain price of USD$30 when I needed a last minute case after too much outlet shopping in Dallas is looking a little worse for wear after 7 years of heavy use. So I am treating myself to new luggage ahead of my upcomming OWA.

I have matching medium (66cm) and large (75 cm) cases for the damaged Antler bag but I stopped using the medium when I bought the Samsonsite (and have since decided i prefer a hard case if travelling with a checked suitcase otherwise I take a 75L backpack if wheels are impractical i.e. South America) and the large was only ever used once, its too big except if you are going to USA only. These will be donated to charity as both in excellent condition.

So my plan is to buy matching cases - 1 cabin size and 2 medium cases.

This OWA trip I plan to take my handbag and my 35L pacsafe backpack as carry-on (leaving carry on suitcase at home for future HLO domestic travel) and two medium cases, so that i can steer both back to back with one hand, as will be identical height. As Im flying J on all legs I am allowed two checked bags up to 32kgs each, and whilst I expect to only have about 20kgs outbound, I know I will fill that second case shopping in the USA easily.

Most hard cases these days have inbuilt TSA approved locks, which I am fine to use if flying to/from or within the USA (as valuables always come on board with me) but my preference is to also have the option to use a separate padlock for situations where I may be staying in an airbnb or hotel without a safe and need to lock something valueable in a bag left in the room or whilst having luggage stored after check out (as every man and his dog seems to have a tsa key).

I do like the July bags but they dont have the ability to lock with a padlock, so i am somewhat reluctant to go that route - its shame it would be nice to support an Aussie company (and not hard for them to add the lock loop option). The amercian brands like Samsonite now seem to do TSA only, but Delsey (French designed) and Antler (UK designed) seem to understand people like the option to use a padlock.

Research shows that better quality cases that have loops for your own padlock are a rariety these days, but i have found two which look suitable:
* Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 (the previous model did not have this ability and is heavier) and
* Antler Stamford (some lower end Antler also have this, but inside of case isnt as nice).

Does anyone own either of these two specific models?

The Chatelet (2.9 & 4.1 kg) is a bit heavier than then Stamford (2.8 & 3.9kg), and only the Chocolate seems practical (the white would get very marked, and the blue and pink dont have the padlockable zipper). In the Antler the Khaki or Black would be ok, the pink is again impractical.

If you sign-up Antler Australia give you 20% off your first purchase, which means could get 3 cases for $780 (free postage). Best price for the Chatelet 2.0 * 3 seems to be $1100.

Also does anyone use a protective cover on their hard case to stop it getting scratched/marked (lighter colours) and to make it easier to spot your case on the carousel (for black bags in particular)? The are about $25 and might also assist if the bag were to be cracked? Or do you think TSA would just cut it off?
 
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vetrade

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Can't help regarding the two specific cases you have shortlisted but I can make some general comments based on our experiences.
We did use protective covers (which came with a pair of Delsey cases) for a couple of trips but they got torn easily and we quickly threw them out. More trouble than they were worth.
We now liken any scratches and scuffs on our hard cases as a patina that reflects a life well travelled. On OS trips we add an extra layer of security by using 2 luggage straps with a 4 digit combination lock on each case (not TSA) - one goes lengthways and the other we thread thru the handle around the middle. It's quite easy to fit them tightly so that it's impossible to wriggle them off. Ours have multi coloured stripes for easy identification on the carousel. We like them because it is immediately obvious if they have been tampered with, and we figure a thief would rather open someone else's zippered bag with a biro rather than spend time trying to get our straps off.

Peoples' experiences vary but we wouldn't buy Delsey hard cases again because the top-of-the-range ones we bought cracked far too easily.
We currently have very light Samsonite spinner hard cases we got about 4 years ago (can't remember what model they are) with 2 clip fasteners with TSA locks rather than a zip, which we think are way more secure. They are the best cases we've had - they are very scratch resistant and still look near new after 2 RTW and 6-8 dom trips. We would never consider using zippered cases again.
 
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puchu

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I have travelpro branded luggage I bought off Amazon. The international carry on spinner (soft side) I bought recently has no TSA lock capacity, only padlock.
 

Lynda2475

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I hadnt realised there were lockable luggage straps that werent TSA - I was given a free TSA lockable one some time ago but never used it because anyone can open a TSA lock, so effectively may as well not lock it.

The Delsey zips are supposed to not be openable with a pen (dual layer); no idea about the Antler.

@vetrade is the case you have the Magnum or Magnum Eco perhaps? I will keep my current samsonsite as a backup even though the logo was ripped off a few trips ago. Lojel also offer zipperless (but again with TSA locks), as does July (trunks) but all are too heavy.

Took a quick look on Amazon and all the travel pro hard side cases seem to be TSA locks now.
 
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vetrade

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The Delsey zips are supposed to not be openable with a pen (dual layer); no idea about the Antler.

@vetrade is the case you have the Magnum or Magnum Eco perhaps? I will keep my current samsonsite as a backup even though the logo was ripped off a few trips ago. Lojel also offer zipperless (but again with TSA locks), as does July (trunks) but all are too heavy.

Took a quick look on Amazon and all the travel pro hard side cases seem to be TSA locks now.
Our Delsey cases had the double zips which seemed very secure - our problem was that the external skin split on both of ours. After about 18months it was as if the shell suddenly became brittle and cracked. They both failed within 4-6 months of eachother.

I found details of our Samsonite cases - they are Tru-Frame Spinners 76cm but they appear to be discontinued. I guess it is likely that Samsonite has replaced them with something similar with a different name
 

justinbrett

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TSA locks are pretty much redundant now - keys freely sold to anyone who wants them.

I have them on my luggage but unless I'm going international I don't bother to lock them.
 

Saab34

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David Jones have a sale on Suitcases at the moment. I got an Anter large case for $160 nearly half price. Same case was at least $50 more at the other places on sale also.
 

lahlee

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We use samosonite cosmolite cases, which are super light but do scratch fairly easily, so we bought some stretchy fabric covers from eBay. They have been great, theymake the cases more distinctive, give a bit of reassurance in case the case pops open from being over stuffed 😃. They also make it more difficult to get something out quickly, high forces me to be more organised.

There are 2 kinds at least, ones with zips and others with Velcro and an elastic strap. On a recent trip I found the Velcro version better, mainly due to the elastic strap which holds the cover in place lengthwise, slipping over the end of the case with the wheels. This makes it easier to get on, but both kinds have been a good investment for us.
 

Matt_01

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@Lynda2475 choosing new luggage is always going to be a personal decision, this is just my 2 cents worth. I seem to recall looking at Delsey several years back and gave them a miss quickly. This decision was not based on research but rather work colleagues who owned them and basically said they were not worth the cost. I went down a samosonite cosmolite path but after using once or twice I did not like the single stork on the handle as my back pack would twist around to the front when I started to pull the bag. MrsM now uses these and loves them because they are exceptionally light and after 10 years of use they are a bit scratched up but still work as expected. Another brand we have is Muji, these have been very good, tough, and still work as expected however they are not used any more. There is nothing wrong with them however MrsM switched as mentioned above and MissM wanted a DKNY pink bag, which is not best but it keeps her happy.

As for zips that are set up for padlocks I know Tumi and Crumpler also use (or did) this type of system. On the upside for Tumi, most of the luggage or cabin is expandable, zips, wheels are excellent and in my experience pretty much bullet proof, downside very heavy and expensive. I have owned 2 Tumi cabin bags x1 has been given to the another AFFer the other I use for storing stuff and it is unlikely it will ever travel with me again. Crumpler I still have a 2 wheel cabin bag, the upside for Crumpler (I do not know if they have changed their rules) is that they would guarantee the moving parts (wheels, handles, telescopic arms etc.) for life and if it could not be fixed the entire bag would be replaced with a similar sized and like item. In 2018/19 they changed their wheels so I gave them a call, discussion ensue, next thing that arrived arrived on my door step was x3 sets of wheels and x2 sets telescopic arms plus handles and a new bag and a note stating sorry for the inconvenience.

For our luggage I have used small padlocks to lock the pullers together where they attach to the zip closer. The padlocks with the cable locking strap also do the trick but it will depend on the size of the opening on the pullers. The other way I have held pullers together is with zip ties, the only down side to this is you normally need some thing sharp to cut them off at the other end and any potential item required to do this (e.g. small knife, scissors) may get confiscated if it is in your had luggage.

As for protecting your bag there are often a number of listings for heavy duty clear plastic covers that are actually quite tough. The best ones are those that can be put on you bags as a second skin and can be zipped around the bag and can be left on all the time. You just need to make sure you get one that has the correct openings for the handles that are on the correct side of the zippers to the luggage you choose. I was able to get these for my luggage, also depending how cold it is you may need to leave then in the sun or out if the heater is on so they have a bit more give when first fitting them. For MissM bag we could not find one so her cover just slides over the bag once closed and stays in place via velcro straps at the bottom, but still does the trick.

All the best on your luggage purchase
 
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Lynda2475

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I did not like the single stork on the handle
Agree my current 2 wheel carry-on has this and it pretty much rules out loading any tote on top. For checked ive ruled out any style that has this.

Im leaning back towards the Antler, more economical and expandable like my current Samsonite.

And rethinking my strategy, as wondering if two half full bags outbound may be more likey to crack than 1 full bag?

I could take carry-on case, 1 medium checked case and check my 70L backpack (with day pack inside), being soft no worries about pack getting crushed and it would only end up full with clothes on way back. Assess whether happy with the new cases before commiting to a second medium.
 

Tejas

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David Jones have a sale on Suitcases at the moment. I got an Anter large case for $160 nearly half price. Same case was at least $50 more at the other places on sale also.


i brought an American Tourister Applite for just over $200 with 4 wheels. this was primarily for my week in london in september, as the case i have is just too big for one person (its great when im travelling with the wife and kids but not solo)

I also got a cover from officeworks for $1 from the BNE city outlet. i think it was reduced from about $30 but had been marked down multiple times. i'm unsure if they still have any, but it was only friday when i brought
 
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