Samsonite LIFT Spinner Lightweight Luggage Review

INTRODUCTION

Ponder this … if lightweight luggage suitcases were rock stars – then the “Samsonite Lift Spinner Expandable Luggage” range would be the “Lady Gaga” of the lightweight luggage world!

 

Don’t ask me if Gaga actually uses one of these herself – not an easy question to answer. I’m guessing her staff take good care of all her personal luggage needs nowadays, but it would certainly be nice to imagine that she might?

Going by most of the online lightweight luggage reviews I have read on your behalf this last week, most people just “FEEL” like Gaga every time they step up to an airport carousel … such is the style and popularity of this range.

Make no mistake … people are lavishing praise on this LIFT Spinner range from Samsonite – I read expressions like:

love the size …

light as a feather …

easy to maneuver …

made to last … seems sturdy …

looks classy … nice color range …

… and the word “perfect” featured over and over too.

I want to know more … and so do you …

So let’s get down to business … down to the “nitty gritty” of why so many people like the lightweight “Samsonite Lift Spinner Expandable Luggage” range.

My detailed and extensive review starts right here … grab your glasses and settle in …

LIKE IT ... WANT IT ... GET IT NOW!

Samsonite LIFT 21" Spinner

Samsonite LIFT 25" Spinner

Samsonite LIFT 29" Spinner

                    WEIGHT

                    With airline luggage allowances on the decline and the fees for exceeding these allowances climbing ever skyward - it makes perfect sense to want to find lightweight luggage that has been designed to eliminate excess weight. Lighter cases means more suitcase capacity within the airline limit - at no additional charge.

                    Now … that’s what we all want - right?!

                    The “Samsonite LIFT Spinner Luggage” range weighs in as follows:

                    1. Samsonite LIFT 21" Spinner Luggage = 7.3 lbs

                    2. Samsonite LIFT 25" Spinner Luggage = 8.9 lbs

                    3. Samsonite LIFT 29" Spinner Luggage = 10.2 lbs

                    With regard to the 25" - there is some confusion in online reviews over the exact weight but I have double checked the manufacturer’s website and it is definitely stated there as 8.9 pounds.

                    All three cases can be considered "lightweight luggage" - even the largest one - the "Samsonite LIFT 29" Spinner Luggage" - which comes in at a very respectable 10.2 lbs.

                    As one reviewer remarked … with this bag (the 25") weighing in at 8.9 lbs it allows you to carry more clothes (but less actual bags than you normally would) - whilst still staying under the current limit imposed by your airline.

                    Many people were quick to mention how sturdy the construction of the bags appears to be.

                    Given the bags light weight and the 4-wheel spinners which provide amazingly smooth maneuverability, the bags remain a popular choice for seniors and those with physical challenges.

                    The “Samsonite LIFT 25" Spinner Luggage Expandable Wheeled Luggage” was easily described by one reviewer as “the lightest luggage possible”. Seems many people agree as this suitcase remains the #1 “lightweight luggage” top seller on Amazon.

                    DIMENSIONS | STORAGE CAPACITY

                    The Samsonite website formally lists the “Samsonite LIFT Spinner Luggage range dimensions as:

                    1. Samsonite Lift 21″ Spinner Luggage Dimensions

                    = 20.5″ x 15.0″ x 7.0″

                    2. Samsonite Lift 25″ Spinner Luggage Dimensions

                    = 25″ x 17.5″ x 7.5″

                    3. Samsonite Lift 29″ Spinner Luggage Dimensions

                    = 29.5″ x 20.0″ x 9.5″

                    Samsonite also declares:

                    “We measure the size of the square (edge to edge) – it does not include – wheels,
                    handle or outside exterior pockets”.

                    Wheels and handles add an additional 3 + inches (7.6 cms) to the overall height.

                    Now you know I spend a lot of time reading online reviews (so you don’t have to) – and what I noticed people saying about these bags over and over was how substantial the luggage capacity is. And it is – even for the smallest 21″!

                    As one particularly happy customer remarked about her husbands business trip requirements …

                    “he was heading to a colder climate than ours so I made sure he had sweaters, thick warm trousers and a winter coat. Add to that a business suit, various manuals and books for his work etc, etc. Even with all of this – his bag was 9 lbs lighter than it normally would be for this trip (which he repeats every year at the same time) – that’s a big weight saving in anyone’s book!”

                    Wow – after that I was convinced he could have squeezed the family dog in too and no one would have known!

                    The 25” is really a perfect fit for an adult as it will easily hold 2 to 3 weeks of clothing and shoes. The 21″ is more of an “overnight to 3 days max” kind of bag – perfect as carry-on luggage too.

                    If you look closely at these bags you will notice that there are TWO very useful external compartments on the front lid. The one at the top appears smaller than the one at the bottom, but don’t be mislead here. The top one actually reaches all the way to the bottom of the lid (it’s much bigger than it initially looks). Perfect for sliding in bulkier items such as comfort cabin clothing, books, magazines, water bottle, maybe even a pair of cabin slippers!

                    The second zipper down from the top is also a large compartment (taking up about 3/4 of the front of the lid) but it is more of a “slide-in” compartment suitable only for narrow/thin items like passports, wallets, keys, glasses, electronic netbook/kindle reader, magazines, travel guides etc.

                    Internal compartments include a long zipped see-through mesh sleeve on the side wall split 50/50. On the internal side of the lid is a further full-size zipped compartment – with a 50% mesh see-through and 50% solid flip back cover. Great for items you want to remain perfectly flat and crush free.

                    One possible negative aspect of this internal compartment lid is that, if you wanted to rest the bag lid up against a wall, then this lid cover would need to flip upwards. This would mean you would need to hold it up and the contents of the compartment would most likely have slid out of the compartment at the same time. A silly nuisance more than anything. I can’t fathom why a designer would have located the zip in this way – seems odd to me.

                    Another highly practical feature of these bags is the hidden expansion zipper on the lid which allows the case to expand a further 2-3 inches. This feature is a huge plus when extra capacity is required for those “last minute souvenirs from distant shores”. It also has a red zip tag to distinguish it from the compartment zipper tags – a clever and thoughtful detail. People really love this expansion feature. Note – the lid expands on three sides only – fanning out in a “v” shape from the bottom side of the case.

                    Before purchasing – please give very serious consideration to the intended purpose of the bag – in particular whether you want to use it as a carry-on bag.

                    Airlines are steadily reducing their luggage limits and for carry-on luggage the combined dimensions cannot add up to more than 45 inches when stowed beneath the seat in front of you. Only a few months ago it was 50 inches. There is a “gray area” around dimensions in the overhead lockers where some airlines will allow up to 60 inches but you can’t rely on that.

                    I have looked at the baggage information at the websites of the major US airlines and most were 45 inches currently. One or two were a little higher.

                    If you wish to check for yourself please use the link below. Choose your airline – then, on the next page, choose “baggage” in the left hand menu.

                    Airline Baggage Allowances

                    If you want a bag you can safely carry on to the aircraft without breaching airline rules around bag dimensions in the cabin, then I recommend you choose the Samsonite LIFT 21″ (spinner or upright).

                    WHEELS | MANEUVERABILITY | STABILITY

                    The popularity of the wheels and maneuverability of the “Samsonite Lift Spinner Luggage” range is second-only to the lightweight nature of the case as described above.

                    As I read through numerous online reviews it became increasingly clear that people are moving away from the two-wheeled “pull along / upright” style cases in favor of the four wheel “spinners”.

                    In case you have never heard of the term “spinners” before it is a standard term used in the luggage industry to distinguish 2-wheel “upright” bags from those that now have 4-wheels (or casters). These wheels enable the bag to glide in any direction on smooth surfaces (they are still reasonably good on carpet too – but better on smooth surfaces). The wheels can turn 360 degrees allowing you to “spin” the bag in any direction with minimum effort. Have you ever noticed how difficult it can be to turn suddenly with 2-wheel uprights – they often end up tipping over or dragging. It can be infuriating if you’re in a hurry or have more than one bag with you. “Spinners” don’t do that.

                    The real advantage of spinners is how much they reduce the chance of pain and/or injury whilst transferring your luggage. They can “run along” beside you with just minimal guidance – no stress on your arms, wrists, neck or spine. They are brilliant for all age groups, all heights and those with physical challenges. I especially love how easy they are to move with your feet in airport check-in queues. Quick tip – to maintain their stability, it pays to pack heavier and bulkier items at the bottom of the case near the wheels.

                    A number of reviewers were apprehensive about the design of the wheels – concerned that they may get damaged or break off during punishing treatment from unforgiving airport baggage handlers. Contrary to their concerns most have reported very little damage to wheels – one commenting that the wheels handled “prolonged exposure” to “ancient European cobblestones” with ease.

                    Sheeesh … I hope I’m not a “cobblestone” in my next life lol!

                    In general, I would say that the wheels are great on hard surfaces but may drag somewhat on carpet – especially plush or high pile carpets. In these circumstances you may have to tilt the bag towards you and treat it more like a 2-wheel upright. A small price to pay don’t you think so?!

                    “Stability” is another issue which gets mentioned continuously in online reviews. Unless packed correctly, the bag has a tendency to tip to the front.

                    Reviewer comment:

                    “I found the first time I used the bag it kind of tipped unexpectedly a few times while on the move. I worked out that the problem was the way I had packed it. On my next trip I put all my heavy things near the bottom – awesome – made all the difference! Not too sure about the expansion feature though – it still kind of tips when I use that – but hey – I don’t sweat the small stuff! Mostly, this bag rocks!”

                    One more thing to bear in mind – the bag does not have a brake so don’t let it go on slopes by mistake or you could have a law suit slapped on you by some poor unsuspecting soul who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ooouch!

                    VISIBILITY | STYLE | APPEARANCE

                    Now here’s that “Gaga” moment … how the Samsonite Lift Spinner Luggage … LOOKS!

                    Everyone who owns one of these seems to feel like they’re “on stage” when checking in at airports, hotels and shuttle services. I can’t begin to tell you how many favorable comments are made about the look and appearance of this Samsonite case!

                    You’d better get used to the idea that shuttle drivers, rental car staff, baggage handlers and maybe even the odd policewoman or policeman are gonna be “nice” to you. Yep – they’re gonna tell you how classy your bags are – they’r gonna “make your day”! How cool is that?! And, no, I’m not exaggerating – there were lots and lots of comments in the reviews of experiences just like this. Seems Samsonite knows how to make you feel special in public? High fives – Samsonite!

                    The bag comes in four colors:

                    Black, Charcoal, Navy and Red (as described by the Samsonite website).

                    Before I move on I need to point out one contentious issue here. The Navy color is described as “purple” in the Amazon listing (why? I’m not sure). In reality, the color is definitely blue (not purple) as so many people have pointed out in their reviews. Some people, who expressly wanted the purple were clearly disappointed when their bag/bags were delivered. I would hate for you to be one of them! Please keep this in mind when ordering.

                    Quote:

                    “This suitcase was advertised as purple and it said purple on the box, but it is actually a very pretty blue. I didn't want blue”.

                    The charcoal is consistently described as one of the classier colors ( one step up from “boring black” as one person put it – hmmmm – naughty – giggle!).

                    Note – the charcoal can look more silvery in certain lights too – just so you know. It is also easier to spot on the baggage carousel.

                    When it comes to marks and scuffs on your bag, most people felt you can’t beat black. Many felt the blue and red made locating their luggage much easier at the carousel and that the lighter colors were still very easy to clean if scuff marks did appear.

                    I guess color choice is such a personal thing really isn't it – each to their own – so have fun choosing your color!

                    As a personal aside … I find it rather curious, given that this bag is a Samsonite “bestseller”, that the color range isn't more extensive. There is definitely an increasing tendency for customers to want a wider color range so as to make their bags unique and visible on carousels and to satisfy that “fashionista” craving in all of us at some level. If any range could handle more colors it would be the LIFT range.

                    CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS | DURABILITY

                    The Samsonite Lift Spinner Luggage range is a “soft side” design, meaning it is made from Tricore Polyester fabric.

                    Tricore Polyester is a strong, versatile fabric – perfect for soft side luggage as it can resist fabric breaches like punctures, tears and abrasions. A great deal of emphasis during it’s research and design phase was placed on tear strength, the ability to resist seam splits and abrasion toughness. Two further fabric features include the ease of removing marks and scuffs and the fact that this fabric is 30% lighter than Nylon.

                    The bag, due to its innovative design, is engineered to deliver extreme lightness, coupled with superior strength.

                    The design also includes rubberized corner protectors – designed to guard against everyday wear and tear.

                    Samsonite has a long history of durability in luggage design and this model is no exception. I generally trust Samsonite to make good quality luggage that doesn't fall apart.

                    Of course, no suitcase is indestructible and you would hope that the notorious baggage handlers at most airports would show some mercy as your “life in a box” falls into their hands for those few brief seconds. Are we asking too much here ha ha? I always recommend saying a little “prayer” at the moment your bag disappears from sight post check-in. It has held me in good stead over the years with not too many baggage “nightmares” to report.

                    Here is some customer feedback on the durability of the Samsonite Lift Spinner Luggage range :

                    People, in their reviews, repeatedly remarked on the durability of these bags with flattering comments such as“Very well made”, “logical design”, “sturdy”, “strong zippers”, “pack well to prevent crushing”, etc. All very reassuring comments indeed.

                    HANDLES | LIFTING AND TELESCOPIC

                    When it comes to lightweight luggage durability, one of the “weak points” is often the strength and design of the handles.

                    Are they too protruding and at risk of being knocked off? How are they secured to the bag frame? Are they padded so as to take the knocks and relieve hand and wrist pain?

                    ​There are two types of handles on these bags …

                    1. The Lifting Handles:

                    The Samsonite Lift Spinner Luggage range has three lifting handles – one on the top, one on the side and one on the bottom (near the wheels). These handles are described as “integrated” as they appear seamlessly part of the fabric and structure(stitched securely into the corners of the bag).

                    Visually elegant, these integrated handles make lifting easier. They are invaluable when manhandling the bag on and off taxis, carousels, and in and out of hotel rooms.

                    The padded handles are very comfortable to hold, well placed, and well-built given that the handle is usually the first thing to break on a bag.

                    Note: The wheels and handles add approx. 3 inches to the overall height of the bag.

                    2. The Telescopic Pull Up Handle:

                    The ultra lightweight alloy telescoping pull up handle, which is sleek and comfortable to use, is also height adjustable – ideal for short and tall people alike. Used in conjunction with the spinner wheels, this handle makes for effortless (pain free) guiding/gliding of the bag around airports, etc.

                    Feedback from online reviews describes how well attached all the handles are on this bag, how seamlessly they integrate into the body and structure.

                    Many travelers like to secure their laptop bags to the pull out handle on the top of the bag. With the LIFT range the handle isn't too wide and makes attaching your laptop bag a breeze. Given the lightweight nature of this bag, attaching your laptop could make the bag top heavy – I wouldn't take my hand of the bag until I had tested it’s stability in advance.

                    LATCHES | LOCKS | STRAPS | ZIPS | HANGERS

                    Most people in the reviews I have read are happy with the design, quality and motion of the zips. Self-mending coil zippers are used which ensure you don’t have to worry about snagging or catching.

                    One person remarked on how they like that the zipper for the expansion looks different than that of the main zippers, making them easy to tell apart.

                    A suggestion was made that it would be nice if Samsonite would include a built-in combination lock instead of having to use a separate lock. Built in combination locks in non-US countries now include TSA-compatible locks.

                    If you need to buy a TSA-compatible lock (these are locks that can be opened with master keys by TSA- approved airport staff) and don’t know where to find them – click here!

                    The range includes an internal elastic compression crisscross strap for securing luggage if the suitcase is not full.

                    The interiors of all the cases in the range are fully lined.

                    As an added convenient feature – Samsonite has attached a built-in luggage tag sleeve for your address details to the rear of their bags. The sleeve contains a card for writing your contact details.

                    WARRANTY

                    The “Samsonite LIFT Spinner Expandable Wheeled Luggage” range comes with Samsonite’s standard 10 year warranty. Click below for warranty details ...

                    Samsonite Warranty

                    I found only three complaints about the Samsonite warranty out of more than 100 online reviews. Warranty issues did not feature hugely in people’s minds. This leads me to feel that Samsonite offers a fair and strong warranty on their products.

                    COMMENTS | TIPS | SUGGESTIONS

                    I have decided to include this section in my lightweight luggage reviews because people do make some excellent suggestions as to how to get the best out of their luggage as I read through many reviews. I have summarized the best ones here. I hope you find them useful:

                          • Load heavier items on the wheels end of the suitcase to reduce top heaviness.
                          • If you have more than one 4-wheel spinner bag, try wheeling them back to back for extra convenience. This also enhances stability.
                            • The bag had no brake and is prone to rolling away on slopes if you take you hand off it. To resolve this issue, try tipping it forward so that it rests on the edge of the bag facing away from the slope and towards you.
                            • Buy a few extra “organizational compartments” to add to the interior of your bag. Inexpensive and practical, these clever suitcase organizers come in a great range of colors too!

                            ​One reviewer suggestion ...

                            I have the matching 21″ version of this luggage (the carry-on size). It nests inside the 25″ one if you slip it in upside down (with the wheels of the 21″ facing in the opposite direction of the wheels of the 25″). I like to wrap the 21″ in a large plastic bag before nesting it so that any dirt on its wheels won’t get inside my 25″.

                              PROS

                              • Ultra lightweight (For example the 25″ is only 8.9 pounds).
                              • Very spacious with a good number of pockets and the expansion zipper adds another couple of inches when needed.
                              • All 4 wheels can turn smoothly for less strain on wrists, shoulders and back.
                              • Very stylish and admired.
                              • Sturdy and well built (considering lightness).
                              • Three well designed and integrated handles.
                              • Robust self-healing zips and locks.
                              • 10 year warranty from a highly respected brand.

                              Quote from an online reviewer:

                              “All up, I really like the design and style of this bag. I would definitely recommend this bag.”

                                                CONS

                                                • Inclined to tip if not correctly packed.
                                                • Telescopic extender handle can catch in some situations.
                                                • The expansion zipper only goes around 3 sides which can cause the lid to protrude adding to the tipping issue.
                                                • Location of the internal zipper on the top lid compartment prevents the compartment from being opened unless the lid is lying flat. Restricted access. You certainly wouldn't want to store your medication or any other vitals in this compartment.
                                                • No hanger compartment for suits, pants or blouses.
                                                • No internal frame – so it is possible the bag could be crushed if heavier bags were place on top of it. Having said that, this bag is designed to be super lightweight and some compromise of rigidity is likely.

                                                                  CONSUMER RATINGS | RECOMMENDATIONS

                                                                  After reading countless online reviews, I would personally rate these bags in the low “4s out of 5″ – 5 being a top score. There is no doubt about it, that there are many happy customers and many great and innovative features about this range. The LIFT collection is definitely a top seller for Samsonite.

                                                                  I do, however, have some reservations about the stability of the bags. Some people were absolutely adamant that the bags had stability issues, others simply repacked the bags to eliminate this.

                                                                  Some said, no matter how they packed their bags they couldn't stop them from tipping over.

                                                                  I also suspect that Samsonite may have quietly revised the design over time to make it more stable as I noted most of the stability issues were in the earlier stages of it launch back in to 2011.

                                                                  Stability issues are not featuring so much now – with a number of reviewers saying they had zero stability problems.

                                                                  If stability deeply concerns you I would avoid these bags as, logically, one would have to surmise that lightness is more inclined to mean “tippy” – especially when the bags are not fully loaded.

                                                                  Who are these bags suitable for?

                                                                  Depending on the size you choose, the 21" is certainly suitable for short trips away (overnight etc).

                                                                  Feedback on the 25″ made it very clear that this was a bag which would easily take bulky winter clothing and office support equipment. For people who travel 2-3 days at a time on business – the 25″ would, in my opinion, be the perfect size and weight.

                                                                  My overall instinct is to recommend this range as long as stability is not a major issue for you. If you are wanting a carry-on bag I recommend the 21″.

                                                                                    PRICE | BUY IT NOW!

                                                                                    Samsonite LIFT 21" Spinner

                                                                                    Samsonite LIFT 25" Spinner

                                                                                    Samsonite LIFT 29" Spinner