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Old 29.04.2012, 09:31
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Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

We just came back from a weeklong trip to Zermatt. It was great! There
was still a lot of snow on the mountains. And the cable car ride to Klein
Matterhorn was breathtaking.

Our suitcase however did not fare that well. The rubber wheels just
disintegrated and the suitcase had to be dragged. This is our 2nd
suitcase that broke down like this after two trips of walking on old European
cobblestone streets.

Both were cheap, no-name, made in china crap that cost around
$70 dollars. I have been looking at more expensive suitcases from Tumi
or Samsonite. My issue is that the wheels on those expensive brand new
suitcases are made of rubber as well. Not sure how much metal or hard
rubber are in those wheels.

Can somebody recommend a specific suitcase that can survive rolling
on cobblestone streets for multiple trips? What Samsonite or Tumi
models do you use?

Thank You!
DavidSJC

p.s. We never had a problem like this in the US because the suitcases
were never rolled on the streets a lot. They spent most of their time
in the trunk of cars.
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Old 29.04.2012, 09:41
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

We take backpacks. That is what they were invented for...
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Old 29.04.2012, 10:41
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

I am with swisspea those suitcases with wheels are the most annoying things, rucksacks are definetely the way to go.
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Old 29.04.2012, 11:11
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

We have the Samsonite Spark 550, which seems to have been replaced by the Samsonite Aspire Sport. The critical thing for us was the wheel system: "SmoothRoller - Steel spring suspension allows the flexing arm of the SmoothRoller wheel housing to absorb the vibration and jolting that can occur due to inconsistencies in terrain. The shock suspension wheel housing with the SoftSpin wheels provides smooth transport."

If you want suitcases with wheels, the spring suspension helps a lot.

I would never buy the spinner-type suitcase - I couldn't even get to the train station with one of those.
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Old 29.04.2012, 11:14
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

I travel frequently and have had the complete wheel-housing break off a Samsonite, and a stap breaking on a Tumi.
Both Samsonite and Tumi replaced the case, but I still had to buy a replacement in the meantime.
I'm currently using a Samsonite with a wheel at each corner, which is standing up well after six months, but which tends to roll away if I don't keep a hand on it.
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Old 29.04.2012, 11:17
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

OP, get a brand suitcase and none of this cheapo stuff. I only use Samsonite suitcases as they are more durable and in case something does brake, they will reimburse you for it. Long, long time ago, I had used a cheapo hardcase and upon arrival at my destintion a whole corner was missing from it.

Last edited by lost_inbroad; 29.04.2012 at 12:08.
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Old 29.04.2012, 12:06
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

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Both were cheap, no-name, made in china crap that cost around
$70 dollars.
Be careful when you buy samsonite products. It belongs to the legions of made in china crap. 78% of samsonite products are made in china and a sizeable portion in India.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-...29-702809.html

Like swisspea says start using a backpack.
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Old 29.04.2012, 12:22
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

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Be careful when you buy samsonite products. It belongs to the legions of made in china crap. 78% of samsonite products are made in china and a sizeable portion in India.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-...29-702809.html

Like swisspea says start using a backpack.
The question isn't where it was made but where it was engineered. Both iPads and shitty Shanzhai phones were made in China, one is good the other is utter shite.
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Old 29.04.2012, 12:45
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

I'm always interested to see what flight crews use, and overwhelmingly it seems to be this hard shell model from Samsonite. It certainly looks bullet proof.

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Old 29.04.2012, 13:06
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

I have a 4 piece set by the brand name of "CIAO!" that i bought for ±$80 USD at Target back in c.2000.

Each of those pieces have been on 6 continents (including being rolled down old European cobblestone sidewalks) at one time or another over the past 12 years and the wheels are still holding up fantastically. Though I am thinking of giving the set away.

Add me to the anti-backpack crew though. Man invented the wheel to make things easier! Plus, with using a backpack, it's much more difficult to keep things organized, and when you need something at the bottom, you have to take everything out.
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Old 29.04.2012, 13:22
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

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Add me to the anti-backpack crew though. Man invented the wheel to make things easier! Plus, with using a backpack, it's much more difficult to keep things organized, and when you need something at the bottom, you have to take everything out.
Incorrect, I have a backpack that is at least 20 years old which is a suitcase style in fact it opens exactly like a suitcase, so there is no need to worry about having to unpack it at all.

It is also heaps lighter then a suitcase so my weight allowance on planes is not screwed up by the bag alone. These wheelie suitcases almost reach the weight allowance on their own.

Finally I still have 2 arms free for walking up those stairways in locations where suitcases are a liability.
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Old 29.04.2012, 13:28
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I have a Victorinox hardside spinner that I got on clearance at TK Maxx in the UK for £44. They normally cost a lot more but it was the last one and the instructions for changing the combination on the TSA lock were missing. It has survived at least 8 round trips in Europe and is holding up well. The wheels are on short stalks and look replaceable using an allen key. On one trip to the UK I needed a larger case and used a Jeep spinner. The wheels on that one shredded on the trip.



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I have a 4 piece set by the brand name of "CIAO!" that i bought for ±$80 USD at Target back in c.2000.

Each of those pieces have been on 6 continents (including being rolled down old European cobblestone sidewalks) at one time or another over the past 12 years and the wheels are still holding up fantastically. Though I am thinking of giving the set away.
That brings back memories! I remember buying a Ciao set when I lived in California, around 1999. I bought them at Sears and I think I paid around the same price. They really held up well, including a trip around South East Asia. I'm not sure what happened to them, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the wheels going.
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Old 29.04.2012, 13:40
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

The spinner type of suitcase that is very popular with the Japanese (see photo above) is great for airports but is not really adapted for cobble stone use (the spinning wheels rip off the rubber as shown on the OP's photo).

You need a suitcase with just TWO wheels (over-sized is best) that do not spin.

See this photo that illustrates the idea (only 2 bigger wheels that do not swivel). With the long handle, it is easier to walk with than with Castro's black model shown in the photo above. This style tends to flip over easily on rough ground since the wheels are on the short side of the case. It is also not comfortable as you have to bend over to carry/drag it. I know because I have both styles.

link: http://www.samsonite.co.uk/cabin-collection-upright-55cm-20inch-lavender/product-en.htm?or=6812763526&shs={85ac9a06-377b-4573-9e3a-472a138714f3}
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Last edited by Verbier; 29.04.2012 at 13:44. Reason: added detail +typo
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Old 29.04.2012, 13:42
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

Rimowa, the only one for me... Not cheap, but very sturdy and they look even better with age.

http://www.rimowa.de/main#product/923.56
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Old 29.04.2012, 13:55
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

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Rimowa, the only one for me... Not cheap, but very sturdy and they look even better with age.

http://www.rimowa.de/main#product/923.56
I've often seen people with these suitcases and greatly admired them, but didn't know who made them. Thanks so much for posting this!!! I shall go immediately to a dealer and drool on a display.
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Old 29.04.2012, 14:05
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

I just bought this one! At least you can't say you can't find it! :P

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Old 29.04.2012, 14:09
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

Same here .. Polka dotted one ( hard to miss it ). With a trolley for heavier items incl. a suitcase.
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Old 29.04.2012, 14:27
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

I've got a Samsonite suitcase for more than 10 years already which has seen large parts of the world and all kinds of pavements, including a lot of cobblestone and similar structures as that is what the Netherlands is built on and it has not let me down yet, well worth the investment. The only damage marks are a few scratches on the outside which likely came from some airplane luggage throwing contest or something sharp in the hold or so, but well, that happens. Battle scars show that the thing actually has a live, so do the 'security cleared' stickers all over the thing, seems it does not matter to remove the old ones.The wheels are perfectly fine still and the contents never where harmed either, thus the perfect 'need to bring a lot of stuff' suitcase.

For shorter trips I tend to only take carry-on with me, a Briggs & Riley case, they are kinda pricy, but they do not break ever and otherwise they fix them up as that is their lifetime guarantee policy. And as it is carry-on you just walk on and off the plane without a wait which is very useful in a lot of airports (read: not Zurich) where they have not mastered this luggage system so well yet and it also avoids a lot of potential issues when needing to transfer planes as your luggage is with you and not still on the plane or on another one that you are on.
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Old 30.04.2012, 00:52
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

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I've often seen people with these suitcases and greatly admired them, but didn't know who made them. Thanks so much for posting this!!! I shall go immediately to a dealer and drool on a display.
There is an outlet in Dietikon, just opposite Media Markt. It used to be a Delsey outlet, they still have some Delsey pieces but not many.
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Old 30.04.2012, 18:30
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Re: Suitcase tough enough for old European streets

We have two medium size upright carry-on bags that we have lugged around for many years, on smooth and on cobblestoned surfaces. One is WORLDBOUND and the other PIERRE CARDIN. I bought them roughly 8 years ago at Marshalls and Ross in the US. Those shops have very nice brand name suitcases at reasonable prices. They were roughly $60-$80 each. Our bags have big wheels (in hard rubber/plastic material) that do not spin sidewards. On cobblestones do not use bags or suitcases that have small wheels and the ones that spin sidewards. The wheels that spin around are very good on smooth floors like at the airport but not on cobblestones. Good luck on finding better quality suitcases with sturdy wheels!
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