Are you on the lookout for a reliable suitcase for your travels but unsure about the quality of Traveler’s Choice products?
This article is here to guide you and provide you with all the details you need about this brand and its products.
A brief history of the Traveler’s Choice brand
Traveler’s Choice was founded in 1984 in Los Angeles, California, and sells more than 1.6 million pieces of luggage a year.
Although Traveler’s Choice is a relatively new company compared to some of its competitors, it is quickly making a name for itself and becoming a significant player in the luggage industry.
What kind of products does Traveler’s Choice sell?
Traveler’s Choice sells a variety of luggage, including suitcases, carry-on bags, and luggage sets in the medium price range.
With a focus on quality materials and standout features, Traveler’s Choice distinguishes itself in a crowded market.
It’s worth noting that Traveler’s Choice products are made in China, and their entire supply chain is based in Asia.
This is a minor drawback since their suitcases are well-made, but I would prefer if at least their higher-priced items be manufactured in the U.S.
What do customers think about Traveler’s Choice?
Customers have consistently praised the brand for its durability and value, so it’s no wonder its popularity continues to increase.
Traveler’s Choice sells more and more products every year, indicating that its buyers are happy with the brand’s products. Clearly, they are doing something right!
Most of the complaints from buyers stem from the poor quality of the low-priced items.
In addition, some have raised concerns about false advertising, as certain features may not be available on all luggage sizes.
For example, the Pagosa, the brand’s best-selling carry-on, has a built-in USB port, but the same feature is absent on the checked medium version.
Sometimes there are other small differences between luggage from the same set.
Anyway, you need to understand that if you buy a luggage set from Traveler’s Choice, the suitcases will not necessarily mirror each other.
I am not of fan of this decision, by the way.
Please keep these potential issues in mind when considering a purchase from this brand.
Quality of the brand products
Overall, the quality of the brand’s products is good but could be better. This should not come as a surprise since Traveler’s Choice sells budget-friendly products.
If high-quality suitcases interest you, consider Tumi or Rimowa. These two brands are known for their top-notch luggage and are a great choice for anyone who values durability and style.
(Please note that if you wish to purchase Tumi or Rimowa products, you should increase your budget by at least four to five times.)
The cheapest hard suitcases from Traveler’s Choice are made from ABS or polypropylene.
ABS and polypropylene are inexpensive materials that offer decent impact resistance.
I don’t like that Traveler’s Choice advertises its products using words like indestructible and pure polycarbonate. It’s important to remember that these are just marketing words and do not reflect the quality or durability of brand products.
In reality, scratches might appear even after the first trip.
Truthfully, you won’t be able to find scratch-resistant cases in this price range, regardless of the brand name.
For their top-of-the-line suitcases, Traveler’s Choice uses durable polycarbonate, while soft-shell suitcases are crafted with high-quality polyester.
Related: Best material for hard-side luggage.
I should mention something about the Traveler’s Choice ABS cases.
Although ABS is a cheap material, Traveler’s Choice added another thermoplastic in the mix in order to improve the ABS properties.
It’s like the ugly duckling of luggage materials getting a makeover, if you ask me.
But seriously, a typical drawback of ABS is its lack of durability.
Traveler’s Choice has addressed this issue by creating an ABS material that is more flexible than typical ABS.
While this improvement does make the luggage more susceptible to scratching, Traveler’s Choice has included scratch-resistant patterns on the exterior to minimize this issue.
One notable advantage of Traveler’s Choice is that even their most affordable luggage options feature double-spinner wheels. However, the wheels on the cheapest suitcases are made of plastic.
When it comes to luggage with plastic wheels, it’s important to handle them with care to ensure their longevity.
These wheels are more prone to breaking or wearing down quickly, so it’s best to avoid taking them over dips and bumps.
Doing so can help extend your suitcase’s life span and make the most of your investment.
As you increase your budget, you will find that the quality of the wheels improves significantly.
For their higher-priced products, Traveler’s Choice offers spherical spinner wheels made of plastic with a rubber coating, which allows them to spin smoothly and quietly.
The rubber coating also increases the durability of the wheels, as the contact surface deals way better with rough surfaces.
If you’re planning a trip abroad, consider opting for luggage with wheels that aren’t made entirely of plastic. Last year, a friend of mine visited Italy, and one of its suitcase wheels fell off after only two days.
I guess that Italy’s traditional cobblestone streets are a love-hate affair for many travelers!
Zipper and interior quality
Zippers are the Achilles’ heel of Traveler’s Choice products.
It is worth mentioning that based on customer feedback, Traveler’s Choice has made improvements to the zippers in recent years, but only to the outer zippers.
Nowadays, outer zippers feel like the ones from more expensive suitcases. The issue is that the inner zippers didn’t receive the same treatment.
While the inner zippers are not the weakest in the industry, they may require a bit more care and attention when packing your belongings.
To ensure they last as long as possible, it’s best to handle them gently and avoid overstuffing your suitcase.
Keep in mind that not all Traveler’s Choice models are the same.
For example, the Traveler’s Choice Maxporter II 30” has well-made inner and outer zippers.
I expect the quality of the inner zippers for future models to be drastically improved.
The interior of Traveler’s Choice products is of good quality, even for the cheaper models.
The brand made a wise move here. Instead of packing the interior with low-quality features, they chose to use quality materials and keep the interior simple.
While some customers may have preferred additional packing features, packing cubes can easily solve their issues.
If you want a suitcase with plenty of interior compartments, you will need to buy products from a different brand.
I believe that this is the brand’s most attractive selling point.
There’s a wide range of prices for Traveler’s Choice products, with options starting at around $50 and going up to around $300.
The majority of their products, however, tend to fall in the $100 to $200 price range. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or are willing to splurge a little more, there should be something for you in their selection.
Can you find a better pick in this price range? Yes, but it’s all about the features you want.
For example, while you may be able to purchase a luggage piece at a similar price point from Samsonite, it’s worth noting that it will not come with handy features like a USB charging port that many of Traveler’s Choice’s luggage offers.
Related: Traveler’s Choice vs Samsonite
While the lack of a USB port may not be a deal breaker for everyone, it is a feature that some people value.
Traveler’s Choice tries to consistently offer some features over its competition at the same price or lower.
Repeat customers view Traveler’s Choice’s products as providing excellent value for the money, and I can’t contradict them.
A friendly reminder: the warranty for each product is different. Usually, the high-tag items receive the best warranty, but it’s always a good idea to double-check the fine print for the product you’re interested in before you buy it.
Another annoying thing is that the warranty only applies to the lower 48 states.
Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii… and the rest of the world.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys filling out endless forms and providing copious amounts of personal information, then you’ll love the claiming process that Traveler’s Choice has.
You must provide your full name, email, telephone number, and address.
Additionally, they will ask for the date on which you purchase the item, the item number, the color of the item, the location of purchase, details about the defect, and photos of the product, the original receipt, and the lining tag.
This process is like a reverse sales funnel, but instead of trying to persuade you to make a purchase, it’s actually intended to convince you to give up on it.
The process of making a claim involves a total of 16 steps. (Unrelated to this: it takes nine steps to launch a nuclear weapon.)
After subjecting you to a “grueling” fifteen-minute claim process, complete with their best efforts to talk you out of it, Traveler’s Choice will finally throw you a bone and go above and beyond what they promised.
It’s like they’re trying to make up for all the torture they just put you through.
They will probably replace your product, even if the warranty does not cover the defect.
If your suitcase is discontinued, you will receive a similar one from a newer line.
Although Traveler’s Choice products prioritize practicality over aesthetics, the design of their products is not necessarily outdated.
While the design may not be the main focus, it is still an important factor that is considered during the development process.
The brand does offer a couple of suitcases with a modern look.
For example, the Maxporter II 30″ Hardside Spinner Trunk is an eye-catching piece of luggage with a unique design, and it’s not the only one.
If you’re in the market for a suitcase that’s built to last, you’ll be pleased to know that repairability is one of Traveler’s Choice’s strengths.
With a vast selection of replacement parts readily available on their website, you can easily keep your suitcase in top shape for years to come.
One of the standout features of many Traveler’s Choice’s suitcases is their thoughtfully designed repairability.
For instance, many of their models feature an inner zipper at the bottom, allowing easy access to the wheel screws.
This means that replacing the wheels doesn’t require cutting through the fabric of the suitcase, making repairs a breeze.
It’s a thoughtful design feature that sets the brand apart.
Is Traveler’s Choice a good choice for you?
This is an interesting question, and while the answer isn’t straightforward, I’ll provide some guidance.
Traveler’s Choice suitcases vary in quality based on price, with the lower-priced options being suitable for occasional travel but not built to withstand heavy loads or frequent use.
If you’re willing to increase your budget to $150 or more, you can get an even better suitcase from Traveler’s Choice.
These higher-priced options offer improved durability and overall quality, making them an excellent choice for frequent travelers or those who need a suitcase that can handle a lot of wear and tear.
Overall, Traveler’s Choice suitcases offer a solid and reliable option for travelers who want a suitcase that can handle the demands of travel.
It’s worth considering your specific needs and budget when choosing a suitcase, but overall, you’ll be satisfied with what Traveler’s Choice offers.
Best-selling Traveler’s Choice Suitcase Reviews
Traveler’s Choice Maxporter II 30″ ( Mini Review)
Many people believe that you get what you pay for, and in this case, that sentiment holds true.
In fact, people may even think you paid more for it than you actually did due to its impressive appearance.
The suitcase is made from polycarbonate but with a texture that screams quality.
The red accents on the wheels, zippers, and handles are a nice touch, especially with a black case.
While it may be on the pricier side, the good looks of this suitcase are worth the investment.
The combination of black and red creates a chic and sophisticated look that will turn heads.
On the exterior, you will notice that it has handles on the top, front, side, and bottom.
However, I would only use the handles to carry this luggage for a short time since they are not reinforced from behind.
The main telescoping handle locks into three positions. Keep in mind that it is a curved-arch type. It grips well, and it fits better in your hand than traditional ones, even though the design looks a bit unusual.
The wheels are of high quality. The spherical spinner wheels run smoothly on all kinds of surfaces, including cobblestone.
Customers who bought this suitcase two years ago report that the wheels are still rolling without any issues.
The only drawback is that the wheels’ robust build adds a bit of extra weight to the overall case.
This suitcase has a unique design feature where the sides split in a 70/30 ratio.
While some people may not initially be a fan of this type of split, it can actually be quite helpful when packing clothes.
It may take some getting used to, as it requires a different approach to packing compared to a traditional suitcase, but you will become accustomed to it.
This luggage comes with a 3-digit TSA-approved lock and a bag holder.
While this is a nice option, I would use something other than this holder for heavy bags.
The main compartment is divided into three parts with two adjustable shelves.
This suitcase is equipped with double Velcro lines on both sides, which allow you to adjust the position of the two shelves according to your packing needs.
You can remove the shelves if you need to bring large items. This versatility makes it easy to customize the suitcase to fit your specific packing requirements.
Overall, this suitcase excels in terms of quality, design, and innovation.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider.
First, the suitcase weighs almost 14 lbs., which may be heavy for some travelers.
Second, it is not designed to hold a lot of weight. This is ironic, considering that it is a 30-inch suitcase.
To ensure the longevity of your suitcase, I recommend keeping the weight of your belongings under 25 lbs.
This will help to prevent damage and keep your suitcase in top condition for your future travels.
Traveler’s Choice Pagosa Indestructible Hardshell Expandable Spinner Luggage, Carry-On 22”
Let’s get one thing straight: this luggage is not indestructible.
I mean, it’s made of polypropylene, which is pretty much the opposite of Kevlar.
As a material, polypropylene scratches easily, and people who purchase this product can confirm it.
Another thing to consider when you buy this luggage is that the color you see online will be different from the one you will receive, unless you order black.
The wheels are 360-degree dual spinners, but the liability is that they are made from plastic, resulting in the need to avoid cobblestones and rough surfaces.
This case has a built-in USB that has two charging ports. One is USB 2.0, and the other is USB type-C. The power bank is not included.
One drawback of this design is that the power bank is deep inside the suitcase.
If you want to charge your phone, you need to open the suitcase, dig through your stuff, use the zipper to open the power bank compartment, and turn it on.
But hey, at least it’s not like you have to disassemble the suitcase or anything.
The design of this luggage is timeless and focused entirely on utility.
This suitcase comes with an expandable section that provides an extra two inches of packing space, which is always a plus.
However, some customers report that the expandable section needs to be sturdier.
Compared to this, Samsonite Omni 2, at 20 inches, expands 3 inches, and the expandable section feels like a part of the suitcase.
The downside is that the Samsonite Omni 2 costs twice as much as the Traveler’s Choice Pagosa.
Keep in mind that if you use the expandable section, it will not fit into the overhead of some airlines.
The telescoping handle feels sturdy and has a three-way lock position. It also has a shorter option, meaning that children will feel comfortable carrying it around.
While the inner material of the suitcase has a pleasing touch and feels thick, the overall interior quality looks cheap.
This luggage does not have a TSA-approved lock.
The good news is that the main zipper sliders nest into each other, so you will be able to lock it with even the cheapest TSA-approved luggage lock.
Although it may seem that I was harsh, this luggage is worth considering.
If I didn’t know the price, I would suggest looking for something else, but given the price point, I would say go for it.
You would likely have to spend at least $30-40 more to find something better.
If you travel frequently, I wouldn’t expect this suitcase to last more than a year.
However, it’s a good value if you only use it a few times a month.
Traveler’s Choice Archer Polycarbonate Hardside Spinner Carry-On 21”
The Archer model represents an improvement compared to the Pagosa.
The shell is made from polycarbonate with a rugged diamond pattern design to increase the resistance against scratches and wear.
However, it seems that the advertising was a bit of a stretch because it is definitely not scratch-proof.
The good news is that the fancy diamond pattern on the shell will make most dents barely noticeable.
This luggage comes with a three-digit TSA-approved lock, but not all customers are so lucky.
Some receive their luggage without a lock, leaving them to wonder why some pieces come with one and others don’t.
If you want to join the TSA luggage lock club, you’ll have to do some detective work and contact the seller to see if they can hook you up.
From what I’ve gathered online, it seems that the blue and black luggage is most likely to come with the TSA-approved lock, but there are no guarantees.
The noticeable improvement is the wheels.
While they are rubberized for smooth rolling, the amount of rubber on them is somewhat limited.
They represent a significant upgrade compared to the Pagosa model, with smooth dual spherical spinner wheels that work well on all surfaces.
The wheels could be improved, though.
This can make it difficult to navigate uneven surfaces or rough terrain and may affect the overall durability of the wheels.
This case has a built-in USB port for charging your devices.
The outer zippers on this luggage are of excellent quality and were clearly designed with resistance and toughness in mind. However, the inner zippers feel cheaper and are less resistant than the outer ones.
The telescopic handle is sturdier than that of the Pagosa and has three locking positions.
The case has two additional recessed handles that are not protruding and are rubberized for a comfortable grip.
This luggage also comes with a zippered expansion gusset that can provide extra space and comes with a three-year limited warranty.
The case opens to a 50/50 ratio, and the interior does not have compression tie-down straps.
Only the medium and large checked luggage come with them.
Instead, it has two zipped mesh pouches on one side, which can be helpful for organizing items during packing.
However, if you want your belongings to be nice and tidy, you may want to consider using packing cubes.
The other side of the interior is completely zippered off and has two pockets built into the divider, as well as a large pocket that spans the entire side of the case and is large enough to hold a 15″ laptop.
Overall, this luggage is a wise investment. It is made from quality materials and has impressive wheels.
That being said, there are a couple of areas where the brand could make some improvements, such as the packing options and the quality of the interior zippers.
These are minor issues, however, and should not discourage you from buying it.
Traveler’s Choice Dana Point Hardside Expandable Luggage 3-Piece Set
This three-piece luggage set includes a 22″ carry-on and two checked luggage pieces (one at 26″ and the other at 30″).
While it may seem like a good deal, let’s see if it truly is.
Initially, I believed that the shells of these luggage pieces were made from polypropylene.
However, upon further research, I discovered that Traveler’s Choice clearly states on its website that the material used is ABS.
I think the luggage pieces may be made from a blend of ABS and another material, as pure ABS luggage tends to have a cheaper finish than these pieces.
The shell design isn’t going to win any awards, but I wouldn’t go so far as to consider it outdated.
The double-spinner wheels on the Dana are made from plastic, which may not seem as durable as rubber. Be cautious when rolling the luggage over rough surfaces.
However, with proper care and handling, these wheels should still be able to get the job done.
The three-way telescoping handle is certainly sturdy and well-constructed.
Keep in mind that the carry handles are mostly present for decorative purposes, as they are not reinforced from behind.
None of the bags has a TSA-approved lock, but I wouldn’t expect one at this price.
The interior is simplistic.
The person who sewed the inside may have had slight tremors or shaking hands while using the sewing machine, which could explain any uneven stitching or misalignment of the seams.
The interior has adjustable internal straps on one side, and the other side can be zipped close.
There is a small zipped pocket for toiletries, and that’s about it in terms of packing options.
If you want to keep your clothes wrinkle-free, you must become a Jedi of packing since the luggage isn’t going to make your job easy.
I like that the material used for the interior is not the cheapest.
Everything about this set screams cheap quality. If that doesn’t bother you and you need a three-piece for occasional traveling then you should consider it.
Traveler’s Choice Tasmania Polycarbonate Expandable Spinner Luggage, Carry-On 20”
If you’re looking for the best value for your money, Traveler’s Choice Tasmania should be on your radar.
This luggage comes with a wide range of features that are often found on more costly cases, making it a great choice for those looking to make the most of their budget.
The shell of this luggage is made from polycarbonate and is available in four colors: black, dark brown, navy, and purple.
It would be nice if there were more light-colored shades available as well.
The design of the case is generic. You will not be mistaken if you think that this luggage looks outdated. It was designed in 2013.
The fact that this luggage has been on the market since 2013 is actually a positive, as it has proven to be a popular choice among customers.
When you handle it, you can feel that it was built with durability in mind, compared to some of the newer cases on the market.
Another positive is that you can find reviews online from people who bought this product back in 2013, and some are still happy customers even now, several years later.
Early customers report that this luggage has held up well over the years, and they haven’t been able to find a more durable case.
The exterior has two grab handles, one on the top and one on one side. These are old-school handles that stick out.
Luckily, they tuck in pretty well when you place your luggage in an airplane bin.
The main telescopic handle on this luggage may be outdated compared to newer models, but it is still functional and works decently.
It is adjustable to a variety of heights and allows for easy maneuvering.
My only criticism is that the handle is made from aluminum, which may become flimsy over time with constant use and repeatedly pushing it up and down.
There are four rubber feet on one side of the luggage, but they stick out a bit and can be easily bumped when moving around. As a result, they may become loose over time.
While the quality of the zippers could be improved, they are still functional and just require a bit of force to operate.
A bottom handle is not present, so taking the luggage out of a car’s trunk with both hands requires a little effort.
One of the standout features of this luggage is the four double-spinner wheels, which have a unique appearance and are made of sturdy rubber.
That being said, the internal mechanism of the wheels is exposed, which can make them prone to collecting dirt and debris that may cause them to become stuck over time.
The case split in an almost perfect 50/50 ratio.
This luggage features a clamshell opening with a fully imprinted interior lining, making it easy to see and access your belongings.
Additionally, there are two interior zippered mesh pockets and a center zippered pouch for added organization and storage options.
This luggage includes an expandable section, though it only expands by about two inches.
While this luggage was certainly a strong option a decade ago, I think it could benefit from an update.
There are now many other suitcases in the same price range that offer more advanced features.
However, people will continue to purchase this suitcase due to its high durability.