!f Champs vintage luggage review 6

Want to get ready for a well-packed voyage with luggage that’s inspired by days gone by? The Champs Vintage Collection 2-piece hard side luggage will help you do just that. It pairs vintage charm with the loveable favourites of today: features that you’d never see on an old steamer trunk. Think 360-degree wheels, lightweight product materials, and butter-smooth zippers.

What’s included in this Champs Vintage Collection 2 Piece Hard Side Luggage set?

Champs vintage luggage review tsa locksThis expandable, hard side luggage set features a 29″ luggage case and a 21″ luggage case. (That’s a large luggage piece and a carry-on luggage piece, though you’ll need to double check carry-on sizing with your airline before travelling.) Both pieces feature integrated TSA locks, 360 degree spinner wheels, and telescoping handles.

Included in the set featured here are two black and orange luggage pieces. The Vintage line also comes in white. Note that this luggage set features two pieces from the Champs Vintage product line, which has vertical ridging; Champs also makes a Vintage III product line, which has horizontal ridging and features different wheels.

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Details that pop out about the Vintage collection

My favourite part about this Champs luggage set was its enthusiastic inclusion of pockets. Like most people, I love a good pocket—be it a luggage pocket, a pants pocket, or a pizza pocket. (Just kidding: pizza pockets make for a good pun, but we all know that Pizza Pops are the superior snack.)

Pockets and organizers

In the 21″ carry-on piece, Champs includes a zippered half with an additional mesh pocket overlay. On the other side, there’s an open half with an elastic X-band to hold your clothes and other belongings down. You’ll notice a long, zippered, nylon pocket along with a thick, vinyl zippered pocket that can be removed and reattached with snaps. This vinyl pocket is awesome for storing toiletries or quick-grab items, but not both. (You don’t want to reach your destination only to find your phone charger covered in shower gel goop!)

In the 29″ piece, Champs includes a zippered half with a mesh zippered pocket overlay on one side. In that half, however, there’s also an elastic X-band within. This will help to hold your pocket contents tight during travel, which is especially handy as luggage pieces get larger. You may want to pack light going to your destination but fill up with souvenirs and shopping before coming home; the extra band helps make sure your items stay as safe as possible on the way there.

On the other side of the 29″ hard side luggage piece, there’s an elastic X-band without a covered front. There is no vinyl bag included in this piece. Both the 21″ and 29″ pieces come lined with a zippered opening. You can access underneath the lining of your luggage for additional storage or cleaning. (I always find this to be the ideal spot for storing documents. It’s not to hide them; just to keep them flat and un-rumpled by sweaters and socks.)

Champs vintage luggage review interior

Product quality 

Every detail that gets added to a piece of luggage costs the manufacturer money to include, so it’s great to see so many organizers built into this set. The zippered expansion on both pieces is handy and easy to use with a smooth zipper, and the number of pockets really is stellar. The integrated TSA-friendly locks work well, with two zippers that can be snapped into place in any order. I also like the inclusion here of 360 degree spinner wheels: They’ll make navigating your travels that much easier.

The 29″ luggage piece features standing feet on its side, which are great for propping your luggage on its side without scuffing it or getting it dirty. The micro-textured shell of these pieces is equally great for this purpose. It hides wear and tear well and resists scratches.

Each of these hard side luggage pieces is extremely light but firm. I like that Champs included a flexing feature on each handle, which makes lifting your bag more comfortable when it’s full. I’d have preferred a softer handle to cut down on pinching, but the flex helps.

Champs vintage luggage review handles

Things to look for in the Champs Vintage set

Despite this line’s many positive attributes, I find that this luggage feels slightly flimsy. That may be a benefit if your primary objective is to find a luggage set that’s as lightweight as possible, but it may not deliver the smoothest user experience.

The telescoping handles of the Vintage Collection wobble, not locking firmly into place. They occasionally retract or extend when I don’t want them to. They’re great to have included, but if I was rushing through an airport, I wouldn’t trust the telescoping handles to stay in their position.

There’s also no bottom handle on the larger piece of this collection, which can make lifting it difficult. There is an included side handle, but it’s nice to have both a bottom and side handle when you’re lifting your own bag! If you need to get it up onto a bus, weigh scale, or countertop, having symmetrical handles really helps—and Champs includes a bottom handle on their other designs.

Finally, if you’re looking to purchase this Champs Vintage luggage set because what you seek is a luxury-feel luggage line without luxury pricing, then this is not the set for you. Aesthetically, I think Champs has nailed it here: These pieces look great. But functionally, they aren’t made to the same standard as their design. At minimum, the band wrapping around each piece should be cut at the sides, as shown in the brand’s marketing materials. Instead, my 29″ luggage came with its branding sewn together in the middle, right over the Champs name—a clear sign that the manufacturer used two separate product scraps to cut costs on what should be the highlight of the design.

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Is the Champs Vintage Collection luggage set worth it?

If you love the look of the Champs Vintage Collection and need both a large and small piece of luggage for your travels, then this 2-piece set will be great for you. Each piece comes with ample storage space, organization, and pockets.

To upgrade your purchase, I recommend shopping for other Champs luggage pieces or purchasing the Champs Vintage III Collection instead. The Vintage III 3-piece Expandable Hardside Luggage Set is slightly more expensive than the 2-piece set, but it’s a better buy with an included middle size. The extra 24″ piece is handy for medium-length trips and travelling with kids. Each luggage piece is also upgraded. With the Vintage III Collection, you get to enjoy a similar design with an enhanced user experience. Expect to see double-set wheels (which roll really smoothly) and a cool, built-in USB charging port next to the TSA-approved lock of the 20″ Vintage III carry-on. Another great choice is the Champs Luxe Set, which comes in three colours and maintains a glamorous, vintage feel with its metallic gold accents.

Shop the Champs Vintage Collection 2-piece hard side luggage online at Best Buy.

Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at thenotice.net, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.


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