Everyone picks favourites. I like dogs more than cats, cupcakes more than muffins, and my sister more than my brother. (Kidding! I don’t have a brother. But if I did, I’d probably still like him roughly the same amount as I do now). When it comes to luggage, I prefer Swiss Gear to Samsonite – so I was eager to see if the Samsonite Xion Hard Side 4-Wheeled Expandable Luggage in Navy would stack up to my Swiss Gear favourites.
Why choose a Samsonite luggage set?
The Samsonite Xion Luggage Set is your basic hard side luggage set. It’s made from durable ABS and polycarbonate plastics, which I think is perfect for air travel. I’ll take a soft side luggage as my carry-on, but checked? No way. I don’t trust luggage handlers any farther than they can throw my luggage!
The set features slightly non-standard luggage sizes, with pleasantly specific 31.25″, 27.25″, and 21.25″ pieces. Each size holds around the standard volume for a carry-on, week-long, and extended travel piece, with capacities of around 110 litres, 75 litres, and 40 litres, respectively. For comparison, Swiss Gear’s luggage pieces hold the same amount volumetrically, but have sizes of 28″, 24″, and 20″.
What this means for your luggage set is simple: Swiss Gear pieces will be lighter and slightly smaller, but Samsonite pieces will be heavier, with a thicker outer shell. I’ve picked my favourites based on my priorities of ease of use and overall weight, but for someone whose main concerns include durability or longevity, I’d imagine that Samsonite might be your preferred brand.
Samsonite pieces also tend to sit a little taller, with more clearance between the luggage itself and the ground. They feature heavy-duty dual spinner wheels. It makes for a stiffer drive on smooth floors, but if you’re going to be rolling your luggage around a lot outdoors (for instance, if you’ll be using it to get between job sites, or you’re travelling somewhere with less city infrastructure), you’ll appreciate having the dual wheel!
The details on the Samsonite Xion Luggage range
The Samsonite Xion Luggage range is best described by one word that’s used often in its description: robust. With its four 360-degree dual spinner wheels and extra-thick ABS plastic shell, it’s made with durability in mind.
The Xion set also features a push-button extendable handle, top and side carry handles (a must), and both zippered and elasticized pockets on the inner flap of each piece. The two larger sizes feature an expandable, zippered design for extra room on your trip home (another must!), and the half-case design is actually a little uneven: you get slightly more space on the “base” of the design, which is a handy inclusion.
I really appreciate the textured design of this hard side luggage set, and the navy shade is easy enough to spot on the carousel. (I made the mistake last summer of travelling with a black, hard side luggage piece, and can I just say: never again. It was such a hassle to pick out from the other two dozen black, hard side luggage pieces of the same size, and finding it in the mess of lost luggage when the airline misplaced it was a nightmare.)
The Samsonite Xion luggage pieces in use
Okay: let me level with you. The Xion, in pictures, isn’t great.
It’s not bad, but … It’s not great. The ridged design catches the light in a way that makes the Samsonite Xion look more like a crystalline mould than a stately figurine, and its glossy finish makes it look rather beetle-like on top of all that.
But in person, it’s rather stately. The 31.25″ luggage photographed here is intimidatingly large, with enough room to see you easily through a month-long trip. The ridged design is appealing to the eye, but not too busy. It was cute enough that even my mother, who is so utilitarian in her design aesthetic that I think she was not-so-secretly a communist in a not-so-past life, commented on how nice the texture was.
Of course, a glossy finish shows wear before anything else – but that’s a given for any glossy-finish object.
The Xion’s double wheels (you know, the ones that are great for bumpy terrain) jump around a bit on a smooth floor, as predicted, but they preform better as your luggage gets heavier. At the end of the day, they’re still 360 degree spinner wheels – which means that, at the end of the day, I’m still going to be fond of them. They’re so much easier to use than the straight-rolling wheels of luggage in days gone by, especially when you’re travelling with more than one bag.
My overall judgement on the Samsonite Xion
At the end of the day, the Xion is a pretty standard piece of luggage. It’s aesthetically pleasing and not too terribly heavy, and to my knowledge, it’s not a limited edition item. It goes on sale reliably enough that you should be able to snag a great deal on it, if you wait. (I don’t have it in my budget to shell out $999 for a luggage set, so when I’m shopping for gifts or personal use, it’s really important to me to find and recommend luggage pieces that you can find on sale!)
The Xion may be unremarkable, but it’s solidly built. It features some excellent inner pockets, including a meshed pocket and an elasticized pocket on a separating flap – which is more of an anomaly than you’d think. In exchange, you get a piece of luggage with wheels that aren’t super smooth, but overall, I think you break even. The Xion still functions well, holds plenty of items, and has all the necessities, like side-carry handles and a push-button retractable top handle.
There isn’t anything incredibly great or incredibly terrible about the Samsonite Xion, so if you like the look of it, I say go for it. If not, Best Buy has plenty of other luggage sets (both hard and soft sided) that you can look into and read up on instead!