Have you ever wanted to pretend you were an international spy? Have you ever imagined a world in which you were trained in seduction and espionage?
If you answered “no” to that question, you’re probably lying.
If you answered “yes” to that question, you’re going to want to pay attention to this review. Because the Swiss Gear Blackcomb Hard Side 4-Wheeled Expandable Luggage set looks remarkably like those super-sexy stainless steel cases that are so frequently handcuffed to some carrier’s wrist in every spy movie/show/telethon since the beginning of time, making them perfect for your not-so-secret spy fantasy.
I grew up on Alias, so the second I held these Blackcomb pieces, the spy fantasies began. They left me wishing I was Sydney Bristow, spy extraordinaire. Images swirled in my head of a reality in which I, too, was a super-gorgeous, super-fit polyglot with a secret family past…
…and then I remembered that that would mean that my loved ones would die, memories would be stolen, and my (spoiler alert!) mother would turn out to be a Russian spy.
I think I’ll stick to my nice, normal life for now, and leave the spy fantasies contained solely to the Swiss Gear Blackcomb set.
The Swiss Gear Blackcomb luggage specs
The Swiss Gear Blackcomb luggage set is a nice, simple set. It’s basic in every sense of the word, but that’s not a criticism – not in the least.
Instead, the Blackcomb’s simplicity is its main strength. With a design that puts a luxe twist on a generic idea and clean, straight lines, the Blackcomb Hard Side Luggage is a no-nonsense dream. It’s reminiscent of a stainless steel briefcase, and about as serious, too. It’s functional without being frilly, and a great option for a genderless luggage set that can be enjoyed by the whole family. (I mean, my family will use whatever’s around, because we really couldn’t care less about perceived gender. But some people are pickier about what their luggage looks like, and that’s totally okay too! Like most “unisex” objects, this set can be read as more masculine, but its neutrality makes it great for everybody.)
The Blackcomb collection is made from durable ABS plastic and features four 360˚ spinner wheels on each piece. It has a retractible handle, lined pockets, and an interior lid pocket/sectioning that keeps the two sides of your luggage from mixing. The opposite side of the luggage features tie-down straps (Swiss Gear’s standard elasticized bands) and small, zippered interior pocket for personal items.
Or, if you’re like me, socks.
The Blackcomb collection also features an expandable zipper on the 24″ and 28″ pieces, which allows for significantly more space when you need it. To note, the 20″ is not expandable. (It’s surprisingly difficult to find a hard side 20″ that is, for some reason. My current Swiss Gear set was a rare find, which makes me appreciate it even more!)
How the Swiss Gear Blackcomb performs
I love my Swiss Gear luggage. Anyone who’s a regular reader of the Best Buy Plug-in Blog probably already knows this, because I talk about it all the time. Whenever I’m sent a set for review that isn’t Swiss Gear, my heart breaks a little–although there have been luggage sets from other brands that have really impressed me, like the Samsonite S-Lite luggage range.
The Blackcomb, therefore, is a bit of an outlier. It’s Swiss Gear (which I love). It’s also silver (which I love). And it’s expandable (which is a must, for my “everything and the kitchen sink, plus the faucets” packing habits.)
But despite all that… I don’t love it. Is it a solid piece of luggage? Definitely. But it’s awkward to pull around. Though the wheels look like standard Swiss Gear wheels to me, they felt rougher and harder to pull than usual, which led to slightly bumpy steering.
If you love the way it looks, the Swiss Gear Blackcomb Hard Side Luggage is still a perfectly serviceable piece of luggage. If you’re not totally set on it, however, there are other Swiss Gear pieces that I prefer. The Swiss Gear EVO 2 is a particular favourite of mine, and its pieces offer the same capacity. (I compared the 28″ pieces, as the bumpiness was most noticeable in the larger sizes.) The Blackcomb also lists the same product weight as the EVO 2 in their 28″ pieces, but the way it’s built makes the EVO 2 feel significantly lighter.
I think it may just be the fault of the design, because the Blackcomb is a bit stocky, with a slightly thicker pattern and sides that go straight up. The EVO 2, however, has a wider base and a narrower top, which makes it roll more smoothly and feel lighter despite the identical listed figures for capacity and product weight. The two have the same inner features, with a zip flap covering one half and tie-down straps on the other side.
Who the Swiss Gear Blackcomb is best for
The Swiss Gear Blackcomb 3 Piece Hard Side Expandable Luggage Set comes in a few different colours, but the silver is definitely my favourite. It makes the Blackcomb perfect for two sets of people.
The first set is people who don’t want plain, black luggage, but also don’t want their luggage to look flashy in any way. What makes the Blackcomb so ingenious is the way that it’s both stylish and incredibly plain, making it sink seamlessly into its surroundings. It’ll look as at-home in a hostel as it will in a five star hotel, so it’s perfect for a varied traveller.
The second set is people who still have those spy dreams from their childhood. And hey, what’s so bad about that? The Blackcomb set is a nice, easy, safe way to quietly live out those fantasies… Although you should probably take the pen knife out of your carry-on, because the TSA will definitely confiscate it at security.