I just got back from a trip to China, and let me tell you: having the super-smooth Swiss Gear Tannensee 3-Piece Hard Side 4-Wheeled Expandable Luggage Set with me would have made a big difference. Instead, took an old, soft-side Swiss Gear piece with me, and I struggled to cart it around throughout the entire trip.

(Which, to be fair, is a mistake that’s on me. I had the option of taking a 4-wheeled piece, and I know I love four-wheelers, but I figured, “how bad could it be?”)

(The answer is very bad.)

Why the Swiss Gear Tannensee set is a worthwhile upgrade

I’ve been a Swiss Gear devotee for years, and I don’t want to pooh-pooh on one of their older pieces.

But you guys, the soft-sided, decades-old Swiss Gear set that my family is still somehow using really doesn’t measure up. We are, on the whole, loathe to get rid of items that still functionally work, but I think this is one type of consumer waste that I might just have to get comfortable with.

My older luggage piece was great when we bought it, but luggage trends have changed a lot over the past decade. Where my soft-sided piece has two wheels, one compartment, and four pockets, the new hard-sided sets that Swiss Gear is now focusing on are a lot easier to live out of.

The current hard-side sets feature four 360˚ spinner wheels, which makes pushing your luggage around the airport (and especially down airplane aisles) so much easier, and they open in halves. Having a top and bottom compartment means that all of your belongings suddenly become more accessible, and consistent sizing makes luggage sets easier to stack onto a trolley at the airport.

I am really, really not a fan of producing more waste than I have to, but I think this style of set is worth the upgrade. I can definitely see myself buying a new luggage set with four 360˚ wheels before my next trip–in fact, it might just be a necessity.

The Swiss Gear Tannensee “Chili” pepper red

My partner describes this shade as “Ferrari red,” but in reality, it sits somewhere in between that notorious Ferrari red and the shocking orange-red of a spicy pepper. With its ridged stripes and bright orange-red shade, however, there’s something about this luggage that does look fast. Every time I see one of the pieces out of the corner of my eye, I half-expect it to go whipping by like a little automated race car!

I’ll be honest with you, though. As a style blogger, I know that I should appreciate a good pop of colour. And I do … Within reason. But as someone who grew up in a fairly small, dark, wintery city, I can’t stand orange-reds. They look shudderingly unnatural to my eye, and this set it everything I wouldn’t want my Swiss Gear to look like.

Thankfully, the Swiss Gear Tannensee set is available in three different colours online at Best Buy. It’ll suit the daring (with the teal Navy set), the daring (the bright orange-red Chili set), and the shy, like myself (with the silver Charcoal set).

The one thing that I will give to the Swiss Gear Tannensee Chili set, however, is that it’s easy as heck to spot. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time looking for our drab luggage sets in airports during layovers, connections, and destinations this past month, and it is tough to pick one black piece of luggage out from the herd of 35 similarly-sized black luggage sets.

You’d be able to pick the Swiss Gear Tannensee Chili pieces out from all the way down the length of the airport, guaranteed.

Pros and cons of the Swiss Gear Tannensee set

Swiss Gear offers a number of hard-side luggage sets in its main collection, and Tannensee is just one of 11 options at Best Buy right now. It’s a great entry-point set, however: it sits at their lowest price point for a set of 3, which makes it a little more accessible. Luggage sets are usually an investment, because they’re sturdy items that you (hopefully) won’t have to replace often, but even so, it can be nice to find a good deal on them.

The Tannensee collection is a little more affordable than most of the Swiss Gear line, yet it still comes with the same great Swiss Gear accoutrements that we all know and love. The set is made from durable ABS plastic, and contains a 20 inch carry on, a mid-sized 24-inch for fortnight-long stays, and a 28-inch for major vacations. (Or people who carry a lot of products along with them, which I’m totally guilty of.)

I personally prefer the Swiss Gear EVO and Extravagance II lines over the Tannensee range, but both are pricier unless they’re on sale–and the Tannensee range is still Swiss Gear-quality. Each piece is reliable and stylishly textured; they’re just a little heavier, and aren’t quite as shiny or lightweight as the EVO or Extravagance II.

Why buy your luggage as a set?

When I have the option, I always buy my luggage in a set–preferably when it’s on sale. But that’s just one way of doing things.

I recommend buying luggage as a set primarily because when they go on sale, they really go on sale. Luggage sets often get marked down anywhere from 10-50% (if you’re really lucky), which is the kind of savings that’s a little harder to come by on single pieces.

Plus, when you buy your luggage as a set, every piece looks the same. You don’t have to sit around the luggage carousel trying to remember which piece was which colour and style–you’re just looking for one colour or print. It’s a small detail, but it makes travelling just a little bit less painless.

Buying luggage sets is also great if you live in an apartment or small home, because they tend to take up less space. Luggage sets are always shipped and sold stacking-doll-style, so your carry-on is guaranteed to fit into your mid-size, which is guaranteed to fit into your largest piece. You’re never faced with the “aw, fudge” moment of having a carry-on that’s juuuust a little bit too wide to fit into your mid-size.

The Swiss Gear Tannensee set, however, is available both as a set and as single pieces, so you get to choose! If you don’t want to pick up all three, I’d recommend the mid-size (24-inch) Swiss Gear Tannensee as my top pick–it was just a really great style for the size.

Shop the entire Swiss Gear luggage collection at Best Buy online.

Rae Chen
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.