It’s amazing how something so simple as a good or bad set of luggage can affect a travel day. A broken zipper or a heavy suitcase that can hardly be lifted, can make a long day of sitting on airplanes and then having layovers go down the tubes fast. I’ve been in the market for the best hard shell luggage set out there, and so when Chester reached out to me to ask me to experience their luggage and provide feedback, I was thrilled to do so. As always, all opinions are my own and are my honest feedback.
Chester is a fairly new company that is quickly making a name for itself with its 5 star reviews from happy customers worldwide. With one trip under my belt, I have joined the ranks of pleased users already!
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Best Hard Shell Luggage Sets
hen Chester first launched its light and trendy polycarbonate luggage, they only offered a hard shell carry-on luggage option. I am so pleased that they now carry a matching larger suitcase too! Because who doesn’t like to match their luggage?! The Chester Minima Spinner Carry-On is 21.5” x 13.5” x 8.5″ and the Chester Regula Checked Spinner Suitcase is 11” x 18” x 26″.
When I first opened my Chester luggage shipping box, I immediately noticed that it came with a protective cover on both suitcases. There is a Velcro fabric cover on the carry-on and a drawstring protective fabric bag on the checked suitcase. Such a simple touch, but so appreciated to keep it clean and scratch free while in storage (I wish my travel luggage was always in use, but alas, sometimes it is lonely and waiting in the closet for us to leave on our next trip).
The polycarbonate material makes this luggage set very light. One of its best features in my opinion. The carry on Chester Minima luggage weighs in at 7 pounds, and the Regula Checked Spinner is 9.5 pounds. No one wants to be that person opening their suitcase at the check-in counter revealing their unmentionables for all to see, while they try to stuff some things into another bag or worse yet, put on four layers of clothing to wear on to the plane. Even the larger suitcase is so light that even when it is stuffed full, you don’t have to worry about exceeding your airline’s weight restrictions. Unless you fill it with books. Or rocks.
Both suitcases have a compartment on either side with a cover that zips closed so that you don’t have to worry about opening it backward and spilling all your neatly folded clothing. There is also a middle panel with two zippered sections which are perfect for holding socks, underwear, or other small clothing items. The included matching laundry bag is super handy and can be found in the tiny zippered pouch along the side edge.
Security is always a concern when dropping off valuable items to be transferred through many sets of hands and stored on the bottom of the plane. Luckily, this suitcase comes with a simple key code and TSA approved lock to keep your belongings tightly sealed until they are in your possession again.
My husband and I used this hard shell luggage set on our recent trip to Seattle to celebrate our anniversary and it was seriously the best. Our kiddos had a harder time then usual when we dropped them off with grandparents and so we didn’t get to packing until late the night before our early flight. The streamlined design of these suitcase made packing a breeze.
Typically for a long weekend, I pack in only a carry-on sized suitcase, but I wanted to give our new Chester luggage some real world experience and a proper review. So my husband used the Minima Carry-on and I used the larger Regula Checked Spinner Suitcase. Aww…we matched.
Everything we needed fit perfectly and neatly in our suitcases and we were so pleased. My husband could fit everything he needed for the weekend in the Chester Minima Carry-On luggage except for his extra pair of tennis shoes. But honestly, his shoes never fit in a hard shell carry on, so we expected this and I loaned him a little space.
I could fit everything I needed, four outfits, rain jacket, extra shoes, cosmetic bag, and umbrella into one side of my larger Chester Regula Checked Spinner luggage. I filled the other side (just because I could!) with extra sweaters in case it rained more than we expected and a couple frivolous pairs of shoes just for fun (and I never touched the other half!).
In a nutshell, our Chester luggage is perfect for:
Minima Carry-On Spinner: One person for a long weekend trip (or a whole week if you are a minimalist packer!)
Regular Checked Spinner: One person for a 1-2 week trip OR two people for a long weekend
We are huge advocates of packing cubes and swear by them for keeping ourselves organized on a trip, which is especially helpful if you share a suitcase with another person.
The real test came when we deboarded our plane in Seattle, picked up our checked suitcases at the Baggage Claim, took the train downtown to the end of the line, and still had a mile to walk to our hotel. We weren’t sure if we would be too annoyed to pull our suitcase so far that we would cave and order an UBER after a few blocks…but nope! These spinner suitcases rolled like a dream!
Seattle has some gorgeous new building downtown, but this means that they are in a state of construction. Always. So we went over some uneven sidewalks, around some construction sign detours, and even were rained on (because, you know…Seattle). It was a piece of cake to roll our suitcases, both upright on 4 wheels, or pulled behind us the traditional way on 2 wheels. We were very pleased. Even my husband was impressed and he just may be a teeny bit harder to impress than me.
Chester Hard Shell Luggage Review Highlights:
- Sleek, modern design and trendy color options (pink or sky blue anyone?)
- Strong, yet lightweight, hard shell luggage set that can withstand a lot of airport abuse
- Low price point, money back guarantee, and 10 year limited warranty
- Quality that will last a lifetime – no more replacing your luggage every few trips
- Very easy to roll, quiet and smooth, even on rough terrain
Chester Hard Shell Luggage Review Drawbacks:
- No phone battery backup included
- This is honestly not a drawback for me. I carry my phone battery charger in my purse when I travel and wouldn’t use it on my suitcase even if it were there, but some might like that feature. It is much cheaper to buy a separate battery backup than it is to have it included in your luggage, where you can’t even access it on the plane anyway.
- Doesn’t fit my husband’s extra shoes in the Minima Carry-on size like a soft sided luggage set would
- No carry-on sized hard shell suitcase fits them in the side compartment anyway, and we are willing to sacrifice that for the extra durability that hard shell luggage offers.
I am so pleased to recommend Chester as the best hard shell luggage set out there. We watch our pennies carefully and want you to as well, so we only present products that we truly believe in, use ourselves, and would recommend to our family members. We cannot wait to use them again on our next trip! They are packed away in their fabric covers for the next few weeks until we bring them down again for our family trip to Nebraska! I’m thinking we can fit all five of us into our two Chester suitcases; what do you think? I’ll keep you posted!