Great Marketing

Superior Design

I’ve used Samsonite luggage all of my life. My parents gave me an old school suitcase when I was a kid (back when one of their competitors had an ad with a gorilla beating the crap out of a suitcase).

When I graduated from college I had a Samsonite Briefcase (yes, and I even wore a suit to work too, every day), and a garment bag that I put 5 years of heavy travel on before it finally fell apart. From there I got a rolling carry-on that I was able to beat up on for more than 10 years. A few weeks ago I noticed that one of the wheels had cracked in half and I knew that it would only be a matter of time before the bag was retired.

As I was dragging it around New York City last week the wheel hit the doorframe as it came in and I saw a piece of the wheel fall off. To my amazement, more pieces continued to fall off and when it was done I saw that the wheel was made up of an outer and inner shell. As the original wheel fell off, a second interior wheel was exposed and the bag continued to roll along with no problem.

You can talk all you want about a product but when one performs like that under fire, the stories are very easy to tell.

I’ll probably be able to squeeze a few more trips out of this bag but I imagine by Christmas I’ll be looking at an upgrade.

4 replies on “Superior Design”

Congrats – luggage stories never have a happy ending.

Speaking of luggage, why do all wheeled briefcases/pullmans have their wheels on the wide side instead of the narrow? I can’t navigate such bags down an airplane aisle for anything!


If you are looking for some great luggage and are a somewhat minimalist traveler try Red Oxx. They have a shoulder bag called the Air Boss that I have used exclusively for about a year now. I am a strictly carry on guy and love this bag. You would be surprised where it fits!

Mike – Interesting and highly relevant question but not for the reason you’d expect…

In the mid-to-late 90’s, Samsonite (I think) actually created the rollaboard you are seeking. As you’d expect, it worked great on the plane. BUT, overall it is a terrible design, because it is inherently unstable without seats to knock it back into place. Ended up carrying it by the pull handle more often than not. And don’t even try to put a laptop case on top…

LL Bean currently has rolling duffles with the same basic design. With the same results. I end up carrying it, which of course means that all I get for my trouble is a rigid bottom and reduced capacity. D’oh!

This post impressed me and made me sad all at once.

I was impressed with your well-deserved brand loyalty…I love when a product over delivers like that.

I was sad that I am at a stage in my life where I am actually interested in luggage stories. Teenage me would certainly scoff at middle age me.

Best always,
– Peter

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