Staff Review: Samsonite Spin Trunk 55cm cabin suitcase

February 05, 2014 4 min read

We needed to spend the Friday prior to the Australia Day weekend in Melbourne this year, so we decided to turn it into a mini break, staying 3 nights and 4 days in the city notorious for its changeable weather and packing challenges.  I decided to take the new Samsonite Spin Trunk for a spin, curious to see how the 20/80 packing style would translate to real world travel.

The Samsonite Spin Trunk features include a lightweight polycarbonate construction, spinner wheels, full lining and a TSA lock, what sets it apart from similar cases, is that the case does not zip through the middle with 50/50 packing on either side, rather the zip is closer to the front of the case, creating a deep lower section and a slim lid compartment, so it packs in a similar style to a soft case.  I was keen to give it a go, as I have always preferred the 'chuck it all in' style of packing a soft case.

Packing for 4 days in Melbourne for me includes a couple of outfits and shoe options, layering options, jackets, swimmers, gym gear and a hair straightener; so in total pushing the boundaries of a regular carry on size bag.  I used the lid for shoes, toiletries and the hair straightener and bundled all the clothes into the bottom.  As usual I packed in a hurry, squeezing a lot in it required a quick rearrange to make it all fit, but the central strap was quite useful for compressing everything, so I could squeeze more in.  Each side has a zip enclosure, once they were done up, everything was extremely neat and organised and the suitcase closed easily.


Once packed and ready to go, I tried to shove a couple of last minute things in from the dryer, this is hard to do in all hard cases, and is one of the reasons why I can't quite make the switch to hard cases for good!

The central strap was useful in compressing the clothes The central strap was useful in compressing the clothes

Neat and tidy and all packed up Neat and tidy and all packed up

It was once we were checked in to the hotel and living out of the case that the 80/20 packing showed its main benefits. Normally hard cases need to be opened wide and placed flat on the floor to gain access, this can be tricky in small hotel rooms, even for a small cabin case.  The Spin Trunk can lean against the wall, with all your clothes in the deep section, and shoes and bits and pieces in the lid, meaning it is tidy, neat and compact to be living out of.  This was a major pro for me.

Organised and compact access to your things whilst away Organised and compact access to your things whilst away

I left the suitcase exactly as pictured for the 4 days we were away, and it consumed very little space, it remained neat and tidy, and I could easily find what I needed.  The waterproof compartment proved to be useful for dirty underwear and wet swim wear on the way home.

A the airport the suitcase was easy to move around, the spinner wheels made it simple to negotiate through the airport, and into a taxi and into the hotel; they struggled a little on carpets and footpath, however all spinner cases would, and pulling it on the 2 wheels solved this no worries.  Again, I missed having a side handle, I think they really are useful on cabin suitcases as they make loading into the overhead compartment and in and out of cabs much easier, however side handles are becoming rarer on cabin suitcases.

We flew Virgin Airways on the way down, without being asked I checked it in as it weighed 9kg, and I didn't want to bother with any hassle on a full pre-long weekend flight.  We flew with Qantas on the way home, and I took it on board with no issues, and managed to load and unload it into the overhead on my own with no problems, despite it being a little on the heavy side!

The Spin Trunk, doubling as a handbag hook at the airport The Spin Trunk, doubling as a handbag hook at the airport

The Spin Trunk is compact, yet I managed to squeeze in enough for 4 days The Spin Trunk is compact, yet I managed to squeeze in enough for 4 days

I also put the Lapoche large toiletry organiser to use for the first time.  Again I tend to prefer an 'all in' style of packing, so favour toiletry backs that are one big cavity.  I thought the Lapoche case was great, it is wider than it is deep, and has gusseted sides, so it's easy to see right in and find what you need.  It also had a couple of mesh pockets on the outside which I stored jewellery in which worked well.  This case would be perfect for me if it was watertight, that aside, functionally, it worked really well.

(Also pictured in the above images is the Lapoche shoe bag)

Lapoche large toiletry bag in use Lapoche large toiletry bag in use

The external mesh pockets were useful for jewellery The external mesh pockets were useful for jewellery

The Facts: 
What: Samsonite Spin Trunk, 55cm cabin suitcase
Where: 4 days/3 nights in Melbourne - leisure
Price: RRP $399, our price $239.40
Favourite Features: The 80/20 packing style was organised and easier to pack than the usual 50/50, it also consumed less space in the hotel room and was easy to live out of.  The Spin Trunk is good value for a light weight polycarbonate case.
Negatives: A side handle would be great.  I find an external pocket useful for a magazine, however this is a gripe with all hard cases, not this one in particular.
Overall: This case has all the features we are used to seeing including light weight polycarbonate structure, spinner wheels, TSA Lock, fully lined etc; it's unique offering is the 80/20 packing, after using it, I think this style of packing is beneficial, and I would opt for this option over the regular 50/50 option.  Particularly moving into the bigger cases, when opening them flat in a small hotel room is even more of a struggle.

Post contributed by Eliza – Sydney staff member

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