If you’re like me, you’re constantly on the lookout for a new piece of luggage to make your travel experience easier and more efficient. But with all the new products constantly being released, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Today I’ll be reviewing the Samsonite Freeform (Carry On Size) suitcase.
By the end of the article, you’ll know everything from the specific dimensions of the product to its various pros and cons. I’ll be providing an overview of this suitcase from a real-world point of view, and showing you my experience traveling and using the product. Let’s begin!
Bottom Line Up Front: The bottom line with this product (available via Samsonite / Amazon) is that it’s a fairly solid suitcase for casual travelers. It’s slick, packs smart, and it easy to move around the airport. However, it’s not suited for more intense travel experiences. The outer shell can get scratched fairly easily and isn’t very rugged. I’d recommend it for business travelers that want a suitcase that can be used for short, low-key vacations as well.
My Experiences With the Samsonite Freeform
Before I even started looking for a specific suitcase, I wanted to do a little research on the company Samsonite itself. I’d always heard good things about Samsonite cases (with a long track record of quality luggage going back over 100 years), but I wanted to find out some details for myself before purchasing.
It turns company was founded in Denver, Colorado over a hundred years ago, and has a global reputation. The great thing about the brand is that it has focused on luggage that entire time- which means they know their stuff.
According to their website, Samsonite sells their products in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and is committed to constantly innovating its brand to build the most innovative and strong luggage on the market. I browsed some Amazon reviews for their various products, and they seemed to have a positive online presence. All good signs.
To test how Samsonite handled orders, I bought the Samsonite Freeform suitcase directly from their website. The site was easy to navigate and made ordering the product a breeze. Shortly after placing my order, I received a confirmation email that the request had been received. From there I was able to track the suitcase every step of the way. It arrived about 10 days after purchase, with their built-in Free Shipping.
The suitcase arrived at my doorstep in a large cardboard box. I opened the box to find the suitcase wrapped in a protective plastic coating. It arrived in perfect condition!
Packing the suitcase for my trip was quite a breeze. I was able to fit my toiletries in the upper zipper and pack some clothes and climbing shoes in the bottom portion. It worked well to fit about a week’s worth of clothes once expanded. I appreciated the divider sling to help keep the clothes in place when I opened the suitcase.
I decided to test this suitcase on a recent trip to Utah, where I would be exploring the National Parks and hiking with a couple of buddies. Upon arriving at the airport, I found the suitcase extremely easy to navigate with its 360-degree spinning wheels. At one point I got a little carried away spinning it around.
It seemed to hold up fairly well in the airplane but came with a small scratch on its side that must have been from the airplane crew. By the end of the trip, it had several scratches on it, but that’s probably because I’m a little rough with my luggage out in the Utah deserts. We were car camping for a lot of trips, so it got tossed around quite a bit.
My favorite part was that the internal contents seemed to hold up well, and a mug I bought for my girlfriend held up for the whole trip. I also enjoyed the lock on the suitcase, because I was with a few strangers at several points and didn’t want them digging through my luggage.
360 Spinner Wheels
The Samsonite Freeform features 360-degree spinning wheels to make navigation significantly easier. You can spin the suitcase to your heart’s desire while swiveling and swirling through the treacherous crowds of a crowded airport. It’s one of those features that you don’t realize you need until you have it- then you can’t go back.
I found the maneuverability of the suitcase to be quite easy. Compared to other suitcases, it glides across the floor well, whether it’s a hard or shaggy surface. This carry on spinner feature is a gamechanger for me with suitcases. I like to feel like it’s an extension of me, instead of something I’m lugging around.
Divider / Pockets
The interior of the suitcase is thoughtfully organized, which is nice for the organization. It features a zippered divider section at the top and a divider sling on the bottom.
This helps keep all of your items from moving about, and lets you fit more stuff in it if needed. The material is also durable, which is great in preventing rips and tears.
Fully Expandable for Easy Packing
The Samsonite Freeform has an increased packing capacity and can expand a little extra if needed. This is one thing I like to look out for in suitcases because it means I can use it for different types of trips.
My philosophy with suitcases is to pick one that can be used for everything- from longer vacations to short business trips. That way I don’t have to store multiple clunky suitcases in my closet.
Check out our guide on the 6 Best Samsonite Backpacks for Travel Under $100 here.
The lock of the Samsonite Freeform is a masterpiece in itself. The suitcase features a beautiful built-in combination lock, with your privacy in mind.
It’s also got a TSA compatible lock, which you don’t have to go through the hassle of opening yourself if the bag gets randomly checked! It’s small details like these that add up to make your airport experience flow much more smoothly.
One of my favorite features of the Samsonite Freeform is the hard shell that exists on the outside of the bag to protect it. It’s built out of PolyPro (polypropylene,) which is an impact-resistant plastic created for strength, moisture resistance, and a lightweight feel.
Since I do a lot of international travel, the cities surrounding the suitcase aren’t always the easiest to navigate. This means the interior of my bags can get damaged if there are valuable items inside. However, with the Samsonite Freeform, I feel confident in packing fragile articles. Nothing is worse than picking up some local pottery and discovering it broke in the bag when you arrive home!
The Samsonite Freeform comes in four different colors- Blackout, Sage Green, White, and Navy. All of the colors have a fantastic finish, but my overall favorite is Blackout. Nothing feels slicker than an all-black suitcase, and the best part is that it matches any dress attire. This allows me to wear essentially whatever I want at the airport, and know my luggage will match!
Overall, I found the design of the luggage to be a slick and modern travel aesthetic. It wasn’t overly flashy or flamboyant (not a truly unique design), and it had an aura of professionalism about it. I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Samsonite Freeform for business purposes, or if I wanted to travel with a slick demeanor.
Everything also felt like it was in the right place with this piece of luggage. The handle slid well and felt comfortable in my, the lock worked easily, and the zipper’s appeared to be made of high quality. I can’t see this piece of luggage falling apart anytime soon.
Related Read: How to Find the Best Luggage – Full A-Z Guide!
This suitcase features two different accessories that can be added on, both by the Samsonite brand. The first accessory is the Go Clear 3PC Accessory Pack, which lets you pack smaller items into the bag with ease. The second accessory is the Go Clear 3PC Packing Cube, which is a little bigger than the Accessory Cubes and is better suited for clothes.
I think packing cubes are an underrated feature for suitcases. When used efficiently, they can almost double the amount of space in your suitcase. This allows you to save for souvenirs, bring more items along on your trip, or even simply travel lighter!
All of Samsonite’s bags feature a “Limited 10 Year Global Warranty.” This essentially means that any manufacturing defects made by Samsonite themselves are covered, for 10 years. However, this does not include any damage that you impart on the suitcase.
Keep in mind that Samsonite does have a repair center for their products, and also can change replacement parts if needed. These features come at a cost but can be handy if your lock gets broken or your handle begins to wear out.
- Stylish: I love how minimalist this suitcase looks in comparison to what else is on the market today. The colors and design are bold and stand out, but aren’t too over the top that it draws a lot of attention.
- Lightweight: Coming in at only 6.5 lbs, this back is fairly lightweight. When traveling far distances, even a couple of pounds lighter can make a huge difference in your energy consumption during the day. I’d recommend this bag if you are into light and airy options!
- TSA Combination Lock: On the off chance that your bag is picked for a search, you don’t have to worry about opening it up. The TSA combination lock is made specifically for the TSA to open if needed and features a combination lock only for you.
- Easy to Scratch: Although the Hardshell is great at protecting what’s inside, it’s not exactly great at protecting the outside of the case. Thus, it’s easy for this bag to get scratches. Keep that in mind if you’re precarious about your luggage aesthetic.
- Customer Service is Lacking: Although customer service for Samsonite exists, it can be fairly challenging to navigate. Although One of my friends had a fairly difficult experience getting a product returned, and wouldn’t recommend reaching out.
Samsonite Freeform Alternatives to Consider
Away Luggage Carry On – More Stylish
A strong competitor to the Samsonite Freeform is Away’s interpretation of The Carry On. This more stylish suitcase features significantly more colors than the Samsonite Freeform and has been recommended by several trendy figures in the travel industry. This suitcase is better in that it’s more fun, vibrant, and trendy, but isn’t nearly as slick and “free-flowing” as the Samsonite Freeform. The Samsonite suitcase is a bit more practical in terms of efficiency and weighs a little bit less.
Monos Carry On – Higher Quality
If you’ve typed the word “suitcases” into Google at any point in your life, you’ve probably seen an ad for Monos, which is branded as the “Apple” of suitcases. But how good is it in comparison to the Samsonite Freeform? Well, if you’re looking for a more premium option, the Monos is the next step up. although significantly higher in price, it is a step up in almost every regard. It’s simply made with better materials and is a more high-end product. It even comes with a free trial period of one month…
Pelican 1535TRVL – More Rugged
For the adventure explorer in any of us, the Pelican 1535TRVL (check Amazon / Pelican direct) is a good option. Although it isn’t the prettiest or most lightweight, it’s built to stand up against intense weather conditions and foreign travel.
It’s specifically built to keep your items secure and is perfect for photographers or videographers that may be carrying expensive gear. However, I wouldn’t recommend this bag for anyone looking for fluidity or style in your travel experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Yes. The Samsonite Freeform comes in three different sizes- Carry-On, Medium, and Large. If you get the Carry-On size, it is compatible to be carried on flights. However both the Medium and the Large sizes are made specifically for checked luggage / checked baggage.
Answer: Yes. The Samsonite Freeform has an easy-to-use push-button handle, made specifically to increase and decrease in size. I’ve found the handle to glide like butter, which is a dealbreaker in the luggage world for me.
Answer: Assuming you are talking about the Carry On size bag, which is what is featured in this article, the dimensions are as follows: 21.25” x 15.25” x 10”. It’s fairly close to the maximum size allowed for carrying On bags, which is great because it utilizes all the space allowed, giving you maximum room for travel.
Answer: The Samsonite Freeform Carry On is currently priced at $169.99 on the manufacturer’s website. This is a competitive price for luggage of this size and form but doesn’t make it a budget product. I’d recommend this product if you are looking to invest in a suitcase that can last you far longer than the average.
Answer: Yes, the Samsonite Freeform features a built-in combination lock. It consists of three different numbers that you can personalize to secure your belongings. In addition, it also contains a TSA Certified Key Lock, so if your bag is randomly searched you don’t have to worry about revealing your combination to prying strangers.
My Recommendation: Is this Hardshell Luggage Worth it?
Why to Get it? If you’re a business traveler who likes to vacation every couple of months, I think this is the perfect suitcase for your needs. It’s built to look professional, and functions with a fluidity that will make your airport experience seamless.
You’ll be able to pack your bags with ease and rely on the suitcase to get you through every obstacle that may arise in your airport experience. Check prices and availability via Samsonite direct or Amazon here.
Why to Skip it? However, if you’re looking for a more specific travel experience, like one based around style or adventure, I’d recommend diving into a more catering suitcase like the Pelican 1535TRVL (Visit Pelican / Amazon) or the Away Luggage Carry On.
The Samsonite Freeform is the best of both worlds, but it doesn’t dive into either category of travel too deeply.
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