Sublimely utilitarian: Samsonite luggage

The objective:

This is the first in a series of posts showcasing the sublimely utilitarian. To qualify, a product must understand and address its purpose perfectly, must comprise nothing that isn’t essential. But it must also go beyond the expected – it must suprise, pleasure and delight. It must respond to this great saying: “Only do something if it is necessary, but if it is necessary, do it beautifully”.

The product:

The Samsonite Skywheeler luggage case.

Its qualifications:

  1. The case is light yet strong, maximising the weight of belongings that can fit inside.
  2. The external shell is made from two half-moulds of flexible polycarbonate joined by a continuous zip. The flexibility inherent in the material, together with the uninterrupted zip, provide impact resistence without the risk of cracking.
  3. The interior of the case has no secrete areas, reducing hassles from customs officials.
  4. All elements beyond the shell – the wheels, the lock, the hinge and the handle – are bolted on, thus replaceable if needed.
  5. Both ends of the zip lock into a single lock, simplifying security.
  6. There are three legs along the side of the case, rather than four, enabling it to rest sturdily on an uneven surface.
  7. Excepting the smallest, carry-on version, the case has four wheels, all of which rotate freely, enabling the user to slide it rather than drag it, reducing fatigue.

Our verdict:

The Samsonite Skywheeler looks and feels like it is the result of many decades of research and development. It does what it needs to do without troubles and lasts for years. It is unique amongst most luggage cases, including others within the Samsonite line-up, in that it has no extraneous features, nothing that isn’t essential.

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