This AmazonBasics luggage review reflects on the benefits and cons. All things considered, it is a viable option in the budget marketplace. The warranty alone and the reassurance of the Amazon brand makes this worth buying.
Read the full review for in-depth details.
Amazonbasics Luggage Review - Hardside
In-depth AmazonBasics luggage review
Welcome to my AmazonBasics luggage review …more accurately, a review of their new hard side luggage range.
You may have noted that Amazon are increasingly adding to their own brand range of products in may areas. This makes sense as they can leverage their marketing and brand ability to sell their own products. It is also more profitable for them to do so.
So, have Amazon taken to making their own suitcases? No, of course not. The suitcases are produced by third party manufacturers in China and sold under the ‘AmazonBasics’ brand.
You may have noted the price…it is at the lower end. In an industry where you pretty much get what you pay for, is an AmazonBasics suitcase worth the money? Let’s find out.
Specification & Features
Wheels: Four double wheel spinners
Handles: Pull handle and one carry handle
Internal pockets: 3
Zipped compartment: Yes
Number of size options: 3
Expandable: Yes (15% extra capacity)
Warranty: 3 Year
Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Navy, Red, Light Blue, Orange
As you would expect from a suitcase made by a non-famous brand, at first glance, it looks like a very basic proposition. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing if you are on a tight budget…it just means the manufacturing costs will be lower…as well as the final price.
The very best suitcases are now made from a polycarbonate or a variation of it. At the lower end of the market, suitcases are made from a much cheaper material called ABS.
The are some advantages to ABS. It is lighter in weight than polycarbonate and obviously cheaper to use.
However, there are some disadvantages to this material. It is prone to cracking if weight is placed on it or it receives an impact. It does not have that flexibility within its structure to take these impacts.
In terms of the AmazonBasics hardside case, Amazon state that it is thicker ABS which is them trying to make it sound much stronger than it is in reality. All things considered, It probably is a little stronger but the characteristics of ABS do not change. It also adds weight to the luggage too which is not a good thing.
In our testing, it actually fared quite well in terms of strength and any scratches it did gain could barely be seen on this patterned material.
Want to learn more about the difference between ABS and Polycarbonate?
Difference between Polycarbonate and ABS
If you are looking for a suitcase to last many years and many adventures, the AmazonBasics suitcase is not for you. It is simple and quite frankly, under normal usage, it wont last very long.
However, if you just need a suitcase that will be relatively light usage, then it is perfect. Especially if you are not prepared to pay what some of the better made suitcases cost.
Generally, in the suitcase market, you get what you pay for. If you want durability, look for a Polycarbonate suitcase. You can find them made by smaller brands at a fraction more cost.
In terms of the design, there is very little additional protection built on the exterior of the case. There are no scuff protection bars so your suitcase is exposed should you have to drag it up some stairs.
As you would expect in this price bracket, the build is simple and adequate, without being great. There is nothing outstanding and the parts nor the components.
This is to be expected at this price range and there is nothing unusual about this. Some people actually prefer this…once it breaks, they buy another cheap suitcase.
- Main compartments
The AmazonBasics hardside luggage are available in two options. You have the matte colored textured option and the shiny version.
The shiny version seems to have a more upgraded design and was recently launched. They are both made from the same materials and have the same functionality.
The AmazonBasics hardside suitcase is a clam shell design…as are most suitcases. One side has a zipped compartment whilst the other side has luggage straps. The set up is actually passable. The downside is the limited storage spaces.
The interior of the case is fully lined and comes with three zipped pockets for added convenience. They are made from 150D polyester which is known to be strong.
The AmazonBasics hard case comes in three sizes. The range includes a carry on and two further check in sized suitcases. Details of the dimensions and weight can be found below;
|Matte – Carry on 20”||14.4 x 9.2 x 21.6 inches||8.91 lbs|
|Matte – 24”||17.2 x 10.2 x 26.8 inches||9.45 lbs|
|Matte – 28”||20.3 x 12 x 30.6 inches||15.7 lbs|
|Glossy – Carry on 20”||14.2 x 9.8 x 22 inches||7.13 lbs|
|Glossy – 24”||16.9 x 10.6 x 26.7||8.45 lbs|
|Glossy – 28”||19.3 x 11.5 x 30.1||11.4 lbs|
The pull handle actually performed relatively well in out test. It was strong and pretty robust with a reassuring sound. When fully extended, there was a slight movement but at this price, I would have expected much worse.
In terms of the actual handles…or should I say handle, there was one at the top of the case. Although it was securely attached, its comfort can be rated as okay.
The issue is the single handle. It can be a pain trying to lift a heavy suitcase at the tallest point. There should always be a side handle. What made it worse was that there was nowhere to grip the base of the suitcase which meant that it was very awkward to handle.
The standard AmazonBasics suitcase does not come with integrated TSA locks as standard although there is a premium version available with TSA locks integrated.
If you are flying to the US or travelling within on an airline, this is an issue as you have to have TSA locks. If you don’t, the TSA will break and locks and potentially damage your suitcase if they want to take a peek inside.
The zip does as it should do but I found that it was not very smooth. This can become irritating but soon forgotten. The zip line did not fare well in our waterproof test either, water soaked in. It was as I expected would happen, so no real surprises.
All the range comes with four double wheel spinners. These are the most basic wheels you can get so there is no additional technology to ensure a smoother glide. Saying that, they were ok when moving a fully laden case across a smooth surface. On rougher terrain, it did struggle with its small wheels.
There is some general feedback regarding the long-term outlook of the wheels. There are reports of the wheel housing coming loose and the chrome accents falling off.
The saving grace is that they are sold by Amazon who will probably replace the case should that happen.
The AmazonBasics hard case is covered by a three-year warranty. This is fine but the real advantage is that it is being sold under the Amazon brand.
This is actually a benefit as they will not want any unhappy customers. They are likely to replace or fix any issues that arise very quickly.
This is where the AmazonBasics luggage range excels…it is cheap. If you are in the market for low cost luggage, you should really consider this range.
There are other manufacturers offering similar products at similar prices. The biggest value Amazon give is through their warranty, as I discussed above. It is that warranty that makes this a better option than other ‘cheap’ luggage ranges.
We know that this isn’t the best suitcase, not by a long shot. However, there is a large market for budget suitcases that are strong yet cheap. In view of this, this range offers great value.
This concludes the AmazonBasics luggage review. If you are in the market for a low-cost suitcase, then this is a very viable option. I have reviewed hundreds of suitcases over the years…good, bad and ugly.
This suitcase range is actually fine. Nobody is going to pretend that this is some premium item with great design and construction. It isn’t.
The glossy versions are actually nice to look at and could easily pass as a more premium product. They are slightly more expensive but at least you have the decision to make.
It does do what it is meant to…provide a low-cost option to the budget market. Remember, buying a product under the Amazon umbrella offers a reassurance. They will protect their brand and ensure you remain happy. This alone makes this worthy of a recommendation.
Click here to find out how much AmazonBasics Luggage costs
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