So I’m currently en route to Miami!
A couple weeks ago, I realized I’d be traveling for a solid week, going from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard to DC to Houston to Miami, and knew I needed some bomb luggage. I’m a sucker for stylish items, so I started to do research on cool suitcases to bring on my epic weeklong voyage.
I wanted luggage that was fashionable yet affordable–Rimowa cases can cost you upwards of $1,000 and I didn’t want to make such a hefty investment. Because I was on a time crunch, I decided to hop over to Nordstrom and buy a 28″ Calpak Ambeur Suitcase in sultry metallic pink, with the 20-Inch Rolling Spinner Carry-On to match. I unsheathed them and it was love. I was so excited rolling my stylish wheels through the airport, I asked a stranger to snap a pic of me posing curbside with my new chic suitcase set.
I had high hopes for my suitcase. I got lots of compliments! The 28″ fit my week’s worth of clothes and outfit changes with ease, and the 20″ was the perfect lightweight carry on.
Flying from New York to Boston? No problem. Boston to Martha’s Vineyard? A snap. MV to DC? No issue! But when I grabbed my suitcase from baggage claim in Houston…we had a problem.
Yes. The suitcase is completely punctured, and the wheel looks like it’s about to pop off. I was cool because the suitcase still rolled (even though it dipped a bit on the side). Dismayed, I DM’ed @Calpak on Instagram to show them a picture of the crack. No response.
The crack was disappointing, but the suitcase was still functional. I hoped it wouldn’t fall off before I got home. But to my dismay, by the time I got to Miami, my worst fears were realized: the wheel had fallen completely off (do I take this up with Delta or Calpak? In all of my years of traveling, this has never happened).
By the time I headed back to New York, I had to protect my sparkly clothes with duct tape and roll my impaired suitcase on 3 wheels.
I paid a total of $325 for my suitcases. Not a ton, but enough to not have your purchase disintegrate before your eyes in less than a week’s time.
I’ll be honest, my favorite brand of suitcases is by Travelpro.
I took a picture with those two suitcases back in 2015 and I still have them (though one is in storage, which is why I didn’t just bring it with me). Those suitcases have been with me to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and all over the United States, over the course of several years, with not one malfunction.
A week of domestic travel with Calpak, and you might as well throw the suitcase in the trash. It certainly doesn’t help that there is zero customer service (because they’ve probably heard it all before).
I am searching for a suitcase that has the durability of Travelpro, with the style of Calpak. Does it exist at a price point lower than $500? We’ll have to see. If not, I might have to focus on luggage for my next product line…
What brand of suitcases works well for you?
Love & Light,
*Update: Both Calpak and Nordstrom ended up responding. Calpak responded on Instagram and Nordstrom responded on Twitter. They both offered to replace the suitcase, and did!
**I also found out that airlines will reimburse you for your luggage. I didn’t go that route this time, but note if you file a claim with an airline, you must do so within 24 hours upon returning from your trip (such is the case for Delta).
***In life, you get what you pay for (as my brother always says, expensive follows cheap), so maybe I will splurge on a Rimowa next time! Though I still think the market needs stylish, affordable, functional suitcases. I really want to come out with a line of luggage one day, hold me to it!