Edited by: Michael Y. Park
& Keri Stooksbury
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Honing its craft now for over 75 years, Delsey Paris has consistently made luggage to meet the ever-changing needs of discerning travelers. And you’d expect no less from the company that pioneered ultrastrong, rigid-shell suitcases — Delsey innovates while never compromising on quality.
Nowadays, the much-loved French company has a wide range of luggage and accessories that combine practical elements and design features with luxurious Parisian style. These include suitcases, backpacks, totes, duffels, garment carriers, and more, allowing travelers to mix and match collections with stackable, modular luggage.
In 2021, Delsey introduced its Delsey Clavel line, boasting of its light weight, capacity, security features, and vibrant style. We recently got a hold of one of the carry-on cases in the line to see whether it continues the company’s winning streak with luggage.
Delsey’s Clavel Hardside is one of the brand’s lightest luggage collections, made for travelers looking to maximize their weight allowance for packing. The range is available in 5 sizes in both muted and bright colors.
The cases have a sleek and sophisticated design, with a matte finish and glossy accents across the exterior. If you like your luggage to have a look that pops, opt for the tangerine or blue colorways, while the black or blue jean versions are better for those who prefer understated style.
For this review, we tried out the carry-on version of the Delsey Paris Clavel Hardside. Apart from their sizes, all the features reviewed on this case are the same across the range. These include an integrated lock, the layout of the interior compartments, and, in most of them, a 2-inch expansion zipper (the slim carry-on lacks this).
Measuring 21.65 inches by 13.77 inches by 9.84 inches, including its handles and wheels, this case meets the carry-on size requirements for most U.S. domestic and international airlines. It’s also super lightweight, weighing just 5.3 pounds.
There are no exterior compartments on the Delsey Clavel, so you need to carry your passport and travel documents separately for quick access.
The Delsey Clavel has a colored zipper pull that can expand your case’s depth by 2 inches. Simply unzip the expansion zipper to increase your packing capacity, and zip it back up when not in use. Just be careful not to exceed the size restrictions for your airline when it’s expanded.
Opened, this case is laid out like a clamshell, with 2 interior storage areas. One side of the case has an open packing space with compression straps to prevent your clothes from moving around in transit.
The other packing compartment has a zippered divider with a mesh pocket. This compartment is ideal for shoes, toiletries, hair dryers, etc. — in other words, anything that might fall out when you open the case.
There’s also a handy pocket along the spine of the case to store small items securely.
The case is made from durable recycled polypropylene and has an exterior that’s partly smooth and partly textured. This not only adds a bit of intrigue to the design, it helps you grip the side of the case when you pick it up.
We found the luggage to be the perfect balance between being lightweight and being durable. If durability is a priority over weight, though, you might want a case made from polycarbonate.
The 4 double-spinner wheels are slightly recessed into the hard-shell exterior for protection from the rigors of air travel. Whether you’re running for your flight or wandering the city streets looking for a hotel, you should have no problems rolling and maneuvering this case on a variety of surfaces.
The Delsey Clavel has handles on the top and side for easy carrying. These are not cushioned but do retract back into place when not in use to protect them from damage.
There’s no bottom handle, but the hard-shell exterior is indented to help you lift it in and out of the overhead compartments of planes.
The telescopic handle retracts into the case, so it does take up a little of the space inside the main compartment of the case, under the interior lining.
A button on the handle lets you adjust it to 4 preset lengths. We didn’t find it to be the smoothest handle to pull up and down. But once it was extended, it impressed us with how sturdy it felt, even at its full length.
There’s an integrated TSA-approved combination lock on the exterior of the case that secures the main compartment. You simply dock the 2 zippers into the lock’s slots and set a 3-digit combination.
The Securitech zips are 3 times more durable than standard zips, according to the company, but they’re not the smoothest to open and close. While we appreciated the extra security, we found them rigid and difficult to zip, especially around the corners of the case.
Delsey offers a 2-, 5-, or 10-year warranty or a lifetime warranty on its luggage, depending on the collection (and assuming you bought it from an authorized Delsey retailer). The Delsey Clavel collection comes with a 5-year warranty, which covers manufacturing defects in the materials or workmanship. This also applies to the wheels, zippers, and both the telescopic and carry handles.
The Delsey Clavel collection also includes a slim carry-on, and medium, large, and extra-large suitcases. The larger 3 cases are meant to be checked, not carried into the cabin, for air travel.
|21.65 x 13.77 x 9.84 inches
|27.5 x 18.5 x 11 inches
|29.92 x 20.07 x 11.81 inches
Delsey has come a long way since its humble beginnings producing leather camera cases and typewriter boxes. Even back then, the brand was unrivaled when it came to quality products and innovative designs, and nothing has changed to this day.
We’re really impressed with the construction of this case. It feels solid, and we’re confident that it would withstand quite a bit of rough handling before succumbing to any damage. Yes, the zippers aren’t the smoothest, but it’s a small price to pay for the added security they provide. We’ve all seen how easy it is to break open a standard zipper with just a pen.
The Delsey Clavel range is lighter than the Belmont Plus range. Delsey Clavels are a similar size but have better storage that can hold a few extra liters. The Delsey Clavel range also has zippers that the company says are 3 times more durable than standard zips.
The Delsey Clavel Hardside range is made from durable recycled polypropylene. The partly smooth, partly textured exterior helps you grip the side of the case when you pick it up.
The Delsey Clavel Hardside range is available in 2 carry-on sizes (slim and expandable) and 3 sizes for checking for air travel (medium, large, and extra large).
Most of the Delsey Clavel Hardside range can expand for 2 extra inches of packing space. The slim carry-on doesn’t expand.
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