Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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If you’re after luggage that will turn heads and stand out, then luggage such as Delsey, Rimowa, or Louis Vuitton would be a good choice. But if you seek something more affordable that’s still durable and functional, then Samsonite could be just the ticket. Samsonite has made reliable luggage for over a century and dominates the midrange luggage market for good reason.
The case we’re reviewing today — the Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside — is a classic example of Samsonite’s understated and hard-wearing luggage, perfect if you value function over fashion. This case is all about packing capacity, with a boxy shape and vast interior compartments that can fit an awful lot.
The Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside collection is a reliable luggage range that provides maximum packing space. All size varieties within this collection have the same style, interior, and security features. For the purpose of this luggage review, we independently purchased and tested the medium-sized case.
The Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside has a sleek, understated design similar to the ever-popular Away luggage. With a boxy shape intended to make use of every inch of internal packing space, this case is practical for packing a lot of clothes.
You can make a statement in your choice of colorways from pink to slate blue, and soft lilac to silver. Wavelike indentations on the exterior of the case further add to the case’s modern design and help when gripping the case to pick it up.
The medium checked case measures 27 x 16.5 x 11.5 inches and is large enough to pack a week’s worth of clothes. It’s a pretty lightweight luggage range, with the medium case weighing 8.7 pounds.
If it’s packing space you’re after, then you won’t be disappointed with the Samsonite Evolve SE, as the 2 large compartments offer little else. This case maximizes every inch of the interior for packing volume, but this does limit your options when it comes to organization.
There are no smaller compartments or pockets, so you might want to use packing cubes to keep your belongings organized and easy to locate. Although we appreciate the generous space, we do prefer a case that offers integrated storage for smaller items to save time searching.
All versions of the Samsonite Evolve SE open like a clamshell with 2 large packing areas. Both sides have zippered mesh dividers, so your clothing will stay in place when opening up the case.
When you need a little bit of extra packing space, this case expands an extra inch using the dedicated zipper pull. That’s handy for bringing back vacation souvenirs or gifts for friends and family.
Made from durable polycarbonate and ABS, the Samsonite Evolve SE isn’t as durable as cases made from 100% polycarbonate, but it’s also less costly. The ribbed texture helps prevent and hide scratches while also providing grip when handling the case.
The 4 double-spinner wheels roll smoothly and quietly and maneuver well when changing directions quickly. The wheel attachments are slightly recessed in the bottom corners of the case, giving them some protection when thrown around by baggage handlers.
We found that the case rolled very well when testing it on various surfaces.
Top and side handles on the exterior of the case are useful for grabbing it from the baggage carousel or out of the trunk of your car. These handles retract back into place when not in use to maintain a streamlined profile.
The handles aren’t padded for comfort, but they do feel securely attached to the case and durable enough to manage lifting heavy weights.
The telescopic handle retracts inside the case, so it does take up a little of the packing space inside the main compartment. You can adjust the telescopic handle to 2 heights using the push button, depending on how tall you are.
When testing, we found that the telescopic handle isn’t the smoothest to operate, but it easily retracts back down again without the mechanism getting stuck.
There’s an integrated TSA combination lock on the exterior of the case to secure the main compartment. The lock is on the top of the case rather than the side, which might be inaccessible if you’re stacking luggage on top. Simply clip the zipper pulls into the holes and set your 3-digit code to lock the case.
The double zippers are smooth-running and have easy-grip zipper pulls. Unfortunately, the zips don’t interlace, but you could attach a thin luggage lock through the loops of the zipper pulls should you experience a failure with the integrated luggage lock.
We were pleased to discover that this case has luggage feet on its long side, perfect for keeping the case raised off the floor and balanced when setting it down.
The Samsonite Evolve SE collection has a limited 3-year warranty which protects against defects in the materials and workmanship. Should you experience an issue with your luggage, it can be repaired at any Samsonite-approved service center worldwide. However, be aware that like most luggage warranties, this coverage does not extend to damage during air travel.
There are a few sizes available in the Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside Spinner collection. In addition to the medium checked case, there’s a large checked case and a carry-on. These can be purchased individually or as a set of 2 or 3.
|22 x 14 x 10 inches
|27 x 16.5 x 11.5 inches
|30 x 19.75 x 12.75 inches
With its boxy interior, this case would be great for when you need to pack bulky items, such as clothing for a ski trip. We wouldn’t fancy riffling through it for a beach holiday and would probably use packing cubes to make the most of the space. Without them, or any small pockets, it would be difficult to stay organized or find anything quickly.
There are a few sizes available in the Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside Spinner collection. In addition to the medium checked case, there’s a large checked case and a carry-on.
The Samsonite Evolve SE is a lightweight hardside spinner. The carry-on weighs 8.1 pounds, and the medium and large checked cases weigh 8.7 and 11.2 pounds, respectively.
The Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside case is made from durable polycarbonate and ABS. It has a ribbed texture to prevent scratches and to help with grip when handling the case. ABS is not as strong as cases made from 100% polycarbonate.
There’s an integrated TSA combination lock on the exterior of the Samsonite Evolve SE Hardside to secure the main compartment. The lock can be found on the top of the case rather than the side, which might be inaccessible when stacking luggage.
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