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Samsonite Freeform Hardside Luggage Review: Is It Worth It? [Video]

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

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Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
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Samsonite is one of the oldest luggage brands in the world, manufacturing bags, packs, and baggage for well over 100 years. Within the Samsonite range, you’ll find durable and reliable suitcases, backpacks, briefcases, and much more to suit various budgets.

Over the last decade or so, Samsonite has been acquiring other luggage brands, including Tumi, Hartmann, and Gregory Mountain Products. It’s clear that Samsonite is intent on broadening its reach beyond its comfort zone of midrange luggage to include the luxury and adventure travel markets.

But just because Samsonite’s been branching out doesn’t necessarily mean it’s neglected its brand. We procured and reviewed the carry-on version of the Samsonite Freeform Hardside to see if it lives up to the company name.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Luggage

Samsonite’s Freeform Hardside luggage is a collection of lightweight and durable pieces designed with style and convenience in mind. Its sleek, modern appearance is perfect for a city break or business trip, and the interior compartments have been thoughtfully designed.

The line comes in 3 different sizes and several colors.

The cases were designed to nest inside each other to take up less closet space in your home. You just need to use the expansion zipper on the largest case so the 2 other cases can fit inside.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Luggage Review

We were pleasantly surprised by this smart little case. Though it doesn’t have the most comfortable carry handles we’ve held or the smoothest wheels that we’ve rolled, it does have great features for midrange luggage. Want to see the case in action? Check out our video review above.

Samsonite Freeform Luggage Overall Rating

DISCOUNT: 22%
Samsonite Freeform Hardside
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Samsonite Freeform Hardside
Samsonite's Freeform Hardside luggage is a lightweight and durable collection that's been designed with style and convenience in mind.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Style and Look

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Style
The Samsonite Freeform collection offers lightweight and durable luggage. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The Samsonite Freeform is an attractive suitcase, and its modern aesthetics make it great for both business or leisure travel. The glossy, horizontal indentations create a sleek, almost futuristic appearance and double as functional grips when you’re handling the case. The cases are available in several colorways, so you can opt for a low-key style with black or navy or make a statement with purple or white.

There’s a built-in ID tag holder on the back of the case, so you can avoid loose tags hanging off the case, though we found it fiddly to open and close. A discreet back pocket for passports would’ve been far more convenient for me.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Size and Compartments

Measuring 23 x 15 x 10 inches, including its handles and wheels, the carry-on version of the Samsonite Freeform is bigger than the maximum dimensions allowed by some domestic U.S. and international airlines for carry-on luggage. Be sure to check the baggage requirements of your specific airline.

This case opens like a clamshell, so you need a wide and steady surface to open it up fully. Inside, there are 2 large storage areas that are approximately the same size. On one side is open storage with straps to hold clothing in place. The internal measurements are 20.5 x 14.5 x 10 inches, so the case maximizes pretty much every possible cubic inch of storage.

Samsonite Freeform Interior Compartments
The Samsonite Freeform Hardside has 2 main compartments for lots of storage. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

A large, zippered compartment to one side houses shoes, toiletries, and other objects that might otherwise fall out when you open the case. Within the divider, there’s a small zippered pocket to safely store smaller items.

Samsonite Freeform Compression Panel
The zippered divider prevents items from falling out when you open it. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

There’s also a small zippered pocket along the spine of the case to let you quickly locate small items that you don’t want rolling around in the larger compartments.

Samsonite Freeform Center pocket
Interior pocket for storing smaller items. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

For additional storage, all Samsonite Freeform Hardside collection models can expand by either 1 inch or 1.5 inches. We’ve found this kind of feature particularly useful in medium or large checked suitcases when we’ve bought keepsakes on vacation to transport home.

Samsonite Freeform Expansion
The expansion zipper gives you 1 extra inch of packing space. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

It’s worth noting that your airline’s carry-on luggage requirements may mean you can’t take advantage of the expansion feature.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Durability and Materials

Samsonite Freeform Material
The Samsonite Freeform Hardside is made from lightweight polypropylene. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

With a hard shell made from polypropylene, this case is ultra-lightweight, weighing 6.9 pounds. Polypropylene cases are ideal for travelers who want to make use of every ounce of the baggage weight the airline allows them.

There are trade-offs to this light material. Polypropylene has a decent amount of flex to absorb impacts and prevent cracking, but it’s not as robust as polycarbonate. We’re all aware that luggage isn’t usually handled with the utmost care at the airport, and polypropylene isn’t as scratch-resistant as cases made from polycarbonate, either.

The textured exterior of the Samsonite Freeform offers some protection, but you should get a darker color and wrap your luggage when you fly if scratches, scuffs, and other types of superficial damage bother you.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Wheels

Samsonite Freeform Wheels
360-degree spinner wheels provide excellent maneuverability. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

With its dual, 360-degree spinner wheels, the Samsonite Freeform makes light work of maneuvering around airport terminals or on public transport. It rolls smoothly on flat surfaces, so you should have no problems gliding along moving walkways or the airport tarmac.

We found, however, that this case didn’t perform quite as well on carpet.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Handles

The carry handles aren’t particularly cushioned for comfort, but unless you’re planning on carrying this case long distances, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. They feel sturdy and secure, and they retract back into place to maintain a streamlined profile.

Samsonite Freeform Carry handle
The carry handles aren’t the most comfortable. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The telescopic handle extends and retracts pretty smoothly and can be adjusted to 4 preset lengths with a button. Even fully extended, the handle is quite sturdy and doesn’t rattle around.

Samsonite Freeform Telescopic Handle
The telescopic handle is height-adjustable. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

When retracted, the handle is stored inside the case. You can feel it beneath the lining of the open interior compartment.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Lock and Zippers

Samsonite Freeform TSA Lock
The luggage comes with a built-in TSA lock. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The dual zippers allow you to only partially open the case, and the zipper pulls slot into the integrated, TSA-approved lock. That’s right: There’s no need for a separate lock with this case — you clip the zipper pulls into place and set a 3-digit combination. It’s that simple. The lock’s recessed enough to keep the case fairly streamlined, protecting the lock from snagging.

The zippers themselves were smooth-running and had easy-grip pulls.

Warranty and Customer Service

The Samsonite Freeform Hardside collection comes with a 10-year limited warranty that covers any manufacturing defects relating to the materials or workmanship of the suitcase. This doesn’t cover general wear and tear or damage caused by airlines — which is usually where luggage is put to the test!

Other Samsonite Freeform Hardside Luggage

If you’re going on a longer trip or want to complete the set, know that the Samsonite Freeform Hardside collection also includes medium and large suitcases. Both would need to be checked for air travel.

SCROLL FOR MORE
 SizeWeightExpands
Carry-On23 x 15 x 10 inches6.5 pounds1 inch
Medium27.9 x 19.6 x 13.4 inches8.5 pounds1.5 inches
Large31.1 x 20.9 x 13.8 inches9.6 pounds1.5 inches

Final Thoughts

When you think of luggage, Samsonite is probably one of the first brands to pop into your head. Over the last century, Samsonite has earned a reputation for reliable and durable suitcases, backpacks, and accessories at midrange prices.

The Samsonite Freeform Hardside has sleek good looks, and the interior compartments were thoughtfully designed. Every inch of the interior has been maximized for efficient and effective organization, with 2 large compartments and several small pockets.

Although the telescopic handle is sturdy, the case’s awkward ID tag pocket and lack of padding on the grab handles let it down. Otherwise, we were impressed with the Samsonite Freeform Hardside and would have no issues taking this case on our travels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Samsonite Freeform Hardside too big for carry-on?

Measuring 23 x 15 x 10 inches, including its handles and wheels, the carry-on version of this case is too big for carry-on for some domestic U.S. and international airlines. Be sure to check the baggage requirements of your specific airline.

What is the Samsonite Freeform Hardside made of?

With a hard shell made from polypropylene, this case is ultra-lightweight, weighing 6.9 pounds. Polypropylene cases are ideal for travelers who want to maximize every ounce of their allowed weight, but there are trade-offs to this light material.

Is the Samsonite Freeform Hardside durable?

Made from polypropylene, the exterior of the Samsonite Freeform case can flex to absorb impact and prevent cracking, but it’s not as durable as cases made from polycarbonate.

What sizes does the Samsonite Freeform Hardside come in?

The Samsonite Freeform Hardside collection includes carry-on, medium, and large checked cases. These can be purchased individually or as a set.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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