- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Samsonite Pro-DLX 4
Italian by birth and based in Kazakhstan, Luca Pettini is no stranger to traveling, particularly for business purposes. Frequent business trips led to the realization that having the right luggage can really improve the overall travel experience; the tricky part is finding that ideal piece. In the following Reader’s guest post, Luca shares his experiences of traveling with the Samsonite Pro-DLX 4 carry-on spinner…
After long research for a carry-on spinner with a front pocket for a laptop, I went for the business line of Samsonite luggage: the Pro-DLX 4 in Black (because the amazing-looking light brown shown in Samsonite marketing photos is not so amazing in real life).
Who It Suits
Oriented for business travelers, I believe that everyone who obsesses over luggage’s internal organization can benefit from this spinner. It is expandable in size, meaning it’s perfect for an overnight trip up to a 10-day trip.
Who It Doesn’t
Travelers with 13″ laptops or bigger.
I generally take trips lasting from three to 12 days, and I found this to be the perfect size for my needs.
For years, I traveled with the same kind of luggage combination: a soft carry-on spinner and a laptop messenger bag. I found this to be the best combination for my business trips, but to be honest, after years I became frustrated traveling with two pieces of carry-on. So I decided to buy luggage with a laptop front pocket to avoid traveling with a messenger bag for the laptop.
Everything fits in this spinner and I am able to travel hands-free or to bring with me any additional bag for extra clothes if needed or for some shopping at my destination.
“It is expandable in size, meaning it’s perfect for an overnight trip up to a 10-day trip.“
This is a massive improvement for my business trips. I travel faster between gates in the airport and I can take out the laptop during security checks at the speed of light. Reducing my luggage from two units to one changed the way I travel.
Speaking about the luggage itself, I really like its internal organization. There are two compartments of approximately the same capacity: the front one for pants, shoes or heavy items; the left one for shirts, a t-shirt, socks and other light equipment. Zip closure keeps them separate so the contents don’t mix, which is particularly handy when using the extra capacity.
I found the plastic bag on the right side for liquids or daycare products very useful. Also included were two different internal bags which I removed: a soft bag for shoes and a suit bag in order to easily transport a business suit and hang it in the hotel room. I’m not required to wear a suit for my profession, so I left them at home.
“This is a massive improvement for my business trips. I travel faster between gates in the airport and I can take out the laptop during security checks at the speed of light.“
As with almost all luggage now on sale, especially from Samsonite, the case has a TSA lock system, and in particular this Pro-DLX has a system to also close the laptop front pocket. To be honest it is not my plan to check in such luggage. I think this would rarely be required by anybody because it’s under IATA standard guideline size, but in case it is, I feel brave enough that I could close everything with a combination and check in my laptop too.
The wheels are very well constructed, and if you are familiar with the Samsonite brand you know they are built to last. I walk extremely quickly between gates and in parking areas without any problem coming from the wheels.
“I really like its internal organization.“
The extra external pockets, one back and one front (other than the laptop pocket), are good for documents or any extra item you forgot to pack and which you remember at the last minute before leaving home.
There are two hand grips, one on top and one on the lateral side. They are very good quality and covered with leather for an extra premium touch.
The Not So Good
As explained above, the main reason why I bought this luggage is the front laptop pocket, and unfortunately this is one of the weak points of this otherwise amazing Samsonite luggage. Let’s be clear: this is soft-sided luggage, and even if I think that such features as the middle body opening and internal two-compartment organization make it similar to a hard case, it’s still soft. This means the front pocket, even if it has extra protection, is still quite soft for carrying a laptop 100% worry-free.
Additionally, this pocket is more suited to an iPad than a laptop. If you, like me, travel with a very light Ultrabook or tablet it’s okay, but if you want to store anything bigger than a 13″ traditional laptop, you’d be better off using another bag. I travel with a Lenovo X240 (it’s a 12″ Ultrabook) or a Surface Pro 3, so the front pocket is pretty good for my needs. So before you buy this luggage, especially if your goal is to store your tech in the front pocket, be sure to check the size is suitable first.
“…the front pocket, even if it has extra protection, is still quite soft for carrying a laptop 100% worry-free.“
Honestly, apart from mixed feelings regarding the front pocket, I don’t see any downside to the case…maybe just the lack of color variation. I know that business luggage often comes only in black or quite dark colors, but I’m a business customer who likes to stand out from the crowd. A bright red or a deep blue are still my preferred color choices.
“…if your goal is to store your tech in the front pocket, be sure to check the size is suitable first.“
I searched the Internet extensively to find the best carry-on spinner with a front laptop pocket: this is the best mix between a hard case and a soft one. The internal organization is amazing, it is quite light, and even if the front pocket is not its best feature in terms of protection and size, it is enough for my needs. Also the 309 EUR price (but the guy in the shop discounted me down to 290 EUR) is good value for premium business luggage by Samsonite.