Review of Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Expandable Suitcase
Travelling with Hand Luggage
As a frequent traveller I’m continually packing and unpacking suitcases. Having a reliable one which you like using and fits all your stuff is really important. Many journeys I make are just overnight stays or 2 days – but the tricky ones are the 4 or 5 days, especially if I’m travelling by plane and not planning on any hold luggage.
Other difficult situations are if I have a variety of weather conditions or events to pack for, for example hiking and a smart dinner in one trip, especially when you need multiple pairs of shoes. Having recently been asked to review a carry on suitcase of my choice, I chose the Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Expandable Carry On Case in red.
To begin with it looks sleek and attractive and the red colour is bright and easy to spot anywhere – so far I haven’t yet put it in the hold but it would be easy to spot on a luggage carousel. It comes in a variety of colours including black and white.
Tough but Light
It’s made of 100% polycarbonate and is tough but light. It measures 20 x 38 x 55cm and so far it has been accepted on all airlines I’ve travelled on as hand luggage – including BA, Swiss, Lufthansa, Vueling and Air Berlin. In addition it’s already clocked up a few miles on road trips and by train. So far it has risen to the challenges really well and has travelled with me to the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy and it seems to be strong, tough and hard wearing. It can scratch a little though – so take care not to scrape anything with sharp edges.
Equipped with 8 wheels (4 x double wheels) one of the best things about it is that is glides extremely smoothly. I’d say it is probably the smoothest roll-on suitcase I’ve ever used and this is a real plus when you’ve got a long airport transit. It also won the coveted 2014 Red Dot Award for Design Excellence.
The Low Down
The opening zipper at the front makes it a little different to the usual carry-on and it’s easy to access the compartments inside without having to open up the whole suitcase. The advantage is you can quickly and easily pull out your lap top at for airline security, without having to show everyone the total contents of you case. The zippers are very strong and very smooth.
Its changeable compartment settings allow you can customise it for your personal requirements. The lap top section is the one I use and the good thing is that you can put all your cables, adaptor and plugs etc in the convenient little pockets on the underside of the opening cover, so you have all your IT bits in one place.
It really is very light and appears to be very well made – (it it Swiss made after all!). Because it is quite compact, I try to do is fit everything I need into the suitcase with the zipper in the normal position and if I happen to pick anything up when I’m traveling that necessitates more space, I can always put the expandable capability into force allowing a little extra room on the return journey.
This is how it looks from the side in the expanded mode.
The only disadvantage I have met with so far is that it really is quite compact meaning that you have to plan carefully when packing – which requires some discipline! However this is something I need to work on. I recently went for a 5 day trip to Spain which meant I really had to select everything very carefully – but I did manage to fit everything in – even if I had to expand the zipper for the return journey to accommodate some additional “souvenirs”!
One small improvement it would be nice to have is an additional handle on the side, in addition to existing one at the top. This would just make it easier to lift when carrying it onto the train or placing it in or taking it out of a luggage rack on the train.
All in all I am really pleased with the Victorinox Spectra 2.0 suitcase and would highly recommend it. It is quite expensive for a carry on but if it lasts and is a pleasure to use, then I think it is worth it. In fact I’m now thinking of buying the matching Victorinox 75cm hold case!
Capacity: 29 litres
Dimensions: 20 x 38 x 55 cm
Material: 100% polycarbonate
Price: Approximately CHF 375 for the 55cm carry on.
The Medium size matching Victorinox 75cm suitcase costs CHF 405.
You can take choose from a variety of suitcases from Victorinox, Samsonite and other leading brands at Koffer.ch – take a look at the website here.
I was given this suitcase to test but all opinions are entirely my own