Do you know that a zippered suitcase is vulnerable to thieves with a ball point pen? It doesn’t matter if the zipper pulls are locked. All they have to do is insert the point of the pen between the teeth of the zipper and pull against them to open. Once the thief is done stealing, he can cover his tracks by pulling the locked zipper over the open section to close it!
To prevent this stealthy tactic, a suitcase with latching locks instead of zippers is a better bet. The best hardside luggage without zipper locking usually feature at least two latch locks for the main compartment instead. Some can be used either with a key or with a combination code, while a few come with only the key option. Until last year, very few luggage manufacturers made them so we could only recommend a few good collections. This year, more luggage manufacturers have been getting on the band wagon so we have a few good options for you.
As more and more manufacturers get into the zipperless luggage game, you’ll probably find their offerings on Amazon.
Samsonite Cruisair DLX Hardside Spinners
Do you hate that most suitcases have their telescopic handle taking up precious space inside and leave clothes creased because they can’t lie flat? Well, if that’s you, then you should check out the Samsonite Cruisair DLX Hardside Spinners. The dual poles of the handle recede into tracks that are situated on the outside of the case at the back. This way, the inside of the spinners have completely flat and spacious bottom compartments. While some customers are a bit iffy about the way the handle shakes, this is not a quality issue but just the way the design is.
The pieces are made of polycarbonate for the shell and aluminum for the frames. Instead of zipped closure, the spinners all lock via two combination clasp locks integrated into the frame that are TSA-approved. Two carry handles – one on top and one on the side are there for easy lifting. The dual spinner wheels are smooth rolling ad work well on rough terrain too.
The inside of the bags feature full nylon lining with the main compartment featuring restraining straps and a zippered pocket for small items. The top lid compartment is separated from the main one by a flexible divider that secures your clothes by two hooking clasps along the edge. It has one large mesh zippered pocket for additional packing. This divider is quite thin and can be rolled back and out of the way if you just want one big packing space to accommodate any large item.
This collection comprises of 3 pieces – a 21″ carry on, a 26″ and a 30″. While the two large checked size bags are useful, be aware that the carry on may not meet some airline restrictions because of its actual height when you include its spinner wheels. Taking them into account, the actual height is 23.5″, a full 1.5″ more than what most airlines will allow. While may customers say they have taken it on board with them, if you are asked to use the airport sizer to verify its dimensions, it won’t pass muster.
One concern you may have with these zipperless spinners is with the latches. A few customers say that a piece arrived with the locks not working and they had to send them back for a replacement. If you do get a working lock, these spinners are otherwise a good buy.
Lojel Octa Hardside Spinner Upright Suitcase
For a more sophisticated but athletic look, the Lojel Octa Spinner line features a medium and large size with the shell made of Advance Polypropylene for high impact resistance and flexibility that prevents cracks. Severe winter conditions won’t affect these bags either. All components sit flush with the surface when fully closed, so there’s very little chance of anything getting caught somewhere and tearing off.
There are two sizes available and both are check in sizes – 25.5 inches and 30 inches in height. They feature 4-point latch locks, with two being TSA locks. The spinner wheels are the smooth rolling Japanese Hinomoto brand and are removable for extra protection or if you just want them to be replaced at any time. The trolley handle extends to three different points so that travelers of any height will find it easy to move along.
Another big difference from the S’Cure above is the interior organization, in that the Octa pieces have several features in the interior for keeping things neat and organized. There is no lining but both sides have divider panels with small and large in-built zipped pockets for your delicates and accessories. The lid’s divider is a zippered type, while the lower compartment’s dividers are two partially overlapping flaps.
This collection comes in a variety of colors, both subtle and vibrant.
Andiamo Elegante Luggage Aluminum Frame Zipperless Suitcases
The Andiamo Elegante Luggage line features three pieces – a 20″, a 24″ and a 28″, and they are available in three elegant alloy metalline finishes of muted black pearl, gold, lavender and mauve quartz. These measurements do not include the dual spinner wheels, however, so you have to add a couple inches for the overall dimensions.
These pieces come with 100% polycarbonate shells and aluminum frames. They close via two integrated TSA combination snap locks on either side of the side carry handle. In addition to the telescopic dual-pole handle on top, you have another carry handle here.
The inside features a signature jacquard print lining and decent organization. Both the main section and lid section have adjustable crosswise restraining straps, while the upper lid section has an additional flexible partition that is fixed on one end to the inside spine and secures to the other edge via hook style clasps. This partition holds two zippered mesh pockets to keep small items in place.
While the dual spinner wheels are quite large, they work great on almost any surface, including carpet. They are coated with TPE rubber so they roll smoothly and silently on hard surfaces.
While these pieces are not the lightest of hardside spinners, they are very robust.
Merax Travelhouse Aluminium Frame Luggage TSA Approved Suitcase
This brand has been earning good reviews recently for their inexpensive luggage collections and the Merax Travelhouse Aluminium Frame pieces are no exception. These bags also feature smooth dual spinner wheels, a 3-step height telescoping handle and top and side carry handles. The shell is made of a layer of polycarbonate and a layer of ABS for extra durability. The frame is aluminum and the corners are reinforced with a metal alloy.
There are 3 pieces in this collection – a 20 inch carry on that including the wheels come to 21.5 inches in height, a 25 inch and a 29 inch suitcase. The carry on and 25″ piece come with two TSA-approved combination snap locks and the 29″ bag has a third lock as well.
You won’t complain about lack of organizational features here. All the pieces are fully lined and both sections have their own divider panels to separate the contents. The panels are made of fabric with mesh zippered pockets so they can be rolled up and tucked away if you don’t want them. Both sections also features restraining straps, so you can use just those to keep your belongings in place.
There are several colors to choose from too.