Chester Travels has a user-friendly website that makes ordering luggage simple. I especially like their website’s homepage which when you scroll down, has a section on how to buy a suitcase.
Sure, that seems rather intuitive however, they provide a thorough breakdown of some of the more important facets to consider. For example; hard shell versus soft shell, what size bag to get, how smart luggage works, what materials are popular – all important considerations when investing in new luggage.
I knew precisely what I wanted so I ordered the Minima Carry-On Spinner and selected surf for my color. The suitcase arrived packed in a protective drawstring bag inside a heavy box. I’m keeping the cloth bag for storing.
Overview of the Minima Carry-On Spinner Suitcase
The first thing I noticed is how lightweight the suitcase is. That’s a good thing especially if the goal is to travel as light as possible. It weighs 7-pounds and is made of a durable polycarbonate material.
Inside, the fabric is lightweight and breathable but gives the impression its tough enough to withstand normal wear and tear and perhaps beyond. I love the multiple zipper compartments.
Size wise, it’s perfect. At 21″ it meets TSA and IATA cabin baggage guidelines which should translate into savings. No checked baggage fees!
Casters, Handle, Zippers, and Lock
The casters glide easily and they’re 360° multi-directional. The wheels are also surprisingly quiet and thus far I’ve not noticed any issue with the wheels putting up a fight. They go where I want them to go.
The suitcase handle telescopes smoothly, is made of aluminum, is ergonomic, and has two lock positions. The bag also has a top and side grab handle for easy loading and unloading.
The Minima has several zippers and they’re sturdy. The zipper compartments inside are well made and zip open and closed with little effort. As for the outside zipper, it’s tough and the TSA lock functions well also.
I’m a huge fan of packing cubes. They’re ideal for keeping clothes organized and maximizing space in your suitcase. To go with my new carry-on spinner, I purchased on Amazon carry-on packing cubes by Compass Rose.
The set includes four color-coded packing cubes that fit into international carry-on bags. They also come with instructions for six different packing strategies; Item, Outfits, Weather, Destination, Family, and Activity.
I’m packing by activity, so I use one for daytime, one for nighttime, one for sleep, and the fourth for socks and underwear.
Weekend Packing List
I’m doing a trial run packing for a trip I’m taking to Las Vegas to see Robbie Williams in a couple of months. It’s going to be a quick Friday to late Sunday weekend getaway – perfect for a carry-on.
- Cube #1 – socks and underwear for two days plus a spare pair
- Cube #2 – 1 pair of jeans, two tops
- Cube #3 knit dress, and an extra top
- Cube #4 – pajama pants, sleep t-shirt, yoga pants
- dressy shoes, flats
- toiletry bag
I opt for lightweight wrinkle resistant fabrics and roll my clothes. I’m able to pack my hanging toiletry bag and I fit my swimsuit, iPad, and phone charger in the zipper pouches. I may squeeze in a pair of shorts and my curling iron too. The bag comes with a small laundry pouch that can also double as a jewelry bag.
I plan on wearing the jeans I wear on the plane to Vegas on the return trip as well and I’ll wear sneakers and carry or wear a sweater.
Pros and Cons of the Chester Travels Carry-On Spinner
There’s a lot to like about the Minima by Chester Travels;
- Lightweight, waterproof, durable
- Polycarbonate exterior is rigid enough to protect whatever you put inside
- The wheels glide easily in all directions
- Sturdy aluminum ergonomic telescoping handle
- 38-liter capacity means there’s plenty of packing room
- It’s TSA and IATA approved fit for a cabin carry-on
- The Minima is stylish and comes in a variety of colors
- Should fit in most airlines’ overhead bins
- TSA lock, laundry pouch, and luggage tag included
- FREE 2-day shipping on all orders
- 100-day trial
If I were to say, there’s a con to the Minima it may be the fact I’m accustomed to a soft sided duffle. I travel by car far more than I fly so I’ve gotten by with my Vera Bradley Travel Duffle on most of my road trips. The rigid exterior of the Minima means no over stuffing or squeezing that one last item into the bag. Thus, the packing cubes come in handy.
It’s also a little pricier than some carry-ons. The Minima Carry-on Spinner Suitcase is priced at $195, so it’s an investment. However, according to the Chester website, it’s designed to last a lifetime, and should you decide in the first 100 days it’s just not for you, return it for a full refund.
I’m looking forward to traveling with my new suitcase and will be sure to keep you posted on how well the Minima holds up to my punishment. If you think you’d like to try the Minima or Compass Rose packing cubes, I’ve included my affiliate links below.
Shop for the Minima Spinner Suitcase or Carry-on Packing Cubes
- Although I purchased the Chester Travels Minima at their friends and family price, all opinions are honest and my own.
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