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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Chester Carry-On Suitcase Review

Chester Carry-on Suitcase

I am one of those people who simply refuse to check luggage.  If you haven't met me.... you should know this - I am very stubborn.  Like, carried my large grill out of my basement up the stairs by myself because I wanted to grill steak that night kind of stubborn.  
When it comes to traveling, my "I can do it all" attitude shines through.  A weeks worth of clothes?  I will fit that into a carry on with enough packing cubes and patience.  Unless I am on a dive or ski trip when I need to pack heavy gear, it has to fit in a carry-on. 

Why?  A few reasons.

First, I simply refuse to pay excessive fees to check a suitcase.  Traveling is expensive enough and after paying for airport parking and flights, the last thing I want to do is shell out more money for my belongings - and each way.  Secondly and THE most important reason I always carry on?  I hate waiting at baggage claim.  When I finally get off the plane and after spending hours in the germ box, I want to get the hell out of that airport and onto my final destination or home.  I do not (repeat, do not) want to spend an extra second at the airport if I don't have to.  It's usually an extra half hour of waiting at the carousel for the black bag that looks like every other black bag.  While we are talking about time, when you get to the airport, you can also skip the check-in counter and head right to security.  And then there's the whole "your bag didn't make it" scenario.  If you carry-on, your bag will never leave your sight and get put on the wrong plane.

Carrying on will save you money, a whole lot of time, and you will never lose your bag. 

Being a proud Carry-On Only traveler, I have forever been on the search for the perfect carry-on.  I was starting to feel like I had tried all the types - wheeling duffle bags, stuffing soft bags, oversized bags, they always missed the mark.  

I was also sick of broken wheels, stuck zippers, and hard to lug around heavy suitcases.  I also didn't want to invest in quality luggage but at the same time, I was sick of my luggage being destroyed because it was too cheap and couldn't withstand more than a few flights.  I had sort of given up and kept stuffing my broken soft shell carry-on full of a week's worth of clothing for trips.  That was until the perfect suitcase found me

When Chester reached out to me about their bag, I read all the facts in that excited-getting-louder-by-the-word voice.  Water resistant 100% polycarbonate shell?!  Only 7 pounds, seven different colors?  Small enough that it meets overhead bin requirements and fits without the awkward shove?  Zippered compartments for storage, removable laundry bag, and TSA approved lock?    Telescoping handle and four multidirectional wheels?  High-quality product with a competitive price (you can get it as low as $175.50 with my discount code kwanders10) with a limited 10-year warranty, free two-day shipping and free returns.  Turns out, you can have it all. 

My Chester bag came in the mail all wrapped up in this cute little cover and I squealed in excited traveler glee as I rolled it around my house, unzipped its many pockets, and marveled at its cuteness.  Even more, I put this carry-on through the test on my recent weekend away in West Palm Beach, Florida.    The consensus?  

Katie will be doing a lot of wandering with this cream-colored carry-on.  Yep, I was really impressed.  First off, I was elated to see how much it could hold.  Between this carry-on and the beach bag on top of it, I fit: 3 dresses, 1 romper, 1 cover-up, 2 bikinis, 1 swim shirt, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 shirts/tank tops, 1 pair of wedges, 2 pairs of flip flops, underwear/bras/socks, camera, lens, GoPro, jewelry, baseball hat, sun hat, makeup, toiletries, a bag for wet bikinis, and get ready... DIVE GEAR (full wet suit, regulator, mask, computer and mask bag). 

Guys - I fit the dive gear all on one side of this suitcase and my clothing and accessories on the other side.  I loved that the zippered pockets made it so easy to compartmentalize my belongings.  I could even fit a few things between the two layers as the suitcase/shell has some give to it.  You guys know I love packing cubes and the combination of packing cubes and this zippered pockets meant I fit all this in this suitcase and that beach tote.  If I didn't have my dive gear, I could have easily fit all my belongings in one side of the suitcase and Adams in the other.  I could easily make this suitcase work for a week or better yet, one couple, one carry-on, one long weekend away.  

How was this luggage through the airport? The carry-on was easy to maneuver and I loved having the four easy to roll wheels. The side handle was really handy for loading and unloading my suitcase and it fit perfectly in the overhead bin straight on. My only complaint? The telescoping handle is sturdy but it does seem to stick a little in the down position.  I had to really jiggle it a few times to get it to telescope up.   But other than that? This suitcase gets my high remarks.  Hard exterior waterproof shell, lightweight, small but fits a ton with its compartments, built in lock, and four-way wheels.  I am giving this bag a 9.8/10 (darn you, sticky handle).

Yes, you can get something for much cheaper at Marshalls - I did for a bit too.  But it is currently somewhere in a landfill after the zippers gave after a few uses, the wheels stopped turning, and the soft shell stained from being tossed around the airport.  For a little more (less than $200 which is very affordable in the luggage game) you can have a high-quality suitcase you won't have to replace next year.  

Price: Originally $225, on sale for $195, and with code "kwanders10" for an extra %10 off! Making this $175.50  with free two-day shipping. Free Returns!  Buy Here 
Exterior:  100% polycarbonate water-resistant polycarbonate hardshell (light, durable, easy to clean) 
Weight: 7 lbs
Dimensions: Exterior (21.5” x 13.5” x 8.5”)  meet domestic and international airline requirements and fit overhead bins of both small and large planes.  Interior dimensions (20.0” x 13.5”) with a capacity of 38 liters, think 3-to-5 outfits 
Lock:  TSA approved lock (set by a combination code)
Organization:  Two spacious compartments, three interior organizers to store smaller items, removable nylon laundry bag to separate clean and dirty clothes
Mobility:  4 silent, multi-directional wheels for a smooth roll in any direction on any terrain.  100% aluminum telescoping ergonomic handle with two lock positions for ultimate control and maneuverability, Top and side easy grab handles


I fit a whole lot in this stylish little bag which fits all my needs as a weekend warrior and week-long explorer when time off and budget allows. I hope you enjoy this suitcase as much as I do.

*This suitcase was given to me to review by Chester Travels.  All opinions are my own.  

Safe Travels and Happy Packing, 


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