When it comes to luggage, most frequent travelers are fiercely loyal to their bags or brands of choice. After hundreds of hours in the air and on the road with your bag as a travel companion, you get to know it and its idiosyncrasies quite well.
I’ve stayed loyal to the same brand of soft-sided roller luggage for about a decade, so I must admit to being skeptical when I finally got the chance to test out a hard sided carry on spinner bag from Ricardo Beverly Hills as part of the annual TravelingMom.com retreat to Disney World (*keep reading for a discount code below!*). Its beautiful color drew me in. I’ve frankly also been intrigued by fellow passengers I’ve seen easily wheeling spinner bags throughout airports the past few years, so I was secretly a bit thrilled to give something totally new a try.
Here’s what I thought of the Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury 2.0 21 Inch suitcase.
- The wheels: The RBH luggage rolled with ease. My 18 month old son was so taken with this feature that he used it as a rolling toy all day upon its arrival. Double-duty!
- The expansion feature: If you acquire souvenirs on vacations like most of us with kids do, it is so nice to be able to expand your bag for the return trip. An easily accessible zipper on this bag provides about an extra inch of suitcase depth.
- Dual compartments: The bag has two separately-contained compartments on either side as you fold it open. This feature allows you to access half of your suitcase without disturbing the carefully-packed other half. Bags with this equal division are also great for separating dirty and clean clothes.
- An included clear toiletry case: The convenience of carrying on also means the inconvenience of packing toiletries in clear plastic bags for TSA inspection. Using disposable plastic bags can get messy, as they often rip or wear out. The Ricardo luggage includes a TSA-compliant and reusable clear toiletry bag made of more durable plastic.
- A suiter that doesn’t take up much space: Sometimes you travel with formal clothes and need a way to hang them in your bag, so a suiter is a nice luggage feature. I have a lot of bags, however, where the suiter takes up too much space and isn’t removable for trips where I’m packing only casual items. The Ricardo bag strikes the right balance with a very slim suiter strap that won’t get in the way when you don’t need it.
- The colors: There is a time and place for basic black, but the Ricardo 21 inch luggage also comes in black cherry, brushed silver, and mulberry purple. These bags definitely stand out on the luggage carousel.
- The price: At $149 on Ricardo’s site, the Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury 2.0 21-Inch is well-priced for a carry on bag. In conjunction with TravelingMom, you can save 69% off on Ricardo bags using the code TMOM65Off as well as get free shipping on orders of $99 and up (expires 5/31).
What Didn’t Work:
- The size, at least for longer weekend trips: This bag is the perfect size for a night or two away, but it starts getting challenging to fit three or four nights of stuff into it if you like to overpack a little bit like me! The good news is that a fellow TravelingMom writer fit 14 pairs of shoes in her RBH bag at one time, so shoe lovers could make out pretty well.
- The hard shell: Like all hard-sided luggage, this bag can get dinged a bit when checked. Given how roughly bags are handled by the airlines, I certainly don’t expect my bags to remain like-new for very long, but hard shells show wear and tear more than soft-sided luggage.
- The internal space: Like many hard shell suitcases, the design of the RBH bag places the handle within the shell of the bag rather than outside. The result is that the handle takes up some internal space available within the bag, leaving less space for clothes. A few other features of the bag do this as well, such as the reinforced corners and the hanger that enables you to attach and pull smaller bag.
Although I’m not ready to give up my trusty go-to soft sided luggage brand, the RBH luggage is definitely another bag size and style I’m happy to have in our family’s travel arsenal. The reality is that different trips call for different luggage. Having a hard sided spinner makes a lot of sense for trips where you’ll be dragging a bag a long distance and need the ease of use. The Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury 2.0 21 Inch suitcase is a well-priced, sturdy, and sleek option for travelers in the market for a spinner carry on bag.
Disclosure: Ricardo Beverly Hills provided me with a complimentary bag for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.