I’ve all the time dreamt of discovering the right carry-on. It’s one thing I needed however by no means allowed myself to splurge on, nevertheless, as a result of — as a seasoned traveler (or somebody who used to be a seasoned traveler previous to the pandemic) — I by no means noticed the purpose. If I used to be checking a bag, I knew it wanted to face up to a beating — which meant my choice for white baggage can be extremely impractical — and even when I wasn’t, my baggage can be shoved in storage every time it wasn’t in use. Even after I lived in England and incessantly traveled all through Europe and again to the States, baggage was meant to be sturdy and sensible — not luxurious — so why did it matter?
Fortuitously, I had the chance to place this to the check after I was requested to overview ROAM(Opens in a brand new tab), touted because the world’s first color-customizable premium baggage model.
Customizing my new baggage
The customization course of for ROAM’s baggage is extremely easy. You begin by selecting the product you’re occupied with — I examined ROAM’s commonplace Carry-On(Opens in a brand new tab) and their Continental backpack(Opens in a brand new tab) — earlier than customizing it to your choice. Whereas I did respect the choice to customise my baggage, I discovered this a part of the method to be a bit missing.
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For the Carry-On, a light-weight 7.3-pound polycarbonate hardshell suitcase, I used to be in a position to customise eight various factors: the entrance shell, again shell, zipper, binding, wheels, carry handles, monogram patch, and lining. Whereas this does give a variety of potential variations to select from, there have been solely 9 shade choices out there for the back and front shells (with the flexibility to decide on a unique shade for every), with many of the further shade choices left within the smaller particulars. It was enjoyable to mess around with the customizer and see my creations on the web site, however with 4 of the 9 “major” shade choices out there for the outer shell being numerous shades of blue…it didn’t really feel fairly as distinctive or customizable as I had hoped.
The Continental backpack was much more restricted, with solely 4 customizable particulars — the entrance panel, again and backside, facet panel, and the straps and handles — however every of the 4 sections solely supplied 4 completely different shade choices. My choices have been restricted to blue, inexperienced, crimson, and black for every of the 4 sections, and I didn’t like many of the variations that I attempted. Sadly, as an alternative of feeling distinctive and daring, the color-blocking impact of the backpack jogged my memory of a child’s backpack. It was undoubtedly vibrant with some enjoyable shade choices, however it didn’t really feel fairly as customizable because the $350 price ticket suggests.
The Continental backpack is designed to suit on the deal with of the Carry-On, which made them a pleasant journey duo.
Credit score: RJ Andersen / Mashable
First impressions of my ROAM baggage
Proper off the bat, I used to be shocked by how light-weight each merchandise have been. The Carry-On was a direct improve from my historic Samsonite carry-on, and — regardless that I used to be nervous about making the change to hardshell baggage — I might undoubtedly inform the it was a step up. The draw back? I didn’t love the precise development of the suitcase. High quality-wise, the ROAM Carry-On felt a bit cheaper than I’d like, particularly the interior lining. I used to be nervous about it getting caught or tearing instantly, and I didn’t love how — as an alternative of feeling sturdy and light-weight — the outer shell felt virtually too gentle. Sure, the colours have been gorgeous and undoubtedly Instagrammable, however I instantly knew that there was no manner the white outer shell can be staying white after my first journey.
Fortuitously, my impressions of the backpack have been MUCH higher. Apart from the restricted shade choice, I actually favored the completed results of my Continental backpack. The bag was ridiculously gentle, and the distinctive development had me hooked from the start. At 26 liters, the Continental was solely 2 liters bigger than my trusty Herschel backpack, however the performance of the bag made it appear twice as massive. The zippers opened extra absolutely, permitting simpler entry (and tighter packing) whereas the extra pockets and compartments have been each strategically positioned and one way or the other nonetheless had room to spare.
Nonetheless, my solely grievance was the identical because the suitcase: The supplies themselves didn’t fairly really feel as much as par with the worth, particularly the weak padding within the exterior laptop computer compartment. ROAM does say the again is made solely from recycled and eco-friendly supplies, which was undoubtedly a bonus, however I used to be nervous about its total longevity. I used to be additionally nervous about exposing the bag to the weather, so I made a decision to check the “water resistant” label with a sprig bottle with a heavy emphasis on the zipper and seams, and it did an okay job of retaining the whole lot dry. It’s undoubtedly not waterproof, nor does it declare to be, however I used to be glad with understanding that my electronics can be okay so long as I used to be cautious.
There isn’t any denying this baggage is fairly.
Credit score: RJ Andersen / Mashable
Touring with my ROAM baggage
I shortly realized two issues whereas touring with my ROAM baggage: one, I ought to’ve upgraded to 360-degree wheels years sooner, and two, this baggage appears phenomenal. I acquired a number of compliments on my baggage at my lodging, however — whereas it seemed ok to immediate individuals to ask the place it was from — everybody balked on the $550 price ticket.
The Carry-On was surprisingly roomy, permitting me to pack a number of days’ price of clothes and my trainers with a bit little bit of room to spare. The choice to make it expandable for an extra $45 was the best name, and it meant I had room to take just a few additional outfits with out worrying about the place I might put any souvenirs for my journey dwelling. The extra compression boards have been a pleasant contact, designed that will help you compress your clothes down additional to save lots of house, however they didn’t do a lot for me — particularly in comparison with roll-up compression luggage that I’ve used previously.
So far as utilizing the suitcase whereas touring? It was undoubtedly the perfect carry-on I’ve ever used, however that felt like a results of the 360-degree wheels — one thing most carry-ons have as of late — in addition to the ultra-lightweight nature of the suitcase. Sure, it was unbelievable to really feel like I wasn’t lugging this large weight round with me within the airport, and it was a breeze to pop it into the overhead bins…however was it that this suitcase was phenomenal? Or was it that my outdated one was horrible?
Once more, the Continental backpack far outperformed the Carry-On. I used to be surprised by how a lot I used to be in a position to pack into the bag together with a number of hardcover books, a half-gallon water bottle, a sweater, my Macbook, chargers, and many others…and I nonetheless had loads of room to spare. It was additionally wheeled baggage appropriate, which means I might slip it onto the deal with of my Carry-On with none points. The extra compartments meant I used to be way more organized than I’d ever been on a flight — the whole lot was easy-to-reach, even after I was on the plane — and it was undoubtedly one of many higher backpacks I’ve traveled with.
Is ROAM well worth the value?
Not likely. The bags is gorgeous, sure, and the choice to customise your baggage is enjoyable and handy — particularly for folk bored with making an attempt to identify their suitcase in a sea of black at baggage declare — however the value didn’t fairly match the standard for me.
The fabric didn’t really feel as sturdy as I’d hoped, and the Carry-On(Opens in a brand new tab) already confirmed minor indicators of damage after my two brief flights over a weekend of journey. The backpack held up higher, and the precise structure of the backpack was phenomenal, however once more the shortage of padding and the fabric itself didn’t fairly match the hefty price ticket.
Nonetheless, it’s tough to say if ROAM(Opens in a brand new tab) is really well worth the value with out extra in depth use. I used to be solely in a position to check the Carry-On for a single weekend journey, so I can’t actually say if it can maintain up over time. It’s clearly fabricated from extremely light-weight supplies that may outperform my expectations, and — should you’re a frequent traveler — ROAM gives a 100-day trial interval in addition to a lifetime guarantee, so you may all the time put it to the check.
So far as the backpack(Opens in a brand new tab)? I actually needed it to be sturdier. It appears phenomenal, the compartments are so well-thought-out and purposeful, and the light-weight development was fantastic…however it simply fell wanting incredible. May it’s the bag for you? Possibly.
For me, ROAM simply wasn’t well worth the splurge.