TTT: Skip the Benetton luggage

May 12, 2009 at 11:37 am 16 comments

I’m really sad to share with you this particular travel tip, but I feel I must.  I’ve been intrigued by hard shell luggage for several years – it seems like such a terrific choice if you might be bringing home breakable items.  Unfortunately, not all hard shell suitcases are created equal.  My travel tip today is to skip the suitcases from United Colors of Benetton.

When my mom and I spotted some cute, reasonably priced United Colors of Benetton cases while out shopping, I admired them.  And she got one for me for Christmas.  I think that was Christmas 2007.  On its very first trip, it got a dent in the corner on the way to our destination.  That was apparently a sign of things to come.

This past week, we took the case on its second trip to Europe – and only its second trip being checked.  We were both horrified and relieved when we snagged it off the baggage carousel in Frankfurt – the latches had both come undone!  Fortunately, either that happened when it was chucked onto the carousel or the handlers had been careful with it, because nothing had spilled out.  We hoped it was an isolated incident – we didn’t really have any other choice anyway.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t.  It was open again when we picked it up in Detroit on our way home to take it through customs.  Ack!

I guess it’s time for me to buy a new suitcase of that size – and seriously research it in advance instead of just trusting appearances.  I did like the idea of a hard shell case for protecting souvenirs, so I think I’ll check out some more of those.  But I’ll definitely look into sturdier cases and latches, and hopefully find something that also offers better organization within the case (something else the Benetton case lacked).  If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!  (By the way, we do have a giant soft sided bag, but it’s really too large in light of the airlines’ weight limits.  We need something that’s large but not giant. lol)

TTT: Travel Tip Tuesday

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Entry filed under: Travel Products, Travel Tips.

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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Beeshy  |  May 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    One of my other friends with a travel blog wrote about this one a while back… http://www.ebags.com/heys_usa/xcase_20_lightweight_carry_on/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=56285

    Reply
  • 2. Michelle  |  May 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Saw some brightly colored hard-shells at TJMaxx recently, but did not check them out for label/brand. Sounds like you were surely lucky! Can’t beat those old Samsonites my mom used to have during the 60’s. They came in several different sizes too.

    Reply
  • 3. km  |  May 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    samsonite seems to be the best. they sell the hard shell. also we have a swiss army/victornox (sp?). I’m finding stick with brands you know and trust. the new pretty stuff… doesn’t last for us. our suitcases ripped the first trip. first LEG of the trip!! we went back to Samsonite and swiss army and have had no problems. good luck!

    Reply
  • 4. Paul  |  July 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    My wife has the same Benetton hardshell case for 10 years. It has taken a beating with 20+ trips a year. The thing to remember is that many fashion brands – like Benetton, don’t actually manufacture their own luggage. It all depends on who they get to manufacture it from them. Sounds like you got a less sturdy model.

    Reply
    • 5. JoAnna  |  July 14, 2009 at 4:45 am

      If your wife’s case is older it may have been made with higher quality parts than a more recently made case.

      Reply
  • 6. ANDREA M.  |  November 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I would just like to say all of benetton’s luggage has warranty
    and are very good at sending you a brand new luggage no matter where you are and they pay for you to send old one back .
    When you got the dent you shouldve called and had it replaced

    Reply
    • 7. jaz  |  January 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

      ho w do you contact them about the warranty, I could not find anything on the website and i don’t have the tags anymore

      Reply
  • 8. eka  |  November 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    …..

    Reply
    • 9. jane  |  April 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      I bought a Benetton suitcase in Barcelona and A wheel broke off the first time I traveled with it. I can’t fine how to contact them about the supposed “warranty”. Would definitely not recommend this brand.

      Reply
  • 10. eka  |  November 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    zmanebi

    Reply
  • 11. edward trerise  |  July 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I’m sorry your experiece with that suitcase was so unpleasant. I also have a large hard shell United Colors of Benetton suitcse. I have taken it all over and it has held up beautifully. I would like to go back to Rome to buy the rest of the set.

    Reply
  • 12. Victor  |  December 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    My United Colors of Benetton suitcase which I bought in Rome in 2000 was damaged beyond repair on its first trip to the USA. The hardshell case was split in half!

    Reply
  • 13. GUSTAVO SANDOVAL  |  May 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I had the same experience.. I only use that for a year (maybe 4 travels) And it’s broken. The combination lock is broken I had to disambled it to continue my trip. and the case is broken too. The zippers are too hard. Definitly I never buy any one again. I could not find any way to contact them.

    Reply
  • 14. Sue Hobson  |  July 29, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Upon reading the above report I have to say that I agree. Our family purchased some Benetton suitcases hard shell (red and green) many years ago and they were expensive but excellent value – we used them for many years without any hassles at all. We then decided we wanted the newer models with the four wheels for easier travelling. We went immediately back to Benetton and purchased a full set of black and silver suitcases with wheels. We also used them once and the corners got cracked and obviously the hard shell was more of a plastic material than the excellent hard shell of their earlier models. Really disappointed and lost a lot of money. Now also on the look out for a good quality hard shell sturdy suitcase set with wheels

    Reply
  • 15. Chester  |  January 23, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am having
    problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody having similar RSS issues?
    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  • 16. C. Dean  |  June 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I have a carry on size of theirs and on a recent trip the locks jammed and would not open. Could not tell if it was combination or the pop latches. I had to break the locks to get to my things. I have tired several times to contact United Colors of Benetton first email addy I tired after a several messages over a couple a months, I got something other then automated reply and with another email addy as the one I had used was not for things like luggage. Well now 8 months later and several messages to the address I was told to use not a single reply. I would not buy another thing from as their customer service to put it nicely sucks, and I find their carry on which was not cheap, only a little less then similar Samsonite.
    BTW I have much old Samsonite and I lost the keys with one email I had replacement keys sent to me free. Guess it shows trendy companies like United Colors of Benetton only want your money as they sure hide how to email them with their products breaks.
    Thanks,
    Dean

    Reply

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