View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Our new Chester luggage

I promised to tell you about our new carry on luggage. It's quite a different style compared to the backpack type we had been using since 2012. But the backpack style ones were getting pretty rough looking, having traveled with us to somewhere around twenty different countries since we got them.

And, with airlines getting more and more strict about the size and weight of carry on luggage, we figured it would be in our best interests to look for something that is specifically designed for that purpose.

So when Chester Travels asked us to review their Minima Carry-on Spinner Suitcase, it was the perfect opportunity for us.

Ruth, with our new carry-on bags.

Chester makes one product and they make it well. It comes with a 10 year warranty that covers cracks or breaks in the shell, wheels, handles, or telescoping handles that break off and are no longer usable, and zippers that can no longer be opened or closed.

TSA approved Combination Locking System.

Two sides, separated.

A couple of zippered pockets.

Lots of room in each side.

Even comes with a zippered laundry bag to put dirty clothes in.

The bag itself weighs only 7 lbs (3.2 kgs). 

And it measures 21.5 × 13.5 × 8.5 in (55 x 34 x 22 cm).

So, first impressions? Well, the bags easily fit everything that we need to bring for three months in Australia! Lots of extra room actually, but then we travel very light.

It sure is refreshing knowing for sure that the size fits perfectly in the standard carry on overhead compartment. It's actually funny watching some people try to stuff oversized bags into where they shouldn't be stuffed!

Of course we've only used them for three flights, so we'll be updating our experience as time goes on. But so far, we're very impressed with the fit and finish. Top quality suitcase!

Chester Carry on Luggage. There is even a $10 off coupon showing.


  1. With a TSA approved lock there is no reason for the lock to be broken for inspection.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, this is true, but never in all our years of traveling have we ever had a problem with anyone breaking our locks to get into our bags.

  2. More and more airlines are cracking down on the size of carry ons. They are getting smaller because many domestic flights as well as international are using smaller aircraft with much smaller overhead compartments. Wheels are very important as they have a tendency to breakdown when you least expecct it. Get a small pebble lodged in the wheel and not realize it and you can have a blowout, or what is really a shaved flattened side on a wheel. Makes a ton of noise and won't roll properly. Good zippers are another issue. Looks like you've found a good one.

    1. Not only are they possibly using smaller aircraft but they are trying to fill the planes to capacity and therefore there isn't always room in the overhead bins for everyone's bags so the easier it fits in the better, it also helps to speed up the loading time as bigger or fuller bags must be pushed and shoved in order to get them squeezed into the overhead compartment.

      Zippers are definitely an important issue for us. I hate zippers that don't slide nicely or that bust open because they are cheap. Only time will tell for our new bags as we give them a good workout. The wheels do seem to be good quality and I know our last ones certainly were.

  3. I too have a small backpack style bag. It does hold a lot. I even packed boots & heavier jacket and room to spare. I usually wear a hoodie on plane and wear it with zipper side towards the back so that I can pull the hood over my face to sleep and also use it as a mask when I hear people coughing. I always wear blue jeans or long pants & tennis shoe on plane. I pack a foldable bag for extras if I need it on return trip...always buying unique stuff to bring back to gift. I do have a small carry on bag too for longer trips.

    1. We are glad that you found something that works for you.

  4. Nice looking cases but in my opinion 3 issues. Starting weight, the fact the handle is in the middle rather than the edges and finally they are hard shell. Think I will stick with my IT Worlds Lightest for now but always interested in seeing other options.

    1. The weight is actually lighter than our last backpack style bags. We have only used the bags for that one day where we did the three flights and never had a problem with the handle being situated in the centre (I am assuming that you mean the carrying handle not the pulling one). As for the hard shell, these ones are made of polycarbonate so they are light, very strong and they are flexible so they do have a little give to them. We found with our old bags that it was to easy to over fill them and that they were sometimes hard to squeeze them into the overhead compartment. Although one feature that I did like about our old ones was the fact that you could easily wheel them or when necessary they could convert into a proper backpack which was really nice on very uneven surfaces.

      Time will tell how we feel about these ones after our travels this year.


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