Published on August 14th, 2015 | by Greg0
Wheeling Around With The Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2
Have bag, will travel. It’s a sentiment that is oft-repeated, but bears consideration the next time that you’re planning a vacation. After all, a suitcase can be the difference between a lovely trip and a very bad day, depending on whether it makes it to your destination safely, contents intact. And every suitcase relies on at least four points of failure, which are forced to carry the weight of the bag over rocky sidewalks and rough ground. Wheels are critical, even though under regular conditions you might barely notice them.
But wheels are one of the original inventions, and it’s hard to find a way to improve them. Samsonite has find a way, with their new Silhouette Sphere 2 hardside collection. We tried out the 22-inch Spinner suitcase, a piece of luggage that can fit into most any overhead bin thanks to it’s unique tapered shape. It’s 8.5 pounds but feels pretty light on it’s feet- certainly not the lightest bag that we’ve seen, but we never noticed. In fact, it rolled smoothly and felt well-balanced even when fully loaded, plus was simple to lift up with solid handles. The primary handle felt reinforced, able to handle the full weight of the bag when extended, a necessary function when you’re forced to run up and down stairs.
We tested it out not over a weekend jaunt or even a couple of business trips, but a lengthy multi-week, multi-destination European journey. Elevators were basically non-existent, there were plenty of cobblestones, awkward staircases, and wet patches. While many wheels might lose traction, slipping and sliding a bit, these kept steady even during rain. That’s due to the interesting design of the multi-directional split spherical tires, which look immediately different at a glance. They’re steadier, larger, and roll with less friction, plus spin freely making it a breeze to roll the Sphere 2 around. We’ve liked other Samsonite luggage before- but these new wheels definitely impressed us.
The interior was great too- WetPak pockets give you a place to safely store and seal your damp bathing suit without worrying about the rest of your clothing. Zipper pulls were hefty, and the zippers themselves were larger than most other suitcases- though we did notice they tended to be more difficult to open due the siding. Made from Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate, it didn’t show much in the way of scuff marks and not a single scratch despite some serious mileage. A 10-year warranty should give you peace of mind as well. One downside though- Samsonite tested out a new gel-infused textured handle, and the handle itself feels great- but the cover of the gel started pilling after the first few days, where the material gets fuzzy in a slightly-annoying way. Available now, online and in stores, expect to spend under $200 for the Sphere 2 22″ Spinner.