REVIEW – I’ve used some of my luggage pieces for nearly 20 years now, and they’re definitely looking the part. I’ve replaced a few pieces over the years (and the ones I haven’t replaced look like they’re about to explode spontaneously). Hardside luggage with 360° spinners style is the only type I’ll get from now on, after getting one large one and a carry-on a few years ago. I need both a large check-in bag and another smaller carry-on bag so me and my partner both have options for travel, so the VELO 3-in-1 Expandable Hardside luggage review offer was one I eagerly volunteered for. The prospect of having one versatile bag that can be used for carry-on or checked luggage is intriguing, but will it be a jack-of-all-trades or a compromised experience?
What is it?
The VELO 3-in-1 Expandable hardside Luggage is a bag that can be expanded to three different sizes (“large check-in, medium check-in, and small carry-on”). Somehow VELO was able to make the bag expandable while also sporting a hard shell, no easy feat.
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Design and features
At first glance, the VELO 3-in-1 Expandable Hardside Luggage looks like many other luggages, but the band near the bottom hides its party trick (the ability to expand to be much taller).
The handle can be pressed flush into the luggage, and pops up with a light press on the button. This deploys the handle up to a carrying/lifting position (either to carry or to use the expansion feature). To expand the luggage, the hidden button under the handle has to be pressed. While it’s pressed, the top portion of the luggage can be lifted, which then clicks into position on either the medium or large setting. Sometimes this picked up the whole bag though, you might have to use two people or grip wheels on the bottom with your feet.
Above is the handle deployed in carry mode, and the luggage in medium size. What’s really clever is a second zipper track inside the first, so when the top section is extended or compressed, a zipper simply slides up or down accordingly.
With another press on the handle button, you can pull it out much farther, great for pushing/pulling the luggage along while you walk.
The above picture shows the side view. You can see the end of the top zipper right below the TSA lock, the lower zipper pull is actually longer and runs on a zipper track around the lower section (and adjusts up and down when the luggage is compressed and extended).
The TSA008 lock is pretty easy to use, which the zipper pulls click into for locking. This keeps the zipper pulls secure both from unwelcome hands as well as from snagging on anything while being handled, on conveyer belts, etc.
The bottom of the VELO 3-in-1 Expandable Hardside Luggage sports the wheels on spinners.
These wheels are among the best I’ve used, gliding effortlessly over any smooth, hard surface (and working fine on carpets).
Opening up the VELO 3-in-1 Expandable Hardside Luggage exposes the innards. Each half has a divider/protector (so even if it’s overstuffed and you open it up, things won’t fly everywhere). Because it’s an adjustable luggage, the dividers are also adjustable. They have some pockets and loops for small items as well, and VELO even has a laptop pocket you can get which stores the laptop right in the middle between the two compartments (the safest spot in the luggage).
Behind the dividers are the actual storage compartments. Like most luggage with handles, part of one storage section is taken up by the handles.
The VELO 3-in-1 Expandable Hardside luggage offers pretty generous storage capacity when fully extended, though it’s a bit narrower and slimmer than our other comparable hardside luggage we already have. This is due to the size restrictions on carry-ons, but I’d expected just a bit more room on the largest setting.
As you can see above, even the larger setting easily fits in our trunk. The one minor concern I have is the little bit of wiggle between the top and bottom sections. I’m not worried about it fully coming off, but it’s not quite as sturdy as a regular hardside luggage, a compromise caused by the design with two separate sections. It’s a lot more protection than an all fabric bag, but I’ll be putting anything glass in our other hardside luggage just in case. I do plan on happily taking this versatile bag on trips in the future (especially those where we’re likely to travel light in one direction and pick up a bunch of stuff to bring back).
Overall construction feels solid, with no snags on zippers or loose seams or rivets. The plastic shells feel rugged, though time will tell on how they hold up.
What I like
- Great wheels and handles makes handling easy
- Hardside protection seems good for being adjustable.
- Squishing the luggage down to the carry on size means it takes up very little space for long term storage in our house.
What I’d change
- It would be hard to change, but the limitation of the “small carry-on” size results in a longer skinnier “large check-in”, would have been even better if it could somehow expand in two axes rather than just one.
- Price is higher than a comparable small/medium/large bag, though it’s less than two quality bags so if you usually only travel with one but want the option of going larger or smaller, this might be perfect for you!
I look forward to many future trips with the VELO 3-in-1 Expandable Hardside luggage. While I’m still planning on procuring one more larger hardside luggage, this convertible one will make a perfect second carry-on for me or my partner while giving us the flexibility of another checked luggage of exactly the size we need.