Wow this is a fantastic looking bag! It looks great, feels great, and it seems like it’s going to be a great piece to travel with. It’s incredibly lightweight, the handle extends smoothly and the wheels are fluid.
So far, so good!
The inside is a lot more spacious than I would have imagined and the striped blue lining is a nice touch. Makes me feel like I’m getting ready to hit the beach in North Carolina.
The luggage straps are the largest I’ve ever seen. They’re almost the size of seat belt straps, but I don’t mind them. There’s a large plastic buckle connected to them which makes me feel confident I’ll be able to pack plenty and then compress my clothes down without breaking the buckle.
As another nice touch, there’s an inner bag that connects to the straps. This looks like it’s for delicate items you may not want to get wrinkled or smaller garments you don’t want to get lost in the sea of other clothing you’ve packed.
On the other side is another spacious area, but behind a zippered flap. This is the side where the extendable handle is housed when not in use. There’s another small pocket sewn into the carry-on which has another bag about the size of a small pillow case. According to the directions, this is for dirty clothes you might want to keep separate from everything else. I can’t imagine this lasting too long, but nonetheless, it’s a nice touch.
Advertised vs. Actual Measurements
Advertised Measurements: 21.5” tall, 13.5” wide, 8.5” deep.
Actual Measurements: 22.25″ tall, 13.5″ wide, 8.75″ deep.
For the most part, they’re generally accurate with the advertising. When measuring the height, I always include the handle that is connected to the bag, not the extendable handle (unless it’s farther past the one connected to the bag when collapsed.
The outer shell is incredibly thin, but if we’re being realistic, that’s all it has to be. Polycarbonate is very durable and has a lot give before it would ever break.
There isn’t an area for your laptop or other quick-to-access type of items. It’s really just one big compartment. Not a bad thing if you carry a backpack, messenger bag, or something else that holds your laptop, if you travel with one at all.
Fully extended, the handle is tall. It stands 22.25″ high from the ground to the tip of the top handle when collapsed.. For someone that’s roughly 5’ 7”, it comes up to just the top of my abdominal area. At full extension this is perfect for someone 6’4” or taller. Luckily, it does have several points where it locks before it reaches full height. I have no problem toting this around at those intervals.
The zipper isn’t anything special. It’s about your average zipper size, but other carry-ons seem to have a larger and more durable-looking zipper. This doesn’t mean it won’t perform just as well, if not better, than others in the long run, I’m just basing this off the look.
Things I don’t like.
It seems too small in my opinion. The Delsey and TravelPro both have significantly larger zippers that look like they can take more wear and abuse before breaking. While the Chester’s zipper might be alright, I’m not a fan of ones that have a fabric lining protecting them because it’s easier for them to get caught and stuck while trying to zip or unzip.
Stitching around the polycarbonate
The stitching around the polycarbonate which connects to the zipper seems thin. I haven’t even used it yet and it looks like one of the threads is already coming loose. Probably not a big deal, but I feel there is a better way to connect the zipper to the outer shell.
Connection between the two pieces
Like the Delsey Helium Aero, this bag opens and closes like a sandwich with two equal sides that are zipped together in the middle. Holding those two pieces together when the carry-on is unzipped is a piece of fabric (or some other material) I’m not too confident with. It seems thin and overtime more prone to tearing.
The bag will still perfectly be usable even if it did tear, but I think a better material could have been used here.
Things I do like
This is especially true for taller people who might not be able to find a carry-on where the handle is comfortably at your side. If you’re one of those people, this one is for you.
Apart from the height, it is smooth as butter extending and collapsing. It beats the TravelPro and Delsey in my opinion. There’s hardly any jiggle or rocking, it’s just straight up and straight back down – easy as could be.
The inside space is enormous compared to a lot of other carry-ons! Chester really focused on the space here and avoided any unnecessary pockets like you’ll find on other bags. While it doesn’t have a front pocket, you still gain that missing space in the main interior.
The wheels roll like a charm. They’re incredibly smooth and larger, 2″ in size. Bigger wheels make it easier for you to carry your bag over cracks and changes in flooring without your bag getting stuck.
TSA Approved Lock
A lot of bags have this, but a lot bags don’t. Having the lock built-in is a fantastic feature for any carry-on. By having it built-in, you avoid the risk of having another lock dangling, where it could get caught and ripped in the conveyor belts while being transported.
If you’re comparing this bag to others you should take into account this bag is incredibly spacious, is light as a feather, and has an extendable handle suitable for just about anyone at any height. Is this bag meant for the frequent business traveler? No, I wouldn’t say so.
This bag is meant for the vacationer or semi-frequent leisure traveler. With this carry-on, you’re looking to get the most amount of stuff to and from where you’re going. You don’t need to access what’s inside during your journey, you just want everything to get there without getting damaged or lost.
The exception to the business traveler statement is if you carry an additional bag, like a purse or backpack, that holds your laptop or other items that need to quickly be accessed. In that case, if you’re only taking a couple of trips a year this bag would be perfect for you.
With all that being said, it’s a good bag. Personally, I think it’s a little bit on the pricier side, but that’s just my two cents. You get a lot of space and lot of protection, so if those are your priorities, click the link below to purchase it.
Also published on Medium.