For anyone that has spent time in an airport, you may have noticed that pretty much every pilot that comes off an incoming plane carries a TravelPro bag. While Pilots and airline personnel have the ability to purchase different versions of TravelPro products, the company does produce some civilian level versions of these flight crew models.
The Crew 11 is one of these models. Just because it’s civilian level doesn’t mean its any less durable. There’s just a number of additional needs most airline personnel have, that do not apply to really any other traveler.
Anyways, with that being said, let’s take a look at the Crew 11!
Benefits of the TravelPro Crew 11
External USB charging port
My favorite part of this bag is the charging port that’s built in! I have a portable Anker brand charger that I use all the time, so having a place where I can put it and use it is incredibly beneficial to me. A very important feature to note here is there is not a charger included – you will have to supply your own.
Not necessarily a bad thing.
For one, you get to pick the charger you want to use. Two, you can easily remove and replace it if it ever goes bad. And three, it’s TSA compliant. Recently airlines began requiring these charging modules to be removable, so simply having a pocket and connection flies (no pun intended), whether or not you have a power pack with you.
8 Self Aligning Spinner Wheels
The less wear and tear on the wheels the better. The self-aligning feature helps with this so, as you change direction, every single other wheel follows suit. You may have found your wheels can get hung up and caught on the floor. Over time this causes a lot of unnecessary stress that eventually leads to one or more breaking, rendering the bag useless. The self-aligning feature helps to fix this problem.
Leather Handles and a Suiter!
Simply said, leather handles look better and are going to be more durable than fabric over time. No doubt about that. The other bonus is this carry on includes a suiter so your formal clothes stay wrinkle free.
Keep in mind the suiter can only go as wide as the tote is tall. So if you’re a bit of a wider guy, you might have to get a little creative with how to pack dress shirts and jackets.
Able to fit 17” Laptop
Since I like to do a lot of editing, I tend to bring a larger laptop with me when I have the chance. Other times I end up bringing my X1 Carbon, which if you’ve ever had one, will quickly learn it fits anywhere. As for my 17.3” behemoth of a Dell – not so much. So if you have a larger laptop, you can rest easy knowing it’ll fit in this bag.
Drawbacks of the TravelPro Crew 11
Expansion is only at the bottom of the bag
I’m not really sure why the zipper expansion couldn’t just go all the way around to the top of the bag! Really, it’s not that much more fabric or zipper and adds significantly more space. If you plan on utilizing the expansion feature, be sure to put bulky items closer to the wheels.
Some reports of wheel breaks
Looks like there may have been some quality control with the wheels early in 2018. I found several reports of travelers claiming a wheel would break on only the first or second trip. Could have it been a bad batch? Who knows… It doesn’t appear to have been an issue now in July of 2018, so take that for what it’s worth.
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TravelPro Crew 11 vs. Maxlite 4
As I said in the Maxlite 4 review, I view the Crew 11 as the Maxlite’s older sibling. The Crew 11 has several additional features more frequent travelers might enjoy and it appears to have a better build. There is nothing wrong with the Maxlite 4, but it is very barebones in comparison with the Crew 11. For someone that has been traveling with the Maxlite 4, but is looking for an upgrade, the Crew 11 seems like the most logical choice in my opinion.
TravelPro Crew 11 vs. Magna 2
Unless you’re absolutely in love with the interior of the Magna 2, I think the Crew 11 is a better value in my opinion. These two bags are very similar when looking at their size and features. The difference is the Magna 2 runs about $75-$100 more than the Crew 11, without any significant upgrades. If you’re torn between the 2, go with the Crew 11 and save some cash.
TravelPro Crew 11 vs. Samsonite Pro 4 Deluxe
Comparing the Crew 11 to this Samsonite model seemed most logical since they’re in roughly the same price range, but there are some notable differences one traveler might prefer over the other. With the samsonite, there’s a TSA lock built in, but no charging port. Both bags have very similar, if not the same, material and coating to prevent water from entering the bag. However, the Samsonite lacks the self-aligning wheels that are unique to TravelPro.
TravelPro Crew 11 vs. briggs and riley baseline
The Crew 11 is a strong competitor to the Briggs and Riley Baseline model. It’s half the price, with similar quality of materials. As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, you can’t beat Briggs and Riley’s warranty. In this comparison you have to ask yourself if the $250 savings is worth not having a lifetime warranty.
Summary and Recommendation
All in all, it’s an excellent carry on. It’s built with the business traveler in mind and keeps the discrete style professionals desire. At half the cost of a Briggs and Riley the savings might justify the lack of the lifetime warranty from TravelPro.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to shell out $200 or so on this bag, it may be worth an extra $200-$250 to upgrade to a Briggs. This way you’re always guaranteed to have a bag that’s going to last, even if it breaks. While the TravelPro may last just as long, in the case it doesn’t you’ll be spending another $200, which would almost put you at the cost of a single Briggs and Riley model with the lifetime warranty.