Carlton Dune 4-wheel Spinner Suitcase
UK Price: £149
Pros: Tough, very lightweight, easy to move, nice colour options
Cons: Clam shell design makes lid awkward to open against a wall on a luggage rest
Verdict: A sturdy workhorse
Rating: 4 stars
Available: John Lewis stores
Hard suitcases usually have the disadvantage of being heavy even before you fill them with too many pairs of shoes, but the Carlton range caught my eye as the case can be lifted by one finger when empty, maximising stingy airline luggage allowances. It’s also a piece of cake to put it in the loft when it’s not in use. The polycarbonate-ridged case is designed not to crack, a common disadvantage of hard cases.
It’s also easy to manoeuvre. You can pull it along behind you– useful on uneven surfaces; or better still, on smooth surfaces, such as at airports and train stations; it glides along next to you in an upright position. It can also spin around on the spot, hence its name.
I’ve been on four trips now (two long haul) testing this case and it’s survived very well, with just minor scratches. It was also left out in a monsoon downpour and all the contents stayed dry – my previous soft tops let in water.
Apart from attracting envious glances, the bright glossy magenta colour is easy to spot on the luggage carousel. (Other colours are available)
The case has a neat integral combination lock, which is simple to operate and it’s compliant with US customs; they can open the case without destroying the lock.
The plastic covers around the zip sometimes bend; but this is part of the clever design and soon right themselves.
The clam style opening does mean it is difficult to open against a flat wall on a luggage rack and if you put it on a bed, it takes up a lot of room. I’d also have liked the internal zipped net in the lid to be accessed from the top, instead of the bottom and sides, to make storing dirty clothes easier.
These minor gripes aside, I’m very pleased with the case and know it will be accompanying me on many more trips