ROAM luggage review: Gorgeous, custom luggage at a steep price

I’ve at all times dreamt of discovering the proper carry-on. It’s one thing I wished however by no means allowed myself to splurge on, nevertheless, as a result of — as a seasoned traveler (or somebody who was once a seasoned traveler previous to the pandemic) — I by no means noticed the purpose. If I used to be checking a bag, I knew it wanted to face up to a beating — which meant my desire for white luggage could be extremely impractical — and even when I wasn’t, my luggage could be shoved in storage every time it wasn’t in use. Even once I lived in England and continuously traveled all through Europe and again to the States, luggage was meant to be sturdy and sensible — not luxurious — so why did it matter? 

Thankfully, I had the chance to place this to the take a look at once I was requested to assessment ROAM(Opens in a new tab), touted because the world’s first color-customizable premium luggage model.

Customizing my new luggage

The customization course of for ROAM’s luggage is extremely easy. You begin by selecting the product you’re thinking about — I examined ROAM’s normal Carry-On(Opens in a new tab) and their Continental backpack(Opens in a new tab) — earlier than customizing it to your desire. Whereas I did respect the choice to customise my luggage, I discovered this a part of the method to be a little missing. 


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For the Carry-On, a light-weight 7.3-pound polycarbonate hardshell suitcase, I used to be capable of customise eight various factors: the entrance shell, again shell, zipper, binding, wheels, carry handles, monogram patch, and lining. Whereas this does give a lot of potential variations to select from, there have been solely 9 shade choices obtainable for the back and front shells (with the power to decide on a totally different shade for every), with a lot of the further shade choices left within the smaller particulars. It was enjoyable to mess around with the customizer and see my creations on the web site, however with 4 of the 9 “important” shade choices obtainable for the outer shell being varied shades of blue…it didn’t really feel fairly as distinctive or customizable as I had hoped. 

The Continental backpack was much more restricted, with solely 4 customizable particulars — the entrance panel, again and backside, facet panel, and the straps and handles — however every of the 4 sections solely provided 4 totally different shade choices. My choices have been restricted to blue, inexperienced, crimson, and black for every of the 4 sections, and I didn’t like a lot of the variations that I attempted. Sadly, as a substitute of feeling distinctive and daring, the color-blocking impact of the backpack jogged my memory of a child’s backpack. It was undoubtedly shiny with some enjoyable shade choices, however it didn’t really feel fairly as customizable because the $350 price tag suggests.

The Continental backpack is designed to suit on the deal with of the Carry-On, which made them a good journey duo.
Credit score: RJ Andersen / ClassyBuzz

First impressions of my ROAM luggage

Proper off the bat, I used to be shocked by how light-weight each merchandise have been. The Carry-On was a direct improve from my historical Samsonite carry-on, and — regardless that I used to be nervous about making the change to hardshell luggage — I might undoubtedly inform the it was a step up. The draw back? I didn’t love the precise development of the suitcase. High quality-wise, the ROAM Carry-On felt a little cheaper than I’d like, particularly the internal lining. I used to be apprehensive about it getting caught or tearing instantly, and I didn’t love how — as a substitute of feeling sturdy and light-weight — the outer shell felt nearly too mild. Sure, the colours have been beautiful and undoubtedly Instagrammable, however I instantly knew that there was no means the white outer shell could be staying white after my first journey. 

Thankfully, my impressions of the backpack have been MUCH higher. Except for the restricted shade choice, I actually appreciated the completed results of my Continental backpack. The bag was ridiculously mild, and the distinctive development had me hooked from the start. At 26 liters, the Continental was solely 2 liters bigger than my trusty Herschel backpack, however the performance of the bag made it appear twice as huge. The zippers opened extra totally, permitting simpler entry (and tighter packing) whereas the extra pockets and compartments have been each strategically positioned and one way or the other nonetheless had room to spare.

Nevertheless, my solely grievance was the identical because the suitcase: The supplies themselves didn’t fairly really feel as much as par with the price, particularly the weak padding within the exterior laptop computer compartment. ROAM does say the again is made completely from recycled and eco-friendly supplies, which was undoubtedly a bonus, however I used to be apprehensive about its general longevity. I used to be additionally nervous about exposing the bag to the weather, so I made a decision to check the “water resistant” label with a spray bottle with a heavy emphasis on the zipper and seams, and it did an okay job of protecting all the pieces dry. It’s undoubtedly not waterproof, nor does it declare to be, however I used to be glad with realizing that my electronics could be okay so long as I used to be cautious.

white suitcase with tan detailing lying on its side

There is no denying this luggage is fairly.
Credit score: RJ Andersen / ClassyBuzz

Touring with my ROAM luggage

I rapidly realized two issues whereas touring with my ROAM luggage: one, I ought to’ve upgraded to 360-degree wheels years sooner, and two, this luggage appears to be like phenomenal. I obtained a number of compliments on my luggage at my lodging, however — whereas it seemed ok to immediate folks to ask the place it was from — everybody balked at the $550 price tag. 

The Carry-On was surprisingly roomy, permitting me to pack a number of days’ price of clothes and my trainers with a little little bit of room to spare. The choice to make it expandable for an extra $45 was the fitting name, and it meant I had room to take a few further outfits with out worrying about the place I might put any souvenirs for my journey dwelling. The extra compression boards have been a good contact, designed that will help you compress your clothes down additional to avoid wasting house, however they didn’t do a lot for me — particularly in comparison with roll-up compression baggage that I’ve used up to now. 

So far as utilizing the suitcase whereas touring? It was undoubtedly the very best carry-on I’ve ever used, however that felt like a results of the 360-degree wheels — one thing most carry-ons have today — in addition to the ultra-lightweight nature of the suitcase. Sure, it was unimaginable to really feel like I wasn’t lugging this large weight round with me within the airport, and it was a breeze to pop it into the overhead bins…however was it that this suitcase was phenomenal? Or was it that my outdated one was horrible? 

Once more, the Continental backpack far outperformed the Carry-On. I used to be shocked by how a lot I used to be capable of pack into the bag together with a number of hardcover books, a half-gallon water bottle, a sweater, my Macbook, chargers, and so forth…and I nonetheless had loads of room to spare. It was additionally wheeled luggage suitable, that means I might slip it onto the deal with of my Carry-On with none points. The extra compartments meant I used to be way more organized than I’d ever been on a flight — all the pieces was easy-to-reach, even once I was on the plane — and it was undoubtedly one of many higher backpacks I’ve traveled with. 

Is ROAM well worth the price? 

Probably not. The luggage is gorgeous, sure, and the choice to customise your luggage is enjoyable and handy — particularly for people bored with making an attempt to identify their suitcase in a sea of black at baggage declare — however the price didn’t fairly match the standard for me. 

The fabric didn’t really feel as sturdy as I’d hoped, and the Carry-On(Opens in a new tab) already confirmed minor indicators of damage after my two brief flights over a weekend of journey. The backpack held up higher, and the precise format of the backpack was phenomenal, however once more the shortage of padding and the fabric itself didn’t fairly match the hefty price tag. 

Nevertheless, it’s tough to say if ROAM(Opens in a new tab) is actually well worth the price with out extra intensive use. I used to be solely capable of take a look at the Carry-On for a single weekend journey, so I can’t actually say if it can maintain up over time. It’s clearly manufactured from extremely light-weight supplies which may outperform my expectations, and — for those who’re a frequent traveler — ROAM provides a 100-day trial interval in addition to a lifetime guarantee, so you’ll be able to at all times put it to the take a look at.

So far as the backpack(Opens in a new tab)? I actually wished it to be sturdier. It appears to be like phenomenal, the compartments are so well-thought-out and purposeful, and the light-weight development was great…however it simply fell wanting implausible. May it’s the bag for you? Possibly.

For me, ROAM simply wasn’t well worth the splurge. 

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