I've been turned off by hardside luggage in the past (corner dents, lack of organization, loud wheels, flimsy construction, handle not locking), resorting to my reliable mid-range 20" Samsonite soft-side spinner or 20" duffle (quicker) for work travels. I vowed that if I were to return to hardside as a carry-on, it would have to be very good. This might be it.
There really isn't anything revolutionary overall about this hardside (hardside luggage itself and 9/11 were probably the two biggest changes towards carry-ons since the turn of the millennium), but there is an abundance of engineering details and thoughtful touches that made it stand out to me when researching amongst several hardside carry-ons in this $200-$300 price range (bought during the launch sale).
Starting with addressing my past concerns- the aluminum corner reinforcements, all the organzing quirks while still being flexible, the ultra smooth and quiet Hinomoto wheels, and aluminum frame- it checks off every box of my concerns. I also didn't want zippered expandability and an overly exposed button handle- both future failure-points.
As for nitty-gritty stuff that they got right- the handle mechanism surprisingly doesn't intrude into the compartment too much, yet it's extremely sturdy and rattle-free- the tolerances are just better all around and it gives you a sense of sturdiness. The handle itself locks in several heights- there seems to be 4, but I'm able to lock it into a kid/short height (see picture).…