If you’re thinking about buying luggage from Ciao, you’ll love this review! We’ll tell you everything there is to know about their bags and their suitcases – both the good things and the bad things.
Ciao makes affordable luggage, which appeals to a lot of people. Why spend $600 on a suitcase, when you can get one for $60? But, oftentimes affordability means lower quality.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Ciao Options
Is that the case with Ciao? You can find that out in this detailed review, and see if the bags are up to your standards!
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Best Carry On
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The Voyager set is a great option for people who want to get the best value for money. You get three suitcases for less than $150, which is a really good deal. But what kind of suitcases do you get?
The Voyager luggage is made from ABS plastic – not the best material for hardside suitcases. Unlike polycarbonate shells, ABS ones will break upon hard impact. This doesn’t matter too much with a carry-on, since you’re the one wheeling it around and you know to be gentle with it. But it does matter with the larger suitcases – baggage handlers just love to throw around your luggage, and an ABS shell is not the best choice for a frequent flyer’s checked bag.
The suitcases do have reinforced corners, and that helps protect the shell in case of a nasty fall. But then again, only the front corners have guards – the back ones don’t.
All of the suitcases in this set feature single spinner wheels and a telescopic wheel handle. The handle is height-adjustable, which is always a nice addition. Additionally, the larger two suitcases have both top and side grab handles, while the smallest suitcase only has a handle on the top. I’m not exactly sure why that is, and I think that’s not really a good thing. And none of the suitcases have a lock.
The interior of the Voyager luggage is pretty basic. There are two packing compartments and both are fully lined. The top packing compartment has a full panel zippered divider with a mesh pocket on it, while the bottom compartment features elastic cross straps and a small zippered pocket. Pretty much what you see on most other similar suitcases.
This Ciao suitcase is made from 100% polycarbonate – a lightweight and durable material, which is frequently used in high-end suitcases. Polycarbonate shells have excellent impact resistance because they bend, and not break. However, PC shells usually don’t have great scratch resistance, since the material is prone to scuffs and scratches.
One thing I really like about this suitcase is that the zipper puller for the expansion is shaped differently from the one that opens the bag. That’s really useful – how many of you actually look at which zipper you’re undoing when you’re packing? And how often do you mix the two zippers up? With the pullers on this Ciao carry-on, you’ll be able to actually feel the difference, without glancing at them.
Additionally, these are the only Ciao suitcases that feature a TSA-friendly lock. Obviously, that’s a plus, but I really wish they included the lock in one of their larger suitcases and not just a carry-on. And in case you really don’t care about that lock, this suitcase is available in a version without it.
The suitcase features double spinner wheels and a retractable wheel handle that locks into several height positions. The interior of the suitcase consists of two fully lined packing compartments. The bottom one has elastic cross straps and a small zippered pocket, while the top one features a zippered divider with both zippered and slip pockets.
The Weekender bag is made from lightweight ballistic nylon. That’s a good material for an underseat bag since it is both tear and water-resistant. And because of its small dimensions, this bag can fit under the seat of almost any airplane.
There are two skate wheels on this bag, and feet in front of them so that the bag doesn’t tip over. They roll fine – as well as you can expect skate wheels to roll. However, the distance from the ground to the bottom of the bag is barely existent. So, you will need to be careful with where you put down the bag – I’d say avoid nasty toilet stalls and puddles.
One downside of the bag is that the ergonomic wheel handle is not height adjustable – you can lock it only when it is fully extended or stored. This will be an issue for people who are either very short or very tall, especially because it is a little flimsy when extended. But you do always have the option to carry this in your hands, with the two top carry handles. They are secured by a Velcro strap so that they feel more comfortable in your hand.
The interior of the bag is fully lined and features a total of three pockets – one inside the bag, and two on the lid. There are also four external pockets on the Weekender, which help you stay organized when you travel. Overall, it is a decent bag – maybe not the best Ciao has to offer, but certainly good enough for the price.
This is a very interesting bag. It looks just like any other underseat bag – small, compact, and with lots of pockets. But, it also has an expandable capacity, and you can easily transform this bag into a 22” carry-on suitcase. I think that’s a great option, especially for people who tend to shop a lot on their trips. With this bag, you will always have enough space for anything you buy while you’re away.
The expandable underseater is made from nylon, so it’s a pretty durable bag. Plus, it is water-resistant, so everything inside will stay dry if you get caught in the rain. The bag features in-line skate wheels and a telescopic wheel handle that has its own compartment.
When you want to expand the underseat bag, you need to unzip the top part of the bag. That’s really convenient because the rest of the bag is hiding in a pocket separate from the actual packing compartment of the bag. And, that extra material is actually not taking away from the capacity of the underseat bag.
When the bag is expanded, it has a luggage strap – the carry handle of the non-expanded bag becomes the luggage strap of the carry-on suitcase. Pretty cool, right? You also get an additional external compartment. And when it’s not expanded, you have three zippered external pockets, and you access the packing compartment from the front.
When you’re using the bag like a suitcase, the two packing compartments are actually separate. I think this is a great feature because it allows for an impeccable organization. Overall, the expandable underseat bag is definitely one of my top choices!
The hardside underseat bag is a good option if you want something really durable. But keep in mind that it has very limited capacity – you can’t squeeze things inside like you can with softshell bags. But, it also can’t get a bit too bulky to actually fit under the seat, due to the hard plastic shell.
The bag features a double-barrel retractable handle and two in-line skate wheels. You have to tilt the bag to get the wheels rolling, and you might find that the handle is too short – especially if you’re a really tall person. In that case, you’ll be glad to know that the bag has a sturdy grab handle on the top. And since it will rarely get too heavy, carrying it in your hands isn’t that tedious.
The interior of the bag is really interesting. It is fully lined, and it opens up into a packing compartment and a shallow compartment on the lid. That compartment is actually just the right size for your laptop or tablet, and the organizer panel with several pockets that goes over it will keep it in place at all times.
The internal compartment has a strap on each side that you can secure to the lid (like in the photo). This allows you to set up your bag so that you can open it up just a little and get out something quickly when you need to. Without having to pick up the contents of the bag from the airport floor.
This duffel bag is a good option if you don’t plan to take it to the airport. It’s great for road trips and bus/train trips since it is lighter than most suitcases and allows for easier organization. Ciao’s duffel also comes with in-line skate wheels and a retractable wheel handle, for ultimate convenience of travel.
The bag is made from polyester – a durable material, but one that doesn’t have great water resistance. Remember that if you get caught in the rain with this bag. The duffel also has a padded carry handle at the top, and two on the front. The front ones are joined with a Velcro strap, for carrying convenience.
However, this is a large bag – you’ll often find it too heavy to pick up with just one hand. For that reason, I would have preferred an additional grab handle at the bottom. Additionally, there are no external compression straps on this bag. So, whenever you don’t completely fill it, your stuff inside will get jumbled around.
The packing compartment features a U-Zip opening, which makes packing really easy. There are no pockets inside the actual packing compartment, but there is one on the lid of the bag. Plus, you have four external pockets on the side of the bag, so I think you’ll find it easy to organize your belongings in this Ciao duffel.
If you want a plain duffel bag, then this is the one to get. For one thing, it is ridiculously cheap – less than $15. I think the price is the reason alone to get the bag and try it out because you won’t find a more affordable duffle bag.
The exact dimensions of the duffel are not specified – just that it is an 18″ bag. I think that it will fit into overhead compartments on planes and that you could use it as a carry-on. It’s a good overnight bag – it’s just the right size to fit enough clothes for a night or two.
And even if you’re just looking to get a duffel, not even for travel but for the gym or camping, this is a great choice. Because it is in a smaller size, it would easily fit into your gym locker. Plus, it can rarely get too heavy, so you will stay comfortable when you’re carrying the bag.
The bag features an adjustable shoulder strap, which is somewhat padded, for improved carrying comfort. And you also get two carry handles that are joined together with a Velcro strap, for when you don’t feel like carrying the bag on your shoulder.
It doesn’t have too many pockets – in fact, as far as I can tell it only has an external one. The duffel features a regular top opening, which allows for easy access to all of your belongings.
We’ll check out three types of luggage in this review – hardside suitcases wheeled underseat bags (softside and hardside) and duffel bags. So, depending on what kind of luggage you are looking for, you should be able to find something for yourself.
You’ll notice that Ciao makes a lot of underseat bags, which are convenient above all. They are pretty small in size, and they are designed to fit under the seat of nearly every airplane, ensuring that they will always be treated as carry-ons.
And they are great for all occasions – whether you’re just going on an overnight trip and need to bring along very little clothes, or you’re going overseas for a month, and need a bag to organize your in-flight necessities.
If you’re looking for a really convenient piece of luggage, I would definitely recommend one of Ciao’s underseat bags.
The duffel bags from Ciao are a great option if you don’t intend to bring them on an airplane. Especially the wheeled one – because of its size you would have to check it at an airport, and I’m afraid that it wouldn’t really survive too many flights. But, if you’re looking for a bag that you can take on trains or road trips, this one is a great option.
And there are also the classic hardside suitcases, in a variety of sizes. If you are looking for one of these, be sure to check out the mini-reviews, to read about their upsides and their downsides. You can check out the dimensions and weights of the Ciao suitcases in the product information boxes below the reviews.
One issue with buying luggage is that a lot of people don’t really see past the price tag. And if they can afford a suitcase, a lot of people will get it without really doing their due diligence, which results in disappointment and broken wheel handles. So, if you’re here, then you’re doing the right thing – reading up on the luggage before you throw money at the brand, even if that’s just $50.
With Ciao luggage, you can’t really expect premium quality. And I think that’s obvious from their prices – if the quality of the suitcases was outstanding, there would be one more 0 at the end of their price tags. But that doesn’t mean that the quality is garbage – quite the opposite, actually. The quality of these suitcases is good, and I would recommend them to most people – maybe not to those who are in a place once a week.
One thing to keep in mind is that only the largest suitcases need to be exceptionally durable. Those are the ones that you will check at the airport, and that will be at the mercy of baggage handlers. All of Ciao’s larger suitcases have corner guards, which significantly improves the durability of the luggage.
With smaller suitcases, the durability of the shell is not that big of an issue – you don’t need to worry about baggage handlers throwing around your 20” carry-on. Instead, you should look at the durability of the wheel handle and the wheels. So, check the pros/cons section to see if a suitcase has a flimsy handle or wheels that don’t roll as smoothly as they should.
Another thing I would like to point out is that these suitcases are a good deal for people who don’t really travel too often. If you only get on a plane 2-3 times a year, your Ciao suitcase will live a really long life. And in that case, you don’t really need a high-end suitcase. But, if you are a frequent flyer, then I really suggest you consider getting a more expensive piece of luggage, like Roncato or Samsonite. You’ll wind up saving money in the long run.
If you want to get really good value for money, then get the Ciao luggage sets. It is inexpensive, and you get three-piece of luggage for the prices of a single Delsey Paris suitcase. It’s also the only way you can get the Voyager suitcases since they are not available for purchase individually.
A suitcase set is the better option if you’re looking to get more than one suitcase, or if you are looking at gifts. Because, for a little over $100, you have three presents to give away to your friends and family. Or you can just give away one of them, and save the others for yourself.
If you haven’t picked a bag already, maybe this will help – here are the three pieces of luggage that we would recommend to anyone.
The TSA Carry On by Ciao is definitely the best suitcase. It is made from polycarbonate, so there’s no doubt about the quality and durability of its shell. The material has great impact resistance, and you should be able to use this suitcase for years. Plus, this is the only luggage that has a TSA lock, which is a big upside. It means that your belongings inside will stay secure, even if the suitcase isn’t by your side at all times. The packing compartments have an expandable capacity, and the double spinner wheels allow for smooth maneuvering.
If you want to get an underseat bag, I recommend the Ciao Expandable one. It is very versatile – you can transform it into a 22″ carry-on suitcase, which is very convenient. The expanded bag features a luggage strap, two packing compartments, and multiple external pockets. And when it is not expanded, you have a small underseat bag that is very convenient for shorter trips. The telescopic wheel handle stores into its own compartment when not in use, which makes the bag more compact and easier to fit in small spaces.
And if you’re looking for a large duffel bag, the Ciao Wheeled Duffel is your best option. It’s a 30″ bag so you can pack for a month-long vacation inside it. And it has lots of different pockets, so you can easily organize all of your belongings. The wheels and the retractable wheel handle make it super convenient to travel with this duffel since you don’t have to carry it in your arms. And considering that it can easily weigh more than 50lbs, I’d say that’s a great feature.
If you found luggage you loved, head over to Amazon to see some more photos and check out the prices and color options.
And if you don’t think that Ciao is right for you, check out some of our other posts on affordable luggage options!