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Freeform Hardside Carry-on (21 Inch)
ONLY VALID OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF :
USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain & France
Lipault don't make a huge range of suitcases, but the cases they do make are insanely light!
So, if you are looking for a functional suitcase that is super-lightweight and will last you for years, this might just be the case for you.
The Lipault Plume series are softcases that range in size from 20, 24 and 26 inch. So there will surely be one for you.
Their focus is on soft, padded cases that are easy to fit a lot of your stuff in but are not full of frills and unnecessary features or weight that you don't need.
Having said that, they still have:
Although this review is all about the Original Plume, the changes in the 2.0 version are very minimal. The video below gives you a great idea of how it looks and what the features are in both. If you want a direct comparison between the Originale and the 2.0, you can watch the second video.
Most manufacturers will go on (and on) about how light their cases are. They shave off an ounce here and there, but in the end, only the best and most expensive of them (like the Samsonite Firelite or Cosmolite) are actually super-light.
Let's take the Cosmolite from Samsonite, which is one of the lightest hardcases I have seen. The 20 inch is 4.08 pounds. Pretty darn light.
The Plume 20 inch is even 10% lighter than that at 3.7 pounds.
The same is true of all the Plume cases. They are insanely lightweight.
So, if weight is a big issue for you (and let's face it, we all love light cases, and the options that gives us), then these cases are worth putting on your shopping list.
The Plume takes a pretty simple approach to packing which is mainly due to the simple softshell design.
There is one large packing space (which you can see in the image) with compression straps that you can use to secure or reduce the size of your clothes.
This is the kind of space in a suitcase where I love to use packing cubes, You can pre-pack your gear and then slot it in quickly and easily. It is also easy to remove it at the other end, in the hotel or airbnb.
Because it is so big, this kind of one-sided design is not as great for separating your clothes as say a clamshell in a hardcase, which both Delsey and Samsonite seem to favor these days.
On the lid of the case is a huge zippered pocket you can also cram lots of other smaller clothes into. This is perfect for your underwear, socks and smaller (less wrinkle-prone) items. I love to use pockets like this for such things. Easy to cram in, easy to find, and easy to drag out without worrying about creases!
Another handy pocket on the Plume is the front pocket. Depending on if you have a carry on (20 inch) or check-in, this could be useful for a bunch of things.
Carry on, you could put your laptop and other books, magazines etc in there for easy access once you get ready to sit down and then put your case in the overhead.
Check in, it gives you a few more options for thinner, less sensitive things like papers, rain jackets (which you might need quickly when you arrive in say - Seattle?) or just a sweater.
Either way, both the Plumes (originale and 2.0) have the same pocket - the 2.0 just has a double zipper, which is great if you want to be able to lock this pocket.
The four spinner wheels on this case are what you would expect.
360 degrees rotation and smooth rolling, they allow you to easily move your case about. And the bonus with the plume is that it is already one of the lightest cases on the market, so moving it around is always going to be less of a chore (unless you have packed it with stones :>).
Of course, as with all spinners (except the Chatelet from Delsey) there is no braking system, so always be mindful when on a train, bus or hill that you don't just suddenly let go. The wheels will roll, and roll and roll...with or without you!
Also, I have actually not seen such a handy feature before, even on the Samsonite cases, which are usually even more expensive.
Let's face it. You expect a decent suitcase to have a few handles these days, so it's no suprise that this one ticks all the boxes.
There are two soft carry handles (top and side) for either lifting or carrying briefcase style.
The telescopic handle is also well made and fairly standard. But, what is notable on this case is that when collapsed, it can be hidden away to stop if from suffering any damage from our friends the baggage handlers (aka baggage throwers!).
The Lipault Plume suitcases are all about lightweight and simplicity. These cases don't have the frills or complicated packing options cases like Delsey or Samsonite make with their suitcases. So, if you like just having a huge interior to pack your stuff in, and a dependable bag that is light as a feather, this might be the perfect option for you.
There are some important features missing from these cases, which might be a reason why you would choose something else. The case is very soft, for example, and that means that your stuff is not that well protected. Of course, you can roll things in clothes or put them in shoes to protect them (which I do anyway, no matter what the case) but the protection factor is lacking.
There are also no frills on this case - like a stylish exterior, built-in TSA locks or top-endJapanese spinner wheels. However, you have to pay more money for those. If you are looking for such things, I suggest checking out some of the Delsey's or Samsonites.
If you want a higher-end lightweight case, that has a few more frills and a hardshell, I believe the Firelite or Cosmolite from Samsonite might be what you are looking for. But of course, you will also pay a lot more money for those. It is always a balance, right?
In the end, if you want simple, lightweight and reasonably priced, these are great suitcases that will last you a while for sure.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!
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