Samsonite Silhouette XV Review – With Some Amazing Features

The Samsonite Silhouette XV Softside is the ideal suitcase for anyone wanting the best Samsonite has to offer.

With a tried and true design, these cases have plenty of space, are easy to pack but still have all the modern features (and more) you have probably come to expect from Samsonite (like upgraded wheels, comfy handles and TSA locks - more on all that below).

They come in three sizes: 21, 25 and 29 inch, so you can choose which ones you need.

The most notable features are:​

  • Water resistant tri-core nylon exterior
  • 3 handles for easy carrying or grabbing (yes there is one on the bottom!)
  • 8 position telescopic handle with comfy cushion grip (can be at the right height for almost anyone)
  • Deep interior with mesh/compression straps + a mesh and wetpac (ie. dirty or wet clothes) removable bag
  • Hanging organizer for your wrinkle free shirts or other delicate items
  • Built-in TSA Code lock (no more lost keys or broken locks)
  • Expandable case using zippered expander (in case you over pack on your way back)
  • Well designed wheels that are super-easy to roll

Specifications

Note: Dimensions are external

  • 20 inch: 23.0" x 15.0" x 8.5" at 8.7 pounds
  • 25 inch: 26.5" x 18.0" x 11.5" at 10.9 pounds
  • 29 inch: 30.5" x 21.0" x 12.25" at 12.7 pounds
  • 4 Colors: Black, Napa Red, Twilight Blue
  • Tricore Nylon exterior with water-resistant coating

Inside The Silhouette XV - Organizing Your Clothes

The Silhouette has a roomy interior to make your packing life easier. If you are like me and use packing cubes, it is even easier. You can layer one on top of the other. Or, just layer your clothes instead.

What I love about Samsonite's straps in this section of the case is the mesh. Most suitcase manufacturer just give you a single strap or crossed elastic straps. Sure, they are not bad at keeping your clothes secure, but these mesh enhanced straps take it one step further and really help hold everything down. (take a look at the second image and you will see what I mean)

The top section is also quite smartly designed. You get two zippered mesh panels, stacked on top of each other. The back one can take a hanger too, so if you want to put a shirt or suit in there, you are good to go.

The outer mesh panel is a little smaller, but also helps you organize your clothes well by separating out the things you need to keep handy or protected from the main area (where things tend to get compressed).

The bottom section also has a mesh zippered pocket like most suitcases. It's also a great spot for those smaller items like electronics, jewelry or other easy to lose items. Just remember to keep them on you when you fly (I put them back in the case in these side pockets when I arrive so I know where to find them).

Samsonite have also given you one more extra bonus inside the case - the wetpac. This is a separate plastic sealed bag where you can put things that are either wet or dirty. Say you went for a swim just before flying home. It's always a hassle to find a plastic bag at the hotel to keep your swimmers separate. Now, you don't have to!

Of course, there are plenty of other uses for this "wet" bag like toiletries, or other potentially leaky items!

Samsonite Silhouette XV Interior

Samsonite Silhouette XV Interior

Samsonite Winfield Top Section
Samsonite Winfield Expander Zipper
Samsonite RightHeight Telescopic Handle

Samsonite RightHeight Telescopic Handle

Silhoutte RightHeight Handle

Have you ever had a case where the telescopic handle was never quite long or short enough?

Me too!

After a while, it can really start to hurt you arm or back.

Samsonite decided to solve this problem with not just 2 or 3 positions on their telescopic handle - but 8. Yes, that's right, their "RightHeight" handle has 8 different height positions.

So, surely there will be one that is perfect for you.

And, to top it all off, they have added some comfy padding under the handle to help alleviate the soreness we all get when dragging our cases around the airport for hours!

I love it when a suitcase manufacturer finally comes up with smart solutions to solve all these common problems :>​

TSA Lock

Of course, it's pretty standard in 2017 to have a suitcase with a built-in TSA lock.

And this series of cases has one too.

It's a simple 3 number combination lock that the zippers easily click into.

And, the TSA can open it if they need to do an inspection.

So now, you don't need to worry about keeping a key or finding your lock cut open when you pick it up at the carousel.​

Samsonite Silhouette TSA Lock

Samsonite Silhouette TSA Lock

Samsonite Silhouette Wheels

Samsonite Silhouette Wheels

Spinner Wheels

It's Samsonite's attention to detail on the Silhouette series that sets them apart, and the wheels are not exception.

The have designed with with a slight camber (angle) so that they roll extremely easily and smoothly and more importantly - in a straight line.

Note: If you have never used a spinner before, it does take a little getting used to. The weight of the suitcase needs to be pushed from the telescopic handle alone (or if you have long arms, you can push the case body). It is not "always" simple to do if the case is heavy (say 40+ lb). but I find it way easier and you hit less people in crowded spaces - because the case is next to you, not behind you. You can also tilt and drag it like a simple roller (two wheeled) case too. Which is great for difficult terrain.

PROS

  • Durable water resistant exterior material 
  • RightHeight handle has 8 positions for easy adaption to almost anyone
  • Interior packing options - include suit hanger, mesh pockets, meshed compression straps and wet bag (don't normally see that level of features in such a case)
  • Wheels are well designed for easy straight rolling
  • TSA combination lock

CONS

  • Expansion is only 3/4 of the length - so not as great as some clamshell designs (see here)
  • Number combination lock might not suit everyone (if you are forgetful :>)
  • Deep one-sided packing is not for everyone (clamshell gives more options but this has a suit hanger and other mesh pockets)
  • Padding on handle susceptible to damage over time
  • Carry on might not fit inside all overheads and comply to tight restrictions (like Spirit Air)

Final Thoughts

If you like softside cases with lots of packing room and pockets to store your clothes, the Samsonite Silhouette has a lot to offer.

With all the extra features on this pack that address many of the pains we suffer as travelers (handles that only go to two heights, having to have your own lock, painful handles to pull for hours, no place to put wet/dirty laundry) this case has impressed me more than many I review.

There is no "perfect case" so you have to decide if this suits how you travel and pack, but if you like this kind of case and want the quality that Samsonite provides I believe it's a great buy.