Samsonite produce some of the best luggage in the world, and actually own both the Samsonite and American Tourister brands. And although they are both the same company, these suitcase brands differ quite a bit.
So, it is certainly worth seeing a detailed comparison of these two renowned travel brands, to figure out which you want to buy.
In this review I will show you how these two manufacturers top models of luggage compare, as well as in-depth reviews of each piece of luggage itself.
In the end, you will have all the information you need to decide whether it is going to be American Tourister or Samsonite for your next purchase.
Let's start with a quick overview...
Samsonite Silhouette XV
American Tourister Fieldbrook II
American Tourister iLite Xtreme
20, 24, 28
21, 25, 29
21, 25, Bag
21, 25, 29
6.8, 8.3, 10.35
8.7, 10.9, 12.7
19 lb (3 piece set)
7.2, 9.2, 10.4
Nylon - water resistant
4 Spinner wheels
4 Spinner wheels
2 Rolling wheels
4 Spinner wheels
Black, Teal, Carribean Blue, Radiant Pink, Burnt Orange
Charcoal, Orange, Deep Blue, Purple
Black, Purple, Red
Black, Light Blue, Red, Purple & various patterns
Comparing the Samsonites and the Travelpros, you have to look at a few things in detail:
Each brand has three main sizes that usually suit most people's needs:
If you are looking to invest in something for a big trip, you will want a carry-on and a large case. If you just want options, you can grab the mid and large case (which is what I did - week trips, and long trips). I use a backpack for carry on in any case.
Most suitcases these days are relatively lightweight. However, if this is something you are really concerned about, you might want to go with a lighter weight case to be able to fit more clothes in
In the comparison chart above, you will see that actually the lightest case in the list is Omni, but the American Tourister Max Lite are quite light for their low price point. These are a great option if you don't want to spend the kind of money you will need to fork out for a Samsonite. There is of course, a difference in quality.
Hardcases are very strong and durable, but softcases are quite flexible/compressible so can actually handle travel a lot better, in the long run. Especially if it is a quality case. Just remember, that with a soft case you don't have the protection around whatever you pack, so you have to remember to leave your Mom's best china crockery or vases at home!
In terms of materials on soft cases, Nylon is a better, more durable material. So, the Samsonite Silhouette XV is the best of the three soft cases in this review. American Tourister tries to save you money wherever they can, which means they have to go with cheaper materials like Polyester. It won't last as long, but it is a lot cheaper.
Companies like Samsonite tend to put more money and research into their materials (including their handles, zippers, wheels etc) and that is usually the reason why the cases cost more and last longer.
That is not to say that a American Tourister cases will break the minute you use them, but if you want something to last longer, it often makes more sense to pay more money if you can. I have had Delsey's and Samsonites last me nearly a decade of heavy travel. Sometimes, it is worth paying a little more.
Most suitcases have the same basic feature set, so it's rarely a problem to pack and put your stuff on a plane. You will get:
Where things differ a little is in the following:
This is the biggest difference, apart from quality, of these two luggage brands.
Samsonite cases are towards the top of the spectrum (although some cases are not too expensive - mid-range I would say). Although, one of the reasons I include the Samsonite Omni in this review is that it is a best seller and one of the most affordable and durable Samsonites on the market, with single cases often around or below 100 bucks too.
American Tourister is at the bottom end of the luggage spectrum and their cases rarely cost over 100 bucks. Even their three piece sets like the Fieldbrook II are super cheap.
So, if money is your only concern, go with American Tourister for sure.
Here are a few of the Samsonites I have mentioned and more details about each.
The Samsonite Omni PC range is an affordable and durable hard case that will last you for years. It is one of the best options for those looking for an entry into the Samsonite range, without breaking the bank.
The Omni's are one of Samsonite's best sellers and for good reason.
See what's included in the Omni:
With the Omni you get a top-end suitcase at a budget price, with features normally reserved for suitcases costing many hundreds of dollars.
You can also get a quick rundown of the features in the video below:
The Samsonite Silhouette XV on the other hand is a little more expensive and more of a top-end softcase that Samsonite has packed full of great features.
Softcases give you a little more packing flexibility because you can have outside pockets. It also seems to handle the rough life of a suitcase through airports better too. As long as you don't pack breakables (or not protect them).
So, what does the Silhouette XV include that is so impressive:
The interior of this case has the typical soft case large packing area, which many people love. What is also impressive are the two big mesh pockets on the lid, one of which has a hanger for your more wrinkle prone items. Included in this case is also a wetpac which is great for when you have wet or dirty items (or toiletries if you wish). Normally you have to bring plastic bags or pack your own dirty laundry bag.
The 8 position telescopic handle (that finally addresses the "height" issue people have with suitcases) that also has some padding to alleviate the pain you get from pulling the handle for ages is one of the most notable features on this case. I have never seen such a multi-level handle on a case.
This is more of a case for the frequent or business traveler who appreciates that some of the smaller details on a suitcase can make all the difference.
You can see all the Silhouette features in detail in the video review below:
Note: Dimensions are external/outside
This budget luggage company has some decent suitcases that are worth checking out.
The Fieldbrook ii is one of American Tourister's most popular cases.
Functional, simple, durable and affordable. What is not to like.
Here are some of the features you will like:
The Fieldbrook luggage is simple, light and easy to use.
No frills or pointless features on these cases, and at under 100 bucks hardly much to complain about on the price too.
The Ilite Max from American Tourister is a nice light weight option if you are after an affordable soft case.
These are the upmarket line from AT and have a lot more top-end features and materials which you will love.
The best features include:
American Tourister have added a couple of nice features on this luggage range for those looking for a little more comfort and pleasure while traveling. Although they are a little more expensive than the bottom end Fieldbrook series, it is well worth the price.
As I have mentioned throughout this review, with Samsonite you are getting higher quality but higher prices. More features often come with their cases too.
American Tourister appeals to those who don't want to empty their wallets on a decent case. You just have to accept that your suitcase might not last as long.
Here are a few easy choices based on specific criteria:
Durability and Strength: For sheer protection, a hardcase is always best. So, if you plan on taking things that might break, I would go with a Samsonite, with the Omni being the entry level model.
In general Samsonites are going to last you longer, or Delsey's if you want to check out the options they have. American Tourister just lacks the materials and quality of their more expensive competitor.
Features & Comfort: The top end models always have more options. That means more pockets (including wet packs), better handles (8 positions on the Silhouette, with a foam grip for comfort!), better wheels and a TSA lock on the Samsonites. The American Tourister Ilite Max has a reasonable compromise here with spinner wheels and a wetpack included for a still reasonable price.
In the end, it all depends on what is important to you when you travel, and how much money you want to spend on the case.
So, my advice: read over the features lists. Check the prices. Read the reviews of the one or two models you like the best. Then - pull the trigger.
There is no perfect case, but all 4 in this comparison are decent choices.