The Best From Our Tests: A Review of Samsonite's Freeform Hardside Spinner

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Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable Carry-On Spinner

TripSavvy / Tamara Staples

Samsonite's Freeform Hardside Luggage line features 21-, 24-, and 28-inch expandable spinner suitcases. We recently tested the 21-inch (carry-on) version with 39 other top-performing carry-on luggage items. The Freeform aced the tests, outperforming all other suitcases and earning our best overall pick.

There's a lot to love about Samsonite's Freeform Carry-On. Starting on the outside, the injection-molded polypropylene held up well against our testers, pushing the fully packed suitcase off tables and ladders, and even taking swings at it with a baseball bat. The four fully spinning wheels helped the Freeform glide through our maneuverability tests, no matter the surface. A cross ribbon, divider, and several pockets boosted internal organization. Features like a multi-stage handle with an extra-wide grip, TSA-approved locks, and a 10-year warranty helped push the Freeform to the top of our list.

Below we go in-depth into what we loved about this suitcase with a few nitpicks.

Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner

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Samsonite Freeform Carry-On Spinner

Samsonite

Four 360-degree spinning wheels excel on different surfaces at different speeds

The Freeform features four 360-degree spinning wheels that our testers found had good movability on different surfaces and speeds. Our testers thought it had one of the best glides among all tested suitcases. While it handled bumps and other obstacles fine, our testers found the suitcase did better on two wheels navigating most bumps. The sturdy multi-stage handle helped boost maneuverability and control. "We found it easier to have the handle on a higher level for carpet and a lower position for harder surfaces," the testers reported.

Samsonite Freeform testing

TripSavvy / Tamara Staples

It fits everything for at least five days

The Freeform easily fit everything on our list, which included four T-shirts, two long-sleeved shirts, three pairs of pants, five pairs of socks, five pairs of underwear, two jackets, two pairs of shoes, and two toiletry bags, without needing the expansion feature. Organization is helped by a cross ribbon and divider with a few pockets. While our testers did fit everything easily and were able to organize items, they did mention wanting to see a few more pockets and a separate compartment for dirty laundry or shoes.

Samsonite Freeform Testing

TripSavvy / Jhett Thompson

We love the simplistic yet effective design

"It's so pretty. I love this bag," our testers said. "But aesthetics aside, the design is minimal (as far as bells and whistles are concerned) and effective." The overall design is sleek and sophisticated and is available in 15 colors. Again, our testers would've liked to have seen an additional zippered pocket for dirty clothes or shoes. But this can easily be remedied with a set of packing cubes.

Samsonite Freeform testing

TripSavvy / Jhett Thompson

The Freeform survived bat hits and drops unscathed

Durability is another area where the Freeform truly excels. Thanks to injection-molded polypropylene, the Freeform is exceptionally rugged and lightweight, weighing under six pounds. It was one of the lightest we tested. "This bag could definitely get tossed around and be fine," our tester reported. "It hardly had any scuffs on it after the baseball bat test. I would feel fine about it getting checked at the gate if (when) I'm boarding group nine, and there's no more overhead bin space available."

Samsonite Freeform testing

TripSavvy / Jhett Thompson

The price offers excellent value that will last you for years

Simply put, this suitcase is an excellent value. Currently $180, it out-performed many suitcases costing more. "I think this bag is a great investment," our tester said. "Especially if an individual travels regularly—this bag can hold up and make it through airports (even if you're sprinting because you're late)." Our testers said they'd recommend it to their friends and family who travel often and need a bag to keep up. The various colors help with identifying the luggage on a baggage claim belt if you do decide to check it.

"I also think the shell is a good middle ground between hard and soft—I feel like it could get dropped in a puddle and be fine, but it's also not going to be crazy hard if you ram it into your leg in a mad dash to the gate," our tester reported. If you're looking for an affordable, durable, maneuverable, and fun suitcase (and who isn't), this bag is a solid pick.

Samsonite Freeform testing

TripSavvy / Tamara Staples

Who should buy the Samsonite Freeform Carry-On

This suitcase is for the frequent jetsetter to the occasional traveler. We don't think there's a better overall carry-on suitcase on the market, especially for the price. There's enough space to fit about a week's worth of clothing and items. It has enough smart features and organizational capability for most travelers. And it's incredibly durable. Throw in Samsonite's 10-year warranty, and we can't imagine a better deal elsewhere.

Samsonite Freeform testing

TripSavvy / Tamara Staples

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Allen is TripSavvy's Outdoor Gear Editor. He's had enough luggage lost and delayed, so he only checks a bag when necessary, so he appreciates a solid carry-on suitcase like the Samsonite Freeform. The Samsonite Freeform was tested alongside 39 other carry-on suitcases in TripSavvy's New York testing lab. We sent the Freeform to testers for long-term testing and will update this document as new or different insights are submitted.

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