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TripSavvy / Angelica Leicht
Lots of pockets and dividers
No middle divider in the main compartment
Wheels only roll one direction
The Travelpro Bold Expandable Rollaboard is a smart purchase: It’s lightweight and easy to pack, it can withstand a little travel-related abuse, and it even looks good.
We purchased the Travelpro Bold Expandable Rollaboard suitcase so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Luggage brand Travelpro is known for making solid, well-constructed bags, and its motto, "the choice of flight crews and frequent travelers," reflects it. Given their popularity among frequent travelers, I decided to test out the Bold by Travelpro Expandable Rollaboard in the 25-inch, or medium, size (it also comes in 22-inch, or small, and 28-inch, or large options). Find out how well the suitcase performed while being stuffed, dragged, and tossed.
It’s hard to find a bag that checks all the design boxes, and the Travelpro Bold Expandable Rollaboard is no exception. There were a couple of features I thought it was lacking (see next section), but overall, the bag is designed well.
It’s soft-sided and made of rugged, high-density polyester fabric, which I liked because it has some give to it. I was able to pack it into the limited cargo space in my car alongside other bags and other miscellaneous bulky items without having to worry about denting or scratching the sides. I placed a couple of heavy bags on top of it at one point to see if it would become misshapen under the weight, but when I removed them, the bag returned to its original form without any prodding.
The Rollaboard is made to weather the elements and not to mention stains and abrasions.
The water-resistant coating on the bag is another cool feature. I have bags that are better looking than this one, but they can’t withstand moisture, which isn’t practical when I’m traveling to areas where it rains or snows. The Rollaboard is made to weather the elements, though, and not to mention stains and abrasions. I even spilled some water over the top of it to make sure the coating did what it promised. Spoiler alert: It did. The water just rolled right off of the fabric.
The bag comes in three colorways: blue/black, gray/black, and olive/black. I went with gray/black. It would be nice to have more color options, but the colors it does come in are neutral enough to have a wide appeal.
The 25-inch Rollaboard is pretty roomy, even though it’s not a huge piece of luggage. The case only measures about 25 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 10 inches deep, while the overall dimensions are 26 x 16.5 x 10.5 inches (too big for a carry-on but ideal for a checked bag), and yet, it feels a lot bigger than that. I was able to fit a ton of my clothing—five days’ worth, in fact, along with toiletries and two pairs of shoes.
The bag expands, which may add to the roomy feel, but it only added about 2 inches of space—basically just enough to give a little more space to the items that were already in my bag. (And as with many of the other Travelpro bags, the Rollaboard’s expansion compartment on the top of the bag is tapered rather than the standard rectangular method of expansion, which keeps the bag from getting front-heavy and tipping over.)
The main compartment doesn’t come with a divider, so everything had to be packed together and then secured with the elastic tie-downs.
There were a couple of weak points to this bag, though, and one of them was that the main compartment doesn’t come with a divider, so everything had to be packed together and then secured with the elastic tie-downs. I had the same complaint about the Travelpro Maxlite 5, which I also tested, but it isn’t as much of an issue with this suitcase because unlike the Maxlite, there are a ton of other pockets and dividers outside of the main compartment, including two inside the top flap of the suitcase. One is a large zippered wet pocket, which is perfect for storing items that might spill, like shampoo or other toiletries, and the other is a mesh pocket.
What really sold me on this bag was the wheels. They roll like butter. Even when completely full, it was easy to pull, no matter what surface I took it on, from the gravel driveway leading out to my car to the smooth airport floor.
But while the system works smoothly, the wheels don’t rotate 360 degrees as they do on some of the other Travelpro bags; I wasn’t able to push the suitcase around in different directions. Admittedly, this wasn’t a huge issue because the wheels roll so well in one direction. Still, it would be nice to have the ability to push or pull the bag.
What really sold me on this bag was the wheels. They roll like butter.
The aircraft-grade aluminum telescoping handle can be adjusted for height (stopping at 38 inches and 42 inches), which is a nice touch when you’re on the shorter side like I am. I pulled that handle up and down several times with one hand and didn’t have any issues with it getting stuck.
This bag also has four neoprene cushioned carry handles: on the top, front, and two on each side. The bag itself is super lightweight, coming in at 8.2 pounds when it’s empty, so it was easy for me to carry and pull while full and toss into the car without begging for help.
The Bold Expandable Rollaboard comes complete with Travelpro’s unparalleled limited lifetime warranty, which is arguably the suitcase’s best selling point. The manufacturer also covers damage done by airlines or other common carriers under the Trusted Companion Promise.
This suitcase is a steal at well under $200, especially given the quality craftsmanship and the warranty. Travelpro’s retail site lists the MSRP as $179.99, and it can be found for closer to $150 on other websites.
The 22-inch Rollaboard runs around $159.99, while the 28-inch Rollaboard costs $199.99. Also in the brand's "Bold" collection are a computer backpack ($99.99), two expandable spinners (a 21-inch for $179.99 and a 26-inch for $209.99), and a rolling duffel (30-inch for $209.99).
The Samsonite Aspire XLite 25” Spinner (view on Amazon) is similar in size to the Travelpro Bold Rollaboard. Like the one I tested, the Samsonite option is lightweight and expandable and has plenty of pockets and handles, including handles on the side and the top. It also has two locking telescope handle positions. However, unlike the Travelpro, the Samsonite comes with spinning wheels that rotate 360 degrees. It can be found for under $100, which might make it a better choice than the Travelpro if you’re looking for a bag that can be dragged, pushed, or pulled in any direction.
There are a few key differences, though: The Aspire XLite weighs about 9.5 pounds, which is heavier than the one we tested. Additionally, the XLite warranty only lasts ten years and is meant to cover manufacturer defects in material and workmanship; it does not include the companion warranty. So, the Travelpro has a leg up on everything but the spinning wheels.
Yes, invest in this bag.
The Travelpro Bold 25-inch Expandable Rollaboard is a great bag. The warranty is the best out there, and the workmanship is top-notch, too.
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