Trunki Suitcase Review

Traveling With Children

Trunki suitcases
••• How cute are they?!. © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

A Trunki children's suitcase is more than just somewhere to pack the kid's holiday essentials. It looks great so the kid's love it from the start and will enjoy pulling it along them. And when they get tired they can jump on and have a ride! The Trunki suitcase is lightweight and durable and that's what you need when traveling with children. Plus the fun characters and colors will bring admiring comments from other travelers.

There are slightly different products available in the UK from the US and Canada range which is distributed by Melissa & Doug, but we should all be able to find a Trunki suitcase our children will fall in love with.

Specification

All Trunki suitcases are made from strong, hard plastic. It is seriously tough as we've dropped it down stairs (not on purpose) and there are no marks. I've not put it to the test, but as the case can hold over 50kg (100lbs) you could possibly get two children riding on one case.

Dimensions: 46 x 20.5 x 31cm (18" x 8" x 12")
It's hand luggage approved so no need to check in at the airport. This has been a huge help as I've packed mine and my daughter's things for the plane in her Trunki and I could then pull her along for the long 'walk' to the Gate. Actually, be aware that Trunki suitcases are supposed to be hand luggage and not checked in so pack it accordingly.

Weight: 1.7kg (Approx: 3.8 lbs)
Light enough for young children to pull along themselves.

If they run with the case and turn quickly it may fall over but I don't see that as a fault as I'm sure it would happen with all cases. It is perfectly stable as a ride-on toy as the four wheels are even and robust.

Capacity: 18 l. (4 gallons)

Age Range: 3-6 years approx.
I've seen 18-month-old toddlers riding on their own Trunki and know of 8-year-olds who no longer ride on theirs but use it for storing toys and pack it for sleepovers.

Trunki suitcases are well-made so you should have it for many years so don't be too concerned about the age range as your child will find plenty of uses for their case.

Colors: There are lots of colors and characters in the range and more specials arrive each year so every child should be able to find the right one for them.

More Than Just The Airport

I agree with the reviewer on the About.com Kid's Fashion site who suggests all kids should have a least one good sized bag for air travel, car trips and for sleepovers.

I've used the Trunki suitcase for more than just the airport and it's been pulled along the street in many countries with my daughter riding along.

We've been to the shops on it – and I didn't have to carry the groceries back afterward! (I didn't buy eggs or leak-able items, obviously, but it was great for the heavy stuff like tins or for bread so it wasn't squashed in my shopping bag.)

Even going to the library, we've taken the Trunki so my daughter's 15 hardback books could be inside and she could ride along.

I know lots of families who use the Trunki for weekends away for the kids and my daughter uses hers for moving toys around the house.

When we went on a two-week road trip, she was allowed to pack as many toys as she could fit in her Trunki and I didn't hear any complaints as she had most of her favorite things with her for our time away.

Features

There are two clasps that can be 'locked' with the simple key attached to the strap handle. I have never had the clasps come undone while going along, whether locked or not, so I do think this is very secure. You will probably need to help your child to open the case but that's a good thing as you don't want them emptying the contents around the airport.

There's an elastic 'teddy bear seat belt' to hold everything in place on one side.

The soft rubber seal ensures everything stays in plus no nipped fingers when closing.

Once closed, the case has hard 'horns' for children to hold on to when they ride and there's a molded saddle shape so the rider doesn't slide about. Even young children can move themselves along quite easily.

There's a detachable strap with a loop handle for either clipping on at one end for pulling the case, or clipping on at both ends and to carry on your shoulder.

I've never had the strap unclip itself either when being pulled along or carried.

There are also short handles so you can grab the case quickly when needed.

No outside pockets: I know some reviewers, such as on the About.com Baby Products site, would like to see an outside pocket on the case but I prefer it without as I know the contents would get lost easily and it may make the case uncomfortable to ride or unstable.

There's an ID label on the strap handle which is worth filling in as you see plenty of these cases at airports these days so you don't want any confusion if kids start playing together.

About Trunki

Rob Law had the idea for the ride-on suitcase back in 1996 and took it to the BBC TV show, Dragon's Den, where entrepreneurs try to convince business experts that they have a good idea. Surprisingly, Trunki was turned down for financial backing but we can all be grateful Rob realized he had a good product. He has been back on the show and the Trunki suitcase is now widely recognized as 'the one that got away'. Find out more about the company.

Less Frustration

Kids like having some control over their lives and holiday time can be tough as their routines are lost and they can seem more difficult but often just want to have some responsibility for their life too.

There is a reason a Trunki case is top of this list of Airline Luggage for Children. The small pull-along cases seem like a good idea when your child is at home but you know the kids will get bored and you'll be left carrying it at some point – and those handles are not long enough for an adult, are they?

The clever Trunki designers realized children are happier when they can play with a friend, and a Trunki case is a character so is a great companion for your little one while away from home. It's a ride-on toy to play on while you're in queues or waiting at airports or stations. And when they get tired – and they will (especially when just off the plane) – you can pull your child along while they are seated which means you know where they are and they haven't left their case anywhere. It also makes it fun for the child so complaining levels should be reduced. Yes, you may spend some time pulling them along but I've found it leads to a lot less frustration for everyone than trying to carry a toddler and all the holiday bags.

Conclusion

Both my daughter and I have been thrilled with her Trunki suitcase and I know as she gets older we will continue to use it around the house and for visiting friends and family. Thankfully it is a high-quality case and I know we will have it for many years. I only wish they made one for adults so I could join in the fun!

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.