I love to travel – and now that I am getting older and the kid is almost grown, it is time for me to do what I love.
Recently I received an email from Chester, a newer brand in the crowded luggage market telling me about their carry on suitcase the Minima.
I was quickly intrigued.
Chester sent me a Minima carry on spinner suitcase for review for this post – but as with any review I do it will be 100% honest.
I have taken this suitcase on 2 separate trips – one on a flight to Los Angeles, CA and another was a car ride to Pittsburgh, PA (6 hour drive time). This allowed me to really get a great feel for the performance and durability of this suitcase.
Chester Minima Carry On Luggage Review
It has been a heck of a long time since i have used anything other than a soft-sided carry-on so when I received the Minima at first I struggled to imagine that it would be flexible or light enough to use. I am no weakling but was really afraid that this bag would be too heavy to easily wheel or manage whether in an airport or driving.
I was thrilled to find out that this was one of the easiest and lightest bags I have ever used.
The outer shell of the case is considered a hard shell, but it does still have a touch of “give” so it is not as hard as it first appears. The shell is made from a polycarbonate which is one of the most popular and durable materials.
I was able to cram a whole lot into the bag and the exterior had enough give to allow me to pack more than the bag probably really wanted me to.
Polycarbonate luggage is popular because of that flexibility and the fact that typically things will bounce off of it which of course minimizes damage. It has been called the perfect hard side luggage material.
To make it even more perfect it is also waterproof!
This suitcase was created specifically to be a carry-on and they did a great job! When I checked most common airline standards for carry-on sizes it met everyone of them.
I flew on United for my flight to Los Angeles and had no issues at all with weight or size for the carry-on.
The suitcase measures 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ (including the wheels) which are the maximum allowed dimensions for carry-on luggage.
When I first got the suitcase and saw the case, I assumed this thing was going to be heavy – but I was 100% wrong.
This bag is light – like feather light.
It only weighs 7 pounds – but I swear it even feels lighter than that!
This is where the magic was for me. I have never owned a suitcase with spinner wheels, they have always been one directional wheels and were a pain in the butt to navigate in busy airports.
But the Minima KILLS IT with their 360 degree spinner wheels.
They spin. Like really spin.
This made walking through a crowded airport a breeze. No matter whether I had the bag upright or tilted – the bag was super easy to roll around.
When we were walking in downtown Pittsburgh to get to our hotel – this bag was almost invisible. It navigated sidewalks and streets with ease and was 100% the easiest bag I have ever used in this regard.
The 4 wheels are 2″ in diameter each.
If you think the inside looks a little small – you may be right. But you can get a whole lotta stuff in this luggage! It has a volume of 38 liters!
There are technically 2 sides to the luggage – each side zippers closed which I loved! On top of the zippered piece each side has their own extra zipper compartments, one side featuring a full size area and the other featuring 2 smaller mesh zippered areas.
There are no “straps” like with other luggage – which is something I have been used to to keep my clothes from sliding around. But with this carry-on – if you pack each side full it will auto compress your items to limit movement!
My trip to Los Angeles had my clothes set exactly the way I packed them when I arrived to my hotel.
An added bonus on the right side of the luggage is a little zippered pouch – which holds a full size zippered pouch which is perfect for dirty laundry. I typically use the hotel laundry bags to put my dirty laundry in, so this was a nice little surprise.
I do wish the laundry bad was a bit bigger though – it was too small to put all my dirty clothes in, but perfect for panties, socks and smaller items.
When I traveled alone to Los Angeles I was easily able to get enough clothes and accessories to cover me for a trip from Thursday through Sunday – including some pro camera accessories.
For the car trip with my daughter we each took one side of the suitcase and easily had enough room for 3 days worth of clothes each – plus accessories.
With good packing techniques (like rolling or using packing containers) – I can see this holding enough items to get comfortably through 5 days of travel!
Personally, I love the lock feature to get that extra bit of comfort in knowing my goods are safe and sound and not easily accessible.
The TSA lock is integrated at the top of the luggage and uses the zipper pulls to secure luggage content.
If you are not familiar with TSA locks these are specially marked locks that have an option for the TSA to open them with a universal key. So you do not have to give a TSA agent your passcode and they will be able to open it with their own key.
Upon receiving my Chester luggage the number combination was set to 0-0-0 which easily allowed me to open it. It did take me a second to realize the slider was to the left of the lock and needed to be pushed right to open it – I think I was looking for a button to push!
Setting the custom passcode was easy!
- Make sure the current combination is set to 0-0-0
- Insert a pen into the small hole to the right of the 3 number spinners and hold that in there
- Change each of the number spinners to your preferred 3 digit values
- Slide the unlocking slider to the left of the 3 number spinners to set your combination
The only thing you want to be sure of is that you use something you will remember! There is no reset for the combination – so if you do in fact forget it – you will be in a bit of trouble.
The handle is made of 100% aluminum and was definitely strong and sturdy. It had 2 lock positions which is perfect for a flexible height adjustment. My daughter needed it a little lower for easy controlling while I liked it set to be higher – so this was great that we had this flexibility.
There is also a side handle if you prefer to carry it that way. This was great for going up and down the stairs. The lightness of this luggage still blows me away.
Whether you need something more business oriented or want something fun or fashionable, we love the colors they have come up with for their luggage options!
Color options include:
- Dark Gray
- Light Gray
- Baby Blue
We received the dark gray for our review.
The interiors are all the same with a gray, white and black striped interior.
The Chester Luggage 100 Day Trial
Not sure we have ever seen this before, but Chester is offering a 100-day trial for you to use and test the suitcase for yourself. The suitcase must be purchased through their website, but then you have 100 days to decide if you love it or not.
If not, just return it – they will even send you a free shipping label.
If you purchase it on a 3rd party website like Amazon or Walmart where the return period is less, you can reach out to Chester to see if they can extend it.
Chester Luggage Offers A Great Warranty
Because they are so confident that their products are that awesome, they have a 10-year limited warranty – which is more than many competitors. The warranty covers damage done that functionally impairs the use of the luggage. You can learn more about their warranty here.
Exclusive Plum Crazy Chester Coupon Code
Get 10% off any Chester luggage purchase with our special discount code: BEPLUMCRAZY
People Love Chester!
When we do a review – we also like to provide resources to find others who have left some thoughts on the products for you to take a peak – and what we found for Chester was pretty impressive.
With so many 5 star ratings – we know we are on to something good!
- Chester Travels Website Reviews: https://chestertravels.com/luggage/reviews/
- Chester Reviews on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JTT8Co
- Chester Reviews on Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Chester-Luggage-Hardside-Carry-On-Spinner-Suitcase-22/609344197
Where To Buy Chester Luggage
We recommend purchasing Chester luggage directly on their website at Chester Travels to get the full benefits they offer and the 100 day trial! You can also use our exclusive coupon code above to get an extra 10% off!
You can also find the Chester Minima on Amazon here.
If you want to see more great lifestyle images of Chester products in action – be sure to follow them on Instagram!