Delsey Helium Shadow Luggage Review
There are few trends dominating luggage purchases right now: lightweight luggage, 4-wheel ‘spinner’ wheels and hardside (hardshell) luggage. The Delsey Helium Shadow line of luggage combines all 3 into one great bag.
On the top of that list? Lightweight. In response to ever-tightening luggage weight restrictions, consumers are demanding lighter and lighter weight luggage without sacrificing durability and function. Hardside luggage, made from ultra-light, super-strong polycarbonate, gets the job done.
But also, having luggage that’s comfortable and easy to use is important too – that’s why so many people are buying 4 or 8-wheel spinner luggage. It’s so easy to maneuver, regardless of how much you’ve stuffed it with.
Delsey – lightweight, durable luggage
A French company, Delsey was one of the early pioneers in hardside, injection molded luggage. Delsey’s founders turned their experience in the production of camera and record player cases into a company that produced travel items in molded plastic.
Today, Delsey is a leading worldwide manufacturer of luggage that is extremely lightweight, easy to maneuver and durable.
What type of buyer will be happy with the Delsey Helium Shadow line of luggage?
I’ve found that every luggage line has a typical buyer – here’s the profile of a ‘happy’ Delsey Helium Shadow purchaser distilled down from reading hundreds of user reviews:
– Buying the lightest weight luggage possible is critical to you
– Looking for decent quality and a middle-of-the-road price
– You’re tired of cheap luggage that doesn’t last
– You like a clean, sleek, modern-looking bag
– No black bags for you! – having a color choice is important
– You want to buy quality luggage to give as a gift
– You rely on lots of positive reviews from other purchasers
Delsey Helium Shadow – things to note:
Extremely Lightweight – at just over 6lbs for the carry-on and 11 lbs for the 29”, the Helium Shadow is ultra-lightweight luggage.
Good Packing Space – The Helium Shadow has a large, no-frills interior compartment, allowing for maximum use of the space. Every luggage minimalist will appreciate. Packing cubes work well here. I took the 25″ bag on a 1-day business trip to Europe this past June and it did great – I always overpack and was able to get all I needed in this bag just fine.
Ability to Carry-on (if you are considering the 21” bag) – If you’re looking for a bag that you’ll always be able to carry on board, remember that most domestic carry-on size limits top out at 22h x 14w x 9deep, or 45 linear inches (22 + 14 + 9 = 45). This includes the wheels and handles.
The Helium Shadow 21” bag measures a little over 49 linear inches including wheels/handles – check your airlines regulations, but you’re definitely risking a gate check on your bag. If being able to carry on at all costs is critical, you might do better with the TravelPro or Briggs & Riley carry-on.
Overall Quality: The Delsey Helium Shadow is a good quality bag for the price. The material is molded polycarbonate and according to the Delsey website, each bag is rigorously tested: a fully-loaded bag is dropped dozens of times, and pulled over 18 miles of rough surface. As well, the zippers are opened/closed 5000 times. (wouldn’t you love to actually see them doing this?)
Manufacturer reputation – Delsey is French company that has been making luggage since 1947. They are a significant player when it comes to creating lightweight, hardside luggage, and introduced the first rigid injection-molded polycarbonate suitcase in Europe in the 1970’s. In the US, Delsey’s hardside spinner luggage is a best-seller on both Amazon and eBags.com, with 4-5 star user reviews.
Looks Good – Delsey Helium Shadow luggage looks sleek, and very clean. One reviewer said it had a ‘spaceship’ kind of look to it. Comes in 3 very usable colors: purple, blue and platinum (silver).
What are the ‘cons’?
- The Luggage Lady is not fond of hardside luggage as a carry-on because it has no exterior pockets. You need quick access to your stuff while in the terminal or onboard – ID, mobile devices, reading material, your glasses, money, etc. If good pockets is important for you in a carry-on, maybe a soft-shell bag, like the TravelPro Maxlite or even the eBags TLS bag would be better for you.
- When you include the handles and wheels, the 29” Delsey measures in excess of the 62-linear inch limit placed on all checked baggage by most airlines. I didn’t see any reviews where people specifically complained about this, but with the fee for checking over-sized luggage in excess of $200 on most airlines, I’m not sure I want to deal with the possibility of getting flagged at the gate for luggage that’s too large.
Which size bag is right for your needs?:
What size, how many wheels, how many days of ‘stuff’ can you pack – here’s the low-down on the Delsey Helium Shadow options:
Pack for 2-5 days:
- Delsey Helium Shadow 21” Hardside Spinner (4-wheel, able to carry-on most larger aircraft)
Pack for 5-10 days, a medium-sized bag that must be checked:
- Delsey Helium Shadow 25” Hardside Spinner (4-wheel)
Pack for 7+ days, a large bag that (obviously) must be checked:
- Delsey Helium Shadow 29” Hardside Spinner (4-wheel)
Delsey Helium Shadow Warranty Info
Delsey provides a (pretty standard) limited 10-yr warranty on their luggage – in the event of materials or workmanship defects, they will repair or replace at their expense. This warranty does not cover “wear or damage caused by abuse, mishandling, accidental damage, inappropriate selection, or carelessness caused by the user.” Neither does it cover normal wear and tear.
Here’s the straight laundry list of features:
- Constructed of 100 % polycarbonate, which is the same material used in jet plane canopies and bullet-resistant windows.
- Lightweight, durable and scratch resistant
- Expands 2 inches for additional packing space
- Spinner wheels offer 360-degree maneuverability and don’t add stress to your arm, wrist or shoulders
- Telescoping handle has a nice ergonomic grip that’s comfy to hold on to
- Telescoping handle locks in 2 positions to accommodate 2 or 4 wheel use
- Integrated 3-dial TSA accepted combination lock
- Removable ID tag
- Fully lined interior with two compartments and adjustable web straps for organized packing
The Bottom Line – Delsey Helium Shadow luggage
If you are looking for luggage that is:
- Hardside and durable
- Very Lightweight
- Spinner – 360-degree maneuverability
You’ve found your bag – the Delsey Helium Shadow line of luggage.