TravelPro® Crew Luggage Review

TravelPro Crew 9 20-inch Rollaboard-1If you look in the dictionary under the word classic, it describes something that is ‘judged over a period of time to be…outstanding of its kind”   That definitely applies to the well-regarded TravelPro® Crew line of luggage.

The TravelPro Crew 9 is the latest ‘model’ in this popular series, and from all indications, will uphold the long-standing TravelPro reputation for quality and value.

It’s always nice to find a product that has remained popular with lots of people for a long time – to me it’s the ultimate endorsement.  One of the things that strikes you when you read hundreds of product reviews written by loyal owners of the TravelPro® Crew luggage line is that they would never ever consider purchasing another brand.  In fact, many buy additional TravelPro products for their children and grandchildren.

 

So, What’s So Special about TravelPro luggage?

In a nutshell, the TravelPro® Crew line of luggage has a well-deserved reputation for quality construction, good functionality and good value.  These bags are considered by most to be an ‘investment’ piece of luggage that will give years of dependable service without breaking the bank.

The following bit of luggage trivia might explain how TravelPro developed it’s reputation for quality  luggage.  In 1987, a Northwest Airlines pilot created the first rolling luggage, the ‘Rollaboard®’, which spawned the travel phenomenon we know today (it’s hard to even think anyone once lived in a world without wheeled luggage).

TravelPro became known for providing good-quality carry-on luggage that was used frequently by flight crews.  Any day of the week, you can sit at any boarding gate and chances are good that a crew member will walk by rolling a piece of TravelPro® luggage onto the plane.

 

Who is TravelPro Luggage best for?

As good as any luggage might be, it must meet your individual needs.  So, who is TravelPro Crew 9 luggage best for?

–          Looking to invest in a quality carry-on (tired of buying cheaper luggage that falls apart)

–          Likes wide, open and roomy interior compartments

–          Someone who likes useful, practical exterior pockets

–          Is looking for a long-standing and reputable luggage manufacturer

–          Needs to be absolutely sure the bag will fit on the overhead compartment (the 20’’ virtually all flights, the 22’’ on most, not expanded)

–          Likes a classic look for their luggage

–          Looking for quality carry-on or checked baggage to give as a gift

–          Anyone that prefers the reassurance of purchasing bags that have received many positive reviews and testimonials

 

Features of TravelPro Crew 9 luggage (the pros – the cons)

How well does TravelPro Crew 9 luggage get the job done? Here’s the scoop:

Lightweight – the TravelPro Crew 9 series has been engineered over time to keep the best features without adding lots of extra weight.  While not the absolute lightest line of luggage out there, it falls well within the range of what is considered lightweight as follows:

  • Crew 9 Carry-ons – weigh in at about 9 lbs.
  • Crew 9 Medium-sized bags (24”, 25”, 26”) – weigh in between 11-12 lbs.
  • Crew 9 Larger-sized bags (28” or 29”) – weigh in between 12-14 lbs.

TravelPro Crew 9 20-inch Rollaboard-3Uses the Space Well – TravelPro luggage in general is simple in design and their main packing compartments are devoid of lots of bells and whistles.  While a big, open rectangular inside compartment might seem boring to some, it is the most efficient use of space, allowing the traveler to utilize every inch of usable space.  High marks for this category from over 90% of reviewers.  This minimalist design also works well if you use packing cubes.

“Carry-on-ness” –  My made-up word for the absolute ability to know that your luggage will be able to be carried on board with you.  For people who can’t stand the hassle of checking their luggage, this is often a deal-breaker.

Airlines have different carry-on size restrictions, and aircrafts have varying overhead bin dimensions.  However, a 20” – 21” bag will pass carry-on muster for virtually all aircraft – including the smaller commuter jets.  The TravelPro Crew 9 20” and 21” bags are good choices if you must carry your bag on.

The 22” TravelPro Crew 9 can be stowed in the overhead compartments of most domestic aircraft, but is ‘iffy’ for smaller commuter planes.  Also, using the expansion zippers on the 22” will probably mean you must check the bag.

You lose a little packing capacity moving from a 22” down to a 20”, but if being able to carry on your bag in all situations is critical, then the TravelPro Crew 9 20” is a good option for you.

TravelPro Crew 9 20-inch Rollaboard-6Good Pockets – Good pockets are important, and the TravelPro Crew 9 line

does OK in this category.  On all bags, there is a large, zipped exterior packet (2 of these on larger bags).  In the carry-on sized bags (20”-22”), this can easily handle a laptop.  Inside these pouches are smaller, zipped mesh compartments.  Inside, there are zipped mesh compartments in the main compartment as well as inside the ‘lid’.  More than adequate.  The only complaint by a few TravelPro Crew owners was a request for just one more exterior pocket to stash ID, boarding pass, etc.

Wheels – the TravelPro Crew 9 luggage line uses a good quality inline skate wheel (widely recognized to be the most enduring) on their 2-wheel version, and an equally durable looking wheel on their 4-wheel, spinner luggage.  The 25”-29” bags have larger rear wheels to handle the extra weight.  The wheels were also considered to be very quiet by many who’ve reviewed this bag.

Lots of Positive User reviews – In my book, with the advent of online user reviews, there is no better source of information about the quality of a product than how current customers feel.  TravelPro Crew luggage passes this test very well, with hundreds and hundreds of people giving this line of luggage thumbs up. 

TravelPro Crew 9 20-inch Rollaboard-black3Handles – the Crew 9 has a patent-pending PowerScope handle system that minimizes wobble when fully extended. In reading the comments in various travel forums, most feel it is the strongest Travelpro handle system to date, with little or no ‘wobble’, even when packed fully.  Per a TravelPro employee who commented, this handle system “won a “best” award at the International Travel Goods fair in Vegas in 2012.

Material – Crew 9 luggage is made from a durable 2000D Twist Nylon fabric, generally considered to be the most durable, tear and stain resistant fabric for quality luggage today, as well as being very light in weight, definitely a necessity.

Aesthetics – The Crew line is one of TravelPro’s most enduring luggage lines (we’re on version number 9 here…).  The style is classic, simple and functional.  The Crew 9 comes in basic black and graphite (gray/silver).  If trendy aesthetics or a wider range of colors is very important to you, the TravelPro Crew 9 may not be for you.

Warranty – On the Crew 9 line of luggage, TravelPro offers the fairly standard limited warranty offered by most quality luggage manufacturers – 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 an airline or other common carrier.”

So, scratches, dirt and grime, the wheels getting beat up, etc. are normal and to be expected in the course of regular luggage use, therefore not covered under a repair/replace warranty.  Pretty standard.

As I read through the hundreds of TravelPro user reviews on the web, I did come across a small(very) number of users that felt their bags were defective. Other than the annoyance of having to deal with the matter, all were satisfied with TravelPro’s warranty fulfillment services, whether it was a repair or a replacement.

 

The Bag Size that’s best for you:

The TravelPro Crew 9 luggage line comes in many sizes, 2 wheel and 4-wheel, and soft-side/hard-side versions.

I want a Carry-on bag that holds 2-5 days of stuff:  The 20″ or 21″ Carry-ons are what you need

 I want a Medium-sized bag that will hold 5-10 days of stuff ( you have to check these): The 24″ or 25″ bags are perfect

I want a Large bag that holds 7+ days of stuff (and I know I have to check this bag):  The 28″ or 29″ are the largest bags

 

The Bottom Line –  TravelPro Crew 9 luggage line

TravelPro Crew 9 luggage can best be summed up as a very good all-round value.  This luggage line sits at the intersection of quality, usability and price, with a nice assortment of features, a classic look, the use of top-notch materials and craftsmanship and an affordable price (between $100-$250, depending on size), especially when you should get many years use.  Good products get and keep a good reputation for a reason.

 

Best Place Online to buy TravelPro Crew 9 luggage:

Amazon.com  usually has the best selection and deals.  There’s always free shipping on TravelPro bags.