Victorinox Avolve™ Luggage Review

Victorinox Avolve LuggageThere’s nothing I love better than to review well-made, nice-looking luggage made by a company with a long-standing reputation for quality that everyone raves about.  And that pretty much sums up the Victorinox Avolve luggage line.  Lightweight, full of functional features and built tough to last, Avolve is just one of those all-round great bags.

For the traveler looking for quality and a timeless-sort of bag, Avolve just might be a good bet.  And while you’ll spend in the $200 – $300 range depending on size, past purchasers are thrilled with their decision to invest a little more and get a bag that they can always depend on, no matter what their travel needs may be.

 

Victorinox – the Swiss Army knife people?

For those who may not know, Victorinox manufactured the original Swiss Army knife over 130 years ago and the company still remains family-run. Although Victorinox makes more than just the legendary knives, the story of that knife has become the company’s brand today; it makes products that have exceptional quality, designed to last for life.  What a pedigree.

 

Who is the Victorinox Avolve best suited for?

Since all my luggage ‘picks’  tend to be solid quality, high-functionality and good value selections, this part of all my reviews sounds the same (but true)!  The Avolve is a quality line of luggage that will suit the needs of:

  • travelers that are in the market for a bag that lasts, and are tired of frequently replacing cheaper bags
  • those who need to depend on their luggage performing trip after trip, whether for business or pleasure
  • anyone who appreciates a classic look for their luggage – nothing trendy here
  • who likes well-thought out design, like good pockets, etc

My personal opinion, is that the Avolve line is the perfect business travel bag – plenty of room for all your work and devices, solid room for more than a few days of clothes and classic good looks that scream quality.

The Victorinox Avolve – features to take note of:

Avolve is a really well-balanced bag that resists the very annoying tendency to tip over. You need your luggage to cooperate, and the Avolve line is engineered to counter-balance this tendency.Victorinox Avolve Luggage - Side View

Great pockets – both exterior and interior.  I really like the outside pockets ( the top one is good for stowing travel docs, the bottom one for reading material and the zip front pocket for a laptop).  Inside, there’s a zippered pouch good for small items, ‘dirties’ or whatever.

A removable attach-a-strap that makes it easy to attach another bag to the front of the Avolve bag – so useful.

Victorinox Avolve Luggage - Wheel closeupConstructed of top materials – this is critical if a bag has any chance at all of standing up to the rigors of travel.  You’ll see top-notch wheel construction, 1500d nylon material, sturdy handle construction and really good workmanship on zippers, seams, etc.

Expansion zipper allows you to pack a lot more in this bag.  Always a great feature, but just be careful;  the carry-on size may not fit in the overhead bins if expanded, and the larger, checked sized bags may exceed weight limits if you take advantage and stuff them to the max.

What are the cons?

Some people thought the colors (black, and a graphite gray shade) were boring and dull.  This is definitely not a trendy bag, so if a pop of color is more to your liking, this is not your bag.

How about the warranty

Victorinox Avolve luggage carries the pretty-much standard warranty:  guaranteed to be free from manufacturer defect and workmanship for the lifetime of the product or they will repair/replace (at their discretion).  This does not cover cosmetic, normal wear’n’tear and you have to pay the shipping to get it back and forth.

Victorinox makes such a quality bag that you’d need to buy the one-in-a-million ‘lemon’ to ever need to use this warranty.  After reading hundreds of reviews, I never saw even one person who needed to use the warranty.

It might be worth mentioning that their more expensive lines (like Architecture, E-motion, Mobilizer NXT and Werks Traveler) have a guarantee that extends to airline-caused damage.

What others have to say

Victorinox Avolve Luggage - Bottom ViewPretty much good reviews from start to finish, and here is a representative sampling:

From Amazon (October 2013):   “Excellent luggage that goes along with the complete set I purchased several months ago. Highly recommended for durability and functionality. I am done buying the cheapo name brand luggage at the discount stores. Never seems to last more than a year or two before they are falling apart.”

From Amazon (October 2013):  “I travel all the time for business and am constantly watching my luggage be destroyed by airline baggage handlers. I finally decided to invest in some better quality and these products from Victorinox are fantastic. They meet all my needs and appear, thus far, to be more durable than most of the other name brands I have tried. I waited several months to do this review because I wanted to have some opportunity to see how they perform.  My highest recommendation thus far. Good quality product as very reasonable price considering how often I am replacing the lower quality brands.”

And one more (August 2013):  “I read several reviews and evaluating many suitcases and feel I made the right choice by selecting this one. Excellent choice for business travelers. Highly recommend.”

What size for my needs

Most luggage lines come in 3 basic sizes, and the Victorinox Avolve is no exception.  Here’s how that breaks down:

Packing for a 2-5 day trip:

the Victorinox Avolve 20″ (best for European travel) or the 22″, which can be carried on most U.S. aircraft, with the exception of the smaller regional jets – that’s always a coin toss.  Also, be careful if you pack lots and need to use the expansion zip – the bag may not fit in the overhead bin.

Packing for a 5-10 day trip, a medium-sized bag that will need to be checked:

The Avolve 27″ bag is the ‘medium-sized’ bag in this line, and just about every reviewer commented on how much stuff can be packed in this bag.

 Packing for a 7+ day trip, a large bag that must be checked:

The Avolve 30″ bag is the largest piece of luggage in this collection.  It’s a BIG bag, so just be careful you don’t exceed the 50lb. weight limit when packing, since it would be easy to do with this bag.  I find that most travelers do quite well with the 27″, so give that some thought.

Best Places to Buy

Amazon, eBags and the Victorinox website all carry the Avolve line.   All 3 will give you free shipping.

Who has the best prices?  Like most name-brand luggage, unless it’s a closeout, the prices are within pennies of each other.  In this case, as I write this article, Amazon had the 22″ for $10 less, but other than that, they’re identical – so order where you are most comfortable with.  For most people, that’s Amazon, but you make the call.