Welcome to Bruce Murray On Travel
Don't miss our exclusive 7 Hotels In 7 Days features:
My sample of the new Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable 21" Spinner Carry-On arrived just in time to test it out on a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. I have reviewed Travelpro bags in the past so I had high hopes for this new carry-on spinner. It easily met all of my expectations. In general it is well made, properly designed. This bag is a good "middle of the road" bag from the extensive Travelpro line of bags. This is a quality carry-on bag at a reasonable price.
When on the road it is important to have plenty of power for your various gear. This Crew 11 carry-on has a dedicated pocket that holds a power bank. Wiring installed in the luggage brings the power up to a USB outlet just below the handle. More on this feature later in this review.
The bag is made of a high quality ballistic nylon fabric with a Duraguard coating. Duraguard protects the fabric by stopping liquid or stains from penetrate the fibers making it much easier to clean. Heavy duty zippers feel solid and durable. Leather carry handles on top and side.
This is one of my favorite Travelpro features: MagnaTrac wells! These may look like regular spinner wheels, but these are something special. This patented design has small self-aligning magnets in the dual spinner wheels.
Here you can see MagnaTrac spinner wheels in action. The magnets keep the bag on a straight track when pushed. They release and allow for turns with the slightest push, then return to a straight line orientation. The video above is of another Travepro bag I reviewed. Warning: When on a slightly slanted surface hold onto the handle! It rolls so easily, it can get away from you.
The top zipper opens up the main compartment of the case. The zippers can be locked, but I would never trust any zippered luggage to be secure. See this Video for the reason why. The second zipper below the main one expands the bag 2 inches at the bottom and none at the top. This tapered expansion limits the increase in storage, but it keeps the bag from becoming top heavy. I've seen many bags that when expanded, can easily tip over. This bag's basic dimensions are slightly thinner at the top than at the bottom. A great design feature that limits storage but makes it much easier to roll.
The lid of this bag has a deep 11 x 16 inch pocket with side gussets that keep items from falling out when fully open. Another thin 10 x 7 inch pocket along the top is handy for small items you may need during your trip. This bag weight's in at just over 7 pounds empty. Lighter bags are available, but I've always found weight and durability go hand in hand. This Crew 11 from Travelpro is a good balance.
Along the upper side of the bag is a dedicated power bank / battery backup pocket. Having a battery with you when traveling is almost a requirement nowadays. I like that fact that Travelpro did not build a battery into the case. They let you select a battery that you can replace when it degrades.
The pocket has a USB plug that transfers the power to an outlet on the outside of the case. See gray USB outlet cover in photo below. A note about power bank batteries: many require you to press a button on the battery to turn it on. Others like my Anker Powercore 13000 Power Bank come on when a load is placed on the USB outlet. This allows you to plug in and go, rather than having to open the side pocket and turn on the battery. This side pocket is also large enough to hold a USB charger and an extra cord.
The grip on the handle is very comfortable. It is patented and specifically designed by Travelpro to help you guide a bag with spinner wheels. The bag also has skid protectors on the back, protecting the fabric from abrasion when you go up and down stairs.
This bag meets most airline carry-on size limits, 14 x 9 x 22 inches. The bag is promoted as a 21" carry-on, but it is actually 22" tall. Though within most US airline requirements, it might not go over well with international carriers. I like the gray interior fabric color which makes it easier to see items in the bottom of the bag. It has two compression straps that can help keep your items in place during transit. Note: I never use them. I always seem to stuff my bags just enough that things don't shift. The inside of the lid has a full size zippered mesh pocket. The mesh allows it to breath and makes it easy to see what is inside the pocket.
The Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable 22" Spinner Carry-On has two interior 10 x 7 inch pockets. One is plastic lined to keep wet items away from your clothes. You could use this for toiletries that might accidentally open and spill.
On the side opposite the wet pocket is a mesh pocket of the same size. Both zippers worked smoothly. In the photo above you will see the bottom of this bag. You can see the structure of the collapsible extension handle that stores inside the bag. Some bags have this hardware on the outside/back of the suitcase. Here it is on the inside, taking up some of the usable space. I don't like having the handle mounted to the exterior; it is very vulnerable to damage.
Travelpro provides a suit cover with your Crew 11 carry-on. I found it a bit small for me. If you are over 6ft, I suspect your suits won't fit into this thing. It is well made with ventilation and is designed to fold perfectly into the bag. I haven't used it. On short trips, which this bag is perfect for, I wear my suit while in transit.
What's better than a quick trip to Las Vegas to check out the usefulness of a suitcase? It carried enough for a quick weekend trip with no problem. I suspect that 4-5 days on the road would max out this bag.
I love the solid construction, easy to steer MagnaTrac wheels, and the sturdy handle. It would be nice if the small gadget pocket at the top of the lid was lined with a soft material. This bag is a good value and is available for sale at Amazon.com (ad).