My Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable 21" Spinner: On The Road Review/Test

Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable 21" Spinner Carry-On in Vancouver

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. 

Using the USB power bank port on Travelpro Crew 11.

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.

Travelpro Crew 11 22"

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.

Bottom MagnaTrac spinner wheels on Travelpro Crew 11

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.

Top / Side of Travelpro Crew 11 Carry-on

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.Front pocket access on Travelpro Crew 11 Carry-On

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.

Zippered compartment for USB Power Bank on Travelpro Crew 11

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.  

  Inside the Travelpro Crew 11 power bank pocket.

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.

USB power outlet on Travelpro Crew 11 Spinner

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. 

Pull up handle on the Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable Spinner Carry-On

The Powerscope telescoping handles are another patented feature of this bag.  The shape of the extruded aluminum handle is designed to reduce wobble and opens to 38”, 40” and 42.5”.  Interior of Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable Spinner Carry-On Suitcase

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.

Zippered wet pocket inside the Travelpro Crew 11 Carry-On

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.

Zippered mesh storage pocket inside the Travelpro Crew 11 21" expandable spinner Carry-On

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. 

Suit bag for the Travelpro Crew 11 Expandable Spinner

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. 

Travelpro Crew 11 21" Expandable Spinner Carry-On overlooking the Las Vegas Strip.

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)



Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, Tour/Review of Suite #505, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Exterior, Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, Vancouver BC Canada

This review is of a suite at the Wedgewood Hotel and Spa located in beautiful downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.  It was great to return to the Wedgewood after an almost 10 year absence.  My memories were of an elegant hotel on a lovely, tree-lined street.  The hotel was then surrounded by great restaurants and shopping.  Well...  Very happy to report that things haven't changed all that much.

Lobby, Wedgewood Hotel & Spa Vancouver

If anything, the hotel and surrounding area are even nicer than before.  Located across the street from Robson Square Park and the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Wedgewood mirrors the elegance and sophistication of the nearby art museum.  The intimate lobby is warmed by a fireplace and brightened with lovely flowers.  My check-in was quick and accurate.  If needed, the staff will help you with your luggage due to a few stairs found between the main lobby and guestroom elevators.

Hallway, Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver

Throughout the property, it feels like you have entered a private home decorated with furniture and items collected over many years.  The original developer used her personal collection of antiques and artwork to decorate the Wedgewood Hotel. 

Door of Room 505, Wedgewood Hotel

Room #505 is a one bedroom suite with a balcony overlooking the street and park.  My three night visit was in June of 2016 while attending a cruise ship industry event.  This hotel is located several blocks from the Vancouver cruise ship terminal, but it is still an excellent choice if you are in town for the start or end of an Alaska cruise. 

Living Room of Suite at Wedgewood Hotel

The main living room is spacious and well appointed.  Lighting is good.  The very comfortable sofa folds out for additional sleeping space.  The suite's heating and air conditioning was very quiet and easily controlled. Nice big HDTV with a good selection of cable sources. 

Bar in Living Room of Suite.

A bar area includes a well stocked Mini-Bar and coffee/tea service.  Just behind the bar is a handy coat closet with umbrellas, safe, and iron & ironing board.  

Desk in Living Room of Suite #505

There was a nice desk with comfortable chair, lamp, and phone for getting a little work done.  It includes a handy PowerQube power strip on the desktop providing three USB outlets and two standard 120v outlets.  Plenty of power to easily charge your gear.

Hallway to Bath & Bedroom in Wedgewood Hotel

A passageway connects the living area to the bedroom and bath.   

Bedroom of Suite at Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver

The bedroom was large and offered plenty of storage.  The very comfortable bed included bedside lamps that provided great reading light.  A large HDTV was mounted high in the corner. 

Bedroom of Suite

One of my favorite features in the bedroom was the luggage shelf.  The low platform over the drawers offered a great space if you prefer to live directly out of your unpacked luggage.  The light directly above the suitcase area is perfectly placed. 

Closet of One Bedroom Suite

There was plenty of room in the bedroom closet for two guests.  The Wedgewood provides slippers and a bathrobe.   Note that another robe was located in the bathroom.

Bathroom of Suite at Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver

The elegant bathroom provided plenty of counter space and splendid L'Occitane amenities, hairdryer and a good supply of fine towels. 

Bathroom of Suite at Wedgewood Hotel

I always love choices...  Especially when it is between a large shower and an equally large and luxurious bathtub.  After a day on my feet, the tub wins every time. 

View from Balcony of suite #505

The balcony off of the living room looked out over a park and provided a beautiful view of Vancouver's skyline.  Also very little street noise made it into this 5th floor room.

Elevator Lobby of Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver

Public spaces are decorated in an classic elegance.  This is the elevator lobby on the Wedgewood Hotels main floor. NOTE: I was an invited guest of the hotel. My review and photos are accurate representations of the property during my visit. 

Bacchus Lounge area in Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver BC

The Bacchus Lounge found just off the main lobby is a delightful spot for a meal or drinks with friends.  Large windows open up on the the sidewalk offering an airy atmosphere.

Bacchus Restaurant in Wedgewood Hotel

Also on the main floor of the Wedgewood Hotel is the Bacchus Restaurant, decorated with warm woods, flowers and comfortable seating.  This is a fine dining restaurant and offers modern French cuisine featuring fresh, West Coast ingredients. Private dining spaces are offered.   The hotel also offers several small meeting / special events rooms. You can find the latest menus and hotel info on the Hotel Website.

Gym at Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver

Guests of the hotel have access to a small but well equipped gym. Unlike some city hotels the Wedgewood gym offers windows with a view. 

Lobby fireplace in Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver

I would recommend the Wedgewood to anyone visiting Vancouver and looking for a centrally located, upscale, classically styled boutique hotel.  If you are in Vancouver before or after a cruise, this hotel is perfect.  This elegant, award winning luxury hotel is uniquely decorated, well maintained, and offers excellent service.


Gadget Review: Ventev Powercell 10000+ and Powercell 6000c Portable Battery Chargers

Ventev powercell 10000+ All-In-One Portable Charger Review

My first thought of the Ventev PowerCell 10000+ was "This thing is heavy"...  Then I realized that it replaces three must have items in my carry-on bag.  It would replace my transformer block that has high and low amperage USB outlets.  No more need to carry two cables, a USB to Lightning for my iPad, and a USB to Micro USB for my camera and other gadgets.  And I can leave my Anker 10000 mAh battery at home.  My normal power and charging gear for traveling.

Here you can see all the normal power/charging stuff I take need to carry.  It weighs in at 13.6 ounces.  The Ventev PowerCell 10000+, that provides all the same functionality weighs only 10.6 ounces.  Doesn't sound like much of a difference, but every little bit adds up when you are on the road.  Here are some output specs: Lightning cable 2.4A / Micro USB 1.8A / USB outlet 5V, 1.0A.  Not shown in my photos is the standard USB outlet on the back.

Ventev Powercell 10000+ Battery & Cables & Wall Charger

Here you can see the size of the unit when compared to a AA battery.  It isn't small but if I could measure the volume of my old power gear I'm sure it would come in much larger than this combo device.  Just like the AC plug the two power cables store nicely on the side of the unit when not in use.  Note that the Lightning charge cable may not work with some iPhone or iPad cases due to its size.  When plugged into an AC outlet for charging the PowerCell 1000+ came back to 100% charge just as fast as any other battery of this size I've used in the past. 

Ventev Powercell 10000+ Review

A digital display is provided to see the current state of the batter.  A power button beside the display turns on the charging feature.  The unit did a good job of charging my devices.  With the battery at 100% charge I plugged in my iPad Mini 4 and a HTC One Android phone for charging.  My iPad was at 38% and my phone at  48%  and I went to bed.  I did NOT TURN OFF my iPad or Phone, or place them in airplane mode for fastest charging.  In the morning I found the iPad and phone fully charged and the remaining battery charge at 44%.  Note:  If the PowerCell 10000+ had been plugged into an AC outlet it is designed to first charge the devices that are plugged in and then recharge it's internal battery. 

Ventev Powercell 6000c Portable Battery Charger Review

The folks at Ventev also sent me a Powercell 6000c for review.   Due to the smaller 6000mAh battery this portable charger is much smaller and lighter than the previous device.  When you first pick it up in its retail packaging it feels very heavy due to the plastic package but the unit weighs only 7 ounces.  Unlike the soft touch rubber feel of the 10000+ above this one has a metal case.  A four LED display shows it's charge level.   For my personal needs this 6000 mAh is better than my old, larger 10,000 mAh battery pack.

Ventev Powercell 6000c Charger

The 6000c came with an integrated Apple Lightning connector and a 5v 2.4A (12w) output specification.  The unit is also available with a Mirco USB connector.  The cable on this connector is much more flexible than on the 10000+ above.  Note that this Lightning charge cable may not fit some iPhones or iPads while in their cases.   This charger works with my iPad Mini case, but the 1000+ above has a larger plug and would not fit. 

Ventev Powercell 6000c Review

It charged at about the same rate as other batteries I have of this type.  You will see above that next to the Micro USB charging port is a USB outlet with a rating of 5V, 1A(5w).  In my test the Powercell 6000c charged my iPad Mini from 25% back to full charge overnight with appx 25% power remaining in the charger.  Note that my WiFi only iPad Mini was turned on while it was charging.  For faster charging turn your device off or place it in airplane mode.

Pros:  Well built units.  Perform as expected.  

Cons:  Charging cables may not fit your Apple device while in a case.