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 (ad)

11 Days Living out of Travelpro’s Platinum Magna Carry-On

In Toronoto with the Travelpro’s Platinum Magna Carry-on and Expandable Rollaboard

At the Travel Goods Show in Las Vegas in early 2013 I ran into a manager from TravelPro talking up their new Platinum Magna Carry-On Rollaboard line of suitcases.  However at this event dozens of luggage makers were doing the same thing: doing their best to stand out among the rest.  

One of the guys at TravelPro caught my attention when he mentioned that their Platinum Magna bags featured four patent-pending features.  The fact that anything really new could be developed for a suitcase seemed hard to believe.  I've seen this with luggage before.  Lots of hype on a product that never makes it to stores in the USA.  

A few months later an email announced that a Platinum Magna Carry-On was on its way.  At first glance it is a typical TravelPro bag: well made and showing the extra attention to detail that they are known for in their luxury product categories.

An eleven-day trip to Toronto was just around the corner and I figured I would give this carry-on a test.  Could I make it my only piece of luggage for this trip?  I was going to a convention of travel writers and then do a feature article; 7 Hotels In 7 Days: Toronto.  During the trip I would be staying at eight different hotels during the 11 days.  The majority were within walking distance of each other so I knew that I would be giving the wheels on this new bag a real workout.

Ready to load up the TravelPro Platinum Magna Carry-On
The carry-on came with a small zippered pouch that I tossed aside.  They included a hanging bag which I loaded with 4 shirts on hangers.  The interior of the bag has two zippered areas that  have mesh areas allowing you to easily see what you packed in those pockets.  A compression system/strap allows you to layer the bag's contents or secure your stuff in case you don't fully pack the bag. 

Supplied hanging bag came with carry-on.

Tri-fold hanging bag that came with TravelPro carryon.

This is not one of the fancy features that was originally pitched to me as something new but I sure was impressed with the hanging bag that TravelPro included with this carry-on.  My shirts came out looking great.  I think part of the reason was the foam-covered rod that guides the tri-folding feature of the bag.  Additional info can be found on the TravelPro website.

You can see the rails of the handle taking up space inside the bag.

Like most rolling bags, expect to lose some interior space if the handle mechanism is inside of the bag as it is in this carry-on roll-aboard.  This calls for a little "defensive" packing, as you see above, but it required compromise with this type of luggage.  This bag meets the majority of carry-on size requirements for domestic airlines (22x14x9) when it is not expanded.  You also lose some space due to the spinner wheel design of these types of bags when compared to a two wheeled pull along.   

Contoured handle on the Travel Pro Platinum Magna Carry-On
Now let's get to the four big patent-pending features the guy at TravePro told me about.  This is Number One: the Contour Grip handle.  At first it may not seem like much, but with a four-wheeled spinner style roller bag this is an important feature.  The unique handle fits very well into the palm of your hand allowing you to push the bag easily.  The second item you will find on this bag is the PowerScope rails on the handle.  They are sturdy and provide stable control of the bag.

The magnetic MagnaTrac wheels on the TravelPro Platinum Magna Carry-On Rollaboard.
This may be the best feature of this new bag from TravelPro.  The MagnaTrac spinner wheels!  The bracket that holds these wheels has magnets that "urge" the wheels to stay straight and not steer off to the side.  It is very easily to change direction but after you are done with a turn the wheels want to go back to a straight track.  See the magnets in action in my YouTube video below.

You can see the action of the magnets in the YouTube video.  After being moved from the centered position they want to return.

On the road with the TravelPro.

The fourth and final feature that was so very handy can't be seen in this picture.  I would have had to strip the bag down to it's bare frame to show you what TravelPro calls the high tech plastic Duraframe structure of the inside of this bag.  This lightweight frame is sturdy and strong for it's size and weight. 

I would say the biggest PROS for this Platinum Magna Carry-On Expandable bag are its spinner design and its minimal weight.  If you like spinner bags you will like the wheels, handle and grip on this bag.  Since this is a carry-on every ounce of weight that can be removed from the bag is a blessing when you need to lift it above your head and stow it on-board a plane.

CONS have to do more with the "spinner" type of bag than this specific piece of luggage.  Due to the extra spinner wheels you lose some interior packing space.

You can get a bag just like this one at at a competitive price. This 22-inch carry-on bag was all I needed for my eleven-day Toronto trip.  I wore my suit jacket on the plane and expanded the bag when I arrived making it a little easier to live out of.  I also had to do some hand laundry during my stay. 

The quality is top notch and has luxury/upscale touches while the the eight MagnaTrac wheels make it very easy to maneuver on smooth surfaces.  On rough terrain I used it as a traditional pull along without any issues.

Additional Photos Of The Pacsafe Bag

Two months ago I reviewed the security features built into Pacsafe Bags. Since then I have received several emails with questions. Here are additional photos of the security mesh built into these impressive bags from Pacsafe. You can read my original Pacsafe Bags Review here.

 Pacsafe Bags Security Mesh Photo

Above you can see inside the bag after I sliced open the green fabric that covers the front of the bag. The security mesh wraps up from the bottom covering the front of the bag.

Pacsafe Bags Security Mesh Photo

Here I cut away the thin white fabric that covers the security mesh. You can see the wire and the metal connector that binds the loops of wire together increasing its strength.

Pacsafe Bags Security Mesh Photo

The back of the bag is made of several layers of fabric. On this specific bag it consists of 4 layers that were easy to cut. Since this side of the bag is designed to be against your body a security mesh isn't needed. Also any items that were in the storage pocket on the backside of the bag would make it tougher to cut.

Pacsafe Bags Security Mesh Photo

The sides of this Pacsafe Bag are also reinforced with a metal security mesh. This area has very little exposure but it is also well protected.

Pacsafe Bags Security Strap Photo

Here is a close-up shot of the strap with the fabric covering cut away from the security wire. I was unable to cut this strap with a large heavy knife. I also tried cutting it with a pair of wire cutters from my tool box. I suspect the only thing that would cut this cable would be a pair of heavy duty lineman pliers. And even with those you would have to cut each wire separately.

This same security mesh is used throughout the Pacsafe line of travel bags, backpacks and other items. When traveling I can't imagine another product that would provide a higher level of utility and security.