For the past almost 10 years I’ve been using a hard shell suitcase that I bought for €10 before I left Barcelona. In the months I spent there I had understandably acquired more than I’d arrived with and needed another bag to help me get home. This cheap but trusty suitcase came to me from the Spanish equivalent of the dollar store. Since then it had been hanging on by a whisper and a prayer. Until earlier this summer when both (seriously, both) handles promptly snapped in half as I attempted to carry it up the steep stairs of my Airbnb.
Suffice it to say, I discovered Chester at exactly the right time. At first I was skeptical that I would love the Minima Carry-on Spinner Suitcase. For one, I’m a notorious over packer. I also do a lot more road tripping than flying so worrying about carry-on regulations isn’t usually part of my travel plan.
But after a couple months of testing and half a dozen trips around the Midwest, there’s no other suitcase I would want to have by my side. Keep reading to discover why the Chester Minima has become my go-to bag for travel.
Why I’m a Fan of Chester
Let’s start with the exterior of this small suitcase. Not only does the Chester Minima come in a variety of cute colors, but the material also feels really sturdy and durable. Simply said, Chester’s suitcase holds up against the bumps of frequent travel.
There are few things that fill my bucket more than being organized while traveling. I’ve always been a fan of packing cubes—I’ve had this set for years—but with the Chester Minima, I’m using them less and less. This carry-on suitcase has two large zipper compartments as well as three other built-in pockets to help store all of your clothes and other items for travel. At first, I was hesitant to embrace this packing cube free method of travel. But I think it’s safe to say I’m now obsessed.
The Chester Minima is full of other delightful touches as well. Like the built-in compartment for a laundry bag and TSA-approved zipper pull lock, it feels like some real thought was put into the functionality of this suitcase. As a frequent traveler, I really appreciate that.
But most of all, this suitcase makes me excited about packing for a trip, which admittedly sounds pretty lame. But it’s true. Despite my love of organization, I’m typically a bit of a packing procrastinator because the task makes me feel overwhelmed. But with the Chester Minima’s organized compartments and balance of space, packing is something I’ve come to look forward to.
The Details: Chester Minima Carry-on Spinner Suitcase
While it may look like a carry-on that encourages you to pack light, the Chester Minima has a surprising amount of room to store all of your travel essentials. If you’re like me and love knowing the exact specifications of a bag before you buy, I’ve got you covered.
Lightweight: With nothing in it, the Chester Minima only weighs seven pounds. No one wants to lug around a heavy bag when they’re on the go. For me, a lightweight bag was a must.
Compact: At only 21.5” tall and 13.5” inches wide, this carry-on is surprisingly petite. At first I was concerned that it was only 8.5″ deep. But the Chester Minima surprisingly roomy for such a small bag. Of course, this carry-on also complies with all TSA and IATA cabin baggage guidelines. So you won’t have to worry about oversized luggage when flying.
Easy to Maneuver: With 360-degree spinner wheels, the Chester Minima basically glides alongside you. I’m not the most graceful individual, even when I’m not traveling with lots of bags. So I appreciate the ease with which this carry-on helps me get from point A to B.
Price: At almost $200, Chester is definitely on the higher end of the carry-on price range. But if you’re ready to upgrade your travel game, I think investing in the Chester Minima is worth it.
Share Your Thoughts
I would love to hear from you! Do you use a hardshell suitcase or are you team soft shell? Do you think a Chester suitcase would fit with your travel style?