This Review of Our Antler Luggage is of a Tiber Carry-On Suitcase that we got earlier this year, prior to our Asia trip. The case has been to Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and back to NYC, as well as on a shorter trip to Seattle, so while it's still only a few months old and its durability still needs to be tested over a few more years, it's logged a decent number of miles already.
The impetus for getting a new case was because my old Samsonite case had its wheels give out, so I wanted to get a case with very sturdy wheels. I'd read that some of Antler's cases have Hinomoto wheels, which are some of the highest quality–long lasting and quiet–available today. And since the case was $125 on sale, it seemed reasonable enough assuming it lasts a number of years. I personally can't imagine spending over $200 on a single suitcase, I see it as a utilitarian purchase, not something experiential.
Dimensions: Is it Really a Carry-On?
Since I typically never check a bag on our normal travels (I sometimes make an exception during our annual multi-week stay in Russia) it's important to me that the carry-on pass muster with most airlines that I'm likely to fly, so that I'm not forced to check it. I abhor waiting around for luggage when arriving someplace, nor do I want to risk having the bag lost somewhere en route.
The Antler Tiber Carry-On is:
- 56 cm (22 inches) x 35 cm (13.8 inches) x 23 cm (9 inches)
- The above dimensions meet the carry-on suitcase dimension requirements of the following airlines (and some others as well, but these are the ones I checked):
- Air Tahiti Nui
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Delta Airlines
- Japan Airlines (JAL)
- Singapore Airlines
The dimensions are just 1 cm longer in length than the 55 cm length requirement for Aer Lingus, Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and SWISS, so while technically not compliant, it's so close that if you're traveling First Class or Business Class, I'd bet you'd be allowed to bring it, although there's always the slight risk you'd be refused and have to check it.
Another key criterion for me is weight; I need the bag to be light, given that some flights have a maximum weight of just 7 kg (15 lbs.). Fortunately, the Antler Tiber is just 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) thanks to its lightweight polycarbonate shell.
The Hinomoto wheels rotate 360 degrees, making it handle easily–just remember there are no brakes, so you'll want to keep a hand on it on even slightly angled surfaces.
One half has a zipped cover, and the other has crossed straps. There aren't any pockets (other than a little one for your name and address) but that's not an issue for such a small case.
There's a TSA Fixed Combination lock that's easy to set. The default is a triple zero combination, but just depress the reset button with a pen to set your own personal combination. The zippers hook into the lock, and once you enter in your combination and slide the button towards the dials, the suitcase unlocks.
Antler offers a 10 year warranty that covers defective workmanship or material, but excludes mishandling by carriers and does not cover damage due to general wear and tear, or neglect, accidents, abrasions, exposure to extreme temperatures, or damage from water, chemicals, solvents, acids and the like, or combination lock issues caused by incorrect usage of the lock or if the lock has been forced open.
This review is strictly for the Antler Tiber Carry On case. I'm not sure how durable these light polycarbonate shells are for checked luggage, given the considerable abuse so much checked luggage comes in for at many airports, but at least as a wheeled cabin bag, I really like my Antler Tiber case. The Hinomoto wheels provide much smoother, quieter performance and seem sturdier than the wheels of all my prior luggage, and the case is ultra light. Sure, I miss the exterior pocket of my old Samsonite, but I use my laptop bag's pockets for organizing smaller items.
My only complaints are not about the suitcase, but about Antler's order fulfillment. Originally I ordered two of these carry-on cases, in two different colors, but one of them was cancelled, ostensibly because the company was out of the charcoal color (although it still shows as orderable on the Antler Web site). But I had to call Customer Support to figure out what had happened, because instead of notifying me right away about this, I didn't receive any notification, yet I only received one of the two suitcases.
If you have any Antler luggage with Hinomoto wheels, what's been your experience?
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