I’ve rolled quite a few suitcases around over the last few months, but with so many different styles and price points in the mix, sometimes comparing them directly is like comparing apples and orange.
The Samsonite Winfield 2 and the Delsey Helium Aero are two pieces of luggage that I not only spent a good bit of time with, but that fall into the same general price range and category. They’re both hard shell carry-ons that will cost you between $100 and $150 — not bad for this size and style.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how these two suitcases stack up with regards to style, storage and portability for any curious shoppers out there.
The Delsey Helium Aero looks like it belongs in a James Bond movie. There’s simply no other way to describe it. And while James Bond might sound cool, I don’t mean it as a good thing in this case. The shiny exterior and wide ridges are fit for an action hero, but not for your average Joe heading to the airport. They look a bit cheap and tacky.
The Samsonite Winfield 2, on the other hand, is more modern. Its lines are curvier and the finish is more subtle and appealing. While not everyone may be a fan of the burnt orange base for the suitcase, there are other color to choose from that can help you blend in a bit more.
When it comes to style, I think that the Samsonite Winfield 2 takes the cake.
In terms of portability, the Samsonite Winfield 2 and Delsey Helium Aero have a good bit in common. They are both four-wheel spinners that roll pretty smoothly (that’s the good news) but both can also be a bit top-heavy (the bad news). And that brings us to the biggest difference: the handles.
The Delsey Helium Aero’s handles fell short because its top handle isn’t centered thanks to the suitcase’s many exterior zippers. As a result, when you pick it up, the suitcase swings to one side — often right into your leg. The Samsonite Winfield 2’s top handle, on the other hand, is centered, but its handle problems still aren’t solved. That’s because its side handle is completely missing, which is inconvenient when going up and down stairs or trying to load the suitcase into an overhead bin.
The only upside here is that the Samsonite Winfield 2 is lighter (despite being a bit taller), which helps for those overhead lifts… but the difference is negligible. As a result, the Delsey gets the nod for portability.
With storage, these suitcases are once again quite similar, as they both feature a divided interior with one strapped side and one zippered side when the suitcase is opened all the way — which I love. The Delsey Helium Aero falls short, though, because the bottom of the suitcase is not flat. The bars from its extended handle protrude into the packing space.
Also, the Delsey Helium Aero has a laptop sleeve — a feature that some may consider an asset, but that I didn’t. Once again, any bulky items protrude into this sleeve, which is why I’d prefer to keep my precious technology in a purse or laptop bag. Because of bulk, the Samsonite Winfield 2 wins for storage as well.
Why I Would Choose the Delsey Helium Aero
The main draw of the Delsey Helium Aero, as mentioned, is its side handle. So if portability is a big concern and getting a suitcase up into an overhead bin, for example, is a challenge, the Delsey will make your life a bit easier. And if you happen to like the exterior that I clearly am less of a fan of, hey — to each their own!
Why I Would Choose the Samsonite Winfield 2
Still, while both suitcases are reasonable options for folking seeking a hard shell carry-on, the Samsonite Winfield 2 is sleeker when it comes to both looks and storage. There aren’t numerous zippers to throw you off and add to the bulk, just as there aren’t bars and belongings protruding into different sections of the suitcase. So if you’re looking for a stylish compact suitcase, this is the pick for you.
I write about tech, travel, money, gender and more — but I’m most interested in how those things relate to the big questions (and vice versa). My work and commentary has appeared on Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC, 7×7, The Bold Italic, Thought Catalog, Technical.ly, Mental Floss, MSN Money and others.