This is a product review, arising from my never ending quest for the perfect suitcase*. Whilst there is talk of e-bundles, and much berating of us for exceeding the 350 page bundle limit, in my day to day travels to and from court this is nothing but a distant dream. I am perpetually exceeding my own personal baggage allowance (as my back, knees and elbows would tell you if on they could talk). So the bar will still be needing a regular supply of not-knackered new suitcases for the forseeable future.
So. After my last suitcase fiasco I went back to the old style Tripp basic suitcases available from Debenhams, plus a similar one that I got from a Tesco offer. No Mulberry handbags round here Missus.
But then, I saw a colleague’s latest acquisition and I wanted one. A super dooper bomb proof rain proof affair so secure you could lock a whole information commissioner inside and he’d never get out. With its own padlock to stop anyone nicking your papers whilst you are distracted rooting around in the bottom of your handbag looking for your train ticket. This was a Peli case. And the lovely people at Peli were kind enough to let me have one to test out (a Peli 1440 to be precise), just so I could write this review.
So, what’s my expert opinion?
It provokes an interesting reaction from clients, colleagues and security staff, largely because it looks from the outside like it might be full of fishing tackle or spanners.
Because it is a robust beast, made of some sort of toughened resin it is also very heavy. I would say that when empty it is equivalent to pulling a lightweight suitcase with a PD27 compliant 349 page bundle and a red book. By the time it is full of the 3 lever arch files, red book and a pair of shoes that I usually fill it with it is like trying to drag your granny along the ground on a sack (Although why you would be doing that I don’t know).
It has good wheels, although it is a tad noisy on cobbles. Due to its rather low chassis it can scrape along or get caught on cobbles or uneven paving slabs, but basically ploughs through uneven mud. It is utterly lethal if you do let the handle slip and it drops on your leg and suprisingly easy to pulverise a toe with. If you were toting it fully laden with bundles and accidentally swiped a passer by you may be very unpopular. I wouldn’t fancy it on the tube.
I have found in practice that this suitcase is just too heavy for little old me, and although it has some fantastic features the sheer effort required outweighs the benefits. For others the balance may be different, so I think it is worth considering. There are a whole range of sizes and dimensions – my colleague has one that holds 5 lever arches, but that for me is just too heavy altogether. Due to the wide and low briefcase shape I selected it is difficult to neatly chicane around people without knocking your own leg out from under you as you turn the suitcase – the wheelbase is quite wide, so it doesn’t easily spin round to be tucked into the corner of a lift as you get in, and you can’t easily flip it around on its axis to reverse out of a tight spot.
I imagine it would not be too difficult for this company to modify this range so that they produced something a bit lighter and a bit less “toolbox” but which still kept the best features. If they did I would be the first to buy it.
*I haven’t been paid anything for this post, although I have got a free suitcase out of it.