Product Review: Delsey Solution 18-Inch Carry-On

The Solution solves problems of carry-on size and storage in one stylish package.

What is it: Delsey Solution 18-inch International Carry-On Spinner Carry-On Suitcase

Price and Where to Buy: $102 on Amazon; $108 on Delsey.com

Pros: This 18-inch carry-on (which actually measures 20 inches with its wheels) meets the tighter carry-on restrictions passengers face on some international airlines, but what this suitcase lacks in height, it makes up for with a bit of added width. Its surprisingly roomy main compartment is both deep and wide, and in our tests had nearly the same amount of room as larger carry-ons. Four roller wheels and good clearance make pulling or pushing the case a breeze, and a small exterior pocket is just large enough for a few travel documents. But the most unusual—and impressive—feature of the Solution is its ability to fold up for easy storage when not in use. The folding system reduces its volume by 75 percent, making it small enough to slide under a bed, and the included PVC cover keeps it dust-free when it’s in storage.

Cons: It’s on the small end of carry-ons. The absence of a long side means you won’t be able to fit taller objects like foldable travel tripods. But it’s ideal for people looking for a carry-on that meets international carry-on restrictions and will continue to be useful as a domestic carry-on even if the airline industry tightens its carry-on size restrictions.

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 9/10. Its efficient use of space means you’ll actually be able to fit most of what you’d fit into a larger carry-on.
  • Value: 9/10. At around $100, this is a great value, offering sturdy Delsey construction and even a bit of style.
  • Durability: 8/10. Because this bag is meant to collapse, it doesn’t have the extreme durability of a case meant to be tossed and thrown. But in our tests, it handily withstood the usual rigors of carry-on travel.
  • Cool Factor: 9/10. Attractive and unusually easy to store, this bag represents part of the next generation of suitcases.

Final Verdict: The Solution solves problems of carry-on size and storage in one stylish package.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com

(Photo: Amazon)

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.