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Hands-on Gear Review
Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Review
Cons: Heavy, expensive.
Bottom line: Great suitcase for frequent flyers and business travelers.
The Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 expandable carry-on is a fairly well-made bag with lots of handy features for the business or casual traveler. It has an integrated suiter, lockable zipper tabs, an add-a-bag strap, and two smooth rolling wheels. While the telescoping handle seems durable and well-made, the frame of the suitcase was dented after checking this bag in for one flight. We'd still recommend this bag for business or casual travel, but if you are a frequent flyer and/or hard on your luggage, we'd opt to pay a little more for the Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic instead. The Travelpro Maxlite 4 22 has a similar shape and design as this model, but costs half as much (or less), as does our Best Buy winner, the SwissGear Meyrin 20.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Carry-On Luggage of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 carry-on weighs 8 lbs 4 oz and measures 22 x 14 x 9 inches. This bag has two wheels, three carrying handles, and four internal and two external pockets. It has skid and corner guards for added durability, and currently comes in Black and Olive colors.
Ease of Transport
This bag didn't score as high in this metric as some of the four-wheeled bags that we tested, like the Samsonite Inova 20 or SwissGear Meyrin 20. While the high-performance in-line skate wheels rolled smoothly over a variety of surfaces, the four-wheeled bags were much easier to maneuver in crowded airports and narrow airplane aisles. When dragging this bag down the plane's center aisle, it kept bumping into the sides of the seats unless we carefully pulled it dead center behind us. If you are trying to get off the plane in a hurry, you'd probably be better off just carrying this bag in front of you. It was easier to maneuver in and out of overhead storage bins thanks to its three carrying handles (top, side, and bottom) which is a bonus over some of the hard-sided bags that we tested that only have one or two grab handles, like the Rockland Melbourne. We did like the option for the three different hand heights (38", 40" and 42.5") so that you can customize the bag to your own preferences.
This bag has a large internal storage capacity and an expanding zipper in case you acquire too many souvenirs on vacation (like we did) and need to check this bag on the way home. We did several pack tests with this bag, including:
1) A real-life "can we go to Mexico for a week on the beach with only this bag" — PASS
2) A wintertime long weekend pack test, with a nice dress in the garment bag and heels — PASS
3) The Delsey Shadow 3.0 21 uber pack test, which included four pairs of pants, ten shirts, four pairs of shoes, two toiletry bags and two jackets — FAIL
(Well, we could get all the items for test #3 in there, but we had to undo the expandable zipper, thus making it a checked bag.) Only the Delsey and Briggs and Riley models were able to pass that final test, most likely due to their flat interior packing surfaces. All things considered though, this bag can carry a lot of gear, including business attire in the folding garment bag.
The main exterior pocket on this bag can hold a 16" laptop, though it did make the bag a little front heavy and prone to tipping over.
This carry-on is loaded with many useful features for the business or frequent traveler. The tri-fold suiter folds up into itself, keeping your suit or fancy dresses as close to wrinkle-free as possible. The compression straps have a pocket attached on each side for stowing small items like a phone charger, and they cover all of your belongings, which ensures that nothing goes flying out in case you need to open your bag in the airport.
It doesn't have an integrated lock but the zipper tabs have large enough holes for one. This bag does comes with an expandable zipper, similar to the Travelpro Maxlite 4 22, which adds 1.5 inches to the width of the bag. While this takes it over the legal carry-on limit, it is a nice feature in case you cannot fit all your dirty clothes back in the bag on the way home and/or just prefer to check it.
This bag is made with a Duraguard coated twill nylon, which is a method of weaving the fabric so that it forms a distinct diagonal line. This is a heavier material than the polyester used in Travelpro's Maxlite models, and should be more durable in the long term. We did not see as many scratches and scuffs in the Magna's material after the same amount of travel as the Maxlite model. The Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic bag was the only carry-on that we tested that did not receive any scuffs or marks during our testing process, thanks to its heavy duty ballistic nylon weave. The handles are also more securely engineered in this line as opposed to the Maxlite line.
While we only carried this bag aboard on this round of testing, during last year's review of the same model we did unfortunately receive some damage to the frame of the body after checking it on a return flight home. We tried to pop the dent out but it didn't resolve the issue. This bag is covered by Travelpro's "Worry-free Lifetime Warranty," which covers "Damage as the result of defects in normal wear, loss, or damage of contents caused by airline or other carriers" but not damage due to normal wear or loss. It's hard to say whether this dent would constitute normal wear or damage caused by a carrier, nor would we be too concerned about repairing a small dent. However, the warranty on a suitcase is an important thing to consider when purchasing a new (and expensive) model. Briggs and Riley offers a no-questions-asked type of warranty. If it's broken, they'll fix it free of charge, no matter who did the damage or if it was due to "normal" wear and tear. They also replaced a missing piece on the Baseline with no hesitation, even though we couldn't be sure if it hadn't come with the piece or it one of our testers had misplaced it.
The Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 weighs 8 lbs 4 oz and it feels noticeably heavier to pull around and lift into overhead bins than lighter weight bags like the Travelpro Maxlite 4.
The style of this bag is basic yet classic. The black leather strips on the front of the bag and on the handles add a nice contrast, and overall this bag has a little more style than the similarly shaped Maxlite 4. While this bag is classy enough for business and leisure travel, it doesn't quite make a statement like the Samsonite Inova 20.
This bag is best suited for business or casual travel where you won't be lugging it up and down stairs or on public transportation. The expanding sides make this a great option for travelers who like to carry-on while traveling to a destination (in case their luggage gets misplaced when checked), but check it on the way home after buying a bunch of souvenirs.
The Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 does have some price confusion associated with it. Travelpro does not list retail prices on its website. Major online retailers like Macy's and Amazon list this bag for $580 retail, but then have it "on sale" for $300 or less. Even at $300, it's one of the most expensive pieces in this review. If you really want to "invest" in a piece of durable luggage, then we'd recommend the $499 Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic, our Top Pick for Business Travel. That bag has even more features than the Magna, and should last a lifetime.
While we did like the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 expandable carry-on bag, it fell a little short compared to the competition. It does have some great features for business or casual travel, but ultimately we preferred the Eagle Creek Tarmac AWD Carry-On and Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic over this model.
This collection also features 20", 24", 26" and 28" expandable bags, as well as 21", 25" and 29" expandable spinner bags.
— Cam McKenzie Ring
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