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Rockland Melbourne 20 Review

Inexpensive suitcase but not built to last.
Rockland Luggage Melbourne 20
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Price:  $120 List | $42.50 at Amazon
Pros:  Expandable, affordable, zippered internal divider.
Cons:  Poor construction, difficult to wheel.
Manufacturer:   Fox Luggage
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 1, 2016
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 8
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 5
  • Storage - 25% 6
  • Features - 20% 5
  • Durability - 10% 4
  • Weight - 10% 8
  • Style - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Rockland Melbourne 20 retails for $120 but can often be purchased for as low as $45 online, making it an easy choice for budget-conscious shoppers in a category filled with $200 and up models. However, this no-frills bag doesn't have many of the features of the more expensive models, nor the longevity. This model is a hard-sided bag with four single wheels that tend to have a mind of their own when moving — they rarely do it in a straight line! It is expandable, giving you an additional 1.5 inches overall, but in its regular carry-on configuration, it can't hold as much as many of the other models in this review. Its telescoping handle is not very sturdy (it was flexing pretty ominously when we tried pushing the Melbourne while full), and the tabs that secure the grab handles are easily broken.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Rockland Luggage Melbourne 20
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $42.50 at Amazon$254.99 at Amazon$114.99 at Amazon$330.68 at Amazon$118.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Expandable, affordable, zippered internal divider.Extremely easy to maneuver, stylish design perfect for business trips, durableFair price, durable, easy to use, easy access outer pocketsLoaded with features, easy to travel with, large storage capacity.Lightweight, spacious, expandable.
Cons Poor construction, difficult to wheel.Heavier modelMay need to check if expander is used"Technical" styling not for everyone.Has a very nondescript look, not the most durable.
Bottom Line Inexpensive suitcase but not built to last.A high-end bag built to make travel easy and to last a lifetime.This easy roller offers a little luxury at a nice priceA non-conventional carry-on for the outdoor enthusiast.Inexpensive bag when purchased at the usual "street" price.
Rating Categories Rockland Melbourne 20 Platinum Elite 21" Expandabl... Crew 11 21" Expandable Spinn... Tarmac AWD Carry-On Maxlite 5 22 Expandable Roll...
Ease Of Transport (25%)
10
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5
10
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10
10
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10
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9
10
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7
Storage (25%)
10
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6
10
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10
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10
10
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8
10
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8
Features (20%)
10
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5
10
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10
10
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9
10
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10
10
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6
Durability (10%)
10
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4
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9
10
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6
Weight (10%)
10
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8
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8
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7
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9
Style (10%)
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5
Specs Rockland Melbourne... Platinum Elite 21"... Crew 11 21"... Tarmac AWD Carry-On Maxlite 5 22...
Measured Weight 6.94 lbs. 7.81lbs 7.20 lbs 8.13 lbs 6.31 lbs.
Dimensions 22" x 13" x 9" 22" x 14" x 9" 22" x 14" x 9" 22" x 13" x 9" 22" x 14" x 9"
# of Wheels 4 4 4 4 2
Number of interior pockets 1 5 4 4 2
Number of exterior pockets 0 2 2 3 2
Compression system Compression straps Compression straps with integrated accessory pockets Compression straps Compression straps Compression straps
Lock No No, but lockable No, but lockable No, but lockable No
Main Material 100% ABS High-density nylon fabric with DuraGuard® coating resists stains and abrasions. High-quality ballistic nylon fabric with DuraGuard® coating for stain and abrasion resistance 1000D Helix Poly Twill and Polycarbonate shell Polyester fabric with water and stain resistant coating
Unique features Expands 1.5" Removable toiletry pouch and dedicated power bank pocket Dedicated power bank pouch Hybrid hard/soft-sided design, coat keeper strap, expandable zipper, add-a-bag strap Expandable zipper
Handle height (inches) 34" and 39" 36”, 38”, 40” and 42.5” 38”, 40” and 42.5” 37", 39", and 41" 38" and 42"
Other Versions 24" and 28" 20", 25", 28" 26"
Warranty 3 year limited Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Limited lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rockland Melbourne 20 is made of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic and measures 22 x 13 x 9 inches. It weighs just under 7 pounds and comes in over 25 colors.

Performance Comparison


Does it fit? Yes! This compact bag shouldn't ever be denied at the gate.
Does it fit? Yes! This compact bag shouldn't ever be denied at the gate.

Ease of Transport


In other reviews, we write about how awesome the four-wheeled design is for maneuvering flawlessly through the airport (read: over polished surfaces). All four-wheels bags are not created equal, however, and less expensive carry-ons like this one just don't have the same amazing rolling prowess as other contenders. The Melbourne pulled annoyingly to one side, and the rickety handle made it difficult to push while full. The handle can adjust to two heights (34" and 39"), which is nice for fine-tuning the right handle height for pushing, but overall this bag received one of our lowest scores for ease of transport.

These small spinner wheels seem to have a mind of their own and don't like to travel in a straight line. They are also not geared towards rolling over anything but smooth airport floors.
These small spinner wheels seem to have a mind of their own and don't like to travel in a straight line. They are also not geared towards rolling over anything but smooth airport floors.

Internal Capacity


While we were surprised at how much of our pack test fit in the bag, it was a bit of a squeeze. This bag also expands an extra 1.5 inches, which allowed us space for a suit or fancy dress, but there was no way of ensuring that it would come out anything but completely wrinkled.

We were able to fit two pairs of shoes  four pairs of jeans  ten shirts  a sweater  workout clothes  and toiletries in this bag  but there wasn't room for dressy clothes or a way to keep them wrinkle-free.
We were able to fit two pairs of shoes, four pairs of jeans, ten shirts, a sweater, workout clothes, and toiletries in this bag, but there wasn't room for dressy clothes or a way to keep them wrinkle-free.

Features


This is a fairly basic bag, and its features reflect that. There is no integrated lock like the other hard-sided bags in this review, nor can the zipper tabs accommodate one. We did like the differentiation between the bag's main zippers and the expandable zipper, and the expandable option is a nice feature for such a small bag.

We always appreciate when the expandable zipper tab and the main zipper tabs are different shapes and sizes so that we don't accidentally open the expander section every time we try to open the bag.
We always appreciate when the expandable zipper tab and the main zipper tabs are different shapes and sizes so that we don't accidentally open the expander section every time we try to open the bag.

The compression straps are basic and don't compress much, but do help secure loose items in that side of that suitcase. The other side can be zipped up completely, and there is one small internal pocket that's big enough for a few pairs of underwear or a toiletry kit. There are no exterior pockets (common with hard-sided bags), which is something to consider if you like to stash odds and ends in the outer pockets of your suitcase.

The expandable option is a nice feature - it won't fit in the overhead bin this way but it is great for when you buy too much stuff on vacation and choose to check your bag on the way home.
The expandable option is a nice feature - it won't fit in the overhead bin this way but it is great for when you buy too much stuff on vacation and choose to check your bag on the way home.

Durability & Construction


This bag is made of ABS plastic, which is less durable than polycarbonate (which is the plastic that more expensive bags like the Delsey Shadow and Samsonite Inova use). The Rockland's zippers are not very thick or burly, and we had major concerns over the telescoping handle, which was by far the most rickety and rattly of any in this review. Additionally, the top carry handle is secured by flimsy tabs that are easily broken.

The grab handles are attached by flimsy tabs that are easy to damaged. Part of this tab broke during our first trip with it.
The grab handles are attached by flimsy tabs that are easy to damaged. Part of this tab broke during our first trip with it.

Weight


At 6 lbs, 15 oz, the Melbourne is one of the lighter bags in this review, which is noticeable when compared to the heavier Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic, our Top Pick for Business Travel. With some airlines instituting a weight limit on their carry-on bags, lighter bags are a definite plus.

Style


This bag has a boxy and plain look to it. It's not super sleek, nor does it offer a techy look like the The North Face Rolling Thunder 22. Also, the red bag that we tested had a pink and white polka dot interior, which was decidedly "junior" in its styling. The textured surface does help hide scratches though, which might make it look newer for longer.

This inexpensive suitcase has a plain design with few extra features.
This inexpensive suitcase has a plain design with few extra features.

Best Applications


This bag is suitable for general airline travel and city-to-city trips. It's also a nice bag for traveling with children, who can push a four-wheeled bag easier than they can pull a two-wheeled one, and can use it as an impromptu seat when needed.

This bag is great for travelling with kids. They can push it themselves and it gives them a place to take a break.
This bag is great for travelling with kids. They can push it themselves and it gives them a place to take a break.

Value


If you plan on using your bag infrequently and aren't overly concerned about quality in your carry-on, this may be the bag for you. One other important aspect to note is that even though this bag has a three-year warranty, we've read multiple user reviews online stating that this warranty is extremely difficult to claim. Rockland Luggage does not have an official website and is made by Fox Luggage. After digging around online and sending a few emails, we found the contact information for the warranty office: customer service at Fox can be reached at (323) 588-1688 and customerservice@foxluggage.com. Be sure to keep your hang tags, receipt, etc., if you think you might want to make a warranty claim down the road.

Conclusion


The Melbourne 20 has a few attractive features and is certainly affordable, but its rickety handle and poor rolling action left us unimpressed overall.


Cam McKenzie Ring