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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 | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Expandable, affordable, zippered internal divider.
Cons:  Poor construction, difficult to wheel.
Manufacturer:   Fox Luggage
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 12, 2020
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SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 6
  • Ease of Use - 35% 5
  • Storage & Features - 30% 4
  • Versatility - 20% 6
  • Durability - 15% 3

Our Verdict

The Rockland Melbourne 20 can be found very cheaply online, making it an easy choice for budget-conscious shoppers in a category filled with expensive options. 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 Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $120 List
Check Price at Amazon
$202.43 at Amazon$569 List
Check Price at Amazon
$230 List$339.00 at Amazon
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Pros Expandable, affordable, zippered internal divider.Magnetically aligned wheels, great organization, excellent capacity, professional styleExceptional compression, deceptively large capacity, professional design, smooth and simpleWheels magnetically aligned, solid design and organization, fair priceTons of organizational features, excellent bag add-on straps, durably built
Cons Poor construction, difficult to wheel.Easy to over pack, few color optionsMinimal features, only two wheels, expensiveEasy to over pack, uneven tapered shapeLoud wheels, extremely challenging zippers, "techy" look
Bottom Line Low in price, this expandable model is also low in durability and rolls poorly.For the frequent traveler, this is an extremely durable bag made to withstand thousands of miles flown.An extremely durable option that fits an impressive amount of stuff.This carry-on is ready for round the world action at a price that leaves room for a few in-flight beverages.This unique, feature-laced model is marred by tough-to-use zippers.
Rating Categories Rockland Melbourne 20 Platinum Elite 21" Expandabl... Briggs and Riley Baseline Do... Crew 11 21" Expandable Spinn... Tarmac AWD Carry-On
Ease Of Use (35%)
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4
Storage & Features (30%)
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Versatility (20%)
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Durability (15%)
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Specs Rockland Melbourne... Platinum Elite 21"... Briggs and Riley... Crew 11 21"... Tarmac AWD Carry-On
External Dimensions (in) H x W x D 22" x 13" x 9" 23" x 14" x 10" 22" x 14" x 9" 23" x 14" x 10" 22" x 14" x 9"
Handle Height Options (in) 34" and 39" 36”, 38”, 40” and 42.5” 36", 39", 41" and 43" 36", 38”, 40” and 42.5” 37", 39", and 41"
Number of Wheels 4 4 2 4 4
Number of Interior Pockets 1 5 2 3 4
Number of Exterior Pockets 0 4 3 4 2
Main Compartment Opening Style clamshell - half split top flip-open top flip-open top flip-open clamshell - half split
Measured Weight (lb) 6.9 lb 8.5 lb 9.0 lb 7.8 lb 8.2 lb
Compression System Elastic bands Compression cross straps with full-coverage mesh panels and accessory pockets Compression cross straps with full-coverage mesh panels and full-bag compression system Compression cross straps Compression X straps
Expandable Yes - zipper Yes - zipper Yes - internal Yes - zipper Yes - zipper
Lock No No - lockable Yes No - lockable No - lockable
Main Material 100% ABS High-density nylon fabric with DuraGuard coating 95% Nylon High-quality ballistic nylon fabric with DuraGuard coating 1000D Helix Poly Twill and Polycarbonate shell
Unique Features Expands 1.5" Removable toiletry pouch, dedicated power bank pocket, removable hanger bag, magnets to keep wheels straight, included hidden name tag Built-in suiter, unique internal expansion-compression system, external handle stays for maximum internal storage, add-a-bag strap, included hidden name tag Dedicated power bank pocket, removable hanger bag, magnets to keep wheels straight, included hidden name tag Hybrid hard/soft-sided design, coat keeper strap, expandable zipper, add-a-bag strap, internal laptop sleeve
Warranty 3 year limited Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime 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 Use


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 pulls annoyingly to one side, and the rickety handle makes 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 isn't impressive next to a line-up of models that have 3 or 4 height options.

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.

Storage & Features


While we are surprised at how much of our pack test fit in the bag, though it was a bit of a squeeze. This bag also expands an extra 1.5 inches, which allows us space for a suit or fancy dress, but there's no way to ensure that it will come out anything other than 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.

The compression straps are basic and don't compress much, but do help secure loose items on 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.

Versatility


This bag has a boxy and plain look to it. It's not super sleek, nor does it offer a techy look. Also, the red bag that we tested had a pink and white polka dot interior, which we think is decidedly "junior" in its styling. The textured surface does help hide scratches though, which help keep it looking 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.

This is a fairly basic bag, and its features reflect that. There is no integrated lock like some of the other hard-sided bags in this review, nor can the zipper tabs accommodate one. We do like the differentiation between the bag's main zippers and the expandable zipper, and the expansion 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.

Durability


This bag is made of ABS plastic, which is less durable than the polycarbonate of more expensive - and more durable - bags. The Rockland's zippers are not very thick or burly, and we have major concerns over the telescoping handle, which one of the most rickety and rattly of any in this review. Additionally, the top carry handle is secured by flimsy tabs that proved to be easily broken.

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

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.

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.

Conclusion


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


Cam McKenzie Ring