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Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Spinner 20-inch Review

A simple, lightweight yet solid hardshell spinner that outshines other bags at a similar price point
samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review
Credit: Samsonite
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $170 List | $154.55 at Amazon
Pros:  Smooth and stable, impressive capacity, variety of colors, lightweight
Cons:  Durability concerns, minimal organizational features
Manufacturer:   Samsonite
By Myrha Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Ease of Use - 35% 7.5
  • Design - 25% 8.0
  • Packability - 25% 7.0
  • Durability - 15% 5.2

Our Verdict

Among the lightest bags in our best carry on luggage review and boasting the smallest set of wheels in the group, we were concerned the Samsonite Omni PC Spinner could be yet another lightweight, flimsy hard case without the utility or function to support an average traveler's needs. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a variety of impressive qualities in this intentionally simplified yet solid and reasonably priced case. It has all the space, strength, and basic organizational features any regular commuter might require, plus a few nice extra touches – like an embedded TSA-approved lock and a color-coded expansion zipper – to quickly elevate it from "acceptable" to our Best Buy among hardshell carry-ons.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $170 List
$154.55 at Amazon
$370 List
$318.19 at Amazon
$275 List$120 List
$89.99 at Amazon
$170 List
$146.19 at Amazon
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Pros Smooth and stable, impressive capacity, variety of colors, lightweightWheels magnetically align, excellent organization, deceptively large capacity, stable and durablePolished, modern design, thoughtful organizational tools, easy to lift and maneuverMany useful extras, impressive capacity, accessible priceUltra lightweight, durable, good capacity
Cons Durability concerns, minimal organizational featuresDimensions exceed airline standards, heavyProne to tipping, scuffs easily, expensiveHeavy, exceeds airline size requirements, frontside bulkWobbles occasionally when full, few extra features
Bottom Line A simple, lightweight yet solid hardshell spinner that outshines other bags at a similar price pointA super versatile and functional bag that is durably built and makes travel easyA minimalist’s dream bag with a sleek modern appearance and commendable performance across all metricsAn accessible price point and a slew of useful features make this carry-on a good option for those who want a solid performer without breaking the bankA super lightweight and functional carry-on that doesn’t compromise on useful features or comfort in use
Rating Categories Samsonite Omni PC H... Travelpro Platinum... Away The Carry-On SwissGear Sion Soft... Travelpro Maxlite 5...
Ease of Use (35%)
7.5
8.5
7.1
8.2
7.2
Design (25%)
8.0
7.8
8.9
6.1
7.2
Packability (25%)
7.0
8.3
8.1
8.7
8.0
Durability (15%)
5.2
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.4
Specs Samsonite Omni PC H... Travelpro Platinum... Away The Carry-On SwissGear Sion Soft... Travelpro Maxlite 5...
Measured Dimensions 21.5" x 14" x 9.5" 23.5" x 14.3" x 9" 21.7" x 13.5" x 8.5" 23" x 14.1" x 10" 23.5" x 14" x 9"
Handle Height Options (where it locks) 5 (25", 30.5", 33", 36", 41.5") 5 (28", 36", 38", 40", 42.5") 4 (27", 34", 37.5", 41.5") 3 (28", 34.5", 43") 3 (27", 38", 42.5")
Number of Wheels 4 4 4 4 4
Number of Exterior Pockets 0 3 0 2 2
Interior Opening Style Half shell Top lid Half shell Top lid Top lid
Locking? Yes Main compartment zipper has a loop for a lock but does not come with lock Yes No Main compartment zipper has a loop for a lock but does not come with lock
Exterior Material Micro-diamond polycarbonate High density nylon Polycarbonate hardshell with leather details Polyester Polyester fabric with Duraguard coating
Colors 11 - black, carribean blue, red, white, silver, teal, navy, purple, bronze, burnt orange, radiant pink 7 - vintage gray, shadow black, bordeaux, coastal blue, intrigue black, rich espresso, true navy 9 - black, navy, ocean, green, asphalt, petal, white, sand, lavender 8 - black, blue, burgandy, dark gray, navy lime, pewter, purple, teal 8 - azure blue, black, burgandy, imperial purple, mocha, sapphire blue, slate green, dusty rose

Our Analysis and Test Results

Built of lightweight, scratch-resistant micro-diamond polycarbonate, the handsome Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Spinner delivers an open layout design paired with a backbone of core strength and versatility that would suit business travelers and globetrotting vacationers alike. It's a great pick for anyone looking for an affordable carry-on with stamina and smooth roller-flow, and it's our pick for Best Buy among hardshell carry-ons.

Performance Comparison


samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - the samsonite omni pc is simple yet strong and attractive enough to...
The Samsonite Omni PC is simple yet strong and attractive enough to roll with confidence from work week to weekend.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


Several things surprised us with the Samsonite Omni Carry-On. First, this compact hard-sided case is built out of polycarbonate yet is one of the lightest bags in the bunch and feels notably unsubstantial underhand, with sides that flex upon pressure as if built of a far flimsier material. But there's no error here. It's just smart minimalist engineering on a bag meant to maximize space and deliver a smooth ride without a whole lot of embellishment. That means you can pack at leisure, using the space as suits you best while knowing you won't have to sacrifice the safety of your back and shoulders in carrying.


Similarly, its four 360-degree wheels were some of the smallest in diameter of any spinners in the test group. They are also built of a single-wheel design, which is often associated with less maneuverability and a bumpier ride once in motion. Yet once again, the Samsonite delivered unexpected results, consistently flowing with confidence right alongside us whether we were rushing to catch a shuttle bus or squeezing between the crowd in a security line. We also noted that the Omni PC boasted some of the highest clearance in the bunch (unexpected given the smaller dimensions of its rollers), which in turn made bumping over stairs or dashing across sidewalks all the less painful.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - the samsonite seemed unbothered, bouncing around over curbs...
The Samsonite seemed unbothered, bouncing around over curbs, thresholds, and cracks
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Finally, we were pleasantly surprised to see internal features, like the mesh enclosure panel and restraint straps, built of far heavier gauge material than we saw in other hard-sided cases, and offering a far stronger restraint hold underneath. Combined with a notably sturdy and easy-on-the-arm set of handles, heavyweight easy-glide zippers, and an embedded TSA-compliant lock, we felt ready to tackle any obstacle in our way. We only had one complaint about the design of the Samsonite: it lacks a side loading handle (a feature sorely missed whenever stairs appear). While many carry-ons allow you to flip the case onto its side to shorten its reach and allow for improved weight distribution underarm, the Samsonite requires you to carry it topside up. Not the most comfortable or functional, and a choice we would suggest they reconsider.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - we don't know why samsonite decided to skip the side carry-handle...
We don't know why Samsonite decided to skip the side carry-handle, but we'd like them to reconsider.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Packability


When it comes to packing, the Samsonite Omni PC's open layout is standard fare and pretty much exactly what you'd expect from nearly any hard-sided bag. Its opening zipper splits down the middle, with one-half of its spacious clamshell offering a mesh-enclosed compartment that can be zippered shut to hold items in place, particularly important for opening and closing the bag to transport. The other half shell features a very small – dare we say, tiny – hanging accessory pocket plus a pair of cross-body restraint straps to help contain the bulk of whatever belongings you have left. A color-coordinated zipper-pull then marks the extension panel release along the middle closure, just in case you need additional storage to stash even more.


Although this carry-on doesn't offer anything in the way of real compression features, nor does it have an abundance of organizational features, there is a marked amount of room inside to stuff your belongings with confidence in addition to commendable strength in materials among internal organizational elements — zippers, mesh, straps. We managed to squeeze every last item from our 7-day Summertime Getaway packing list into this case without great strain, and without implementing the full expansion zipper. Once we advanced to the specialized gear category and the many bulky items that particular packing list required, we did have to become a bit more thoughtful in how we approached the task. But the simple boxy structure of the Samsonite was easy to fill, and the expansion option allowed us to add the helmet into the mix without complaint, with even more space available if we'd so desired.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - while a restraint cross-strap isn't as useful as a compression...
While a restraint cross-strap isn't as useful as a compression strap, the sturdy version in the Samsonite Omni PC did a better job than most at holding our clothing into place.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Design


What we love about the lightweight Samsonite Omni PC is its small yet effective footprint and the thoughtful details incorporated into the construction. While not visually trendsetting, the refined micro-diamond polycarbonate exterior is scratch and abuse-resistant and well equipped to protect your belongings against the traumas of travel without showing the signs of immediate wear.


Matched with a collection of other high-caliber materials – solid single-wheel spinners, hefty easy-glide zippers, sturdy load and roll handles, and high-grade interior fabric and mesh – you should feel both polished and confident whenever rolling this bag by your side. And with the added TSA-approved lock embedded into its side, you can move about public spaces with greater ease. Also, even though the case features some of the smallest sets of spinner wheels in the bunch (made of a single-wheel construction no less), the case delivers some of the highest ground-to-base clearance among the bags we tested. So you should have no problem bouncing over curbs or tackling unfinished driveways and cracked sidewalks.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - an embedded tsa-approved lock is a nice addition to the omni pc for...
An embedded TSA-approved lock is a nice addition to the Omni PC for a bit of added comfort when traveling through public spaces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The open layout pairs quite nicely with a set of packing cubes, but also provides just enough internal organizational features (an accessory pocket, mesh liner, and restraint straps) to allow for relatively careless packing on the go. And a solid variety of contemporary and attractive colorways are available so you can retain a clean, modern aesthetic while still easily eye-balling your bag amid the crowd from across the room. Interestingly, like other cases in the test group, the advertised dimensions of the Samsonite Omni PC exceed U.S. airline compatibility requirements (1 inch too wide and 3/4 inches too deep). But, chances are high it won't stir up any trouble with airline staff as long as the expansion feature remains "closed."

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - the samsonite omni pc has a contrasting zipper pull to significantly...
The Samsonite Omni PC has a contrasting zipper pull to significantly improve the speed at which one can locate and utilize the expansion feature.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Durability


The Samsonite Omni PC is an expandable hardshell built for the harsh realities of the road, with materials clearly chosen for their brawn as much as for their functionality and integration into a lightweight design. For this reason, we had high hopes this would be a top performer when it came to the durability testing. But as is so often the case, vulnerabilities present themselves wherever small exposed components are built into the structure.


In this case, the Samsonite withstood all the bang-ups and bumps we served up during the first stages of testing. But, when it came to greater extremes (specifically, drop testing from heights of three and six feet), the single 360-degree caster spinner wheels were ill-equipped to resist such targeted force. Three feet resulted in little more than a bit of exterior scratching around the roller-handle housing. But at six feet there was noticeable damage to one of the case's spinner wheels and suddenly we were experiencing a much more jittery roll (and even a bit of shuddering underhand while trying to maintain a straight line). With continued use, the issue did seem to right itself (perhaps movement allowed the wheels to realign within the housing?). So we're glad to report the issues don't seem to be permanent. But the temporary damage cost the Samsonite points for durability.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - high clearance and solid spinner wheels help us navigate over cracks...
High clearance and solid spinner wheels help us navigate over cracks and grass.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Samsonite Omni Carry-On?


We understand price is a top priority for most shoppers, no matter what product is under discussion. But when it comes to travel it becomes equally as important to talk about the quality of construction and functionality. How much wiggle room do you have to risk breakage or breakdown on the road? Do you have the patience and muscle to accommodate discomfort when loading, lifting, or rolling our packs between locations? We believe the Samsonite Omni PC Expandable Carry-On strikes a good balance between affordability and performance, all within a classically attractive yet modern shell. If you need a solid case that delivers well across the board but won't break the bank, this is a great hardshell carry-on to consider. And it would equally suit the needs of any business traveler as well as those heading out on a quick vacation with the family.

What Other Carry-On Should You Consider?


The Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Spinner 20-inch is a great choice for anyone who is trying to balance reliability, cost, and day-of travel needs. Although not the most affordable option in the bunch nor the case that boasts the most amenities, innovative features, or even colorway choices, it is a hardshell carry-on that can deliver road-worthy confidence, useful tools, and reliable performance at an affordable price.

If hardshells are your jam, but you want to step up your look and dial in your packing experience, the higher-end but pricier Away Carry-On is the way to go. Or, if you need more pockets to get you through your travel days, the SwissGear Sion will have everything you need for a very similar price point.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable spinner 20-inch carry-on luggage review - the samsonite omni pc was a winner among hardshells, receiving high...
The Samsonite Omni PC was a winner among hardshells, receiving high honors as our Best Buy among carry-ons in this subcategory.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Myrha Colt
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