Travelpro has done it again with their Crew 11 suitcase. Though it may not have quite the bells and whistles of its larger cousin, its lower price tag makes it an easy choice for our Best Buy award winner - again. We love the little things that make this a great bag, like clever and useful pockets, wheels that magnetically align to roll straight, a deceptively large capacity, and just the right number of features to keep you organized. Though we're not the biggest fans of its oddly tapered shape, it does keep it balanced and rolling smoothly. And as true of most expandable luggage, it's easy to overstuff it beyond carry-on guidelines. But when you break it down into what you pay vs. what you get, no matter if you're a weekly business traveler or a bi-annual vacationer, this bag offers serious value.
Travelpro Crew 11 21" Expandable Spinner Suiter Review
Cons: Easy to over pack, uneven tapered shape
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Travelpro Crew 11 is made of high-quality ballistic nylon fabric with DuraGuard coating for stain and abrasion resistance and added durability. It comes in multiple color options so you can more easily discern your bag from others at the baggage claim.
Ease of Use
Though its wheels are slightly smaller than some others we tested, the four sets roll very smoothly over most bumps and indoor jolts. They're not totally ideal for long-distance gravel commutes, but they'll do in a pinch. One of our favorite features of the wheels is their magnetic alignment mechanism. They spin any direction freely, but hidden magnets inside the swivel provide a slight hold on the wheels when they're facing the forward direction. This is an excellent feature that we appreciate so much, as it allows you to cart your luggage along nearly effortlessly. It's so good, that while walking we could let go of the handle to do something else, and this bag will just keep on rolling right next to you exactly where you'd want it, basically steering itself. It really takes away the hassle of a runaway suitcase.
The telescoping handle is sturdy and has four available heights, making it comfortable to move no matter if you're 5'1" or 6'7". Though the top and side handles aren't as incognito or elegant as some other options, they're sturdy and well-placed. The zippers are nearly as good as the best of them, and several outer pockets allow easy access to your laptop, cardigan, or other items you may need in transit. They're not our favorite outer pockets, but they're there and they work well for a lot of different items. Compared to some of the higher-end models, we can see the slight drop in quality and thoughtfulness of the many components of this bag, but without that direct comparison, you'd hardly notice. It's quite easy to transport and use.
Storage & Features
We're solidly impressed with how much we are able to fit into this little luggage. It passed our "pack for a week" test with flying colors. A zipper expansion and two compression straps let you bring home even more than you left with. Just like most rollaboards of this style, packing it that full often exceeds the carry-on size restrictions and can make your suitcase resemble a marshmallow after sitting too close to the fire on one side. But if you don't mind that poofy look or possibly having to check it on the way home, the surprising amount of extra space you can find inside this bag is excellent.
When it comes to internal organization, there are parts we love and parts we think aren't so impressive. There are several interior pockets that help keep you organized. The pockets under the lid are very versatile and easy to appreciate. However, we're not so sure about the two pockets inside the main compartment. They're oddly shaped - not very long, but with extra material to let them expand outward with whatever you're putting in them. The transparent one seems geared toward toiletries, though we're not sure how a non-removable toiletry bag would be particularly easy to use. While we appreciate the ability to have pockets for organizing smaller things, more often than not, we found ourselves not using these pockets because they're odd shapes and difficult to access when the bag is packed full.
The simple, clean, yet very usable design of this suitcase, we think helps it easily cross the border between professional and personal use. It features clean lines and a classic exterior that we think look totally natural rolling along next to slacks and heels or a pressed suit. And yet its wide range of features and exterior pockets make it just as useful for personal travel heading somewhere exotic for vacation.
If you are a frequent business traveler, you're sure to enjoy the suit/dress hangar bag that comes with this luggage. It easily zips around your pressed outfit and can be removed and hung up as soon as you get to your hotel. And of course, if you don't need anything to stay wrinkle-free, you can just leave the hangar bag at home. For anyone who spends a lot of time on their phone, there's a dedicated pocket for your portable battery pack that lets you simply plug your phone directly into your suitcase to keep using it on the go.
All in all, we think the overall look and usability of this bag cover a pretty wide range of possible uses. It features pockets and organization that you can choose to use or ignore, depending on your preference, and can fit a good amount of stuff. It's not our favorite option for internal organizational features or for overstuffing for that 3-week vacation, but it's a pretty good choice nonetheless.
We really put these suitcases through the wringer to test their durability. From checking them and crossing our fingers to packing them full and dropping them on concrete to dragging them face down across the sidewalk, they saw it all. The Crew 11 is a solid piece of luggage that never flinched no matter what we did to it. It's slightly less impressive-looking than some of the better-performing pieces in this metric, but it still holds its own. Even the few scuffs it got during our intensive testing process are barely noticeable and don't affect how the bag performs at all.
We tested the black color, and probably our biggest complaint about it is that it can tend to look dirty if brushed up against too many things. That's a fairly minor complaint though, as most the dirt can be easily brushed off. Our lead tester also has a dog that sheds white hairs, and she noticed the exterior fabric of this bag is a bit of a magnet for pet hair. Once again, it's quite easy to brush off and be on your way.
A few of the external features are slightly less impressive than some others we tested (like the handles and zippers). However, these minor half-steps down in quality we think are only noticeable in direct comparison with others, and as far as we can tell, don't detract from the bag's durability and function in any way.
As our Best Buy award winner for the second year in a row, value is something this suitcase has a lot of. It's a pretty impressively-performing bag overall and has a pretty reasonable price tag to boot.
The Travelpro Crew is a great piece of luggage that performs impressively well even in the face of some stiff competition. It has plenty of useful features, a decent capacity, stylish appeal, and a price that we think is very fair. Though there are a few others that we think are a bit more impressive, the Crew 11 is the best value we can find.
— Maggie Brandenburg