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Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" Review

An oversized yet lightweight mega-bag with spinner-tight roll and control over smooth surfaces and surprisingly tough exterior construction
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Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" Review (The Samsonite Omni PC is a big bag with a telescoping handle featuring two arm length choices.)
The Samsonite Omni PC is a big bag with a telescoping handle featuring two arm length choices.
Credit: Jason Wanlass
Price:  $260 List
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Manufacturer:   Samsonite
By Myrha Colt and Jason Wanlass  ⋅  Nov 14, 2023
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 17
  • Capacity - 35% 9.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 5.9
  • Construction Quality - 20% 6.0
  • Design and Functionality - 20% 6.0

Our Verdict

There's big, and then there's the Samsonite Omni PC. Boasting a 108-liter main compartment, this hardshell is bare-bones but stylish, and certainly tough enough for frequent moderate travel. Combine this with an attractive price tag, and you can see why this is one of our favorite budget-friendly hardshells. If you're relocating internationally, packing a family for vacation, or have a ton of gear that needs a ride, this well-constructed behemoth may prove a worthy choice. You won't find many extra features inside, but it rolls decently, has thick-set zippers, and a lightweight telescoping handle. More importantly, its polycarbonate shell held up remarkably well under testing. So, if you want equal parts size, quality, and performance without a lot of extra embellishment for your investment, this bag should do you right. This is the highest-rated value option in our Best Luggage review.
REASONS TO BUY
Cavernous main compartment
Scratch- and water-resistant
Easy-roll spinners
REASONS TO AVOID
Tough to transport on mixed terrain
Easy to overpack
Limited organizational features
Editor's Note: We updated this review on November 14, 2023, to include additional comparisons and information from our latest round of side-by-side testing.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $260 List
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Bottom Line One big bag (probably too big for most) of quality build, limited organizational features, and high transport performance over smooth urban terrainA clam-shell design combines with a duffel gear hauler to offer a unique modern take on today's soft-shell bagA nice price, sleek look, and decent performance, collectively result in an average bag made for moderate travelA solid enough bag with a reputable namesake, ample space, a few convenient accessories, and an appealing price tagLarge in size and great in value for short-term needs
Rating Categories Samsonite Omni PC H... Dakine Split Roller... Delsey Paris Titani... SwissGear Sion Soft... Amazon Basics 30" H...
Capacity (35%)
9.0
7.5
7.7
7.0
6.7
Ease of Transport (25%)
5.9
8.0
6.8
6.0
6.2
Construction Quality (20%)
6.0
8.5
6.0
6.5
5.0
Design and Functionality (20%)
6.0
7.0
6.7
6.8
5.0
Specs Samsonite Omni PC H... Dakine Split Roller... Delsey Paris Titani... SwissGear Sion Soft... Amazon Basics 30" H...
Weight (Measured) 10.3 lb 9.6 lb 11.9 lb 11.1 lb 11.6 lb
Exterior Dimensions 30.5" x 20.5" x 13.0" 30.0" x 14.75" x 13.0" 31.0" x 11.5" x 19.0" 28.5" x 17.25" x 12.5" 30.75" x 21.0" x 12.0
Main Compartment Volume (Measured) 108 L 77.5 L 98 L 87 L 84 L
Exterior Material Polycarbonate 600D recycled polyester, plain weave with print and water repellent finish, Bluesign approved material. 100% polycarbonate Polyester Extra-thick ABS, hard shell
Number of Wheels 4 2 4 4 4
Pull Handle Heights 2 36", 41") 3 (39", 42" 45") 2 (35", 43") 2 (37", 41") 3 (32", 36", 40")
Opening Style Half shell Half shell Half shell Top lid Half shell
Locking System Combination/TSA lock Zipper loop Combination/TSA lock Zipper loop None
Number of Exterior Pockets None 2 None 2 None

Our Analysis and Test Results

One of the larger-capacity suitcases among our list of contenders by far, the Samsonite Omni PC Expandable is not the bag for every trip or everybody. But when extra-large capacity, reliability, and value are key considerations to your travel plans, this classically styled beast of a spinner should land high among your list of luggage choices if you're looking for decent performance at a reasonable price.

Performance Comparison


samsonite omni pc hardside expandable 28" - cruising through baggage claim with our omni pc.
Cruising through baggage claim with our Omni PC.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Capacity


Cavernous packable space is exactly what the Omni PC offers. Be it wetsuits and climbing shoes, gala-ready gowns and costume glitz, or uniforms for a whole team, there's more room to haul in this mammoth streamlined case than you'll know what to do with. Forgot your boots? Need to toss in just one more winter coat? A final set of ropes? No problem. Flip-open the clamshell and unzip the side expansion panel to boost your net capacity by yet another couple of inches all around.


Based on our interior measurements, the 10.3-pound Omni PC offers 108 liters of volume, earning it some of our best scores in this metric.


Inside, one-half of the clam is covered in a zipped mesh panel to restrict the movement of items in transit. Great. But what else? The other half is wide open with just a simple elastic restraint strap set to help maintain position and balance among any additional freewheeling pieces housed in the main chest. Unfortunately, that comes without the benefit of true operational compression. Next, a single thin accessory pocket sits across the clam divide, like a lonely offering to the organizational gods.

Two halves of the open clamshell interior within the Samsonite Omni...
Two halves of the open clamshell interior within the Samsonite Omni PC expandable spinner.
Hanging accessory pocket inside the Samsonite Omni PC for...
Hanging accessory pocket inside the Samsonite Omni PC for organization.
The Samsonite offers basic organization and compression. However, it really packs a wallop when it comes to available space.


Our primary concern here is two-fold. One, it will take no effort at all to tap out the 50-pound airline maximum in the early stages of packing, increasing your chances of significant overweight luggage charges once you reach the airport. Two, packed at only half or low capacity, this bag runs the risk of becoming a potential hazard to itself and its contents.


Any vacant space means free-floating items can shift about inside the case, settling toward the bottom and creating an overall “belly-drag” effect within the flex-sided box or inadvertently exposing vulnerable edges and surfaces to compromise when tossed about within. You'll be better equipped to dial this big boy in if you're working with packing cubes or large soft pieces. If not, consider a smaller suitcase that suits your real-time packing needs.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable 28" - a fully packed samsonite omni pc expandable spinner, using the...
A fully packed Samsonite Omni PC expandable spinner, using the restraint system and mesh enclosure on each half of clamshell design.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Ease of Transport


The Omni PC will pack all the gear you need — and a whole lot you probably don't — and deliver a fairly comfortable body-parallel ride under average travel conditions. Navigating a crowd across a hotel lobby? Late for check-in at the airport? It will keep pace around a sea of people and corners. However, don't expect the smoothest ride. The Omni PC's single-wheel spinners are small and very basic, so they are loud and tend to rattle at high speeds. The result was lower scores from our testers in this metric.


Due to the lack of internal compression and significant restraint, interior shifting and weight redistribution are common. Specifically, we found something of a “belly-drag” effect, given the sides' semi-flexibility, which can slow you down a bit. Also, when topped out at just the maximum airline weight of 50 pounds (with plenty of room inside to spare), we noted the Omni PC, like so many other spinners we tested, begins to roll at an angle next to you, shifting as far as a 45-degree angle while in motion. We found this true on flat and mild uphill slopes, making it vastly harder to keep the heavy bag at our sides and requiring substantially more energy and effort to maneuver a straight line matching our steps.

Having trouble with directions. Our Omni PC liked to veer, usually to the right. However, as long as we kept a tight rein while walking, it wasn't overly problematic.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Like all four-wheeled spinner suitcases in our suite, a flat road is where it's at with the Omni PC. There's no question that hefty treaded wheels are required if off-road adventures are what you seek — and this four-wheeled giant's stats stumbled as expected when presented with a diversity of landscapes. Although the 3.5 inches of bottom clearance leaves the case free to charge rough roads and broken surfaces, the four spinner wheels themselves are far too small to offer much fight against rocks, dirt, gravel, sand, or any other obstacles, even if flopped to a two-wheeled pull position. Likewise, the lightweight parallel-ride-friendly handle loses its appeal when tasked with compelling the weight of a full bag against such challenging terrain.

Stick to what you do best. The Samsonite is definitely a city-dweller. Its small wheels performed their best on clean, flat, engineering surfaces. Even cracks in the sidewalk or uneven pavement were a little problematic.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

On loading, the thin rubberized top and side haul handles feel secure but offer little room to grip and stand small chance of serving comfortably or providing easy maneuverability when the bag is packed to its full capacity — or really, even just half. Its colossal dimensions ensure any grab-and-go will require a significant amount of muscle and leverage, like a large baggage handler. On standing, it is best to keep a hand free. There's no stopping mechanism in place to save you from such a bag with a freewheeling mind of its own.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable 28" - the haul handle on the samsonite omni pc does not appear sturdy...
The haul handle on the Samsonite Omni PC does not appear sturdy enough for many loads at full weight. We would proceed with caution.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Construction Quality


Although the top design priority was clearly lightweight storage capacity, Samsonite also appears to have tackled the question of toughness on the Omni PC from the ground up. The “PC” in its name refers to the core construction material of this suitcase, polycarbonate (the same tough stuff used in bullet-proof glass), and is the first indication there may be hidden strength below the bag's surface.


Upon first inspection, a couple of design surprises whispered of potential fragility and cast doubts upon our initial performance assessment. What threw us for a loop? Foremost, the bag's micro-diamond patterned hard shell presents itself as both thin and flimsy, flexing easily under hand pressure alone (as one might expect to see if it were inferior ABS construction). We found this to be a truly peculiar combination for a polycarbonate exterior that boasts scratch and abuse resistance with an overall indestructibility fit for daily battle with international airways.

Welcome to the school of hard knocks. During our drop tests, we pushed each bag off of a three-foot ledge onto concrete to see how well it could handle an accidental fall.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

True to its name, rigorous on-the-ground testing demonstrated this Samsonite hangs tough. Prepared for disappointment, we were genuinely surprised when the soft, slim exterior, thick interlocking zippers, and four underwhelmingly small caster spinners delivered on the bag's heavyweight protection promise. This was particularly evident during our stairwell tests, where we purposefully rolled our Omni PC over the edge of a flight of concrete steps. The total damage consisted of a few minor scuffs and scratches.

A tough polycarbonate shell allowed our bag to tumble without incurring much damage.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

In addition to its overall toughness, Omni PC proved to be quite water-resistant. In fact, it was one of the few bags of our entire suite that held up under both phases of water testing, remaining water-tight against both simulated showers and a concentrated soaking at vulnerable access points. Impressive.

Exterior of the Samsonite Omni PC after water testing with beaded...
Exterior of the Samsonite Omni PC after water testing with beaded water all over.
The interior of the Samsonite Omni PC after water testing:...
The interior of the Samsonite Omni PC after water testing: surprisingly dry!
The Samsonite was one of our top performers during our extensive water tests.

Facing such adversaries as snowy airport tarmacs, concrete stairwells, and jam-packed trunk space, this Samsonite spinner also stood strong, leaving both bag and contents unscathed. So, while we might not suggest packing the family porcelain or leaving precious electronics or breakables floating inside in a sea of unpacked space, we'd trust this bag to carry most average travel wares safely ahead to their final destinations.

Hard landings left only a few scuffs on our Samsonite during our throwing tests. Hard-shell suitcases lack a bumper, so the entire case takes the brunt of the impact.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Design and Functionality


The unobtrusive classic style of the Omni PC was not lost on us. Its streamlined curves and dulled hard candy coating played to its favor, masking its otherwise imposing size amid a crowd of similar-yet-different suitcases on the playing field.


With many colors to choose from and classic, hard-sided spinner good looks, the simplicity of this no-frills suitcase ensures it leans toward the classy yet unassuming side of the luggage spectrum, with enough scratch and stain-resistant properties to suggest a long and healthy shelf life.

Moving smoothly as we “four wheel it” through baggage claim.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Should You Buy the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" ?


If volume is what you want, volume is what the Samsonite Omni PC can deliver. And at this price point, there is no doubt you are maximizing your dollar. For hauling clothing and soft wearables over city-style surfaces, there's a good chance you won't be disappointed in its transportability, reliability, and longevity. Plus, with Samsonite, you're looking at a 10-year limited warranty from a brand built around a solid reputation for delivering on quality and commitments. In the game of trust that is travel, there are far less promising partnerships to be made.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable 28" - finally home after a long day in the air. seamlessly transferring...
Finally home after a long day in the air. Seamlessly transferring from four wheels to two makes it simple to ease this suitcase over steps.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

What Other Suitcases Should You Consider?


If price is king, and all you need are the very basics, we suggest taking a look at Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner. It's certainly not the sturdiest bag, but it's one the cheapest we could find while still maintaining a certain level of quality. We also recommend a quick read-through of our review of the SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Roller 29". It's also a great value and offers the same quality and function as the Samsonite but in a softshell.

samsonite omni pc hardside expandable 28" - the samsonite omni pc is a big bag with a telescoping handle...
The Samsonite Omni PC is a big bag with a telescoping handle featuring two arm length choices.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Myrha Colt and Jason Wanlass