Delsey Helium Titanium 25" Review
Cons: Weak hinge design, collects dust, shows scratches easily
Our Analysis and Test Results
Overall, the Delsey Helium Titanium showed us that a hard-sided suitcase doesn't require compromise on everything but looks, and that a functional spinner doesn't need to cost you more than your typical airline ticket.
The Delsey Helium Titanium scored sixth place overall. Hard-sided suitcases and spinner bags had the odds stacked against them given their very nature. However, in spite of that, we would add the Delsey to our traveling repertoire without hesitation. This bag had all the right pieces, and proper, thoughtful design around not only style, but functionality.
With a seemingly unbreakable polycarbonate shell closed by beefy zippers with metal pulls, we found the Delsey quite durable overall. Like any candy coat hard-sided luggage, the Delsey was prone to scratching when navigating up and down stairs. We can't imagine what we'd end up with after being tossed about in the cargo-hold of a plane.
Ultimately, this bag would have performed better in this category if we hadn't noticed that the canvas live-hinge, after testing had concluded, had already begun to unstitch from the bag after limited use.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, for more durability, consider venturing away from a hard-shell bag and check out the Editors' Choice Award winning Timbuk2 Copilot or the TravelPro Platinum Magna 2.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Delsey tucked away the entirety of the packing list we threw at it, fishing gear and all. On paper, it was the smallest bag by volume; even smaller than the Osprey Ozone which had the least storage room of all the bags reviewed. With the help of the hard-sided form and a 2-inch expansion zipper, the whole packing list fit. We were refreshed to find that this Delsey was designed to provide the extra room when you needed it, but not when you didn't. The main annoyance for us was a cinch strap which was not adjustable in the slightest bit.
Check out the Briggs and Riley Baseline and the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 for other bags with plenty of storage.
Ease of Transport
As we found with most spinners in our review, the Delsey excelled on smooth surfaces but had some troubles when negotiating broken sidewalks and steps. Its larger wheels were helpful for navigating rougher surfaces, but still rattled and shook like a shaky-wheeled shopping cart.
We found the handle of the Delsey disappointing. The handle places a hard edge right against the user's hand, leaving a less than comfortable experience when navigating cracked sidewalks with a heavy load.
We found comfortable handles and large wheels to be crucial for transportability. Consider the TravelPro Platinum Magna 2 or the Eagle Creek Tarmac for bags that check both boxes.
The Delsey was light on features, as most hard-sided suitcases seem to be. On the exterior, an integrated TSA approved lock allows the zipper pulls themselves to key in and secure. Inside the bag, you'll find a zipped compartment separator to cordon off a single side of the bag.
For feature-rich suitcases have a look at the Briggs & Riley Baseline and TravelPro Platinum Magna 2.
This bag weighed in at just over 10 lbs, a seemingly average weight for checked luggage. Much lighter and you lose durability and features, much heavier, and you run a higher risk of paying over-weight charges.
The styling of the Delsey left little to be desired. Sleek lines, chrome accents, and proportional wheels really set the bar high for the overall look of a suitcase. Even the handle stanchions were designed to look good with a teardrop profile. As far as a good-looking hard-sided case, this was our favorite.
Light traveling and smooth surfaces suit this bag best. Although a good bag all around, this is not a workhorse of a bag you want to put through the ringer. With increased use, you may find this bag to show more and more scratches and gouges, and potentially have issues with the hinge.
The Delsey Helium Titanium, at $360, lacks the type of functionality and durability we would hope to see at this price point. Instead, for functionality we would pick the $225 Timbuk2 Copilot, or the $360 TravelPro Platinum Magna 2 for fashion and function.
The Delsey Helium Titanium is a great looking bag that may handle the infrequent use of the occasional traveler, but there are other bags which outperform this one at the same price or cheaper.
— Dave Eyvazzadeh
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