Hands-on Gear Review

Delsey Helium Titanium 25" Review

Price:  $300 List | $109.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Looks great, perfect size, sleek handle design
Cons:  Weak hinge design, collects dust, shows scratches easily
Bottom line:  A great all-around bag with a flawed hinge design, but likely suitable for the occasional light traveling.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measured Weight:  10.1 lbs
Dimensions:  24.5 x 17.2 x 11.5 in
# of Wheels:  4
Manufacturer:   Delsey

Our Verdict

The Delsey Helium Titanium may not have won any awards, but if we were to purchase a reasonably priced spinner suitcase, the Titanium would be high on our list. That doesn't mean the Delsey was the highest performing spinner suitcase — in fact, it was only the second-best spinner suitcase in the field. But with the likes of the "do no wrong" Briggs & Riley Baseline costing nearly double, the Delsey is a better value for the occasional traveler. The Delsey impressed us across the board. In particular, this suitcase excelled in Storage and looks great up close and across the room. Overall, the Delsey is a fantastic suitcase. Of course, the Delsey is a hard-sided suitcase, which comes with challenges if you prefer countless interior and exterior pockets. But if you are in the market, particularly for a hard-sided case, be sure to consider it.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Dave Eyvazzadeh

Last Updated:
Friday
February 23, 2018

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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.


Performance Comparison


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.

Durability


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.

Showing every scratch from navigating curbs and stairs.
Showing every scratch from navigating curbs and stairs.

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.

Already showing signs of wear: a failing hinge and a hefty wall-paint scuff.
Already showing signs of wear: a failing hinge and a hefty wall-paint scuff.

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.

Storage


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.

A spartan yet functional interior. We only wish the cinch strap was adjustable.
A spartan yet functional interior. We only wish the cinch strap was adjustable.

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.

A sleek stanchion design. If only there was as much thought put into the comfort of the handle.
A sleek stanchion design. If only there was as much thought put into the comfort of the handle.

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.

Features


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.

Handy for those folks who want to lock their luggage without the hassle of a separate lock.
Handy for those folks who want to lock their luggage without the hassle of a separate lock.

For feature-rich suitcases have a look at the Briggs & Riley Baseline and TravelPro Platinum Magna 2.

Weight


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.

Style


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.


Best Applications


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.

An overwhelmingly good looking bag.
An overwhelmingly good looking bag.

Value


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.

Putting the Delsey's spinner wheels to work. The Helium also earns high style points.
Putting the Delsey's spinner wheels to work. The Helium also earns high style points.

Conclusion


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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Most recent review: February 23, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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