Samsonite Omni PC 28" Review
Cons: Undersized wheels, uncomfortable handle, flimsy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Samsonite Omni PC was our brawn over brains candidate. Far and away the largest of contenders with a respectable attempt at looking good, the Omni had little effort put toward practicality and use. Little things like the lack of Velcro to keep the inner liner in place and moleskin covered rivets made us believe this bag had little forethought to it. From a storied name like Samsonite, we expected more thoughtful design with a nod toward the life of a traveler, and how to simplify the troubles of traveling. However, all that was simplified was the design. Landing firmly in the bottom half of our results, this may not be our first choice in hard-sided suitcases, but it had its highlights.
The Samsonite Omni PC struggled in some categories and excelled in others. It may not have scored well, but other hard-sided spinners could still learn a thing or two from the easy-on-the-eyes outer shell.
The Omni PC gains half its moniker "PC" from the material it is born from — Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is the tough stuff used in bullet-proof glass. This leads us to believe that the hard candy shell of this beast is practically unbreakable, but as it turns out, it can be scratched. The textured pattern of the exterior hides scratches well and keeps the style looking as intended. The Omni PC, albeit hardy, was another one of our dust collectors.
As for how it holds up with the abuses of travel, we aren't so certain. Though durable, the polycarbonate outer shell is thin and oddly flimsy at the same time. So while your suitcase might survive being tossed about the hold of an airplane, your valuables may suffer a different fate. If you're searching for a durable spinner, consider the hard-sided Delsey Helium Titanium or the Briggs and Riley Baseline.
When it comes to storage, the Omni PC dominates. So much so, we think it may be overcompensating. The Omni handily packed away our insane packing list with room to spare. We believe we could have also fit a climbing rope, helmet and then some! But just in case that wasn't enough room, the Omni boasts an additional 2-inch expansion zipper. In what world someone would need this much storage we haven't a clue, but we certainly know it would cost a pretty penny in over-weight luggage charges. When it comes to expandable suitcases, we prefer the more reasonable approach — There when you need it; not when you don't. The Delsey Titanium Helium and the TravellPro Platinum Magna exhibit these qualities well.
Ease of Transport
Although the Omni will pack all the gear you need (and all the gear you don't), we can't say with certainty that it will get there without a struggle. The flexible hard-sided outer shell didn't make things very easy in our transportability test. The Omni was one of our "belly-draggers" when on all four wheels under the weight of testing.
As for the wheels, we were surprised that the largest suitcase in the flock seemed to have missed "leg-day." The wheels of the Omni PC were the smallest of all the suitcases we reviewed. And when picking up the Omni PC by a top or side carry handle, the flexibility of the outer shell made it more difficult to get the already tall suitcase off the ground for our 6'2" reviewer. In tow, the Omni scraped its way up and down stairs and had no remorse while navigating sidewalk cracks. When it comes to transportability, larger wheels rule. Check out the larger wheels of the Eagle Creek and the versatility of the Osprey Sojourn.
The Omni PC is light on features but is one of the only candidates with an integral locking mechanism that is TSA approved. A 3-digit combination lock that you can set to the combo of your choice is convenient. Some online reviews found the lock difficult to work with, but we had no troubles after reading the instruction manual provided with the suitcase.
We've also come to enjoy the clam-shell style packing of some of our reviewed suitcases, including the Omni PC. Clamshell packing offers the most convenience when each side is well secured. The Omni PC provides one side of the clam-shell with a full zippered net, while the other is left to do battle with an elastic band. Look no further than the Timbuk 2 and Burton Wheelie for dual side clamshell packing perfection.
Considering its size, the Omni PC impressed us with a 10.5 lb weight. Unfortunately, that equates to over 20% of a typical 50 lb checked luggage weight limit.
The style of the Omni PC was not lost on us. In fact, the simplicity played to its favor as it highlighted the imposing size and simplicity of this no-frills suitcase. Caught somewhere between utility and fashionable, we think the styling is right where it should be. Although some believed it looked like it fit well with Marvel superhero Iron-Man's armor…
The Omni PC has its place in homes, and those would be for families that prefer to take one bag regardless of extraneous luggage fees at the airport. Limit your packing to clothes over gear, and stick to polished walkways and airport floors, and you'll have clear skies ahead.
If volume is what you want, volume is what you'll get. There is no doubt that for the $240 price point, you are getting the most packable volume per dollar. If you rely on the Omni PC only to keep clothes stored without issue, you won't be disappointed. But we aren't convinced about the wheel durability just yet.
The Samsonite Omni PC is a hard-shelled spinner with plenty of packing space to waste for the haphazard packer that enjoys packing in the style of the Swedish Chef. Unfortunately, the Omni lacked in Transportability and Features, dragging it into the lower tier of our review.
— Dave Eyvazzadeh