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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
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28"
Credit: Samsonite
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $260 List | $239.88 at Amazon
Pros:  Cavernous main compartment, scratch- and water-resistant, easy-roll spinners
Cons:  Tough to transport on mixed terrain, easy to overpack, limited organizational features
Manufacturer:   Samsonite
By Myrha Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 27, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 13
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 7.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 7.0
  • Reliability - 25% 9.0
  • Weight - 15% 9.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

There’s big, and then there’s the Samsonite Omni PC. This 145L hard-sided, bare-bones yet classically attractive clamshell spinner is nothing if not ready to challenge even the most exhaustive over-packer among us. Most of us will never require half the space. But if you are moving halfway around the planet, packing a family for vacation, or have a household of gear to relocate down the street, this well-constructed, reasonably priced four-wheeled behemoth may prove a worthy choice. You won’t find many extra features inside, but the 360-degree single wheels move with reasonable ease, and the thick-set zippers and lightweight telescoping handle proved strong and comfortable to use. The lightweight polycarbonate design also 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $260 List
$239.88 at Amazon
$279 List$289 List
Check Price at REI
$250 List$119 List
$79.38 at Amazon
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Pros Cavernous main compartment, scratch- and water-resistant, easy-roll spinnersSmooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great styleDurable construction, large capacity, rolls with ease across mixed terrainUltra-lightweight, large wheels, useful organizational featuresInexpensive, rolls easily, large capacity
Cons Tough to transport on mixed terrain, easy to overpack, limited organizational featuresZippers could be smoother, low clearanceLimited interior organizational features, easy to overpackSmall storage capacity, jiggly awkward handle, dubious longevityLow-grade materials, poor craftsmanship, sticky zipper
Bottom Line An oversized yet lightweight mega-bag with spinner-tight roll and control over smooth surfaces and surprisingly tough exterior constructionA durable, stylish, and high-value suitcase suited for all types of travelThe perfect all-terrain rolling duffel with substantial storage capacity and useful organizational extrasAn ultra-lightweight roller duffel great for road tripping but less useful for airline travelA low priced expandable suitcase with enormous storage capacity but dubious durability
Rating Categories Samsonite Omni PC H... Timbuk2 Copilot REI Co-op Big Haul... Osprey Ozone 75L Wh... Amazon Basics 30" H...
Storage & Organization (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Reliability (25%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
9.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Style (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Specs Samsonite Omni PC H... Timbuk2 Copilot REI Co-op Big Haul... Osprey Ozone 75L Wh... Amazon Basics 30" H...
Measured Weight 10.3 lbs 9.4 lbs 9.6 lbs 5.2 lbs 11.6 lbs
Volume 145L 80L 109L 75L 127L
Liters per pound 14.1 8.5 11.1 14.4 10.9
Construction Clamshell, hard-sided Clamshell plus topside u-shaped zip access, softshell Zip open, duffel Zip open, duffel Clamshell, hard-sided
Measured Packed Dimensions 30.5" x 20.5" x 13" 26.5" x 14.5" x 13" 33.75" x 16.25" x 14" 26.5" x 17" x 12" 30.75" x 21" x 12
Expansion Zippers? Yes No No No Yes
Number of Wheels 4 2 2 2 4
Number of Large Interior Compartments 2 2 1 1 2
Interior Storage Features Elastic restraint straps in one-half clam, zip enclosure over opposite half; hanging zipper accessory pocket 2 mesh clam panels with 2 organizational pockets 2 mesh organizational pockets on inside of opening panel (one with key hook), 2 internal compression straps Compression panels with 2 straps One-half clam with elastic restraint straps, one-half large zip enclosure with 2 zip mesh pockets, hanging zip accessory pocket
Number of Exterior Pockets None 1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve 1 side exterior zip pocket. 1 small top zip pocket with piggy-bag strap attachment, plus daisy-chain gear loops 1 liquid pocket, 1 media-sized slide pocket, 1 small top containing tuckaway carry-on strap None
Compression System 2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression No 2 external and 2 internal compression straps (4 in total) 2 external compression straps, 1 internal panel set 2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression
Handle Height from Ground Low: 36"
High: 41"
40.5" 42" 39" Low: 36.75"
High: 40.5"
Built-In Lock Yes, TSA Approved No No No No
Main Exterior Material Polycarbonate Nylon and polyester Recycled 400-denier nylon/recycled 1,680-denier nylon (bluesign®-approved) 210-denier nylon honeycomb plus 450-denier packcloth Extra-thick ABS, hard shell
Unique Features Built-in TSA-approved lock; large packing capacity; impressive water resistance, expandable, anti-scratch exterior Liquids pocket and padded front pocket to fit 13" laptop; skateboard wheels Oversized wheels, rugged chassis, full-length bumpers, 2 internal and 2 external compression straps, stopper-stand, carry-on piggyback clip, 6 haul handle options, daisy chain lash points, water-resistant Ultralight, large, treaded wheels, exterior slide document pocket, carry-on tuckaway strap 150D-polyester zippered clamshell enclosure, 3 organizational pockets

Our Analysis and Test Results

The largest suitcase 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 and most roads ahead appear clear of rough-road obstacles, this classically styled beast of a spinner should land high among your list of luggage choices just as it has garnered a top spot on ours.

Performance Comparison


Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - the 145l samsonite omni pc expandable spinner with a scratch-...
The 145L Samsonite Omni PC Expandable Spinner with a scratch-, water-, and abrasion-resistant hard case.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Storage & Organization


If cavernous packable space is what you are here for, the 145L Omni PC is THE bag. 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. But keep in mind what this boxy four-wheeler delivers in sheer size and depth alone does not necessarily directly translate into smart use features overall.


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. But 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. And finally, an embedded TSA-approved locking mechanism offers a convenient sense of security when on the move.

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.
Built-in TSA Approved luggage lock on the Samsonite Omni PC.
Built-in TSA Approved luggage lock on the Samsonite Omni PC.

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/or to 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" suitcase - 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 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 with little excess effort or hesitation. With just one condition: its weight.


Due to the lack of internal compression and significant restraint, interior shifting and weight redistribution are factors. Specifically, we found something of a "belly-drag" effect given the semi-flexibility of the sides, and this 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, like so many other spinners we tested, begins to peel away from the body parallel, shifting to 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.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - the fully-weighted samsonite omni pc has a tendency to move away...
The fully-weighted Samsonite Omni PC has a tendency to move away from your body when you walk up hill on a slope, etc.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Like all four-wheeled spinner suitcases in our suite, flat road is where it's at with the Omni. No question, hefty treaded wheels are required if offroad 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.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - a comfortable handle for navigating a heavy bag across broken...
A comfortable handle for navigating a heavy bag across broken asphalt, cobbles streets, and busy airport crowds.
Credit: Myrha Colt

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, best 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" suitcase - 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

Reliability


Although the top design priority was clearly lightweight storage capacity, Samsonite also appears to have tackled the question of durability 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 out of 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.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - scale weight of the samsonite omni pc a good match to the advertised...
Scale weight of the Samsonite Omni PC a good match to the advertised specs.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Similarly, the small 2-inch diameter single-wheel design of the four heavy plastic spinners left us room for pause when projecting ahead to a rough and tumble world of airline baggage transfers, broken sidewalks, awkwardly angled hotel stairwells, and backcountry trailways. No suitcase becomes more useless than a human-sized, flex-sided mega spinner losing a wheel, especially when found far from its more natural hotel-airport habitat. And when a suitcase is near big as you are, there's no legitimate chance of hauling it about the world with a couple of small single-sided hand grips.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - a single two-inch spinner wheel made of solid hard plastic with a...
A single two-inch spinner wheel made of solid hard plastic with a protective 360-degree turning mechanism enclosed.
Credit: Myrha Colt

But 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. In fact, this was the single only bag in the 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!

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.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - toss testing the samsonite omni pc expandable to see how it handles...
Toss testing the Samsonite Omni PC expandable to see how it handles active luggage handling at full weight.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Weight


Considering its oversized dimensions, the 145L Omni PC impressed us with its 10.5-pound weight. Cases of lesser capacity come in at considerably more. So, Samsonite's concerted effort to deliver a lightweight large carry solution is well noted. But unfortunately, that number still equates to over 20% of a typical 50-pound checked luggage weight limit. So if you're taking to the air, a good deal of self-policing will be needed to ensure you don't overstuff your pack and face expensive fees.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - haul handles are not enough when confronted with a fully-weighted...
Haul handles are not enough when confronted with a fully-weighted Samsonite Omni PC. Plan for rolling but not much else unless you've got some muscle behind it.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Style


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.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - a selection of bags from the test suite, including city softshells...
A selection of bags from the test suite, including city softshells, hard-cases, spinners, and off-road-ready roller duffels.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Value


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" suitcase - 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: Myrha Colt

Conclusion


100+ years of design and use experience stand behind this storied luggage brand. So when it comes to delivering thoughtful suitcases built to serve the unique needs of today's global travelers, it's no surprise the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" boasts a host of qualities to impress. Yet the challenge remains: every trip and traveler is different, and every baggage need is unique. For some, the Omni will fit the long-haul bill just right. For others, it'll strike notes of humor before a quick grab for a far smaller and more rugged roller duffel or crisp business-ready piece. We'd choose this bag for our next international move without hesitation. But we also wouldn't expect it to come out of storage much once landed.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" suitcase - pulling the fully-weighted samsonite omni pc upstairs with some...
Pulling the fully-weighted Samsonite Omni PC upstairs with some effort.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Myrha Colt
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