The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

The North Face Stratoliner 75 Review

A durable and simple general use suitcase.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $329 List | $179.98 at Backcountry
Pros:  Durable, simple storage design, great transportability, excellent water-resistance
Cons:  Sticky zippers and handle button, less padded handles
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 21, 2020
  • Share this article:
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
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 11
  • Reliability - 25% 8
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 7
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8
  • Weight - 15% 7
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The North Face Stratoliner 75 suitcase offers great storage and durability. It provides the level of versatility and reliability that you'd expect from a checked piece of baggage, yet it isn't so oversaturated with features as to be a nuisance. It rolls well over all sorts of terrain and protects from scuffs and scrapes along the way. It turns on a dime and maneuvers well, even when fully packed. Take on cobbled streets, sidewalks, and busy city centers. Given its excellent storage capacity and rigidity, it's perfect for packing gear, clothing, and anything else you need for a solid adventure. Oh, and it's one of the only suitcases with a front laptop sleeve that is padded enough to trust.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $179.98 at Backcountry$269.00 at Amazon$295 List$233.48 at Amazon$369.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
75
100
0
81
100
0
78
100
0
77
100
0
74
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Durable, simple storage design, great transportability, excellent water-resistanceSmooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great styleStylish, simple, reliable constructionWell-built, great organizational features, suit & dress holder, great travel abilityAmple storage, water-resistant, durable, heavily featured
Cons Sticky zippers and handle button, less padded handlesZippers could be smoother, some reported handle issuesExpensive, drags up stairsPotential zipper and handle issues, high priceMany features are not useful for most people, bulky design
Bottom Line A simple and durable suitcase built to keep you adventuring wherever you go.A durable and high value suitcase suited for all types of travel.A smooth, simple, and luxurious spinner suitcase for all types of travel.A business-savvy suitcase that has a variety of applications.A reliable tactical trunk ideal for bulky gear.
Rating Categories The North Face Stratoliner 75 Timbuk2 Copilot Away Travel Large Platinum Magna 2 26" Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30
Reliability (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
Storage & Organization (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
Ease Of Transport (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
Weight (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Style (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
3
Specs The North Face... Timbuk2 Copilot Away Travel Large Platinum Magna 2 26" Eagle Creek ORV...
Measured Weight (lbs) 10 10 12 10 10
Measured Volume (liters) 75 80 110 87.5 98
Construction Clamshell, softshell Clamshell & peek-a-boo access, softshell Clamshell, hardshell Clamshell, softshell Zip open, softshell
Measured Packed Dimensions 28" X 16" X 12" 25" x 14" x 10" 27" x 19.5" x 11.5" 25" x 18.5" x 12" 30" x 17" x 15"
Expansion Zippers? No No No Yes No
Number of Wheels 2 2 4 2 2
Number of Large Interior Compartments 2 2 2 1 1
Interior Storage Features Seperate toiletries bag 2 Mesh dividers with organizational pockets. Seperate toiletries bag, one mesh divider, organizational pocket that can be detached. Removable dress/suit holder, mesh organizational pocket, waterproof organizational pocket. Three smaller organizational pockets
Number of Exterior Pockets 2 1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve None 1 small, 1 large 2 large pockets, top and bottom. Several gear loops on the exterior.
Compression System Interior compression straps, no exterior compression Internal compression straps Interior compression straps, no exterior compression Internal compression straps Removable gear holder keeps items in place, but not compression. Compression buckles on the outside. Expandable boot pocket on the interior of the backpack.
Handle Height from Ground 43" 40.75" Low: 37.5"
High: 41"
Low: 38"
Med: 40"
High: 42.5"
42"
Built-In Lock None None Yes None None
Main Exterior Material 900D Polyester With TPE Laminate, 1680D Polyester Nylon & polyester Polycarbonate shell Ballistic nylon fabric with water resistant coating Bi-Tech Heather, 1000D Helix Polyester Twill
Unique features Hide-away zippers on the front for ample water resistance. Peek-a-boo front pocket, padded front pocket for a 13" laptop. Unique compression system Removable attachment for a suit or dress Gear specific storage
Warranty Limited warranty Lifetime limited warranty Lifetime limited warranty Worry free warranty Lifetime warranty
Other Volume & Size Options 45L Small (42L), Medium (52L), XL (108L) The Carry-On, The Bigger Carry-On, The Medium Small (21"),
Large (29")
136L

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Stratoliner is a super durable softshell case that maintains its shape, even when completely unpacked. It offers 75 liters of storage in its clam-shaped construction. Its outer layer is impervious to water, making it one of the most water-resistant bags tested. This is one of our favorite and most used bags for its ease of transport, simple organizational features, and versatility of uses. Take it with you on your next road trip or while you adventure through far-away lands.

Performance Comparison


Roll the Stratoliner from the airport to your hostel or hotel without any trouble. It is simple and durable.
Roll the Stratoliner from the airport to your hostel or hotel without any trouble. It is simple and durable.

Reliability


We were pleasantly surprised by the reliability that this suitcase offers. The front is constructed of water-resistant 900-denier polyester, and the back is an even more robust 1680-denier polyester. It is coated with a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) laminate, which adds to the strength of the material.

The exterior material is quite durable and waterproof. But  like all the cases we tested  the zippers will still let water inside.
The exterior material is quite durable and waterproof. But, like all the cases we tested, the zippers will still let water inside.

We love the water-resistant features that include recessed zippers on the front pockets. While this material is pretty darn waterproof, the zippers themselves will still let water in if saturated — especially where they are not covered at the top of the bag. The Stratoliner will keep your things dry in a small rain, but not a complete downpour.

Here we see that the zippers are not recessed around the main compartment or waterproof by any means.
Here we see that the zippers are not recessed around the main compartment or waterproof by any means.

During a road trip to Utah, we used this case as our travel companion, throwing it around in the back of our truck and bumping it up metal stairs at a dirty motel. The outer material, even after this trip and several others, still looked like new. The main handle is quite solid, built with durable plastic. The button on the side of the handle is less ideal, though — it's not as comfortable to push and can be a little sticky.

The plastic wheels are pretty solid and flat  offering a smooth and solid ride on cracked pavement and other surfaces you'll encounter on your travels.
The plastic wheels are pretty solid and flat, offering a smooth and solid ride on cracked pavement and other surfaces you'll encounter on your travels.

The wheels on this bag are super bomber. They are large, in charge, and stood up over gravel parking lots, carpet, and the broken side-walks of resort towns in Colorado. They don't jiggle and look to be easy to replace if the worst happens.

While we do appreciate the burliness of the zippers, we found ourselves needing to use both hands to unzip the case, especially on the corners. Here we often had to tug at the edges like crazy, especially when fully packed. Aside from that, we're pretty content with the durability and reliability of this bomber suitcase. It's an excellent option for all manner of adventuring, including rainy places.

The zippers  while large and durable  are super sticky and hard to open and close  especially around the corners.
The zippers, while large and durable, are super sticky and hard to open and close, especially around the corners.

Storage & Organization


We love the organizational storage of this suitcase that lends itself to all kinds of travel. It offers 75 liters of space with no expansion pockets. The interior is simple and thoughtful in its design, providing just the bare minimum for what you need while traveling. This is not the case for those seeking serious amounts of pockets or a plethora of organizational features.

The Stratoliner also comes in a 45-liter capacity.

The front of this bag has two pockets. The top-loading one is ideal for stashing personal items like keys, passport, or wallet. The second pocket one the front is suitable (and padded enough) to put a laptop with a sleeve inside. The only issue with this system is that the top pocket becomes hard to access because it's so recessed underneath the fabric.

A look at the simple zippered compartment on the front flap.
A look at the simple zippered compartment on the front flap.

The interior design is also thoughtful and simple. With a clam shape design, you need to set the bag on its side in order to open it up. Inside you will find two large compartments. The one attached to the handle is quite rigid, maintaining the shape of the bag, even when it's unpacked. Here you'll find compression straps to help hold all your clothes in place.

The other side of the bag has a mesh zipped compartment for anything you want to keep separate from the main area. One thing to note is that if you have this compartment full, it might be difficult to fit things into the exterior front pockets.

This case fits all the necessary apparel for a weekend trip away to Utah.
This case fits all the necessary apparel for a weekend trip away to Utah.

The Stratoliner also comes with a seperate cube. It has mesh so you can see inside and is ideal for toiletries, dirty clothes, or even a pair of shoes.

We appreciate the separate tote bag perfect for toiletries. The mesh-zip allows you to see everything inside.
We appreciate the separate tote bag perfect for toiletries. The mesh-zip allows you to see everything inside.

Ease of Transport


The large oversized wheels on this suitcase are perfect for tackling all sorts of terrain. We were able to roll with ease, no dragging, even with more technical terrain like gravel walk-ways.

Rolling through the parking lot is no problem  even with cracked pavement and curbs.
Rolling through the parking lot is no problem, even with cracked pavement and curbs.

Like most suitcases, the clearance between the bottom of the case and the ground is pretty minimal, so this bag does have a hard time moving over super rocky surfaces. It didn't flip or tip when taking it off side-walks and curbs, though, which we genuinely appreciated. We also appreciate the long plastic bumpers that make dragging it up stairs easier while also protecting the suitcase.

Testing the capabilities of the Stratoliner over hard  rocky areas.
Testing the capabilities of the Stratoliner over hard, rocky areas.

The handles on this case aren't the most comfortable. The material cuts into the hand a bit, making it hard to carry the case for extended periods. However, the placement of the handles is excellent for lifting the bag into a vehicle. There are a total of three handles, conveniently placed on all different sides.

The handles aren't the most comfortable  but super convenient for hoisting into the back of a car.
The handles aren't the most comfortable, but super convenient for hoisting into the back of a car.

Weight


Weighing in at just 10 lbs, this suitcase is relatively light. Its profile is narrow enough to roll through tight crevasses and the weight is well-distributed so it doesn't tip or flip when in action. Pack about 40 lbs of extra gear inside before you get to a maximum weight requirement at the airport.

Weighing the Stratoliner using a spring scale.
Weighing the Stratoliner using a spring scale.

Style


This case isn't built for the business traveler or those that are overly fashion-conscious. It does, however, have stylish lines and a durable but sleek finish. We love the color options that make it tasteful and unique. Your case will stand out at the baggage claim. This is best for those who appreciate a good looking casual suitcase with a flair for the outdoors.

Sleek design with a bit of an outdoorsy flair. This suitcase stands out on the luggage carousel.
Sleek design with a bit of an outdoorsy flair. This suitcase stands out on the luggage carousel.

Value


The Stratoliner isn't cheap. Those that are seeking durability but appreciate simplistic organization will find value in it, though. While many suitcases retail for this amount, this one performs higher amongst the competition, making it a reliable contender that is worth its value.

This suitcase is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

Conclusion


While the North Face Stratoliner 75 isn't an award winner, it's a high scorer. It stands out as a great two-wheeled roller bag with a simple organizational scheme and amazing durability. The zipper is sticky and the buttons on the handle aren't our favorite, but it still provides great applications anywhere you choose to go.

Take this beautiful and simply durable suitcase on your next vacation or adventure.
Take this beautiful and simply durable suitcase on your next vacation or adventure.


Amber King