Curious about LEVEL8 luggage? We tried four of their suitcases, and we’ll share our thoughts on them in this hands-on review.
Reading our Away Luggage Alternatives article, LEVEL8 really caught my eye. In this review, I’ll share my thoughts on some of their most popular luggage offerings after trying them out firsthand.
LEVEL8 makes well-thought-out and high-quality luggage. You really can’t go wrong with any of their suitcases.
There are some differences between them, but no matter which one you buy, you can rest assured that they’re built to last.
When it comes to their carry-on suitcases, I’d recommend opting for the sturdy aluminum one if it’s within your budget.
Click here to check out LEVEL8’s products, or read on for the full review.
LEVEL8 is based out of NYC. Their mission is to help ease the stress of travel by providing high-quality luggage that’s sleek and rugged.
They want travelers to be able to focus on their destinations, and not have to worry about their luggage along the way.
I tried four of their suitcases, and I’m excited to share my thoughts!
The Products I Tried
These are the suitcases that I tried from LEVEL8’s line of products:
- Textured Carry-On 20″ (navy)
- Aluminum Carry-On 20″ (silver and grey variants)
- Textured Check In 24″ (navy)
- Voyageur Check In 28″ (yellow)
Later in this article, you’ll find a breakdown of each suitcase.
Here are some similarities between all of the suitcases I tried:
- TSA-approved combination locks
- 360º spinner wheels
- Aluminum telescopic handles
The above-mentioned features are great and don’t need much explanation.
Now, here’s a review of each piece of luggage…
Textured Carry-On 20”
The Textured Carry-On is LEVEL8’s baseline carry-on suitcase. It’s made of a hard plastic material with a cool (and scratch-resistant) texture.
Though it has gotten a little scuffed, it hasn’t gotten any scratches. I think it’d need to really take a beating before it showed any substantial aesthetic damage.
It comes in several different colors, which is nice. I got the navy, and it looks great! The inside is what you’d expect. It has some nice compartments for packing your clothes. There aren’t really any bells or whistles.
I view the Textured Carry-On as a high-quality yet standard kind of suitcase. If you want a go-to carry-on, this is a solid option.
Aluminum Carry-On 20”
I consider the Aluminum Carry-On to be a premium version of the Textured Carry-On.
As the name suggests, it’s made of aluminum — well, aerospace-grade aluminum-magnesium alloy to be specific.
It really feels like an upgrade from the Textured Carry-On. A stand-out feature is definitely the slow-release handles. The handles fold out, but instead of quickly snapping closed when you let go, they slowly fold back in.
That’s the kind of thoughtful feature that makes LEVEL8 really stand out as a brand that has function in mind.
The Aluminum Carry-On is also totally zipperless on the exterior (which is awesome). Instead of a zipper, you simply open the two locks and the suitcase will fold open. This feature feels like an homage to old-school trunks.
The inside is nice (that word comes to mind a lot when thinking about LEVEL8’s products), and it actually comes with LEVEL8’s four-piece cube organizer set.
The cubes are made of a water-repellant and anti-mildew fabric, and something really cool is that they come with little velcro patches that you can use to denote what’s in each bag.
Though the website doesn’t mention it, the aluminum suitcases also came with one luggage tag each.
One Potential Caveat
Overall, I love the Aluminum Carry-On, but there is one caveat. It does get scratched pretty easily. You know how the bottom of MacBooks get scratched? It’s just like that. Thin scratches that don’t affect performance, but are definitely visible.
Personally, I don’t really care if my suitcase is scratched up. Suitcases are supposed to be rugged and they take a beating every time you take them on a trip. As long as the function isn’t impacted, I don’t mind some aesthetic wear.
Textured Vs Aluminum: Which One Should You Buy?
They’re both great carry-ons, but I do recommend going for the upgrade. Buy the aluminum one if you can. I have no complaints about the quality of the textured suitcase, but the aluminum suitcase feels so sturdy.
I honestly don’t think I’ll ever need to buy another carry-on because this aluminum one is just that good. It is more prone to scratches, but that’s not a big deal to me at all.
The LEVEL8 site mentions the weights of the suitcases, but I thought they looked off so I weighed them myself. The Textured Carry-On came in at 8lbs 3.2oz while the Aluminum Carry-On is 10lbs 8.6oz.
The aluminum case does feel a little heavier, and I kind of like that. It feels very sturdy. However, if you want a more lightweight suitcase, opt for the textured one.
The aluminum suitcase is more prone to scratches so if that bothers you, go with the Textured Carry-On.
Textured Check In 24″
The Textured Check In is the larger counterpart to the 20″ Textured Carry-On. Everything I said about the carry-on is true for the Check In too. It’s a lightweight yet durable suitcase.
If you’re interested in both the carry-on and check in versions, you can purchase this luggage set that’ll save you 10%
Voyageur Check In 28″
The Voyageur is made of the same material as the textured series, but it’s larger and has the addition of a wide handle. The wide handle is really cool because it gives you more room inside the suitcase.
There’s not too much else to say about the Voyageur. Like all of the LEVEL8 products, I’m impressed by the design and quality, and I feel like it’ll last for many many years to come, if not forever.
If you’re looking for durable and well-thought-out luggage, you can’t go wrong with LEVEL8. All of the suitcases I tried are definitely up to par.
The textured series is great, but if you want something more premium, go with the aluminum carry-on. For a checked bag, choose the Voyageur if you need more space.
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