Suitcase Review: London Fog 25″ Chelsea Lite

I purchased the London Fog Chelsea Lites 25″ Exp. 360 Upright bag almost 2 years ago. It cost just over $100. It is about 25” tall and 18” wide. I wanted a smaller bag than what I had been used to – one that would be more light weight and easier to navigate through airports, but I still needed to hold enough clothing for at least two weeks. After reading many reviews and feeling confident with the London Fog name, I chose this bag. I have used it many times over the past two years and I have mixed feelings.

This is a gorgeous bag.  I love the warm brown color and the heavy and durable fabric. For some reason, it’s easy to pick out on a baggage carousel.  I also love the bags functionality. I love the 360° wheels which roll easily for me across pavement, carpet and tile floors. The handle is a nice length and operates smoothly. An additional side handle is convenient for carrying the bag up flights of stairs. The bag has a large, deep inside compartment with two inner side pockets that are perfect for keeping shoes separate from clothing. They are large enough to hold even a bulky pair of athletic shoes.  The bag itself is very light weight. When packed full. I always end up at about 35 pounds. An additional zipper will allow you to expand the bag even further. I’ve never used this, but I would guess that I could use it and still come in under an airline’s 50 pound limit.

I am less happy with the bags outer compartments. The outside of the bag has one small zipper compartment which is too small to hold much of anything except, perhaps, your keys or  a small wallet. The second pocket, also zippered, is the depth of the entire bag. It’s easy for small things to get lost in the bottom. It does not have a gusset, so you can’t use it for anything thicker than a book or a few magazines or file folders.

This bag does not feel as durable as my old American Tourister. The handle feels a little flimsy and I’m careful not to bang the wheels around too much. The first time I used it the decorative snap on the outside pocket broke. And while my zippers are still intact, I am always extremely careful when zipping and unzipping this bag. The zipper does not always run smoothly, especially at the corners. The zipper teeth are larger than most and just don’t “feel” sturdy. All that being said, the zippers and other features have held up through many trips for the past two years and if treated with care, I can imagine it holding up for more years to come. I’m just not sure I trust the airlines to treat my bag with care.

In general though , I am pretty satisfied with this purchase. For the price I don’t think I could buy a better bag.

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