“ Brand: Antler / Type: Suitcase / Trolley: 2 Wheels „
Let's be clear now, the Antler New Bond Street suitcase / holdall range is not a budget range, and it's aimed at the serious, frequent or professional traveller (or all three!) I purchased the medium case some three years ago now so I feel I can give it a fair and balanced review.
**Price and Availability**
I believe the Antler New Bond Street range has been superceded now by the Antler New Bond Street ii range, however you can still buy this range on Ebay and in independent stores. I paid around £190 for my medium case, the range started (in 2008) with a holdall for around £65. So obviously on price alone this is a high end suitcase, as you can buy suitcases from £15 these days.
I love the look of the New Bond Street suitcases - they're very smart and understated, styled in black with a dark and light grey stripe which looks much like a pinstripe suit - this is very much aimed at the professional or business traveller. It does look great when travelling for business and the medium case is just right for a laptop, file and enough clothes / shoes etc for a max of three nights away - you'd need the large case for any longer.
It's easy to use, expandable, and has two external zipped compartments great for paperwork and accessories. There is an extendable handle which is smooth to operate and the wheels support the weight of the case and make it easy to pull along when in use - great in train stations and airports.
**Value for Money?**
I do think the case is expensive, no doubt about it - but if you are a frequent traveller then I do think it is value for money as this case is very well made, very sturdy, and built to last. So in that sense you'd really get a cost per use factor in here, and mine has been a travelling companion now for years, so I can highly recommend it as a long term investment. If you only travel once a year you might fare better with a bog standard £25 plain black holdall, but any more than four or five times and this is the case for you.
Overall I'd say this is a great case for those who need it, and in that respect it's up to the individual. For me, it's a fantastic case and I'm so glad that I bought it.
The Bond Street Medium Case from Antler was my first "real" suitcase. The first one I bought and chose myself specifically for travelling, and not just something that was loaned from a friend or taken from the musty family cupboard. That was almost 8 years ago now, and even though I am a frequent traveller, my suitcase it still in excellent condition, and I have never been unhappy with my purchase!
The Antler Bond Street collection is a soft outer, well proportioned line of suitcases, that could easily suit either a man or woman, business traveller or holiday-maker. The design is classic and sober, in dark colours (mine is black with a light yellow/grey stripe), as you can see from the picture above it is a subtle design. That being said I have never had any trouble identifying it on the conveyer belt and do find it quite distinctive, just understatedly so.
The medium case is, in my opinion, the perfect size. Sure I have gone away for months at a time and could possibly have filled more space, but then the suitcase would have been over the luggage weight restrictions. I find that with this suitcase I am automatically under the weight limit, if the suitcase is comfortably full. I did expand it once - there is an expander zip - as I was carrying extra baggage, and it was then just overweight. So generally I find it is the perfect size and I don't open the expansion much.
The inside of the suitcase is also very well structured, with a number of separate compartments (e.g. for shoes) on the inside of the lid, but without breaking up the main space of the suitcase too much. I find this great as I can keep smaller items individually packed so I won't lose them, but still have plenty of space for my clothes, or larger items.
The most important thing though is how is it to travel with? I have used this suitcase in any number of conditions - in cities, and semi-rural, in snow, through airports and more, and have always found it to work superbly. The wheels, while there's only two, seem very sturdy and reliable, even when in non-optimal conditions, like poor roads, or snow, and they very rarely stick. Even after considerable wear mine are still in great condition and work absolutely fine.
The build of the suitcase is strong yet supple, I have transported breakable items in it like wine bottles and the like and found that there is no problem with breakages. It does have a soft outer, but I find this a positive, also because it's easier to pack in the boots of cars and so on. There are also two great pockets on the outer lid, a smaller and larger one, that are very convenient for keeping things you need easy access to while travelling - and you don't get that with a hard outer shell suitcase.
The handles on the suitcase are all of excellent quality and none have broken or are showing signs of tearing (and that after many long-haul flights, where the baggage handlers really are excessively rough!), and the extendable handle for walkin with is easy to open and close, and has two lengths so is comfortable to walk with for any but the super tall. All the zips, inside and out, are also still in perfect working condition, and don't stick. And the lock on the main compartment works fine too - although I wouldn't say it's foolproof, just a deterrent.
All in all I really couldn't be happier with this suitcase, and while it wasn't dirt cheap (I think I paid around 200 or 250 pounds years ago), it definitely is value for money as it's truly built to last.