“ Brand: Orla Kiely / Type: Cabin bag with trolley wheels „
I travel quite a lot for work, visiting friends and family, and obviously holidays in general. I do normally just take carry on luggage for most short trips and normally it's a holdall type bag as my carry on bag. Sometimes though (well probably most times!) my holdall weighs an absolute tonne, and I wish that I had brought a cabin sized suitcase instead. So I decided to treat myself to a new cabin sized suitcase with my recent bonus at work.
The suitcase that I chose was this fab Orla Kiely cabin suitcase with a funky car print all over. I bought it sight unseen from the Debenhams website, and I have to say that it is even nicer in the flesh than the online picture. It was in the sale and it was reduced from £144.99 to £79.99, I would never in a million years have paid the full price for this (even considering how much I love it), but I'm happy enough with the price that I paid.
It's quite a lightweight suitcase, and it weighs 3.2kg empty. It's a 2 wheeled suitcase with the retractable handle, the handle slides in and out very easily and locks into position sturdily enough. The wheels seem very sturdy and easily wheel over any terrain. The suitcase has 2 chocolate brown leather carry handles, one on the top and one on the side. The suitcase is 48cm high, 34cm wide, and 23cm deep, so it's easily cabin sized.
It has a zippered pocket on the front of the suitcase which is really handy for popping my purse, passport, travel documents, a magazine etc into. so that they are easily accessible. My previous cabin sized suitcase didn't have an outside pocket so I was constantly opening and closing the whole suitcase to access things, which is a huge pain in a busy airport, not to mention flashing all of your messy, jumbled, rammed in packing for everyone to see! I think that this may be one of the reasons why I probably switched to taking a carry on holdall instead as it just seemed easier. The zipper on the outside pocket, and the two zippers on the body of the suitcase itself, all have chocloate brown leather zipper pulls.
The suitcase itself is a coated canvas, therefore making it water resistant, and quite durable. It's probably only water resistant for showers or small spills though, it's certainly not going to be waterproof. I have tipped a drink over my suitcase and it did just wipe off with a tissue and a wet one. The suitcase is an off white colour with lots of funky cars printed all over in the typical Orla Kiely colours. All of the accents on the case are in chocolate brown leather; the zipper pulls, the handles, the trims, the embossed Orla Kiely name tag. The suitcase comes with a detachable chocolate brown leather Orla Kiely embossed luggage tag, and a combination padlock.
The interior of the suitcase has an olive green Orla Kiely leaf print cotton lining. The base of the suitcase has the criss cross packing straps, and the top of the suitcase has a internal zippered pocket, and 2 further large pockets with ruched and gathered elastic - I find these pockets handy for packing shoes in.
I've had loads of comments and compliments when using this suitcase, everyone wants to know where it's from! I absolutely love it, and I'm so glad that I bought it. I'd definitely reccomend it if you are looking for a fab, fun, funky, quirky suitcase, and you don't mind paying that little bit more.
It's easy to wheel around and comfortable to do so. It's also comfortable to carry as the leather carry handles are very comfortable to use. I can easily fit everything that I need in here for a weekend away, and with careful packing I can fit in a weeks worth of stuff. The zippers seem to be very sturdy as I've packed it full to bursting and had to sit on it to close it and the zippers coped adequately with this.
When we decided to go on a no expense spared trip to New York last year I treated us all to new suitcases, it was originally supposed to be just the kids who had the new cases but an extremely attractive voucher code meant I could also treat me and Mark without breaking the bank.
I chose this Orla Kiely suitcase simply because it was the only one on this particular website that I even half liked. I find Kiely designs to be a bit too quirky for me - oh, I love quirkiness usually but the idea behind lots of cars printed on a woman's suitcase is decidedly strange to me. It's bright and colourful though, and at the JFK airport I was instantly able to have the 'that's my case' moment as I spotted it, rather than having to let it come closer before realising it was mine!
The suitcase is made of canvas with a leather trim, it's a soft case so is unlikely to be particularly protective if you're transporting breakables - although that's not to say that it's a bad choice of material for the case as it's not overly 'squishy' and unlikely to be damaged unless the baggage handlers are playing a particularly rough game of suitcase football that day! The soft body of the case means you won't be able to use it as a seat if there are delays at the airport, well mine you could as it was so jam packed with clothing that the front panel of the case was practically bulging so it provided a perfect seat for Hollie to sit on!
The inner lining of the case is made up of a soft cotton, this lining was slightly annoying as the fabric only had to touch something even slightly pointy and the stitching would snag. Not horribly, but enough that I myself noticed having just spent more on one suitcase than I usually would on a set for the whole family. It sent me a bit neurotic actually and I couldn't stop picking at loose threads! The lining is printed with the familiar Orla Kierly leaf design; it's a bit dull looking actually compared to the vibrancy of the outside of the case, and I definitely think they could have come up with something a bit more interesting!
The case has a 36 litre capacity, that figure doesn't say much to me personally (not having much experience with suitcases!) but I know it's not the biggest case I've ever used. It held the clothes I needed for my trip and also some of Hollie's cra... stuff, I was acutely aware of the lack of room for bringing home souvenirs from the Big Apple. I'd have been distraught if I hadn't left Mark's case half empty!
The case for me has a very retro design, it opens up as a flap on the front of the case so you have to make sure the case is lying flat before opening it. I made the mistake of trying to open it while it was standing up when we were waiting to book into the hotel, stuff spilled out everywhere and I got so flustered I nearly burst into tears! The way the case opens makes packing a bit easier actually, there's something about the shape of the open case that helps steer my clothes into the tidiest and most space-efficient piles. True!
The packing straps are actually long enough to cover even a very full caseload. Having only really used cheap suitcases before I've never bothered much with packing straps as they're always too short, these are (impressively) just the right length which for me is the sign of an good quality case.
The leather trim includes both the handles and also provides a leather covered fingerpad on the retractable handle. There are two handles; one on the side for carrying the case in the traditional way, and another on the top edge for those times when you're 'lugging' a heavier than expected case! This top handle is also handy for pulling the case along on it's wheels, you've obviously got the telescopic handle for pulling the suitcase - but being a bit of a midget at just over 5ft I find it more comfortable to use the top strap and keep the case close to me.
The case itself is very lightweight, and this helps the manoeuvrability when it's full. Again, I can only draw from my experience with (usually much) cheaper cases but I've never know a case so nice to pull along. The wheels move smoothly with no drag, they were whisper-quiet in the airport and even on tarmac/pavement the case is surprisingly easy to move around. This smoothness also relates to the retractable handle, which slides easily into position and is then held securely in place. There's no wobble or danger of accidentally pushing the handle back into the case mid-step, which is a relief as a suitcase I used a few years ago for a hospital stay would quite often drop to the floor as the handle pushed itself closed every few minutes.
Inside the case are two pretty big pockets, these are slightly elasticated at the top but there is no other means of closure so you'd probably be best not to put anything too valuable or breakable in these pockets as whatever you put in is likely to just fall out (remember suitcase football!) and into the main case anyway. What did I use the pockets for now, I can't quite remember. Probably a paperback, oh yes and a packet of 40 teabags as I'd been told that while coffee is amazing in New York, tea is generally vile! So I can safely say my life was not enhanced much by the addition of these pockets!
There are also two slim zipped pockets, one on either side of the lid. The inner pocket is roomy and good for a few (flattish) bits and pieces, but the pocket on the outside of the case is a bit rubbish and very hard to force anything into once the case is packed and closed. I suppose it would be useful for sliding your passport and other airport documents into while you're en route to the airport, but apart from that I can't think of any possible use for this pocket. Still, everyone has different needs when it comes to suitcases - just because my pockets ended up holding only small Iggle Piggle toys (and the teabags!) doesn't necessarily mean they're a bad addition to the case.
One final thing to mention is the fact that this case is so easy to clean. The canvas has been treated so that marks will simply wipe off and not develop into stains. The day we arrived in the US was wet, it was a one-off stormy day which left us all soaked within minutes of exiting the airport - and my case looking decidedly raggedy as the canvas started to show signs of water staining (the case is waterproof inside, by the way!). The first thing I wanted to do was clean the case when we arrived at our hotel, and I was surprised to find that a very brief rub down with a sponge was enough to get rid of the watermarks - while a surprise (and welcome!) room upgrade gave us a sun-facing balcony where my case could dry out.
I was happy with this case, although in hindsight I was a bit annoyed with myself for spending so much money on it when a half price suitcase would have been just as good. The full price is £145 in Debenhams, I had a £30 discount which still makes it a very expensive way of transporting your clothes! Strangely, the same design is available in a smaller trolley bag style - strange because it is the same price as this larger suitcase, which I find completely bizarre!
Anyway, if you're looking for a bargain Orla Kiely suitcase this one will be on Ebay in a couple of weeks time as we have no major holidays planned anytime soon so I thought I might as well recoup some cash instead of letting it lie gathering dust in the loft!