Calpak Luggage Review – Hard shell, Duffel Bags and Backpacks

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Are you looking for new luggage for your next holiday but don’t know which one is the best? If so then our calpak luggage review is exactly what you have been looking for. We take a look at the best suitcases, carry-ons and duffel bags that Calpak have to offer.

Calpak are a global luggage brand who produce various types of travel gear including hard-shell carry-on cases, duffel bags and backpacks. They also produce a range of accessories including luxury luggage tags and laptop bags.

The name Calpak is a shortened version of their full name – California Pak – although Calpak has become the most easily recognised version of the brand.

Why Calpak?

I first met a Calpak carry-on case back in 2012 when I was going on holiday to Tunisia. Right from the start I really admired not only the quality of the suitcase but also Calpak’s attention to detail. Every last inch of the suitcase was made to feel great and look great. I love the way they cover their luggage with their branding and I love the way they always put the “look and feel” very high up the list.

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, White, Carry-On 21-Inch
  • 21" Spinner luggage maximizes your packing power and meets most...
  • Packing dimensions: 19.5" X 14.5" X 10.0", overall dimensions: 21.25"...

When I was wheeling my Calpak suitcase through the airport I felt like it was another fashion accessory, rather than just a functional item.

CALPAK LUGGAGE REVIEW: What to Look for when Buying Your Luggage

As much as I love Calpak luggage I wouldn’t expect you to take my word for it. I have put together a comprehensive Calpak luggage review so that you can see for yourself what they have to offer, and make your own mind up.

Some of the things that I always look for when picking luggage are listed below. I have used these same guidelines when selecting items for my Calpak luggage review.

  • How much stuff can I fit in – this is a very important one, its one of the most practicle considerations and it is something that, if you get wrong, will come back to haunt you. So think about how much stuff you are likely to take with you when you travel, then perhaps assume you will need an additional 50% of space – just to be on the safe side.
  • How easy is the luggage to carry around – Does the luggage have wheels; does it have a retractable handle? And how cumbersome is it, should the need arise to pick it up and carry it he old-fashioned way?
  • What does it look like? – Yes, in many ways an item of luggage is a very functional item, however, you still have to carry it around with you and if you are anything like me, you want to look good when you are on your holidays, so how the luggage looks is very important. Is the shape of the luggage aesthetically pleasing? Does it come in different colors?
  • How durable is the luggage – this is another very important consideration. If you are buying luggage you definitely want it to last. Possibly it will also be put through some tough conditions – we all know what baggage handlers can be like – so it needs to be made of a strong material. You should always check the zips before buying luggage – how well made do they feel, can you tug on them without causing an issue? Its always worth looking at the guarantee offered by a luggage manufacturer as well – that’s a good indication of how well made the luggage is.
  • Is the luggage easy to secure? – Even though airports are supposed to be safe places, I still get paranoid that someone is going to go through my luggage and for that reason security is always an important factor for me. A good thing to check when buying luggage is whether or not it comes with a padlock or any other form of security.

After thinking about all of these pointers I started to look at the various types of luggage offered by Calpak and I started to collect the best suitcases, duffel bags and backpacks on offer. These items would make up the base for my Calpak luggage review.

In-depth Calpak Luggage Review Here We Go

Below you will find the full Calpak luggage review. This entails a detailed guide to each individual item of Calpak luggage that I chose for my review. With each item I am matching up the luggage against my original requirements listed above.

Calpak Winton 20-Inch Hardside Expandable Upright Carry-On

Calpak luggage review - Winton 20-Inch Hardside Expandable Upright Carry-OnThe Calpak Winton is a hard-side carry-on case and it is one of the best hard shell suitcases that I have found. I just had to include the Winton in my Calpak luggage review. If you want something robust that will withstand the test of time this is definitely the one to go for.

The Winton has an impressive 8 wheels (4 pairs of 2) that make it really easy to manoeuvre through a busy airport whilst also making it very robust and able to easily cope with a full load.

Hanke Lightweight Hardside Luggage 8 Spinner Silent Wheels Travel Suitcase, Off White, Carry-On...
  • Aerospace-grade, water-resistant German polycarbonate hard shell.
  • Lockable YKK reverse coil prevents burst zipper / SJ.TOBOL Silent Run...

The Winton is made of ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) making it extremely durable and hard-waring. This case is also expandable so don’t worry if you end up going a little overboard on the packing. All you have to do is unzip the expanding section and you get another 2 inches of room all the way around the case.

The luggage is 19 inches high and 14 inches wide when standing on its end. This is a pretty decent size for most people and will easily accommodate enough clothing for a two week holiday.

If you are concerned about security like me then you will love the built in TSA-approved combination lock – this means you can pack your case and lock it up without any hassles and you don’t need to worry about forgetting your lock, because its built in. The combination lock also means you don’t need to carry around, or worry about losing, keys to get into your luggage at the other end.

CalPak Torrino II 20 inch Expandable Carry-on

Calpak luggage review of the TorrinoNext up in my Calpak luggage review is the Calpak Torrino carry-on suitcase. Again, this is an expandable suitcase, so you have the option of some more room if needed. By default, the case measures 20 inches high by 15 inches wide but with the expandable option you get an additional 2 inches on those measurements.

Unlike the Winton, this item of luggage has 4 wheels rather than 8. I took this on a spin around the airport though and had no issues at all. The 4 wheels still give it a very nice feel and it glides along without any issues at all. Even with the expandable section unleashed and the luggage full to the brim it still handles nicely and doesn’t feel like its struggling on those 4 wheels.

The great thing about the wheels is that they also spin 360 degrees so its nimble when you are wheeling it around corners and through busy crowds at the airport.

This case also comes with a combination lock, so you can keep everything safely locked up inside it when you leave it to go on the luggage hold.

For the fashion conscious among us, this case also comes in a range of colors – Blue, Purple and my favourite – Pink.

CalPak Davis 3pc Expandable Luggage Set

Calpak luggage review - Davis 3 piece setThe Calpak Davis 3 piece expandable luggage set is next on my list for my Calpak luggage review. There is of course a clue in the name of this item – yes, it comes as a set and there are 3 items of luggage in total. There is a 19-inch carry on case, a 23-inch variant and a 27-inch suitcase. This makes it really suited to families because you can make one purchase and you automatically have 3 cases – perhaps one for each adult in the family and then one for the kids to share. Its also great for frequent travelers and if, like me, you often travel for varying lengths of time, its nice to be able to choose an appropriate sized suitcase for each trip.

As with the other items on my list, each case in this set also comes with a TSA approved combination lock so you can keep your personal belongings safe whilst traveling.

Each case also comes with a great looking inside and as always Calpak have payed close attention to the details here – the inside of each case has a zippered pocket for storing smaller items as well as a divider that allows you to separate each case into two separate compartments – great if you have a range of clothes that you want to keep nicely folded inside the case.

The Calpak Davis also comes with a telescopic handle that can be extended out of hidden inside the case with the push of a button.

Once again this set comes in a range of trendy colors including purple, light pink, light blue, ivory, red, blue and black.

CalPak Champ 21-inch Carry On Rolling Upright Duffel Bag

Calpak luggage - a review of the champ duffel bagHard cases are fine if you are going on a straight forward journey but if you are traveling a long way or having connecting flights then its nice to have luggage that you can pick up as well as wheel through the airport.

That’s where the Calpak Champ upright duffel bag comes in handy. I have included this in my Calpak luggage review because it wouldn’t be complete without a duffel bag. This item of luggage looks like a typical duffel bag – made from soft polyester and complete with easy access handles – but it has the added advantage of a retractable hard handle and two wheels on the bottom. This means that not only can you carry it around by the handles, like any typical duffel bag, but you can also pull out the retractable handle and then wheel it around like a traditional hard-shell suitcase.

These features make it ideal when you are going on long journeys or perhaps when you want to carry your case onto the flight because its very easy to pick up, lift over-head and so on. Because its made from polyester its also easy to wash.

The bag is 11 inches high and 21 inches wide so its still fairly sizable but without being too cumbersome. This item of luggage is ideal if you are going on a short holiday (perhaps 7-10 days) or on a business trip or other internal flight.

CalPak Silver Lake Solid 22-inch Carry-on Duffel Bag

CalPak luggage review Silver Lake Solid 22-inch Carry-on Duffel BagThis is another duffel option from Calpak. The Silver Lake solid duffel bag is similar to the Champ except it does not have the handle and wheels. This makes it more of a lightweight option and more like a traditional Duffel bag.

This is great for short trips such as weekend breaks where you really don’t need to take a lot of luggage with you, but still want something durable and easy to carry around.

The Silver Lake duffel from Calpak has 5 pockets situated on the front and sides of the luggage. These pockets are great for storing small, but important, items such as your phone, passport and other accessories.

The Calpak Silver Lake duffel bag comes in a range of colors including black, navy and pink.

CalPak Night Vision 18-inch Rolling Multi-Compartment Backpack

calpak backpack luggage reviewFinally, the Calpak Night Vision rolling backpack. This really is a great bit of kit and I just couldn’t leave it off my Calpak luggage review. This works great as a traditional backpack, allowing you to carry around your luggage whilst keeping your hands free. It stores a fair amount of gear as well – in fact it even has a built-in laptop compartment that can safely house a 15 inch laptop.

If you have a long way to travel on foot, or your bag is just too heavy to carry on your bag, you can sit this backpack down on the floor, pull out the top handle and wheel it along with ease, thanks to two ball-bearing wheels on the bottom of the backpack.

Don’t worry about these wheels getting in the way when you are carrying the bag on your back though – thanks to Calpak’s attention to detail and clever thinking this bag comes with padded wheel covers so they can be hidden away safely and securely when not in use.

Although this backpack wont suit everyone, and certainly isn’t the right luggage for long holidays, it is handy in certain situations and definitely not one to miss off the list.


So there you have it, I have taken you through my top picks for Calpak luggage. I have reviewed each one individually as part of my overall Calpak luggage review and hopefully I have given you enough actionable information for you to make the final decision on what item of Calpak luggage you should purchase and what item of luggage most closely suits your needs.

Have a great trip wherever you are going, and if you have found the information provided in this article of any use, please feel free to comment below about your experiences.