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Lojel Octa

Lojel Octa

5.0 from 1 review

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Robust, secure and the right size for airline weight limits.

Wanted a medium sized, secure, hardsided 2 wheel suitcase, but 4 wheel spinners dominate Australian outlets. Having worked around aircraft and airline terminals, I was aware of how many spinners end up in the bin, how awkward they are when caught together in a luggage container, or in a gutter grating, and how much they cost to replace. As for security, a single zipper is too easily opened (and possibly closed), so either a dual zipper or latches was a priority.

A lack of 2-wheel choice locally meant I had to settled on 4 wheels. I choose a Lojel Octa 65cm polypropylene case since it has 4 latches (2 with TSA combination locks), low-profile spinners with a skateboard heritage and it's fairly weatherproof. It opens down the middle, so there's no heavier side to pull it off a hotel room luggage rack, and the 65cm model also fits nicely in a typical rack.

The insides are well appointed with several zippered, vented pockets for both small and large items. Twin pocket/flaps and also a strap are used to secure the contents in one side of the case while the other side is held secure under a full cover, zipped around 3 sides and itself a large zippered pocket.

The handles, including the retractable pull handle, are all recessed when not in use, and the latches are flush when locked. The wheels don't project as far as many spinners do, however they still work well when pulled behind like a 2-wheel bag. Many spinner bags drag the bottom edge in this situation, or the spinners project too far and get caught on kerbs and drains. Although not advertised as such, a rubber seal around the join seems to provide very good rain protection.

While not quite as light as an equivalent softsided or polycarbonate, it is very robust - very much like Samsonite's Oyster cases. Although polycarbonate is more resistant to cold cracking, in the smaller bag sizes and weights, polypropylene (Lojel calls this 'Advanced Polypropylene') is unlikely to fail this way. It is soft enough, however, to show some scuff marks from a few serious bumps, but that's to be expected when you check your bag in at an airport.

Since weight is often an issue, a 65cm bag seems to weigh about 20kg, a typical free allowance, when stuffed full of clothes, shoes and toiletries. While this is rather subjective, and also depends on the destination, season and fashion tastes, this one bag (plus a 7kg cabin bag each) worked really well for a couple escaping winter for 3 weeks overseas, with a little left over for purchases while away. It also accommodated clothes for 4 winter days for two people, again easily under the 20kg limit.

It's hard to find much wrong with it. Polypropylene is a slight compromise, but not really in this size. The strap that secures the contents of one half isn't adjustable, so it can hang loose, making it somewhat useless, however the twin pockets fold across it and these have adjustable straps, pulling everything in tight.

Overall, a very good suitcase. For $195 (before discount) from Bagworld, I'll possibly buy another one the same for longer/colder trips, or maybe the 75cm model.

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