Published on April 24th, 2012 | by Greg0
Delsey’s Helium Shadow: Ultralight Spinner
We've been doing some travel recently, for conventions and work events- and there is plenty more on the horizon. And when we run off to some exotic locale, we try to test out new gear- jackets and outerwear, certainly, but also luggage. Airports and airplanes, taxis and subways make for some great testbeds, but little is more harsh than city sidewalks and stairs. You need something tough, and there are some great bags now available that manage to balance durability, style, and the always-important weight factor.
The Delsey Helium Shadow Carry-On Trolley Spinner is a hardside polycarbonate bag, and makes an immediately positive impression. It's super light, one of the lightest we've seen in this size, and features four of those multi-direction spinning wheels for maximum maneuverability. It also has a great texture, and a metallic sheen, that grabs attention and certainly stood out. The zippers are great- recessed, self-healing, and though the pulls are great, they are not quite fantastic (we were more impressed by those on another piece of luggage with a review to come shortly). The same is true of the wheels- these are pretty good, incredibly speedy at first, but do wear down fairly quickly.
The handle pulls up with a single button click, but wasn't particularly comfortable. Weight distribution on this does take some work, you may find your first packing attempt tipping it over. The built-in TSA-approved lock is nice, and worked well. And it glides smoothly, handling amazingly well down aisles. But there are two major downsides that left us frustrated: the interior of the bag looks and feels cheap. There is a liner, and a pretty poor compression strap, as well as a sort of mesh compartment. But it doesn't feel well-fitted, and looks like an afterthought. That said, if you don't want much in the way of compartments or pockets, and just want a solid bag that looks great and it super-light, this one is a good value.
The Delsey Helium Shadow collection is available in several colors, including blue, purple, and platinum. And there are three sizes as well- we recommend stepping up to the 26-inch, which has side handles, versus the 21″ models that do not- the lack of a side handle definitely made lifting it to overhead bins a bit tricky. Expect to spend between $100 and $250 or so, depending on options.