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Published on April 24th, 2012 | by Greg


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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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