As a usually loyal Rimowa and Tumi luggage traveler, I wasn’t actively looking around for a new suitcase. But in November 2014, I backed the Trunkster Zipperless Luggage Kickstarter campaign, reserving a carry on for the princely sum of $325. After multiple manufacturing and shipping delays, I received it just a few weeks ago, 19 months later. What caught my eye at the time was the headliner feature of the Trunkster: a zipperless sliding rolltop door. Yes, that’s right. No more zippers.
The campaign hit its target after just three days, raising $1.4 million in total. At that number, it’s clear that travelers weren’t satisfied with current options on the market.
These TSA-compliant suitcases feature USB charging ports with a removable battery and cable, a built-in scale to ensure you keep within luggage weight restrictions, and a built-in GPS tracker. The USB charging capability is only available on the carry-on and the tracking device is an optional upgrade.
After a full-day of using the Trunkster for the first time on my usual San Francisco to Hong Kong run, I can safely say that it has given me a more positive travel experience. But was it worth the price?
- The zipperless sliding rolltop door is game changing. No more fumbling with opening and closing
- The telescopic, perfectly arm-height, full-width handle is built so that it doesn’t interfere with packing space in the center. So far, it’s been capable of carrying my belongings with little effort on my part
- Premium construction means a stronger, lighter case, made from 100% virgin, scratch/impact-resistant polypropylene
- The rubberized spinner wheels are omni-directional, they’ve been rolling silently across flat terrains
- Its USB charging feature is a workhorrse: the removable 10,400 mAH battery has 3 amps of charging output. It’s capable of charging up to 4 iPhones and so far hasn’t let me down
- Its purposely designed rubberized edges (meant to protect the suitcase from damage) make it harder to slide across metallic security line tables
- Hard to grip (and generally unnecessary) built-in digital scale
- The lack of a built-in locking mechanism and owner name tags is frustrating for the pricetag
- Simple one container design means packing cubes or travel organizers for some travelers
- Across carpet, the spinner wheels do struggle a bit and they don’t glide over ramps very well
For those that are interested in purchasing it at the new price of $435, I have a $30 referral code available. Alternative luggage options that sell on the direct-to-consumer model include Bluesmart and Away.
Overall, it’s an awesome suitcase. At the Kickstarter promotional price it’s decent value, though a nice toy for the active traveler. At the new selling price, I would wait for future iterations of the Trunkster to see if they’ll improve some of its biggest flaws.