One of the many things that my readers have been wondering about is how I choose the products I’m going to review. It’s not an exact process but it more or less depends on how interesting the product is.
In this instance, the main reason I chose AmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Spinner is the fact that it appears to be offering the best value in the 21-inch segment. Now, can this claim be backed up by evidence? That’s exactly what we are going to find out in this review.
AmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Review: A Quick Overview
In case you’re unaware, AmazonBasics is a brand from Amazon. It’s like their generic brand offering which is considerably much cheaper than the competition.
I’ve reviewed AmazonBasics items many times now. From my experience with this brand, I can say that it does offer more value than its counterparts, especially when you consider the price point.
However, there are certain cases in which this brand fails to produce a good item. It all depends on the original product they decided to rebrand. This makes this brand somewhat of a hit-or-miss.
If you do your research well, you can score an item that is way better than its price would suggest. The opposite is also true for that. If you just buy without taking the time to read reviews and feedback online, you may end up with a product undeserving of your purchase. As I’ve said, it all depends on the particular item they are selling.
To give you a full idea of the real value of this AmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Spinner, the first thing I’ll discuss is the pros and cons.
This is to give you a much more rounded and unbiased perspective of this product. It is, after all, going to be your travel companion, so you want it to be as durable and as quality-made as possible.
Pros & Cons of AmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Spinner Suitcase with Wheels, 21 Inch, Black
Available In 3 Different Sizes and 5 Different Colors
This review is specifically for the 21-inch carry on version of the bag, colorway black. However, it should be noted that this bag is available in 3 different sizes, too.
If you want a mid-size luggage bag, 26-inch is the right way to go. For an even bigger luggage bag, perhaps 31-inch is the way to go.
Another thing I like about this bag is it is available in 5 different colorways – black, gray, navy, purple, and red.
Once you go spinner wheels, it’s hard to come back to a standard wheel design. That’s just how good this wheel design is.
It’s offers less effort when moving around which is great if you always pack your luggage full. Truly, I never knew how much I was missing out until I tried on my first multi-directional wheels.
What’s even more impressive is this bag is one of the cheapest carry-on luggage out there. So the fact that it is able to squeeze in this feature is a massive advantage, in my opinion.
Expandable For Up To 25% More Space
The interior capacity of this bag is 31 Liters. Considering the segment it’s in, the carry-on category, this is pretty average.
What’s not average is the fact that you can expand this storage for up to 25% more.
Many companies put up “+2-inch expansion” which is kind of hard to visualize since it just means that the fabric is able to expand outward at least 2 inch.
This particular item is different though – it boasts a 25% upgrade which is easier to visualize, giving you a much clearer idea of what to expect.
Support Stabilizers To Avoid Tipping
This is one of those features that’s easily taken for granted because it’s fully integrated into the bag.
Because this bag has 4 spinner wheels, it needs added stabilizer to avoid it tipping over when it goes through uneven surfaces.
It does make the bag a bit heavier than standard but remember that this is a carry-on bag anyway so going over the limit is usually less of an issue compared to checked ins.
No Built-in Locking Mechanism
This is one of the features I look out for when reviewing luggage bags.
A built-in locking mechanism is one of those things that gives any bag a more premium feel to it. It’s a neat feature that I think every luggage bag should have.
Unfortunately, this bag does not have a built-in locking mechanism. Perhaps this is because they want to keep the cost down.
But then again, some products in the same price point are able to add this feature in.
It would’ve been neat if they were able to put this feature in but I will still take what I can given the cheap price of this bag.
This bag looks okay for the most part. Now, if you want a bag that’s both stylish and cheap, this may not be it.
This bag, unsurprisingly I should say, does not exactly give off a premium vibe. It has that standard luggage look.
You probably would see hundreds of similar bags in any airport that you visit. This particular design is just that common.
Depending on who you ask, most do not mind the standard look as long as it functions greatly.
It does get a bit harder to differentiate your bag from others on the airport so you may need to get a unique luggage cover which is an added expense.
Here’s a Short Video onAmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Spinner Suitcase with Wheels, 21 Inch, Black
As for the quality of these bags, I am confident that they are made using good quality materials. They are more durable that their price would suggest. Normally, you’d expect something flimsy from this price point but that’s not the case here, which is a welcome surprise.
These bags would last you a long time, for sure. They may not be hardside luggage but they provide more or less the same support and durability that it’s easy to forget that they are mostly made from fabric materials.
It’s one of the most misconception by many, too. A hardside luggage isn’t necessarily sturdier than softsides. It depends on the craftsmanship of the bag. If that bag is cheaply made, it doesn’t even matter whether it’s softside or hardside, it’s not going to last for a long time.
As for this bag, it passes the test with flying colors. This easily earns a 4.5 star rating, in my opinion.
This particular size review is going to be for the carry-on 21” version of this bag. As far as I can tell, it is true to size. It really is 21”, including the spinner wheels.
Most luggage bags of this size up their size maybe an inch or two to make it seem like it’s more spacious than its 21” tag would suggest. That can work sometimes.
However, there are certain cases, depending on the airline, which they won’t allow bags that are bigger than their 21-inch limit. It rarely happens but I’ve seen it, and they are within their rights to do so.
If you don’t want that to happen, the best course of action is to just get a real 21-inch luggage bag.
This particular bag is also available in 26-inch and 31-inch cut which gives you more options in case you want a more spacious luggage bag. 5 stars.
Most of you are probably not expecting plenty of features in this bag, and rightfully so. This brand is the cheap alternative to most brands so expending something high-end is just you being cheap, if I say so myself.
Additionally, AmazonBasics is not exactly known for providing innovative features on their items. They mostly just copy the features of other brands, and with varying levels of success.
Surprisingly, this particular item is full of features that you will only see on premium bags. I’ve already talked about its features in the Pros section of this article but in case you want a refresher, this product has more features that its brand or price would suggest. In fact, you can even directly compare it to premier luggage brands and it can hold its own very well.
Overall, I am pretty happy with the amount of features of this bag. It’s gives great value overall so it’s definitely a good buy. 4 stars.
The company is called AmazonBasics, and as suggested by the name, it’s the off-brand version of Amazon. And just like all store brands you know, AmazonBasics offer cheaper options.
If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, you are probably familiar with this brand. That’s just the way this brand is positioned in the market.
They offer all kinds of items that you can think of. Even items you don’t think they have, they probably have. Because of this lack of focus in manufacturing, the quality of their items can be all over the place.
Most of their items are just rebranded versions of imported items. There are even times where you may find a carbon copy item, only with a different brand name. Due to this rebranding nature, there are plenty of cases which you will find great items. But it truly depends on the original brand they’ve rebranded.
The overall quality of AmazonBasics is hard to gauge because of this fact. The quality of their items varies depending on the industry. It’s a hit of miss kind of company. You can refer to the particular rating of the product though, which is probably the best way to go shopping from this brand.
I would rate this brand 3.5 stars. Don’t get me wrong, they have 5-star products here, too. It’s just that you have to put some effort in if you want to ensure you get the best product available.
AmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Spinner Suitcase with Wheels, 21 Inch, Black: Product Specification
Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 9 x 21 inches
Item Weight: 5.85 pounds
Final Verdict on AmazonBasics Belltown, Softside Expandable Luggage Spinner Suitcase with Wheels, 21 Inch, Black
The main selling point of this expandable softside luggage is probably its price. It’s from AmazonBasics so this seems like a bit of a given. This is the quality that AmazonBasics is known for, and one that they’ve marketed greatly for themselves.
Curiously, this bag isn’t even the cheapest you will find in its segment. When you sort Amazon results by price, you will get luggage bags that are $10-$15 cheaper than this bag.
Right away, the price point advantage of AmazonBasics goes right out the window. But only then will you realize that this bag is not meant to be grouped in with the cheapest bags available.
This bag is packed with features that you won’t see elsewhere, especially in this price point. I would even go as far as saying this is one of the best deals you will find on Amazon in this price category.
Sure, it’s not as cheap as others, but there’s a reason for that. This bag gives its users more features per $ than any other bag I’ve reviewed before, and I’ve reviewed a lot of bags already.
Overall, I am definitely recommending this bag to anyone looking for a durable and solid luggage bag. It may not be made by a popular company but you will hardly notice that especially when you only consider its features. No wonder it is rated highly by its buyers. It’s that good of a bag.