This post is sponsored by Chester who provided me with the Minima in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of spinner luggage. The concept of it, yes. But the reality of it? Not so much. I’ve seen too many ill-constructed spinner bags come off the plane missing a wheel. Because of this, I have never owned spinner luggage. However, most people love spinners. So when Chester reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their product, the Minima Carry-On, I decided this was my chance to finally try one out and see for myself. Is the Chester Minima the best carry on luggage? Could my mind be changed?
I set out to answer these questions. Let’s see what I found…
For The Best Carry On Luggage…
What completes this sentence for you?
For me, it must fit comfortably in the overhead compartment on the plane, have great organization, be able to withstand frequent traveling and have sturdy wheels.
I’m excited to say that the Chester Minima Carry-On met all of these requirements and more!
Chester Minima Carry-On
This is what the bag looked like when it arrived. My husband brought it into the house and asked if I was sure there was anything in it because it was that light.
After opening the box and confirming that there was, in fact, a piece of luggage in it, I took the carry-on out and discovered it was sporting its very own protective cover.
The custom-fit cover not only protected the carry-on during shipping, but you can also use it while storing to prevent scratches and dust accumulation.
Out of their seven color choices, I chose…wait for it…black. I know, boring right? In my defense, I was going back and forth between pink and black. I ultimately decided on black (as I do every time) because I like to decorate my luggage with ribbons and they stand out better against black. But, you do have seven cool color choices: black, charcoal grey, aluminum grey, pink, ocean blue, sky blue, and sand. Get the one that best fits you and your personality!
I immediately liked the look of the Chester Minima. I’m not sure about the other colors, but the black has a cool sheen that looks black from some angles and charcoal grey from others.
The bag did well on the first impression. Now let’s dive deeper!
The Main Features
- Polycarbonate hard shell that is durable, water-resistant
- Lightweight at only 7 lbs
- Compact size of 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ meeting TSA and IATA dimensions
- Leather luggage tag
- Double spinner wheels are 360-degree multi-directional and quiet
- Recessed TSA lock for security
- Telescoping ergonomic handle with two locking positions
The polycarbonate hard shell is durable. While I was taking these photos (and didn’t have anything in it), a surprisingly strong gust of wind blew it over. It landed on a slope and slid all the way to the sidewalk. Not a scratch on it. I also sprayed the shell with water and it held up to its claim of being water-resistant.
It is definitely lightweight (see gust of wind above), however, don’t equate that with not being sturdy. I’ve had a lightweight suitcase that isn’t sturdy before. This is not the case with the Minima. It definitely seems to be a well-made, well-constructed bag.
I checked the dimensions myself and they are as stated. This does make the bag TSA and IATA compliant and means it will fit in overhead compartments on airplanes quite nicely. I compared the bag’s dimensions with Delta’s carry-on size requirements since that is the airline I always use. The Chester Minima measures a half-inch less than Delta’s height, length and width limits!
The leather luggage tag is a nice touch
The recessed TSA lock is definitely my favorite external feature. I’ve never seen, much less owned, a piece of luggage with a built-in lock!
Even more unique, I love that it keeps the zipper pulls secure while traveling. Do you know how many pulls I’ve lost off luggage and how aggravating it is? Okay, maybe you do. Well, the Minima takes care of that
little big problem!
The double spinner wheels are sturdy and quiet. I successfully and quietly rolled it across many surfaces including hardwood floors, carpet, a wooden deck, sidewalks, asphalt, and even a bumpy rug. It went where I went easily!
The aluminum telescoping handle did lock in two different positions which is great for different heights. I preferred the taller setting.
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- Capacity of 38 liters
- 2 main compartments
- 1 additional large zippered pocket
- 2 additional small zippered pockets
- Removable laundry bag
- Lies flat when open
With a capacity of 38 liters, the interior is quite roomy. I loved that I could open it all the way up and lay it flat so I could see everything at a glance. The two large main compartments fit several days of outfits for me (rolling them up) and I could even use 1-2 of my packing cubes which I’m a huge fan of. Score!
I also really appreciated the two small zippered pockets. I could put things like underwear, socks, and sandals/flats/Toms in those. It is also good for other things such as smaller electronic items, chargers, and snacks!
Now for my favorite interior feature: the removable laundry bag! I feel like Chester manufactured this feature just for me! 😜 I’m all about a laundry bag and previously, I always brought the one that came with my packing cubes. However, now I have one included in my carry-on!
Laundry bags are always a great idea even if you don’t use them for dirty laundry. They can be used for wet swimsuits, towels, or even shoes you want to keep separate from your clothes!
Additional Chester Features
- Holds 3-4 days worth of clothes
- 10-year limited warranty
- 100-day trial period with free returns
I must address the price tag. While $195 might seem pricey and be more than you planned on paying for a carry-on, I think it’s fairly priced for a good carry-on that will last. Consider the features and how well-made the Chester Minima is.
Also, please allow me to let you in on a lesson I learned the hard way a few times over: You get what you pay for. Luggage is an investment for anyone but especially for the frequent traveler. Choose wisely!
Would I recommend this carry-on? Absolutely 100%. Why wouldn’t I? I’m using it myself!
If you think this sounds like the carry-on for you or you want to try it out (remember, there’s a 100-day trial period with free returns), there are two ways to buy: Amazon and Chester’s website.
BUT…The advantage of purchasing off the website (in addition to their free two-day shipping) is that Trimm Travels’ readers can enter TRIMM10 for 10% off their purchase! 😱🙌
Please understand I only endorse products that I truly believe in and have personally tested which is why you won’t find many on my site. The product must be something I’m interested in and believe will benefit other travelers.
I am genuinely excited to have my first spinner carry-on luggage! As in giddy excited. I honestly hate pulling my luggage along but hadn’t found a bag worth the risk. Until now. Now, I don’t fear having to pick up my luggage and carry it because of a broken spinner wheel.
Someone else wants to accompany me! Here you can see the size of the Minima next to Lexie, my 9-lb Maltese!
I already have trips coming up that the Chester Minima will accompany me on so check back soon to see how this bad boy stands the test of time!
Remember to click here and use TRIMM10 for 10% off to try one out for yourself. I anticipate your only problem will be deciding which color to get! Let me know how you like it and what color you pick! 🎨😃
‘Til next time…
Leave a Reply - I Love Comments!
Loved it, Trimm! My wife and I needed two new carry-ons. We trust your review, and enjoyed the 10% discount!
She too, declined on Pink, we ordered Black and Ocean Blue.
Hi Frank-Yay, for two new carry-ons! Hope you enjoy them-I’m packing mine today as a matter of fact! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Patricia Pagenel says
I was a big fan of such carry-on when I was traveling for business more regularly. Now we are more backpacks since being on a world trip. Integrated locks look good, no chance of losing or forgetting them! Wish I had something like that on our cover bag – always looking for my lock! And someone is keen on traveling, Lexie seems eager for a trip!
Hi Patricia-Yes, the integrated lock is fabulous isn’t it? I totally understand the backpacks too while traveling. I travel with one of those too for electronics. Lexie would definitely like to go…or she thinks she would like to. She gets pretty intimidated around people she doesn’t know. 😉 Thanks for reading! 🙂
Glad to know this carry on is light weight and when it fell down the hill it did not scratch. I carry a for short trips a backpack style bag ot is super easy. For longer trip I prefer cloth. But might be convinced to give this one a try.
Hi Wendy-I was skeptical at first too, but it’s a pretty cool bag. Like you, I carry a backpack too for my electronics. This is a carryon suitcase for shorter trips (if using it for your clothes) or as a true carryon for what you need on the plane. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Sandra Papas says
This does look like a great bag. I’ve recently swapped over to hard case and try and only do carry on only now, even for long haul. My only issue would be with the clamshell design as they can take up a lot of floor space in tiny European rooms :-/
Hi Sandra-Man that’s awesome that you have swapped over to carry-on only! I can do that with some trips (and did do it last summer for nearly a month-long trip to Morocco and France) but I don’t do it all the time. The Minima is definitely for smaller trips though. I did worry about the open design (as I didn’t think about it to start with) but it did pretty well. I could sit it up just like any other suitcase (with half of it on the ground and the other half standing up leaning against the wall) so that wasn’t an issue. Thanks for reading! 🙂
The Holidaymaker says
I love how they have named it Chester! Heather, you did an awesome job of testing it, using it and identifying the features. I’m with you on the removable laundry bag, it would be my favourite too! I trust your review, you are very thorough, and if I didn’t already have one that I love I might have taken advantage of your offer.
Hi Renee-Oh, thank you! I know…Chester is a cute name huh? I’m glad you liked the review. I’m super picky about luggage so I wanted to be able to provide a lot of info. The laundry bag is pretty cool! I also understand having one too. I usually only take a backpack with me and since the Chester Minima is meant for smaller trips, those are the ones I will use it for. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Rhonda Albom says
I, too have not been a fan of spinner luggage as I have seen those bags with missing wheels. I do like the internal layout of the minima as it should help with packing organization.
Hi Rhonda-I understand! And yes, the Minima does have a great internal layout and organizes well. Try it out if you think it’s for you-there’s a trial period! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Lara Dunning says
I”m a huge fan of hard suitcases and I really like the layout of the Minima. When I need a new suitcase, I will remember this one! Thanks!
Hi Lara-Yes, please do! It’s definitely a good one. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Melody Pittman says
I’m not familiar with this brand but it sounds good. If it got your vote of approval, I’m a believer. 😉 Love the TSA approved lock on it. I’m all about a spinner in my life.
Hi Melody-That TSA recessed lock is awesome! I love how it keeps the zipper pulls in place too! Try this out if you get a chance, don’t forget to use my link and promo code! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Looks like you found a great travel companion 🙂 I am all about the durable wheels and having a good set of wheels on your suitcase makes a huge difference!!! Once you have awesome wheels, you can’t go back to those average ones. Love that the suitcase also comes with its own laundry bag.
Hi Candy-Totally agree! And the laundry bag is awesome! That plus the built-in lock and keeping the zipper pulls in place makes it awesome. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Michael Hodgson says
WOW looks awesome. On sizing … at 21.5 it might be larger than some regional European airlines allow, so do you feel this is durable enough then to be gate-checked? Love you chose black … the perfect color. Oh, and the TSA lock … my one concern there is TSA is very clear that sometimes, they are unable to open a lock because they do not have a key handy or international security might not have a key. So, that means they would have to break into the bag … YIKES!!!!
Hi Michael-I haven’t had a problem so far with 21.5 being too big for European airlines. The bag I used to take before I went to a backpack was a bit bigger than this one (and definitely heavier). And yes, I do feel it’s durable enough to be gate-checked. Or checked in general. I am still a checker even when taking carry-on size so I would definitely check it. As far as the TSA, that is true that they don’t always have a key. At the same time, I’ve never heard of them breaking into a bag leaving it unusable (I have heard of them breaking into bags by cutting locks off) so it couldn’t get to its destination with you. But in case you are worried about this, you can just not use the built-in lock and put a traditional lock through the holes in the zippers. So there are options! Thanks for reading! 🙂
My suitcase is actually starting to look worn down after years if travels and I’m actually thinking about replacing it. I’ll keep your suggestion in mind 😉
Hi Mirela-Awesome, if you want to try this one out, there’s a link and my promo code in the post. Thanks for reading! 🙂