CALPAK Luggage Reviews

A family-run business based in Los Angeles, the CALPAK brand offers suitcases with trendy colors and designs that aren’t just good-looking. For affordable prices, you can also expect practical features such as TSA-approved locks and plenty of interior organizers.

CALPAK Luggage Reviews

Before jumping into the full review, here is an overview of what you can expect from CALPAK suitcases.

The Good

  • Unique Designs: From exterior compartments in their HUE carry-on to colorful or marbled patterns, CALPAK offers a variety of stylish designs. They also have a collection that features a modern spin on a vintage trunk style. 
  • Affordable: The prices are very reasonable with carry-ons around $100 dollars and 3-piece sets under $500. The brand also provides plenty of sales.
  • Durable Exterior: Most of their hardshell suitcases are made from polycarbonate or a combination of polycarbonate and ABS, which allows them to be impact-resistant.
  • Double Spinner Wheels: Almost all CALPAK suitcases have double spinner wheels that make maneuvering your suitcase 360 degrees easier and smoother.
  • TSA-Approved Locks: Most affordable suitcase brands don’t come with TSA-approved combination locks, but you can find these on various CALPAK models.

The Not-So-Good

  • Warranty: Only has 1-year or 2-year limited warranty that only covers defects in material and workmanship. You also need to submit a servicing fee for warranty requests.
  • Interior Not As Durable: While the exterior is durable, the interior stitching of some of their zippers are known to come undone easily.

Overall Verdict

If you are looking for a luggage brand that offers a variety of unique colors and convenient features for an affordable price, CALPAK is a great option. It’s not often affordable luggage brands have TSA-approved locks, expandable capacity, and double-spinner wheels, however, most of CALPAK’s suitcases do. They aren’t known for their softshell or fabric suitcases though and you would have to opt for a duffel bag instead. 

Affordable prices do come with some downsides though. Most of their suitcases are not as durable, especially for frequent traveling and they have a very limited warranty that includes costs to even get your luggage replaced or repaired. With the low prices, it may be a better idea to simply purchase a new suitcase. 

Specifications Overview of 8 CALPAK Suitcases

  Ambeur Carry-On Hue Carry-On Hue Trunk Checked Bag Astyll Medium Checked Bag Trnk Carry-On Terrazzo Carry-On Kids’ World’s Lightest Murphie Underseat Carry-On
Cover Material Polycarbonate and ABS Polycarbonate and Polyurethane Polycarbonate Polycarbonate and ABS Polycarbonate and ABS Polycarbonate and ABS Polycarbonate Polyester
Exterior Dimension 22 x 14 x 8.5 inches 21.5 x 13.75 x 9.25 inches 31.8 x 16 x 13 inches 25.5 x 17 x 10 inches 20 x 14 x 9 inches 21.5 x 15 x 10 inches 24.5 x 17 x 11 inches 15 x 14 x 8.5 inches
Interior Dimension 19 x 14 x 8.5 inches 19 x 13.5 x 9 inches 28.7 x 15.9 x 12.5 inches 24 x 17 x 10 inches 19 x 14 x 9 inches 19 x 15 x 10 inches 23.5 x 17 x 11 inches Fits around 29 liters
Weight 6 pounds 8.4 pounds 12 pounds 8.5 pounds 7.1 pounds 7 pounds 10.5 pounds 5.4 pounds
Number of Wheels 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 2
TSA-Approved Lock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Full CALPAK Reviews

When deciding what suitcase to purchase for your upcoming travel plans, you’ll want to have as much information as possible. This review will cover CALPAK’s brand information, notable suitcase features, customer feedback, product specifications, and individual product reviews.

About CALPAK Brand

California Pak (CALPAK) was founded in 1989 in Los Angeles, California, by Edward and Judy Kwon. It was, and still is, a family-owned business with the aim to make quality bags at accessible prices. In 2013, Edward and Judy’s kids (Jennifer and Roy) joined CALPAK and rebranded the company. The stylish and modern designs their luggage have today result from Jennifer and Roy’s vision and boundary-pushing spirits. 

Although CALPAK started with a collection of only wallets and handbags, today, the brand features a variety of products, including:

  • Suitcases
  • Packing cubes
  • Laptop bags 
  • Duffel bags
  • Jewelry organizers
  • Apparel 

Customer Feedback

Overall customers appear to be satisfied with their purchase of CALPAK suitcases, indicating the design is modern, unique, or cute. Most customers also appreciate the storage capacity that is large and includes various organization options from zipper pockets, accessory pockets, and dividers.

The most common review complaints include:

  • Ordering from them can have a backlog where products aren’t sent on time
  • Zipper stitch quality on some designs are not great and easily come undone
  • They prefer to give refunds as store credit
  • Hard to reach for customer service

While CALPAK sells most of its products on its own website or through retailers, such as Nordstrom, you can sometimes purchase on Amazon. Looking at 14 products on Amazon for a total of 1,078 ratings and 1,072 reviews, CALPAK has an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Design

CALPAK provides unique and colorful designs that allow you to grab attention with their suitcases. For example, their Astyll collection has a unique marble print on the exterior whereas their Trnk collection is a retro trunk design. 

They also focus on providing plenty of interior organization options, such as multiple zipped pockets and sleeves. Their most popular suitcases are from the Ambeur collection that is rose gold, has plenty of interior space and pockets, comes with a TSA-approved lock, and double spinner wheels. 

Additionally, you can find models with features that make traveling more convenient, such as their Hue carry-on. This hardshell suitcase has an exterior front compartment that opens up to fit your laptop and includes sleeves for other essentials such as your passport or notebooks. 

Quality

Most customers report that the luggage they brought was very durable and held a lot of their personal belongings. Most of their hardshell suitcases are made with polycarbonate, which has high impact resistance. Some are also mixed with ABS and polycarbonate providing it with durability and aesthetics features like a shine. 

There are reports, however, of zipper stitches not being durable and breaking easily or wear and tear from handles. Models that don’t have scratch-resisting coating on the polycarbonate will also scratch easily even though it holds up to impact. 

Warranty

Probably one of the biggest downsides of the CALPAK brand is its warranty plan. All their products have either a 1-year or 2-year limited warranty that only covers defects in material and workmanship. It will not cover any misuse, accidents, transportation damage, or normal wear and tear issues. Additionally, to even submit the warranty request form you need to submit a servicing fee of $24.95 for luggage and return it to them with shipping pre-paid. 

If you want accident protection, some products do offer an option to purchase 2-year or 3-year plans. 

Notable Features

Although each specific luggage differs, here are some of the features you can expect to find with CALPAK suitcases.

TSA-Approved Locks

Most of CALPAK’s suitcases come with a TSA-approved combination lock that secures your zippers together. This allows you to check your bag in with protection without having anything cut off it during TSA routine checks. 

Double Spinner Wheels

Spinner wheels let your roll your suitcases 360 degrees and provide a better turning axis. Almost all of CALPAKs models come with double spinner wheels instead of regular spinners. With eight wheels instead of four, the rolling experience is smoother and the wheels are more durable. 

Expandable Interior

Plenty of their suitcase collections come with the option to expand the interior by using a zipper to increase the size. This means if you prefer the smaller space you can secure the suitcase with the zipper and expand it later when you purchase more things on your trip. 

Multiple Organization Options

Most of the positive CALPAK luggage reviews mention the variety of organization options in the interior of their suitcases. There are zipped dividers, accessory zip pockets, sleeves, and cross-straps. Their HUE collection also offers a unique exterior laptop compartment that includes multiple sleeves for other belongings. 

Price

CALPAK is known for being a very affordable brand that comes with value-added features. Most of their carry-ons start as low as $105. Their checked luggage are generally under $300 and their 3-piece sets are under $500. Additionally, CALPAK offers multiple discounts on various models throughout the year.

CALPAK Individual Suitcase Reviews

Ambeur Carry-On

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The beautiful aesthetic design of the Ambeur 22-inch suitcase has made it known as one of the most stylish carry-ons available. It’s lightweight and affordable but still comes with a TSA-approved combination lock, double spinner wheels, and a zip design to expand the interior.

The polyester interior also has plenty of space and organization options, including a divider with pockets, compression straps, and an accessory pocket.  Besides the durable exterior material, the corners are further reinforced with aluminum protectors.  

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate and ABS
  • Exterior Dimensions | 22 x 14 x 8.5 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 19 x 14 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight | 6 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Affordable and stylish
  • Lightweight design
  • Expandable up to 2 inches
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering 
  • Plenty of interior organization 
  • TSA-approved lock included

Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Can easily get scratched 

Hue Carry-On

A unique feature of the hardshell Hue carry-on is the exterior compartment that opens forward and includes a pocket for a 15-inch laptop and multiple other sleeves for your passport or notebooks. Like most other CALPAK suitcases it also has double spinner wheels, extending handles, and a TSA-approved combination lock. 

The polyester interior is made with polyester and has a packing capacity of 38 liters. It also includes a divider with pockets, an accessory pocket, a removable accessory pocket, and compression straps. 

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate and Polyurethane
  • Exterior Dimensions | 21.5 x 13.75 x 9.25 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 19 x 13.5 x 9 inches
  • Weight | 8.4 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Stylish and practical design
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering
  • Unique exterior compartment with laptop sleeve
  • Multiple interior organization options
  • TSA-approved lock included

Cons

  • Heavier than other carry-ons
  • More expensive compared to other CALPAK carry-ons
  • Can easily get scratched

Hue Trunk Checked Bag

If you’re an over-packer that prefers checking your bags in, then the Hue Trunk is a great option to go with. It’s a unique trunk design that easily fits bulky items with its 96-liter packing capacity. The exterior material is made from durable polycarbonate and your belongings are secure with the TSA-approved combination lock.

Inside you have a polyester interior divider with pockets, accessory pocket, and compression straps. This suitcase is also smooth and easy to roll with double spinner wheels. 

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate
  • Exterior Dimensions | 31.8 x 16 x 13 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 28.7 x 15.9 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight | 12 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Unique trunk design
  • Expandable up to 2 inches
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering 
  • Plenty of interior organization 
  • TSA-approved lock included

Cons

  • Interior stitching unravels easily
  • Flexible expandable exterior feels fragile 

Astyll Medium Checked Bag

Also known as the ‘Original Marble Luggage’, the Astyll collection features a hardshell durable and flexible body with a beautiful marbling pattern. Making it a suitcase that will definitely turn heads. It also comes with double spinner wheels that run smoothly and is easy to maneuver. 

Like most of CALPAK suitcases, the interior is polyester with plenty of space, an accessory pocket, a divider with pockets, and compression straps. You can even purchase a whole set of marbled design accessories, including packing cubes. The Astyll collection is also available for purchase as a 3-piece set

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate and ABS
  • Exterior Dimensions | 25.5 x 17 x 10 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 24 x 17 x 10 inches
  • Weight | 8.5 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Unique marble design
  • Durable exterior material
  • Lightweight hardshell case
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering 
  • TSA-approved lock included

Cons

  • Easily scratches and scruffs
  • Only one color option

Trnk Carry-On

Featuring a modern steamer trunk design, here’s another suitcase that will stand out from the crowd. The Trnk carry-on is a spin on the vintage trunk and has aluminum corner protectors. It also has sturdy double spinner wheels for easy maneuvering and straight rolling.

The polyester interior has enough space and organizational options to store all your belongs. It features a compression straps, a divider, a removable accessory pocket, and other built-in zippered pockets. 

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate and ABS
  • Exterior Dimensions | 20 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 19 x 14 x 9 inches
  • Weight | 7.1 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Unqiue trunk design
  • Durable exterior material
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering 
  • TSA-approved lock included

Cons

  • Easily scratches and scruffs
  • Limited color options

Terrazzo Carry-On

The 22-inch Terrazzo carry-on is a lightweight hardshell suitcase made from a durable exterior material, including polycarbonate. The design is a unique cement-like earthy feel of white and gray patterns. 

The interior is all-black polyester and comes with a zippered mesh divider, a divider with zippered pockets, and compression straps. It also has the convenient features of a TSA-approved combination lock, extending handle, and double spinner wheels. Terrazzo is also available for purchase as a 2-piece set

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate and ABS
  • Exterior Dimensions | 21.5 x 15 x 10 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 19 x 15 x 10 inches
  • Weight | 7 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Unqiue terrazo exterior design
  • Durable exterior material
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering 
  • TSA-approved lock included

Cons

  • Easily scratches and scruffs
  • Only one color option

Jen Atkin Medium Checked Bag

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You can get the Jen Atkin medium hardshell bag in black, red, pink, or the popular gold color that looks stylish. It comes with a Hinomoto silent run double spinner wheels for optimal rolling experience. 

The exterior design has a carrying handle, extending handle, a zipperless aluminum frame, aluminum corner protectors and TSA-approved one-click locks. It also made of only polycarbonate to ensure durability. The interior has a 72-liter capacity and multiple organization options, including a divider with YKK zippered pockets and compression panel with a zippered pocket. 

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polycarbonate 
  • Exterior Dimensions | 24.5 x 17 x 11 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | 23.5 x 17 x 11 inches
  • Weight | 10.5 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 8
  • TSA-Approved Lock | Yes

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable exterior material
  • Double spinner wheels for 360 degrees maneuvering 
  • TSA-approved lock included
  • Multiple interior organizational options

Cons

  • Easily scratches and scruffs

Murphie Underseat Carry-On

While most CALPAK lugagges are hardshell, the 15-inch Murphie underseat carry-on is a fabric model made from polyester. It’s a lightweight carry-on with unique exterior features such as a trolley pocket, accessory pockets, and a luggage trolley sleeve so you can place it on top of your checked bag and secure it to the handle. 

The interior has a storage divider with a pocket and additional water resistant pockets. Although this product feature is the lavender one, you can also get this luggage in black or nude

Specifications

  • Cover Material | Polyester 
  • Exterior Dimensions | 15 x 14 x 8.5 inches
  • Interior Dimensions | Fits around 29 liters
  • Weight | 5.4 pounds
  • Number of Wheels | 2
  • TSA-Approved Lock | No

Pros

  • Fits easily under the seat during flights
  • Trolley sleeve for stacking on checked bag
  • Rolls smoothly
  • Multiple organizational pockets, including water resistant interior pockets

Cons

  • Smaller than standard carry-on suitcases
  • Only has two wheels
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