SuitSuit Case - Washing Machine pictures and hands-on

Travelling abroad is a constant part of being a Pocket-linter. From the numerous global gadget and home entertainment technology trade shows to product launches and remote briefings (remotely placed rather than about universal remote controls), we attend the most important events in order to bring you news, hands-ons, features and reviews. And it's great.

There's a price to pay for such globetrotting exploits, however. While we never let our travels batter our spirits, it can have detrimental effects on our luggage. Our suitcases generally look like Rocky Balboa's face at the end of the first movie and, rather than catch someone's eye, they're more likely to catch a trailing leg with a loose strap or broken catch.

That's why the SuitSuit Case - Washing Machine edition is a godsend. Not only is it robust, sturdy and has more inner pockets than the kangaroo enclosure at London Zoo, but it turns heads wherever we go.

To test the latest addition to the range currently sold by Firebox.com - which also comprises a case that looks like a loudspeaker - we took the SuitSuit to Los Angeles and back and actually checked it in rather than take it on board the aircraft as hand luggage.

Two things happened: first, we actually got our luggage at both ends without an agonising wait to see if it had gone to Kuala Lumpur or not, and - because of the excellent and unique design - we saw it coming along the conveyor belt a mile off.

The second, as expected, was that because the washing machine-styled version is white, it had scrapes and dirty scuff marks all over.

Here's the good part though: using a normal kitchen sponge and a bit of Fairy Liquid, all the scrapes and marks came off. In seconds.

There was even one massive red streak down the front that must have come from a plastic ramp or another case and that came off too. Having travelled 10,000 miles or more, the SuitSuit Case - Washing Machine edition is as good as new.

And that's only one benefit. As a hard-shelled, polycarbonte case, the SuitSuit is sturdy and you feel it will easily protect toiletries, etc that you store alongside your undercrackers. And the wheels - two at the rear of the base - are as zippy as, er, Zippy from Rainbow.

We're also impressed by the TSA lock, which includes its own, built-in three-number combination. And the interior has a mesh lid compartment, with plenty of space to keep different items separate from the main body.

Thanks to the construction material too, while rugged, the whole case weighs only 2.4kg. And with a 34-litre capacity, the inside is like a Tardis, especially considering it measures an overhead bin-friendly 540 x 360 x 200mm. That's for the 20-inch version we tested, which Firebox is carrying.

All very impressive and a real talking point too. We can't wait to see what SuitSuit comes up with next.

The SuitSuit Case - Washing Machine is available for pre-order from Firebox.com. Four other designs are already available, featuring motifs for the aforementioned Boombox, Sunflowers, This is my Suitcase in text, and the Union Jack. They each currently retail for £99.99.



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