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This article is part of a series giving you detailed reviews on a wide range of the major choices of carry-on bags available today.

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Travelpro Luggage Reviews

The company that originally invented the concept of wheeled roll-about bags


Yes, although it now seems a long time ago, there once was a time before wheeled carry-on bags.  Do you remember back to 'Pilot's Bags', for example - heavy boxy bags that opened at the top, which one would carry on while holding their handle on the top?

All this came to an end (when did you last see a Pilot Bag?) when Travelpro's founder, Bob Plath, developed the original wheeled carry-on bag in 1989.

A pilot himself, Plath used a very clever marketing strategy.  He sold his bags at heavily discounted rates to flight crew, and as other people at airports saw flight crew with their roll-aboard bags, they too wanted them, especially when Travelpro advertised them as being the bags chosen by travel professionals.

The rest is, well, history, and today Travelpro offer a wide range of well manufactured bags under its own name and also marketed as Atlantic and Austin House.

 

 

Scroll down or click these links to jump to the review you wish to read


Travelpro Crew5 RollAboard

Travelpro Crew5 Rolling Tote

Travelpro Crew5 RollAboard review

Item 7422-01
 

Travelpro's Crew5 RollAboard is an excellent carry-on bag
 

Travelpro are the original inventors of wheeled carry-on luggage, with their first bag appearing in 1989.

They've continued to steadily enhance their original very clever idea, with the Crew5 bag representing their current state of the art.

As evidence of Travelpro's attention to continually enhancing their product range, this bag has more extra features than any other bag reviewed.

It is a good bag with no obvious downside and nothing important omitted, and at $200 is fairly priced.

Price and availability

$200

With a 110% low price matching guarantee, comprehensive product range, and excellent service, we recommend eBags.com.

Special Note : eBags are now giving Travel Insider readers 10% discounts off many products and free shipping too.

Warranty

Travelpro offer a limited lifetime warranty on their bag, although they note that if the bag is being used for commercial use, there is a reduced three year limited warranty.

The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship.  The warranty excludes wear or damage caused by abuse, mishandling, accidental damage, inappropriate selection, or carelessness caused by an airline or other common carrier.

Qualifying for warranty service might be difficult.  You need to keep a copy of proof of purchase - why is this necessary on a bag that has a lifetime warranty?  It is the first thing I lose whenever I buy something.

The second thing I lose are the various bits of paperwork that fall out when you open something up.  Unfortunately, Travelpro require you to keep a copy of their warranty statement (why?) plus the 'product tags' (whatever they are) that came with the luggage.

They also ask you to keep the carton the bag came in to use to ship the bag to their repair facility.  Is it only me or is there something bizarre about needing to put a piece of luggage into a packing carton before shipping it somewhere?

Official size

22" x 14" x 9" (45" total)

Measured maximum external size

24.75" x 15.25" x 9.25" (49.25" total) - this is illegally large for most airlines.)

Measured internal size

22" x 14" - depth difficult to determine and varies with overpacking and the various layers of inner compartments.

The external depth of the main box is 6.75" for the reinforced box itself, the extra thickness is caused by the various extra things on the lid.

Expandability

Yes - you unzip a gusset that allows the bag to expand an extra 2" as measured.

Weight

Strangely, Travelpro don't specify the bag's weight anywhere.

Actual weight is about 12 lbs.

Construction

Dupont Teflon coated microballistic nylon stain resistant fabric.

Semi-soft sided, with some extra padding on the lid.  The opposite side is protected by the inbuilt extendable handle structure.  Plastic honeycomb panel sides.

Everything appears to be screwed rather than riveted.

The bag seems solid and well constructed.

The twin zips to open the main bag have locking holes through which you could pass a padlock hasp in them.  The twin zips for opening the large compartment on the lid could be locked by passing a padlock hasp through the zipper pulls which have cut out sections in them.

All compartments are lined with softer material.

Color choices

Yes - Black, Ivy and Marine Blue

Handles

Two handles plus a pull grip built into the bag's base suitable for pulling the bag out of an overhead if the wheels are facing out.

The wheelaboard does not have extra feet opposite the long side carry handle.

Towing Handle

Extends to 40" from floor to bottom of handle.  Easy to open and shut, with just the one extension position.

Telescoping design with three sections.  Appears sturdy with only a very slight wiggle.

Mounted internally and so is protected from external forces.

Wheels

Two solid low friction wheels, mounted almost entirely within a protective guard assembly.

Estimated 3" diameter and 1" width, with curved cross-section so only a narrow part touches the ground.

Stair skids

Yes, assisted by the semi-recessed wheels.

Outside compartments

There is one outside compartment on the back of the wheeled piece, 13" wide and 9" deep, with a single zip to open it, and side flaps so items are less likely to fall out when opened.  A small amount of padding is on the outside of this.

The front has three pockets.  At the top is a small pocket with single zip opener, measuring about 11" wide and 6.5" deep.  It has side flaps and some exterior padding.

Below that is a larger 13" wide and 14" deep pocket with a single zip opener along its top.  This is also padded.

Underneath these two pockets is a third pocket that covers the entire lid (about 14" x 21").  Two zips open the top and halfway down the sides.

There is no extra gusseting for these various compartments.

Inside compartments in base

The base is fully lined.

The first thing you see when opening the lid of the bag is a large semi-clear plastic carrier that is clipped across the bag with four elastic snap clips.  It can be removed and there is a hangar that you can use to hang it on a rail or hook somewhere.

There are three zipped compartments in this, each about 11" wide and 5" - 7" deep.  One has a mesh front, the other two are waterproof.

Also on the front are a series of six elastic loops that could be used to store canisters of 35mm film or pill bottles or whatever.

There are two pockets, one on each long side of the bag interior that could perhaps be used for shoes.  There is a zip pocket on the bottom of the base, and two mesh pockets above that.

Inside compartments in lid

There are two compartments and a gusset inside the lid.

The compartment furtherest from the exterior of the lid is a mesh compartment spanning the entire lid in size, with a zip running along its longer dimension.

The second compartment opens up with two zips unzipping three of its sides.  Inside is a nice tri-fold suit carrier.

If the suit carrier is full, you can unzip the gusset that extends the second compartment by about 1.25" (taking up more space inside the bag, not outside the bag).

Suit carrier included

Yes - a nice tri-fold carrier.  The carrier has two external zippable pockets on its outside (when folded) and two zippable mesh pockets on its inside, as well as space for hanging clothes.

Surprisingly, it doesn't have a hanger that can be used to hang the bag in a wardrobe, just a loop to hang it over a hook.

There are two spacers inside the suit carrier to hold the clothes in place, and two steel wires running lengthwise to keep the entire thing straight when folded.  Two carry handles make it easy to carry when out of the rollaboard bag.

Other Removable holders inside

The one item discussed above, plus the ticket wallet discussed below.

Waterproof compartment

Yes, several in the removable bag.

Packing Straps

Yes - two sets of wide 'arms' that go across the short dimension of the base with elastic straps.

These would do a good job of securing items within the bag.

External carry hook/strap

Yes, adjustable length webbing strap that ends in a J-shaped hook that snaps open or shut.

The nice thing about this fastener is that it is easier to place or remove items than it is with a snapped shut loop that you have to unfasten and refasten each time you're placing the extra item on or off the carry strap.

Note - one reader wrote in to say that the clip for this was located close to the carry handle such that he was scraping his knuckles against this every time he reached up to grab his bag out of the overhead compartment on a plane.

ID holder

Yes - fastened on the side of the bag.

Other features

A pleasant surprise can be found inside the top outside pocket - a nice fold over ticket wallet, with snap fastener.  Inside is space for a ticket inside a ticket jacket, a clear window holder for perhaps a driver's license, and several other sleeves into which a passport and other travel documents could be stored.  There is also a zip closing inner pocket.

The bag comes with a junky key operated padlock that Travelpro claim is TSA approved, but there is no evidence of a TSA logo on it to tell TSA staff that they can open it.

Travelpro Crew5 Rolling Tote review

Item 7413-01
 

 

As well as the full sized roll aboard bags, a new style has appeared - bags that can do double duty as a regular carry bag/briefcase.  These bags are smaller and somewhat lighter than the full sized carry-ons.  They hold considerably less , but offer a much greater range of internal compartments and pockets - good for organizing a collection of many different things, but not so good for holding larger items.

Travelpro's Crew 5 Rolling Tote is a classic example of this style of bag.

It is now being largely replaced by the Crew 6 very similar product.

Price and availability

This unit has now been superseded by the very similar Crew 6 Rolling Tote, with a list price of $160.

With a 110% low price matching guarantee, comprehensive product range, and excellent service, we recommend eBags.com.

Special Note : eBags are now giving Travel Insider readers 10% discounts off many products and free shipping too.

Warranty

Travelpro offer a limited lifetime warranty on their bag, although they note that if the bag is being used for commercial use, there is a reduced three year limited warranty.

The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship.  The warranty excludes wear or damage caused by abuse, mishandling, accidental damage, inappropriate selection, or carelessness caused by an airline or other common carrier.

Qualifying for warranty service might be difficult.  You need to keep a copy of proof of purchase - why is this necessary on a bag that has a lifetime warranty?  It is the first thing I lose whenever I buy something.

The second thing I lose are the various bits of paperwork that fall out when you open something up.  Unfortunately, Travelpro require you to keep a copy of their warranty statement (why?) plus the 'product tags' (whatever they are) that came with the luggage.

They also ask you to keep the carton the bag came in to use to ship the bag to their repair facility.  Is it only me or is there something bizarre about needing to put a piece of luggage into a packing carton before shipping it somewhere?

Official size

16" x 12" x 9" (37" total)

Measured maximum external size

16.25" x 14" x 9" (39.25" total) - small enough to be accepted by almost all airlines with no problems.

Measured internal size

15.25" x 11.75" for the main compartment.

The depth is difficult to determine and varies with overpacking and the various layers of inner compartments, but the main compartment is probably about 6" deep.

Expandability

No.

Weight

Claimed 7.5 lbs.

Actual weight is 7lbs.

Construction

Dupont Teflon coated microballistic nylon stain resistant fabric.

Semi-soft sided.  It has a hard plastic exterior shell around the bottom corners where the wheels are, and a plastic sheet to give form to the back of the bag.  There is some extra padding on all other sides.

Everything appears to be screwed rather than riveted, with some extra ribbing on the corners for wear protection.

The bag seems solid and well constructed.

The twin zips to open the main bag have locking holes through which you could pass a padlock hasp in them.  The twin zips for opening the other exterior compartments could be locked by passing a padlock hasp through the zipper pulls which have cut out sections in them.

All compartments are lined with softer material.

Color choices

Yes - Black, Ivy and Marine Blue

Handles

The bag has two fabric loop handles - one on either side of the main compartment opening that can be held together in a padded wraparound attached to one of the two fabric handles.  This makes for a more comfortable carrying situation.

There is also a pull grip built into the bag's base suitable for pulling the bag out of an overhead if the wheels are facing out.  This is on the opposite side to the two loop handles, and does double duty as a rest when the bag is placed on the ground.

Towing Handle

Extends to 38" from floor to bottom of handle.  Easy to open and shut, with just the one extension position.

Telescoping design with five sections.  Appears reasonably sturdy although with more wiggle.

Mounted internally and so is protected from external forces.

Wheels

Two solid low friction wheels, mounted almost entirely within a protective guard assembly.

Estimated 2.75" diameter and 7/8" width, with one quarter of each wheel recessed inside a protective covering.

Stair skids

No.

Outside compartments

This bag has a dizzying array of different compartments, and also lots of dividers and other features within each compartment, making it more like a briefcase than a rollaboard.

There are three outside compartments on the front side of the bag, each one with a double zipper.  The outer most one is the smallest, measuring 12" wide and 7.5" high.  It has a full length zip across the top of it.  It isn't gusseted, so can't hold anything too thick.

The middle compartment is 12.75" wide and 10.5" high.  It has zips that go around three sides, and side flaps to stop the front of it falling open (and also to stop small loose items inside falling out.  it too has no gusseting, but thicker items could go in here and just compress the inner side of the compartment.

The inner most compartment is a larger version of the middle compartment, and with a small amount of gusseting.  It measures 15" wide and 11.75" high.  It also has zips on three sides and side flaps to stop it falling open all the way.  A laptop computer could conceivably be placed in here.

On one of the sides is an open pocket with an elasticized top that is presumably intended for a water bottle.

On the other side is another zipped pocket, with a zip running on the top and one side.  The compartment is about 5.25" wide and 7.25" high, and has a flap on the side to hold things in when opened.  It has a small amount of gusseting.

Main compartment

The main compartment zips open on three sides, and measures 15.25" x 11.75" and is about 6" deep.

Side flaps prevent the 'lid' from opening up more than about 30 degrees, but they can be unsnapped to allow for the lid to open all the way.

The bottom of the compartment is lined with a thin lining of nylon which rests on top of the extending handle mechanism, making for an uneven bottom.  This would not be a good thing to place a laptop computer immediately against, and you'd probably want to keep bottles of duty free liquor away from the metal handle assembly which could transmit shocks to the bottle and break it.

Inside the main compartment is a side zipped pocket, with some gusseting, measuring 7.5" x 5", with the zip along the 5" side.

In the 'lid' of the main compartment (which has the three external compartments on the outside) is a mesh pocket, measuring 15" x 9.75", with a full length zip running along the 15" side.

Inside features within the other compartments

The outermost/smallest of the three external compartments has no extra features inside.

The middle compartment has a full sized zip compartment on its outer side, measuring 12" x 9.75".  This is just large enough to fit regular sheets of paper, but a folder with papers inside is not likely to fit.

On the inner side of the middle compartment is a pouch with a velcro fold-over flap on one side, three pen holders in the middle, and two sleeves and a business card holder on the other side.  The pouch measures 7.5" x 3.5" and the sleeves are 5.75" wide and 9" and 6" tall.

The inner compartment has two mesh pouches on the outer side, with elasticized tops.  Each measures about 8.5" x 7.25" (opening on the shorter side), and while they look like shoe holders, my shoes were too big to fit (11.5" long shoes).

On the inner side is a full coverage waterproof clear vinyl zip up pouch with two additional gusseted waterproof clear vinyl pouches on the outside of this larger pouch.  The larger pouch measures 10" x 14" and the two smaller pouches are 7.25" by 4.75" or 6.5" with about 0.75" of gusseting.

Suit carrier included

No - this bag is too small to fit a suit.

Other Removable holders inside

No.

Waterproof compartment

Yes, three in the inner most outside compartment.

Packing Straps

Yes, elastic X straps that join in the middle.

External carry hook/strap

There is a webbing type strap around the backside of the bag.  This allows the bag to be slid onto another (larger) bag's collapsible pull handle and to be held in place.

There is as puzzling eye on the outside of the bag, to one side of the carry loop handles.  At first it seemed like one of the two connectors to affix the supplied shoulder strap, but we couldn't find the other side anywhere, making for two mysteries - what was this one eye for, and how does one connect the shoulder strap?

ID holder

Yes - fastened on the back of the bag.

Other features

The bag comes complete with a miniature padlock that has 'TSA' boldly embossed on it, implying it to be a TSA approved security lock.

However, there was no TSA code number on it (to tell the TSA which master key would open the lock) so it is almost certainly not TSA compliant.  In any case, any teenager with a paperclip can open the lock in a couple of minutes, so the value of the lock is mainly as an ornament rather than as anything more substantial.

 

Review methodology

Please note that weights and measurements are approximate.  Measurements in particular are surprisingly subjective, and almost no bag/case has even measurements across every part of the bag.

External measurements are usually taken at the largest possible part - like an airline would do if trying to negatively prove your bag was illegally oversized.

 

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Originally published 18 June 2004, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
Related Articles
List of Carry-on Bags Reviewed
Our Favorite Carry-on Bags
How to Choose a Carry-on Bag pt 1
How to choose a bag pt 2
Reader comments on their carry-on luggage experiences
Reviews pt 1 :  Briggs & Riley
Reviews pt 2 :  Heys USA
Reviews pt 3 :  High Sierra
Reviews pt 4 :  Samsonite
Reviews pt 5 :  Swany
Reviews pt 6 :  Travelpro
Reviews pt 7 :  Lower priced bags
Reviews pt 8 :  Unusual and specialty bags

See also

Series on larger checked bags - reviews, buyer guide, reader comments, etc

Other related topics

Domestic Airline Carry On Luggage Policies
International Airline Carry On Luggage Policies
Domestic Airline Checked Luggage Policies
Your Rights if your bags are delayed or lost
Luggage Locator review
Distinctive MyTag Luggage Tags
Luggage Transportation Services
Packing Tips
 



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