We are on the lookout for the best low-cost carry on bag. Last week we reviewed the Rockland Melbourne carry on. While it was a solid choice, we can’t help but think that the feature set and lack of solid warranty were major marks against it. This week we turn to another competitor for best affordable carry on. This is our Delsey Luggage Helium Aero carry on review.
The Desley Helium Aero is an impressive bag. For the same price as many of the bargain bin bags on Amazon, you are getting an exceptionally well design bag, complete with bells and whistles like an integrated TSA lock and padded laptop sleeve.
- Very durable polycarbonate outer shell
- TSA-approved lock is integrated
- Expandable storage main compartment
- Well-designed aluminum pull handle
- Great price!
- Wheels are a little small
- Warranty only covers manufacturer defects
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero carry on review
Feature rich and very solid
You can’t expect a bag of this price to compete directly with the likes of Briggs & Riley or Tumi. But surprisingly, Delsey does a very admirable job with their Helium Aero. This bag comes in two main carry on sizes: (1) International spinner(1) International spinner and (2) Domestic spinner.These two are identical except the international has slightly smaller dimensions to conform to the more strict international airlines’ carry on size restrictions.
The outside of the bag is made of 100% polycarbonate. This is an excellent material that companies like Eagle Creek use a lot in their designs. It is awesome because it is very light but also very durable against scrapes, dents and cracks. In fact, the excellent top notch Eagle Creek Tarmac AWD makes heavy use of polycarbonate and is rated in our top five favorite bags. We prefer the durability and just general feel of polycarbonate over the ABS used on bags like the Rockland Melbourne carry on.
The Helium Aero uses excellent double spinner wheels that perform very admirably on airport floors. The may be a tad small for full on cobble-stone walkways but for the price this is a steal for the quality of wheels offered. The telescopic handle is wobble free and offers two different height settings which is handy for shorter travelers. It is made of very durable industrial grade aluminum which fills us with confidence that this handle will stay intact even if this bag is mishandled if checked in. The fact that the handle is recessed is a big bonus for those who will from time to time check the bag.
The top and side handles are made from very nice soft touch plastic/rubber which feels really good to the touch. I took this bag on a trip to India and really appreciated the handles when pulling my bag down from the overhead bins which were crammed to their max capacity. Coincidentally I have had more problems with a lot of more expensive bags when it comes to handles. Big marks to Delsey for not cheaping out in the handle department.
Roomy interior and extra bells & whistles
The interior is lined with 100% durable polyester. And the design choices on the inside of the Delsey Helium Aero are nothing short of excellent. The clamshell design leaves a tonne of room in both the main compartment and the zipped opposite compartment. Speaking of capacity, the whole bag can expand substantially by unzipping the expansion zips. This is not recommended for those actually using this bag as a carry on, but if you happen to buy too many gifts on your trip (or a tonne of new clothes) then its easy to expand and then check this bag for the trip home.
There is an additional zipped accessory pocket in the main compartment that is perfect for toiletries or cables/adapters. The Helium Aero also has the requisite compression straps on the inside to keep your items safely in place during travel.
Where the Delsey Helium Aero really shines is the little extras. For example. the softside of the bag has an integrated large laptop/accessory pocket that can easily (and safely) store a 15 inch laptop. I was able to easily fit my Macbook Pro 15″ in there with no problem with extra space for business cards and my charger.
Lastly, Desley was able to include an integrated 3 digit TSA-approved combination lock on the outside of the bag. We haven’t seen too many bags at this price including this feature and it is very welcome.
Warranty and value
Delsey includes a limited 10 year warranty which is pretty standard in the industry. This covers basic manufacturer defects but not any airline damage or wear and tear like the ridiculously good Briggs & Riley warranty. But overall the value for this bag is clear by the shear number of premium features (like the TSA lock for instance) that are simply absent from most budget bags.
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero carry on review round-up: Should I buy this bag?
Absolutely. If you are looking for one of the best bangs for the buck in the luggage industry, the Delsey Luggage Helium Aero is it. You simply cannot get a better bag for the money right now.