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- Delsey Paris is a line of luxury French luggage that originated the hard-sided suitcase in 1970.
- Now they have a full lineup of hard and soft shell suitcases in multiple styles and colors.
- We tested hard and soft Delsey luggage and found them to be incredibly spacious with great features.
Delsey Paris was the first brand to debut a hard-sided suitcase in 1970, and since then, it’s become their signature product.
You’ve likely seen their sleek shells gliding through airports, reflecting a chic French sensibility that’s become iconic.
Though it’s hardly their sole offering. Delsey now includes a huge range of hard and soft shell luggage and travel accessories. Expect carry-on and checked bags of multiple sizes, formats, and colors that come with thoughtful features like TSA-approved locks, heavy-duty zippers, and the assurance that your belongings will stay safe and protected.
And, as one might expect of a company with Parisian roots, they’re fashionable, too.
Eager to see how these historic suitcases would hold up, we tried a few Delsey Paris bags comparing both hard and soft shells, and packed them to the brim. We pulled them through airports and even threw them down the stairs to test how they held up to the strains of travel.
Here’s what we thought of Delsey Paris
As the name suggests, this is a suitcase all about securing your stuff. In this case, with an integrated TSA-accepted combination lock plus Delsey’s patented locking system with a heavy-duty zipper and fully enclosed pullers and sliders that are made unreachable when locked.
I used my Securitime when I moved cross country. I packed most of my clothes into this one bag, which went through major airports and multiple hotels before ending up in my new home.
At first glance, the dark silver anthracite exterior certainly looked heavy-duty with deep protective ridges and rounded corners. It almost resembled the type of trunks used to transport media equipment. I immediately noticed that my bag arrived with significant scuff marks, perhaps from the packaging, which made me doubt how it will hold up to scratches in the long term.
Inside were two compartments, one with tie-down steps, and the other with a fully zipped divider. While there weren’t many pockets for organizing, the liner is removable and washable. Both were well-sized and able to fit piles of clothes, full packing cubes, toiletry bags, and odds and ends.
The internal volume is 126.14 liters and an expandable zipper offers the option to add extra room. While most people won’t use this to move homes and pack all their clothes, it’s great for weeks-long trips.
Without a doubt, I was most impressed by the main zipper. As a regular over-packer, I routinely overstuff suitcases and push the seams to their breaking point. This zipper was like two in one and held up without even a sign of fatigue.
Silent double spinner wheels along with soft-touch handles were a cinch to navigate through two busy airports and the extra security features gave me peace of mind.
Just know that with so much room, and weighing 10.4 pounds to start, it’s easy to over stuff this bag and incur extra fees at the airline counter. I ended up having to remove a lot at the last minute and couldn’t pack it to its fullest as a result. But for any big trip, this bag is a no-brainer. — Emily Hochberg, travel editor
The Cactus is a relatively nondescript, hard-side suitcase but has curves in the design to make it stand out. It has a 106-liter interior volume that’s quite big, though despite the large size, the polycarbonate shell is lightweight when empty and I had no issues carrying it up a few flights of stairs.
The spinning wheels are solid and glided over a variety of surfaces with ease, whether on all four wheels or tilted — this will depend on how heavy you load it. For security, the Cactus has a TSA-approved lock that secures the metal zipper pulls.
An all-around zipper closure lets you open fully for easier packing. On one side there are straps to hold stuff down, while the other has a zippered mesh cover. There are also two zippered pockets for small items and a waterproof pocket for toiletries. The lining is removable for cleaning.
The interior has ample space to store clothes for one person. I easily fit four pairs of sneakers, a suit, a jacket, two sweaters, two pairs of jeans, two weeks worth of shirts, socks, and underwear, and a toiletries bag, with room to spare — a smart packer could fit a month’s worth or all the clothes for a small family.
The suitcase is very durable thanks to its protected corners and overall build quality. I threw it down a stairwell three times, with the telescoping handle extracted. Despite having an anti-scratch finish, it did suffer scratches and a noticeable gash, but otherwise, it remained intact. My only complaint is that the water-resistant zipper system requires some effort to pull open, but it feels strong. — Les Shu, deputy editor
Originally, I planned to bring Delsey’s 29-inch Helium DLX on vacation to Cancun, but it was so large, that I actually decided it was too big for just a five-day trip.
Instead, I tested this product around the East Village, pushing and pulling it for 20 blocks and up and down the stairs of my walk-up apartment. This was no easy feat and the luggage’s width equaled that of my stairwell, which made it difficult to carry, even with plush, cushioned handle grips.
This means it’s not the best pick for casual travelers on the go, however, those heading out on long haul journeys or wheeling in and out of airports and elevators will appreciate four spinner wheels that glide effortlessly over smooth surfaces, even under the weight of a fully packed suitcase.
Premium features and high-end materials also quickly stand out, like a built-in TSA-approved lock and break-resistant zippers. Despite the large size, the soft, high-performance fabric of the exterior felt lightweight. But if you tend to anxiously overpack as I do, the lightweight feature might become futile as most of the weight becomes concentrated in one deep interior compartment. The main capacity was so great that I was able to pack a yoga mat out of curiosity. You could arguably pack almost a month of summer clothes.
There is also a second compartment with a zipped mesh covering that fit one layer of clothing plus a hairdryer and flat iron. A detachable toiletry bag was a nice touch.
The ample space makes it ideal for longer stays or visiting cold destinations where you’ll need to pack heavy jackets and sweaters. The depth is also useful for holiday seasons if you’ll be traveling with gifts.
If you need a suitcase with lots of space for an extended stay with high-end features, this Delsey bag is a solid choice. — Taylor Jeffries, lifestyle fellow