Most business travellers have a couple of trusty black cases they haul around with them on trips – and for years, I did the same. Only recently, after deciding that I was fed up with having to scour the baggage carousel for my own black case – identifiable from the others only by a red tag – did I look for an alternative.
Antler’s Juno cases come in seven different colours (one being black, I grant you). You can choose from blue, orange, pink, red, teal and yellow, a jazzy array to suit every personality (if not outfit). I couldn’t bring myself to go for the girly strawberry tint, but I wouldn’t have said no to any of the others. Not wanting to make too much of a statement on my upcoming trip to Toronto, I chose blue.
Aesthetically, the other thing I like about the range is its trademark hard-shell exterior made of a polypropylene that has been moulded into a ridged, organic form reminiscent of undulating sand. It looks different from other suitcases, a bit space-age. After checking it on to a couple of flights and dragging it up and down stairs and curbstones, it seemed to stand up well to scratches and scuffs.
The Juno’s four wheels make it very easy to manoeuvre, especially on smooth airport floors where you can just push it with one arm instead of pulling it behind you. (I could never go back to two wheels.) It also twirls around nicely meaning you can slip it on to escalators and weave along crowded Underground tunnels when rushing for your flight.
Did I mention the Juno was svelte? Its 3.3kg build really is minimal. With most airlines restricting checked bags to 23kg, this allows you almost 20kg for your belongings. With nothing inside, you could pick it up with your little finger.
The interior of the case is also well-designed. The concept of the Juno is simple: when you open the case you have two lined shells of equal sizes to pack clothes into. On one side items are kept in place by X-shaped elasticated straps that clip together in the middle; on the other is a mesh cover that zips up all the way around so nothing can fall out.
There is also a small zip-up pocket for loose cables or other personal items. The medium-sized Juno allows enough space to pack for a four- to five-night trip. On the outside is a fixed TSA combination lock for added security, and a sturdy retractable handle.
On arrival at Toronto Pearson International airport, I saw my blue Juno slide down on to the baggage carousel from a distance of 20 metres. I checked my red luggage tag just the same, but there was not another blue case in sight. Mission accomplished.
I love this suitcase – it comes in a variety of pop-art colours and has a futuristic feel to the design. It’s very light and agile, and it’s hard-shell exterior means your belongings are protected from bashes.
What it doesn’t allow is any give if you come back with more than you left with (it’s not expandable). When packing, you have to be careful to keep things neat and flat otherwise it won’t close.
- SIZE 68cm x 46cm x 26cm
- VOLUME 70 litres
- WEIGHT 3.3kg
- PRICE £129
- WARRANTY Ten years
- CONTACT antler.co.uk