Rock is a UK-based, family-run luggage brand. It has a fairly wide product range, with soft- and hard-shell cases in a variety of sizes and styles. It also aims to be socially responsible by using environmentally-friendly packing materials and running charitable projects. Most of its products come with a guarantee of free spare parts.
The bag comes in black, silver, charcoal and red. I have the charcoal style, which is subtle but has bright red zips which make it more distinctive.
The ‘Hybrid’ of the name refers to the outer case, which is hard-shell (plastic) on the bottom three-quarters and soft-shell (polyester) at the top. I find the hybrid style less aesthetically severe than an entirely hard case, but with enough protection for fragile items. You also get a little bit more flexibility in the top section for pulling items in and out quickly using the front zip, and the empty case comes in at an easy-to-carry 2.9kg.
I used Rock’s Hybrid bag in the smallest size (55cm x 39cm x 20cm) on numerous trips last year. I’ve found it suitable for stays from a day to a working week (packing light), and as both carry-on and checked luggage.
By this point it has been pulled for many miles across airport floors, cobbled streets and broken pavements; crammed into overhead aircraft lockers, train luggage racks and the bottom of Megabuses; and at one point sent in a delivery truck across the country (don’t ask).
It has held up to all this manhandling very well. The plastic part has a couple of white marks where it must have taken a particular hit, but these probably could have been avoided with more care. The polyester front pocket is still in perfect condition, the handle extends in and out easily and snaps firmly into place, the wheels are going strong and there have been no issues with the zips. I have consistently found it light and easy to manoeuvre, with spinner wheels making it easy to pull it flat on the ground or half raised.
The interior has well suited my packing needs. It has two sections; the bigger side has crossed packing straps for keeping clothes more compact. On the divider there is a meshed pocket with a zip along the top which is handy for smaller items.
In the smaller section, which I have generally used for shoes and toiletry bags, is a padded pocket suitable for a laptop, with room for the device and a charger. Finally, there is a small velcro-sealed pocket that is handy for keeping a few things on-hand.
The case has a TSA-approved combination lock by Travel Sentry. There is a small handle on the top for lifting it, though not on the side.
My suitcase is still in great condition after a year of regular use, and I have found it easy to lug around the world, with a practical interior packing system. It’s not the swishest bag out there, but I like the mixed hard- and soft-shell exterior and little pop of colour on the zips. The outside won’t be as hardy as some more expensive cases, but it’s definitely suitable for everyday travel. You’re also supporting a small UK business, and the price is affordable for something that will last years.
Material ABS Plastic/Polyester
Cost £149.99 (on sale for £74.99 at the time of publication)