When we began planning our Japan adventures, one of my first thoughts was “travel light“. It was the only way that I could see it working. Key to achieving that goal was a quality suitcase. The Antler Prism Embossed suitcase looked like it had the goods, so how did it fair?
Lightweight – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
The antler Prism Embossed suitcase is light. The difference between it and my old suitcase was immediately noticeable. Of course, all suitcases start to get heavy once you begin filling them with clothes and other travel necessities. The benefits of a lightweight suitcase are not so much in the overall feel of lugging it around, the benefit is in the ability to cram the thing full of items and still be under the airline weight limit.
We packed the Antler to the brim. It was able to carry all of my clothes, Emma’s clothes (including shoes), some essential food items and three packets of nappies. That’s a lot of stuff, yet we still came in under ANAs weight limit.
Size – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
The Antler Prism Embossed suitcase doesn’t look huge from the outside. It doesn’t even look huge when you open it up. But looks can be deceiving – the thing is actually cavernous.
Unlike the suitcases I’m used to using, the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase unzips around the middle. That gives you two halves, both of which are a little shallower than the deep single space that I’m used to.
Of course, that means you have two spaces. Once I began filling the suitcase, the size really became clear. We had room to spare (which we promptly filled with nappies. We were able to fit so many nappies that we still had spares by the time we arrived home).
The Antler Prism Embossed suitcase is about as large as a case can get according to ANAs website. Anything larger would exceed their maximum dimensions.
Ease of use – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
There were plenty of positives and only one negative when it came to using the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase.
The two sides, with a zip-up divider, made packing and unpacking easy. It reduced the amount of digging required to find things at the bottom of the case as well – a clear advantage of having two shallower sides over one deep pocket.
The negative became apparent on the few occasions that I wanted to move the suitcase. With my old suitcase, I would simply have to close the top and then pick it up. With the Prism Embossed, I essentially had to completely pack it, fully zip it up, then move it. It also took up more room when open. It’s a minor niggle, as I rarely had to move the suitcase once I had put it down. I guess there is always a trade-off somewhere in the design of a suitcase, and overall I think the zip down the middle is a better design.
Rolling – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
In this area, the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase excelled. It is possibly the number one reason I would recommend buying one. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you add up the kilometres of walking that we did with this suitcase, it makes a huge difference.
The suitcase rolled well in front, beside or behind me. That is an amazingly useful feature when trying to negotiate the peculiarities of Japanese streets. Not only that, but the wheels handled the occasional bump without any problems at all.
One point to note is that the suitcase has no brakes. Why would a suitcase need brakes? Because on public transport, a free-rolling, heavy suitcase can be a bit of an issue. It’s not hard to keep control of, just don’t let go of it. I found that out the hard way, but I didn’t make the same mistake twice. Either hold onto it or lay it on its side.
Hard Shell – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
I’ve never owned a hard shell suitcase. But now that I have one, I don’t think I would go back to the soft ones. I felt so much more confident about the safety of my belongings with the hard case. Baggage handlers aren’t known for their tender touch – it’s going to be thrown around. The Antler Prism Embossed was more than capable of enduring everything that was thrown at it (or that it was thrown at!) on our adventure. It came away with a few minor, superficial battle scars, but that’s to be expected. If anything, I like a couple of marks on a suitcase, just to show that it has been places.
Generally, the hard shell was very easy to use. It zipped closed easily each time, except for once. For some reason… (okay, I didn’t check if anything was hanging out before I tried to close it) the zip didn’t catch. It was easily fixed by running the zip back and then forward again. We never had the same problem, although I’ll admit I was a little more careful after I had done it once.
The structural integrity of the suitcase is as good as the day it was delivered. I’m confident that it will have many more years of use ahead. Antler are too, they throw in a 10 year warranty. If that doesn’t fill you with confidence, I don’t know what will!
The Secret Weapon – The Luggage Leash
Are you like me and just a little bit of a worrier? International travel can be stressful enough without having to worry about the location of your suitcase. Thankfully, Antler have thought of that too. The Luggage Leash is a small Bluetooth-enabled device that you slip into your luggage. It is then used to keep track of its location.
Thankfully we never had the need to try and track down the whereabouts of our luggage. It arrived on time, each time and never wandered off as we travelled on trains. However, it gave me peace of mind to know that I had it. It is a set-and-forget kind of gadget – activate it via the app, throw it into a case and off you go. At $49.95 it’s not cheap, but you may well find it worth that price to add an extra layer of protection to your valuable belongings.
The Price – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
The Antler Prism Embossed Large Suitcase retails for $349. That makes it a bargain in my books, when I consider the eye-watering prices that some other hard-shell suitcases retail for. A quick Google search revealed that the Antler Prism Embossed large suitcase can be found as low as $209 AUD (correct at time of writing)! At that price I would snap up a couple and have family travel covered for many years to come.
The Antler Prism Embossed suitcase is a high quality suitcase at a very tempting price. I think it would be hard to find something that constitutes better value. The addition of a Luggage Leash is worth considering if you are the kind of person who gets a little nervous about losing your suitcase.
Disclosure – The Cache Group of Companies provided Blog Of Dad with this suitcase free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.