When you purchase a piece of luggage, you’re making an investment on a product that’s more than likely going to be used by you for a number of years. Unlike others items that we buy and then replace within a year or two, quality items of luggage and suitcase are generally expected to be used for quite a few years before having to replace them. As a result, you want to be sure that you get something that’s going to hold up and look great throughout all this time.
However, having something that holds up can mean a number of things. For some people, this means getting a suitcase with a design that reflects their inner personality and will stay true to their taste and style throughout the years. For others, this is related more to getting a suitcase that will be able to protect their belongings and items during the ownership of the suitcase in question. It means something different for everyone out there, but it generally comes back to mean the same thing in the end.
Although we are supposed to have suitcases that last us for years on end, that unfortunately isn’t the case for every piece of luggage out there. All too often, we find suitcases that claim to be durable and long-lasting, but fall apart after just a flight or two. This is entirely unacceptable, but it happens more often than it should. So, if you’re in the market for a no-frills, durable suitcase that’s going to look good and protect your items, what are your options? There are plenty of solutions out there, but most of them cost over $100, sometimes nearing $150 or greater. That’s fine if your budget allows for that, but what if your limit is around $100? The final suitcase we’ll be reviewing is the Nautica Ahoy 28” Hardside Spinner. This particular suitcase doesn’t do a whole lot to stand out from the crowd, as it really just focuses on doing the basics really well. So, in those regards, does it succeed?
Nautica was originally founded in 1983, making it the youngest company on our list. The company focuses on creating various apparel for men, women, and children, and the products that the company makes often range on the high-end side of things. As a result, the products that Nautica kicks out are generally quite premium and well-made by nature. The company is primarily a clothing company, but they’ve recently decided to dip their toes in the luggage industry. While companies, such as Samsonite, certainly have a bit more expertise in this field, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Nautica isn’t capable of creating a solid piece of luggage. In fact, they’ve actually crafted a pretty solid suitcase with the Ahoy.
- Spinner suitcases offer a great factor of convenience over other suitcases that lack their inclusion of wheels. Spinners are excellent tools to take with you if you plan to do a lot of walking through airport terminals and train stations, as they take all of that weight off of your shoulders and back. In the case of the Ahoy, Nautica has created an 8-wheel system that allows the Ahoy to slide effortlessly over virtually any surface out there. Eight wheels may sound like overkill at first, but the added smoothness should prove to be a really nice touch for those that plan to do a lot of walking with their suitcase.
- Moving to the inside of the Nautica Ahoy, we’re pleasantly met with an interior that’s not only fully-lined, but also features two mesh pockets and velvet straps that are adjustable to meet whatever conditions your items require. The interior not only allows you to pack a great deal of items, but also looks quite stunning and refined when compared to some of the other suitcase interiors that we’ve reviewed. Although this refinement isn’t really necessary, it’s certainly a very nice touch.
- Similar to a lot of other suitcase that we’ve reviewed, the Nautica Ahoy features a design that’s extremely lightweight. Heavy suitcases and items of luggage are so last year, and Nautica is obviously aware of the trend going on with lightweight luggage. Although this isn’t a breakout feature by any means of the word, it’s still a great inclusion to have.
- To go along with the wheels that we previously went over, the Ahoy also comes equipped with a handle that’s constructed out of aluminum. Additionally, the handle can be adjusted through the use of a push-button locking system, meaning that you’ll be able to adjust the height of the handle to be as comfortable as possible for you.
- One area that frequently seems to be an issue for suitcase comes with the included zippers. All too often, the zippers fall off after a certain period of use, causing for nothing but annoying headaches! Thankfully, the Nautica Ahoy doesn’t have this issue at all. One owner has taken the suitcase on 8 different flights with 40-pounds of clothes and items packed each time, and the zippers have remained solid and intact.
- With spinner suitcase, companies often market these to a ridiculous degree and claim that they’re the best things ever. Unfortunately, both the wheels and handle can wear down after just a few flights, and this marketing then ends up looking ridiculous. Nautica is quite modest when talking about their wheels and handle, but the construction of these on the Ahoy are superb. The 8-wheel system rolls smoothly even after months of use, and the handle remains sturdy and solid as well.
- The overall look of the Nautica Ahoy is quite minimalistic and laid back, but it also has a sense of refinement that looks absolutely stunning in its own right. First off, there are numerous color options to choose from – our favorite one being the Navy/Lighthouse Yellow combination. Additionally, the textured exterior, Nautica logo down the front, and clean lines all throughout the suitcase create for a truly beautiful piece of luggage.
- Although the exterior is impervious to denting and cracking, it’s not impervious at all to scuffing up after a bit of use – especially if you opt for the white model. The scuffs that accumulate are mostly cosmetic, but we’d still prefer if these didn’t occur at all.
- For a 28-inch suitcase, there interior is surprisingly narrow. As a result, you won’t be able to pack as many things in here as you can with other 28-inch options.
It’s always interesting when a company who doesn’t specialize in the luggage industry decides to create suitcase. Sometimes the company is met with great success, and other times the exact opposite occurs. In regards to Nautica, the company has crafted a pretty impressive piece of luggage – especially for a company that specializes in high-end apparel. Is Nautica’s Ahoy the best suitcase that money can buy? Certainly not. The outside material is quite prone to gathering numerous scuffs, and the interior area leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to available space for all of your belongings. However, the zippers used are incredibly durable, the 8-wheel spinner system works quite well, and the design that’s used is both minimal and gorgeous at the same time. Although the Ahoy may not be the most functional spinner suitcase we’ve ever seen, Nautica’s sense of fashion and style really do shine though. And, for those folks who place design as a greater importance than interior space, this could be a perfect match for them!
If you don’t need all that much storage space, and are in the market for a nice-looking suitcase that won’t fall apart on you, Nautica’s Ahoy just might be a match made in heaven for you.
However, if you need as much storage space as possible, this is not going to be a great choice for you. In any case, we truly do have to applaud Nautica for an excellent foray into the world of luggage and travel gear.
In case you feel that this product doesn’t meet your expectations, please take a look at other options in our full suitcases guide.