The Case for the Purple Suitcase

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A few months ago I needed to buy a new suitcase. For the last decade I’ve only had two. My beloved Travelpro Crew 9 carry on and then some version of what I call my “Asia Suitcase” — a giant 29 incher that is only used for hauling gifts to’from my parents during Christmas and carrying clothes and souvenirs for my annual two week vacations (usually in Asia).

chaps 29 brown suitcaseBut I’ve gotten better at packing light and buying fewer things on those two week trips and wanted a smaller checked bag for the trip. So then I was really excited! I’d finally have an excuse to go luggage shopping, which I assumed would be alot of fun of finding deals, happily agonizing over zippered pockets, etc.

It wasn’t. It was overwhelming and I found myself stuck on the basic question — how much do I want to spend on a suitcase I’ll only use a few times a year? And thus I’d flit between decent basic models priced $60 or lower and the more durable, nice looking options at $100.

I usually recommend friends go to Ross, Marshall’s, or TJ Maxx to buy luggage as you’ll usually get a good deal without having to wait for a sale. But I couldn’t make up my mind and left empty handed on three separate shopping trips.

Now I only had a week before my trip and was quite stressed, so I turned to Amazon and the helpful reviews. I did a search for 25″ suitcases, narrowed it to prime eligible and sorted by customer ratings, ignoring anything over $75. This helped focus my search and eventually I wound up favoring the American Tourister Luggage Splash 25″ Upright Suitcase.

It had it’s issues, like zipper pulls coming off in transit after only one or two trips, but overall it was getting high stars for being a good occasional use suitcase. But then I had to decide on color.

I’m not someone who likes to express themselves through their suitcase. I want something I won’t hate and that won’t shame me when I’m checking into hotels, so I’m usually a fan of black or muted colors, with a bright luggage tag to help identify at baggage claim.

American Tourister Luggage Splash 25 Upright Suitcase solar rose

Well, the black version was pricing at $67. The solar rose color at only $45. I was not thrilled at the idea of such a bright, pink suitcase, but was a $22 savings worth it? I was barely going to use the bag and based on the reviews I thought it would survive two weeks of airports and baggage carts, but it might not. In which case, spending extra on the color was pointless.

So I bought the pink one.

It arrived, and it wasn’t really pink. It was more of a really bright rosy purple. Very bright. As I unwrapped it I found myself secretly wishing that it wouldn’t last after the trip.  But it wound up working out quite well, particularly when it came to keeping track of our suitcases because mine was always identifiable from a distance.

Purple Suitcase Hotel Check In

I could tell it had made it on the conveyor belt at check in.

Purple Suitcase at Check In


It wasn’t hard to spot on the hotel carts. And I never had to worry that someone would grab my bag by mistake in baggage claim. 🙂

Keri Purple Suitcase Cart (326x400)

So getting the purple color for at only 2/3 of the price wound up being a really good decision. And maybe one day I won’t even notice how bright it is…


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. Rings

    July 30, 2014 at 7:52 am

    I’ve been a great believer in having all of my luggage as garish and colourful as I can. Visibility is what it is all about.

  2. misty

    July 30, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Your choice was excellent… I always go for pink – melon- or lime colors on my suitcase and back back. Less chance of losing track of your piece.

    I do the same for keyring holders and wallets /purses as well!
    You can always spot them.

  3. Wendy

    July 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Every piece of luggage I own is a strange color. I have a roll a board that is lime green floral. My big suitcase is a dark purple. I have lime green straps that I put around it. My laptop bag is pink and purple hearts.

  4. JohnSD

    July 30, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I had purchased a neon blue hard sided Delsey from Marshall’s about 10 years ago – it was hideous, and I bought it for that reason. I just arrived at the Continental baggage claim at Term A in EWR and I saw my bag taken from the carousel and being rolled out of the terminal by someone. I yelled and started running after him – he stopped. Long story short,I’m standing there accusing him of taking my bag as he won’t let me see the luggage tag, and he’s telling me I’m nuts. 1 minute later my bag, exactly the same, comes down the belt. He burst out laughing and walked back with me, and sure enough, he had his bag, and mine had just come out. We still communicate to this day. You never know what horrible color luggage will do for you, but making a friend is on the list!

    • Keri Anderson

      July 30, 2014 at 9:58 am

      That is a great story! I almost hope it happens to me.

  5. Arubalisa

    July 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

    99% of our travel is to Aruba. Departing Aruba with US Customs pre-clearance, travelers are required to retrieve their bags from the “luggage room” prior to proceeding through Immigration & Customs. Our orange and neon green suitcases are always bright beacons waiting for us in the sea of dark colored bags.

  6. Amber Anna

    July 31, 2014 at 12:02 am

    I’ve always used bright/patterned suitcases. My first suitcase (as an adult) was a bright pink suitcase set from Target, which I still have, and now I also have a carry on that’s brown with pink and green “flowers” (sounds ugly but I promise it’s not). I’m lusting over a new, also bright patterned one now. You can always find it on the belt, if someone grabs it you’ll know, but they probably won’t, it’s easy to say “that’s mine” and not have to point to 20 different black suitcases, and, honestly, traveling sucks sometimes. A fun bag makes it just a little more tolerable!

  7. Jennifer

    August 18, 2014 at 12:57 am

    I’ve been using my $40 three piece lavender suitcase set for probably ten years now. I bought it because I love purple but I quickly realized that it had a useful purpose – it was always easy to spot. I will never buy another black suitcase again!

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