Lightweight Hybrid Luggage From Antler

by Kristin Conard Oct 15, 2010

All photos by author.

England-based Antler is a luggage company that first introduced the world to its soft-top luggage in the 1930s. According to the company’s website, its latest Duolite collection is “a hybrid lightweight case for the 21st century traveler.”
First, The Specs

The complimentary version of suitcase I received has an outside front pocket and one main section with two sets of ties to help keep your belongings in place. The suitcase cuts out extras like a garment bag or dividers. But a few nice touches are still in place such as a zippered mesh pocket on the inside of the lid complete with small address card section, a TSA approved padlock and keys, and an expandable main compartment.

The back is framed with ABS, a composite plastic that is also used in golf club heads for its shock absorbent properties, and is padded with foam.

The fabric is 300×400 denier nylon.

Large upright weighs 6.4 lbs and measures 28.7″(h) x 19.7″(w) x 11.8″ (d).

Medium upright weighs 5.5 lbs and measures 26.4″(h) x 17.3″(w) x 11″(d).

Carry-on weighs 4.6lbs and measures 21.7″(h) x 13.8″(w) x 7.9″(d).

Telescoping handle with push button release.

Padded grab handle at the top.

My Experience

My 28” upright weighed 6.5 lbs. Pretty close to advertised, and they do have a disclaimer to allow for discrepancies in weight based upon manufacturing. My regular suitcase of the same size weighs about 13lbs so this is a significant (and welcome) difference.

Antler Luggage

When I studied and worked abroad, I inevitably over-packed and had to pay excess weight fees at the airport. This lighweight Duolite case helps alleviate that and allows for those few extra needed pounds.

I stuffed the case full of all my usual non-backpacking travel necessities – shoes, clothes, books, toiletries, more shoes and then another pair of shoes for good luck, and I was impressed at how light it felt, even while near overflowing.

Overall, the case handles well and rolls smoothly. I like that it only has two wheels; I have seen four-wheeled versions roll away from their owners on subways. I’m not a huge fan of just one grab handle. It seems ideal to have at least one along the side as well to help get the suitcase in and out of cars and off the luggage carousel, but it isn’t a personal deal-breaker for me.

Antler Luggage

The frame supports the bottom and back of the case, but only comes up about half way up the side, so the top and part of the sides are soft and unsupported.

This was obviously designed to help save weight, but if a heavy box or suitcase was slammed on top of it, and something fragile inside wasn’t well-packaged, I imagine it might suffer.

But then again, if you’re traveling with something that delicate, you should probably have it in protective packaging.

And it comes in only black like so many other suitcases so get a flashy luggage tag or some stickers to help you recognize it on the luggage carousel.

Final Word

While it may not be ideal for transporting large amounts of breakables or fragile valuables, it works really well for travelers looking to pack a lot and still be able to move around easily without feeling like they’re lugging luggage around.

Price: Carry-on – $159, medium upright – $179, large upright – $199 | BUY from online retailers

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