Photo: Morgane Croissant

This Luggage Company Lets You Customize a Suitcase Unique to You

Technology + Gear
by Morgane Croissant Jan 8, 2024

We hope you love the suitcase our writer tried and recommends! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to buy anything mentioned. But we never let that influence our opinions.


If you’re the kind of person who always checks a bag when you travel, you’re probably used to standing around airports’ luggage carousels, wondering which one of the hundreds of ordinary-looking suitcases is yours.

But gone are the days of anxiously wondering if a stranger’s left with your luggage, or if you’ve accidentally stolen someone else’s. And you can also forget all about tying a tacky ribbon to your case’s handle to make it more recognizable. American luggage company Roam lets you design your own suitcase so it’s as unique as you – and therefore easily distinguishable from the pack.

Roam Luggage: Fully customizable suitcases made in the US

Photo: Morgane Croissant

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Because I’m a person who likes colors and motifs, worn all at once with no shame about looking like a 1970s living room, Roam’s luggage is right up my alley. I was able to choose the color of the front and back of my suitcase, its zipper, its handles, its binding, its wheels, and its lining. My favorite color is green, so I chose the tonal “Venetian Green” as my base for the front and the back, and then I went berserk with the rest.

The zippers are “Bermuda Pink”, along with the wheels and binding; the handles and the built-in address tag are “Carolina Lilac”; and the lining is a bright shade of “Pink Sand”. My suitcase is one of a kind and it suits my tastes and my style. If, by some sort of sick twist of fate, someone ordered the exact same case as me and flew in the same airplane, I’d still be able to differentiate mine on the carrousel thanks to my initials being carved in the leather address tag — a lovely personalized touch which is free of charge. But that’s highly unlikely as there are millions of color and style combinations possible.

While I found it exhilarating to customize my own suitcase, regrets about my choices arose right after I took my first trip with it – three flights to go from Western Canada to Rome, Italy. Upon picking up my brand-new luggage at the carousel in Rome, I saw the extent of the ill-treatment my case was subjected to on its way across the world: It was covered in black scuff marks.

After three flights - Yikes!
After being scrubbed

If, like me, you’re keen to design and order your own Roam luggage, keep in mind that light colors, like the “Venetian Green” I opted for, will show every little scrape made by the conveyor belts, trays, and pushers operating behind the scenes in airports. If you decide to go for a light color for the shell, be sure to order one of the brand’s transparent luggage covers to protect it from scratches. It’ll save you an hour of intense scrubbing.

Luggage made right here in the US

While the customization element is, to me, the most attractive of all of Roam’s offerings, the brand’s second-best quality is the fact that its products are made in the US. More precisely, they are assembled by hand in Vidalia, Georgia. By buying a piece of Roam luggage you support American entrepreneurs and factory workers, but you also keep your carbon footprint in check. Two of the most important things to consider when making any purchase.

Roam Check-In Expandable: The specs, pros, and cons

The specs

  • Volume: 86 liters
  • Dimensions: 26” x 17.5” x 12.5”
  • Weight: 9.6 lbs
  • Price: $650 (the same price as the brand’s Large Check-In case, which is 30.0” x 19.5” x 11”)

Roam has a large variety of cases on offer to match every travel style, from the simple Carry-On ($550) to the Large Expandable Check-In ($695), with multiple variations, including front pockets. All of Roam’s luggage, no matter the size, is customizable.

The pros

  • The four, 360-degree spinning, ball-bearing wheels make pulling this case totally effortless. These are possibly the best wheels in the luggage industry right now.
  • 100-day trial and a lifetime warranty which covers cracks in the shell, tears in the lining, and broken wheels, handles, and telescopic handles.
  • The polycarbonate shell is light, and washes very easily.
  • The shell and zippers are 100 percent water repellent, keeping your belongings dry inside even in rainy weather. Note that the part of the luggage where the telescopic handle is kept has holes, and therefore, is not water repellent — a fact that became very obvious when I washed my suitcase with soap and water. Upon rising all the suds from my intense scrubbing, water found its way in the holes of the handles and the lining got wet. I had to open the lining from the inside using the zipper made for that purpose, mop away the water with a cloth, and use a hair dryer to dry the lining. Unless you get a heavy downpour focused on that part of the case, however, you should not need to worry.
  • The lining is made of 100 percent recycled silky fabric.
  • A solid TSA-approved combination lock
  • The expandable feature that works thanks to a very solid zipper on the outside of the case, does its job extremely well. I packed my case to the brim to take it home for the holidays and all I needed to add a little more space was to unzip it.

The cons

The compression boards on the Check-In Expendable suitcase by Roam Luggage

Photo: Morgane Croissant

  • The price: While it’s on par with high-end luggage, especially considering it is made in the US, it remains quite high. The cheapest Roam case is the Carry-On which goes for $550.
  • The compression boards: While the two compression boards do their job well and each has a large practical pocket, they are clunky, stiff, and cumbersome. I personally prefer a combination of straps and built-in zipped fabric to keep things tight and tidy.

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