Aleon Hardside Carry-On Aluminum Luggage Review
This is our very first review of an aluminum case! We are delighted to present this Aleon Carry-On Aluminum Luggage, and we hope you will enjoy our detailed review.
Since the international 19" and the domestic 21" sizes are the same (except for size obviously) this review is for both of them.
This is by no definition of ours a pretty bag, but it's elegant and stylish, and the design definitely stands out and gives an impression of being sturdy and reliable. But is it? Finding that out for you is our mission here at Travel Gear Depot, so let's not beat around the bush.
If you like, jump directly to the heading that sounds most interesting in the table below, or simply keep on reading!
- What Do Buyers Say About the Aleon Aluminum Case?
- Key Features of the Aleon 19" and 21" Aluminum Luggage
- Who Will Buy the Aleon Aluminum Carry-On?
- Condé Nast Recommendation
- Our Conclusion
What Do Buyers Say About the Aleon Aluminum Case?
Well, we have to be frank with you on this one. There are so far few reviews to be found not only on Amazon but also on all of the internet. Now why is that?
The answer is simple: ALEON® Inc. is a brand new luggage manufacturer that launched its Classic Collection in April 2017. Hence, user reviews are still scarce but are likely to build up over time.
For now though, and for this section of our review, we will have to make do with a total of 13 user ratings for the Aleon aluminum luggage.
To make it easy for you (which is what we always strive for!) we have calculated the percentages of ratings and put them into circle counters.
As you can see, there are only 5 star and 2 star ratings available at this moment in time. 5 stars is the highest rating, and 1 star the lowest. We are very happy to see that the average rating, even though calculated from a low number of ratings, is as high as 4.5 stars out of 5 possible stars.
What People Like About The Aleon Aluminum Luggage
We don't usually point out specifically why buyers like the carry-ons and suitcases we review, but since there are so few reviews as yet, we decided to take a look at what they have to say.
First, the shape of the Aleon bags is quite squarish which maximizes volume and seems to make it easy to pack well. The compression panels are also mentioned as being effective in holding contents in place.
The wheels also seem to be appreciated. "Extremely smooth rolling" and "low resistance" as well as "rugged" are words used to describe them.
Finally, we want to cite one user, who is an experienced traveler with more than 5 million airline miles: "The aluminum workmanship is excellent and very robust".
What Buyers Didn't Like
Since there are so far only two negative user reviews, it's easy to account for all they have to say.
The first buyer had read a recommendation in Condé Nast, and because of that ventured to buy an Aleon carry-on. But he or she became "massively disappointed", although pleased by the beautiful design. Why?
For a reason we cannot understand, since it seems basic that it should work, the trolley handle wouldn't extend fully when the bag was fully packed. Odd indeed, and completely understandable that this buyer was not happy. Also, he or she found the latches difficult to work, which also seems odd.
We can't help but think that perhaps this particular bag was in some way and for some reason askew. We sincerely hope this unfortunate buyer will contact the manufacturer and address these issues.
The second unhappy reviewer had the misfortune of a latch breaking. Also very understandable that this buyer was dissatisfied, but clearly a repair that should be covered by the warranty.
Key Features of the Aleon 19" and 21" Aluminum Luggage
Size and Weight and Warranty
Aleon 19" International Carry-On Aluminum Hardside Luggage
- Body measurements: 19.4" x 14.1" x 7.3"
- Weight: 9 lbs.
- Warranty: Limited 10 Year Warranty
Aleon 21" Carry-On Aluminum Hardside Luggage
- Body measurements: 20.9" x 15.7" x 9.0"
- Weight: 10.6 lbs.
- Warranty: Limited 10 Year Warranty
We believe the warranty is good on this aluminum carry-on luggage. "Limited" means that the manufacturer Aleon will cover any defects in material or workmanship, by either repairing or replacing the bag. This is standard wording across the board when it comes to luggage warranties, but the time limit of 10 years is more generous than most manufacturers offer.
If the case gets dented or scratched because of mishandling or abuse by the airline, you should file a complaint immediately, before you leave the airport. Some airlines have very generous policies concerning these matters, but it's essential that you report the damages right away.
How Durable is the Aleon Carry-On?
All the cases in the Aleon Classic Collection are made with so called aircraft-grade aluminum. This means that the strength of the aluminum alloy used (aluminum and magnesium) is of the same strength as that used when building aircraft.
And considering that aluminum is also lightweight, we think it's probably extremely hard to find a more durable and suitable material for building metal suitcases.
From an environmental perspective, aluminum is a good choice as well, since it is well suited for recycling. Using recycled aluminum, instead of extracting it from ore, means a 95% reduction in energy use.
Single Facility Manufacturing
All components of the Aleon cases, except for the TSA-locks, are made in the same factory. This ensures direct quality control of all the parts before they are put together to form the finished product. This is rare indeed, and to us it adds credibility to the Aleon brand's efforts to market their aluminum cases as being exceptional.
We have to admit, this is something we have never given a thought before now. A person with less than honest intentions can use a so called RFID (radio-frequency identification) reader to skim electronic data, for example credit cards and passports, from inside your bag. Ouch!
The good news is, aluminum works as a protective shield that blocks the electromagnetic signals, and it becomes impossible to read your credit card chip from the outside.
Another reason aluminum is a good choice when it comes to luggage material!
Handles and Wheels of the Aleon Aluminum Luggage
Wheels can be a weak spot on a spinner case, and we generally recommend luggage with two wheels, or so called inliners. However, the spinner wheel evolution moves quickly, and it's no longer necessarily true that two wheels are always sturdier than four.
These bags have four double high density spinner wheels, that are attached to the case from the inside (watch vidoe above) and then riveted to a second construction on the outside. They pivot 360 degrees, thus allowing you to easily turn the bag in any direction.
To us this appears as sturdy as can be for a spinner, but considering the still scarce feedback time will have to tell whether this is actually the case. For now we will have to make do with the opionions expressed that the wheels roll smoothly and seem rugged (this was actually expressed by the 5 million airline miles reviewer).
There are both top and side carry handles, not that common on an international sized carry-on. We love this, since it will make it so much easier to maneuver and lift the bag in any kind of situation. The handles are spring loaded so they will return to the flat position when not used.
The extension handle locks at three different heights and also locks when down. It's a double bar, so should be steady enough.
Latches and TSA Combination Locks
Zippers are without a doubt the most common solution luggage manufacturers choose to close their cases. A few have gone for latches instead, Aleon being one of them.
- If one latch break, you still have one to keep the bag closed. If a zipper breaks, your lost.
- A zipper may be pried open with something as simple as a ballpoint pen. This is not possible with latches.
- If the bag is really stuffed, you might find it hard to close the latches.
Both latches are equipped with three-digit TSA-approved combination locks. TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration. That the locks are TSA-approved means that they can be opened by customs for inspection with a special key . If the lock is not approved and cannot be opened by customs, you risk getting your lock damaged when they break it open.
Since there are combination locks on both latches you can choose different combinations for them if you like. The locks are resettable so you can change the combinations any time you want.
Interior and Seal
We are as happy with the interior of these aluminum carry-ons as we are with the exterior. They are fully lined with a polyurethane coated 70 denier nylon fabric. The coating makes the lining water repellant and smooth so not to harm your delicates, and stains are easy to remove.
The compression panels, or boards, are rigid and keep your belongings firmly in place thus preventing wrinkles on your best shirt or skirt. Both panels have mesh pockets for all your small items.
A feature we are very happy with is the rubber seal on the inside. This makes the case airtight (no foul odours will reach your clothes!) and water resistant. No need to worry about pushing your bag through puddles or heavy rain.
Colors and Cover
The 19" International Carry-On comes in Platinum, Champagne and Onyx.
The 21" comes in the same three colors and also Sapphire and Ruby.
Even though these metal cases don't get scratched easily, they are delivered with a cover that velcroes on the bottom. This is great for protecting your case in storage but also if you for some reason have to check it.
Who Will Buy the Aleon Aluminum Carry-On?
Anyone who travels frequently, appreciates elegant and smart design and truly cares about durability will love this aluminum luggage. If you need a size that will fit in the bin of international jets, choose the 19" bag (but make sure to always check the requirements of the airline you fly with!). If you mostly fly domestic, perhaps you prefer the slightly larger 21".
This is not a budget choice, but it's not a high end item either. There are cases made with aluminum that cost twice as much. Aleon claims they cut costs not at the expense of quality, but through streamlined manufacturing and distribution lines.
Condé Nast Recommendation
The Aleon 21" Aluminum Carry-on was actually mentioned in the online travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler. It was decsribed as "Rock-Solid", quite a statement! See the clip below.
We are actually happy and somewhat proud to have found the Aleon brand before it becomes famous. As far as we can conclude from our research, and from the admittedly still low number of reviews, this a well built, high quality aluminum case.
We would not hesitate to buy, and this conclusion is also based on the fact that one reviewer called the customer service "stellar". To us this indicates a serious company that cares about their reputation and their customers.
Still don't think this is the bag for you? Have a look at the other hardsides we recommend!