Chester Minima Carry On Luggage Review: Does It Fit Everywhere?

CHESTER carry-on luggage 6 colors

Updated September 16, 2018

Chester is a relatively new name in luggage. It seems they have only been around since 2017, but we believe the product they have come up with - the Chester Minima - will be around for a good, long time.

There are a lot of positives regarding the Minima carry on. We’ll take a closer look at them in the review that follows.

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EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT

Chester now offers a special discount for the readers of Travel Gear Depot ONLY! 

Use the coupon code TRAVELGEARDEPOT and get

10% OFF

when buying your new Chester Minima Carry-On!

If you want to skip ahead to a specific section of this article, you can click a link in the box below. Otherwise, you can just keep scrolling and reading as usual. You may also be interested in reading our article about the most durable luggage we have found on the market.

What Do Buyers Think About The Chester Minima?

Virtually everyone who already owns this hard shell carry on loves it. Even those very few who have anything negative to say about it still manage to praise it in some way too.

Below is a summary of how people all over the web have rated the luggage. Pretty impressive ratings!

91%
5 STARS
7%
4 STARS
2%
3 STARS

Owners think the case is well-organized. They especially appreciate the laundry bag that’s included. We wish every luggage manufacturer had this feature. It just makes so much sense. No more guessing which pair of socks haven’t been worn yet.

The spinner wheels work very well. That said, for some reason, one user did have trouble with them. But that’s just one negative voice out of dozens of positive voices.

Owners note that the zippers are high quality. There shouldn’t be any sticking or fabric tearing related to them.

People really like the overall look of the case too. Some owners even report getting compliments on their Minima from other travelers. You can get this case in a nice array of colors - black, aluminum grey, sky blue, sand, ocean blue or charcoal grey.

Just one (former) owner returned their Chester luggage because they didn’t like the feel of the handle. No one else complained of any problems with it. This same owner also feared that the case would be a dirt magnet. We think that’s perhaps being overly concerned and a bit petty.

What Are The Main Features Of The Minima?

We’ve mentioned a few of the features already - the handy laundry bag, the sturdy zippers, and the spinner wheels. There are several other items you’ll want to know about that we’ll cover below.

  • Overall size: 22" x 14" x 9"
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Warranty: 10 Year Limited Warranty

You can also check out the Chester Minima Carry On directly on the Chester site, and don't forget to use the coupon code above!

According to Chester, the interior of the Minima, which is their only offering to date, has a capacity of 38 liters. That’s about 1.34 cubic feet.

Chester says you can think of this as a “three- or four-day weekend’s worth of stuff”. Of course, this all depends on what you think you need over the course of three or four days.

Some travelers could fit a full week’s worth of stuff in this amount of space, while others would barely last a day or two. Still, on average, we think Chester is probably in the ballpark at 3 or 4 days.

The Minima was designed to fit into the storage compartments of the vast majority of airlines. We think you’ll be hard pressed to find an overhead storage area that can’t handle it, but please make sure to always check with your airline before you go.

Chester Carry On Luggage Sky Blue

Chester also claims that, at 7 pounds, this piece of luggage is “one of lightest in the industry for hard-shell cases.” Based on what we know of similar cases, we would have to agree.

Chester offers a 100-day trial period for your Minima. If you don’t like it, for any reason, you can simply contact the company, and they will send you a free shipping label to make your return. You will then get a full, no-questions-asked refund, assuming you didn’t mangle the case while you had it.

It makes sense, then, to time your purchase so that you will actually use the case at least once in the first 100 days after it arrives. Since 100 days is more than 3 months, chances are that you will have plans to use it soon after you get it. This time period would, for example, cover the entire summer and a little more.

Chester considers the Minima to be very durable carry on luggage, so they cover it with a 10-year limited warranty. This includes any damage to the hard shell, wheels, handles, zippers, or “anything else that functionally impairs the luggage.”

If any major piece breaks, Chester says they will fix or replace it. We’re not sure exactly how they would fix a broken piece for you. You might have to send the luggage to them, which could be problematic. We’re not sure either if replacement means giving you a new piece instead of the broken one or if it means a whole new case.

Materials and Durability

The Minima should be one of the most rugged luggage cases available today because it’s made with a polycarbonate shell. This hardside carry-on is both lightweight (just 7 pounds as noted above) and waterproof.

There is just enough “give” that it can absorb external hits and yet not show dents or dings that you might see on other cases.

You also get a handsome leather luggage tag.

Wheels and Handle

As noted, the 360-degree spinner wheels work like a charm. They roll smoothly, quietly, and in whatever direction you need to take them.

Chester Minima Carry On Spinner Wheels

Opposite the 4 wheels is a telescoping handle with a button for extending and collapsing it. You also get a strap for lifting and carrying when it’s time to put into or take it out of the storage compartment.

Inside the Case

In addition to the nylon laundry bag, inside you’ll find 2 compartments for separating items as you like. In the zippered lids are one big and two smaller pockets for storing smaller items so they don’t scatter themselves and become hard to find.

Chester Minima Carry-On Interior
Chester Minima Carry-On Interior Open Zippers

TSA Lock

The TSA-approved lock will keep unwanted hands from getting inside your luggage but will still let inspectors open it should the need arise.

Chester Minima Carry-On TSA Lock

As with other similar locks, you initially set the number wheel to all zeros. The two zippers will be locked into the faceplate. You slide the mechanism to the right, and the zippers will pop up.

With the aid of a pen (or similar device), you can change the combination to whatever 3-digit setting you want. Just like changing a default password, you should make this change soon after you get your case. You should also make it a number you won’t forget, so that you don’t have to write it down.

Is the Chester Minima the Best Carry On Luggage for You?

The Chester company clearly targets a large group of people with the Minima. From business travelers to the occasional weekend warrior and virtually everyone in between, Chester thinks the Minima is for you.

To make the decision personal, ask yourself questions like these.

  • Do I like to travel light?
  • Can I travel light?
  • Can I travel light enough to fit everything into 1.2 cubic feet?
  • Is the Minima likely to last long enough for me?

If you can answer “yes” to most of those questions, then we think the Minima is an excellent choice for you.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT

Chester now offers a special discount for the readers of Travel Gear Depot ONLY! 

Use the coupon code TRAVELGEARDEPOT and get

10% OFF

when buying your new Chester Minima Carry-On!

Conclusion

Unless you are someone who really can’t or doesn’t want to travel with just a few possessions in a carry on, we can’t think of a reason not to like the Chester Minima. There just doesn’t seem to be any downside to this piece of luggage.

Actually, we hope that Chester produces a larger case soon for those times when just a carry on isn’t enough. If the quality of such luggage matches the Minima, we’d be all for it.

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