ROAM is officially my new favorite brand for hardside luggage. Here’s how to create your own.

By Madison Alcedo
August 31, 2019
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Courtesy of ROAM

The next time you walk into an airport, try to take notice of the most preferred suitcase color. You’ll quickly realize you’re surrounded by a sea of black wheelie bags like it’s some sort of unspoken uniform. But we’re officially declaring the end of the black luggage trend — it’s time to add some color to our carry-ons. Thanks to the innovative new luggage company ROAM, you can do just that. The direct-to-consumer brand allows you to show off your style in the form of completely customizable suitcases. 

One factor that helps ROAM stand apart from other travel bag brands in the industry is that all the suitcases are handmade in the U.S. The brand sells four different sizes of hardside spinner suitcases, and you can choose the color of up to nine different parts of your bag. And we’re not just talking about the color of the shell of the suitcase — ROAM allows you to get very detailed with your choices, down to selecting the color of the stitching, binding, zipper, zipper pulls, and even the wheels. With 11 different colorways available for each of the suitcase’s parts, it can be tough to narrow down the perfect color palette, but once you do, it’s a fun way to make it your own to show off your personality while traveling. 

Courtesy of ROAM

But the complete customization isn’t the only thing that separates ROAM from its competitors. From the minds of Charlie Clifford, the founder of luggage brand Tumi, and Larry Lein, Tumi's former executive vice president, ROAM’s founding team has more than 100 years worth of luggage expertise combined, and it shows in the quality. The team dedicated more than a year to develop each component of the suitcase’s design and ran quality tests for each part used — think treadmill tests for the wheels and tumble tests for the outer shell. 

So when I was finally able to get my hands on my own customized beauty (see photo below), I put The Jaunt ROAM suitcase (the smallest carry-on of the collection) to the test on a trip to the West Coast. My main concern was if my new, shiny purple case would get scratched. Obviously, some scratches are inevitable when you have to unexpectedly gate-check your bag. With other hardside luggage brands I’ve tried, my suitcase has come back with noticeable marks and scuffs — even if it was my very first time using the bag. What’s great about ROAM bags, however, is that they’re made with 100 percent virgin polycarbonate, which is a harder, textured type of polycarbonate that is less resistant to deep scratches. While I’m sure I personally care more about marks on my suitcases than most people do, I was able to completely remove any visible marks on my new ROAM suitcase with a quick swipe of some soap and water (ROAM also recommends using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser). 

Courtesy of Madison Alcedo

Aside from a nearly indestructible outer shell, I love how lightweight the suitcase is. Weighing in at only 6.6 pounds — with the largest version weighing just 10 pounds — I was able to fully pack everything I needed without the bag getting too heavy to lift, and it still rolled seamlessly (thanks to its ball-bearing wheels that are guaranteed to stay quiet). 

Equipped with two compression boards on either side, ergonomically molded and aircraft-grade aluminum handles, water-repellent zippers, and a TSA-approved lock, ROAM’s suitcases have everything travel aficionados could ask for — and more — thanks to the detailed personalization. And it wouldn’t be a true customized suitcase without a monogram, which ROAM adds to the back shell (for free!) with a small embossing. After you place your order, a customer service representative will email asking what you want engraved on the free metal ID tag included with the suitcase. It slips into the small leather outer pocket where the monogram is and is yet another nice touch that ROAM offers to its customers.

The only complaint I have about The Jaunt is that it’s the only suitcase of the collection that doesn’t have a side handle, which I realized is super handy for lugging the bag in and out of the overhead bin. But overall, ROAM is my new favorite luggage brand that I can’t wait to tell everyone about. 

Below you can shop all four sizes of the ROAM suitcases. With endless options of customization and fun pops of color, you better believe people will be stopping to ask you where you bought your suitcase — they’re total show-stoppers.

The Jaunt 

Courtesy of ROAM

To buy: roamluggage.com, $450 

The Jaunt XL 

Courtesy of ROAM

To buy: roamluggage.com, $475

The Journey 

Courtesy of ROAM

To buy: roamluggage.com, $495 

The Globetrotter 

Courtesy of ROAM

To buy: roamluggage.com, $550  

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