The year 2016 saw a slew of high tech luggage offerings boasting digital components, like a built in weighing scale, device battery charger and location tracker. However, the Bugaboo Boxer Luggage System is all about innovation in the way you manoeuver your bags and the flexibility you have when packing for different lengths of trips. Bugaboo’s luxury strollers are known for their superior design and top class mobility, so the brand has extended their knowledge to luggage.
Each luggage component is modular and interlocks with each other, so you can mix and match one or two of their polycarbonate suitcases with the wheeled chassis and transport all of them together as one piece. Instead of the usual pulling, this design is for pushing, i.e. pushing the whole system in front of you whether on tile or carpeted floors. This is a more ergonomic way to travel and it’s the reason baby strollers are pushed. The large rear wheels do most of the work, while the smaller front wheels support the weight of your luggage and let you go over a curb or step. Most four wheeled spinners roll along beside you easily on smooth airport floors but can’t handle carpets or normal gravel. The Bugaboo design can and will even work on cobblestones!
There are three main pieces to the Bugaboo Boxer Luggage System. The main piece is what you get in whatever package you choose to buy and that’s the chassis. It’s the frame that holds the wheels and whichever suitcase/s you want to transport. The cabin case is a carry on piece that comes in two sizes. The travel case is a checked in size suitcase that you’ll need for long trips. You can use either the cabin case or the travel case or both together and they’ll all interlock together. You can even use two cabin cases together. Either cabin cases will nest into the checked size bag for easy storage.
You also get an inner bag with the cabin cases to use as a daypack or extra bag for your return trip. This bag also attaches to the outside of the cabin bag. An optional piece that you can buy separately or as part of a package is the laptop bag that also attaches to the cases.
Every piece can be bought separately or as part of a package of which there are currently three. You can choose from glossy black, white or red.
There is a lot to cover with the design and features so let’s get to it in detail.
Features and design of the Bugaboo Boxer
- The chassis acts like a luggage cart. The Travel and Cabin cases can be locked to it or onto each other. You lock the smaller bag in front of the bigger one if you’re using both. Otherwise, you can lock two cabin bags together onto the cart or just any one. They’ll be secure at all times and nothing will tip over no matter how heavy all the bags are.
- There’s a push button telescopic handle that acts like most others and can be adjusted to two heights. However, when you push the button and pull the handle up the rear wheels unfold out of the back of the chassis as well and you’re ready to wheel the system away. A small pedal at the rear bottom folds and unfolds the front wheels. You should keep them folded when you want to keep the bag stationary beside you so that it won’t roll away on an incline. The wheels must be out when you’re pushing the system in front of you but can be tucked in if you pull it behind you. The entire system becomes one compact unit when the handle is retracted and the wheels are folded in.
- The cabin cases come with a detachable inner bag that can be used as a separate daypack. It can be carried either inside the cabin bag while it holds some of your things or it can be attached to the front of the case via the inbuilt clip or hung over your shoulder to use for souvenirs or any other extra items. When inside the cabin case, it fits perfectly in the main half of the case, which also sports criss-cross compression straps to keep belongings in order when the inner bag is not fitted in. The other side of the case is kept separate by a u-shaped zippered flap with inbuilt zippered and mesh pockets.
The regular cabin case with the chassis in the folded up state will be just right for most international flights and measures 55x35x23 cm, while the case alone weighs 4.4 lbs. The Maxi cabin case measures 55x40x25 cm, which is what is allowed on most U.S. domestic flights. It weighs 5.1 lbs on its own.
- The travel case has zippered partitions on both sides of the interior with one of them holding zipped and mesh pockets for small items. It measures 77*48*27 cm and weighs 8.2 lbs.
- You also get an organizer bag that can be carried either as a shoulder bag or locked into place between the handle bars at the back of the chassis. The bag is large enough for a small laptop and has dedicated pockets for your passport, phone, chargers, cords, etc. It is easily accessible so you can work while waiting in the airport and can be quickly stowed back into the chassis when done.
- A stretchable bungee cord is provided to secure something like a jacket or last minute shopping bag to the front of the chassis.
- All the cases have an integrated TSA approved 3 dial combination lock and a top carry handle. The large Travel case also has a side handle.
- Transporting multiple bags with one bag is easy! Just stack all of them logically on the chassis and the whole system is stable and smooth rolling.
- This luggage system will turn heads, not only for the eye-popping features but also for its clean and sophisticated design.
- Nothing sticks out when in the most compact state so the wheels aren’t likely to get damaged in transit.
- This is not “smart luggage” so there’s not much that can go wrong with the workings. The fact that the luggage is modular means you don’t throw out the whole system if something breaks. Just replace that one module or send only that for repairs.
- If only using this for a single carry on piece, this design is heavy. That’s because of the additional chassis and the inner storage bag. Of course, you can remove the inner bag and leave it out or carry it separately as a personal item. You can’t leave out the chassis, however, because that would mean you have no way of wheeling your luggage around. If you add at least another cabin case to the system, it will start to make sense and the whole system is actually light when you also travel with the Travel case.
Another related point is that the cabin case capacity is quite low compared to many other brands’ offerings and this is also because the overall dimensions that include the chassis have to conform to airline carry on limits for a single carry on bag.
- Working the chassis at first can be a struggle and you will need to practice retracting and unfolding the rear and front wheels separately before actually traveling so that you can eventually do it smoothly.
- Even though the chassis folds up to carry on dimensions along with a cabin case, gate checkers may not be convinced and could force you to gate check the chassis. That will leave you with a carry on with no wheels if you choose to only let the chassis go, or you’ll have to let them take both away.
- Even if you know how to work the chassis wheels and collapse them before checking it and the travel case in, baggage handlers will struggle if they need to operate them for any reason and could easily damage something in the process.