July Checked Luggage review: Chic, functional and made in Australia
- Sleek and sophisticated design
- Durable yet lightweight
- Fabulous features that make travelling easier
- Scuff marks
- Doesn't come with the built-in battery pack, but the Carry-On does
About the brand
July is a luggage brand founded by friends and frequent travellers, Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li. The duo curated their first product by speaking to regular travellers and narrowing down the good and bad things about current luggage on the market.
First came the Carry-On, and recently, July launched the Checked and Checked Plus cases.
Each July case comes with a 100-day returns policy and a lifetime warranty. If you needed any more convincing to shop at July, the site also offers free shipping and returns for all Australian customers. Shipping will usually take around three to five business days from the date of order.
The overall vibe and style of the brand is sophisticated and minimalist – which is something I can definitely get behind. As much as I love bright colours and statement prints, I prefer my luggage to be a little more subtle. You get to choose between five different colours: charcoal, navy, forest, nude and burgundy.
July's suitcases are made from a German polycarbonate shell that is not only durable and functional, but also makes for a unique design. The shape is rather different to other suitcases I've owned, it almost resembles and eggshell. The corners are much more rounded than other bags on the market. I learned that this is because the corners are designed to create more of a bounce-back on hard knocks. They are made out of a black aluminium and (in addition to being functional) I think they look great against any of the colour choices.
The outside shell has a unique texture. It feels smooth, but it looks as if it is textured. When you first touch it, it seems like the shell would be flimsy, but I found that it was very durable and resistant. All my things were very well protected!
July luggage claims to be scratch-proof. While I didn't experience any scratches, my bag definitely came back home with a few scuff marks. I mean, it did go through six different flights over the course of three weeks, so there's that. This was actually my first time using a hardcover suitcase, so outside damage is not something I'm used to. However, as I chose the dark green colour, the scuff marks are not that obvious so it didn't bother me too much.
Image: Finder photography
July's bag range has three different models: Carry On, Checked and Checked Plus. The Checked Bag is 66cm x 46cm x 29cm, with a capacity totalling 80L. There is loads of space to pack anything and everything. It weighs in at 3.8kg and this was perfect for me. My case was easy enough to carry up and down stairs, and it also didn't add any excess weight to my baggage allowance. The overall style of July is definitely classic and sophisticated, while also maintaining a minimalist vibe. If you love unique yet functional design, July may just be the brand for you.
As a fun perk, July offers a monogramming service, with three different handpainted styles to choose from. For the discerning traveller, this is a chic way to personalise your luggage without a gaudy luggage tag, but it does make your wait time a little longer, extending it by around two to three weeks. I didn't have time for personalisation unfortunately, but I can definitely see the appeal behind it. Who wouldn't like a suitcase with their initials on it? It would be so much easier to find your case in baggage claim.
If you're in the market for a suitcase that offers functionality as well as good looks, this is the one for you. July's bags come with handy compartments that make packing and unpacking an absolute dream. They also come with a list of convenient features that, in my opinion, make it worth the price tag.
In particular, the Carry-On case is famous for the built-in battery pack that allows you to charge all of your devices. While the Checked case I have doesn't come with that handy feature, I was still impressed with the performance and features. Some of my personal favourites include the wheels, the retractable handle and the internal set up.
The wheels are whisper-quiet, SilentMove 360° spinner wheels – and let me tell you, they are super impressive. If I had to reach into my pocket for my phone or frantically search for my passport in a moment of panic – yes it happened – the suitcase just keeps moving with you.
All my past suitcases would grind to a halt the moment you stopped pushing them, but not July suitcases. They're also seemingly immune to shopping-trolley syndrome where one wheel just does its own thing and it ends up drifting oddly to the side and often into the unsuspecting leg of a fellow passenger. My July suitcase is smooth, stays in a straight line and is incredibly easy to weave between slow walkers. They are also extremely durable. They braved the uneven surfaces of European cobblestones and are still working as good as new.
The retractable handle of the case also makes it really easy to manoeuvre and travel with. It's a multi-stop telescopic handle, meaning it stops wherever you want it to. It's totally customisable, rather than just giving you two handle heights. I appreciated the quality of the handle too. It's made out of a soft rubber and it feels really premium.
If you struggle with organising your suitcase and find yourself just throwing everything in at the last minute, this is the bag for you. The interior of the case incorporates a Y-strap compression system that ensures your clothes don't escape mid-flight. This heavy-duty strap can be tightened or loosened, so you can adjust it to suit how much you're packing.
What's more, there are loads of different organisational (and even removable) compartments built into the interior. When unzipped and opened, one side of the case is a hollow space that can be closed off with an internal zipper. The other open side features a nifty little storage bag that you can remove. It's a nice feature to have if you've got things you don't want jumbled among your clothes and knick-knacks. There's also an included laundry bag.
Overall, packing and unpacking were quick and easy. All the different compartments make it super easy to organise everything. When I tested it on my trip to Europe, I easily packed almost three weeks' worth of clothes, shoes, handbags, one toiletry bag, one makeup bag and so much more!
Image: Finder photography
Other key features include fixed handles on both the top and side (in addition to the retractable handle) and a built-in combination lock. Don't worry, it's a TSA lock, so you won't have any customs officers breaking your bag. I love that the instructions on how to set this up are super easy to follow. Another nice addition was the laundry bag because there is nothing worse than forgetting to bring a spare bag to pop your dirty clothes in. But if you have no use for it, just ignore it and it's totally out of sight. According to July, the laundry bag is smell and water resistant, but I didn't have anything incredibly dirty and smelly to test this with.
Image: Finder photographyBack to top
Is it worth your money? It depends on your budget, what features you need and whether you are a frequent traveller.
For me, the answer is yes. Although, I'm not a frequent traveller, I appreciate the durability of this suitcase. It's easy to handle and it made packing and unpacking not only bearable, but actually kind of fun. I feel like my July luggage is going to last me years, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about buying the Carry-On size too.
I believe the price tag is worth it. If you're looking to spend less, you could be sacrificing on quality. The outside shell that July uses is strong and practical, so I could justify the price. For some, suitcases are an investment because nobody wants to buy a new one every year or so. And, there is nothing worse than getting your bag back from baggage claim and something is broken.Back to top
Pricing and availability
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