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The Evolution of Suitcase Sizes: A Timeline

Imagine this: you’re standing at the airport, filled with anticipation for your upcoming adventure. You’ve got your ticket, passport, and, of course, your trusty suitcase by your side. 

Suitcases have become more than just travel essentials; they are our loyal companions, faithfully carrying our belongings as we traverse the globe. But have you ever stopped to ponder the incredible journey of suitcase sizes? 

Join us on an exhilarating exploration through time as we unveil the captivating evolution of these travel treasures. From their humble origins to the extraordinary range of practical, robust, and stunning luggage offered by Samsonite today – let’s rummage around in the history books together.

The Birth of the Suitcase: A Brief History

Before suitcases came into existence, people relied on trunks and chests to transport their belongings during travel. These heavy and cumbersome containers were not exactly convenient. However, the 19th century witnessed a revolutionary change in the form of the first-ever suitcases. 

These early suitcases, known as “carpet bags,” were made of sturdy materials like leather or fabric and featured a metal frame. They were designed to be carried by hand and were relatively small compared to today’s standards.

The Roaring Twenties: Compact and Classy

As travel became more accessible and fashionable in the 1920s, suitcases underwent a transformation. The popularity of train and ocean liner travel called for more compact and convenient luggage options. This era saw the rise of the “vanity case” and the “train case,” both of which were compact and designed to fit comfortably in overhead compartments or under train seats. These cases were typically made of luxurious materials like leather and featured elegant designs.

The Jet Age and the Rise of Checked Luggage

With the advent of commercial aviation in the mid-20th century, the need for larger suitcases arose. People were now travelling longer distances and for extended periods. Suitcase manufacturers responded to this demand by introducing larger, checked luggage options. These suitcases, often referred to as “steamer trunks” or “wardrobe cases,” were built to withstand the rigours of air travel while offering ample storage space for clothing and personal items.

Suitcases Go Global: Innovation and Versatility

In the latter half of the 20th century, suitcases became more versatile and user-friendly. The introduction of lightweight materials like nylon and polycarbonate revolutionised the industry. 

These materials offered durability without adding unnecessary weight. Additionally, the introduction of wheels and telescopic handles made manoeuvring through crowded airports and city streets a breeze. Suitcases were no longer a burden to carry but a companion that facilitated effortless travel.

The Digital Age: Smart Suitcases and Innovative Features

As we stepped into the 21st century, suitcases embraced technology. Smart suitcases with built-in GPS tracking, USB charging ports, and integrated weighing scales entered the scene. These innovative features made travel even more convenient, allowing travellers to stay connected and organised while on the go. Suitcases became an extension of our digital lives, adapting to our evolving needs and providing practical solutions for the modern traveller.

Throughout this timeline, Samsonite has been at the forefront of luggage innovation. From their early days as a small company in Denver, Colorado, to becoming a global leader in the industry, Samsonite has continuously pushed the boundaries of suitcase design and functionality. Their commitment to quality and craftsmanship has resulted in practical, robust, and beautiful luggage that stands the test of time.

So Much More Than a Suitcase

In conclusion, the evolution of suitcase sizes is a testament to our changing travel habits and needs. From the humble carpet bags of the past to the smart suitcases of today, our luggage has come a long way. 

Samsonite has played a crucial role in this evolution, constantly adapting to the demands of the modern traveller. So, the next time you embark on a journey, remember the fascinating timeline that has led to the practical and stylish suitcases offered by Samsonite – your perfect travel companion.

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SAMSONITE SOUTHERN AFRICA (PTY) LTD, 68 Old Main Road, Kloof, 3610, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is organising the Samsonite Dream Rider Giveaway, hereafter “the Giveaway”, as described in these terms and conditions.


No purchase is necessary. The Giveaway is open to all residents of South Africa, that have obtained the legal age, hereafter “The Participant(s)”. Directors, officers, management, employees, other staff, agents, distributors and wholesale customers of SAMSONITE and family members thereof or any of its affiliated companies or any other persons involved in the making of this Giveaway are not eligible to enter this Giveaway. Any participation not complying with these terms and conditions is invalid. SAMSONITE explicitly reserves the right to refuse or remove a Participant, at its sole discretion, in the event SAMSONITE determines a Participant does not comply with all rules and regulations as contained herein. It is not the responsibility of SAMSONITE to ensure that the Giveaway participation requirements and use of personal information do not contravene the laws and regulations of any country of residency of participation, where it is being received or viewed. For the mentioned reason, all responsibilities relating to the participations to the Giveaway will be borne by the Participants who, it is understood, participate under their own responsibility and risk. In the event that any misfortune or damage should be experienced on the side of the Participant(s), SAMSONITE will not be responsible.


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SAMSONITE will announce the winner on 7th of September 2023, the eligible Participant will receive the Giveaway based on the following criteria: Giveaway will be awarded only if the potential winner fully complied with these Official Rules.

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Giveaway: Samsonite Proxis spinner signed by Teko Modise


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