Welcome to my Antler Luggage review. I was given this Clifton Set to try out by Antler in the UK, after having previously bought and used two different Antler suitcases for more than a decade. All opinions are my own, honestly held, and I do not accept freebies or payment in exchange for positive reviews. All prices are correct at the time of writing.
I’ve managed to accumulate a hefty collection of different types of luggage over the years. From backpacks of various shapes and sizes, to duffel bags and rolling cases, I have the bag for every type and duration of trip – whether it be for an expedition to Antarctica, three months backpacking in Guatemala, or a city break in Palma de Mallorca.
But more often that not, the cases I return to again and again for most of my packing are my wheeled suitcases from Antler Luggage. I have two – one medium, one large; I’ve had them longer than I can remember and they’ve travelled with me to all seven continents including places as far away as South Georgia Island, Morocco, Uganda, Cuba, Turkey and Sri Lanka.
But as you can see from the photo, they’re pretty battered from well over a decade of being chucked about by baggage handlers, and let’s be honest, they’re not exactly attractive.
So despite the fact that both are still holding it together, I decided it was time to upgrade to something a bit smarter.
Why Antler Luggage?
I can’t remember why I picked Antler in the first place. I think it was probably because they’re a British company with a good reputation who’ve been going since 1914. They’re well-known for making luggage that lasts, and that offers a reasonable balance between quality and price.
I’m not someone who’s ever going to buy fancy Louis Vuitton luggage, but nor do I want to buy something flimsy from Primark that’s going to fall apart the second I get on a plane.
Plus all Antler’s bags come with a lifetime warranty, which is a clear sign of a company that has faith in its products, and if something does go wrong with your bag, you’re covered.
So when it came to picking a new set of luggage, it was a no-brainer for me just to go with Antler again. There are hundreds of luggage companies out there, and many of them are good, so to avoid spiralling down a rabbit hole of comparisons and indecision, it was just easiest to stick with a brand I know and trust.
Even better, in the years since I bought my two ugly brown cases, they’ve improved their designs. A lot!
Since I wanted to update both my medium and large cases, the replacement I picked was the Antler Clifton Set, in the very pretty Mineral colour.
The Antler Clifton Set: Summary
The Antler Clifton Set comes with three matching hard-shelled suitcases in a huge choice of eleven gorgeous colours. There’s a small cabin sized case for weekend breaks, a medium sized one for a week away, and a large suitcase for when you need to take everything including the kitchen sink.
At the time of writing, the price for the set was £527 ($716 in the USA) – compared with £620 ($850) if you buy the three cases separately).
Some colours were in the sale with up to 30% off, at a bargain price of £434.
They’re all made from tough polycarbonate with four, 360-degree-turning wheels and a sturdy retractable pull handle.
- Weight: 2.8 kg / 6.2 lb
- Dimensions: 20 x 40 x 55 cm / 7.9 x 15.8 x 21.7 in
- Capacity: 37 L
- RRP if bought separately: £170 / $210
- Weight: 3.9 kg / 8.6 lb
- Dimensions: 29 x 45 x 67 cm / 11.4 x 17.7 x 26.4 in
- Capacity: 75 L
- Expanded capacity: 83L
- RRP if bought separately: £210 / $295
- Weight: 5 kg / 11 lb
- Dimensions: 34 x 51 x 80 cm / 13.4 x 20 x 31.5 in
- Capacity: 121 L
- Expanded capacity: 132L
- RRP if bought separately: £240 / $345
Antler Clifton Suitcases: Key Features
- Three cases: small, medium and large
- Comes in a choice of 11 colours
- Built from tough polycarbonate
- Four 360-degree rotating wheels that roll super smoothly
- Two main compartments, and three smaller internal pockets
- Clamshell-style opening
- Colour-fast, so any inevitable scratches will stay true to the colour of the shell
- Each size nests inside the next one up for easy storage
- Retractable twist grip handle
- Expander zips on the medium and large
- Built-in combination lock
- Lifetime warranty
Antler Clifton Luggage Review: First Impressions
My brand new luggage set was promptly delivered to me by a helpful DPD courier who carried this massive box up two flights of stairs to my flat. Inside was a Russian doll of three suitcases, each one neatly stacked inside the next and protected with a white cloth bag.
My first impression was that they were exactly as I was expecting: a good choice of sizes, durable, and so pretty. I love the look of them and the gorgeous pale green Mineral colour so much!
I’m almost intimidated by my own luggage now – I’m not sure I’m stylish enough to pull off such a glamorous luggage set and I might have to go out and buy better flight loungewear so that I can waft through the airport gliding along with my luggage like a proper fashion influencer!
Antler Clifton Set: Sizes
With three different sizes to choose from, you’re never going to run out of room.
The cabin sized bag is 37 litres which is about the same size as a large daypack, perfect for a couple of nights away.
Its dimensions are 55 x 40 x 20 cm which makes it precisely compliant with Ryanair’s stingy cabin bag allowance and smaller than Easyjet’s ‘large cabin bag’ size of 56 x 45 x 25 cm.
The medium case is 75 litres, which is whole 10 L bigger than the 65 L backpack I took to Guatemala for three months. I did find it a challenge to get everything I needed into that, so I feel like 75 L is probably perfect. And if not, this case expands to 83 L if you need a bit of extra room, or you find yourself doing some shopping while you’re away.
The large case is a massive 121 L, expanding to 132 L. Quite honestly, this might be too big and I’m not sure how much I’ll need a suitcase of this size or how practical it will be. It already weighs 5 kg empty, so if you fill it, I’m pretty sure it will be too heavy for most airlines’ 23 kg luggage allowance.
But the large suitcase could still be great if you’re packing large and light things, have a more generous weight allowance, or you’re travelling by road or rail where the weight won’t matter so much – as long as you can still lift it!
Antler Suitcase Review: Pockets
Each of the three cases has the same structure.
The case opens clamshell style, with the main zip round the middle. When you open it flat on the floor, this means you have two halves to fill. This is great for organising your stuff and making it easier to find things in a hurry or if, like me, you can’t be bothered to fully unpack.
To prevent everything falling out when you try to close it, the top section has a zip-up cover. This contains two small see-through pockets where you can store the sort of small-but-important items that tend to fall to the bottom of your case and get immediately lost: headphones, medication, charger cables, your house keys, and so on.
The bottom section doesn’t have a zip cover, but it does have a strap to keep your stuff in place. It also has another small side pocket, again for storing smaller items that you need to be able to find quickly.
Antler Clifton Suitcase Review: Moving Around
All three suitcases have four wheels which rotate through 360 degrees and glide along and turn corners beautifully.
I’ve always been on the fence about the virtues of four wheels over two. If you only have two (like my old luggage does), they tuck into the corners of the case, giving you more space for packing.
Two-wheeled cases are also lighter. But there’s no denying that they can also be harder to drive, and dragging them behind you rather than gliding them alongside means you can often end up tripping people (or even yourself!) up.
So while two wheels might give you more packing space, four will certainly give you a more pleasant experience as you navigate train stations and airports.
To help with pulling and steering, each case also has a handle which smoothly pops in and out at the push of a button. The handle also has a ‘twist grip’, which means that the grip part where you hold it rotates as you tilt up or down, making it more comfortable and easier to pull.
There are also handles on the top and side, to make it easy to lift the case when you need to.
Antler Luggage Review: Security
My old cases have metal loops on the zippers so you can add your own padlock; but the Antler Clifton Luggage Set has built in padlocks with combination codes which are TSA-approved (certified by the US Transportation Security Administration).
Each case comes with instructions for how to set your own code and operate the locks – or there are videos online as well. I found the instructions easy to follow and had no trouble changing the combination to a new number.
And with a built-in lock I no longer need to worry about losing my padlocks!
Strength and Durability
This is really only something I can properly assess after a few trips, to see how the cases cope with being chucked about. But what I can already see is that they are well-made and the shells are much stronger than the soft walls of my old cases.
The wheels, handles and zips seem well-made and operate smoothly.
The cases are also colour-fast, so although they are bound to get scratched, any scratches shouldn’t show up too badly.
And of course, if something does break, you have that warranty to fall back on.
Antler Luggage in the Wild
To try out my new Antler luggage in real life, I took the medium-sized case with me on a week-long trip to Edinburgh and East Lothian in Scotland.
This required me to pack enough clothes for the unpredictable Scottish weather, and then wheel the case the 10-minute walk to the tube station, carry it up and down staircases inside the London Underground, load it on and off four trains, and move between two friends’ houses.
I found the medium-sized case was plenty big enough to pack everything I needed for a week away – I even had room to spare.
And it drove like a dream – I floated through Kings Cross station like a travel goddess! Though I had to hang onto it tightly on the Underground as it had a strong tendency to want to roll away. Perhaps a brake would be a good idea (though of course that would add to the weight).
Antler Luggage Review: Final Verdict
While the Antler Clifton Set is certainly not the cheapest set of cases on the market, they are also not the most expensive, and offer a good balance of style, quality and price, from a respected British brand that’s been going for over 100 years.
Here are a few other things I like – and like less – about the Antler Clifton Luggage Set.
- They’re versatile. With three sizes to choose from, you always have the right case for the trip.
- They are so pretty! With a stylish design and so many colours, you’ll have no trouble recognising your case coming off the baggage carousel.
- They drive beautifully – super easy to wheel and pull.
- The large one is massive and I’m not sure how often I’ll actually be able to use it.
- The clamshell opening means you have to open your case out fully on the floor to access both sides. I think in that respect I prefer my old cases, which are basically like a big box with a lid, which takes up less floor space and you can easily rummage inside to find your stuff. But the advantage of the clamshell is that it’s easier to organise and find things.
- Being hard-shelled, they are a bit heavier than the soft-sided cases – but that’s the trade-off you make for the extra protection (and the glamorous look!)
Overall I think these are a great choice if you want beautiful, quality hard-shelled cases.
I also love that they have a lifetime warranty. This is not fast fashion, these cases are durable and designed to last. While I would love to see Antler make even more moves towards sustainability in the form of, for example, cases made from recycled materials, this is certainly a great step towards being a responsible travel brand.
Ready to buy the Antler Clifton Luggage Set?
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Where to next?
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