Ricardo Hard-Sided Suitcase Review: A Revolution In Luggage

Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage
The roll-aboard hard sided suitcase from Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage, among its very clever features, includes a built-in TSA accessible lock

I never thought I could make the change to a hard-sided case. Now I can’t image going back to a soft-sided suitcase.

I love my suitcase. Next to my car, it’s my best friend: it’s allowed me to make multi-city business trips, accommodated multi-outfit plans for romantic weekends, and to pack full-family changes of clothes and pile car seats and duffle bags on top when I traveled with my kids—100k miles in one year!— coast to coast. My suitcase might be the hardest working member of my family.

Time to try something new: No more tilting and towing; this case just rolls along beside me 

So it’s with great trepidation that I allow another suitcase to take its place. But Ricardo Beverly Hills wanted to take the challenge. And of course, I’m up for it.

Ricardo recently sponsored an event I attended, a retreat at Walt Disney World. So, I with thoughts of Space Mountain and the Chevy Test Track in mind, I started to make the transition from packing my soft-sided baby blue Longchamp 20” wheeled suitcase to packing in the hard-sided, double-pocketed Ricardo Elite Roxbury bag.

Heading to #TMOMDisney and this will make it MUCH easier! Thanks #Ricardo!

A video posted by @scottyreiss on

Packing my new luggage was easy enough; I managed to get all my stuff in with no problem, and then I was off for a new experience: it was time to test out the learning curve of a new bag (and as you know, that alone can be a tough road).

It’s nice to be modern: changes that make the trip easier

Here’s what I noticed about the Ricardo bag that is different from your typical roll-aboard bag:

  • Rolling rocks. Not having to tilt your bag and drag it along behind you is a great thing.  Ricardo’s four wheels make the bag very maneuverable and easy to manage.
  • Things stack much easier on top of the rolling bag. I could pile on a shopping bag, my handbag and more and as long as I had balance, it worked.
  • Rest rooms are a breeze: the fact that the bag rolls into a toilet stall, rather than rolling in behind you, makes it easier to get your bag into a tiny stall without it hugging that oh-so-germy-toilet. Germophobes, rejoice.
  • Hard sided yes, but lightweight, too. It was as easy to lift into the over head bin as my lightweight, cloth-sided Longchamp bag.
  • Expandability: the bag expands another inch or so, which is great if you’re checking your bag or driving; if you’re carrying it aboard a flight, don’t expand it or you’ll have to check it.
  • A bag clip on the outside lets you hang a tote or other small bag on the side of the Roxbury.
  • TSA approved lock. OK, this feature might be worth the price alone. Here’s the rub: the TSA can unlock the bag (and lock it back) with a special key even after you’ve locked it with your four-digit code. I made a video that shows how it works.

If you’ve ever had your bag pillaged and things stolen—and I have— you’ll appreciate the TSA lock for BOTH checking your bag and leaving it in your hotel room, locked and secure while you’re in the Magic Kingdom Fast-Passing your way from to one Space Mountain ride after another.

Last, there’s the price. When Ricardo first introduced these revolutionary bags—hard sided, four wheels, no tilting— they were expensive. $400 or so was typical. Then, they brought the price down to a comfortable $300 or so. Now, you can reliably find a 20″ Ricardo bag for $150. That’s a price that makes me happy.

Disclosure: Ricardo provided the Roxbury Elite suitcase for my review; opinions expressed here are all my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss