The brand is based in Japan/USA and the new collections come out here around twice a year. If you’ve ever seen the typical Japanese school backpacks (aka Randoseru) you’ve seen one of his family’s designs.
The set arrived in boxes and was sent via courier. Everything was wrapped up in plastic too. When James saw it unwrapped the first thing he said was “Well, everyone will know which one yours is!”. I’m sure there are statistics somewhere to prove this wrong but I also (probably delusionally) think having an awesome design like this would deter thieves because it’s so easy to spot.
After unwrapping they look even prettier in person!
I was sent the Sakura 62cm TSA Check-In Trolley and the Sakura Beauty Case. The pretty pink Saukra is the most popular in the range but f you’re into wilder things I suggest you have a look at the Safari range because it’s animal print!
This is going to sound dumb but my favorite feature of the range (other than how adorable the print is) is the wheels. I don’t think you know pain until you’ve tried to drag a 23kg soft shell 2 wheeled suitcase which has a broken metal arm poking out through an airport. This moves like a cloud in comparison. My second favorite feature is the soft return spring on the handle which makes it go down slowly like those self-closing drawers from Ikea! It’s the little things….
This one weighs 5.4kg empty so if weight limits are an issue in your area I would take a look at the Tarpaulin range which doesn’t have the girly design but it is only 2.7kg so yay extra shopping space room. The Smart is another one to check out if you’re looking for shopping space because it’s foldable and can be put inside a suitcase on the way there and expanded on the way home for shopping – check out this video. It’s not available in Australia yet but it will be here in around August.
I would still recommend anything with 4 wheels, I actually pushed it through the airport (with 18kgs of clothes inside) using two fingers. Seriously.
Not being weighted down by luggage when you are running through an airport? Best. Feeling. Ever.
James has the worst airport luck ever so I try to minimize any potential problems. We call it McDuff luck. Seriously, I don’t think there has been a time we’ve flown in the last 6 years where there hasn’t been some kind of problem. He always gets security scanned too, I think he looks a bit dodgy 😉
Aaanyway… the whole range comes with TSA locks so if Customs officials want to look inside and search it’s relatively quick and painless.
I found the snap locks to be very convenient and much quicker than a zip especially if like me, you tend to over pack things!
It’s much easier to sit on the suitcase and snap lock it than it is to have to zip round the edge and try to force the zip when it’s caught or broken.
The inside of the case comes with a lot of interesting gadgets. I don’t know if all of my previous luggage has just been super old but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one which has so many extra functions *_*
It opens completely flat which makes packing each half very easy but I’ve propped it up for the photos so you can see what’s going on.
Each side is closed up with it’s own divider and each divider has a purpose. The top one is a garment holder and is detachable so you can take it out at the hotel. It even has it’s own little fold up coat hanger which clips into the top of the case to keep things neat.
I actually used this to hang belts, scarves and stockings because they are the little things that I tend to have to dig for and can never find at the bottom of my luggage.
The other side of the garment bag has a mesh zip section which I used for cables and chargers. That whole thing clips up to the top of the bag to hold everything in place and keep it safe.
I don’t think it was actually part of the suitcase but the paperwork came in a clear zip reusable bag which I intend to use for carry on liquids on future trips. For this trip I used to to hold our beach things. Everything has a use!
The top of the coat hanger can fold down and actually grip on to the top of the bag so it’s locked in place too.
On the other side the divider is a mesh sleeve which I used to hold flat things like notebooks and art suplies.
This wouldn’t be a good review without pointing out things that I didn’t like. The only thing I had problems with while we were traveling was pressing the button to pull up the handle on the suitcase. My nails are ridiculously long at the moment so I couldn’t fit my fingers in XD I had the same issue with opening the beauty case until I realised I could actually use the plastic part of the keys in place of my fingers!
Overall opinion of the suitcase? After traveling with it I can honestly say I love it. I’ve had a love affair with it from afar but I was a little worried that I’d built up unrealistic expectations. I hadn’t, it was totally awesome. I think the middle size is perfect for both domestic and international flights (especially with the lower weight limits these days). Completely stuffed full it didn’t exceed 18kgs. If it was an extended international trip I might look at the larger size but this managed to work for both James and I on a 10 day trip so I’m very happy with it. Pulling it was a breeze, I love the gadgets and features, definite recommend.
I am planning to customise it with my monogram on the front to make it even more of a deterrent to thieves ;D
Lottie seemed to think it was her new house -_-
Now the beauty case!
Obviously I love the design, I also love that it has a lock and a combination code.
Inside there were instructions, a pull out tray, a foldable mirror and stickers which you can spell out your name with.
The tray clips into the case or can be clipped to the front for easier access. The mirror then clips on to the tray and can be angled to whatever is easiest.
Inside were some elastic straps at the back to hold small items like jewellery. The lining is fabric and wipes clean of make up/spills quite easily.
I loved the mirror and the removable tray, the lighting in the bathroom of the place we were staying sucked so it made it a lot easier to just carry everything to the balcony and do my make up and hair there! The main compartment is huge too. I easily fit my hair appliances, make up, skin care and a LOT of accessories in there. The sturdy construction and lock meant that I felt comfortable enough to actually check this in separately which was good because I had packed the suitcase so full there was no room XD
The only thing I wasn’t 100% on about the beauty case was that you couldn’t really keep small items in the tray while traveling. I had it checked in on the way up and of course it was shaken around and I’m sure probably stood upside down so when we got to the other size all of the small items had scattered everywhere. I solved this by wrapping a small scarf around the tray on the way back to secure everything inside. Easy!
Over all thoughts on the beauty case? Love it too. I love that it’s a matching set, I love that I can check it in separately to save room for more clothes and I love that the space inside is so versatile. The mirror is super handy and the case is extremely strong so I don’t need to worry about damaging the things inside or anything getting crushed.
Sorry Lottie, you can’t come with us =(
So what you’ve all been waiting for:
Hideo Wakamatsu Australia have very kindly offered a Sakura Beauty Case (value AU$129) just like mine for me to give away to you guys!
To enter, leave a comment on this post with your favourite Hideo Wakamatsu product and tell me your favourite tip for traveling in style. The more creative the better!
Here are the terms:
- Competition will be open from now until midnight AEST on the 19th of April 2013
- Winners will be contacted via email and must respond within 7 days to claim the prize
- You may only enter once
- Entries are open to Australian residents only!
- Entries will be judged on creativity
- The case will be sent to you via courier so you must give an address where you will be available to pick it up
- The rest of the standard terms and conditions over here.