Down ‘N Dirty: Gregory Quadro Pro Hardcase 22″

I have been the over-the-shoulder-soft-duffle-die-hard for far too many years. Backpack on my back and a duffle slung over the shoulder, I schlepped through the airport with sweat beading on my brow. What a pleasure for whoever I got to sit next to on the flight! When I received the Gregory Quadro Pro Hardcase 22″ and glided it around on four wheels on the ground, I was flabbergasted. I know, I know, I’m far behind in the carry on suitcase game, but the four-wheel glide was just the beginning.

The Gregory Quadro Pro Hardcase 22″ is carry-on sized and accepted on most airlines (I’m looking at you Air Vanuatu). Many airlines state their length total as 21.5′, including Frontier, but I had no problem taking the Quadro Pro Hardcase as a carry-on (not personal item) on that airline multiple times.

My fiance is still a “shoulder soft duffle die-hard” and was able to piggyback his carryon on top of the Quadro Pro for a compact system, and plenty of free hands. The handle is coated with TPR (thermoplastic rubber, a material that has properties of both plastic and rubber) that makes it comfy to hold, and the retractable handle feels sturdy and stable. There’s also handles on the sides and top which make it easy to grab out of the overhead compartment or the trunk.

While I had a little trouble managing the TSA recognized combination zipper lock, to begin with, I was super happy to have it when traveling with valuables. There is a removable ActiveShield zippered TPU coated compartment in the center of the pack. I put multiple items in there, including two laptops to protect them during travel, but found that it is also great for more delicate items. The zippered compartment keeps them in the center of the suitcase and surrounded by clothes. Not only do you have the padding on either side, but you also have the resistant polycarbonate molded shell on the outside for extra protection. The ActiveShield compartment is also great for shoes, dirty clothes, or gear you don’t want touching your fancy rain shells.

There’s plenty of zippered compartments inside, as well as interior compression panels with quick-release buckles for organization. I live in a van full time and am used to everything having an exact place while traveling. The compartments made it easy to separate gear from clothing. On one trip, I was able to bring five days’ worth of clothing, as well as a full camera set up, tripod included.

Gregory has been mastering packs since 1977. This suitcase is definitely a reflection of their long pack history. I will be using this suitcase for years to come as my go-to carry-on.

MSRP: $199.95

Check out the suitcase on Gregorypacks.com.

Pros: Hardshell case keeps everything protected and the compartments inside make for easy organization. I loved the glide on the four wheels, and that it stood up on its own even when there was another suitcase stacked on top. The zippered compartment on the inside was perfect to keep things separated and clean.

Cons: I had some issues closing the zipper/lock system when I first started using it, so there’s a learning curve. When it was loaded with camera gear and clothes for the weekend, the pull handle felt a little dicey.

Where I took it: On multiple crowded flights on budget airlines (note: much smaller overhead compartments), both domestic and international, all over Japan for three weeks.

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