Steve Madden began as a low investment company which started off of 1100 dollars in the 1990’s, at the time it was only a footwear apparel company. Today it has expanded to producing all kinds of fashion merchandise, including all kinds of travel accessories. More specifically, the Madden luggage designs are best known for their inspirations which draw from New York fashion trends as well as recent trends for the fashionable man or woman. Today this company sells luggage in over 80 countries worldwide and one of their popular larger products is a unique 6-piece Luggage collection. The Signature Collection is designed to give travelers everything they could possibly need on the road, at least that’s the idea; in our review we’re going to look at every facet of this collection to determine the true value of owning such a large set. Is it necessary? Does it travel well? And is each piece essential to the entire collection?
The clearest design feature for this collection is the number of products and amount of storage that they bring to the equation. Starting with the biggest Steve Madden gives us a 28-inch large checked suitcase for the bulk of the packing on long trips. Next the design includes the necessary carry-on luggage at 20 inches and rigorously tested to meet all overhead bin requirements for both national and international air travel. The third case can be checked before security, but it’s also ideal to switch out with your carry-on and wheel onto the airplane, this is a wheeled rolling duffle bag with extension handle. The final three pieces include a wide carrying shopper bag, a shoe bag, and a toiletry/accessory kit, both of which can be carried onto the plane as personal items. Each item is perfectly matched and features the Steve Madden wrap-around signature. Together only one of these luggage items will result in an additional checked suitcase on your travels – this will either be the rolling duffel or the carry-on suitcase if you’re traveling with the entire collection – otherwise your other bags should carry directly onto the plane without any trouble.
This Steve Madden luggage collection boasts a lot of storage upfront with a 28-inch full suitcase offering 84 liters of packing space while the hard-shell carry-on at 20 inches offers 29 liters. Add to this the additional space of a 22-inch rolling duffel – easily fitting up to 25 liters of packing space – as well as the 18-inch shopper bag, 14.5-inch shoe bag, and 10.5-inch accessory kit. At this size the three final items are best packed inside each other and carried onto the plane as personal items, and what they offer when packed together like this is enough room for between two and three additional outfits, as well as additional organizational space in the zippered accessory kit and exterior pocket of the shopper handbag. Other storage features include the interiors of both hardshell suitcases which are designed with crosstie straps and a zippered central divider for packing on top and on bottom of each suitcase. These suitcases do not offer zippered expansions, but at a pinch for extra space the softsided duffel bag can stretch a little more for that extra sweater. The downside of no added expandability – for instance, check out Merax’s 3-Piece Expandable Collection – is a bit of a letdown, but in the long run Steve Madden found it unnecessary to add expandability to such a large collection.
Steve Madden’s Signature collection offers the additional features which come with three extra bags – when compared to most 3-piece collections. This means you get a drawstring shoe bag, a long accessories kit, and a deep shopper bag for all your added packing needs. The three suitcases feature strong telescopic handles and long zipper pulls, though where they differ is between the in-line skate wheels of the rolling duffel and the 360-degree spinner wheels designed into the hard side suitcases. Interior features for the three suitcases include a full polyester watertight lining for added padding and protection from the elements. The rolling duffel also comes with a stow away compartment for the handle, allowing you to haul the duffel regularly when in a hurry.
At 28 inches the full suitcase weighs 9.1 pounds empty – quite light for a hardshell case – while the carry-on at 20 inches weigh’s a semi-heavier 7.1 pounds for a carry-on item. The wheeled duffel made from lightweight soft materials weighs 4 pounds and should be very easy to keep under most national and international imposed weight limits at 50 pounds. At empty the shopper bag, shoe bag, and accessory kit weigh around 1 pound each and make for excellent lightweight personal items for the plane.
The hardshell cases in this collection are made from a durable blend of ABS and PC film for a ballistic-proof exterior which is less likely to scratch or dent due to drops; meaning your belongings are better protected, even the fragile ones. The rolling duffel is made from mainly polyester with durable stitching; the only downside being that polyester is the weakest of softsided materials, the stronger ones including cotton canvas and ballistic nylon. Other durability features include strong chrome zipper pulls and 360-degree spinner wheels screwed into the body of the suitcase; however, the in-line skate wheels on the rolling duffel are much more durable than spinner wheels since they’re better for hard terrains and made from strong polyurethane. All telescopic handles are made from strong aluminum with telescopic push buttons and no rocking as they extend. The rolling duffel and hardshell cases include haul handles for easier lifting, and each of these added handles are made from high quality materials.
The style options for this entire collection are rather limited and include two basic colors with the wraparound Steve Madden Signature print; colors include black and pink. With these colors and the look of the design this collection is more feminine, although in black the collection is much more masculine. Chosen designs for the collection include coloring for every bag as well as the wraparound signature. Other Steve Madden bags with more style options are usually only lightweight soft-sided designs; take for instance Steve Madden’s 3-Piece Designer Softside Collection
Measuring 27.8 X 19 X 11.2 inches the largest suitcase will need to be checked; additionally, it’s starting empty weight can keep you from packing under 50 pounds, resulting in additional airline fees if you’re not careful. The duffel is slightly larger than the hard side carry-on and measures 22 inches; its width varies based on packing and it can be used in place of the hardside carry on. The smaller hard side suitcase measures 19.3 X 13.2 X 9 inches and is great for those weekend trips, while the final three accessories measure at 18 inches for the shopper bag, 14.5 inches for the drawstring shoe bag, and 10.5 inches for the tuck-away accessory kit. All in all with 6 different accessories in this collection the only downside is that when traveling with all of the suitcases at least two will need to be checked and will result in additional traveling fees.
Steve Madden Luggage offers a fantastic 5-year warranty for all products in their signature collection. This manufacturer’s warranty will cover the interior and exterior material in the event of any manufacturing defect; however, this coverage does not extend to misuse or mishandling. In the event of broken-zippers, for instance, your warranty should cover the damage. Additionally, natural wear and tear over time isn’t included in the warranty and should be expected to happen over a period of around 7 years. Therefore, make sure you take good care of these suitcases if you want them to last a long time. Odds are, with a brand this good – and its company tradition of using strong materials – this fantastic collection should easily outlive its warranty.
This item was ranked #5 in the list:
We reviewed competing brands and their different luggage collections, particularly those which offer different sizes and larger or smaller numbers of suitcases ...READ MORE +
Steve Madden’s Signature collection features an amazing design which is driven by storage space over all else; this collection offers up 6 unique pieces with two cases that can be used interchangeably as carry-on’s when you want a lightweight soft bag or a more durable hardside piece. These luggage pieces are also highly durable and made from strong long-lasting materials. Some downsides include always have one extra luggage piece, and the fact that when carried separately not all three accessories can be counted as one ‘personal item’ for the airplane; we suggest packing all three of these together.
- This large collection comes with 6 individual pieces.
- Offers 2 interchangeable hard or soft carry-on suitcases.
- Extremely durable designs.
- One extra bag will need to be checked when traveling.
- Style options for this collection are very limited.