PRODUCT REVIEW: LOJEL LUGGAGE | AUTHENTIC TOOLS FOR MODERN TRAVEL

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VER THE LAST 3 YEARS THERE’S BEEN AN EXPLOSION OF LUGGAGE COMPANIES THAT ARE FOCUSED ON A YOUNGER, MORE EXPERIENCE DRIVEN CONSUMER WHO PRIORITIZES TRAVELING. AS MODERN DAY NOMADS, THESE CONSUMERS WANT TO ENJOY THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA. IT’S BECAUSE OF THESE NEW SOCIAL PLATFORMS THAT TRAVEL HAS EXPLODED IN POPULARITY AND CONSUMERS ARE NOW ABLE TO RESEARCH AND DISCOVER NEW BRANDS INSTEAD OF BEING FORCED INTO BUYING THE STATUS QUO.

THESE OLD, EXPENSIVE AND GENERALLY HEAVY LUGGAGE BRANDS HAVEN’T ADAPTED TO A MORE SPACE-SAVING BLUEPRINT OF TODAY’S RESTRICTED TRAVELER. WITH AIRLINES CONSTANTLY PULLING BACK ON SPACE AND LUGGAGE CAPACITY, THE CONSUMER IS MORE SELECTIVE AS EVER WHEN IT COMES TO TRAVELING LIGHT AND IN STYLE. LOJEL TRAVELWARE IS A LUGGAGE COMPANY MADE FOR THE SOPHISTICATED EXPLORER. FOUNDED IN 1989, LOJEL ORIGINATED IN JAPAN AND HAS BEEN GROWING IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS FROM THEIR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS. THE COMPANY HAS OVER 25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN INNOVATIVE LUGGAGE DESIGN AND IS CONSTANTLY PUSHING THE ENVELOPE OF THEIR HIGH QUALITY, DEPENDABLE TRAVEL BAGS. WE WERE ASKED TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK THEIR LUGGAGE LINE AND GIVE OUR HONEST ASSESSMENT OF ONE OF THEIR TOP TIER BAGS, THE KOSMOS. WE DOVE HEADFIRST INTO A THOROUGH AND EXHAUSTIVE REVIEW ON THE KOSMOS THAT LEFT US QUITE IMPRESSED. IN THEIR SHORT TIME PRODUCING LUGGAGE, LOJEL HAS SHOW THAT IT’S A TRUE COMPETITOR IN THE MARKET AND A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH MOVING FORWARD. READ FURTHER TO FIND OUT WHAT MAKES LOJEL MATCHUP TO SOME OF THE HIGH-END COMPETITORS IN THE MARKET…


PLESE NOTE: AT THE TIME OF THIS POST, IT SEEMS THAT LOJEL HAS CHANGED THEIR LOOK AND BRANDING. WHILE THE DON’T SELL THIS KOZMOS BAG ANYMORE, THEY DO HAVE A GREAT LINE UP OF AFFORDABLE BAGS THAT YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT. IF YOU WANT TO READ THROUGH THIS REVIEW TO READ OUR OPINIONS, WE APPRECIATE IT.

QUALITY

You’ve undoubtedly seen over a half dozen luggage companies vying for your attention all over the subways, trains or buses in your city. These tech-soaked, flashy luggage brands are hoping you’ll buy into the idea of always having a charge for your technology to never miss a moment. While keeping your phone’s battery charged is great, your phone shouldn’t be glued to your face while on a vacation. When buying luggage, your focus should be on the bag that has durability, ease of use and ample amount of space dedicated for your belongings.

The Kozmos line is one of LOJEL’s top tier luggage sets. Along with its sleek metal-like, polycarbonate body, this luggage set comes in 12 different configurations that vary in size, shape and color. The first thing you’ll notice with this tier of LOJELs luggage is the sheer high-end look of it. You just don’t find this style of luggage around the market of this quality and price. Rimowa and Tumi are big players in the market but A LOT more expensive. This is the SMALL sized Kozmos, which at 39L, is your typical travel-ready companion that most light packers should be okay with. Aside from the high-end exterior look, the Kozmos is also one of the smoothest rolling bags we’ve ever used. Nothing screams cheap luggage more than squeaky or non-functioning wheels. When cheap wheels lock up, they tend to be dragged over the ground, which can cause uneven wear and oblong wheels. Cheap wheels = a big hassle. We also should mention that because of these well-designed wheels, it rotates 360 degrees! Really, it just moves when and where you need it to move. Additionally, it’s spring-loaded carry handles are solidly built and rest flat against the case when not in use to minimize damage while in transit. The Kozmos also comes with a standard TSA Lock System for added piece of mind.

When opening up the Kozmos, you’ll be surprised at how well designed each section is. With a book-open design, its 2 dividers (one zippered, one removable) gives you separate packing compartments, one side for your shoes and the other for your clothes. It’s crisscross tie-down garment straps help keep all things in place. You can confidently fit everything you need, securely and without compromise. LOJEL’s attention to details took us by surprise. The pockets, the zippers, the trim and mesh…all of which demands praise because of how refined and precise it all is

Our last test of praising the LOJEL Kozmos was its unfortunate downfall. The only negative thing we found about the Kozmos luggage was its pop-up handle. Everything on this luggage felt incredibly well built and solid that it was a surprise when we used the handle for the first time. It felt a little flimsy. Paired with the sheer weight of the empty suitcase, it feels like it might break off with any hard pull or push. It certainly flexes a bit when the luggage is filled and your pushing it with some pace. Since the wheels do roll very smoothly, that doesn’t seem likely now, but it might be problem in the future after more than 10+ trips overseas. If there were one item that we wish could be reinforced or redesigned, it would be the pop-up handle.

DESIGN

The LOJEL Kozmos is one of those sets of luggage that demands your attention from the moment you see it. Its sleek, polycarbonate body looks so high-end, you’d be amazed to know that it’s not fully made of aluminum. This polycarbonate design drastically reduces the weight of the bag by almost 5 lbs compared to similar bags in the market. (Examples of similar suitcases are the Tumi International and the Rimowa Topas.) This means less lugging around a heavy aluminum suitcase and more enjoying the views of your trip.

An often-overlooked design feature that shines on the Kozmos is its closure. The Kozmos book-open design makes packing and unpacking very easy. Lay it on your bed, pack one side full, zip it closed and then moved to the other.

Not only are you items protected, its Neoprene gasket protects these belongings from dust and moisture when the bag is sealed closed. That means if you happened to check this bag, you don’t have to worry about anything getting in or anything coming out. If you need to pick up the Kozmos quick, its spring loaded handle allows you to grab and go. When you don’t need it, the handle quickly folds flat to avoid catching on anything. The TSA approved locks are compliant with all airlines and should make checking out its contents (if necessary) a breeze.

In its interior, the Kozmos has sophisticated design on its interior, which consists of an interior organization pocket, straps to secure things tight on one side, and a zippered mesh on the other side. The bag is deceptively large for a standard sized carry on. We’re certain that you can pack weeks worth of clothing in this bag. (4 pairs of pants, 4 shirts, 2 blazers 2 pairs of shoes, socks and undergarments) While it doesn’t have the bulging expandability like the typical polyester luggage bags that you may be used to, your luggage should reflect who you’re aspiring to be. Learning to pack less and streamline your travel wardrobe is what the Kozmos will do for you. The great thing about the Kozmos is that no matter how much you pack into it, the movement of the bag isn’t affected.

Going back to the only design flaw that we spoke earlier about, the Kozmos’s pop-up handle. While the technology isn’t sexy in terms of design, its useful when you need it and tucks away easily when you don’t. Inspecting the handle further, it seems like there’s a simple solution to reinforce the poles to be stronger and more precise. While the weight issue was clearly the main reason to keep it lighter, comparing to the higher priced bags in the market, this problem wasn’t as prevalent. Does that mean an upcharge of $200+ dollars is worth it? We don’t think so. On a positive note, LOJEL Luggage has a 10-year warranty. So if anything were to break, you would be covered. Just ship it back to them and they will replace the bag entirely or repair it and send it back to you.

Overall, the design of this bag is pretty much flawless. Aside from the handle issues, we couldn’t be more thrilled about what we received. Having good-looking luggage that rolls smoothly through the airport and doesn’t attract any unwanted attention is a big step to enjoying your relaxing vacation or crucial business trip. The integrity of your luggage should be the last thing on your mind when you’re about to take off. The fact that the Kozmos offers 90% of what those other high-end luggage brands offer without the added 3 lbs of weight is pretty remarkable. With 4 different sizes and 3 different colors of the Kozmos, there’s a bag for every type of traveler. Whether you’re packing up your expensive camera gear for a month long shoot for work or a quick weekend trip to Miami, The LOJEL Kozmos should be your forever travel-ready buddy that you can always depend on.

FIT (SIZE)

LOJEL has a large variety of sizing. Though the standard for traveling seems to have gotten smaller and smaller, their “Pilot” and “Small” sizes are a perfect match for someone who’s not spending more than a week away from home. We all know the airlines that charge extra for additional luggage, so if you’d rather roll your bag through TSA screening and save $55 dollars, we’d suggest one of the smaller sizes. We’ve found, as we grow older, we’re able to pack clothes more efficiently and with more purpose when knowing where and what time of year it is. For those of you who need to bring more, LOJEL’s medium and large size luggage will safely protect any precious cargo you have while going on your trip. While the larger bags will hold more, they will also increase in price. For the medium (in the silver) you’re looking around $480 USD. The large (in silver) Kozmos will run you over $600 USD. Truth be told, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to own the bigger and smaller size Kozmos. Perhaps the small and medium will work best incase your significant other has to throw a few things in your bag on your planned exotic getaway.

PRICE

All and all, the Kozmos has all the technological features of higher end bags for about ⅔ of the price. With the market flooded with millennial aimed, flash in the pan luggage brands, it’s nice to know that you can still invest in a high quality bag that serves a singular purpose: to hold your things securely. Investing in luggage is similar to investing in your wardrobe. You should always aim to buy the best. At $399, the LOJEL Kozmos certainly isn’t the cheapest on the market, or in the FULL LOJEL LUGGAGE LINE, but when does buying cheap things actually pay off? The Kozmos is competitively priced based on what other luggage competitor’s are priced at in the market. If you’re a frequent traveler, a well-built, travel-ready rolling suitcase like the Kozmos is worth the money. Sure it might be a bit too extravagant for someone who only travels a few times a year, but why shouldn’t you feel that way when traveling? We can make the case that traveling in style is a dying art and the LOJEL Kozmos can help you achieve that travel style.

OVERALL

We really were impressed with what LOJEL has to offer in its Kozmos luggage. The luxurious look and movement of the bag warrants its purchase. Similar bags in the market that look this high-end are priced WELL ABOVE the Kozmos and at most only offer a 5-year warranty. LOJEL, though not as popular as some of the well-known brands in the market, should demand more notoriety as a viable option for travel-focused customers who want aesthetics, value and security. You can purchase the LOJEL Kozmos luggage from a variety of sellers in the US or directly from LOJEL. At the time of this post, this exact small size (in silver) may be a bit harder to find in the market. First, try checking out what retailer might be close to you. Their “Pilot” case may be a bit easier to find. Any problems, shoot us an email and we’ll do our best in helping you locate one.

NOTE: WHILE WE ENJOY THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE ON GENUINE MEN’S MAGAZINE, LOJEL DOES INDEED HAVE MORE BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTIONS IN THEIR LUGGAGE LINE. YOU CAN CERTAINLY FIND HARDSHELL AND COLOR DIVERSE, VERSIONS OF THEIR LUGGAGE HERE

About The Author: StevenDElliott

Steven is the founder of Genuine Men’s Magazine. He graduated Drexel University with a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design. Along with his passion for photography and design, Steven loves helping men find new and emerging menswear brands and offer his opinions when it comes to real-life situations.