Victorinox Swiss Army CH-97 2.0 Review

May 11, 2016
Victorinox Swiss Army CH-97 2.0
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Victorinox Swiss Army CH-97 2.0 IMG_4106 IMG_4107 IMG_4108 IMG_4109 IMG_4110 IMG_4111 IMG_4112 IMG_4113
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
85
Durability
8
Weight
5
Maneuverability
8
Features
7
Organization
7

The Good

  • Stable
  • Expandable
  • Stylish

The Bad

  • Heavy
  • Pricy
  • Odd front pocket
THE VERDICT

The Victorinox Swiss Army CH-97 2.0 was one of the most stable bags while rolling along and has lots of other great features for frequent travelers. That stability and feature set comes at the cost of maneuverability in tight spaces, weight and price. Nevertheless, the bag is easy to pack, forgiving to overpacking and it looks good.

FULL REVIEW

Durability
With a rugged 1500D Tedeolon fabric exterior and beefy YKK coil zippers, the Victorinox Swiss Army CH-97 2.0 is ready for whatever adventure travel it encounters. This bag has held up very well throughout the test period. Large buckles hold the compression straps together and will serve as a backup closure if needed. Even while being rolled over stones and through the mud and snow the wheels never jammed up and continue to roll smoothly and the kick plate under the bag protected it from bumps and knocks.

Weight
All that burley hardware makes the CH-97 a rather heavy bag. Empty, our scale showed it at 10.3 lbs, the heaviest in this test. And, compared to its volume, it was also the heaviest per pound (503 cu in) of the bags tested.

Maneuverability
Testers really liked how the CH-97 rolled behind them. With the widest wheelbase in the test (19.7”) and slim depth (9.4”), the low center of gravity made this bag very stable while in motion. This wide of wheelbase does make it trickier to maneuver through tight spaces, but those were few and far between considering bags this size will always be checked for flights or loaded in the cargo bays under the bus. It was while boarding trains where this was most noticed. The wheels didn’t have any problems with curbs, cobblestones, small rocks on the sidewalks, dirt roads or rolling through snowy and icy patches. With handles on three sides of the bag it was easy to grab and move around.

Features
The most appreciated feature of the CH-97 was the two inches of expandable storage space. There’s also a strap at the top to hang a small extra bag for while rolling. The retractable dual-stem aluminium trolley handle is long and stores under a zippered flap to conceal it while not in use. The CH-97 also has an integrated ID pouch, compression straps & buckles as well as reflective highlights. It also comes with lockable zippers and a Travel Sentry approved lock set.

Organization/Packability
With the standard two compartments in the main area in the bag and the widest body of the bags tested, the CH-97 was very straightforward to pack. Two mesh pockets on the divider flap in the main compartment provided a place for smaller items. Although the long vertical zipper pocket on the front did well to hold large garments it didn’t feel very versatile to the testers.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$299.99
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