One essential element of planning a trip away is getting the hand luggage right!
When it comes to carry-on luggage, you always have a few options.
You either opt for something cheap and cheerful that will break after a few uses, or you invest in a quality luxury carry-on that will last you on many adventures.
I used to rely on cheaper hand luggage, but actually got super frustrated when the zip kept breaking, or there would be a rip in the product.
So, I knew that it was time to focus on quality!
So, after a search on the internet, I came across the super cool luggage brand, Horizn Studios, and reached out to them.
They sent us two of their hand luggage products: the M5 in the "essential" range VS the H5 in their “smart” range and after using them on our most recent city break, we’ve fallen in love!
Below we’re going to take you through the features and benefits of both products to help you decide which hand luggage case is the better fit for you.
Full Disclosure: We received courtesy product and compensation from Horizn in exchange for our honest review only. All opinions expressed here are our own.
Horizn are a super unique, stylish brand who launched the world’s first luggage with a removable charging function in 2016.
Three years later, they collaborated with Alyssa Carson (a NASA-astronaut) to give space luggage its world debut. (Pretty cool, right!?)
Since then, they’ve been creating even more unique luggage, always with sustainability in mind.
Enter 2021 when they created “Circle One”, the world’s most sustainable luxury luggage. It’s a fully plant-based concept which is designed to be repaired, and never replaced, which means it will never see a landfill. I think it’s pretty epic, and I’ll discuss it more later!
You can buy Horizn Studios Luggage directly on their website, and the guys have been kind enough to give our readers 22% off with the code: DBTFxhorizn
You can also buy your luggage in the store.
They have stores in Berlin, Milan, Paris and more!
First up is the Horizn M5 Cabin Baggage with 33 Liters capacity.
This is the bag I used (Cazzy) and before we go into full details, I can tell you, I LOVE it!
Mine was an “essential range” product, and I’ll discuss below what the differences are between the essential and smart luggage range.
First things first, the colour.
I opted for a Vega blue, which was a beautiful shade.
I would have loved red, but it wasn't available, and I’m not surprised, the red looks awesome! But the blue was a wonderful choice, and the colour looks soft in person.
Others colours available are:
I think this is a great range of colours and you’ll be sure to find something that suits your style and personality.
On first impressions, when I first opened the luggage, I was very impressed with the quality.
Everything felt strong, yet light, and the product looks like a quality piece of luggage, i.e. it looks expensive!
We love that all Horizn Studios Luggage is fully-vegan, and it even ships carbon neutrally with eco-friendly packaging.
After dragging the suitcase around the airports of London & Budapest, and the streets of Budapest, the luggage held-up very well.
I squeezed as much as I could into my hand luggage (travelling light isn’t a phrase I understand), and therefore I really tested the zipping mechanisms on this hand luggage, and it handled it perfectly!
I recommend you use some packing cubes to keep your luggage and your sanity organized.
If you’re a digital nomad (like me), or you just like to travel with your laptop, then this is a perfect feature for you!
I absolutely loved how easy it is to access my laptop from the front of my hand luggage without having to fuss-around inside, and it also makes going through airport security with a laptop an absolute breeze.
Plus I could keep my passport and other travel documents at the front, which again made for easy access.
Also, the front pocket is water-resistant, which is pretty useful if you get caught in rain running to your hotel or flight.
Everything about the M5 hand luggage is sustainable, and eco-friendly, and I adore it.
I’m trying to make better choices every day when it comes to being more eco-conscious, so this brand really is dedicated to that cause too.
The M5 weighs 3.4kg making it lightweight for carry-on luggage and you could probably pack up to 5 days worth of clothes, making it a perfect choice for city breaks or business trips.
What can I say about hand luggage with 4 wheels? Well, you’ll NEVER go back to 2 wheels once you’ve tried 4.
It just makes rushing through the airport a breeze, and Horizn hand luggage literally glides through the airport.
For our American friends and those travelling to America, the lock system on the M5 Horizn Hand Luggage is TSA approved, which is super useful, and for everyone else, the lock is brilliant.
It’s easy to use, looks good, and it means you can feel comfortable that your hand luggage will be safely locked in the compartments on the plane. Since it’s a combination lock, you don’t need to worry about losing a key. (Something brad and I have done before…)
Another great feature of the M5 is the awesome handle. I never thought I’d fuss so much over a handle, but in comparison to previous hand luggage brands I’ve used, this one is excellent.
What’s included in the essential luggage?
Next up is the H5 hand luggage in the “smart” range, and this is the bag Bradley opted for.
He went for an olive green, which looks beautiful, and there are a range of other colours including:
Colour choices may differ depending on whether you opt for essential or smart.
The quality of the H5 is to the same standard as the M5.
It looks premium, it feels premium, and all the zippers and compartments feel well stitched and quality.
This really takes the Horizn suitcases to a whole new level. You can make any of the hand luggage suitcases “smart” for an extra fee, and I think it’s totally worth it.
The removable smart charger not only works perfectly, but it’s subtle!
You can’t even tell it’s there, and you’ll never have to worry about finding a plug in the airport again because your phone is dying and your tickets are on.
This is an EXCELLENT addition to this hand luggage.
Just like the M5, the H5 is fully vegan, sustainable, made from recycled materials and it’s even lighter than the M5!
The H5 comes in at 2.9kg, (under the essential range) so if you’re looking for a slightly lighter option, then it’s a good choice.
Just as before, the four 360 wheels will smooth your movements throughout the airport!
Just as before, all locks on Horizn hand luggage, including the H5 are TSA approved, and combination locks so you don’t need to worry about keys.
This is another additional feature to the H5 smart hand luggage. The compression pad helps keep everything in place, and helps keep your shirts, and dresses wrinkle-free!
There’s a hidden laundry bag within the hand luggage, which again is perfect for keeping yourself organized on your citybreak/business trip!
Whether you opt for the M5 or H5 hand luggage, you can opt to make either of them “smart” or “essential”. To help you see what the difference is, this table should help!
Based on my use, and the features on offer, I would say if you’re a digital nomad, who works from their laptop frequently, then opt for the M5, and if you want the charging capabilities of the H5, then simply go for the M5 in “smart” style.
I think that combination of laptop access at the front, and the ability to charge your devices without having to open your case, is the PERFECT laptop for business travelers and digital nomads!
I honestly loved both bags, and I think they naturally will suit different styles of people. I preferred the “look” of the M5, it felt more feminine to me, whereas Bradley really loved the H5!
Both hand luggage choices are similar in their quality, function and capabilities, so I suggest you literally choose one that suits your personality better, as you won’t be compromising on quality with either choice.
Usually I can find faults in most products we review, but I’m struggling with this one.
I guess if I had to give one issue, it might be that the hand luggage cases may not be as lightweight as other options.
I know some cases are around 1kg, whereas you are starting at 3kg with this brand, so essentially losing out of 2kg on a 10kg had luggage allowance.
It wasn’t an issue for me, especially since in around 10 years of travel someone has checked my hand luggage weight around 2-3 times.
Yes you can! You can actually completely customize your luggage if you wish.
And you can add a monogram to your luggage tie so you can easily identify your luggage!
It’s all well and good if cabin luggage has lots of great fancy features, and performs well, but the main thing it NEEDS to do is actually fit in the overhead compartment of the airplane, since it’s hand luggage afterall.
You don’t want to end up with a fee.
Well you’ll be happy to hear that the M5 and H5 fits perfectly in the overhead compartment of a Ryanair plane, which we all know, is one of the “smallest” planes.
But Horizn also has a really useful table on their website (as seen below) that shows you all the different airlines and their hand luggage requirements.
Both hand luggage models are designed to fit in the overhead bin and both are made with the same aerospace-grade German polycarbonate.
The M5 features a smart front pocket for your travel documents, laptop, phone etc.
The H5 is a little roomier than the M5 with an additional volume 2 litres.
In case the table above wasn’t clear enough, let’s quickly explain the difference between the smart and essential luggage.
They’re both EXACTLY the same on the outside, same construction, same materials, but the smart offers a few extra features, such as a compression pad, a removable power bank and a hidden laundry bag.
Horizn doesn't just offer hand luggage, they also do checked baggage.
So if you want the ultimate set, you can purchase both, and remember you can get 22% off with our code DBTFxhorizn, so you can save on that.
Their checked luggage is called the H6 and H7, and it comes in two sizes, 66L and 90L.
They also make a range of backpacks which are perfect for day-to-day adventures, or if you can only travel with one small “personal” bag on your airline (Easyjet & Ryanair, I’m looking at you!)
There are some really nice options to explore, and all the backpacks are super stylish, vegan and sustainable!
They have also created a brand new product called Circle One, which is 100% plant-based and biodegradable.
You can see how this differs and compares via this little diagram on their website.
But it seems like an excellent product, especially for those who care about the environment!
Let us know in the comments below which hand luggage you’ve opted for!
I honestly believe they are one of the best luxury carry-on luggage brands around.
So I hope you've enjoyed this Horizn Studios luggage review, and hopefully you can make a better decision on which cabin luggage you should pick for your next adventure.
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