The Highs: Upgraded features, better looks, 10 year warranty, killer price

The Lows: Lack of a locking trolley handle remains an issue

The Verdict: A genuine contender for king of the flyweight wheelies

NOTE:  I do NOT recommend you check this bag.  Some readers have apparently scanned this post, bought the bag, and then complained about damage when they’ve checked it.  Please note that the word “carry-on” appears in the post’s first sentence.

If you survey the marketplace for lightweight, wheeled carry-on bagsdefining lightweight as less than 5½ pounds (2.49 kg)the landscape isn’t exactly clutteredA Saks offers a 4.8 lb. wheeled duffel, Travelite offers a “Starlight” wheelie that checks in at 5.07 lbs (2.3 kg) but is only available in Europe, and then of course there’s the Landor & Hawa IT-0-2, which tips the scales at 5.02 pounds (2.28 kg).  Also worth mentioning, though it doesn’t quite meet our weight limit, is the wheeled version of the excellent GoLite TraveLite carry-on, but that bag weighs 5.8 pounds.

The IT-0-2, successor to the Landor & Hawa Sub-0-G (technically, the IT-0-1) which we reviewed in January of 2010, improves upon its predecessor in a number of ways while adding a few ounces to its weight, a few millimeters to its dimensions, and about ten bucks or so to its priceAre the upgrades worth the penalties?  Let’s check it out…

Numerous upgrades

Look at the IT-0-2 alongside the -1 iteration, and the most obvious difference is a decided upgrade in its appearance.

The Sub-0 had a funky minimalist look, but the -2 (on the right in this image) is substantially more sophisticated looking.  Whereas -1 was the epitome of unadorned boxiness, its successor adds curves and embellishments that break up its lines and add a bit of style:  the front pockets are larger, more artfully integrated, and their zippers no longer protrude into the available storage space.

The top grab handle is now covered with a marvelously soft foam padding which not only adds comfort, but masks the “shop class” simplicity of the handle itself.

The trim around the wheels is smaller, more attractive, but no less effective as a guard/bumper.  (Click on the accompanying image for a close-up of the two bags.)

Other design details

When you look the IT-0-2 over, it’s clear that the Landor & Hawa also addressed some of the earlier bag’s issues right this time.  A small point, perhaps, but on the old version, the bag’s front feet were uncomfortably close to the main compartment’s zipper.  As a result, every time you unzip or zip its zippers, you’d experience a close encounter with the feet, forcing you to slow down of actually move your hand a bit.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal, I suppose, but it’s one of those little annoyances that can grate on a user over time.

On the new bag, they’ve added a bit more space, slightly increased the radius of the corners, and the two changes make a world of difference!

On the inside, the IT-0-2 is all bag:  the frame is situated in the outermost corners of the bag, leaving you a large space with a flat floor.  The pockets in the underside of the top have been reconfigured, with the top mesh pocket now featuring a zipper closure, as opposed to elastic on the older version:

As with the IT-0-1, there are two compression straps in the main compartment, and nothing else.  Also as was the case with the earlier version, there’s no grab handle on the end of the bag opposite the top grab handle, meaning that the only way to carry the bag horizontally – say from a bed to a luggage caddy – other than putting your hand underneath.  Whether this is a big deal for you, only you can judge.  Likewise, in keeping with the minimalist approach, there’s no side grab handle either.  In actual practice, you’ll likely load it into an overhead wheels first, so the top grab handle will be readily available.

Speaking of handles, the trolley handle on this IT (stands for International Traveler, by the way) telescopes, and although spring loaded balls (how else to describe?!) have been added to the top sections, in actual practice they do little to discourage the handle folding into the bag’s body when you attempt to push it with the handle.  Perhaps the next generation will address this issue.  (The small holes beneath the spring loaded ball are solid, by the way – they’re not open to accept the ball mechanism, if this makes any sort of sense.)

I believe the larger versions of the IT-0-2 (24.5″ and 28.5″) have a more effective system, but I’ve not seen those bags in person.

Specifications

Here are the specs of this new version:

  • Dimensions:  21″ x 14.3″ x 7.8″  (NOTE:  see comments below for a clarification – it actually measures between 9-10″)
  • Linear dimensions:  43.1″
  • Weight:  5.02 pounds
  • Colors:  Silver – Black – Red – Lime – Brown
  • Warranty:  10 years
  • Frame:  fiberglass
  • Bag material:  polyester/nylon
  • Two outside pockets, padded walls, D rings for locking
  • Locking zipper on main compartment
  • Mesh zippered pocket, 2 elastic top pockets on inside of bag

A Photo Tour

A few additional photos of the IT-0-2 –  first, a close-up of the new design zipper pulls, which feature the zero logo/theme; this image gives you a good look at the locking feature:

The new ball bearing wheels are a bit more stylish than the prosaic types used on the previous model.  Mounted right at the bag’s outer corners, they lend a sense of stability, and are quiet in operation.

Not exactly robust, the D rings located at the sides of the front pockets will keep casual pilferers at bay:

The foam padding on the grab handle is especially nice to the touch; I can’t yet vouch for its durability:

Torture test video

In case you haven’t seen it, when I reviewed the Sub-0-G/IT-0-1, I subject the bag’s frame to a bit of abuse and it proved to be tough:

Wrapping up

My wife used her Sub-0-G during our week and a half trip to Europe this summer, and it’s become her go-to bag – she loves the thing, and there’s no question that its weight is one of the biggest factors in her enthusiasm for it.  The IT-0-2 improves upon the -1 iteration, with few penalties – this version is marginally larger, a tiny bit heavier, and as mentioned earlier, a bit more expensive.

The IT-0-2 isn’t yet as widely available as the IT-0-1, but its pricing will be south of $100.  The 17″ version is selling for just under $60 at AtlantaLuggage.com; although they are currently selling the 21″ shown here for $99.90, I suspect that market prices will be lower as the bag becomes more widely available.   The earlier version typically sold for ~$80 or so.  Here’s a link to the 21″ IT-0-2 at the aforementioned site:  21″ Landor & Hawa IT-0-2

If you’re in the market for a lightweight wheelie, the IT-0-2 has to be high on the list of contenders.  This new version addresses several shortcomings which marred its predecessor, is more attractive, yet remains amazingly light.

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36 Comments on Review – Landor & Hawa 21″ IT-0-2: the Sub-0-G lightweight wheelie upgrade

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Lifehack Ninja, Alltop Lifehacks. Alltop Lifehacks said: Review – Landor & Hawa 21″ IT-0-2: the Sub-0-G lightweight wheelie upgrade http://bit.ly/bfynlX […]

  2. Moira says:

    Here’s another light wheeled carry on for you. It’s remarkably similar to the travelite but available from Canada.

    The Heys Flylite.

    http://shop.heys.ca/ProductDet.....FlyLite_20

    Material:Hybrid – 1682 denier Ballistic Nylon with ABS exoskeleton frame;
    Size: 20.0″ x 14.0″ x 8.0″ ( 51cm x 36cm x 20cm )
    Weight: 20″ – 2.18 kg ( 4.8 lbs )
    Warranty:5 Year Limited Warranty

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Moira –

    Thanks for the recommendation on the Heys Flylite. I’ll see if I can secure a sample.

    [Reply]

  3. Adriano says:

    Aaarrgghh wheels! ;-)

    Besides, another option could be Ryanair’s Samsonite bag.
    No official website talks about the weight – A very valuable piece of information (at least for carry-on luggage) which seems to be hidden, just like Ryanair’s so-called “extra charges” (How can the check-in fee (either on line or in-line) be extra? The only way to avoid it is not flying!!!) But this is a diversion.
    After some googling I found here that the weight is 2.8 kilos, so slightly above the limit.
    My favourite to now is still the Osprey 46 – unwheeled, of course! ^_^

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Adriano,

    Yeah, I know, wheels. Sadly enough, my back has spazzed out on me 4 times in the last 11 months, and I am reluctant to do anything which encourages it to be upset with me – including slinging a heavy bag over my shoulder. So for now, I’ve been using wheelies for any trips longer than 3 days in duration.

    The Ryanair/Samsonite bag looks neat – but of course you have to be a Ryanair customer to buy one. Too bad – I’d like to try it out.

    Thanks as always for your comments!

    [Reply]

  4. enecabe says:

    Medium Foldaway Wheeled Cabin Holdall

    The piece has a packing capacity of around 34 litres and weighs less than 1.4kgs.

    http://flylite.uk.com/Lightwei.....tions.aspx

    [Reply]

  5. Andy Mesa says:

    I categorize these differently. They’re the only wheelie bags that are lighter when empty than my bag fully packed.

    And I haven’t forgotten about writing that packing post Kevin, I just haven’t had the time!

    [Reply]

  6. Gerg says:

    Those specs look like the measurements off the web site. Have you measured it yourself? Manufacturer measurements are terribly unreliable. Often they don’t include the handles etc.

    I’m quite surprised and annoyed that these dimensions actually seem to be too small. They’re about 1-1.5 inches short in every dimension compared to the carry-on limits I’m looking at. But if they don’t include the handles and wheels that would explain a lot.

    Also, are the wheels roller-blade style wheels with bearings and replaceable wheels? how do they compare to other bags’ wheels? They should roll effortlessly with no friction.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    I usually measure bags for my reviews, but I don’t think I did in this case. The actual dimensions are ~22.5″ x 15″ x ~10″. Measuring these bags is by nature imprecise, as in certain dimensions this bag can be compressed a bit. These dims put it above the standard carry-on specs, but we’ve used this bag and its predecessor quite a bit, and have never had a problem bringing it on board “standard” aircraft (737, A-318, etc.).

    As for the wheels, at this price I don’t think you should necessarily expect ball bearings. They roll easily, but when I spin them, my sense is that they have bushings, not ball bearings.

    Thanks for the comment

    [Reply]

  7. Lynn says:

    I selected the IT-0-2 and found it in grey here:
    http://www.liebers.com/intrsubzeg19.html
    Truly lightweight, so I can easily place in overhead. Don’t think I’d want to try checking it, though.
    I appreciate your comprehensive review, which helped me decide on this roller.

    [Reply]

  8. Nad says:

    I’m not sure if this is the 1st version or 2nd but Macy’s has the 16 inch carry on, 20 inch carry on and a travel tote for $99.97. Seems like a good deal for all 3 pieces.

    Here is the link:

    http://www1.macys.com/catalog/.....x-xx.index

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    That’s the original (IT-0-1) design. Looks like a great deal, but I wonder how useful the 16″ version would actually be… ?

    [Reply]

  9. Tony says:

    I would never buy the Ryanair bag. It is simply a samsonite bag sold with their name and it is by no means light. I have a Samsonite bag
    that is similar and much better.

    If Ryanair sold the IT-0-2 for around £40 I would buy it, but not the one they sell now. That is probably why they add it by default and when you remove it they still ask if you are sure.

    I’ve bought the 2nd size IT-0-2 that weights 2.18kg. As it will only be used as carry on it should be fine. Maybe needs some card board inserts to protect the sides. Also will get a denim/plastic cover for
    protection when checked in.

    regards
    Tony

    [Reply]

  10. Troy Elliott says:

    Hi there
    great review, just wondered if you could answer a couple of questions – I have bought the IT-0-2 Cabin Approved with measurements 55cm x 38 x 19.5.

    I’ve read that the zero G predecessor was fine for the ryan air carry-on checks and that it fit the cage fine at the gates but at this new version has slight increase do you know if there are any problems with sizing now, has the IT-0-2 been tested in a Ryanair baggage box?

    many thanks for any help you can give

    Troy

    [Reply]

  11. Troy Elliott says:

    Ryanair cabin baggage allowance is 55cm x 40cm x 20, although the IT-0-2 is within the limits I’m always concerned how accurate they are etc

    thanks

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Troy,

    I don’t have any experience with the Ryanair baggage box. We have both the Sub-0-G and the IT-0-2, and they are virtually identical in terms of their dimensions, except that the IT-0-2 is about one half inch (1.27cm) taller than the Sub-0-G. Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  12. Troy says:

    Cheers Kevin , the sub zero G is popular here and is ok for Ryanair so if the IT is similar in depth and width there should be no problem
    Thanks
    Troy

    [Reply]

  13. John Smith says:

    The 10 year warranty should not be noted as a ‘high’ – it is never honored. The company will always find a loophole so as to ensure that the ‘defects from materials or workmanship’ are never the faulting factors, but rather the consumer’s or airline’s actions

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    I think by now most consumers understand that warranties typically cover defects in materials and workmanship – not damage due to abuse.

    This is not a bag that you ought to check. Having said that, I HAVE gate checked it on a couple of occasions and haven’t had an issue, but would not recommend doing so as a regular practice.

    [Reply]

    Lyn63 Reply:

    Yes I bought a 77cm case and paid a lot of money for it in Australia. It was used once and the frame inside bent and broke. When I contacted who I bought it from I was told that the warranty did not cover airline damage. We buy suitcases to travel and if it won’t stand up to airline baggage handlers that is really sad.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Sorry for your experience, but if you read the first line of this post, I explicitly state that I am talking about the 20″ model as a CARRY-ON.

    [Reply]

    Lyn63 Reply:

    Thanks for your explicit response Kevin. I was aware of that but I just wanted to bring to people’s attention the fact that the Warranty means nothing, I also did state that I had bought a different model suitcase.

  14. Bav says:

    I bought 2 of the Worlds lightest suitcases, from Landor and Hawa luggage, at £65 each – Sub-0-G. The minute I packed my bags, I regretted buying them. The reason they are so light is because they are SOOOOOOOOO thin and cannot take the wear and tear of travel. After one trip abroad the suitcase is ripped and the handles scuffed. The items are protrude through the suitcase due to the thin material and there is no strech or cushioning which caused items to damage. On return from my holiday, 2 weeks ago, I tried to get Landor and Hawa to honour their 10 year guarantee but they wrote back saying it was the airlines responsibility!! My cheaper suitcases have lasted me over 10 trips abroad and this one has lasted one trip abroad and is definetly not worth the price!!

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Bav,

    Did you carry on or check the bags?

    [Reply]

  15. Bav says:

    I checked the bag in. It was a large 67cm suitcase.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Hmm… my only experience is with the 20″ model, and I’ve never checked it (other than gate checks), nor will I. Perhaps the post needs to be more explicit. Sorry L&H didn’t support you, but warranties really only cover defects in materials and workmanship, not abuse,

    [Reply]

  16. David says:

    I have the old sub-0-gee large 30″ bag sold to me as suitable for checking and have used it half a dozen flights or more with just a few scuffs, nothing ever smashed inside, still rolling, handles intact.Perhaps i have just been lucky.I was looking for a new check on bag but apart from paying a fortune all the reviews point to bags falling to bits and poor customer service.I think most soft sided bags seem to be nylon or a canvas material so are all prone to tearing.Hard sided cases may protect the contents more but then there is the weight problem and even these can crack or fly open.What cases would you recommend for check on please?

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    My wife has used a Sub 0 many, many times, and it’s been gate checked many times, and other than a few smudges and grime, it’s still going strong. Perhaps we’re just lucky. My Sub 0 – the black one reviewed here – is also in great shape.

    There are so many options for checked luggage, it’s tough to make a single recommendation. If you’re looking for a moderately priced, big bang for your buck option, check out eBags’ Mother Lode series. If you’re willing to pay more, I’d check out TravelPro and Tumi.

    [Reply]

  17. David says:

    thanks Kevin.I couldnt find ebags in the UK.I may investigate the more expensive recommendations when my Sub O dies.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    David,

    I’m not sure this will help, but eBags does offer international shipping via a couple of 3rd party firms. See this page: http://bit.ly/Xfs2ms

    [Reply]

  18. David says:

    Thanks Kevin this is all very useful and i will check it out

    [Reply]

  19. Brian says:

    Bought a Sub-G from ASDA for £35 in May 2011, to replace a Samsonite which you had to awkwardly twist to pull along by its fold up handle. It’s been to Spain, Australia, New Zealand and back to Spain. One of the wheels is more loose and allows that side to catch rough surfaces. It’s quite easy to take it off, but there’s no obvious way to adjust it. Question then is how to contact Landor & Hawa’s Customer Service to see if they can send a replacement under 10 year guarantee – but where are they?

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    I assume you went back to ASDA?

    In any event, try emailing: customerservice@itluggage.co.uk

    [Reply]

  20. pat sheehan says:

    I have two of theses suitcases which are ok but both of them have had the fibre supports at the top of the cases have broken .I think they should be maid out of aluminium which would stop them from breaking can you send me any replacements parts Has they are two years old and have a ten year guarantee. Many thanks

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    I am not a retailer; this is just a blog. Suggest you contact the manufacturer.

    [Reply]

  21. Jenn says:

    For the record, I bought the IT 0-2 21″ carry on in January 2012, from Irv’s website for less than $65. Every year since, I have used it for at least one overseas trip and usually two. Also several road trips and/or week/weekend trips annually. In other words, it has gotten a LOT of use. And even though it is a carry on, I always check my bags. Only now, last month, did it bite the dust. I presume it was airport handling issues–the frame is slightly bent and the handle won’t completely retract. I don’t worry about scuffs, etc., that’s life. This bag has worked great for me, I’m about to buy another and hope it holds up as well.

    [Reply]

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