Luggage used to be something I knew something about. My first husband was in the luggage industry, and I picked up some of his knowledge. At least, according to me.
My good luggage fell apart after the divorce, and I had to buy my own bags for the first time. I tried a couple cheap brands thinking the airlines would destroy them anyway. But, no matter how cheap it was, I found out the hard way that, if it only lasts once, it's no bargain. Being in a strange city with luggage with a broken zipper is no fun.
I decided to buy the good stuff. I didn't like the previous version of Kirkland wheeled luggage and chose instead the Tumi wheeled case that Costco carried at that time.
What a great case! It has lasted through NYC, Detroit and many less taxing airports. I think it's a little over engineered in terms of pockets and unnecessary neat features, but it has only grown on me.
Costco sold off their Tumi luggage stock and now have a Samsonite/Kirkland hard shell case and a newly designed, soft-sided, wheeled Kirkland line.
I don't know anything about hardshell cases, so don't have an opinion there; but the soft sided case is definitely better-made than the previous Kirkland luggage.
Someone made quality decisions on materials. I don't think the design is anything special.
In my West Nashville store yesterday, the 26 inch version of the new Kirkland carry-on was on sale.
I'm hanging with the Tumi, only wishing I'd bought two.