My Big Purple Beast passed its first test as soon as it was out of the box: the kids quickly claimed the Samsonite Spin Trunk and established that, yes, they can fit inside it - making it a useful part of their lounge-dominating, fort-building games. (Also, the kid-handling capacity could be handy in case I ever branch out into the people-smuggling trade.)

The lightweight, hard-shell Spin Trunk comes in three sizes - the heights measuring 55cm, 65cm and 75cm. I opted for the biggest, which is huge yet fits within airlines' luggage-size restrictions, but you'd be doing well to get this thing past the boarding gate as carry-on.

After the kids were done bouncing on it, the Big Purple Beast faced its first proper test: Auckland to Seattle, via Los Angeles.

Somewhere along the way, our group's luggage got drenched. Every other traveller in my posse of half a dozen or so reported that items of their clothing were soaked upon arrival at the Seattle hotel. Nothing inside the BPB was so much as damp.


Now, it could be that my luggage was protected from the water by my fellow travellers' suitcases, or it could be that the BPB is better.

The 360-degree wheel base is superb, making the case a breeze to handle in a busy airport. The 80:20 compartment split means it sits comfortably on a hotel luggage rack, unlike most hard-shell cases that have a 50:50 split.

Criticisms? Not many, it could do with a couple more small internal sections for storing documents, passports and the paper detritus of a business trip.

Also, it's not really purple - the case comes in three colours (blue, violet and charcoal) and I'm a big believer in having the brightest luggage on the carousel (see Linda Herrick's tale of luggage woe).

Big, sleek and - crucially - dry, the BPB passed its test.

Samsonite Spin Trunk
RRP: $699