The DELSEY Montmartre+ is possibly the best piece of luggage I have ever owned. After I suggested this suitcase to a friend and she packed it up for her first trip, she summed it up best: “Who would think a suitcase could make that much difference!”

My DELSEY Montmartre+

DELSEY is a French company that has been selling luggage since 1946. The company offers several different lines, but I tried the Montmartre+, which is designed specifically for frequent travelers who value organization on the road, but want a sophisticated look.

I have the 20″ expandable carry-on spinner trolley. It weighs about 7 pounds and is 20.25″ tall, 13.5″ wide and 9.5″ deep, expandable to 11.5″. As with most expandable bags, it fits in the carryon without expanding, but is too wide if you expand the bag. That works great for me. I usually carry it on with me when I leave for my trip, expand it during my travels as I gather keepsakes on the road (or work materials if I'm on business) and then check the bag heading home. I always figure it won't matter as much if my bag ends up delayed on the return trip.

How to Use the DELSEY Montmartre+

I thought it might be best to show you how I packed my DELSEY Montmartre+. I was going to be in Las Vegas for five days. I wore a pair of boots and carried a heavy coat (yes, it does get cold even in Las Vegas), but needed to pack everything else in the carryon bag. Here's what I laid out to take with me (including lounging clothes, a swimsuit, a lightweight jacket, toiletries, makeup and markers with a coloring book):

The clothes I need for 5 days in Las Vegas.

The clothes I need for 5 days in Las Vegas. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

I pack my suitcase using medium packing cubes from eBags. These are the best packing cubes I've found and I stay organized when I use them. Plus, my clothes stay neat and don't wrinkle. Two of them fit neatly into the main compartment of the DELSEY Montmartre+ to hold my pants, tops, swimsuit and exercise equipment.

My favorite thing about this suitcase is the separate compartment that attaches to the bag with snaps and has a zippered top. I placed a pair of flip-flops, dressy flats, my little case of jewelry, a mesh bag containing all of my power cables and my computer power cable in the separate compartment. This could also be a great compartment in which to keep used clothing during your trip, so you don't have to put them back in with clean clothes.

If you choose not to use the compartment for a trip, you simply unsnap it, flatten it against the side and zip it up out of your way.

Clothes packed in DELSEY

My clothes are in the eBags cubes on the left and I've put shoes and jewelry in the compartment on the right.

I zip up the compartment and place another eBags cube (this one smaller) on top of it. That small cube contains my socks, gown, and undergarments.

DELSEY Montmartre+ packed with three eBags cubes.

DELSEY Montmartre+ packed with three eBags cubes.

I add my jacket, rolled up, between the two packing cubes, tighten the straps and then I add the plastic bag that is included with the DELSEY. This is a sturdy one-quart, TSA-compliant water-resistant bag. It contains my 3-ounce bottles of liquids and I tuck my toothbrush, dental floss, and deodorant inside as well. The bag only needs to contain your liquid toiletries but must contain ALL of your liquids. I carry just a few basics—shampoo, conditioner, shower/bath gel I can use for a bubble bath, antibacterial cream and small toothpaste.

Note that I do not routinely have to remove my toiletries when going through security because I have TSA Pre-Check. Under that program, I do not have to remove computers, toiletries, light sweater or shoes when the pre-check lanes are available. However, if I visit an airport that doesn't have pre-check, or if I'm flying internationally, it's easy to unzip the top of the suitcase just a few inches, unsnap the plastic bag, put it on the conveyor at security and then snap it back in place once I've cleared security.

DELSEY completely packed

I've packed my DELSEY, including the plastic bag with my TSA-approved liquids

The sleeve on the inside top of the bag is designed for a laptop, but I carry a backpack with my laptop and camera. That left the sleeve as an ideal spot for my coloring book, markers, and a scarf. According to DELSEY, you can conceivably pack the bag, when expanded, with all of the following:

  • 2 toiletry bags
  • 4 pairs of pants
  • 2 coats
  • 10 shirts
  • 4 pairs of shoes

I don't think I've ever taken a trip with four pairs of shoes or ten shirts, but if you want to, this is your bag. Of course, you won't be able to carry it on expanded, but that does give you tons of room to buy keepsakes when you vacation.

The outside of the suitcase includes two more zippered compartments. I usually keep the top for things I might need in the airport, such as a few dollars, a tube of lip balm, a little case of antibacterial wipes. I used the large compartment on the front for my makeup.

DELSEY exterior compartments

There are two exterior zippered compartments on the DELSEY Montmartre+

Now for that fabulous compartment inside. Remember the one I put my flip-flops, flats, jewelry and computer cable in when I packed it? The beauty of that is that it is accessible from the outside. I can quickly grab my flip-flops on a long flight or pull out my computer plug if I need it. This is such a great spot for things you need to be able to access quickly.


I love the compartment that you can access via the side zippered pocket.

The suitcase is all packed and ready to go. There is also a TSA-approved lock built into the suitcase, so you can lock it up with the confidence that someone won't get into it, but it can still be checked by TSA should they want to look inside the bag. There is a loop on the side pocket so you can lock that up with an optional lock.

One other cool feature is the unique tracking code found on every DELSEY suitcase. You simply visit, create your sign-on credentials with your contact information, then enter the code for your suitcase. If someone finds your bag, they have instructions on the tag to visit the website, enter the code and DELSEY will notify you that someone has located your bag.

DELSEY Montmartre+ on the road

Heading to Las Vegas with my DELSEY Montmartre+

Get Your Own DELSEY Montmartre+

I don't often recommend suitcases because I don't often find that many I really like. Some are too bulky, or the wheels don't turn right, or it's top-heavy, or it doesn't hold enough even though it looks as spacious as the next one. But this one is a real winner. I love the DELSEY Montmartre+ because it is compact but has ample usable space. I could have easily fit a sweater, another pair of pants or a dress into the case, along with a pair of wedge heels. I plan to take this one on a month-long European trip this spring, so that should be a good test.

You can purchase the eBags packing cubes online here. You can get a set of three cubes—one small, one medium and one large—for $24.99. A set of three medium cubes is $22.49. To purchase the DELSEY Montmartre+, you can purchase it online here. The Bordeaux color retails for $340 but is available on Amazon for $142.99. The black is available from Amazon for $139.99. You can read more about DELSEY and other products in their Montmartre+ line and additional lines online at

Note: DELSEY sent me a complimentary Montmartre+ carry-on bag to review, but the opinions are all my own.

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