Travel has looked quite different since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, international travel has reduced significantly and many people have cancelled or postponed trips indefinitely until herd immunity and mass inoculation via vaccination occurs. If you have taken a flight, it probably wasn’t for pleasure and the whole experience has changed. That being said there’s no time like the present to prepare for your next excursion and make sure your luggage is on point so the second you get the go-ahead you can hop on a plane with no fear. Sounds great, doesn’t it? We’ve put together a guide for you that includes the best luggage brands and some key questions to ask yourself when shopping for the go-to bag.
Some considerations to make before buying a bag include whether or not you plan to check a bag. If you’re only doing carry-on, you’ll need to make sure you have a bag that meets the often stringent size requirements. For carry-ons, your choices will come down to traditional rolling luggage or weekenders. Rolling cases take the strain off your back, while weekenders have the advantage of versatility; in addition to air travel, a duffle can be used for road trips, the gym and camping.
To help you get a handle on your luggage and find the right brand for your needs, we’ve put together a list of the top luggage companies on the market, from companies known for cheap luggage sets to custom-made suitcases that last a lifetime. We’ve included the industry leaders for vacation travel, business travel and adventure travel. We’ve also included options for travelers who love to look stylish as well as an option for professionals looking to transport expensive sporting and camera gear. Besides traditional air travel-focused brands like Samsonite and Tumi, familiar outdoor brands like Patagonia also make affordable and dependable luggage that’s worth considering. In short, no matter what you’re hauling, we’ve got you covered with the top luggage brands.
With their recognizable, sleek finish and high-quality designs, it’s easy to see why Samsonite is the top luggage brand for travelers around the world. The best Samsonite luggage sets are durable and built with users convenience in mind. From high-quality materials, like polycarbonate, to handy additions, like built-in locks, Samsonite products have withstood the test of time and continue to do so.
This Omni expandable luggage set will fully equip you for any journey no matter the length, weather or number of souvenirs you decide to bring home. The micro-diamond polycarbonate these suitcases are made of is scratch-resistant and the oversized spinner wheels will make any load you’re bringing feel lightweight. The suitcases also have mesh dividers inside with cross-straps for organization and all of them expand to add extra space for all your goodies. The handles also have a push-button for locking that’s easy to maneuver and there’s a TSA lock to protect your valuables along the journey.
BEST BUDGET BRAND
While the name AmazonBasics may conjure up ideas of products that match their low cost with low quality, it couldn’t be further from the truth for their luggage line. You only need to check the reviews of this range to see that Amazon has managed to balance great quality with a fair price point. Check out the thousands (yep, thousands!) of five-star reviews for the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage, and you’ll see exactly what we mean. This durable, compact suitcase is perfect for weekend getaways with a protective shell and fully lined interior. They don’t skimp on details along with slashing the price for affordability, as the suitcase has four double-spinner wheels for mobility in all directions and the bag is expandable up to 15%.
Believing that “all time away is time well spent,” Away’s aim is to produce the travel products you need without any excess or filler. With function as their guide, Away has produced a limited yet impressive range of products, all of which combine technology with design. In most of their suitcases, you’ll find remote locks, built-in phone chargers and even tracking functions. Add to this their direct-to-consumer approach, which keeps prices reasonable, and you’ll get a top-quality suitcase. Plus, if you aren’t 100 percent happy with your Away bag, you can return for a refund within 100 days of purchase.
In particular, the Away The Bigger Carry-On is part of Away’s majorly successful carry-on range and features an optional battery and is available in a range of attractive colors.
4. Briggs & Riley
Briggs & Riley was founded in 1993, and the California company has been making quality luggage with a lifetime guarantee since then. The brand makes duffels, backpacks, rolling luggage, briefcases and just about every other kind of bag you could use to get your stuff from point A to point B (in style, of course). This stylish hard-side roller has a variety of handy features. The CX compression-expansion system increases the capacity of the bag by 17% and it has a 70/30 top lid opening so the bag can be packed like a regular suitcase on a luggage rack. The inside lid has a mesh panel with a hanger that can hold 1 suit or 1-3 shirts in place for the whole trip, and there are speed buckles to keep clothing flat and as wrinkle-free as possible. It’s an ideal bag for a 4-7 day trip, and they’ve got larger ones in their library as well.
Our E-Commerce Editor, Taylor Galla, recently got a chance to try out this Monos’ medium check-in bag and was thoroughly impressed. The hard top construction is high-quality, the interior has zippered pockets for organization and clipped straps for separating the two halves. The telescopic handle feels very sturdy and dependable, and it comes with a TSA-approved lock for your zipper that works like a charm. They offer a full line of luggage ranging in size from smaller carry-on bags to large checked suitcases and even hybrid models that work for both. Their suitcases are well-made, dependable and offered at affordable prices for the value you’re getting.
If how it’s made comes second to who it’s made by, we suggest you invest in one of TUMI’s premium offerings. Don’t get us wrong, there’s no problem with the build quality or design, but TUMI has established itself as the cream of the crop, meaning your case is as much about who you are as what it can do for you. TUMI’s suitcases last for decades, and they’re built to withstand frequent travel and hold up beautifully. This Worldwide Trip 4 Wheeled Packing Case is one of their best models. It’s lightweight despite being a hardshell case, and the four-wheel 360-degree rotation system enables easy maneuvering through busy international airports. It’s a larger case that’s made for multiple destinations, and it comes with an Accents Kit including a luggage tag, zipper pull ties, a monogram patch and handle wrap.
7. American Tourister
BEST FOR VACATIONERS
American Tourister has been a top luggage choice for vacationers for decades. Why? They combine fair prices with well-made items for the occasional traveler. You’ll also find American Tourister offers plenty of original products to choose from as well as options in all sizes and shapes, too. With 90 percent of customers scoring it five out of five, the American Tourister Disney Hardside Luggage is a great example of what this reliable company has to offer. The bag is available in two different sizes as well as a range of beautiful and recognizable designs that help make your luggage feel like your own.
8. Rockland Melbourne Spinner Wheel Luggage Set
One of the best ways to buy luggage is in a set like this one from Rockland. This high-quality brand makes hard-side luggage that’s built to last out of ABS material that’s also lightweight. The double-spinner wheels are multi-directional, making navigating through busy, crowded airports busy and the chrome telescoping handle is ergonomically designed for comfort. This set includes a 20″ suitcase that fits well within carry-on size restrictions and a 28″ suitcase that’s designed to be checked on longer excursions. Both are expandable to fit more stuff if need be, and come in a variety of fun, bright colors.
CALPAK makes premium luggage at an affordable price, and their carry-on suitcases are versatile options for any kind of traveler. This suitcase is available in a variety of stylish but muted colors. The inside of the bag has numerous pouches and straps to easily organize your essentials, and an expansion sleeve helps you maximize what you can carry. There’s also a TSA-friendly lock to keep your gear safe. CALPAK also makes a stylish suitcase with a front zip pocket that makes it easy to access your essentials without needing to open the entire suitcase.
Inexpensive, utilitarian, and simple, SwissGear’s luggage is a great option for the casual traveler who takes a no-frills approach to flying. SwissGear soft-side luggage has tons of outer zippered pockets, including a small stash pocket that’s ideal for quickly accessing snacks, phones and travel documents. The bag is also expandable if you need more space. The inside of the bag has tie-down straps and zippered pockets for easy organization. SwissGear also makes backpacks and duffel bags.
As the producers/pioneers of the first polycarbonate suitcase in the early 2000’s, it should come as little surprise that RIMOWA remains on the cusp of modern advancements in the luggage industry, from advancing construction materials to maximizing the space inside. Even though you’re often paying more for a RIMOWA case, you can rest assured you’re also getting more, too. The RIMOWA Original Cabin Plus Packing Case boasts an anodized aluminum shell with a patented Flex-Divider system along with a TSA-approved lock and interior compression straps for making the most of the capacity. Of course, because RIMOWA suitcases are so expensive, you may want to check out the top RIMOWA alternatives as well.
BEST DESIGN-YOUR-OWN OPTIONS
ROAM offers a wide range of beautifully-designed luggage as well as the option to design your own color-blocked suitcases complete with a free monogram perk so you’ll always know which bag is yours. They have a full gallery of colors and styles to choose from including the bright Kanazawa (pictured below) that features a hard polycarbonate shell, a water-repellent zipper, an ergonomic handle, TSA-approved combination lock and compression system so you get the most pack for your buck.
All of their suitcases are available in four sizes — The Jaunt, The Journey, The Jaunt XL and The Expedition, and are made to maximize your packing efficiency and potential for each trip.
Patagonia doesn’t have the range of some of these other luggage brands in that they mostly make wheeled and non-wheeled duffels and other adventure gear — but the stuff they do make will last forever. I (Taylor) have a Patagonia duffel that I bought for a trip to Europe after high school and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s lasted me through countless trips, flights, taxi rides and it still looks brand new. It’s a great adventure bag because the straps on the back transform it into a backpacking bag instantly, but you can still carry it like a duffel bag if you wish. The zippers are high-quality and the outside material is water-resistant, durable and nice looking. It comes in a whole bunch of colors and sizes, and will be able to keep up no matter what your adventurous itinerary has in store.
One note — they make these duffels in sizes all the way up to 100 liters, but I don’t recommend going above 70 as then it becomes very difficult to carry. Max out at 70, and then grab a model with some wheels for your larger loads and longer trips.
MORE: Best Duffle Bags
If you’re a serial over-packer (guilty!) Victorinox makes giant suitcases made with compression mechanisms inside that’ll help you pack that 6th sweater you really need to feel ready to go. This giant suitcase has a capacity of 105 liters as well as super-recessed wheels and handles made for hauling so all your belongings won’t slow you down. The suitcase also comes with a removable full suiter so your formal attire will arrive ready to go, and a zippered divider wall inside for keeping things organized.
Timbuk2 is best known for adventure and cycling bags, but the brand also makes stylish and durable options for airline or road travel. The Copilot Luggage Roller is a durable and convenient bag for short or medium-length trips. True to the brand’s origins, the Copilot takes inspiration from cycling and skateboarding. The handle has grip tape similar to what you’d find on handlebars, and the wheels are similar to skateboard wheels. All four sides of the bag have handles for easier loading into overhead compartments, and there are dedicated pouches for laptops and shoes, as well as zippered mesh pouches for your other essentials.
BEST SOFT SIDE
Making the choice between hard side and soft side cases often comes down to personal preference. If you prefer soft sides, Travelpro is a great option. Their soft-side suitcase comes with an ergonomic contour handle, MagnaTrac spinner wheels and up to a 2-inch packing capacity expansion if/when needed. The high-density nylon fabric on the outside of the suitcase has a durable coating that resists stains, and the suitcase has Supra zipper heads made to resist damage even with frequent use. The bag has a TSA-friendly lock and an interior tie-down system with accessory pockets that keep clothes organized and wrinkle-free.
BEST LEATHER WEEKENDERS
Lotuff doesn’t make rolling luggage, but if you’re looking for briefcases, totes or backpacks, they’re a great brand to turn to. All of their bags are made from luxurious leather — and the price reflects that. These American-made bags are not cheap, but they may very well outlive you. The No 12 Weekender is a great travel option, whether you’re flying or hitting the road.
While some companies focus on one or two main products, some go the other way. Delsey falls into this latter category. You’ll find they produce every kind of luggage option, from hard side to soft side to under-seat options and more. But, while you may think so many products may result in spreading the design team too thin, the result is actually quite remarkable. Not only are Delsey’s designs and styles on point, their bags are also well thought out and built to last. In particular, the DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hard+ Hardside Luggage looks classy and unique while sporting a polycarbonate build, faux leather accents, a TSA-accepted lock and an innovative braking system to prevent your bag from rolling away.
19. Baboon To The Moon
If you’re the type to carry your gear on your shoulders rather than roll it, then Baboon To The Moon is a great brand to turn to. They don’t make rolling luggage, but they do make great duffel bags, sling bags and dopp kits. Their Go-Bags can be worn as backpacks, over the shoulder, or in the hand. As the whimsical name suggests, Baboon To The Moon doesn’t take itself too seriously — all of the bags are available in vibrant colors like orange, yellow, red and purple. If you choose to check one of these bags, you won’t have to worry about confusing it with someone else’s on the carousel.
20. U.S. Traveler
BEST FOR FREQUENT TRAVELERS
If, in non-COVID times, you’re a frequent flier on domestic or international flights you need a solid piece of luggage that’s going to get you and your business casual attire there in one piece. This 2-piece carry-on set from U.S traveler is perfect because it’s got a durable polyester construction and a self-locking handle system for efficient maneuvering as you move through airports. The two bags piggy-back on each other making it easy to carry all of your stuff and both have expandable features to increase your packing capacity while still abiding by TSA regulations. The bag also has inline skate wheels with reinforced housing and a non-slip padded shoulder strap on the tote.
BEST FOR SPORTS AND PHOTOGRAPHY
If you’re transporting expensive equipment between point A and point B, it’s worth looking at what Pelican can do for you. Whether you’re a photographer or professional archer, if you need to know you’re trade tools are safe and protected, look no further than Pelican’s range of rugged and durable travel cases. Most cases on offer are specifically made for carrying expensive equipment, including cameras, bows and rifles. The cases also often provide a range of options for storage inside a tough exterior. For example, the Pelican Air 1615 Case is available in a range of colors, features stainless steel lock hasps, is secured by double throw latches and offers a range of possible interior configurations.