Packing Light? These Lightweight Luggage Options Are Perfect for Staying Under the Maximum Weight Limit

Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin
Courtesy of Rimowa
When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

It’s time to travel. As vaccinations continue and a restriction-free summer is *hopefully* on the horizon, you might be thinking that it’s almost about that time to take a trip to make up for the travel-less last year. Given that it hasn’t been deemed quite safe as of yet to leave the United States if you’re a resident, said excursion is likely going to take place closer to home than you want right now, but at this point, a trip is a trip. So, if you’re taking a quick flight within the country, there’s no need to overpack — all you need for your next trip is some lightweight luggage to help you get to and fro.

Since you likely haven’t traveled in quite some time, we understand if you think you’re going to need everything. But, let’s keep it real: you don’t. Packing light is the way to go and doing it in lightweight luggage will allow you to keep room for anything you purchase on your trip and keeping that bag under your airline’s weight limit. The best luggage brands on the lighter side are also that much easier to lug around which will rid you of most airport and travel-related issues that might occur during transit.

What Should You Look for in Lightweight Luggage?

Lightweight luggage should be sturdy, good-looking and reliable. It doesn’t have to be the most bank-breaking, high-tech bag you’ve ever purchased, but you get what you pay for. Lightweight luggage can be either soft or hardshell but anticipate that the majority of the time, hardshell options will likely be a little bit heavier.

While some of you might prefer duffle bags, lightweight luggage should also have wheels for easy transportation. It is luggage, after all — not a duffle (unless it’s one of the best rolling duffle bags).

How Should You Pack Lightweight Luggage?

The reasoning for lightweight luggage, to begin with, is to pack light. Yeah, with less-heavy luggage, you will be able to pack heavier items to make up for the luggage’s lightness, but packing light is the smarter move for traveling in 2021. Only pack things you know you’ll need and consider ditching heavier, bulkier items such as sweatshirts, jackets and blankets. Consider wearing these items during your travels instead of packing them in your lightweight luggage, this will save room for extra items you might purchase on your trip.

What Are the Best Lightweight Luggage Options?

We picked out the eight best lightweight luggage options for your next trip below ranging from softshell rolling bags to hardshell suitcases. Depending on where you’re headed or how frequently you travel, some will definitely work better than others. Check them out now.

  

1. Away Bigger Carry-On

BEST OVERALL

If you haven’t yet heard of Away, let us introduce you. This is the carry-on of all carry-ons. It’s got everything you could ever possibly want in a carry-on bag and then some. Built with an exterior shell that’s almost indestructible, spinner wheels for smooth operation, a TSA-approved combination lock to keep your belongings safe and a provided portable charging device, this is the last bag you’ll ever have to buy. Period. It fits in the majority of overhead compartments and comes in a range of cool colors depending on your style preferences. Coming in at only 7 lbs total, pack whatever you want in this thing — we’ll be shocked if you somehow reach over the weight limit.

Away Bigger Carry-On Courtesy of Away

Away Bigger Carry-On

$245.00

  

2. it luggage World’s Lightest Los Angeles Softside Upright

RUNNER UP

This softshell upright luggage option from it luggage is said to be the lightest piece of luggage to exist, coming in at just 3.81 lbs in its carry-on size and 6.35 lbs in its checked luggage size. This luggage ditches four wheels for the original two-wheel design and is topped with an easy-to-grip non-locking handle. There are numerous pockets on both the in and outside for safe-keeping important items such as your chargers, wallet, accessories and travel information. Last but not least, there are a collection of handsome-looking colors to pick from to ensure you’re traveling in style.

it luggage World's Lightest Los Angeles Softside Upright Courtesy of Amazon

it luggage World's Lightest Los Angeles Softside Upright

$218.99

  

3. Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin

BEST BRAND

Rimowa is a luggage brand to be reckoned with. They’re one of the most recognizable and trusted by luggage-lovers all over the world and pride themselves on sleekness and total durability. The Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin is their most lightweight luggage option and comes in three different sizes, with the smallest weighing 4.6 lbs, the medium size at 6.8 lbs and the largest being 8.2 lbs. Each bag is finished with a glossy look and offers 100% stability with 30% less weight than average. The small and medium sizes are great for carry-on purposes but the large option is strictly a checked bag option.

Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin Courtesy of Rimowa

Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin

$500.00 - $690.00

  

4. Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage

BEST EXPANDING

Regardless of how light your luggage might be, some of you are going to continue to pack your luggage to the brim. We know that. If you are, the Travelpro Maxline 5 is what you need. This lightweight luggage option comes in at just 5 lbs and can expand around two whole inches for all those extra clothes you’re packing. It’s made with a softshell but is still tremendously durable and promises to keep everything inside safe. Each bag has four wheels with a total 360-degree spin for easy maneuvering. It has enough space for medium to longer trips, too.

Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage Courtesy of Amazon

Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage

$289.99

  

5. SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage

MOST EFFICIENT

SwissGear really said “it’s all about pockets” with this one. This softshell lightweight luggage option is perfect for the kind of person that needs a spot for everything. It’s got a slew of mesh interior pockets for keeping small accessories, your wallet and travel info as well as a removable wet zip pouch you can use for toiletries. Additionally, there are some exterior pockets as well. It rolls on four wheels for 360-degree movement and has reinforced lift handles that are tough and won’t break. At just under 10 lbs, this is an excellent option for when you need to check your bag.

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage Courtesy of Amazon

SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage

$113.94

  

6. Calpak Luggage Murphie 15.5″ Under-Seat Soft Sided Carry-On Suitcase

BEST UNDER SEAT

Not every trip calls for a large piece of luggage. Maybe you’re headed to Mom and Dad’s for the night? Maybe you’re going on a short camping trip? Maybe you’re getting an Airbnb with your significant other to spice things up for the weekend? Whatever the case may be, this softshell carry-on suitcase from Calpak Luggage is perfect for your short adventure. Coming in at only 6 lbs, this bag is perfect for hiding right under your seat on most aircraft. It’s got a single, telescoping top handle, a two-way zip-top front panel, three interior pockets and two pockets on the outside for maximum efficiency. And you thought big things couldn’t come in little packages? Guess again.

The best part of all? It’s currently on sale.

ON SALE
Calpak Luggage Murphie 15.5" Under-Seat Soft Sided Carry-On Suitcase Courtesy of Nordstrom Rack

Calpak Luggage Murphie 15.5

$69.97

  

7. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage

BEST SET

You don’t need to break the bank when it comes to an affordable lightweight luggage set, just check out this hardshell set from Samsonite and see what we’re talking about. For just under $330, this three-piece set is perfect for people who like to pack. A lot. The set includes one smaller bag for carry-on purposes and two larger bags that would both have to be checked before flying. Each has side TSA-approved locks to prevent theft, interior mesh dividers, large pockets and the ability to compress the inside contents for easy packing. Each bag is incredibly light, with the smallest coming in at 6.81 lbs, the medium at 8.34 lbs and the largest at 10.35 lbs.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage Courtesy of Amazon

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage

$449.00

  

8. Mountain Classic Cordura Rolling Duffle

BEST DUFFLE

Yeah, duffles are great for car, train and bus travel situations, but we don’t normally suggest you bring them on any airplane excursions — except for now. L.L.Bean’s Mountain Classic Cordura Rolling Duffle is the perfect duffle for air travel. It’s built with 1000D Cordura nylon for a tough-as-nails exterior to keep everything inside safe and sound. It has two wheels and a telescope handle for easy rolling throughout the airport so you’ll never have to lug your duffle around Newark Liberty ever again. At just 5 lbs total, you’ll have no issue with any weight regulations.

Mountain Classic Cordura Rolling Duffle Courtesy of L.L.Bean

Mountain Classic Cordura Rolling Duffle

$69.99

  

The 21 Best Weekender Bags for the Perfect Getaway in 2020