Packing is the least fun part of travel. Regardless of where your destination is or how much items you are planning to bring with you, the process is inherently tedious and can drag out for hours. The issue is further compounded when you don’t have the proper luggage equipment or when you have no idea which type is of luggage is suited for your exact situation. To help you find the best travel luggage on the market, we have crafted a comprehensive guide that goes through everything that you need to know about luggage gear.
Travel Luggage Buying Guide
As it is the case for any luggage and travel gear, functionality and practicality should always be prioritized over aesthetics. Not that the quality of the design should be completely discarded, but a suitcase doesn’t need to the sleekest looking in order for it to be a great option for you. Qualities such as spaciousness, durability, and quality of the wheels should be your primary focus when you are looking for a travel luggage. Below is look at some of the most important factors that should be kept in mind.
The Lightness of the travel luggage
Just because your luggage is checked, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the weight of the suitcase. Getting a light suitcase allows you to pack more items without worrying about the weight limit that is imposed by airline companies. Generally speaking, a travel suitcase should never weigh more than 10 pounds. Another advantage of light suitcases is the fact that they are easier to maneuver and carry, that’s why it should have the lightness feature. However if you are looking for a light carry on, you should read our article about carry on luggage.
The spaciousness of the interior
Getting a suitcase with a spacious interior might seem like a no brainer, but it is important to remember that capacity shouldn’t be estimated just by looking at the design of the suitcase. Some models have wider frames and exteriors but poorly made interior compartments that are too cramped and devoid of any extra pockets. Conversely, a number of compact suitcases are roomy and feature an assortment of extra pockets and compartments. If the manufacturer doesn’t advertise the capacity, make sure to check some user reviews to get a better idea of what the suitcase can handle.
The quality of the wheels
The best suitcase for travel should provide great mobility and needs to be easily maneuverable, and the quality of the wheels is a major component of that. Opt for a suitcase that has the sturdy rubberized wheels that can operate on any surface without getting stuck or slowing down and avoid the ones with cheap-looking wheels that are made from plastic. Spinner wheels are especially helpful due to their ability to glide effortlessly across the floor regardless of the weight of the suitcase.
The quality of the handle
The handle of your suitcase needs to be comfortable and easy to grip. Flimsy handles that are poorly designed or made from slippery materials can severely compromise the maneuverability of the suitcase and your ability to carry it or wheel it for an extended period of time. If your budget allows it, go with an ergonomic handle that is designed specifically to comfortably fit your hand without requiring any physical effort. It is also advisable to pick a handle with two posts due to its ability to provide superior balance and extra support.
Hard shell vs. Soft shell suitcases
When you are looking to buy a suitcase, you will be presented with two choices; a suitcase with a hard shell exterior or a suitcase with a soft shell exterior. Each type has its own drawbacks and advantages, but it ultimately comes down to making a choice between two qualities; durability or flexibility. Soft shell suitcases are generally lighter, they can fit in tight spaces, and they allow you to retrieve your items without having to fully open the suitcase. On the flip side, they tend to be less durable than their hard shell counterparts and are more vulnerable to damage and ripping. As for hard shell suitcases, some of their main drawbacks besides the lack of flexibility include the lack of outside pockets and a tendency to sustain scratches, however for us it worked really well in our Bangkok and Phuket trip. However, both hard and soft shell can be your best luggage for travelling.
The color of the suitcase
When it comes to suitcases, there is no need to play it safe and opt for a generic color. Pick a unique color that makes your luggage stand out. This will make it easily recognizable on the luggage belt and will help you identify your suitcase very quickly.
The extra compartments
Extra compartments give you more storage space and help you keep everything organized. They are especially needed for storing items that should be separated from your clothes and electronic devices, mainly toiletries, and liquids that could spill inside the interior compartment.
Best Travel Luggage Options
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner
- 20" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and meets most carry-on...
- PACKING Dimensions: 19" x 14.5" x 9.5", Overall Dimensions: 22" x 15" x...
- 10 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: Samsonite products are rigorously tested to...
- MICRO-DIAMOND POLYCARBONATE texture is extremely scratch-resistant, keeping...
A market leader such as Samsonite is bound to be represented more than once in our guide. This sleek-looking suitcase comes in a wide selection of color options and boasts a design that is exquisite and eye-catching. As we have come to expect from Samsonite, the durability of the suitcase was heavily prioritized. The Omni PC Hardside Spinner was constructed from reinforced polycarbonate and the exterior case is designed to handle the roughest elements that you can encounter during your trips. Additionally, the inclusion of a micro-diamond texture ensures that the suitcase remains scratch-free even after prolonged use. Despite the plethora of features and hard construction of this suitcase, it is quite light which allows you to pack a lot of items without worrying about the strict weight restrictions that are imposed by airline companies.
The spaciousness that is offered by this suitcase is simply unmatched in this price range. Not only is the main interior compartment well designed and large, but the interior pocket also covers half the size of the case and is easily one of the largest in the market. And if that wasn’t enough, you will be glad to know that the case itself can be expanded, which allows you to pack even more items. With this much storage space in one compact suitcase, the Omni PC Hardside Spinner is more than capable of serving as your sole luggage when you are traveling abroad.
Another aspect that makes this suitcase a worthy investment is the highly advanced and sophisticated lock system that is seldom found in entry-level and mid-range suitcases. The built-in TSA lock is impregnable, easy to use, and does not require the use of a key. It guarantees the safety of your items and ensures that they arrive intact to your destination.
- It has tremendous capacity relative to its size and dimensions
- Some of the available color options are quite unique and eye-catching
- The lock is highly secure and easy to use
- The micro-diamond texture is very effective when it comes to preventing scratching
- The durable reinforced polycarbonate construction prepares the suitcase for the roughest elements
- The re-engineered lightweight spinner wheels provide great mobility
- One of the best suitcases for international travel
- The lack of a side or bottom handle makes carrying the suitcase very difficult
- The telescoping handle feels a little bit flimsy and poorly glued on
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero
- Lightweight and Durable: Made of 100% Polycarbonate, which is a material...
- Superior Maneuverability: The double spinner wheels assure exceptional...
- Largest Capacity: This suitcase expands up to 2 inches for additional...
- Maximum Comfort: This carry on bag has a comfortable handle system that...
This is another compact and moderately priced suitcase that features all the qualities that you’d like to see in a practical luggage. It was introduced as an upgraded version of a previous model and has benefited from several improvements in some key aspects such as the flexibility of the case, the quality of the wheels, and the sturdiness of the frame. Despite having a fairly generic design, the elegant metallic finish of the Aero has a subtle hint of class that makes it a perfect suitcase for both leisure and business travel. It is made from made of 100% Polycarbonate and has a robust exterior that can handle a wide array of elements that include heavy impact and the usual rough handling by airports agent. Moreover, the uniform and opaque texture of the case ensures that even the smallest signs of wear and tear remain invisible.
The overall capacity of the suitcase is another aspect that saw some significant improvements. The interior compartment is fairly wide for such a small unit and the case expands up to 2 inches for extra storage space. This feature can be really helpful when you pick up some extra items during your trip and need to pack them in an already full suitcase. On top of all this, The Aero has a multitude of pockets that allow convenient access to important items and help keep everything in your suitcase organized as well as a set of web straps that tightly secure your clothes and reduces wrinkles.
As far as the maneuverability is concerned, The Helium Aero gets a full mark. The spinner wheels glide smoothly across the floor even when the suitcase is completely loaded. This is further aided by the quality of the handle; it is soft, easy to grip, and boasts a convenient system that locks into two positions.
- The glossy finish is elegant
- The capacity is remarkable considering the compactness of the suitcase
- The spinner wheels glide effortlessly across the floor
- Equipped with straps that secure clothes and prevents wrinkles
- It excellently combines lightness and durability
- The handle of the Aero provides great comfort and a tight grip
- The absence of any compartment or pocket on the exterior of the suitcase
- The high gloss finish of the suitcase makes it prone to scratching
Samsonite Luggage Fiero HS Spinner 28
|1||Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase Spinner Hardshell Lightweight TSA Lock||26,650 Reviews||$179.99||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Luggage with Spinners, Carry-On 20-Inch, Blue/Navy||3,505 Reviews||$153.99||Buy on Amazon|
When it comes to travel suitcases, we can safely state that the Samsonite Fiero 28 covers the full scope of your needs and it can really be the best checked luggage. It has a sleek and elegant design that makes it stand out from other options in its price bracket and like all suitcases from Samsonite; it boasts the versatility that makes it ideal for any type of travel. The exterior of the Fiero HS Spinner is made from high-quality polycarbonate and is robust enough to handle the wide range of elements that you are likely to encounter during your travel. This includes everything from the rough handling by airports agents to extreme weather conditions in the outdoors. Furthermore, the exterior of the suitcase has an anti-scratch texture that enables it to stay intact even after coming into contact with a sharp object.
On top of its remarkable sturdiness and its peerless ability to handle everything that you throw its way, The Samsonite Luggage Fiero 28 comes with a spacious interior compartment that can hold all your travel essentials. What it is impressive is the fact that the suitcase manages to provide all this without sacrificing lightness and compactness. Some of the smaller versions of the Fiero Spinner can even be used as Carry-on suitcases.
The Fiero Spinner comes with all the qualities that have become absolutely essential in today’s air travel. Some of these features include a set of rugged spinner wheels that are designed to roll smoothly on any type of surface, a multitude of well-placed pockets that enhance the overall capacity of the suitcase, and well-made straps that are highly effective when it comes to securing your items and minimizing shifting during your trip. Additionally, you have the option of you using a TSA-approved lock if you want more protection for some of your sensitive items.
- The suitcase is compact and relatively light despite its rugged construction
- It offers ample storage room and comes with a number of spacious pockets
- It is equipped with a number of straps that tightly secure your items
- The exterior of the suitcase boasts an anti-scratch texture
- It comes in a wide range of color options
- It comes with a TSA-approved lock system
- The hard exterior doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility
- There are no instructions that explain how to change the lock combination
American Tourister Splash Suitcase
|1||American Tourister Stratum 2.0 Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinners, Jet Black, 2PC SET...||519 Reviews||$207.95||Buy on Amazon|
|2||American Tourister Stratum XLT Expandable Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Pink Blush,...||6,167 Reviews||$104.31||Buy on Amazon|
This is a good option if you are looking for a very light suitcase that is easy to carry and maneuver through a busy airport. The design, while simple and to the point, exudes a slick and hip feel that is perfectly suited for travel. Moreover, the dimensions of the American Tourister Splash are below the allowed maximum for carry-on suitcases, which gives you the option of bringing it with you on the plane and effortlessly fit it in the overhead bin. It is made from high-quality materials and the stitching is simply flawless. As for its durability, the Splash suitcase passes the test with flying colors. Upon close inspection, all the main components are well made and build to last. More precisely, the wheels seem quite rugged, the zippers are fairly big and smooth, and the overall build quality feels immaculate.
While the flexibility and small size of this suitcase are without a doubt its biggest selling points, it is still capable of offering respectable storage space and can even serve as your main suitcase for short trips. It can hold several clothing items, all your toiletries, as well as various compact electronics and other accessories. The spaciousness of the interior compartment aside, there are also several deep pockets that allow you to keep a number of item categories separate from each other.
Wheeling this suitcase through the airport is made easy thanks to a number of characteristics and unique features. Besides the inherent lightness of the design, a major contributing factor is undeniably the quality of the wheels. They are made from polyurethane and feature ball bearings that minimize resistance on the surface; this ensures smooth rolling and long-term durability. As for the retractable handle, it is easy to grip and enables you to maneuver the suitcase with minimal effort. Because of all these features it can truly be your’s best checked luggage.
- The suitcase is compact enough to be kept in the overhead bin of the airplane
- It is equipped with several pockets that make luggage organization easy and convenient
- The wheels are highly durable and provide smooth rolling on any surface
- The design is quite stylish and the build quality is great
- Comes with a top carry handle that enables you to carry the suitcase with ease
- Good value for the price
- The handle is made of cloth and doesn’t feel sturdy enough
- The straps are attached to the bottom of the interior rather than the top
Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 28″
|1||Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Black, Checked-Large 28-Inch||6,188 Reviews||$154.30||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 20-Inch, Brushed Anthracite||20,954 Reviews||$149.99||Buy on Amazon|
This is not exactly the fanciest suitcase in our guide, but it is the one that offers the best value for the money and is definitely a worthy investment for anyone on a tight budget. The design of this latest offering Kenneth Cole is pretty standard and doesn’t have any eye-catching features, which could suit you if you happen to prefer subtlety over flashiness.
The unique thing about this model is the fact that it is made from the material ABS, a synthetic element that is significantly lighter and less dense than the vast majority of the materials that are used to make suitcases. At only 6 pounds, this suitcase is lighter than most of its direct competitors, a quality that can be extremely valuable if you want to pack heavy items without exceeding the airline’s allowable maximum weight. The ABS construction of the suitcase is further reinforced with a layer of Molded Corner in order to ensure a high level of impact resistance.
The interior compartment is elegantly designed, spacious, and boasts a practical zipper pocket that can hold several travel essentials such as toiletries and beauty products. When it comes to handling and maneuvering the suitcase, the process is made easy with the inclusion of several features that are geared toward enhancing flexibility, mobility, and functionality. The four wheels have the capacity to glide smoothly in any direction and the retractable provides a secure and comfortable grip that enables you to roll the suitcase with relative ease.
Some other interesting characteristics of the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds include the flexible top and side handles that allow you to carry it when it is not being rolled, and the practical side bezels that enable the suitcase to stand on its side.
- The suitcase is extremely light
- It is sturdy and the outside case can withstand a significant amount of impact
- The wheels are well designed and give the suitcase more mobility
- The handle provides the user with a secure and comfortable grip
- The zippers are durable and work smoothly
- It comes with side bezels that allow it to stand on its side
- The outside case scratches very easily
- The handle doesn’t extend as much as some other alternatives
The best travel luggage needs to satisfy certain requirements that are integral to any luggage gear. It needs to have ample room for the majority of your essential travel items, it should be easy to maneuver and carry around, and it must be durable enough to handle the rough handling by airport personnel. Fortunately for you, we did the brunt of the work and narrowed your options down to the five travel suitcases for travel in the market. It is up to you to pick the one that fits your needs based your design preferences, budget, and storage space needs.
Also don’t forget your kids, and read our kids luggage reviews.