Travel may look a little different these days. And whether you’re gearing up for a family road trip, an Airbnb staycation, or finally taking that cross-county tour you’ve been dreaming about, you’ll need the proper luggage to get you through it all.
But choosing the best luggage is not always as easy as it seems. The variety of options on the market can make shopping for a new large suitcase or carry-on feel like driving through a dark tunnel without a navigation system. But this guide will help shine a light on your trek, aiding you in choosing the right luggage for you and your budget. Whether you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all carry-on or an entire stylish luggage set, these are the best luggage brands on the market that will get you cruising from point A to point B, without the hassle or stress of schlepping that raggedy, old case in the back of your closet. Plus, many of them contain travel accessories and laptop bags to keep you moving and organized during all facets of your trip.
How to Find the Right Luggage
The most popular luggage comes in either a hard-sided or soft-sided structured bag. The pros and cons of both depend on what you prioritize when you pack. Soft-sided luggage typically has more room for movement, more organizational pockets, and can compress to fit into tight spaces (like the overhead of an airplane). They open with a top flap zip, placing the bulk of storage at the bottom. This offers more packing room, but it can throw off the balance of your goods when it’s tossed around and stowed away by airline employees. Basically, soft-sided luggage does not provide as much protection as hard-sided bags—but they are roomier.
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Hard-sided bags started gaining popularity in the past few years, due to advances in making polycarbonate more durable and lighter. They feature a 50/50 split opening, making each side an equal stabilizer with an outer shell of hard protection. The polycarbonate shells are typically better for business travel. They stack easily, but are usually rigid with zero room to expand like a soft-sided bag. The latest hard-sided bags look sleeker and are easier to clean and move—but they require you to be more strategic in your packing.
Other features that you’ll want to consider are weight and wheel-ability. The most modern luggage comes in the lightest possible form on four spinner wheels that can swivel 360 degrees to make rolling around the airport, pavement, or hotel floor a breeze.
Ahead, you’ll learn all that the 17 best luggage brands have to offer, all at a variety of price points, highlighting each brand’s star products to help you choose the best suitcase or luggage set that fits your lifestyle, as well as editor-tested favorites.
You must be living under a rock if this is your first time hearing about the magic that is AWAY luggage. The simple-yet-modern design makes you actually love to carry the brand’s bags. AWAY’s claim to fame comes from the brand’s built-in battery packs that can power up your devices. The carry-on sizes come in a traditional option and a bigger carry-on for certain airlines that allow it. The brand also innovated on its hard-sided luggage collection, and now make a full-line of soft-sided durable ballistic nylon and outer pocket additions.
“I’m a big fan of AWAY luggage! The brand’s pieces are thoughtfully designed with great attention to detail for travelers looking to commute with ease. The interior of the suitcase has a streamlined design, which offers ample space to fit all your necessary items in an uncluttered and organized way. Plus, AWAY’s suitcases are extremely lightweight, so you can easily maneuver to and from your destination without pulling your muscles or overexerting unnecessary energy—to me, that kind of ease is invaluable (at a price that’s very fair).” – Ted Stafford, Fashion Director
Samsonite makes the best affordable suitcases and luggage sets, period. While the brand is in just about every major department store, the best place to buy Samsonite luggage is on Amazon. The retailer carries some of Samsonite’s highest-rated products that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. You can score an entire