Looking for the best checked luggage with top durability? 🧳🪓 Check out our expert reviews of the top 7 suitcases on the market for 2024
Whether jetting off on a dream vacation or taking a quick weekend trip, having reliable luggage can make or break your travel experience. We reviewed over a dozen suitcases to find the very best options for every budget and travel style. From hardshell to softside, two-wheeled to four-wheeled, read on for our top recommendations for 2024.
Best Overall: Travelpro Platinum Elite 25-inch Expandable Spinner
When it comes to finding the best suitcase on a budget without sacrificing quality, the Travelpro Platinum Elite 25” Expandable Spinner rose to the top of our testing. Constructed with durable, abrasion-resistant ballistic nylon and high-quality zippers, this checked luggage is built to last through years of regular travel.
The Platinum Elite stands out for its smooth-gliding MagnaTrac spinner wheels, which make maneuvering easy even when loaded up with 50 pounds of belongings. Multiple handles give you flexibility to roll or carry the bag with ease. Inside, a spacious main compartment with handy straps and interior pockets keeps clothing neatly organized. An expandable zipper provides some extra space in a pinch.
This sturdy, 25-inch checked suitcase passed all our durability testing with flying colors. While weighing in at a slightly heavy yet standard 9.8 pounds when empty, the Platinum Elite offers performance and interior capacity far beyond its reasonable price point. For best value, it’s undoubtedly our top pick.
Most Durable Bag: Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium 25” Expandable Spinner
Frequent travelers should consider investing in the exceptional Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium. Constructed of ultra-durable 1680D ballistic nylon over a rigid yet flexible frame, this bag is practically indestructible. Its patented compression system also allows packing an extra week’s worth of belongings in already ample space.
Four smooth-rolling outdoor wheels and multiple handles make this 25-inch suitcase a pleasure to transport. An expansive, smartly designed interior has a handy garment folder and plenty of pockets to keep items neatly organized. The Briggs & Riley comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee to back its unparalleled quality.
While expensive, for those wanting the absolute best travel luggage money can buy, this suitcase should handle a lifetime of adventures. The innovative compression system and cavernous, customizable interior storage make it our top quality pick.
Best Hardside Suiter: Away The Medium Suitcase
For sleek-looking hardshell luggage able to withstand heavy use, The Medium from Instagram-famous brand Away is a superb choice. At 26 x 18.5 x 11 inches, this standard-sized checked bag offers ample capacity for longer trips. Made of durable polycarbonate, The Medium maintains flexibility while resisting scratches better than lower-priced hardside options.
The patented 360° spinner wheels on The Medium are essentially frictionless, allowing the bag to glide smoothly in any direction with ease. A TSA-approved lock helps keep belongings secure en route. Inside, a compartmentalized interior and compression board keep items organized and wrinkle-free. Away’s signature laundry bag even enables separating dirty clothes post-trip.
With its resilient 100% polycarbonate clamshell and top-quality components like the whisper-quiet wheels, The Medium proved the best hardside checked luggage we tested. For travelers partial to a hardshell aesthetic, it makes an excellent durable and stylish choice.
Best Suitcase for Budget Travelers: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage
While it may not have the famous brand cachet of Briggs & Riley or Away, the Samsonite Winfield 2 offers tremendous value. Available in 20-inch to 29-inch sizes, these extremely lightweight yet sturdy polycarbonate suitcases fit the bill for budget-conscious travelers.
At under 8 pounds for even the largest model, the Winfield 2 keeps bags light to maximize packing capacity. While exterior scuffs and scratches may show more over time, the glossy hardshell feels virtually indestructible, withstanding our durability testing admirably.
With multi-directional spinner wheels, TSA locks, and crisply lined interiors, the Winfield 2 possesses features of pricier models at a fraction of the cost. For shoppers wanting reliable hardside luggage without blowing their budget, it’s an outstanding steal.
Best Carry-On Underseat Suitcase: Delsey Chatelet Hardside Carry-On
Frequent fliers and overseás voyagers should consider the expertly designed Delsey Chatelet Underseat carry-on. Sized specifically to fit under airplane seats, this petite yet mighty bag ensures your most essential items stay with you in the cabin.
Made in France, the Chatelet boasts premium European craftsmanship with the durability to accompany globetrotting travel. Despite its small, lightweight frame meeting domestic and international carry-on size restrictions, the intelligently configured interior accommodates ample belongings.
The plush packed interior remains protected by a 100% polycarbonate shell resilient to abrasions. Silent Run 360° double spinner wheels guarantee smooth transport atop any surface. For frequent travelers prioritizing carry-on convenience without compromising quality or capacity, the understated luxury of the Delsey Chatelet shines.
Are Britbag suitcases worth it?
With their eye-catching patterns and posh interiors, Britbag suitcases certainly look the part for the jet setting traveler. However, these bags come with a designer price tag, often $500+ for a checked size piece. Based on hands-on testing of Britbag luggage compared to options like Travelpro and Briggs & Riley, we don’t find the price or quality to quite justify the cost.
Britbag suitcases tend to weigh on the heavy and bulky end, lacking the lightness and nimble maneuverability of top brands’ four-wheel spinners. While certainly stylish and seemingly well-constructed, smaller details often disappoint—cheap feeling zippers, flimsy interior compartments, sausage-casing backpack straps unsuitable for burdened wear.
For the prices charged, travelers deserve luggage combining supreme functionality with standout looks. Yet Britbag seems to miss the performance mark while charging purely for appearance and branding. We think most travelers don’t need to splurge for the style statement when more affordable suitcases offer better functionality and durability.
What is the best suitcase for air travel?
The ideal suitcase for smooth travels depends somewhat on your packing habits, budget, destination, and airline. However, based on extensive testing and frequent flier experience, we recommend the Travelpro Platinum Elite carry-on paired with Platinum Elite checked luggage.
With scratch-resistant ballistic nylon exteriors, sealed wheel bearings, and built-in garment folders protecting formalwear, Platinum Elite bags withstand airports’ ruthless baggage handling in style. MagnaTrac spinner wheels smoothly navigate terminals, while multiple handles facilitate everything from stair climbing to placement in overhead bins.
For travelers wanting stylish, high-capacity luggage able to endure high mileage journeys, Travelpro Platinum Elite offers the full package. Combined with the lifetime manufacturer’s warranty covering airline damage, this practical yet upscale luggage is first-class for jet setters.
Softside vs Hardside Checked Luggage: How To Choose
Travelers seeking checked baggage face the decision between softside and hardside suitcase constructions. Which offers better functionality and value when transporting larger loads? We break down the key factors to consider.
Durability: Softsided luggage better withstands stress from travel, with more durable zippers and fabrics resisting abrasion. Many reputable softside brands offer 10 years+ warranties compared to the 2-5 years of average hardshell luggage.
Interior Customization: With their adjustable tie-down straps and multiple zippered pockets, softside bags enable superior interior organization capability. Hardshells’ flat walls maximize space yet limit compartmentalization.
Balance & Wheel Tracking: Softsides’ flexibility helps wheels maintain ground contact over uneven surfaces like cobblestones and curbs. Yet hardsides’ rigidity lets them track straighter on smooth floors.
Visual Appeal: Vibrant colors and glossy prints attract attention and conceal scuffs. Luxurious looking top grain leather softsides and matte aluminum finishes upgrade luggage’s aesthetic. But hardsides best avoid showing scratches.
What type of luggage is easiest to travel with: suitcase or backpack?
Backpacks make excellent carry-on and personal items, offering hands-free convenience for navigating airports and trains. High-quality options provide comfort along with ample, cleverly configured capacity.
Yet for checked baggage holding bulkier items and formal outfits, a suitcase undeniably fits the bill best. Four-wheeled spinner luggage effortlessly transports heavy loads, taking physical strain off the traveler. Suitcases also feature integrated organizational systems keeping clothes neatly tucked while protecting garments.
For optimal ease checking bags while enjoying mobility with carry-ons, we suggest combining a suitcase like the Travelpro Platinum Elite with a backpack such as the Osprey Farpoint. This luggage pairing balances effortless transport over long distances with unfettered freedom exploring destinations. Wheeled cases and backpacks both make traveling simpler while fulfilling distinct, complementary roles.
For checking bags on longer, rougher hauling journeys, we believe staple softsided luggage combines the optimal blend of resilience, customizable organization, balance, and visual appeal. Casual travelers may still appreciate hardsides for their lightness and sleek styling. But road warriors are best served by sophisticated softside luggage for the long haul.