While you can’t put a price tag on the experiences you enjoy while traveling, it would be difficult to argue that traveling isn’t expensive. From making sure you have any necessary passports and visas to buying airfare and lodging, there are a lot of costs that go into most trips. And of course, you can’t travel easily without the right luggage.
Carry-on luggage, spinner suitcases, duffel bags, and every type of luggage in between can easily cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. The good news is that you can get the quality luggage you need at more affordable prices by simply shopping the best cheap luggage brands and taking advantage of additional offers/discounts as they become available.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to shopping for cheap luggage? Explore our top five picks for the best cheap luggage brands, as well as some practical advice for purchasing your next travel luggage without breaking the bank.
Best Cheap Luggage Brands
- American Tourister
Reviews of Best Cheap Luggage Brands
Begin your search for cheap luggage by checking out these top-rated affordable luggage brands. These brands are known for offering budget-friendly options without sacrificing quality or customer service.
All of CHESTER’s luggage designs are inspired by world travelers and with an innovative, modern twist. They offer a range of luggage options, including their popular Minima Carry-On Spinner Suitcase and the Regula Checked Spinner Suitcase at reasonable prices—especially when you consider their durable construction and lightweight, hard-sided materials. CHESTER also offers a 100-day trial with all luggage purchases and free returns, so you can buy with confidence.
For more than a century, Samsonite has been a trusted name in luggage. They offer a huge selection of carry-on and checked luggage, including both soft- and hard-sided options. Samsonite is also known for being one of the most affordable brands on the market, and they’re frequently holding special sales and promotions on their website for those looking for extra savings. They also offer a limited global warranty on the majority of their products that includes free repairs or replacement for any manufacturing defects.
3. American Tourister
Another budget-friendly luggage brand to consider is American Tourister; based in Rhode Island, this luggage brand has been offering affordable yet durable products since 1933. Carry-ons, medium checked bags, large checked bags, and wheeled uprights are some of American Tourister’s more popular offerings. However, they also sell kids’ luggage sets and have teamed up with Marvel, Star Wars, and even Disney to offer unique and stylish designs for the whole family.
Is there anything Amazon doesn’t sell these days? Amazon Basics has surprised many by becoming known as one of the best affordable luggage brands on the market. All their luggage products are tested for durability and come in a wide range of color and style options. And of course, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll enjoy free one- or two-day shipping on most items—which is great if you’re shopping for luggage last-minute.
Although iFLY is a relatively new luggage brand (with beginnings in 2012), they’re 100% focused on offering affordable, stylish, and quality luggage. iFLY has quickly become known for their beautiful hard-sided spinner options, but they offer everything from carry-ons to mini-cases and everything in between. They also offer an “iFLY Honest Warranty” for added peace of mind with your purchase.
Advantages of Using Cheap Luggage
Spend even 10 minutes shopping for a carry-on bag online and you’ll find that prices can range drastically. You can spend as little as about $30 for a basic carry-on, or hundreds of dollars for a designer brand bag. So, what are some of the best reasons to buy cheap luggage?
The first reason to buy cheap luggage that probably comes to mind is the simple money savings you’ll enjoy when buying cheap as opposed to expensive designer luggage. This is money that you can free up to spend on actually enjoying your next trip; your savings from buying an inexpensive suitcase could easily pay for a nice dinner at your destination, an upgraded hotel room, or even a first-class ticket for a more comfortable flight. Of course, you can always pocket the money you save by purchasing inexpensive luggage. The point is that you can save a lot of money simply by going with the best cheap luggage brands and avoiding the flashy designer brands.
Adapt to Airline Restrictions
These days, carry-on luggage sizing restrictions can vary greatly from one airline to the next. If you’re flying internationally, you may also have different luggage restrictions that you would when flying domestically. In order to accommodate all these different airline restrictions without sacrificing space in your luggage, you may need to own suitcases and bags in multiple sizes and configurations.
When you buy inexpensive luggage, you can afford more separate pieces than you would if you bought more expensive luggage. This means that you’ll have more options to choose from when packing for your next trip, which can make flying easier and could even save you money on airline baggage fees.
Change Up Your Style
Even if you aren’t worried about airline baggage restrictions, buying less expensive luggage means you can afford to buy baggage in different colors and patterns to suit your individual style. Many travelers, for example, enjoy having more subdued and neutral luggage that they use for business travel and a separate set of more colorful and fun luggage that they use while on vacation. Having more than one luggage set can be difficult to afford when you’re buying overpriced luggage, but it’s much more feasible if you’re buying from the cheap luggage brands.
Stress Less About Damage
Buying a beautiful leather duffel bag for travel may seem like a great idea until you have to check that bag at the airport and worry about all the damage that could occur to it during handling. The truth is that any luggage, regardless of price, is going to be subject to some wear and tear as it passes through security and especially when it gets checked by the airline. When you buy inexpensive luggage to begin with, you don’t have to worry as much about superficial damage and scuffs. The same probably cannot be said of an expensive suitcase that you paid hundreds of dollars for; one small scratch or stain and you may find yourself wondering why you spent so much of your hard-earned money on it in the first place.
Potential Drawbacks of Using Cheap Luggage
Though there are plenty of advantages to buying and using cheap luggage, there are some potential disadvantages to consider as well.
Quality and Longevity Concerns
Not all cheap luggage brands are good luggage brands, which is why it’s recommended that you stick with our list of top five picks for affordable luggage brands. Other brands may offer inexpensive luggage but may sacrifice the quality of their materials and construction to accommodate their low pricing. As a result, you may find yourself with broken zippers, torn materials, and other damage that requires you to replace your luggage sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, this can offset a lot of the savings you enjoyed by purchasing cheap luggage in the first place.
Lack of Warranty or Guarantee
Some cheaper luggage brands know their products aren’t built to stand the test of time (or rigorous travel), which is why they may not offer any kind of warranty or guarantee on their products. The good news is that many of the top-rated affordable luggage brands do still offer warranties on their products. CHESTER, for example, offers a free 100-day trial period for all their luggage. Other brands offer limited warranties ranging from 10 years to a lifetime, which cover manufacturer defects for added peace of mind.
Fewer Features and Accessories
Some cheaper pieces of luggage may not come with all the “bells and whistles” of a more expensive brand. For example, you probably won’t find a cheap suitcase that has a built-in battery pack to charge your devices while on-the-go. However, when you consider that many airlines are banning these battery packs in checked and carry-on luggage, you may be better off avoiding these controversial features to begin with.
How to Choose the Best Cheap Luggage
If you’re committed to finding great luggage at a steal, there are some tips and considerations worth keeping in mind as you begin shopping.
Consider How You Typically Travel
Start by thinking about what travel typically looks like for you. Do you do most of your traveling by car? If so, then you may not need to spend money on hard-sided suitcase materials like you would if you did a lot of airline travel. This can save you a pretty penny. Even if you do a lot of airline travel, you may be able to forego hard-sided luggage if you pack lightly enough to carry your bag(s) onto the plane.
No matter what, you’ll want to make sure that the cheap luggage you’re buying is still made of quality materials that will stand up to the test of time. Look for materials like polycarbonate for hard-sided suitcases and reinforced canvas for soft-sided bags. Durable zippers, pockets, and other accessories are also a must.
Research Airline Size Restrictions
If you do travel by plane frequently, it may also be wise to research the specific luggage size restrictions set forth by the airline you travel most frequently. This way, you can ensure that the luggage you buy will accommodate those regulations and help you avoid unnecessary luggage fees. If you’re shopping clearance or discontinued luggage, be extra careful about sizing. Sometimes, airlines will change their luggage size restrictions and the luggage being discontinued/sold at a discount no longer meets the updated requirements.
Decide on the Must-Haves
It can also be helpful to make a list of some of your “must-haves” when it comes to features. This will help you narrow down your options for cheap luggage, thus making for an easier shopping experience. Some popular “must-have” features for frequent travelers include:
- spinner wheels for easy maneuverability
- telescoping handles
- hard-sided and lightweight materials
- adjustable and padded shoulder straps (for backpacks and carry-ons)
- waterproof storage pockets
Explore Discounts and Savings
Many luggage brands offer special promotions and other opportunities for savings that can help take your budget even further, so don’t forget to explore these options. For example, some luggage brands will offer you an instant coupon if you sign up for their email marketing list. Others will offer special discounts and sales at different times of year or will even hold contests and give-aways on their social media pages. A little shopping around can go a long way when it comes to landing the best deal on cheap yet quality luggage.
Buy a Full Luggage Set
Perhaps the best way to make the most of your luggage budget is to buy a full set. Many brands offer sets of three or more pieces of luggage at a much cheaper price than you’d pay to buy each piece separately. For added convenience, these bags often fit inside of each other so they take up less room in your closet when you’re not actively traveling.
Many luggage sets include a carry-on and at least two other checked suitcases, but specific inclusions can vary from one brand to the next. Either way, buying a luggage set makes practical sense for many travelers.
The Bottom Line
Buying “cheap” luggage doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality or style; it’s simply a matter of finding a reputable luggage brand that’s committed to offering customers affordable and competitive pricing. With the money you save from buying inexpensive luggage, you can really make the most of your trips. And by following our tips and tricks for buying your next cheap luggage, you can make your purchase and pack for your next adventure with confidence and peace of mind.