Having a quality, functional set of luggage is a must for any traveler. Whether you’re making weekly business jaunts or simply like to travel for leisure every once in a while, the right luggage can make packing for your trip and getting to your destination easier and less stressful.
Of course, with literally hundreds of different luggage brands out there, knowing which brand deserves your hard-earned money can be a challenge. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the task of shopping for new travel luggage, we’re here to help. Explore our picks for the five best luggage brands, as well as practical advice for selecting the luggage that will best suit your needs.
Top 5 Luggage Brands
Not sure where to begin as you narrow down brand options for your next luggage purchase? We recommend starting with this list, which includes a variety of brands known for their quality luggage products made of durable materials and backed by excellent customer service to boot.
Designed with the modern traveler in mind, CHESTER boasts a selection that includes a carry-on roller bag, a medium-sized suitcase, and a large suitcase. Customers love that CHESTER offers a 100-day trial and money-back guarantee, as well as free two-day shipping. Their bags also come in a wide variety of sleek and modern colors, and are engineered with lightweight yet durable materials for easy maneuvering.
2. American Tourister
For more than 75 years, American Tourister has been a trusted name in the luggage and travel industries. Today, they’re known for their affordable yet quality luggage that comes in a huge selection of “Instagram-worthy” colors, prints, and patterns. They also frequently hold sales and offer a special promotion of up to 15% off your first order when you sign up for their mailing list, so this can be a great brand option for budget-conscious shoppers.
The Samsonite brand is another tried-and-true option, with offerings for both business and leisure travelers. From carry-ons to checked luggage and full sets, they offer a bit of everything at reasonable prices. For added peace of mind with your purchase, they also offer a lifetime warranty for many of their products; they’ll repair any manufacturing defects or replace your luggage completely if needed.
4. L.L. Bean
Despite being known for their apparel and outdoor equipment, L.L. Bean also has a lot to offer when it comes to luggage. In addition to rolling duffel bags and spinner suitcases, they also carry some other practical travel accessories—including toiletry bags, RFID-blocking wallets, and more. Their duffel bags are a top seller due to their high capacity, which makes them an excellent choice for long trips.
Is there anything Amazon doesn’t make these days? For the price, AmazonBasics offers quality and durable luggage options for both business and leisurely travelers. From backpacks and underseat luggage to soft- and hard-sided checked bags, you can find just about any style you’re looking for through Amazon. And of course, if you’re a Prime member, you’ll also enjoy free expedited shipping and delivery in as little as one day.
Advantages of Luggage for Travel
No matter what kind of travel you do (or how often), there are a few major advantages to having the right luggage with you.
Keep Your Belongings Organized
Being able to not just pack but also properly organize your belongings can make your trip a lot more enjoyable. If you’ve ever hastily thrown your clothes and other essentials into a suitcase, only to arrive at your destination with wrinkled clothes and a mess of a suitcase, then you know just how much this can take away from the enjoyment of your travels. The right luggage will have plenty of storage compartments for your belongings and will make it easy to organize your clothing and other accessories. From there, you’ll have an easier time finding what you need once you arrive at your destination and can focus on enjoying your trip.
Protect Your Possessions
Luggage can also serve the important purpose of keeping your belongings protected from both theft and damage. Hard-sided luggage, for example, is a great choice for checked luggage because it can stand up to the rough handling that it will often receive at the airport. Meanwhile, other security features (such as TSA locks) can provide added protection by making sure that only you and the TSA have access to what’s inside your suitcase. Even checked baggage can come with some practical security features, such as durable fabric that is resistant to piercing or cutting. Other carry-on luggage may come equipped with an adjustable strap that allows your bag to be worn in front of you rather than on your back, restricting access to pick-pockets or other thieves during your travels.
Breeze Through the Airport
The right luggage can also make getting yourself and all your stuff from point A to point B easier than ever. Features such as spinner wheels and telescoping handles make for easy maneuvering of even heavy suitcases through dense crowds. Meanwhile, carry-on luggage with ergonomic backpack straps allow you to keep your hands-free as you make your way onto the plane. The right design goes a long way towards making maneuverability easier not only in the airport, but once you arrive at your destination as well.
Potential Drawbacks of Traveling With Luggage
While there aren’t many disadvantages of traveling with a great set of luggage, there are some potential drawbacks worth keeping in mind.
Additional Bulk and Hassle
Any time you’re traveling with a lot of luggage, you’re subjecting yourself to more stress when it comes to getting all your stuff to the airport, onto the plane, and to your destination. The more suitcases and garment bags you have, the more difficult this can be. Again, this is where having luggage designed with maneuverability in mind can come in handy—but still, traveling with a lot of baggage can be a hassle. When possible, many travelers prefer to limit their luggage to a simple carry-on.
Possible Baggage Fees
Airlines can vary widely in their baggage allowances and fees. While most airlines at least allow a small carry-on at no charge, checked baggage allowances and fees can be costly. Traveling with luggage beyond what’s included with your fare can get costly, so limiting what you pack can come in handy if you’re traveling on a budget.
How to Choose the Best Luggage Brand
In addition to checking out the top-rated luggage brands outlined here, there are some additional tips worth keeping in mind as you explore your options.
Consider Your Travel Type and Frequency
Begin by thinking about not only how often you travel, but the type of traveling you tend to do. For example, if you typically take short weekend trips as opposed to weeks-long trips, you may be better suited for smaller luggage. In theory, you’ll have less to pack and therefore may be able to save on your airline’s baggage fees by sticking with smaller “weekender” bags that can be brought on the plane and stowed in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you. On the other hand, if you tend to take longer trips when you travel, you may want to explore larger luggage options that will hold more of your belongings, such as duffel bags and larger suitcases.
Some travel brands are more known for catering to business travelers, too. Samsonite is an example of one luggage brand that offers some practical luggage options and features for business travelers, including built-in device chargers and travel wardrobes to keep suits and other business attire wrinkle-free.
Decide on the Type of Luggage You Need
As you think more about the type of traveling you tend to do, this should also help you figure out the exact types of luggage for which you need to shop. The two main type of luggage are carry-ons and checked bags. However, these categories can be further broken down. For example, carry-on luggage can come in a variety of configurations, including backpacks, small duffel bags, and even roller suitcases. Checked luggage can come in the form of a hard- or soft-sided suitcase with or without a telescoping handle and spinner wheels. Some checked luggage is also designed with a duffel bag design, but may have wheels and a handle for easier transport.
Take some time to consider your travel and packing needs as you decide which style of luggage will be best for you. This will help you narrow down your brand options as you shop.
Explore Brand Reviews and Guarantees
A luggage brand’s reputation should also have some bearing on your decision. Check out reviews of each luggage brand you’re considering both on their website and through third-party review sites; this will help you get a better idea of what real travelers think about their luggage, what they like about it, and what they don’t like. All of this information can be useful in guiding your decision.
Different luggage brands offer different guarantees and warranties as well, so be sure to keep this in mind as you shop. Some brands, for example, offer a lifetime warranty on their bags, whereas other brands may offer a three-year warranty or similar. Other brands, such as CHESTER, offer a 100-day trial period for their luggage so you can try it out for yourself at no risk.
Check Out Different Colors and Styles
While there’s nothing wrong with neutral, basic luggage designs, keep in mind that when checked baggage isn’t easily distinguishable, it’s more likely to be accidentally picked up by the wrong traveler at baggage claim. Having a distinctive design or something unique that sets your luggage apart can not only help you express your unique sense of style, but can reduce the chances of your bag being mistaken for somebody else’s as well. Explore color, style, and pattern options offered by various luggage brands and see which best reflect your own personality.
Compare Dimensions With Your Airline’s
Maximum baggage sizes can vary from one airline to the next, so if there’s an airline you fly frequently, make sure the luggage you’re shopping for will conform to their size restrictions for both carry-on and checked baggage. Otherwise, you could end up with luggage that’s too large and therefore subject to additional fees each time you fly. Many luggage brands offer a wide range of sizes for this reason, and you may even be able to filter based on size to make shopping easier on you.
Think About Your Budget for New Luggage
It’s important to think of luggage as an investment in your travel; yes, you will need to spend some money up-front for quality luggage. However, the right luggage will help take the stress out of your travel and make your trips more enjoyable—and you can’t put a price on that. A great luggage set will also last for decades to come, so it’s worth spending a bit more on something you’re going to love rather than buying the cheapest option you can find and needing to replace it in a couple years.
Don’t Overlook Maneuverability and Materials
When exploring luggage options, make sure to consider materials and design as well. Hard-sided yet lightweight materials, such as polycarbonate, are ideal for checked luggage. Meanwhile, features such as spinner wheels and telescoping handles will make it easier to lug your bags through the airport and to your destination. Consider which features and materials are most important to you as you shop so you can filter through options that won’t work for your needs.
With so many luggage brands on the market, knowing which has the right bags for you can a challenge. With a little research and planning, though, you can ultimately find a great luggage brand that exceeds your expectations and makes travel more enjoyable for you overall. Be sure to check out our picks for top luggage brands to help you get started and follow our shopping tips along the way.