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Top 5 Luggage Brands: Travel Like a Pro in 2024

We’ve all been there—standing at the baggage carousel, watching as suitcase after suitcase goes by, none of them yours. Or maybe you’ve had to deal with a broken zipper or wheel in the middle of a trip. Frustrating, isn’t it?

We’ll dive deep into what makes each brand stand out, from durability to design, so you can travel with peace of mind.

Key Takeaways

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify high-quality luggage based on material and durability.
  • The importance of size and weight, especially for different types of travel.
  • What additional features can make your travel experience more convenient.
  • How to test luggage before making a purchase to ensure it meets your needs.
  • Recommendations for various travel needs, from frequent flying to budget travel.

Criteria for Selecting Good Luggage

Choosing the right luggage can make or break your travel experience. Here’s what you should consider:

Criteria for Selecting Good Luggage

Material and Durability: Built to Last

  • Hardshell: Made from materials like polycarbonate or aluminum, hardshell luggage is durable and water-resistant but can be heavy.
    • Pros: High durability, water-resistant
    • Cons: Heavier, less flexibility for packing
  • Softshell: Usually made from fabrics like nylon or polyester, softshell luggage is lighter and more flexible but less protective.
    • Pros: Lighter, more packing flexibility
    • Cons: Less durable, not water-resistant

Size and Weight: Travel Light, Travel Right

  • Carry-On: Ideal for short trips and avoiding checked baggage fees.
    • Dimensions: Usually up to 22 x 14 x 9 inches
    • Weight: Around 7-10 lbs empty
  • Checked Luggage: Necessary for longer trips or when you need to pack more.
    • Dimensions: Vary by airline, typically up to 62 linear inches
    • Weight: 25-50 lbs empty

Features and Ease of Packing: Convenience is Key

  • Spinner Wheels: Four wheels that rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuverability.
  • Telescopic Handle: Adjustable handle for comfortable pulling or pushing.
  • Compartments: Multiple pockets and compartments for organized packing.
  • Expandability: Zippers that allow the bag to expand for extra packing space.

Price Range and Value: Get What You Pay For

  • Budget-Friendly: Usually under $100, but may lack in durability and features.
  • Mid-Range: Between $100-$300, offering a good balance of features and durability.
  • High-End: Over $300, usually comes with top-of-the-line materials and features.

Top 5 Luggage Brands: An In-Depth Look

Samsonite Centric 2 Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinners, True Navy, 3-Piece Set (20/24/28)

1. Samsonite: The Innovator in Lightweight Luggage

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Hardshell, usually polycarbonate
  • Features: Spinner wheels, TSA-approved locks, and expandability
  • Unique: Known for their innovative, lightweight designs

Good for: Frequent Flyers

  • Ideal for those who are always on the go and need durable, reliable luggage.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Mid-Range to High-End ($200-$600)
  • Where: Official website, major department stores, and online retailers

American Tourister Pop Max Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Teal, 3-Piece Set (21/25/29)

2. American Tourister: Quality Meets Affordability

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Both hardshell and softshell options
  • Features: Multi-directional wheels, multiple compartments
  • Unique: Offers quality at an affordable price

Good for: Budget Travelers

  • Great for those who want reliability without breaking the bank.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Budget-Friendly ($50-$150)
  • Where: Official website, big-box stores, and online retailers

3. Away: The Carry-On Revolution

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Hardshell, typically aluminum or polycarbonate
  • Features: Built-in USB chargers, 360-degree wheels
  • Unique: Minimalist design with high functionality

Good for: Minimalist Travelers

  • Perfect for those who want a sleek, functional carry-on.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Mid-Range ($225-$275)
  • Where: Official website and select pop-up stores

4. Hartmann: The Choice for Luxury and Style

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Premium leather and high-quality fabrics
  • Features: Elegant design, robust zippers, and compartments
  • Unique: Synonymous with luxury and sophistication

Good for: Business Travel

  • Ideal for the professional who travels in style.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: High-End ($400-$800)
  • Where: Official website, luxury department stores

5. Calpak: Where Fashion Meets Function

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Hardshell, usually polycarbonate
  • Features: Trendy designs, built-in compartments
  • Unique: Where style and practicality coexist

Good for: Style-Conscious Travelers

  • For those who want to make a fashion statement even at the airport.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Mid-Range ($100-$300)
  • Where: Official website, fashion retailers, and online stores

Special Mentions: Other Brands Worth Your Attention

Rimowa: The Classic Hardside Option

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Aluminum and polycarbonate options
  • Features: High-quality spinner wheels, TSA-approved locks
  • Unique: Known for their iconic grooved design

Good for: Those Who Love Classic Design

  • If you’re a fan of timeless, classic design, Rimowa is your go-to.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: High-End ($700-$1,200)
  • Where: Official website, luxury department stores

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled International Carry On Luggage Duffel with Telescoping Handle and Straps, Lockable U-Lid, Top Compartment, and Compression Straps, Arctic Seagreen - 30L/22"

Eagle Creek: For the Adventurous Soul

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Durable nylon and polyester
  • Features: Weather-resistant, multiple compartments for gear
  • Unique: Built for rugged adventures

Good for: Outdoor Enthusiasts

  • Ideal for those who need luggage that can withstand the elements.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Mid-Range ($100-$300)
  • Where: Outdoor retailers, official website

Briggs & Riley Spinners, Black, 26-inch Baseline Medium Expandable

Briggs & Riley: International Travel Made Easy

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: High-quality nylon and fabric
  • Features: Built-in garment bags, expandability
  • Unique: Offers a lifetime guarantee

Good for: International Travelers

  • Perfect for those who frequently cross borders.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: High-End ($400-$800)
  • Where: Official website, high-end department stores

L.L.Bean: Long Trips, No Problem

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Rugged polyester
  • Features: Spacious interiors, multiple pockets
  • Unique: Known for durability and spaciousness

Good for: Extended Vacations

  • If you’re going away for a while, this is the brand for you.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Mid-Range ($100-$300)
  • Where: Official website, L.L.Bean stores

Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner, Navy Blue

Amazon Basics: Quality Under $100

Overview and Unique Features

  • Material: Mostly softshell, some hardshell options
  • Features: Basic but functional features like wheels and handles
  • Unique: Affordable and easily accessible

Good for: Occasional Travelers

  • Great for those who don’t travel often but still want reliable luggage.

Price Range and Where to Buy

  • Price: Budget-Friendly (Under $100)
  • Where: Amazon website

How to Test and Choose Your Luggage

So, you’ve got your eye on a few brands, but how do you know which one is the one? Here’s how to put those bags to the test.

How to Test and Choose Your Luggage

Also see: Lucas Luggage Review

Testing Durability and Material: The Stress Test

  • The Zipper Test: Open and close the main zipper at least 10 times. It should glide smoothly without catching.
  • The Wheel Spin: Give those wheels a spin. They should rotate 360 degrees effortlessly.
  • Material Check: For hardshell, knock on the surface. It should feel solid. For softshell, tug at the fabric to see if it’s tear-resistant.

Checking Size and Weight: The Fit and Lift

  • The Overhead Bin Test: If it’s a carry-on, make sure the dimensions fit airline requirements. Some stores have a testing bin.
  • The Weight Test: Lift the bag. Remember, airlines have weight limits, and you’ll be lugging this around.

Evaluating Additional Features: The Bells and Whistles

  • Compartments: Look for multiple compartments for easy organization. A bonus if it has a laptop or gadget pocket.
  • Expandability: Check if the bag can expand. You’ll thank yourself when you go souvenir shopping.
  • Special Features: Some bags come with built-in USB chargers, TSA-approved locks, or even tracking devices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Good Quality Luggage?

Also see: Good Luggage Features For Frequent Flyers

Who Makes Good Quality Luggage?

  • Answer: While “best” can be subjective, brands like Samsonite and Rimowa are often cited for their high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

Which Brand of Luggage Is the Most Durable?

  • Answer: Briggs & Riley offer a lifetime guarantee, making them a strong contender for durability. Hardshell options from Samsonite are also built to last.

What Should I Look for in Carry-On Luggage?

  • Answer: Key features to consider are size (to fit airline requirements), weight (for easy lifting), and compartments (for organization).

How Do I Choose Luggage for International Travel?

  • Answer: Look for luggage with TSA-approved locks, durable material for long-haul flights, and spinner wheels for easy maneuverability.

What’s Good Luggage for Long Trips?

  • Answer: Brands like L.L.Bean and Briggs & Riley offer spacious and durable options ideal for extended vacations.

Conclusion: Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Choosing the right luggage is more than just picking the first pretty suitcase you see. It’s about finding a reliable travel companion that fits your needs, whether you’re a frequent flyer, a budget traveler, or a style maven.

Our top recommendation? Always consider your travel needs first. Whether it’s durability, size, or special features, make sure the luggage you choose checks those boxes. And don’t forget to give them a test run before making that final decision.