11 Best Luggage Pieces for International Travel, Tested by Experts

These are the top-tested soft and hardside carry-ons, checked bags, duffels and more to take on your next adventure abroad.

best luggage pieces for international travel

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Freeform Hardside Expandable Spinner

Best Overall

Samsonite freeform hardside expandable spinner.

20-Inch Hardside Spinner

Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner

The Carry-On

Best Carry-On

Away the carry-on.

31-inch Baseline Extra Large Expandable Spinner

Best Checked

Briggs & riley 31-inch baseline extra large expandable spinner.

Checked Luggage

July Checked Luggage

Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Checked Luggage

Best for Frequent Travelers

Travelpro platinum elite softside expandable checked luggage.

Helium DLX Softside Expandable Luggage

Best Budget

Delsey paris helium dlx softside expandable luggage.

Adventure Rolling Duffle Bag, 135L

Best Rolling Duffel

L.l.bean adventure rolling duffle bag, 135l.

Allpa 35L Travel Pack

Best Backpack

Cotopaxi allpa 35l travel pack.

Luka Duffel

Best Weekender

Calpak luka duffel.

As you start planning your next trip abroad, looking into hotels, flights and tourist attractions, don't forget that the key to a smooth travel experience is a great piece of luggage. When you're traveling internationally, it's especially important to bring a suitcase that complies with airline restrictions, is comfortable to carry or roll throughout your journey and has plenty of room for all of your belongings and your souvenirs for the trip home.

This top-performing suitcase from our best overall luggage brand Samsonite has repeatedly stood out in the Textiles Lab's and our consumers' tests and is priced under $200 — an incredible value. The hardside carry-on is made of polypropylene and weighs in at just 6.5 pounds, which is one of the lightest bags we've tested, so it won't eat too much into the lower weight restrictions set by many international airlines.

I was impressed by how easy it was to lift and roll the bag around, even when filled with our standard packing load. Despite the lightweight design, this carry-on is spacious with a butterfly-opening, unfolding into two primary compartments for easy packing, and there's an additional one inch of expandable storage with the pull of a zipper.

During our Lab evaluations, we liked how easy it was to pull the bag through our luggage obstacle course. While some testers said the telescopic handle felt a bit loose, the suitcase earned high scores for maneuverability, with testers sharing feedback including "very smooth rolling" and "the wheels moved really well." The material was more prone to scratching than some others we evaluated, but the suitcase proved to be durable overall in our drop tests, resisting major damage.

Listed dimensions: 21.25" x 15.25" x 10" | Weight: 6.5 lbs | Material: Hardside polypropylene | Expandable: Yes | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

samsonite suitcases in a hallway

With more than 34,000 five-star ratings, t his best-selling suitcase from Amazon Basics is loved by both real users and our consumer testers who say it's worth every penny. Made of lightweight ABS plastic, the hardside suitcase isn't quite as durable as those made of polycarbonate, but the material helps to keep the cost low — under $100 — so I recommend it for someone shopping on a budget.

During our Textiles Lab evaluations for durability, there were some noticeable markings in our scratch tests, but we were impressed by how well the bag maintained its shape after being released repeatedly from our drop tester. Amazon reviewers who regularly use the suitcases say they hold up over time, as well.

When our consumer testers rolled the suitcase through our obstacle course, they were wowed by how smooth the wheels were, with one describing the bag as "very easy to move." We gave the carry-on high scores for packability, as we were able to pack our standard load of belongings (clothing, accessories and toiletries) for a short trip inside with room to spare. Plus, there are interior zippered mesh pockets for easy organization, and the bag expands up to one extra inch for additional packing space.

Listed dimensions: 22" x 14.9" x 10" | Weight: 7.3 lbs | Material: Hardside ABS plastic | Expandable: Yes | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

a suitcase from amazon basics closed and open in a hallway

One of the most popular suitcases on the market, Away's standard carry-on is definitely worth the hype . The bag is available in 11 colors, including on-trend options like green and red, along with neutral hues like gray and black.

Not only is the suitcase simple and stylish from the outside, it's also full of functional features inside to make packing for your next international trip a breeze. The bag unfolds into two separate primary compartments to fit all of your things: one fully zippered side and one with adjustable compression straps, and there are mesh pockets to stash smaller items.

Consumer testers and GH analysts alike love to travel with the Away carry-on, including one who shared, "It fit all of the clothes I needed for a long weekend. It rolled really easily and was light enough to pop in and out of the overhead bin." Testers said the telescopic handle felt flimsier than others they tried, but they were impressed with the bag overall, saying that it was easy to maneuver and roll over different types of flooring, including wood, carpet and tile. And it looked great after our drop and scratch tests, showing no major signs of damage or dents.

Listed dimensions: 9" x 13.7" x 21.7" | Weight: 8.1 lbs | Material: Hardside polycarbonate | Expandable: No | Returns: Within 100 days, unused

suitcases from away open and closed

Briggs & Riley 31-inch Baseline Extra Large Expandable Spinner

The innovative design details of this softside checked bag from Briggs & Riley help to simplify packing for extended trips abroad. The bag features a unique push-button expansion system unlike any other we've evaluated , which allows you to easily expand the bag, fill it with everything you'll need and then compress it back down to its standard size.

One tester who was impressed with the amount of space in the carry-on version of the bag shared, "It fit clothing and accessories for two people for a seven-day summer vacation." And this checked bag offers more than double the packing capacity. Other innovative features include a built-in trifold garment folder for formal attire and reinforced corners for added protection.

At 15.6 pounds, the suitcase does weigh more than other models we've evaluated, but it is made with a nylon material that resisted wear and tear when I tested it in our abrasion machine. It also earned top marks in our latest round of drop testing. Along with performing well for durability, the suitcase received high scores for maneuverability, with smooth wheels and a sturdy telescopic handle.

Listed dimensions: 31" x 22" x 13.8" | Weight: 15.6 lbs | Material: Softside nylon | Expandable: Yes | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

a briggs and riley suitcase opened and closed in a hallway

Rolling a bag through the airport has never been easier than it is with July's classic luggage , including this spacious checked suitcase and its popular carry-on bags . One GH analyst who took the checked bag on a vacation abroad said, "I've never used a suitcase with wheels this smooth." I've personally traveled with luggage from the brand and was blown away by how effortless it was to roll the suitcases, even over carpet and concrete sidewalks.

The telescopic handle technically locks at 20 different heights to prevent it from falling down on its own, and most testers appreciated the slanted grip on the handle, sharing that it was comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver with.

Made with a polycarbonate shell, the suitcase is lightweight and durable, and the corners are reinforced with aluminum bumpers for an added level of protection. The bag held up well after being released repeatedly from our drop tester, but testers noted marks and scuffs on the surface after taking the bag on just one trip.

It boasts 80 liters of packing space and features one fully zippered compartment and one open compartment with a compression panel and Y-strap for security. Even more, it weighs just 8.3 pounds, which is similar to many of the carry-on sized bags we evaluate.

Listed dimensions: 26" x 18.75" x 11" | Weight: 8.3 lbs | Material: Hardside polycarbonate with aluminum corners | Expandable: No | Returns: Within 100 days, unused

a july suitcase opened and closed against carpeting

Travelpro luggage was created by a pilot who wanted to make bags specifically for other pilots and airline crewmembers who were always on the go. The result is a collection of highly durable, quality suitcases including the popular Platinum Elite medium checked suitcase.

Built to last, the luggage is made of heavyweight nylon material that performed well when I tested it for abrasion resistance. When I released the bag repeatedly from our drop tester, it showed no signs of damage or dents. Our testers also gave the suitcase high scores for ease of use and appreciated the sturdy feel of the telescopic handle. The suitcase does have a more traditional look, though, which some testers described as "old-fashioned," sharing that they wished it were sleeker.

Full of thoughtful and functional features, the suitcase makes packing and traveling a breeze. The bag can be unzipped to reveal one large packing compartment with compression panels that secure your belongings in place, a removable wet bag for toiletries, a large mesh zippered pocket in the lid for breathable storage and a built-in suiter to help keep more formal clothes in tip-top shape. To prevent the suitcase from tipping over when it's full, it's also designed with a unique tapered expansion system, so the bag is narrower at the top and broader at the bottom.

Listed dimensions: 25" x 18" x 11.25" | Weight: 9.8 lbs | Material: Softside nylon | Expandable: Yes | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

two travelpro suitcases open and closed

While some softside luggage is bulky and pricey, this Helium DLX carry-on from Delsey is lightweight, as the name implies, and it's available for a great value. The polyester material isn't quite as durable or substantial as nylon styles we've tested, but the brand's polyester fabric has performed well overall in our abrasion tests without major wear.

Two external zippered pockets allow for easy access to travel essentials like your phone and ID, so you won't have to hold up the TSA line while scouring through your bag. While the bag unzips to expose only one main compartment for packing, it's equipped with a removable bi-fold organizer and expands by two inches for additional room. One tester said, "I love the pockets." Plus, the inner lining can be fully unzipped and removed for easy cleaning.

I personally carry luggage from Delsey and love the smooth wheels and sturdy telescopic handle, and our testers who tried Delsey's luggage found the handle to be comfortable to grip and use. However, they said the bags were more difficult to maneuver through our obstacle course than others they tested.

Listed dimensions: 12" x 17.75" x 28" | Weight: 8.4 lbs | Material: Softside polyester | Expandable: Yes | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

a delsey suitcase open and closed in a hallway

A rolling duffel like this one from L.L.Bean is ideal for longer adventures abroad or for overpackers like me. The duffel isn't as structured as standard suitcases, meaning you can compress it and slide it under your bed or in a closet if you're pressed for storage space — and on the other hand, you can really fill it to the brim when you're packing. Just be careful that you're not stuffing it too much because it can be easy to exceed an airline's weight restrictions.

One GH analyst who loves to travel with this bag said that it's one of her go-to picks for family vacations. With just two wheels, our analyst said it's a little more cumbersome to maneuver than a spinner suitcase, but you also have the option to carry the bag with the padded strap.

The bag has a wide opening for easy access to everything you need inside, and outer compression straps keep everything in place. Made of durable polyester material with a reinforced base, the duffel lasts for years and years without signs of wear, according to our analyst. Plus, it's water-resistant inside and out — perfect for inevitable leaks or wet weather. If you're looking for something smaller, the brand carries a variety of sizes to meet your travel needs.

Listed dimensions: 14" x 17.25" x 32.5" | Weight: 8.8 lbs | Material: Softside polyester | Expandable: No | Returns: Within 1 year

When we evaluated this bag in the Textiles Lab, we were amazed by just how much we could fit inside during our packing tests. Not only did it beat out other travel backpacks we tested, it also outperformed some of our carry-ons because of its spacious interior .

The backpack has a suitcase-style opening and fully unzips to expose a highly organized interior jam-packed with zippered mesh pockets for all of your belongings. It also features a padded laptop sleeve that fits up to a 17-inch computer.

Made of recycled nylon and polyester, the bag is durable and water-resistant. When I tested it for abrasion resistance in the Lab, there were no visible signs of wear. Details like a sternum strap, waist belt and padded mesh provide comfort and support. With backpack straps that tuck neatly inside the back of the bag and carrying straps on all sides, you can easily grab it to lift into an overhead bin.

Some online reviewers wished it was equipped with a water bottle holder and said the zippers can be finicky, but we didn't have issues with them in the Lab.

Listed dimensions: 22" x 12" x 10" | Weight: 3.5 lbs | Material: Softside polyester and nylon | Expandable: No | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

a backpack from cotopaxi unzipped and opened

Able to hold everything you need for a weekend getaway, this weekender from Calpak was the top performer in our Textiles Lab tests. Not only is the bag totally on-trend, thanks to the puffy padded design and fashionable color options, it's also full of functional features . One tester who used it as her personal item on a long trip said, "This bag fits everything I need and more!"

A GH analyst who used the bag added, "I appreciate the well-organized interior," which includes several zippered pockets and elastic storage. Outside, there's a separate shoe compartment, additional zippered pockets and a water bottle holder. Altogether, there are nine pockets, and the spacious bag aced our packing tests.

If you're pairing it with Calpak's popular luggage , this bag has a trolley sleeve that slides right over the telescopic handle of your suitcase. One tester noted that the stitching that secured the sleeve in place started unraveling a bit after just one use. The bag is made of a smooth polyester material that's comfortable to carry and water-resistant. A tester said, "It poured while I was traveling and everything inside this bag stayed perfectly dry."

Listed dimensions: 12" x 16" x 7" | Weight: 2 lbs | Material: Softside polyester | Expandable: No | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

a gh staffer carrying the calpak luka duffel

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 40L Duffel Bag

Cargo Hauler 40L Duffel Bag

This convertible duffel from Eagle Creek is the perfect adventure travel companion. The bag is durable, combining polyester and nylon for a water-resistant material that also held up well when tested for abrasion resistance . One GH analyst who travels with this duffel said that it still looks great after years of regular rough and tough use.

It's structured and maintains its shape for easy packing, but the duffel can be compressed to bring inside of your suitcase as an extra bag or for compact storage at home. According to our testers and GH analyst, the zippers have large pull tabs that are easy to use, and, according to the brand, they're covered in water-resistant strips for the ultimate protection in wet weather.

The duffel features a reinforced top handle and grab handles along the sides for carrying, and there are adjustable backpack straps for hands-free use that can be connected for an additional carrying strap or tucked inside the bag. Some online reviewers said the backpack straps are on the thinner side and weren't as comfortable as other traditional travel backpacks, but they appreciated the convenient option.

Listed dimensions: 11.5" x 23.25" x 11" | Weight: 2.5 lbs | Material: Softside polyester and nylon | Expandable: No | Returns: Within 30 days, unused

Headshot of Amanda Constantine

Amanda (she/her) researches and reports on products in the Good Housekeeping Institute 's Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab, ranging from clothing and accessories to home furnishings. She holds undergraduate degrees in apparel merchandising and product development and advertising and marketing communications, as well as a master of science degree in consumer sciences from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping in 2022, Amanda was a lecturer for the fashion and retail studies program at Ohio State, where she taught fashion and textiles courses.

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The Best Hardside Luggage of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

These durable suitcases are built to last and look good, too.

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In This Article

  • Our Top Picks

Our Testing Process

  • Others We Liked
  • Tips For Buying
  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure / Joy Kim

Two of our favorite hardside luggage pieces are marked down for Memorial Day! Get deals on Delsey Paris Chatelet Air 2.0 (select colors) and Samsonite Omni PC Carry-On (select colors) right now.

Whether you're a frequent flier or an occasional jet-setter, you'll always be glad to have sturdy, dependable luggage that safeguards your belongings. With a rigid frame, the hardside variety helps prevent things from breaking or crushing. It can also be easier to wipe clean than a softside design and has a sleek, modern appeal.

If you want the crème de la crème of hardside suitcases, you've come to the right place. But what makes a top-notch model? Besides a high-strength exterior that protects your stuff and withstands wear and tear, it's about maneuverability, capacity, standout features, and, yes, style.

The Travel + Leisure team has tested more than 450 pieces of luggage, including checked bags and carry-ons , to see which ones stack up. During our various luggage tests, we pack the suitcases with clothes, shoes, and toiletries to see how spacious they are; spin them through obstacle courses to test the wheels and handles; and give them a few good whacks with a baseball bat to check durability. We also recreated an airplane set in our lab to lift carry-on suitcases into overhead bins, place them underneath seats, and roll them down carpeted aisles to see how portable and lightweight they are. These are our favorite hardside suitcases.

Best Overall

Delsey chatelet air 2.0 21-inch spinner.

The Chatelet Air 2.0 is super functional and durable, showing its worth after months of long-term testing across planes, trains, and boats.

It's not expandable, so you'll have to be a strategic packer.

The compact yet spacious design of this stylish carry-on features a zippered compartment on one side and compression straps on the other. While it doesn't expand, you can fit a decent amount of stuff inside (it has a generous 44-liter capacity) and have peace of mind knowing everything will stay in place. We like that there are multiple interior pockets, a removable pouch, and a USB port you can hook up to a portable charger . Even when packed full, the zippers open and close smoothly. Lastly, the four dual spinner wheels glided effortlessly across hard flooring, carpet, and even stone pavers.

This suitcase also passed our lab durability test with flying colors, sustaining no visible damage on the light-colored exterior after we hit it with a bat and shoved it off a table. Even better, the bag has held up great during a year of real-world testing. It's clocked thousands of airline miles during trips around the world, including stops in Costa Rica, Italy, Morocco, and Egypt.

"I brought this to Egypt and ended up checking it more than once, and it still looks beautiful and surprisingly clean," says T+L editor Taylor Fox . "We carried it on planes, trains, and boats, and it was easy to lift and maneuver throughout every situation."

The Details: Carry-on | 7.74 pounds | 22.75 x 15 x 10 inches | 44-liter capacity | Smart | 4 dual spinner wheels

Travel + Leisure / Jhett Thompson

Travel + Leisure / Leticia Almeida

Best Expandable

Away the carry-on flex.

This compact bag holds a lot thanks to its compression straps, zippers, and an expansion feature.

The flex feature adds an extra 2.25 inches of space, but it also makes the bag too large to qualify as a carry-on.

This Away bag has a surprising amount of space for a carry-on, with two large interior compartments (one on each side), compression straps, and dividers that keep your clothing from falling out when you open the bag (everything stayed in place even after we threw the bag multiple times off a table). While we were packing the bag during our lab tests, we loved how all of the interior zippers and pockets helped keep everything organized, allowing us to maximize space even without packing cubes. There is also a handy zipper expansion that adds an extra 2.25 inches of space, which is useful, but it does make the bag too large to use as a carry-on, and you’ll be forced to check it. Even when packed full, the zippers all ran smoothly, and we found it easy to maneuver the luggage over concrete tiles, carpet, and around our obstacle course full of bystanders. The wheels rotated smoothly throughout testing, and the bag will even roll on its own without getting stuck if you give it a shove. 

The Details: Carry-on | 8.15 pounds | 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches | 39.8-liter capacity; 46.7-liter capacity when expanded | 4 dual spinner wheels

Travel + Leisure / Joy Kim

Best Lightweight Carry-on

Samsonite omni pc carry-on.

The Samsonite Omni PC is just over six pounds, with an expandable capacity and a rigid exterior that won't dent or scratch.

The wheels can get caught in ruts, and it rolls a little better on two wheels than on four.

This lightweight carry-on weighed in at just 6.1 pounds and fit snugly into an overhead compartment. The dual compartments, pockets, and cross straps make it easy to pack and organize your stuff. There's also an expander if you need extra space. After whacking it with a bat, we can confirm its scratch-resistant, dent-defying durability.

This suitcase rolls smoothly and turns on a dime. And stuffing it full doesn't seem to make it any harder to maneuver. Having said that, the small wheels sometimes get stuck in grooves, and it's not as easy to push as most spinners. Still, we think the price is sharp and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to overpackers, frequent fliers, and anyone who doesn't want to worry about premature wear and tear.

The Details: Carry-on | 6.1 pounds | 22 x 15 x 9.5 inches | Expandable | 4 wheels

  • Travel and_leisure/Tamara Staples

Best Lightweight Checked

Samsonite black label cosmolite 3.0 large spinner.

Weighing in at 5.8 pounds, this is unbelievably lightweight for a large checked bag, helping maximize space without weighing you down.

It’s a large suitcase without many pockets or organizational features, so you may need packing cubes.

Samsonite redesigned its popular Cosmolite suitcase to have a new look and new features, including making it more lightweight than ever before. Weighing under six pounds, this suitcase is so light that the outer shell feels sort of flexible, and we were worried it wouldn’t survive our baseball bat test — but it actually came through with no scuffs, scratches, or dents, even after we hit the case, the wheels, and the exposed handle multiple times. Despite the size, it didn't feel cumbersome to roll over different types of terrain, and it rolled just as easily on two and four wheels whether you’re pushing it ahead of you or rolling it behind you.

The T-shaped handle is part of Samsonite’s redesign, and we thought it was even more comfortable to hold than a traditional suitcase handle, although it might not hold personal items with trolley pass-throughs as securely as a rounded handle. This suitcase is very roomy, but it doesn’t have many pockets or zippers for organization, so we’d recommend using packing cubes to keep your belongings in place. If you’re a heavy packer, this lightweight suitcase will help keep your checked baggage weight low while still giving you plenty of space to bring ample outfit options without having to scale back.

The Details: Checked suitcase | 5.8 pounds | 29.5 x 20.1 x 12.2 inches | 4 wheels

Paravel Aviator Carry-on Plus

This suitcase has an attractive, vintage-inspired aesthetic, plus modern features for easy packing and organization.

Though it doesn't expand, it's one of the larger carry-ons we tried.

The Paravel Aviator Carry-on Plus boasts a sophisticated, vintage-inspired aesthetic and modern features. Available in versatile neutrals and statement colorways, it has a polycarbonate shell with contrasting vegan leather accents. The exterior proved durable during our tests, showing only a few minor scuffs, which may not be as noticeable on the darker colors.

Though it doesn't expand, this is one of the larger carry-on suitcases we tried. It has excellent capacity with zippered compartments and a compression pad, allowing us to easily fit all items on our packing list. We also like that it comes with a laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate. Not only that, but it was a piece of cake to maneuver on different types of flooring and around tight corners.

The Details: Carry-on | 8.5 pounds | 23 x 15 x 9.5 inches | 46.6-liter capacity | 4 dual spinner wheels

Away The Trunk

This 107-liter trunk is extremely spacious, with a slimmer top lid and a deeper main compartment. 

Make sure you pack the bag evenly on each side, otherwise it can feel lopsided.

A trunk is a stylish alternative to your typical clamshell suitcase — instead of splitting evenly down the middle, it has a 30/70 design with a thinner top half and a deeper main compartment. This is useful if you have any large or bulky items, making it easier to fit everything inside the spacious checked bag. We put the trunk to the test, gliding it through our obstacle course full of people and found that it maneuvers much smoother than a regular checked bag because of the taller rectangle shape. The trunk is surprisingly lightweight for its large size, but we did notice that it felt a little heavier on one side because of the way we packed it, so we recommend distributing your items evenly on each side so that it doesn’t feel lopsided. This was also the most durable piece of Away luggage we tested, surviving our table drops and baseball bat beating with nearly a scuff or scratch. Bonus points for the included sponge that you can use to wipe off any scuffs.

The Details: Checked suitcase | 12.1 pounds | 31.3 x 17 x 13.7 inches | 107-liter capacity | 4 dual spinner wheels

Best Customizable

Roam the check-in.

This suitcase has an extremely resilient shell, water-repellent zippers, and a customizable colorblock design.

It's somewhat small for checked luggage.

When it comes to durability, the Roam Check-in is tough to beat. The rigid polycarbonate shell looks and feels sturdy, and it sustained exactly zero nicks, scuffs, or dents during our tests. For even more peace of mind, the exterior zippers are water-repellent — perfect if you're packing for a trip to London or any potentially rainy location. It's on the smaller side for checked luggage, but the expander gives you an extra couple of inches. While we were able to fit all the essentials for a four-day vacation, we would have appreciated a bit more space.

This midsize suitcase was easy to move around — even on gravel — and the handles come in handy when lifting it. The color block design is cool but not over the top and makes for a great way to spot your luggage at baggage claim . You can customize it if you're not a fan of the pre-curated colors or just want something entirely unique. It's definitely one of the more expensive options, but Roam backs it with a lifetime warranty.

The Details: Checked suitcase | 9.3 pounds | 26 x 17.5 x 10 inches | 60-liter capacity | Expandable | 4 wheels

Travel & Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Travel + Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget

Amazon basics hardside spinner.

This affordable carry-on is lightweight yet sturdy, with a scratch-resistant exterior and an unexpectedly spacious capacity.

There are limited color options, and it doesn't have any smart features or a TSA lock.

For something a little easier on your wallet, look no further than Amazon. The Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner has an extra-thick thermoplastic shell that promises to protect your belongings and resist scratches. We're pleased to report it showed no signs of damage from our bat hits and drop tests. It's easy to maneuver, even on carpeted flooring and over bumps.

We could fit every last item on our packing list, including shoes, clothes, jackets, and toiletries. There's also an expander that increases the capacity by 15 percent. This wasn't necessary for our test, but we appreciate that there's room to spare. Although this affordable carry-on suitcase doesn't have smart features or a TSA lock, it really exceeded our expectations. We'd love a few more color options but like the pared-down appearance.

The Details: Carry-on | 6.3 pounds | 22 x 15 x 10 inches | Expandable | 4 wheels

Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Best Splurge

Rimowa original cabin.

Backed by a lifetime guarantee, this futuristic suitcase is impressively spacious, with a durable aluminum exterior and smooth-rolling wheels.

It's not expandable, and the metallic exterior is prone to scuffs.

When it comes to aluminum luggage , the Rimowa Original Cabin is a worthwhile investment if you can swing the steep price. Though it doesn't expand, this suitcase meets carry-on size limits for most airlines while still offering an impressive amount of interior space. We packed it for a four-day trip and easily fit several outfits, outerwear, and multiple pairs of shoes inside. Not only that, but the dividers help ensure everything stays securely in place.

Thanks to the smooth-gliding spinner wheels, we had no issue rolling this bag over hard floors, carpet, pavement, and even cobblestone. We can't say it's the lightest carry-on, but it's not super heavy, either. We could hoist it into an overhead compartment and lift it into a car when packed full. Our favorite thing about this suitcase might be the slick, futuristic design and high-end appearance. It's remarkably durable, too, sustaining zero damage during our in-cabin travel test. The brand backs the suitcase with a lifetime guarantee, but make sure to register your luggage as soon as you pull it out of the packaging.

The Details: Carry-on | 9.5 pounds | 21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches | 34.8-liter capacity | 4 dual spinner wheels

Best With Removable Battery

July carry on.

This bag comes with an ejectable battery with a USB-C charger, and the telescopic handle features 20 different heights.

It doesn’t have an expander, and we wish there were more internal pockets for additional storage.

This carry-on is appropriately sized to fit in the overhead bin on standard airlines without feeling overly bulky or cumbersome. Though it doesn’t have an expander, it felt like it had a larger capacity than similarly sized carry-ons that we’ve tried. Our favorite thing about this smart suitcase is that it comes with a removable battery so you don’t have to live in fear of your phone dying when you can’t find an open outlet in the airport. While many smart bags have a charger, they don’t always include the battery as well. 

The polycarbonate shell feels very durable, with reinforced bumpers that felt like they added an extra layer of protection against our drop tests, in which we threw the fully packed bag off a tall counter from different angles. The wheels rolled smoothly over both concrete and carpet, and the interior Y-strap compression system helped keep all of our belongings in place. We also loved that we could raise the handle to 20 different heights, making it comfortable to walk with no matter how tall or short you are.

The Details: Carry-on | 7.4 pounds | 21.5 x 15 x 8.5 inches | 42-liter capacity | Smart | 4 dual spinner wheels

  • Travel + Leisure/Jhett Thompson

Best for Staying Organized

Béis large check-in roller.

This checked suitcase has an enormous capacity, and zippered compartments, pockets, and even removable pouches for easy packing.

It's durable, but the exterior is prone to scuffing.

This checked suitcase is one of the biggest we tested. There was easily enough room for double the amount of stuff on our packing list — and that's without the expander, which adds another three inches to the depth. Beyond the enormous 112-liter capacity, the internal pockets and removable pouches helped us keep things organized, while the zippered compartment and compression straps ensured everything stayed in place. It also comes with a laundry bag for keeping your dirty clothes separated while you're away and a retractable strap to make carrying another piece of luggage easier . We did notice, over three months of testing, that the downside to the large size and helpful organizational features is that it's easy to overpack, leading to overweight luggage fees.

Considering how big this suitcase is, the smooth spinner wheels and padded handle make it super comfortable to maneuver. While this bag passed our durability tests without any dents or scratches, it scuffs pretty easily. However, the darker colors should conceal marks better, and you can wipe down the exterior to remove any scuffs as needed.

The Details: Checked suitcase | 11.5 pounds | 31.3 x 19.6 x 12.6 inches | 112-liter capacity | Expandable | 4 spinner wheels

Best Aluminum

Tumi 19 degree aluminum international carry-on.


This stylish aluminum bag is gorgeous, with Tumi’s signature contours on the outside and high-quality details inside.

This carry-on is heavy, weighing just over 11 pounds when empty.

Aluminum suitcases are supreme for their sleek look and durability. Though the Tumi 19 Degree Aluminum International Carry-on is one of the priciest options on this list, we think it’s worth the investment for its elegant appearance and luxurious details, like the contours in the frame and the leather-wrapped handles. Like most aluminum bags, this is heavy for a carry-on, but we thought the wheels rolled so smoothly that it was still easy to travel with. The bag held up pretty well when we hit it with a baseball bat, faring a little dent in one corner, but we’d recommend you avoid checking this bag whenever possible because aluminum tends to dent more easily than other materials.

If you’re trying to decide between this and a Rimowa carry-on, T+L associate editorial director Morgan Ashley Parker feels that the Tumi has better internal organization (including a hanger hook and two interior dividers that you can fully zip shut), while the Rimowa is a little more spacious and has better compression.

The Details: 11.2 pounds | 22 x 14 x 9 inches | 31-liter capacity | 4 dual spinner wheels

We've tested more than 450 pieces of luggage in our New York City lab and on our airplane set to assess durability, capacity, maneuverability, design, and overall value. In line with the size of each bag, we packed them with enough essentials for a multi-day trip, including pants, shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, jackets, and toiletries, paying special attention to organizational features. We threw the bags off tables and hit the with baseball bats to test durability, ran them over different surfaces and through obstacle courses to test maneuverability, and lifted them into overhead bins to see how lightweight they felt. Following our lab assessments, we continue testing the bags in our real-life travels over a six-month period (and beyond!) to see how they perform long-term. Every few months, we test even more suitcases, and we will continue updating this article as we discover new luggage we love.

Other Hardside Luggage We Liked

These bags did not make our list of recommendations yet still stood out from the pack. They all had positive attributes, but a few things held them back.

Zero Halliburton Classic Aluminum 3.0 International Carry-on : This is one of the most durable suitcases we’ve ever tested, though it’s pretty similar in size and style to our Tumi pick for best aluminum bag. We ultimately included the Tumi instead because it’s ever-so-slightly larger and can hold more.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 28-inch Lightweight Durable Hardshell : This is a stylish, spacious suitcase at a fantastic price. The only thing that kept it from the winners list here is that it did not roll as well on gravel as some others.

Béis The Carry-on Roller : We love the organizational features and sophisticated look of this bag. If it rolled just a tiny bit better it would be up on our winners list.

Delsey Paris Chatelet Air 2.0 International Carry-on : This suitcase is conveniently compact, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. However, we found it to be too small for most trips, and the zippers are hard to close when it's packed full.

Bric’s Positano 27-inch Spinner : Inspired by the colors of the Italian coast, the Positano Spinner comes in three different shades of blue and green. We tested the 27-inch style, which is a great option for a midsize checked bag, though we wish it had more organizational features inside.

Tips for Buying Hardside Luggage

Remember durability is key.

Hardside luggage is about more than a sleek, modern appearance — though this is a welcome bonus. Suitcases with rigid shells are typically made of polycarbonate, a high-strength thermoplastic. This helps protect your belongings from impact, whether your belongings include a formal suit , a robust makeup collection , wine bottles, or camera equipment.

In addition to preventing things from crushing or breaking, hardside luggage is also easy to wipe clean. Having said that, lighter colors and matte finishes are sometimes prone to scuffing.

Don't overlook the interior and organizational features

When browsing options, don't overlook the interior. A suitcase should ideally have a spacious capacity, even if it's a relatively compact carry-on. Organizational features can make packing and accessing everything much easier, too, in addition to using packing cubes . This might include dual main compartments, dividers, zippered sections, a compression panel, various pockets, a shoe separator, a laptop sleeve, a garment sleeve, or a removable laundry bag.

Look for a lightweight design with good maneuverability

We also recommend looking for lightweight luggage , especially when carrying on. Note the empty weight before buying a hardside suitcase, as heavier models can make it harder to lift and roll when packed full. In terms of maneuverability, four spinner wheels are ideal. A locking telescoping handle will make pushing and pulling a jam-packed suitcase more comfortable. And grab handles will make it easier to lift into an overhead bin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hardside suitcases are the gold standard for many travelers. Besides the contemporary appearance, lots of folks appreciate how they protect what's inside. However, after testing more than 250 total pieces of luggage, we can tell you that a rigid shell doesn't always point to superior durability. Softside models are often just as resilient, and they tend to be more flexible if you need to stuff more items inside. While textile exteriors can be difficult to keep clean, they typically don't scuff as easily.

As noted, rigid suitcases can scuff, especially lighter colors and matte finishes. But they're generally very easy to clean . You can gently polish a suitcase with mild soap and water or a luggage-specific cleaning spray. If you're on the go or short on time, you can wipe it down with a pre-moistened disinfectant wipe or even a window-cleaning towelette.

Suitcase linings are sometimes removable and machine-washable. If not, you can likely wipe it down just as you would the outside, then leave it open so it can air-dry thoroughly. When in doubt, check the brand's care instructions.

Most hardside suitcases are made from sturdy plastic of polycarbonate that may scuff but shouldn't crack. Some hardside luggage — especially those made from less expensive materials — can crack over time, but durable bags should stand up to your travels. Many luggage brands now offer limited or lifetime warranties on their bags, so be sure to read their policies before buying if you're worried about potential damage.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

T+L contributor Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in travel essentials, apparel, recreation, and trip planning. For this story, she compiled our extensive in-house testing insights for more than 250 suitcases, then combed through product manuals to craft a comprehensive roundup of today's best hardside luggage. T+L editors will continue to update the article as we test more suitcases.

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Meagan Tougher-Preece unloads her stand up paddle board equipment from an off-road trailer in a dirt parking lot on the shore of an alpine lake in Telluride, Colorado

The Best Travel Luggage of 2023

Eight testers tried fifteen bags. These ones came out on top.

Meagan Tougher-Preece unloads her stand up paddle board equipment from an off-road trailer in a dirt parking lot on the shore of an alpine lake in Telluride, Colorado

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

When it comes to planning your next big travel adventure, thinking about your luggage is probably not high on your priority list. But take it from us—a smartly designed carry-on suitcase, a rugged and waterproof duffel, or a versatile bag that can morph from duffel to backpack at the drop of a shoulder strap—can go a long way to mitigating travel woes (and let’s face it, those are almost guaranteed these days). Whether you’re a frequent flyer, a weekend warrior, living out of your van, or planning for a big expedition, there’s something on this list just right for you.

The Winners at a Glance

Osprey Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On

Matador Globerider Travel Backpack

North Face Base Camp Gear Box

Alpine Luddites Expedition Duffel

Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel

Backcountry All Around Duffel

Meet Our Lead Tester

Originally from the Coast of Maine, Caitlin Kelly studied creative writing and environmental studies at St. Lawrence University in Upstate New York. She has called the Adirondack Mountains home since, building community through her work with Women of the Adirondacks and The Adirondack Community Avalanche Project. She currently resides in Lake Placid, NY, and splits her time freelance writing and ski patrolling at Whiteface Mountain. In the summer she works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an Assistant Forest Ranger in the High Peaks Wilderness, conducting search and rescue efforts, educating the public, and clearing trails. Her writing has appeared in Powder Magazine, Adirondack Life Magazine, Freeskier, The Ski Journal, and Ski Magazine, among other publications. If you sit too close to her on a chairlift, you may get some glitter on you.

The Reviews: The Best Travel Luggage of 2023

Osprey ozone 2-wheel carry-on 40l/21.5” ($280).

Osprey Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On 40L/21.5”

Volume: 40L Weight: 4.5 lbs Pros: Lightweight construction; Large wheels and high clearance Cons: For 40L, this piece of luggage seemed to hold less than others the same size

The updated Ozone line from Osprey, featuring five pieces ranging from four-wheeled suitcases to smaller backpacks and boarding bags, was designed for frequent flyers and travelers who value ease of transport. Of those, the Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On is perhaps the most convenient on-board option. Made from an ultralight yet durable aluminum frame and nanofly recycled nylon fabric, it offers just enough organizational capabilities to make packing for a trip a little easier. This suitcase (like all pieces in this line) also features a buttonless trolley handle and a YKK reverse coil coated zipper for improved water resistance—both industry firsts. The Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On also has a high clearance High Road LT frame, and oversized 90mm wheels, making it rugged enough to handle terrain beyond concourse floors. One tester takeaway: Despite this bag’s advertised 40-liter capacity, it didn’t seem to hold as much as softer duffel-style bags of the same size. That said, the sleek design combined with the function of this bag made it an obvious choice for our testers who needed a transport-friendly yet durable carry-on.

Bottom Line: A well-designed and lightweight suitcase made by a trusted brand. Perfect as a carry-on for frequent flyers.

Matador Globerider ($350)

Matador Globerider

Volume: 45L Weight: 4.5 lbs Pros: Generous space and organizational features; Comfortable backpack carry Cons: Because it’s so durable, the pack itself is quite heavy for a backpack

The Globerider Backpack is one of those do-anything pieces of luggage, designed specifically for the true adventure traveler. It combines the ease of traveling with a backpack and the functionality of a duffel bag. From a materials perspective, it’s rugged and built to last: 420-denier nylon UHMWPE (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) reinforced ripstop meets 420-denier recycled nylon meets 100-nylon ripstop, and each of these materials features polyurethane waterproofing. As a result, the Globeride impressed testers with how indestructible it proved over miles of wear and tear that included multiple flights, baggage carousels, and transport in wet and muddy truck beds. It has a clamshell opening designed for accessibility and packability, while also offering an external access pocket for a laptop and other essentials. If we gave out awards for number of pockets, this bag would win it. Although the main compartment is larger and allows for looser organization, you’ll find a place for everything else. The Globerider also has an internal aluminum frame, a stowable and padded hipbelt, and it meets most airline carry-on requirements.

Bottom Line: This is a do-it-all piece of luggage. If you’re packing only one bag, this would be a good one.

The North Face Base Camp Gear Box Large ($150 for Medium, $175 for Large)

The North Face Base Camp Gear Box Large

Volume: 65L (Medium), 90L (Large) Weight: 4.2 lbs (Medium), 5.8 lbs (Large) Pros: Lots of space and organizational options; Folds down flat for storage and when not in use Cons: A piece of luggage that only works in specific environments (mainly cars, vans, and home storage)

The new North Face Camp Gear Box is made from the same material as the brand’s durable Base Camp duffel—300-denier recycled polyester and 840-denier recycled ballistic nylon. However, unlike a traditional duffel, this hold-all is equipped with internal metal “kickstands” that fold up for rigid support and down for storage, which makes this piece of luggage ideal for the road. One tester used the 90 liter Base Camp Gear Box to schlep all of her gear to a mountain bike race and was able to fit the whole kit and caboodle: chest protector, two full face helmets, one half shell, two tires, and two pairs of bike shoes within the box itself. She stashed three pairs of sunglasses, two pairs of goggles, and other bike maintenance tools in the added internal pouches. Extra brake pads, grips, and bike tools fit snugly in the lid-zippered pockets. Even with all of that, the lid closed with ease. Plus, the outer handles on the box make it easy to transport in and out of vehicles. For someone who is on the road often, this box is a must-have for organization and travel.

Bottom Line: This should be a staple for anyone who travels out of their car often—think weekend camping trips, road trips, etc.— and a perfect storage option for those who spend time living on the road.

Alpine Luddites Expedition Duffel 135L ($485)

Alpine Luddites Expedition Duffel 135L

Volume: 135L Weight: 2.6 lbs Pros: Made by hand in Vermont; Durable fabric and well made—will last a lifetime Cons: Pricetag. But you get what you pay for, which is an exceptionally well-made piece of luggage

While the Expedition Duffel 135L isn’t new, Alpine Luddites as a company is worth knowing about. Alpine Luddites is currently a one-person show based in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont that produces handmade bags made to order. Translation: every bag is made with your exact travel and adventure needs in mind. Though the waitlist can be as long as 28 weeks for standard items, and over a year for custom packs, these bags are worth the wait in our testers’ opinions. The Expedition Duffel 135L—one of the brand’s staples—is designed specifically to fit pulk-style expedition sleds, with full-length external daisy chains for strapping down the cargo. Updated this year with a double-layer bottom with Ultra 400 Challenge woven sailcloth, this bag is tough enough to withstand being tossed around and schlepped to and from base camp, making it an excellent choice for big mountain expeditions. That said, it wouldn’t be out of place on more modest excursions—our testers remarked how functional it was on long weekend road trips.

Bottom Line: If you like the idea of supporting a small brand making quality gear that’s designed specifically for you and your needs, Alpine Luddites’ durable designs should be at the top of your list.

Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel ($119)

Eagle Creek Migrate Duffel

Volume: 90L Weight: 2.9 lbs Pros: “Doctor bag” style zip-top; 100% recycled 900D Poly TPU and 100% recycled 1680D Ballistic Poly RPVB fabric Cons: Testers complained that while packing the bag, the top zipper had a hard time staying open and wasn’t stiff enough

The latest update of the Migrate duffel was a tester favorite for its holding capacity—you can fit a lot in here. Now 100-percent recycled, the new design is even more durable with stronger, recycled fabric, and diverts waste and reuses windshield plastics from landfills to help create more sustainable products and processes. This duffel features a “doctor bag” style zip-top which allows for easier access and full visibility of contents and an additional five liters of packing space. Tuck-away backpack straps allow for multiple carry options. The functionality and added pockets—internal and the front zippered pocket—set it apart from many other duffels in this category.

Bottom Line: This is a reasonably priced, durable duffel bag that is super easy to access and see inside contents because of the “doctor bag” style.

Backcountry All Around Duffel ($139)

Backcountry All Around Duffel

Volume: 60L Weight: 3.3 lbs Pros: End cap dry pocket; Pockets, pockets, pockets Cons: Backpack straps aren’t the most comfortable while carrying this bag at capacity

With updated colorways and sizing for this year, Backcountry’s All Around Duffel surprised our testers. The organizational qualities of this bag far exceeded most of the other products in this category. This includes mesh pockets in the lid and even a pocket inside of the mesh pocket to keep small items safe. Perhaps the best part of this duffel is the separate compartment—a massive end-cap dry bag (or dry pocket, as Backcountry calls it) that keeps wet, dirty, and smelly items isolated from the rest of your gear. “I put three pairs of shoes and all of my dirty laundry in there, keeping them away from my clean clothes,” reported one tester. She also remarked how durable and waterproof the bag stayed after sliding around in the back of her truck on a weekend road trip. Credit goes to the 500-denier polyester PVC face fabric and 210-denier nylon water resistant pockets. The removable backpack straps are comfortable and provide ease of transport when on the go, and compression straps help keep contents from shifting. A padded base provides extra cushion to protect your things from rough travel.

Bottom Line: Awesome, spacious, pocket-filled duffel perfect for air travel, road trips, and weekend getaways.

When it’s time to upgrade your gear, don’t let the old stuff go to waste–donate it for a good cause and divert it from the landfill. our partner, Gear Fix, will repair and resell your stuff for free! Just box up your retired items, print a free shipping label , and send them off. We’ll donate 100 percent of the proceeds to The Outdoorist Oath .

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The Best Suitcases for Checking

Three of our picks for best suitcases for checking, shown side by side.

By Kit Dillon

Kit Dillon is a writer focused on bags and travel gear. He has worked for Wirecutter for a decade and lost count of the number of bags he has tested.

For many travelers, the frequently discussed dream is to never check a bag. But life doesn’t always cooperate—sometimes you need a bigger suitcase.

After researching 30 pieces of checked luggage and testing eight finalists over many years, we can still say that the Travelpro Platinum Elite 25″ Expandable Spinner is the best suitcase for most travelers who plan to check a bag.

The bag easily holds two weeks’ worth of clothes, and it looks and feels fantastic. And it comes with a limited lifetime warranty against airline damage.

Everything we recommend

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Travelpro Platinum Elite 25″ Expandable Spinner

The best checked bag for most travelers.

This bag provides a luxury feel at a reasonable price, with a capacity, warranty, and reliability that should suit most travelers. The 25-inch model should offer plenty of room for most travelers, without going over airline weight limits.

Buying Options

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Travelpro Platinum Elite 29″ Expandable Spinner

Same suitcase, but bigger.

If you need a checked bag that gives you the maximum allowable space, and you don’t mind paying an overweight-bag fee, the 29-inch model is the way to go.

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Away The Medium

The best hard-sided checked suitcase.

This great-looking, relatively resilient piece of hard-sided luggage matches our hard-sided carry-on pic. It has the same top-of-the-line components—including wheels that roll as smoothly as any we’ve tested.

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Away The Large

The best large hard-sided checked suitcase.

If you need to maximize your allowed space, and you aren’t worried about weight limits, this bag is, as the name implies, the largest one Away makes. Apart from its extra capacity, it’s identical to The Medium.

Upgrade pick

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Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium Expandable 26″ Spinner

Hefty luggage for a heftier price.

This bag provides the most satisfying packing experience money can buy. It can fit an additional week’s worth of clothing, when compressed, in the same amount of space as the Travelpro Platinum Elite bag offers.

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Briggs & Riley Baseline Extra Large Expandable 31″ Spinner

The same durable bag, but bigger.

This bag is for anyone who needs a somewhat ludicrous amount of space. Fully expanded, this bag is the biggest we’ve found. Fair warning: If you fill it full of clothes, you’re all but guaranteed to exceed airline weight limits.

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Monos Hybrid Trunk

This type of luggage brings back the classic silhouette of upright steamer trunks. Due to their design, trunks are considered by some to be easier to pack and to maneuver. However, airlines may flag the Monos as oversize.

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Testing takeaways

We’ve found that the stated dimensions and weights of checked suitcases tend to be more accurate than those of their carry-on counterparts.

Wheel quality can affect how well carry-ons roll, but this is less true for checked bags—their weight smooths out the ride.

Handle shape and size often dictate a carry-on’s usable space. In roomier, checked bags, however, they’re less of a factor.

We considered how well a suitcase handles when it’s fully packed, how durable its materials are, and whether it’s comfortable to use.

The Travelpro Platinum Elite 25″ Expandable Spinner is the larger, checked-luggage version of our Travelpro carry-on top pick , and everything we like about its diminutive sibling applies again here.

It’s made of a hard-wearing nylon that’s both sleek and durable. And it looks and feels like a bag that costs a lot more than it actually does.

For a checked bag, it’s also surprisingly nimble. That’s thanks to the height-adjustable handle and the magnetically locking MagnaTrac wheels, which make the bag noticeably easier to maneuver—especially when it’s loaded with 50 pounds of stuff. And this suitcase is protected by a lifetime warranty, with stated protections against airline damages.

Internally, the Platinum Elite is well organized, and it includes a built-in garment folder for formalwear, with a removable folding board (similar to the one in our upgrade pick ). If you need a little more space, consider the Travelpro Platinum Elite 29″ Expandable Spinner .

Note that with luggage this capacious, it’s easy to overpack and exceed the 50-pound (22-kilogram) weight limit imposed by most airlines. But if you’re willing to pay the fee, the Platinum Elite can easily withstand the extra weight.

For anyone who enjoys the look and simplicity of hard-sided luggage—as well as the comfort of knowing that this one is virtually impossible to overpack— The Medium suitcase from Away is an excellent choice with an excellent warranty.

Soft-sided luggage typically has a longer lifespan than hard-sided bags, typically made of ABS plastic or polycarbonate. And soft-sided luggage typically has features like exterior pockets, making organization easier. However, the differences in durability and utility between hard- and soft-sided luggage are increasingly marginal, and plenty of people prefer the aesthetic and additional color options of polycarbonate suitcases.

Away builds its luggage with high-quality components. We tested the Away bag for three years before first recommending it. This suitcase has been our pick for over six years now, and we are confident in its long-term durability and the reputation of Away’s limited lifetime warranty . Away also makes a bigger checked-luggage model, The Large . We’ve found, however, that it’s very easy to overpack suitcases of this size, even ones that are hard-sided.

If you identify as a frequent flier or a serious overpacker, or if you have a large family and are willing to invest in higher-quality luggage for traveling, we recommend the Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium Expandable 25″ Spinner .

Although the Travelpro Platinum Elite is great for the price, the Briggs & Riley Baseline bag is great, period. Every detail is made to the highest standards of any luggage maker—from the zippers to the wheels to a unique compression system (which lets you fit an additional week’s worth of clothing into the same volume as offered by the Travelpro bag).

You won’t get the unique styling that other luxury brands specialize in, but Briggs & Riley’s reputation for reliability and durability is unmatched. The bag also includes a garment folder, as the Travelpro bag does.

If things go awry, user-replaceable parts and a network of repair centers located around the world make quick fixes easy, and the reliable lifetime warranty covers repairs for any kind of damage. We’ve traveled with this durable bag for six years now on multiple national and international trips. And it’s still in great shape and a dream to pack. Also, its expanding capability has rescued us more than once when we wanted to bring something extra home.

Trunk luggage, including the Monos Hybrid Trunk , replaces the 50/50 split of a clamshell design with a deeper central compartment. It’s a small change, and it makes packing this type of case very pleasant.

However, this luggage seems best for destination travel, when you pack up once and unpack once. Living out of a trunk requires more layers of packing and unpacking. So using trunk luggage across multiple stops could seem potentially onerous, compared with using a bag that has a typical clamshell design. Also, at least one traveler we know was dinged with an oversize fee for their Hybrid Trunk.

Monos continues to impress us with its luggage lines and construction. But the Hybrid Trunk stands out for its reinforced aluminum frame and denser-feeling polycarbonate, and it has a lifetime warranty for any damage that renders the luggage unusable.

The research

Why you should trust us, how we picked and tested, the best checked luggage: travelpro platinum elite 25" expandable spinner, our pick for the best hard-sided luggage: away the medium suitcase, upgrade pick: briggs & riley baseline expandable spinner, the best trunk pick: monos hybrid trunk, other good suitcases for checking, the competition, what to look forward to.

I’ve been covering luggage and travel-bag design for Wirecutter for nearly a decade, and I have personally researched, tested, and compared hundreds of bags in that time. Over the years, we’ve also spoken with plenty of experts : flight attendants for major airlines; product designers and creative directors for luggage and gear companies; and travel writers. My conversations with these people have helped shape our coverage, and we owe much to their collective knowledge.

Several suitcases we tested to find the best for checking.

We’ve spent more than 160 hours researching luggage, continually testing to understand what makes good luggage. In the nearly eight years we’ve covered this category, the products have evolved—and so has our thinking about what kind of luggage is best for most people. Based on what’s available and what different travelers prefer, we think the following travel bags are the best checked luggage you can currently find.

There may be thousands of different types of checked luggage available for sale. Even after we excluded models that didn’t meet our basic criteria—a reliable warranty, reputable luggage reviews, and quality materials—we found hundreds of bags worth testing. And we went on to evaluate the choices between nylon and polyester, the difference in wheel-bearing designs, why alloys in telescoping handles matter, and more.

Three suitcases we tested in 2016, shown side by side.

Besides the suggestions from our experts, we researched editorial and user reviews of luggage, making sure to include popular brands, such as Samsonite and Tumi, as well as more-esoteric names, like Hideo Wakamatsu. In addition to our interviews with experts, we’ve spoken with assorted salespeople, brand engineers, and media-relations folks, to make sure we found the best models from each company.

If you want a general rundown of our testing process, check out the corresponding sections from our best carry-on luggage review , since our testing of the larger bags mirrored that process. But we did uncover some differences—mostly having to do with the larger size of checked luggage—that led us to modify our analysis.

The smaller the luggage, the more intricate the design must become to accommodate travelers’ needs. While testing carry-on luggage in the past, we found that company claims of luggage weight and measurements weren’t exactly precise, with capacities exaggerated and weights minimized. Oddly, for checked bags, we didn’t find so much fudging of the numbers. Our best guess is that with the looser size and weight restrictions for checked luggage, manufacturers aren’t as motivated to manipulate their figures when advertising their larger bags.

When we tested carry-ons, we noticed the varied and individual way that each bag handled rough surfaces, depending on their wheels and build quality. With checked bags, this wasn’t a problem. When any checked bag was fully packed, the weight carried it over the roughest of surfaces, without a strong discernable difference between models.

With bags this large, the subtler points of comparison aren’t as pronounced. For instance, the handle’s size and shape can significantly change a carry-on bag’s usable space and your overall packing experience. But when space limits aren’t an issue, this doesn’t really matter. As a result, we focused on the obvious design comparisons, including how these bags handled when full, how durable their materials were, and whether the bags were comfortable to use.

Our top picks for the best checked luggage, the Travelpro Platinum Elite 25-inch and 29-inch Expandable Spinners, side by side.

For the majority of families who fly less than 25,000 miles a year together, the Travelpro Platinum Elite 25″ Expandable Spinner is the best choice for checked luggage.

It’s the bag to compare others against. The Platinum Elite suitcase is a durable, attractively styled, well-organized bag for a reasonable price. It holds a full seven days’ worth of clothes for two people, and it’s protected by a warranty that covers carrier damage, as long as you register the bag within 120 days of purchase. (The registration is a very simple process, and it can be done in 5 minutes with a smartphone: Simply take a picture of the registration code, which comes with the luggage; send that picture to a number Travelpro provides; and fill out the form in the response link .)

During a trip to New Zealand, our tester was able to pack two weeks’ worth of clothes—without a laundry stop—and several pieces of camera equipment into the Platinum Magna (the previous, largely identical model of the Platinum Elite) without issue. Like every large piece of checked luggage we tested, the Platinum Elite comes only in a four-wheel (or “spinner”) configuration. More wheels mean more bits with the potential to break (as well as some reduction of interior space), but that’s a necessary compromise for bags this size, if you want any hope of managing them in a busy airport.

A Travelpro Platinum Elite 25-inch Expandable Spinner with its built-in garment folder opened.

It shrugs off wear and tear. The Platinum Elite’s exterior is made of ballistic nylon, which can take more overall abuse than polycarbonate and will show less wear in the long run. As we’ve said with regard to carry-ons , we don’t think polycarbonate hard-shell bags are as versatile or durable as soft-sided nylon bags. (Travelpro tests its bags by filling them with 70-pound loads and passing each handle through 7,500 automated lift tests.)

Hard-shell bags usually weigh about 4 pounds less than soft-sided equivalents. However, their increased failure rate and affinity for displaying scratches and wear aren’t worth it, unless the bag’s contents really need the extra protection from sharp jabs.

The soft fabric design allows for extra flexibility and the inclusion of exterior pockets, for quick access to small items. The Platinum Elite has two pockets: a flat one (suitable for documents and boarding passes) and an accordion-style one (which provides extra storage for miscellaneous small items; this can be a lifesaver if you’re traveling with kids and need quick access to extra-small toys, coloring books, clothes, or other supplies).

Top view of the main compartment of the Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Spinner.

Organization makes the dream work. During her three-week trip in New Zealand, photographer Caleigh Waldman said of the earlier, nearly identical model in the Platinum line, “On this trip I never stayed in the same location for more than three days and was forced to constantly unpack, repack, and maneuver [the bag]. Usually living out of any suitcase makes me crazy, but the many zip compartments [of this bag], both inside and out, make it easy to compartmentalize your things. The pockets, zippers, and interior liner seemed sturdy, and the large pull-back cover allowed me to access everything I had in the bag with ease.”(Full disclosure: Years later we married, but I don’t think that influenced her review.)

Similar to its smaller Travelpro sibling, the Carry-On Rollaboard , this suitcase has a built-in garment folder (or “suiter”). Additionally, a 2-inch-wide expansion zipper runs along three sides of the Platinum Elite, allowing the bag to accordion-open a touch, if you need the extra space (though we found this more useful as a way to compress what you’ve already packed than as an additional-space-providing feature).

Close-up of the Built-in TSA combination lock on a Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Spinner.

It moves through the world with ease. The Platinum Elite handles beautifully for its size. Its aluminum handle extends to three different heights (38 inches, 40 inches, and 42½ inches). Although every bag we tested for this guide had similar levels of maneuverability, the Premium Elite’s MagnaTrac wheels, which align in the same direction, rolled past the rest of the competition with ease. On smooth surfaces, like those found in airports, it felt as if the bag were almost directing itself across the floor.

During her trip, Caleigh appreciated this suitcase’s smooth rolling, even when the bag was overpacked, saying, “It was not always easy to maneuver on rough or gravelly surfaces. Overall, though, given the limitations of traveling with this much stuff, I thought [this bag] did a great job moving through a variety of environments.” And it has sealed wheel bearings; these extend the wheels’ life by preventing dirt and grime from entering and breaking down the components as quickly. That’s a feature not usually found on cheaper bags. And chances are good that if a bag isn’t clearly advertising sealed bearings, you should assume it doesn’t have them. If, for whatever reason, the wheels do break, you can easily swap them out yourself with Travelpro’s readily available replacements .

It’s light yet cavernous. The Platinum Elite weighs 9 pounds 8 ounces when empty, which is average to heavy among checked bags. That’s a workable weight, though, for the bag’s spacious, 6,982-cubic-inch interior—twice what its carry-on sibling can hold! But when you’re selecting luggage this large, weight shouldn’t be your primary concern because all of the bags we tested felt about equally heavy once fully packed. The important thing is that, in our testing, the Platinum Elite swallowed up a week’s worth of clothes for two people with no problem, with a good deal of room to spare.

Travelpro also sells a Platinum Elite model that’s 29 inches tall . It’s important to emphasize just how absurdly large this suitcase is for most people. Given its capacity of 7,710.6 cubic inches (143 liters), the challenge here is to pack without breaking airline weight limits. I suppose if you were on a (very) long cruise, a bag this size might make sense.

How the Platinum Elite has held up

After my wife’s world travels, a neighbor borrowed this bag for their children’s college travels (Hawaii to New York), making several trips over the past few years. The Platinum Elite is still going strong.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

We should note that bags of this size can hold almost too much. The Platinum Elite bag already weighs over 9 pounds. So when you pack it to its limits, it may be hard to keep it below the 50-pound weight limit of most airlines—and that means extra fees. But this is true of all checked luggage.

During her New Zealand trip, Caleigh Waldman packed the Platinum Magna 2 (29-inch model) for two weeks, with enough clothes, toiletries, and different types of shoes and activewear for the terrain. Though she didn’t fill the bag completely, she still found that her luggage came in over the 50-pound limit. “Every flight I took, I had to cough up the overweight-baggage fee, and it was a monster to carry up stairs and toss into car trunks,” she said.

Our picks for the best hard-sided luggage, the Away The Medium and The Large suitcases, side by side.

We still think most travelers would be better off with one of our soft-sided picks than with a hard-sided carry-on. That’s because soft-sided luggage shows less wear and typically lasts longer than hard-sided luggage. But if you prefer the look of hard-sided luggage, or you want the security of knowing you can’t overpack your suitcase, Away’s The Medium is the one we recommend.

From wheels to warranty, it’s the best polycarbonate option. Its wheels and zipper are as well made as those of our soft-sided picks, and its polycarbonate showed fewer scratches than its hard-sided competitors. And it’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

It provides more than enough space. The Medium weighs 9.9 pounds and measures 26 by 18.5 by 11 inches—a fairly standard weight and size for checked luggage this size. (By comparison, the Travelpro Platinum Elite 25-inch bag weighs 9.8 pounds and measures 28 by 18.5 by 11.75 inches.) If you need extra room,  Away’s The Large offers the maximum allowed space in a piece of checked luggage. The Large weighs 11.6 pounds and measures 29 by 20.5 by 12.5 inches. But with bags this big, it’s easier to overpack and exceed airline weight limits, which is why we recommend the Away Medium for most people.

Don’t sweat the flex. The Away bag’s modern and minimalist look comes at a cost: Its polycarbonate shell is ultimately—according to every luggage designer we’ve ever interviewed—more likely to break than the nylon fabric of our other picks is to tear. Still, the shell feels similar to those of higher-end (and significantly more expensive) suitcases, such as the $1,000-plus Rimowa Essential Check-In M ; it’s strong and flexible, and the Away bag itself feels good in your hands.

Away builds its luggage with impressive components. The wheels are noticeably better than those on any of the hard-sided competitors we’ve tested. We’ve rolled these wheels across every conceivable surface, from cobblestone streets to the smoothest airport surfaces, and they were always a pleasure to use. When we first started testing The Away bag, in 2016, we found that flexibility to be a liability, especially on airport carpets. The first version of this bag that I tested tended to flex into itself and jam up its own wheels when I pushed it in front of me. But I haven’t had that issue with any of this suitcase’s latest models.

Top view of an opened Away The Medium suitcase.

Its interior matches its minimal exterior. The Away bag’s interior is almost as bare-bones as its exterior. Unlike our other picks, this bag has no included suiter or suit folder, but you can buy one for $85 . The interior is split in half: One side closes with a zippered flap, and the other side has a built-in compression panel and straps, which work decently well.

It’s better to stick with the basics. We tested Away luggage for three years before making our recommendation. We traveled with it ourselves across the country, and we lent models of the bag to several testers and frequent travelers to see how they enjoyed using them. Away makes two similar models of checked suitcases with an expandable zipper: The Medium Flex and The Large Flex . For all intents and purposes, these are the same overall bags as the standard Medium and Large, except for the expanding center zipper and the price (they each cost $50 more). Personally, I’m not a fan of expanding zippers. They feel like potentially just one more thing to break. Also, they can increase the likelihood of exceeding the airline’s weight limit. But some people may prefer having the extra flexibility.

Like our other picks, the Away pairs with its matching carry-on : The models are virtually identical, except for their sizes. Matching your luggage sets is visually appealing. But the real value in matching your carry-on to your checked luggage is that the smaller suitcase can, when you’re back home, nest within the larger one. (This holds true for every set of luggage we’ve ever tested. Here’s why: Nesting luggage is the most economical way for luggage manufacturers to ship their wares from their factories overseas.)

The lack of a suit panel for important items, like dresses and suits, may limit this suitcase’s appeal for some travelers. With a bag that has this much space, though, there are other ways to pack fancy clothes (video) without wrinkling them.

base travel suitcase

If you fly more than 25,000 miles per year, it’s worth investing in luggage that goes beyond the minimums and somehow improves your travel experience. The Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium Expandable 25″ Spinner is that kind of bag. It costs more than twice as much as our top soft-sided pick, but after using all of these bags side by side, I’m sure there’s more than twice as much value hidden within this luggage: This is one of the best checked luggage systems we’ve found for international travel.

It has the best compression system. This suitcase’s most impressive feature is its compression system. Briggs & Riley’s proprietary compression system is superior to anything else we’ve seen—it allows you to fit an additional week’s worth of clothing into a bag with the same external dimensions as those of the Travelpro Platinum Elite suitcase. To manage it, you pull upward on two plastic handles inside the bag; this extends its depth by a full 2½ inches. Load the bag as full as you need to, and zip it closed without putting stress on the zippers. Then you simply push on the bag to compress it back down again, and a latch mechanism keeps it securely in place. Unlike cheaper zippered expansion systems, which are either fully open or closed (like the Delsey bag’s ), this one can lock in at variable degrees of expansion or compression. This suitcase is unique and satisfying to use. (If you prefer a polycarbonate shell, Briggs & Riley has designed a similar compression system around a hard-shell case, for its Sympatico Spinner line. Still, we prefer the pliability of a soft-sided shell for any compression system.)

Measuring the extra capacity of the Baseline isn’t exact. The bag’s base (that is, where the wheels are) measures an inch deeper than the top of the bag (where the handle is); this design is, I believe, to make the base of the bag heavier when fully packed. At the base, the exterior of the Baseline Medium measures 25 by 18.5 by 10 inches; expanded, it measures 25 by 18.5 by 12 inches.

A person measuring the height of the internal storage space of the Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium Expandable 25-inch Spinner with a measuring tape.

It takes hits like a brick. The Baseline Medium’s exterior is wrapped in 1,680-denier ballistic nylon, which is durable and puncture resistant. (Denier is a measure of the fiber thickness in a fabric.) But even more impressive is what’s underneath the nylon. The Baseline Medium’s frame is the strongest we’ve seen among any of the soft-sided luggage we tested. This bag can take considerable pressure from any angle. Like the Travelpro Platinum Elite, the Baseline Medium has two external pockets: a small one for tickets and passports and a larger one for small items or light outerwear. Briggs & Riley also makes a 31-inch Extra Large version of this bag, with nearly 10,000 cubic inches of interior space. It’s a good bag, but we can’t see the point of something this large. As it is, you can easily exceed most airlines’ weight limits packing the Medium to capacity.

Similar to its carry-on version, the Baseline Medium’s handrail tubes are on the outside of the bag; this makes the inside back wall almost completely flat, so packing is easier because there are no crevices to work around. We liked this feature for lighter carry-on luggage, since exterior plastic handrail tubes can protect the bag when it’s going over an edge, without risking too much damage. However, that all changes when you’re bouncing a 50-pound bag over a curb; in that case, an exposed handrail system seems like an unnecessary risk, especially since there’s so much room for an internal rail system.

The best trunk pick the Monos Hybrid Trunk.

Trunks are a welcome new addition (reimagined from a somewhat older tradition) to checked-luggage lines. Longer than they are wide, modern travel trunks—including our pick, the Monos Hybrid Trunk —stand out against the more-common squat, square luggage of the last few decades.

It has a pleasant shape, and it’s easy to maneuver. The Monos Hybrid measures 30 by 15.7 by 14.3 inches, with a capacity of 6,735.3 cubic inches, and it weighs 13.2 pounds. Imagine something like a small steamer trunk, except without the team of stevedores to move it.

In our early testing, we’ve found that the Monos Hybrid, with its taller, narrower shape, is easier to wheel around than other checked luggage. There’s something about the four wheels’ relative proximity to one another that gives the trunk a remarkable agility across most surfaces. Its wheels make it handle more like a carry-on bag than the other checked luggage we tested.

An opened Monos Hybrid Trunk lying flat on its back.

It’s a pleasure to pack. This element is harder to explain. Packing the trunk somehow just feels more pleasant than packing other types of luggage. Maybe it’s the main compartment’s higher walls, which give a comforting feeling of placing your clothes deep within the confines of a box. Or perhaps it’s the shape’s somewhat vintage appeal, bringing up nostalgia for a type of travel you’ve never experienced except in movies. Packing clothes into the Hybrid Trunk for a long journey is like stepping back in time just for a moment.

That said, unlike the steamer trunks of yore, the modern Monos Hybrid doesn’t have a ton of extra organization. One side has a fabric cover that completely zips in the contents; the other side has a compression panel with two zippered pockets. That said, for most modern travelers using (I hope) a good set of packing cubes , these simple dividers should be plenty to keep everything in the right place.

The Hybrid Trunk does away with the standard zipper closure, opting instead for an aluminum frame that runs along the seam of the luggage, where a zipper might have been. The case has two TSA locks, which close with a satisfying latch. We’ve reviewed a few bags with latches like this, and they’re great. Our only concern is that these locks have lots of small moving components, which could be a weak point over time.

It’s made for long, tough journeys. The only trunk models we’ve seen so far are made of polycarbonate. The Monos Hybrid immediately stands out with three details: an aluminum frame around the center seam that reinforces the body of the luggage, aluminum corner guards, and a reassuringly robust polycarbonate.

The Monos Hybrid Trunk, like our other picks, is protected by a lifetime warranty.

  • We’ve heard from one traveler we know that Delta charged them an oversize fee when they checked their Monos Hybrid Trunk. Other airlines have, in our experience, been more lenient. If your chosen airline has a reputation (as Delta does) for being persnickety, maybe skip this bag.
  • Another potential flaw we’ve found so far (we’ve tested trunks for only a few months) is that a trunk design may require more packing and unpacking to find what you need if you’re making lots of stops while traveling. A suitcase with a clamshell design, on the other hand, has both sides more or less open to you for easier access.
  • Like the Away, the Monos Hybrid Trunk doesn’t have a dedicated suit folder or suit compartment for dresses or formal wear. Again though with this much space to pack in, there are a number of ways to protect clothes like this.

If the Monos Hybrid Trunk is unavailable: Consider Away’s The Trunk , which has a similar design (apart from having a zipper, instead of latches) for a similar price. However, though we’re generally fans of Away’s luggage, The Trunk isn’t as satisfying to use as the Monos Hybrid . The Away Trunk’s shell is flexible and its body is light, so it lacks the robust feel of the Monos Hybrid.

The Delsey Helium Aero , our previous hard-sided pick, comes in a 25-inch and a 29-inch version, so you can choose how much capacity you need. Like the Away suitcase, this bag is made of 100% polycarbonate, so it should last longer than cheaper, less-durable ABS plastic suitcases. However, Delsey’s 10-year limited warranty doesn’t match Away’s limited lifetime warranty.

Briggs & Riley makes excellent luggage, but we don’t think you need to spend this much on a hard-sided case without any extra frills, like the Briggs & Riley Torq Medium Spinner .

The Delsey Peugeot Large Trunk Spinner has a similar zipperless design as the Monos Hybrid, but the Peugeot bag lacks the corner guards and, more importantly, the lifetime warranty. Instead, the Peugeot is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Rimowa defined hard-sided luggage in the 1940s and redefined it in 2000, when it introduced polycarbonate luggage. But paying just over $1,000 for “virgin German polycarbonate” is silly. These bags, including the Rimowa Essential Check-In M , are smart-looking, though.

If you’ve ever wondered how much people pay for those handsome aluminum pieces of luggage, we’ll tell you: at least four figures. The Rimowa Classic Check-In M is twice as expensive as a ticket to Europe, yet it’s little more than a status symbol.

We also tested and dismissed Pelican and Samsonite suitcases that have since been discontinued.

We’re taking a look at the Level8 Voyageur Check-In . Its standout feature is the unusually wide handle, which seems to help its handling. The Level8 bag is less expensive than other luggage of its size and apparent quality. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty. To make a decision, however, we do need to study the handle and the build quality a bit longer.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Meet your guide

base travel suitcase

Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. He was previously an app developer, oil derrick inspector, public-radio archivist, and sandwich shop owner. He has written for Popular Science, The Awl, and the New York Observer, among others. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich.

Further reading

An illustration reading "our 100 most popular September picks."

Wirecutter’s 100 Most Popular Picks in September 2022

by Wirecutter Staff

These 100 useful things were the most-purchased Wirecutter picks in September 2022.

A Travelpro rolling suitcase, next to clothes and a purse.

We’ve Loved Luggage From Travelpro’s Platinum Elite Line for a Decade. Here’s Why.

by Kit Dillon

Travelpro Platinum Elite is our most loyal travel companion.

Photomontage consisting of an image of a rice cooker, a hand-held vacuum, and a portable wireless speaker.

Wirecutter’s 100 Most Popular Picks of January 2024

Here are the 100 things our readers loved most in January, from carry-ons to humidifiers and more.

The Away Carry-On in front of a pink field, surrounded by a globe, a beige duffel, and some paper cacti.

Are Away Carry-Ons Worth the Hype?

Although we still prefer the better durability of soft-sided luggage, if you want the look and feel of a hard-sided case, we recommend the Away Carry-On .

9 great suitcases worth the checked-bag fee

Samantha Rosen

Update : Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here .

We're clearly going places now. But choosing which suitcase you're going to purchase for an upcoming trip remains no easy task.

Whether you're a road warrior who hasn't stopped moving or your luggage game could simply use an upgrade after the great pandemic pause, you'll want to make sure you do some research before sliding your credit card. And as eager as we all are to get back out there in the world, it's worth taking the time to read reviews and comparison shop before settling on your next suitcase.

Since this is a bag that will be stored under the plane and tossed on luggage carts, sturdiness is key. Your bag is going to be thrown around quite a bit, so you'll want to make sure it's up to the task.

You'll also want a suitcase with plenty of compartments and organizational components. You're likely packing for more than just a few days if you're checking a bag, so it's important that all your items can fit neatly inside.

But be sure to have some fun with this purchase, too! Your suitcase is an expression of your personality, so you'll want to get one that you feel matches your travel style and goals (luckily, there's a color and style for that).

Related: What your luggage brand says about you

Before you finalize your order though, do yourself a favor and check out our guides to airline shopping portals as well as the best credit cards for online shopping . That way, the gear you're buying for your next trip is helping you actually get there, too.

Our favorite suitcases right now:

Arlo skye the frame check-in, monos check-in large, delsey paris, clavel collection, 30" spinner, travelpro platinum elite 25" expandable spinner, briggs & riley sympatico large expandable spinner, samsonite winfield 2 hardside luggage, rimowa original check-in, nomatic check-in, away the large.

(Photo courtesy of Arlo Skye)

Why we love it: Arlo Skye was founded by Tumi and Louis Vuitton alums, so you know it's going to be good. It's sleek and stylish, complete with an aluminum frame and an impact-resistant polycarbonate shell. Our favorite feature, though, might be the two TSA-approved clasp locks that keep your belongings safe and secure, all without a zipper. Just be sure to remember your combination.

The details: 26.6 inches by 17.7 inches by 11.0 inches and weighs 10.5 pounds

Pricing: Arlo Skye bags are only available on their website — The Frame Check-in sells for $495.

Related: Luggage review: Arlo Skye The Check-In

Why we love it: Not only does the Monos Check-In Large come in ten different colors and patterns, but it has plenty of room to pack every essential for the whole family and has an ultra-sturdy telescopic handle that makes it a cinch to push and pull. It's so tough to decide which is or favorite feature, but it might just be that ergonomically designed handle and those whisper-quiet wheels that make you feel like you're on a catwalk in the airport. Monos is also the only Certified Neutral travel brand, so you can feel like you're doing a good travel deed, too, purchasing one of these babies.

The details: Mono's largest suitcase measures 30 inches by 21 inches by 11 inches, and weighs only 10.58 pounds

Pricing: Monos luggage is only available on the Monos website, and the Check-In Large starts at $367 (on sale now for a limited time for $330). Get 15 percent off luggage essentials like packing cubes and a protective luggage cover with every suitcase purchase.

base travel suitcase

Why we love it: DELSEY PARIS' CLAVEL collection is the lightest and brightest assortment of luggage the brand has touted yet. The company pioneered the use of polypropylene in luggage manufacturing — a material known for its resilience to heat, wear and tear. And the CLAVEL collection keeps things ultra-airy and spacious, with nine color options, too, and three sizes to choose from (we say go large). Unique features include the patented zip SECURITECH® technology that's far more durable than a conventional zipper and the bag's expandable main compartment that allows for maximum packing flexibility. We love the two separate packing compartments with tie-down straps, shoe pockets and a mesh divider to keep all your belongings in place while on the move.

The details: The CLAVEL collection 30" spinner measures 32.5 inches by 21.5 inches by 31.25 inches and weighs just 9.8 pounds.

Why we love it: Travelpro bags are beloved by road warriors near and far — seriously, just ask the next flight attendant you see. Travelpro makes a number of different designs, but we have a soft spot for the Platinum Elite (and not only because of its lifetime warranty against airline damage and fun color options like Bordeaux and Coastal Blue). The eight self-aligning spinner wheels roll like butter and you can easily pack two weeks' worth of wardrobe essentials and then some inside.

The details: The Travelpro Platinum Elite 25" Expandable Spinner measures 25 inches by 18 inches by 11.25 inches, and weighs 9.8 pounds, extra light considering all you can cram inside.

Why we love it: Part of the sleek, resilient, tech-friendly Sympatico collection, the Large Expandable Spinner is the bag for the traveler who can't bear to leave anything behind. The Makrolon® polycarbonate case is extremely durable, built to protect contents and stay scratch-and-scuff-free. The brand's innovative CX® compression-expansion system allows you to expand the bag for 25 percent more space — and then compress it back down to its original size. Additionally, Briggs & Riley's simple as that® guarantee means if the bag is ever broken or damaged, the company repairs it free of charge (no proof of purchase needed, no questions asked).

The details: The Sympatico Large Expandable Spinner measures 30 inches by 20 inches by 12 inches and weighs 13.5 pounds.

Why we love it: We have a feeling you're going to love this bag so much, you might feel a twinge of guilt after you leave it with the check-in agent. This four-wheeled spinner has a polycarbonate shell that makes it extremely durable. It also expands as needed, if you just have to stuff that extra sweater or pair of shoes in. If that's the case, the full-zip interior divider and organization pockets will really come in handy. The bag comes with a limited 10-year warranty and is available in a slew of shiny colors that include charcoal, deep blue, orange, purple, arctic pink and brushed carbon color, among others.

The details: 31 inches by 20 inches by 12.75 inches, and weighs just over 11 pounds.

(Photo courtesy of Rimowa)

Why we love it: This list wouldn't be complete without a mention of Rimowa. It's a cult favorite for a reason — well, a few reasons. Its design is iconic, yes, but this four-wheeled suitcase is also designed to withstand trip after trip. There's no zipper on this bag, either; just two TSA-approved locks to keep your belongings in check, as well as a height-adjustable flex-divider inside. If you do encounter bumps in the road, though, you're entitled to a five-year guarantee as well as hotel repairs at participating properties around the world (yes, really).

The details: 26 inches by 17.8 inches by 9.5 inches and just shy of 12 pounds.

Pricing: Such accolades don't come cheap. Expect to drop $1,270 to put one of these in your travel closet.

Related: Your guide to the Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit

(Photo courtesy of Nomatic)

Why we love it: This isn't your standard check-in bag. This four-wheeled suitcase uses a magnetic compression system and full-perimeter expansion to keep your items secured and extremely organized. It has silent Hinomoto wheels, TSA-locking YKK zippers and a sleek, yet unusual design. It's virtually indestructible, too — just see what happens when you throw something at it. Go on, try it out.

The details: The Nomatic Check-in bag measures 29 inches by 18.5 inches by 9 inches, and weighs 12.3 pounds, making it one of the heavier suitcases on the list.

Related: Say goodbye to checked bag fees with our 7 favorite travel backpacks

(Photo courtesy of Away)

Why we love it: You just can't go wrong with an Away bag . It's designed with frequent travelers in mind — with two compartments to house clothes and harder belongings, like shoes — and can withstand even your most rigorous trips, with its sturdy polycarbonate shell. As an added bonus, if you also have one of Away's carry-on suitcases, you can easily stow it inside the suitcase when you're not traveling, freeing up some storage space at home. Away bags also come in every possible color you could dream up — everything from classic black and white to light pink, brick red and deep hunter green. There are also a handful of limited edition colors and schemes, like the retro ski "Chalet" collection and an asphalt-colored suitcase with a mint-green zipper created in collaboration with the American Express® Green Card. Get them while you can. (These may no longer be available so be sure to check the Away site).

The details: Away's largest suitcase measures 29 inches by 20.5 inches by 12.5 inches and weighs 11.6 pounds.

Pricing: You can only buy Away's bags online , and The Large sells for $375.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Keep calm and carry on: Our 13 favorite travel carry-ons

Frequently Asked Questions

How to select the best checked luggage.

Since your checked luggage will likely get thrown around and banged up quite a bit, durability is key here. You'll want to make sure it's large enough to hold all of your belongings but not too large that you can't comfortably wheel it around the airport with you.

You'll also want to choose a suitcase that fits your travel style. If you're planning on more adventurous, rugged trips, you might be better off with a duffel. If you're staying in a luxury hotel with white-glove service, you won't mind leaving your luxury suitcase with a bellhop.

As you've seen here, suitcases can vary greatly in price. Keep in mind your budget as well as your personal style to find your perfect match.

Benefits of traveling with a checked bag

While many people love traveling with carry-ons due to their efficiency and ease, there's something to be said for checked bags, too.

They really come in handy for longer trips, especially ones where you're traveling for an extended period of time or require clothes and accessories for more than one type of trip. Checked bags allow you more flexibility, and not just in terms of the clothing you pack — you won't have to abide by TSA's 3-1-1 liquid rule , either.

But many airlines will charge you for checking a bag , so be sure to keep that in mind. Arm yourself with one of these credit cards to help avoid paying pesky fees for your suitcase.

Additional reporting by Terry Ward.

To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then   View saved stories .

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The Best Travel Bags for Wherever You’re Headed

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Maxlite luggage on white backdrop

Best Carry-On for Most People Travelpro Maxlite 5 Read more

Image may contain Luggage and Suitcase

Best Hard-Shell Carry-On Away Carry-On Read more

YETI Crossroads Luggage

Best Soft-Shell Carry-On Yeti Crossroads 35L Read more

Briggs Riley Baseline luggage

Best Bag for a Lifetime Briggs & Riley Baseline CX Read more

Whew! You've made it all the way across the globe. But have your toothbrush, pajamas, and running shoes made it, too? If you're a frequent traveler, it's easy to obsess over the logistics of getting your stuff clean, organized, and in good working condition upon arrival. Paying for a decent travel bag and a few useful accessories means buying a little peace of mind, especially when a few yards of zippers and some nylon are the only barriers between your precious belongings and the belly of an airliner.

Whether you're slinging a duffel into a car trunk for a weekend trip or packing for a whirlwind jaunt across Asia, we've got you covered. Need a bag for your passport or groceries? Don't forget to check out our other guides, like the Best Laptop Backpacks and the Best Recycled Bags , for more picks.

Updated April 2024: We reorganized this guide and added new picks, such as the Yeti Crossroads, Tom Bihn Aeronaut and Trinity, the Frame Carry-On Max, the Lo & Sons O.G. 2, the Camelbak A.T.P. 20, the Calpak Luka Duffel, and the Rux 70. We also updated the information on sizing and checked links and prices.

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Best Carry-On for Most People

Look around any airport—if you see flight attendants or pilots, they will probably be rolling around a Travelpro suitcase. We like Travelpros because you get a lot of bang for your buck. They're durable, light, and not too expensive.

For only a little over $100, the Maxlite 5 is one of the more affordable Travelpro suitcases, and at 5.4 pounds, it's very light! The exterior toiletry pocket is a nice touch for when you go through security and need to take out your liquids, and the zippers are also quite strong and don't tend to get stuck. The wheels also rolled nicely on both the spinner and roll-aboard versions. Reviewer Matt Jancer did note that the aluminum handle extensions did sometimes stick and the main grab handle on the bag is only single-stitched, which may cause durability issues farther down the line. However, he has seen no issues yet. This probably the best bag you can get in the $100 to $150 price range.

Best Hard-Shell Carry-On

Away's business practices may have raised some eyebrows , but there's no denying that this company changed the travel market entirely. It has increased in price since we first tested it, but multiple WIRED staffers still use the classic Away hard-shell carry-on ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) as their travel suitcase.

Hard-shell suitcases tend to be heavier. There's also not as much give in the case, so you may find it hard to squeeze in more items than in a soft-shell bag, bu they look a lot sleeker than their soft-shell counterparts and protect fragile items better. The Away weighs 7.5 pounds, which is pretty standard for a hard-shell carry-on. When I tested it, I liked that it had multiple height settings and that the polycarbonate shell wiped clean and stayed mostly scuff-free (it helped that my tester was in the darker navy color). Away's suitcases also come with a built-in TSA-approved combination lock, four spinner wheels capable of rotating 360 degrees, and an included laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate from the rest of your stuff. The handle did feel a bit wobbly, though.

★ Alternatives: So many companies now offer a direct-to-consumer, stylish, hard-shell carry-on similar to the Away's. We've tried ones by Monos ($255) and July ($295) . Besides price, the differences are mostly negligible. I like July's aluminum bumpers, but they do add weight. The Monos's handle rolls out more smoothly, but the July's pebbled surface doesn't show scuffs as badly. Both have survived multiple cross-country trips, being checked as baggage, and being ridden on by two small children with no damage.

Paravel also offers an Aviator carry-on ($395) that touts itself as the world's first carbon-neutral carry-on; it has an interior lining made of recycled plastic bottles, a telescoping handle made of recycled aluminum, and vegan leather trim to help it stand out from all the plain black bags at the airport. Product reviewer Jaina Grey fell in love with its roomy interior and durable, anti-scuff hard-shell exterior.

Best Soft-Shell Carry-On

Yeti's coolers and cups are famous for being bomb-proof. The company recently launched a luggage line that's similarly overbuilt. The Yeti Crossroads 35L is a 22-inch roller bag that's carry-on size for most major airlines. It weighs 7.7 pounds, on par with soft-sided competitors of the same size.

I recently spent a week dragging the Crossroads up and down grimy subway station escalators, thumping it across cobblestones, and scrunching it into overfull overhead bins during a trip to London, Paris, and Brussels. The blue 700D nylon on the front and sides looks just as fresh as it did out of the box while the molded polycarbonate shell on the back has a few well-earned battle scratches. The two extra-large fixed wheels are rolling as smoothly as ever and hopped up curbs so well that I grew to favor them over smaller spinner wheels. The Crossroads has a half-dozen well-placed pockets and sturdy zippers that didn't give me any anxiety even as I tugged them hard while smooshing down to fit souvenirs into a carry-on with 8 days of clothing. —Martin Cizmar

Best Bag for a Lifetime

Do you only want to buy one suitcase and never think about it, ever again? Briggs & Riley is one of the few companies with a lifetime unlimited warranty. I bought a Briggs & Riley carry-on as my first and only post-college purchase. Right now, it has lasted over 20 years. Periodically, I bring it into the one Briggs & Riley-approved dealership in my town to get a zipper pull put back on, and it's fixed for free in a few days. Its components are top-of-the-line. The face fabric is a heavy-duty ballistic nylon that’s water-repellent and abrasion-resistant. After having been dragged all over the globe, from the Philippines to Turkey to Iceland, the gleaming red is just as bright.

The low-profile wheels nor handles have never broken. The grab handles are also luxuriously smooth and padded, and there's an interior folding garment bag for my husband's suits. The only downside is that at 9.3 pounds, it’s pretty heavy.

★ Alternatives: If you need an absolutely bomber-tough rolling suitcase and don't mind its 9.6-pound weight, the Pro Front-Access Carry ($799) will stand up to more abuse than most rolling bags, with its aluminum frame and 70-percent-recycled polycarbonate body. WIRED reviewer Chris Haslam says it's his favorite rolling bag in years. Jancer also likes Travelpro's Platinum Elite carry-on ($315) , which he calls one of the most high-end polycarbonate bags on the market.

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Best Backpack

When I reviewed the Cotopaxi Allpa in 2018 ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ), it had only recently launched. Now, a half-dozen years later, it is one of the most popular travel backpacks that I see online and in airports all over the world. It's a combination of a camping backpack, a suitcase, and a soft, frameless duffel. You can splay it open like a sandwich to pack it easily; access items through a side zip; put it on your backpack and secure its weight with a sternum strap; or squash or stomp it into any overhead compartment or corner of your car trunk. The use case for this bag is extremely specific—the same people who are bopping around Thailand for several weeks in one backpack are not the same people trying to look professional at a work conference. But it is sturdy and comfortable.

★ Alternative: I took the Ekster Packable Duffel ($250) on several weekend trips this spring, and found that it more than upheld its claims of being built for “smoother journeys, on and off the grid.” This travel bag converts from a backpack to a duffel, with two separate compartments that also splay open for easier packing. The 600-denier exterior and water-resistant zippers are so sturdy that when we ran out of space in the car, we lashed it to the roof rack with surf straps and drove for hours in the rain. It, and its contents, remained pristine.

Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 bag

Best Convertible Bag

Every serious traveler knows the name of Seattle-based Tom Bihn, manufacturer of bomber bags that will last you a lifetime. The Aeronaut 45 is the classic Tom Bihn convertible carry-on, which the size of the maximum allowable carryon bag on a plane.

You get everything from a Tom Bihn bag that you pay for. It’s made of incredibly sturdy 1050 denier ballistic nylon, with bombproof YKK zippers. It has both hidden backpack straps and an extremely comfortable cross-body strap. This is commerce director Martin Cizmar's bag, and he's tossed it around and lugged it down rough streets and through crowds where roller bags are a liability. He owns two and the first lasted for more than a decade. This is the bag that both he and I would use, if we didn't have to constantly test other bags.

Small bag with several zippers 2 handles and 1 strap

Best Personal Item

Some airlines are not content with charging you extra for checking a bag and now charge you for overhead bin space . The Tom Bihn Trinity ( 7/10, WIRED Recommends ) addresses that problem by providing a space for you to pack everything you need while still fitting underneath the seat in front of you. As the name suggests, it has three main compartments and three ways to carry—either as a briefcase with padded grab handles, a backpack, or as a shoulder bag with two attachment points.

It has three main compartments which can be arranged to your liking; for example, on one of the side compartments, you can zip a water bottle holder into place or unzip it for more room. It wasn't quite as versatile as I expected; I found that I prefer a small duffel with one main compartment that I can organize as I like. However, it does fit under the seat in front of me, even with clothes, laptop, and four (four!) hardcover books that I somehow stuffed inside it.

Lo  Sons OG bag

Best Work Bag

I've been traveling a lot for work and for family reasons in the past few months, and the bag I prefer for my personal item is the Lo & Sons O.G. 2, which is the larger version of the brand's Nouvelle purse ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ). It comes in a medium and a large version; the medium is adequate as an everyday bag, but the large turns it into a versatile work/travel bag. It’s low-profile and has both smooth leather grab handles as well as a shoulder strap. I have kicked it under plane seats and around airports, and the nylon doesn't show any damage. There's a hidden separate compartment if you spill water on yourself, and it has sturdy feet so you can put it on an airplane bathroom counter and dig for your makeup without it falling over or getting the bottom of the bag too disgusting. The toothed zippers do tend to crinkle and snatch at your knuckles when the bag gets overstuffed, but I suppose you could always, uh, avoid overstuffing your bag.

★ Alternatives: We have plenty of recommendations in our guide to the Best Laptop Totes , but we love Lo & Sons. The Catalina Supreme Tote ($338) is also great for weekend trips. Again, there's also a bottom compartment for a pair of shoes, or anything else you need to keep separate.

Camelbak A.T.P. 2.0 Backpack

The Best Hiking Daypack

The Camelbak A.T.P. is so useful that I’m always startled to realize it only has a 20-liter capacity. I have it in the 100 percent recycled white color, which saves water and only emits half the greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the dying process. It’s a panel loader, which means you can unzip the top and see exactly where everything goes, like a duffel. This is convenient when packing for trips—I was able to fit clothes, a Dopp kit, and electronics for an overnight trip. (I know these types of zippers fail more often than top loaders, but it does make it easier to arrange and sort items near the bottom of the pack.)

I particularly like how narrow it is. It fits my back and goes under airplane seats that even my children’s backpacks can’t. The bottle pocket has a zipper that makes it expandable so it can fit a little coffee thermos or my giant Yeti water bottle . Exterior compression straps also help squeeze my clothes even smaller. This is a great backpack if you want something that looks sleek enough for a work bag but is durable enough to take on a weekend trip to Yosemite.

★ Alternative: I also love the Patagonia Black Hole Backpack ($149) . This 25-liter bag is the perfect combination work/adventure bag. The suspended 15-inch laptop pocket clips shut, and the rest of the pockets are thoughtfully placed. It’s extremely light (a little over a pound) and is made from 100 percent recycled ripstop fabric.

REI CoOp Big Haul 40L duffel bag

Best Duffel Bag

The Big Haul ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) is our favorite duffel because it hits the right balance of robust build materials and pockets without being too heavy to lug around all day. The standout feature of the Big Haul series, which comes in 28-liter to 120-liter options, is the ability to easily reposition the carrying straps, which feature plastic fishhook-style ends that slip into fabric loops. You can connect one strap end-to-end or double up on two straps in an H pattern for more stability with heavy loads. Adding and removing the straps isn't super fast, but it's not difficult, either, and six low-profile loops seems less intrusive than six rattling plastic buckles.

Two small interior pockets and an exterior pocket keep small things organized, and its water-resistant fabric is thick and tough without being stiff. All the sewing around the grab handles feels very robust too. Padded backpack straps hide away under a padded pocket on the top of the bag. This means that when you sling the Big Haul over your shoulders to give your arms a rest, your back is against the relatively clean top of the duffel, rather than a wet, dirty bottom side that's been set down on the ground. The current iteration of the Big Haul is also made with recycled nylon. What's not to love? —Matt Jancer

★ Alternative: For slightly more money, the classic duffel in this category is the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel ($159) , which also comes in a variety of colorways and sizes. You can either carry it by the grab handles or with the shoulder straps, and it's made from 100 percent recycled polyester with a TPU-film laminate. I (Adrienne) have had the 40-liter version for almost 15 years now and the laminate has yet to peel. It also fits as a carry-on on flights.

Red Oxx travel bag

The Best Expedition Bag

If you like outdoor sports, you probably need a good expedition bag—that is, a huge, burly duffel that you can just throw all your pointy ice axes, trekking poles, or camp chairs into that you can take anywhere and everywhere. Reviewer Matt Jancer's expedition bag of choice is the Red Oxx PR5. He's used it for whitewater paddling trips and to lug mountain climbing equipment from coast to coast without a single frayed thread. Everything about Red Oxx is overbuilt. The zippers are huge, its thick pieces of nylon webbing are robustly sewn, and chunky metal rings hang the detachable carrying strap. All that said, it's not abominably heavy. At 3.4 pounds it's still lighter than many wheeled bags.

★ Alternative: If you've ever gone to a popular outdoor destination, like Yosemite or Everest, you've probably seen stacks of North Face Base Camp duffels . This is the quintessential expedition bag. My own personal bag is the OnSight Tarmac EPO , but the company no longer exists; I also have a Mountain Hardware duffel ($180) and after 20 years, the coating has finally started to peel.

Rux 70L storage box

Best for Camping

We love everything from Rux; I'm currently testing the waterproof adventure tote ($150) and I use it for everything from my climbing gear, to picnic gear, to bringing my kids' roller skates and soccer balls to the park. I have also leaked an entire water bottle in it and it stayed contained and out of the bottom of my car.

But for camping (or any outdoor pursuit, really), what you need is a Rux storage system , which, as the artist and filmmaker Van Neistat puts it, will help you kit your shit . It holds its frame shape, which means you can stack and organize inside of it just like a box, but it folds down like a bag for easy storage once you're at your destination. It's also light and waterproof and comes with a wide array of accessories . This is an upgrade for everyone who currently sorts their camping, climbing, or snowboarding gear in a series of $5 plastic totes and stacks them in their trunk.

The Frame CarryOn Max Aluminum Edition

The Best Aluminum Suitcase

Perhaps you've seen those Instagram-friendly, shiny aluminum suitcases and wonder whether it's worth the investment. Aluminum is extremely durable and can be machined with precision. That means it will protect your belongings better, and you can close them with latches instead of zippers. Your suitcase will last longer and be more secure— zippers are pretty easy to break into —and generally have fewer points of failure.

In my opinion, the cost-benefit analysis generally weighs against them. Aluminum suitcases are usually heavier and won't flex as much if you have overpacking tendencies, and I find them painfully conspicuous. Any suitcase with a decent warranty policy will painlessly cover any repairs. If you must have one, we like Arlo Skye's the Frame. Arlo Skye was founded by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi, and reviewer Matt Jancer says that everything about the Frame screams robust quality, from the leather grab handles to the combination-lock latches. It also comes with a removable battery bank and has a few more liters of carrying capacity than the similarly-sized Away. The main disadvantage is that the interior organization is a bit lacking.

★ Alternative: Do you want the benefits of an aluminum suitcase without the drawbacks? You might want to consider Monos's Hybrid Carry-On ($325) . You won't fool anyone into thinking you've shelled out for a 100 percent aluminum suitcase, but Jancer notes that it's only a pound or so heavier than the competition and the aluminum frame offered better protection than any 100 percent polycarbonate suitcase that he tried.

Luka Duffel Bag

A Good Emergency Go Bag

To be clear, any bag here could be considered a go-bag—even a grocery bag works when you have to leave the house imminently. But reviewer Nena Farrell used Calpak's duffel for an emergency surgery, and she is kicking herself for not getting it sooner. It was big enough for everything from makeup bags and extra outfits to a massive book and Nintendo Switch, and was comfortable to carry thanks to the large straps.

The shoe compartment was big enough for sandals and slides, but not big enough for shoes with an ankle. It was also a great place to stash haphazard Ziplocs of emergency toiletries and medications. There are some side pockets inside too, plus an exterior side pocket and a pass-through panel to place it on top of your luggage. It was a great hospital companion, but Farrell can't wait to take the Luka somewhere a little more fun.

Solgaard CarryOn Closet Plus luggage

Other Bags We Like

Not every good product can snag a best-in-category title, but there are several more bags we've tested that get our thumbs-up.

Osprey Ozone 40L for $280 : At 4.47 pounds, Osprey claims this bag is the lightest carry-on suitcase. It's also made from 400D recycled bluesign-approved nylon and is treated with DWR. This bag is light enough to easily hoist above my head and has also been checked multiple times.

Gregory Alpaca 40 Duffel for $140 : This duffel weighs a scant 2.7 pounds, but the water-resistant fabric and extraordinarily beefy (though plastic) buckles make it a solid bag for adventuring. There's an exterior pocket for storing shoes or dirty clothes. The backpack straps don't tuck away for storage—you have to unclip them—but might be the most well-padded, comfortable straps I've encountered on a duffel. Exterior daisy chains and an interior zippered pocket round out the impressive features list.

Land's End Waxed Canvas Duffel for $180 : Most duffel bags these days are made of nylon, and while it's tough to call a material that's been popular since the 1940s “modern,” nylon bags don't have the old-school charm that this waxed canvas bag does.

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 40L for $149 : This bag weighs 1 pound, 13 ounces, which is only slightly heavier than air. It also has backpack straps that stow away in a front pocket.

Skyway Epic Carry-On for $160 : At 7.1 pounds, the Epic is an average weight. The handle is a wee bit more finicky than our top pick, and the Travelpro's wheels glide a little more nicely. Still, the Epic is a solid choice.

Target Signature Weekender Bag for $81 : Looking like a cross between a duffel and a handbag, the Weekender has a structure that product reviewer Louryn Strampe says can become overfilled, so keep that in mind if you plan to bring it onto a plane as a carry-on. She appreciates its durability and the many internal pockets for organization, though, and its rather long five-year warranty.

Solgaard Carry-On Closet Plus for $345 : It's a tiny bit over what most airlines list as the maximum dimensions, but the difference is so small that it's accepted 95 percent of the time. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe praises its optional clip-in closet clothing organizer, which makes for efficient packing. The built-in TSA lock is easy to use, and there's an internal power-bank pocket. This suitcase is included in our Favorite Recycled Products guide.

Samsonite Outline Pro Carry-On for $200 : This is a hard-side, four-wheeled spinner carry-on made from an outer shell of durable polypropylene. Standout features include an interior fabric made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and a “WetPak” storage pocket for keeping damp items separated from the rest of your luggage.

Adidas Defender Duffel for $40 : If you're looking for an inexpensive duffel that'll handle some light-duty traveling, this is a good way to save $100. The fabric is significantly thinner and less sturdy than that of other duffels in this guide, and it lacks backpack straps. But for taking on the train or tossing into a car trunk, it'll do the trick.

Eagle Creek Caldera Convertible Backpack

Bags We Don’t Like

Some bags just aren't worth the asking price, especially with so many good alternatives at all price points.

Peugeot Voyages Carry-On Spinner for $595 : What a price tag for a plastic-case suitcase. You can see where Peugeot tried to imbue the Voyages with some luxury, such as the metal riveting and built-in travel locks, but the case felt no more solid than a budget hard-sided bag, and the USB charging port felt cheap, like an outlet you'd find built into a seat in an airport terminal.

Eagle Creek Caldera Convertible International Carry-On for $469 : At 6 pounds, 2 ounces, this bag is a bit heavy. There's a zip-off 19-liter backpack that you can separate from the rest of the 37-liter bag, but when they're zipped together, the combined size doesn't meet carry-on restrictions.

Ebags CTS Carry-On Spinner for $200 : This one wasn't awful, but there are much better options for the money. Its hard plastic sides felt more brittle than the hard-sided plastic Away suitcases. The handle rattles a lot and it didn't roll quite as smoothly as other bags.

portable UrPower Clothes Steamer

A Few Travel Accessories

Once you've got your bag, you'll want to pack it with a few more useful items:

Apple AirTag for $24 : If you have an iPhone, it's one of the best ways to keep a digital eye on your bags. Drop an AirTag into an interior pocket to make sure you and your luggage are reunited at your destination. Don't have an iPhone? We suggest the Chipolo in our guide to the Best Bluetooth Trackers .

Eagle Creek Specter Pack-It Cubes Three-Pack for $35 keep everything inside your bags organized by allowing you to separate it into different cubes, so you won't ever have to hunt through seven pairs of socks to find your bathing suit again.

Calpak Clear Cosmetics Case for $75 : Calpak’s viral clear cases come in three sizes and a ton of colors for the edge trims. Reviewer Nena Farrell loved the small size for my gym bag and traveling with a smaller carry-on bag, while the medium was a great size for my daily makeup or larger suitcases.

Troubadour Buddy 2.0 Tech Case for $75 : You probably need a case to organize your spare charging cables and power banks. I've been testing this compact, waterproof, and recycled bag that fits neatly into my personal item.

UrPower Portable Steamer for $24 beats a travel iron because it's far lighter and you don't need to hunt down an ironing board at your hotel. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano and I both have been using UrPowers for years. For a tiny thing, it's powerful and effective at steaming practically anything. You just need to refill it often.

Samsonite Manual Luggage Scale for $15 is handy when you're packing a heavy bag for an upcoming trip. Use it to weigh your luggage and make sure it's within the weight limits. International airlines are sticklers for carry-on weight, and even American airlines will be unforgiving about weight for checked bags.

InCase MacBook Sleeves for $50 will keep your laptop from bearing the damage caused by airport security lines. Travel through an airport without a case and it's only a matter of time before a bare laptop or tablet picks up nasty scratches and dents. Check our guide to the Best MacBook Accessories for more.

Carryon luggage in stowaway overhead container on airplane

How to Pick the Right Size Bag

Every airline sets its own dimensional requirements for carry-on baggage, so if you want to be safe, you should check your airline's requirements before packing. But broadly, they're split into two categories: domestic and international.

Domestic flights by US airlines (and a few others) have standardized on 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

International carry-on bag sizes tend to be about 21 inches tall and a bit narrower, but they're all over the place. It's tough, because many international airlines will measure your bags at the airport and reject anything even slightly bigger than the allowed size. If you fly outside the US a lot, you may as well buy a bag sized for international flights.

You'll also want to check each airline's weight limits. They vary wildly, but some international airlines restrict you to 15 or 20 pounds, including the weight of the bag itself. For example, there are some East Asian airlines that limit carry-on bags to 11 pounds. Once you subtract 6 or more pounds for the bag, you're not left with much wiggle room to put stuff inside.

USB cable plugged into removable battery bank on luggage

When to Remove Battery Banks

Battery banks, also known as power banks, are a travel must-have. Whether you're using a tablet to watch movies on your flight or relying on your phone to coordinate rideshares, hotel check-in, and handle your boarding passes, you've got to keep those devices charged and topped up. Many bags offer a removable battery bank that slides into a special pocket or notch of the suitcase.

For carry-on luggage on a flight in the US, you're allowed to bring a lithium-ion battery of 100 watt-hours or less. You don't need to remove it from the suitcase's pocket if you're storing your bag in the overhead bin.

Lithium-ion battery banks are not allowed in checked luggage. If you check your bag or have to gate-check it, make sure to remove the battery bank before you give your suitcase to the gate agent. Slip the battery bank into your purse, backpack, or pocket for the duration of the flight.

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Bugatti Oslo Collection 28 Inch Hard Shell Luggage for Airplanes, Large Polycarbonate Hardside Expandable Suitcase with 360-Degree Spinner Wheels, Retractable Handle, Navy

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Bugatti Oslo Collection 28 Inch Hard Shell Luggage for Airplanes, Large Polycarbonate Hardside Expandable Suitcase with 360-Degree Spinner Wheels, Retractable Handle, Navy


About this item

  • TRAVEL BAG FOR LONGER TRIPS: The Oslo 28” suitcase combines outstanding design and premium craftsmanship for individuals traveling more than 7 nights; Travelers will love the durable materials; Couples can share the bag to save space for a shorter trip
  • PREMIUM HARD SHELL: The lightweight polycarbonate hardside material provides protection when traveling by plane, car, or cruise; It resists scratches, tears, and other damage to your belongings; The built-in combination lock is TSA-approved
  • QUIET ROLLING SUITCASE: Silent Hinomoto Japanese 360° double spinner wheels deliver precise control and smooth rolling; The trolley handle with push button locks in two positions for men and women to easily pull the suitcase
  • GRAB AND GO: The large hardshell luggage has reinforced handles on the top and side for easy lifting; Side feet ensure stability and shock-resistance; The distinctive metallic exterior is easy-to-spot on baggage carousels for checked luggage
  • SPACIOUS AND ORGANIZED: A zipper-release expansion system provides 20% more space; The luxury lined interior features a dividing panel, multiple pockets, and tightening straps to keep items organized and in place; A wet pocket keeps damp items separated

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.7 x 12.4 x 30 inches; 9.24 Pounds
  • Department ‏ : ‎ Girls
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08KCSXWSW
  • #3,688 in Suitcases

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The Oslo Collection is part of Bugatti’s high-end luggage lines. Bringing together outstanding design and a high level of craftsmanship, this set is the ideal companion for purposeful travelers. Built with robust polycarbonate, this lightweight collection is engineered with durability and quality in mind. This set is ready for your next destination. touch of sophistication to your journey—whatever the destination. The Oslo combines outstanding design and premium craftsmanship for short-term travel needs. Ready to start your next adventure? This hard sided luggage with spinner wheels will provide protection when traveling by plane, car and cruise. Sleek, lightweight polycarbonate hardside material resists scratches and tears, providing the ultimate protection for your belongings. Silent Hinomoto Japanese 360° double spinner wheels deliver precise control and smooth rolling so you are always in control of your luggage. It features a zip-release expansion system that provides 20% more storage space, a luxury lined interior with multiple pockets and a wet pocket to keep damp items separate.

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Ukraine-Russia war latest: What's happening with conflict right now?

At least 16 people were killed in a Russian missile strike on a DIY store in Kharkiv city this weekend - read about this in our overview of what's happening in Ukraine below, and we'll be back with live updates on Tuesday.

Monday 27 May 2024 08:11, UK

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  • The big picture: What you need to know about the war right now
  • Number killed rising after Russian attack on DIY store kills more than 40 people | 16 confirmed dead
  • Eyewitness: Russia producing shells three times faster than Ukraine's allies
  • We'll be back with live updates on Tuesday

 We'll be back with live updates on the war tomorrow - but for now, as always, we start the week by taking a few steps back and giving an overview of where the conflict is at right now.

Conflicting claims on the second front

Kharkiv remains a major focus after Russia opened a new front on the northeastern border. 

It has been the subject of conflicting reports, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying Ukraine had secured "combat control", while the Russian ministry of defence claimed its forces were advancing.

The British defence ministry said Russian gains in the northeast had not been joined up, allowing Ukraine to contain Moscow's momentum.

It assessed Vladimir Putin's attempt to create a buffer zone between Ukraine and Russia had been unsuccessful thus far and further gains were unlikely in the coming week.

But this will be little comfort to those living under the constant threat of Russian shells in the region.

An attack on a DIY store in Kharkiv city this weekend killed at least 16 people, injured more than 40, and the search is still on for others.

A 12-year-old girl was among the dead.

The US announced a new $275m package of weapons and equipment for Ukraine to help it repel Russia's assault in the Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian troops have been forced to train without firing ammunition due to shortages. 

Analysis shared with Sky News revealed the scale of the challenge facing Kyiv, with Russia producing artillery shells around three times faster than Ukraine's Western allies and for about a quarter of the cost. 

Across the year, that means Russian factories are forecast to manufacture 3.2 million more shells than European nations and the US combined.

Peace summit

Mr Zelenskyy directly called on his US and Chinese counterparts to join his latest summit for peace in Ukraine. 

Speaking from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine on Friday, he announced a "global peace summit", co-hosted by Switzerland, starting on 15 June. He claimed 80 countries had already confirmed their attendance.

Putin's 'freeze'

Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a ceasefire that recognises current battlefield lines, four Russian sources told the Reuters news agency. 

The narrative is widely viewed as a strategy to consolidate Ukrainian land under Russian control, with little or no guarantees Mr Putin wouldn't use it to launch another attack on what remains of Ukraine. Russian propogandists have previously advocated reducing Ukraine to the size of the Lviv region in the west.

Nuclear drills

Russia's defence ministry said it had begun a round of drills involving tactical nuclear weapons in response to remarks by senior Western officials about the possibility of deeper involvement in the war. 

According to the ministry's statement, the first stage of the new drills included nuclear-capable Kinzhal and Iskander missiles in southern Russian regions.

Ukraine claimed to have destroyed the last Russian warship armed with cruise missiles that was stationed on the occupied peninsula. It said a long-range attack destroyed the Russian minesweeping navy vessel Tsiklon in Sevastopol.

Vladimir Putin has arrived in Uzbekistan ahead of formal talks on Monday.

The Russian president laid a wreath at a monument to Uzbekistan's independence in the capital, Tashkent.

He is expected to hold formal talks with President Shavkay Mirziyoyev that are expected to focus on deepening the countries' relations.

The pair spoke in what were described by the Kremlin as informal talks on Sunday.

The visit is President Putin's third foreign trip since being inaugurated for a fifth term in May. 

He first went to China , where he expressed appreciation for China's proposals for talks to end the Ukraine conflict, and later to Belarus. 

For context: Now separated from Russia by Kazakhstan in central Asia, Uzbekistan was once part of the Soviet Union.

However, the invasion of Ukraine is believed to have accelerated a process of reducing Russian influence in the country.

In the two-plus years since February 2022, Uzbekistan has also boosted its relations with the EU. 

Fighting continues along the Kharkiv frontline as Russian forces try to overwhelm defenders.

In an update on Sunday evening, Ukraine's armed forces said its troops were seeking to repel attacks and in places have mounted offensives.

The General Staff said on social media: "The Russian aggressor is trying to use superiority in manpower and equipment and air support. 

"Ukrainian soldiers are giving battle to the enemy, and in some directions they themselves are carrying out effective assault actions to improve the stability of the defence and restore positions."

Twelve clashes were reported in the direction of Kharkiv, the update said, as well as near the villages of Lyptsi and Ternova.

"The situation is under control," the statement said.

Ukrainians gathered outside the US embassy in Kyiv as part of mounting demands to remove restrictions on where Ukraine can use Western weapons.

Many NATO countries who provide military aid to Ukraine currently do so on the condition that it is not used to strike targets inside Russia. 

The US and Germany in particular have been strict on this issue, likely out of concern about escalation with Moscow.

Other countries - the UK and Sweden, for example - have confirmed or suggested that Ukraine can use their weapons to hit targets across the border.

In Kyiv today, activists held up placards saying "let Ukraine strike back" and "remove the restriction". 

The US will participate in Volodymyr Zelenskyy's peace summit next month, an official has said.

It comes after the Ukrainian president called on America's President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping to attend the event.

However the US official did not say who would attend or at what level.

The summit, co-hosted by Switzerland, starts on 15 June and, according to President Zelenskyy, 80 countries have already confirmed their attendance.

Battling against the odds, the Ukrainians say they have become skilled at trying to make every round count.

"Often, with just one, two or three shells, we can completely destroy a target," said Senior Lieutenant Kostiantin, an artillery battery commander with the 57th Brigade.

His troops are fighting against a new Russian invasion into the Kharkiv region, in the northeast of Ukraine.

"We have to keep holding the Russians back… and make every metre of land they try to take cost them hundreds of lives."

Watch this report from our defence and security editor, Deborah Haynes :

Crowds of people marched through the Georgian capital, Tblisi, today to mark the country's Independence Day - and also to protest against the government's divisive "foreign agents" law.

The legislation is seen by some as threatening press and civic freedoms and there are concerns it's modelled on laws used by Vladimir Putin in neighbouring Russia.

Hundreds of people walked through the city on Sunday, as the EU anthem played. 

Many held white and red Georgian flags, others the blue and yellow of the EU or the stars and stripes of the US.

There was also a military parade in the city centre as part of the celebrations, attended by Georgia's president and prime minister.

The pair are at odds over the "foreign agents" bill after President Salome Zourabichvili vetoed the bill.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on social media congratulating the Georgian people on their Independence Day.

"Both our nations know all too well that freedom and independence are won rather than granted," he said on X.

"I wish the Georgian people to prosper and strengthen their statehood and ties will all other free nations. I also wish magnificent Georgian culture, identity, and hospitality to multiply over the years." 

The parents of a Ukrainian girl who died after a Russian missile strike have bid goodbye to their daughter in emotional scenes at her funeral.

Just five years old, Zlata Rostochil was seriously wounded in an attack at the end of April and later died.

Today, her mother Nadiia and father Vyacheslav knelt beside her body during the memorial service in Odesa. 

Other mourners stood solemnly behind them holding candles.

Russian forces are making "maximum efforts" to break through Ukraine's defences, amid fighting on the frontline near Kharkiv.

Kyiv's armed forces said there have been 83 clashes with the enemy on Sunday.

"Ukrainian troops are taking measures to maintain positions and destroy the offensive potential of the enemy," the General Staff said in an update on social media.

It said there were "no major changes" in the direction of Kharkiv but Russian troops continue to mount offensives around Vovchansk city and the village of Lyptsi.

Is National Service a good idea?

Rishi Sunak has talked a lot this week about security in Europe and the need to invest in defence - and then he announced that he would bring back National Service.

Our military analyst Sean Bell broke down the announcement on Sky News earlier...

Be the first to get Breaking News

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