The Best Luggage For Every Type Of Traveler, According To User Reviews

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Whether planning an intercontinental flight, a train ride across the country, a cruise around the ocean, or simply a weekend road trip, a suitcase should serve you well. Unfortunately, not all luggage is created equal. The right piece can help travelers breeze from destination to destination — while other options can add unneeded stress to a journey.

Selecting a new suitcase probably isn't as much fun as picking your next vacation destination, but it's an important and personal decision. After all, every traveler is different. While some only check bags, others swear carry-on traveling is the only way to go. Size is likely a main consideration, but other luggage features to think about are durability, weight, expandability, color varieties, and safety.

In fact, durability is the most important feature when purchasing luggage, according to Consumer Reports. At the same time, a lightweight suitcase is easier to travel with and lowers the chances of overweight baggage fees. Expandable bags let travelers bring home plenty of souvenirs. Bright colors are stylish, and allow passengers to locate their luggage quickly on baggage claim carousels. And while there are tricks to securing luggage without a lock, a TSA-approved lock is definitely a plus. 

We started our carefully selected list by choosing the most common categories, like softsided, hardsided, luxury, and affordable. We then added more specific categories, like adventure and international travel. Based on thorough research and combined with personal use, online user reviews, recent press, and general popularity, we selected the best luggage in each category – so you can spend less time searching for suitcases and more time reading about your next destination.

Best Overall (Hardside Luggage)

Manufacturing suitcases since 1910, Samsonite is a world leader in luggage. So it comes as no surprise that the best overall case is the Freeform Carry-on Spinner. Lightweight, stylish, durable, and affordable, this suitcase really has it all. It comes in various colors ranging from basic white, black, and navy to amethyst purple and tangerine. The double-wheel design helps travelers maneuver easily, multiple pockets and dividers make packing simple, and a TSA-approved lock improves security.

Online user reviews rave about the Samsonite suitcase, with one purchaser stating, "We have traveled with this luggage several times now, and it is wonderful! It is white, so it does show scuffs, but we wipe it down with an alcohol wipe after each trip and it looks fantastic! We have gotten so many compliments on them and the wheels roll on any surface like soft butter on bread. It's amazing! They are durable, lightweight and fit everything we need to take on a short weekend trip or a week long vacation. Highly recommend!" Out of over 11,000 reviews on Amazon, this popular suitcase received 4.6 out of 5 stars. 

You can get the Freeform Carry-On Spinner for $139.99 at Samsonite and $136.23 at Amazon. The Freeform Spinner is also available in check-in sizes, Medium ($167.99) and Large ($195.99).

Carry-on Measurements: 23 x 15 x 10 | Weight: 6.5 pounds 

Medium Measurements: 24 x 18 x 11.5 | Weight: 8.5 pounds

Large Measurements: 27.6 x 20 x 13 | Weight: 9.6 pounds

Best Overall (Softside Luggage)

The benefit of a softside suitcase is that it's more likely to squeeze into tight spaces. The exterior is more flexible than a hardside case so it may be easier to store under a bed and fit into an overhead compartment or car trunk. Many also have the added bonus of exterior pockets. The cons of a softside suitcase is that the softer material may not be as durable as a hardside case. Therefore, quality, durable material is a must when purchasing a softside bag. The Travelpro Maxlight 5 is an excellent option and available in carry-on and check-in sizes. It's affordable, the durable polyester fabric has a coating that resists water and stains, it has a sturdy handle that locks in two positions, and it's maneuvered on smooth, easy-to-roll wheels.

One reviewer stated the check-in version was "Well made, light and priced right," while another one added that the check-in version was "Light-weight and sturdy for international travel. Well designed for maximum use of interior room."

You can get the Maxlight 5 for $144.49 (carry-on) and $186.99 (check-in) at Travelpro.

Carry-on Measurements: H: 21.75 in. W: 15.75 in. D: 7.75 in. | Weight: 5.4 pounds

Check-in Measurements: H: 28 in. W: 19 in. D: 11 in. | Weight: 7.1 pounds

Best Splurge

Spending a small fortune on a piece of luggage doesn't necessarily mean it will be worth it. If you're a luggage connoisseur and want the best of the best, no matter the price, stick with the Rimowa Original Cabin. The luggage comes in four colors, all donning Rimowa's signature grooves. And luggage purchasers are in good company. Recent ambassadors of the iconic luggage include French professional soccer player Kylian Mbappé, race car driver Lewis Hamilton, and Rosé of Blackpink.

The lightweight case is made of high-end anodized aluminum and has ball-bearing mounted wheels, making pushing it around a sinch. It includes TSA-approved locks for added safety and flexible dividers to keep belongings in order during transit. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee, which might put some minds at ease, considering the price point.

You can get the Rimowa Original Cabin for $1,430.00 at Rimowa.

Measurements: 21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 | Weight: 9.5 pounds

Best Affordable

You don't have to spend a small fortune to get a well-made suitcase. Amazon Basics offers several options for affordable luggage. Their very highly rated 20-inch Hardside Spinner is popular among purchasers and reliable with an extra-thick ABS scratch resistant hard shell. The interior is fully lined.

With over 43,000 reviews on the luggage's maneuverability, weight, comfort, durability, and more, the suitcase received 4.6 out of 5 stars. One reviewer claims the case can't be beaten for travel. "The wheels allow this suitcase to spin 360 degrees with little effort. The hard sides are great for protecting all the treasures I bring home from my adventures without adding a lot of weight. The side handle makes for easy loading into vehicles. It is sturdy and well built and keeps close to the side of the case without bulking up the profile. The inside is simply lined and the zip up covers keep the contents of each side in their respective places."

You can get the 20-inch Hardside Spinner for $69.99 at Amazon.

Measurements: 13.58 x 9.45 x 19.09 inches | Weight: 7.34 pounds

Best Carry-On

Lightweight and stylish, the Carry-On by Away is a fan favorite. Full disclosure — I'm also a fan. My trusty companion on my many trips, I confer with the thousands of five-star reviews on the company's website. The Carry-On comes in a variety of colors, from traditional black to a pretty seafoam. It's lightweight, has an easy-grip top handle, a convenient underside grab handle, and easily fits in overhead compartment. Plus, the 360-degree wheels make pushing it around the airport a breeze. The suitcase is durable with reverse coil zippers and a 100% polycarbonate shell.

On of my favorite features, the double-buckle compression panel, lets travelers pack more essentials. In the words of one reviewer, "This bag is the perfect size for up to a weeklong trip. The compression panel helps me squeeze in a little extra while holding everything in place. Every detail feels intentional! Its nicely constructed and I know I'll be traveling with it for years to come."

The Carry-On by Away is available on starting at $275.

Measurements: 21.7" x 14.4" x 9" | Weight: 7.5 pounds

Best Check-In

Checking in a bag lets travelers roam the airport without the weight of their belongings. Still, passengers want the comfort that their most prized vacation essentials are well cared for. Travelpro can put travelers' minds at ease. The Travelpro Platinum Elite 25" Check-in Spinner, with a TSA-approved lock, is likely to keep belongings safe. A built-in suiter keeps clothes from getting wrinkled, and the tapered expansion adds 2 inches of additional capacity while also reducing tipping. It's made of sturdy nylon fabric and DuraGuard, which resists stains and scratches.

Reviewers love this bag. One stated, "Great quality all around! The size is great for a checked bag. It holds quite a bit." Another claimed, "The luggage is fantastic regarding the construction, attention to detail, hardware, size, and pockets. My only gripe is with the color – Bordeaux. The luggage piece wasn't as dark a red as I had hoped." The suitcase currently comes in nine colors.

You can get the Platinum Elite 25" Check-in Spinner for $365.49 at Travelpro.

Measurements: 25 in x 18 in x 11.25 in | Weight: 9.8 pounds

Best for Adventure Travel

Adventure travel usually means outdoor activity. This could be anywhere from exotic beaches to remote wilderness locations. Luggage for adventure travel requires the primary job of traditional bags with the capability of a mountaineering backpack. Matador makes high-performance travel equipment, and their GlobeRider45 Travel Backpack is the ultimate pack for active travel. It's soft sided and complies with most carry-on requirements. It fits a 16" laptop, it's waterproof and has a water bottle pocket.

Voted Best Travel Luggage of 2023 by Outside Magazine, users mostly agree. One stated, "I was looking for a bag that I could travel from city to city with, then also use to head up into the mountains for a couple of days. This was the best bag I could find that did it all and I had no regrets. After living out of this bag for almost 3 months, including a 5 day backpacking trip, the bag is still in the same condition as the day I bought it."

You can get the GlobeRider45 for $350 at Matador.

Measurements: 22 H x 12.8 W x 11 D in | Weights: 4lb 8oz

Best for International Travel

Durability is important when traveling internationally, especially with connecting flights. Briggs & Riley has luggage made to last and offers a lifetime guarantee for each piece. The Torq Large Spinner is particularly fantastic for international travel. With a three-layer high-strength Makrolon® polycarbonate hard side shell, a built-in TSA-approved lock, self-repairing zippers, spinner wheels, and internal compression panels, the luggage is easy to maneuver and highly durable.

Reviewers highly rate the luggage, with one claiming, "This suitcase handles so well I could navigate it with only 1 hand on the cobbled streets of Copenhagen. If you've ever been you know!! Stylish beyond and interior is as lush as the exterior. Best suitcase I've ever had and I plan to have it for a long long time!"

You can get the Torq Large Spinner for $669 at Briggs & Riley.

Measurements: 30.5 x 20 x 12.5 in | Weight: 10.5 pounds