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The 5 best luggage brands: Safe travels

What is the best luggage? The Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Spinner is our top pick. We analyzed features such as capacity and weight to determine the top luggage, as well as some alternatives worth considering.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Allison Murray

There is nothing like the buzz of the airport; the steady thrum of conversation, the frenzied rush of pedestrian traffic, and the curling lines of security. The last thing you want is faulty luggage that fails to hold your things and, worse, will not make it through security in time for your flight.

Have no fear because we have exhaustively evaluated today's market to bring you the very best luggage for your upcoming travels. Before you book those plane tickets, check out our list of best luggage.  

Features: 7 color options | External USB port | 46-liter capacity

It is hard to choose a specific model because the Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Spinner comes in so many versions, but the 21-inch luggage is our best pick for reliable, durable carry-on luggage. Available in seven colors, this piece is frequently sold out and is currently offering a waitlist. It is not hard to see why. Because it is expandable, you can grab an extra 2 inches of packing space, a critical feature for those longer trips. 

With a deluxe tie-down system, you can use the fold-out suiter to handle your hanging clothes. There are also accessory pockets to help you keep those smaller pieces organized while in transit, plus a quart-size wet pocket that is both removable and TSA-compliant. It comes equipped with USB capability and a power bank pocket, so you never have to be left without a charger. 

When it comes time to roll, eight different MagnaTrac spinner wheels fit into the signature PrecisionGlide system with an adjustable contoured handle. The entire piece comes with a lifetime limited warranty for extra peace of mind.

Pros:

  • PrecisionGlideTM system
  • Eight MagnaTrac® wheels
  • 100-day trial, plus warranty

Cons:

  • Limited size
  • May not meet airline restrictions when fully expanded

Features: 4 color options | Expandable up to 15% | Double-spinner wheels

Amazon scores again, this time through luggage with its AmazonBasics Hardside Carry-on Spinner Suitcase. This suitcase features a straightforward, streamlined design with a 21-inch shell made of extra-durable ABS with a scratch-resistant surface. It is not the largest but is a great pick for those business and weekend trips and can even work as an international carry-on. 

No matter what you use it for, there are four double spinner wheels to provide smooth movement, plus dual handles, one telescoping, and one mounted, so you can easily lift and carry. Inside, it is fully lined and consists of an interior organizer, divider, and three zippered pockets. The entire suitcase offers an additional 15% expansion if you need some space. With four double spinner wheels, this case also offers excellent maneuverability to get you where you are going that much more efficiently.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Bright colors
  • Expandable

Cons:

  • No frills
  • No USB port

Features: 9 color options | TSA Combination lock | Included laundry bag

A hard shell piece of luggage, the Away Carry-On is built to withstand even the more trying types of travel, thanks to its lightweight, durable build made of polycarbonate. Away recommends carry-on luggage for use over three to five days or with five to seven outfits. Its compact size is measured to fit inside most airlines but is car-friendly, too, for those longer road trips. 

Its 360-degree wheels help to provide unrestricted movement, and there is a TSA-approved combination lock for greater security. For greater support, an interior compression system is included in the build. Plus, you get a black leather luggage tag with a water-resistant laundry bag. Away offers a 100-day free trial for your Carry-On, plus a limited warranty. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Multiple colors
  • Lightweight build

Cons:

  • Limited durability
  • Lose space to battery

Features: 3 design options | Light-up LED wheels | Ages 4+

The Kiddie Totes 3-D Hardshell Ride On Suitcase Scooter for Kids is the busy parent's solution to traveling with kids. Suddenly, traveling with the whole family is not so bad, thanks to this fun, all-in-one approach to luggage. The Ride On Suitcase Scooter will accommodate up to 110 lbs with an extra-tough exterior that is scratch-resistant and even water-resistant. 

Kids love the LED light-up wheels that are also waterproof to withstand those summer storms, and Mom and Dad are sure to be relieved by the telescoping and adjustable handle that can help guide your little one along without fear of lost possessions. Inside are tear-proof interior compartments with secure cross straps, all encased in a TSA- and IATA-approved package.

When not in use, you can easily fold and lock the unit into place so it transforms into a conventional roller travel bag. A limited warranty is included.

Pros:

  • Fun, kid-friendly design
  • 110 lbs capacity
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Limited space
  • Material may break in transit

Features: 4 color options | TSA-approved locks | Height-adjustable flex divider

The Rimowa Original Cabin Case stands out thanks to its signature grooved design. From classic silver to whisper pink, these suitcases are made out of premium anodized aluminum. Its tough structure makes it incredibly durable when you want luggage that is designed to last. Still, it remains surprisingly lightweight, thanks to clever German engineering for your more trying travels. This piece is conveniently-sized, fitting into most overhead bins, but it is still large enough to accommodate those weekend trips, whether it is personal or business. 

You also receive a complimentary leather luggage tag and sticker set for that crucial customization before you take off. This is a very high-end piece of luggage, and you pay for that quality, too, with a price tag that far exceeds many other types of luggage.

Pros:

  • Beautiful exterior
  • High-grade aluminum construction
  • Long-lasting

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • It will not fit into some overhead bins

What is the best luggage?

Our pick for the best luggage is the Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Spinner, which is a mid-priced, mid-range option. It boasts the largest dimensions on our list and yet is far from the heaviest, offering the largest capacity of our picks. That makes it the best of the best when it comes to the best luggage. 

Luggage

Price

Dimensions

Weight 

Volume 

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Spinner

$369.99

23.5" x 14.5" x 9"

7.8 lbs.

46 L

AmazonBasics Hardside Carry-on Spinner Suitcase

$97.36

10" x 14.9" x 22"

7.34 lbs.

30 L

Away Carry-On

$275.00

21.7" x 13.7" x 9"

7.1 lbs.

39.8 L

Kiddie Totes 3-D Hardshell Ride On Suitcase Scooter for Kids

$149.99

8" x 13.5" x 19.5" 

7.88 lbs.

N/A

Rimowa Original Cabin Case

$1,200.00

21.7" x 15.7" x 9.1"

9.5 lbs.

35 L

Which luggage is right for you?

After a while, all the different kinds of luggage can begin to blend together, and it can be hard to differentiate between the good ones and the not so-good-ones. This breakdown helps pinpoint not only the best luggage out there right now but also which one might be the best for you.

Choose this luggage...

If you want...

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Spinner

The best overall option

AmazonBasics Hardside Carry-on Spinner Suitcase 

An affordable carry-on luggage

Away Carry-On

The overall best pick for a carry-on

Kiddie Totes 3-D Hardshell Ride On Suitcase Scooter for Kids

A kid-worthy option to simplify family travel

Rimowa Original Cabin Case

A waterproof option that's worth the splurge

How did we choose these luggage?

We considered a number of factors when searching for the best luggage. These are some of the main considerations we used to narrow our search:

  • Construction: The materials and fabrics used in a piece of luggage will ultimately determine an item's durability, including how much it will scratch or dent over time. 
  • Organization: From interior straps to outer compartments, the way that a suitcase is organized can ultimately determine how much you can fit inside.
  • Capacity: Size matters, so we considered the capacity of each suitcase to ensure it is suitable for travel.
  • Movement: Maneuverability is critical to ensure that your luggage is able to properly navigate your path, whether it may be tile, grass, or hardwood. This usually is dependent upon the wheels your luggage has, in addition to the type of handles. 

Of course, style is also an important feature to many—and with good reason. From different colorways to unique materials, there are many different ways to give the best luggage a little personality and character.

What do I look for when buying luggage?

One of the first things people consider when buying luggage is the weight and size to meet not only storage needs, but also TSA requirements. Other factors include the design, such as the type of handles and the number of wheels, and security, like TSA-exclusive locks. Our guide can help you find the best luggage for your next trip. 

How much does luggage cost?

The cost of luggage can range from less than a hundred dollars to more than a few thousand, depending on the brand and style that you choose. Our list of the best luggage ranges from less than $100 to more than $1,000, depending on which you choose. 

Are there alternatives worth considering?

There are many options for luggage, and a lot of them are fantastic options that could meet specific travel needs. In searching for the best luggage, this is some of the other luggage that almost made our list.

While shopping for the best luggage, also consider our expert picks for the best carry-on luggage and the best backpacks, as well as the best travel credit cards for your next adventure! 

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