I prefer travelling light, but sometimes the camera gear, electronics and other accessories all add up and I find that a suitcase would be better suited for the job compared to a backpack.
It’s also a good idea to travel with a suitcase if you’re mostly going to be spending time in larger cities and you don’t plan on changing locations too often.
If you’re going to be visiting a lot of small towns and having to walk for extended periods of time with your gear then a backpack is what you should consider bringing along, otherwise taking a suitcase with you is going to make things a lot easier.
Over the years I’ve learned that the ideal suitcase will have ample storage space, some ways to keep everything organized inside and durable enough for regular air, train and bus travel. Great luggage will also be easy to carry around, lightweight, well designed and practical for traveling with.
Apart from these features, when I’m looking for the best luggage I don’t want something that stands out or that’s too expensive that would worry about it getting damaged during transit.
- 1 What to Look For in the Best Travel Luggage
- 2 What’s the Best Brand of Luggage?
- 3 The Best Luggage for Travel
- 4 Related
What to Look For in the Best Travel Luggage
With so many different styles, designs and features it can be hard to known which options available make for the best luggage for traveling with.
Here are some of the features that you’ll want to consider and keep an eye out for:
Number of Wheels
Wheeled luggage typically comes with four wheels or two wheels. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type and ultimately it’s up to you to decide which type of luggage you prefer.
Personally, I like using wheeled suitcases that come with four wheels.
Having four wheels makes it easier to wheel luggage through an airport, bus or train station and you don’t have to worry as much about making sure that everything is positioned properly to get going.
You can also decide to push, rather than pull, your bag and this makes it easier to maneuver through narrow and tight spaces. The drawback is that the extra wheels take up a little bit more space and can sometimes get stuck on carpets or other objects on the ground.
Many people use luggage that comes with two wheels as well and to get going you have to pull your bag while it’s on the proper angle to get rolling.
This type isn’t as versatile as the ones that come with four wheels but you can just power through anything and pull your suitcase over any objects or carpets that you come across.
The drawback here is that you have to pull, rather than push, your bag and you’re always going to have to spend time arranging it to make sure that you can roll it in the direction that you want to go.
Also, because there are only two wheels the bag is also a bit smaller and doesn’t take up as much space.
Dimensions and Weight
When you’re out searching for the best suitcase for travel it’s important to look at the size, dimensions and overall weight of whichever model you’re interested in.
The interior dimensions will be able to give you a better idea of how much you can pack inside and the exterior dimensions and weight will give you more insight on how much space it’s going to take up and whether or not it’s going to be too big to check onto the plane.
You always want to consider the empty weight of the suitcase you’re considering because the heavier it is without anything in it the less you’ll be able to bring along with you on your trip.
You also want to consider whether you want a soft sided or hard sided/hard case luggage.
I prefer using hard sided luggage because I think it offers more protection for my gear and seems a bit sturdier.
They’re also quite lightweight and very durable as well.
I find that soft sided luggage come with some extra features like pockets but they seem to be heavier and I don’t think that they offer as much protection as a hard case one.
However, this is something that you’ll need to consider and it’s really up to your personal preferences what do you prefer soft sided or hard sided luggage.
Can it Expand?
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best traveling luggage is whether or not it can be expanded.
Many different bags can be expanded by using a zipper and this is a great feature to look for because it gives you the ability to pack more stuff and you can also keep the expanded area zipped shut for a smaller, more portable and streamlined bag.
While I don’t specifically look for options that come with an expanded part it is something to consider if you’re buying a lot of souvenirs when you’re traveling or you tend to overpack.
One more thing that I look for when it comes to the top travel luggage is that there is some interior pockets or organizational capabilities.
What I mean by this is that instead of just having a large, open space to pack my things like you typically find with some of the soft cases I prefer having a divider that keeps everything separated into two compartments like you find with hard case luggage.
Having some pockets, zippers and straps on the inside make it easier to keep everything organized and along with using packing cubes for travel it’s one of my preferred methods of keeping my gear organized when I’m abroad.
Again, this is something that’s really based on preference and it’s really up to you when it comes to you want in luggage but I definitely recommend considering all of the different features to see what you like the best.
What’s the Best Brand of Luggage?
It’s hard to choose just one when it comes to the best luggage brands but in my opinion these are some of the most popular, recognizable and best brands when it comes to suitcases and luggage that you’ll want to travel with.
My experiences with these brands has been positive so far but I definitely recommend comparing each brand and seeing which bag is the most practical and suitable for your style and travel preferences.
Of all the top luggage brands Samsonite is probably one of the most popular and recognizable.
They offer a variety of different types of luggage and over the years I’ve had plenty of positive experiences with their models.
This is another popular luggage brand and they’re well known for designing and selling reliable, durable and quality travel bags.
I’ve also had positive experiences using American Tourister products, in my opinion they’re one of the best suitcase brands and I definitely feel comfortable recommending them.
A French company, Delsey is quite popular in Europe and they offer a wide range of luggage options and other travel accessories.
I’ve found that they make some great hard sided suitcases and the next time I need to upgrade my current bag I’ll definitely be considering going with a Delsey.
I don’t know too much about Rockland, but I have seen plenty of their bags online and there are a variety of different models and options available for a range of budgets and personal preferences.
The Best Luggage for Travel
Here are some of my recommendations for luggage that I believe to be well-suited for travel.
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Expandable Spinner Trolley
- Made from 100% polycarbonate
- Four wheels
- Zippers shut with TSA-approved locking system
- Soft handles on the top and side
The Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Expandable Spinner Trolley is what I came across on my search for the best quality luggage that’s suitable for traveling with.
It has a hard case exterior, which is made from a polycarbonate material, and I find that this makes it durable, lightweight and the solid construction makes me less likely to worry about it when it’s checked under the plane or stored away on the bus or train.
There are two soft and sturdy handles on the top and the side so it’s pretty easy to pull it out of a storage compartment, toss into the trunk of your car or move it around when you’re packing it on your bed.
Like I mentioned that I preferred this suitcase comes with four spinner wheels that keeps you from having to lug all of your gear around and makes it easier to maneuver when you’re walking around the airport or train station.
The suitcase itself stands just about 25 inches high so it’s not too big and cumbersome but it’s not that small that you won’t be able to bring all of your travel essentials.
When you zip it open it splits into two separate halves and the main compartment also expands which gives you a little more room so that you can pack a few extra things or any souvenirs that you pick up when you’re abroad.
Each compartment is lined with a soft fabric material and there’s also adjustable straps and a zippered divider that will help keep everything organized and in place when it’s packed away.
I actually like having the one compartment that can be zipped shut because I use it to store more of the loose items that I travel with and on the exterior flap of the zippered compartment is another little zippered pocket where it’s possible to store toiletries and other small items.
Overall, I really like the Delsey Luggage Helium Aera Expandable Spinner Trolley and would definitely recommend checking it out you’re planning on doing a lot of traveling.
Depending on your preferences there are a few different colors available and you can also opt for a smaller 20 inch model or a larger 29 inch model depending on the size that you prefer.
I really like using the 25 inch one because it’s not that big and is able to hold all of the things I need for international travel.
Travelpro Maxlite3 Expandable Spinner
The Travelpro Maxlite3 Expandable Spinner is what I what I stumbled onto when I was looking for the best soft sided luggage.
While I do prefer a hard case it’s sometimes a good idea to travel with something softer and that’s able to morph a little to fit into a tighter space.
The hard ones can be so rigid and I think that they might take up a little more space so they sometimes get crushed when they’re packed away under the plane and that’s why I’ll always have something soft for traveling with as well.
I like the Travelpro Maxlite3 Expandable Spinner for a few reasons.
The material it’s made from is 100% polyester and that goes with the lining also.
This is a 25-inch bag, so it’s similar to the the Delsey that I just mentioned, and it’s still a suitable size if you’re traveling for just a few weeks or less and you don’t want something too big or bulky.
There are four wheels on the bottom and this makes it easier to wheel around when your suitcase is full, especially on sidewalks or other flat surfaces.
As for control, the handle is made from aluminum and the telescopes out where it gives you two options for positioning, which you can choose either one depending on your height.
There are three padded fabric handles, one on the top, one on the bottom and one on the side, and this gives you the ability to get better grip on the bag when it’s full and you have to stuff it into the trunk of a car or pull it off of the baggage carousel.
Some of the different suitcases that I’ve looked at don’t actually come with the bottom handle so I’m happy that this one does and I don’t have to awkwardly grab the wheels if it’s in a weird position when I need to pick it up.
Rather than two separate compartments for storage the Travelpro Maxlite3 Expandable Spinner has one main compartment.
Some people actually prefer it this way because you can just have everything organized in one space rather than having to deal with two different compartments but it’s really up to you and your personal preferences.
On the interior of the main compartment is a zippered mesh lid pocket where you can store some smaller, loose items that you want to quickly grab or even your old laundry. There’s also a smaller mesh pocket as well that you can use for toiletries or other accessories.
On the exterior is another large pocket and I find this one suitable for keeping underwear, socks, non-important travel documents and anything else smaller with a more streamlined shape that isn’t too bulky or that you want to quick access to.
For soft sided luggage the Travelpro Maxlite3 Expandable Spinner is what I would recommend checking out especially if you want something durable that has four wheels and plenty of interior storage.
Samsonite Winfield 2 HS Spinner
The Samsonite Winfield 2 HS Spinner is another hard case suitcase that I want to recommend.
Samsonite is, at least on my opinion, one of the best luggage brands and over the years I’ve had plenty of positive experiences with a wide range of their different models.
The Winfield 2 is made from a durable, lightweight and sturdy polycarbonate material and I think it looks pretty slick and futuristic as well.
It takes advantage of four spinning wheels, making it easy to maneuver when you’re walking around and there’s even a built-in TSA approved locking mechanism on the exterior to keep your zippers locked when the bag isn’t in your site.
It’s expandable, so you’re able to pack a little bit more than you normally would, or have enough room to pick up some souvenirs, and on the interior you’re able to take advantage of two separate packing compartments.
One of the compartments has a full zippered panel that keeps everything in place and prevents it from shifting around when your suitcase is in transit.
The other compartment has a strap that you can use to keep your clothing, shoes and other larger travel items in place as well. The one divider panel on the interior even has two mesh pockets built into it for even further storage and organizational capabilities.
I really love Samsonite so I definitely recommend checking out the Samsonite Winfield 2 HS Spinner if you’re looking for a lightweight, durable and hard-sided suitcase that has 4-wheels.
Rockland Luggage 20 Inch and 28 Inch 2 Piece Expandable Spinner Set
The Rockland Luggage 20 Inch and 28 Inch 2 Piece Expandable Spinner Set is what I found to be a suitable option for me when I was looking for the best luggage set.
I didn’t want the entire set of 3 separate bags and just 2 was the perfect amount for me.
If you’re not doing a lot of heavy travelling and you don’t want something too big or bulky this set is also what I would recommend considering.
It comes with the carry on 20-inch bag along with a bigger 28-inch one that you can check onto the plane or leave in the baggage area on the bus or train.
I like having 2 because it gives me an option when it comes to what I can bring and I’m also able to bring both if I want a little more storage.
As for the spinners themselves, they’re both made from ABS, or Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene, which is basically a really hard plastic that’s quite strong, durable and sturdy.
I hadn’t heard of Rockland before but they have a wide range of different products available so I think that they’re worth a try.
These are more of a basic, no-frills luggage option but I think that they’re more than suitable for traveling with especially if you’re not doing something too crazy or off the beaten path where you’re just going to be throwing your bags around.
Each one comes with a set of four spinning wheels and they’re both expandable as well, which gives you some leeway when it comes to interior storage, what you’re able to bring along and what you can pick up along the way.
On the interior are two compartments, one that’s opened with a strap that you can use to keep everything in place and another that you’re able to zip shut. There’s also a zippered little pouch on the inside that you can use to store any small or loose travel items and accessories.
One of the main drawbacks with this set is that the wheels seem a bit flimsy.
However, I don’t want to comment that they’re bad or anything because I’ve had problems with wheels from reputable and well-known suitcase brands so it’s hard to give anything other than my personal opinion about them.
Overall, if you’re looking for a nice little luggage set to take with you when you’re traveling and you don’t want the full three-piece then I recommend checking out the Rockland Luggage 20 Inch and 28 Inch 2 Piece Expandable Spinner Set.
I find that it’s nice to have both the smaller and bigger size suitcase depending on where you’re traveling and how much you need to bring. Also, there are a wide range of different colors online so you’re able to pick one based on your favorite color preferences.
American Tourister Duralite 360 Spinner 24 Inch Expandable
The American Tourister Duralite 360 Spinner is a 24-inch expandable suitcase.
American Tourister is another one of my favorite luggage brands so I thought I would go ahead and give them a recommendation here in my list of the best suitcases for international travel (and even national/regional depending on where you’re going).
By now you may have been able to noticed that I have a preference for hard sided suitcases and this is another one that I like.
It’s made from 100% polypropylene and it’s quite sturdy, durable and lightweight, which makes it a suitable choice for traveling with.
It has 4 large wheels that give it great maneuverability and portability so you can just roll it along at the airport or when you’re walking through a bus or train station.
On the exterior there’s a nifty raised texture that helps to prevent the exterior from getting too scratched, although I really wouldn’t worry about how it looks too much since you’ll be tossing it underneath the plane or leaving it in luggage storage areas when you’re not around so it’s probably going to get banged up regardless.
There are also carrying handles on the side and on the top and they’re quite streamlined so they sit against the exterior and aren’t as likely to get caught on something or broken off like you can sometimes see with some of the other models of suitcases.
On the interior are two separate storage compartments.
One of them is open and in this one there is an elastic buckle strap that helps to keep everything in place. The other compartment can be zippered shut and in the flap are additional zipper pockets for further storage and organization.
It can also be expanded depending on how much stuff you bring with you or if you decide to pick up anything while you’re abroad.
In mind that the American Tourister Duralite 360 Spinner that I’m talking about here it’s only 24 inches so if you want something bigger you have to look for a different model.
Although, I find that this is a suitable size for many travelers especially during the warmer summer months and if you’re making an effort to travel light.
Overall, I would recommend checking out the American Tourister Duralite 360 Spinner 24 Inch Expandable if you’re looking for a hard case suitcase that’s lightweight, durable and a suitable choice for traveling with.