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No matter where you’re going or how often you travel, luggage can make or break your trip. It helps with planning, packing, and staying organized while away — and sometimes determines whether you can bring back souvenirs.
There’s a wide range of checked suitcases, carry-ons, duffles, weekenders, underseat bags, and backpacks on the market. Beyond that, you’ve got hardside and softside options with various organizational features. Amid what you might call the Golden Age of luggage, it can be hard to sift through your offerings.
To figure out what brands stand out from the rest, Travel + Leisure tried over 170 pieces of luggage first-hand, assessing capacity, maneuverability, durability, and design through a series of tests and simulations. Our top pick is Travelpro, a reasonably priced brand with a diverse selection of carriers that earned all-around high scores from during our tests.
See below for all our favorite luggage brands and information on current sales.
The suitcases are durable, smooth-rolling, and spacious with built-in expanders, and the brand has a generous 100-day return policy.
All 11 pieces of Travelpro luggage we tested earned overall scores of 4 or higher, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 each. The brand’s hardside and softside models were a hit in the lab, and both carry-on and checked options have spacious interiors and expandable capacities. Though we could fit everything on our packing list without using the expanders, it’s nice to know there’s wiggle room. We appreciated the various organizational features, like zipper panels, cross straps, and pockets.
With self-aligning spinner wheels and sturdy telescoping handles, Travelpro luggage is also easy to maneuver on hard floors, carpet, and even gravel. However, some are slightly harder to roll on two wheels than four, especially when packed full. And while the carry-ons are generally lightweight, one thing to note is that the checked models weigh almost twice as much when empty.
After shoving the suitcases off a table and whacking them with a baseball bat, we were pleasantly surprised by their durability. We only noticed a couple superficial marks — no scratches or dents and nothing that wouldn’t wipe clean. Travelpro offers a generous 100-day return policy and backs its luggage with warranties ranging from 10 years to a lifetime. All things considered, we think the price range is right on point.
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Price Range: $100-$1,240
The Details: 100 day return policy | 10 years to lifetime warranty
Best Overall, Runner-up
Backed by a 10-year warranty, Samsonite luggage is compact yet spacious, easy to maneuver, and exceptionally durable.
Ten of the 14 Samsonite bags we tested earned overall ratings of 4 or higher, with an average score of 4.2 out of 5. The brand’s suitcases are generally lightweight and compact on the outside, with spacious interiors and built-in expanders. Though most don’t come with laundry bags, we appreciated the zippered compartments, compression straps, shoe separators, and easy-access pockets.
The hardside suitcases are made of high-strength thermoplastic, and the softside exteriors are sourced from recycled plastic bottles. They sustained hardly any damage after being hit with a bat and shoved off a table. Samsonite luggage also maneuvers without a fuss, even on carpeted floors and gravel. The sturdy, lockable aluminum handles are a nice touch too. Prices are more than reasonable, and while you’ll have to make any returns within 30 days, the brand backs its products with a 10-year warranty.
Price Range: $63-$1,150
The Details: 30 day return policy | 10 year warranty
Away luggage has a minimalist-modern aesthetic and a sophisticated yet practical appeal. Six of the eight pieces we tested earned a score of 4 or above, with an average overall rating of 4.1 out of 5. Though we’re not sold on the backpacks and duffels, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the brand’s suitcases and weekenders. The checked baggage and hard-shell carry-ons are light yet durable and easy to wipe clean. They didn’t sustain any dents from our bat tests, but there were a few scratches after being shoved off a table. We liked the dual main compartments, compression systems, expanders, and dirty laundry satchels. The suitcases were a breeze to maneuver on their 360-degree spinner wheels, and carrying the weekender was comfortable with the padded shoulder strap. Away is certainly not the cheapest luggage brand out there, but it’s also far from the most expensive. Considering the 100-day return window, lifetime warranty, and stylish designs, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to pretty much any traveler.
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Price Range: $75-$745
The Details: 100 day return policy | Lifetime warranty
Best for Staying Organized
Four of the five Paravel bags we tested clocked an overall rating of 4 or higher, with an average score of 4.1 out of 5. While we weren’t huge fans of the foldable duffel, the suitcases and weekenders were hits in the lab. Perfect for organized travelers, this brand takes the cake for additional features. We loved the dual compartments, many pockets, dividers, and removable laundry bags. While the suitcases don’t expand, the compression pads make fitting everything a cinch.
Most luggage held up well during our durability tests, though the lighter-colored hardside models are prone to scuffing. The suitcases are also easy to pull, push, and roll over various flooring materials. What’s more, Paravel luggage is undeniably stylish with a sophisticated appeal and a cool mid-century flair. Prices are somewhat steep, but in the end, we think it’s worth the investment.
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Price Range: $35-$1,300
The Details: 30 day return policy | 5 year warranty
Best Spacious Bags
Delsey is a go-to for large-capacity luggage. Four of the five pieces we tested earned overall ratings of at least 4, with an average score of 4.3 out of 5. This brand carries both hardside and softside suitcases, including surprisingly spacious carry-ons and checked baggage with built-in expanders. We were thrilled by how much they fit, noting that they could easily pack all items on our packing list with room to spare, even without expansion functions.
The suitcases maneuver well on their four spinner wheels, even over carpet, cracks, and bumps. Most models are also lightweight, so lifting them into an overhead bin is no problem. The only downside is that the hardside models are prone to scuffing, but this may not be an issue with darker colors. We appreciate Delsey’s accessible price points, plus the brand backs its luggage with warranties ranging from five to 10 years.
Sale: 10% off select bags
Price Range: $56-$840
The Details: 30 day return policy | 5–10 year warranty
Best for Smaller Bags
If you’re looking for something you can stash in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you, Calpak might be your best bet. Of the six bags we tested, five earned a rating of 4 or higher, and the average overall score was 4.3 out of 5. While the backpack we tried was just okay, we loved the duffles, underseat bags, and suitcases.
The compact designs fit enough stuff to get through a weekend getaway or short business trip. Even when packed full, they rolled beautifully on two wheels or four. And the duffle-style weekender bag was comfortable to carry with its shoulder strap. Despite the small size, the modish silhouettes and refined color options will leave no confusion over whether this luggage is for an adult or child. Though the two-year warranty is shorter than most other brands, we think Calpak’s prices are more than fair.
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Price Range: $195-$715
The Details: 30 day return policy | 2 year warranty
We tested two suitcases and one backpack from Amazon Basics. Each piece earned an overall rating well above 4, with an average score of 4.6 out of 5. We can confidently tell you there’s much more to love about this luggage brand than a budget-friendly price tag. More pockets would have been appreciated, but the carry-on and checked models easily fit everything on our packing list without the expanders, which adds another 15 percent to the capacity.
The hardside suitcases have extra-thick thermoplastic shells that passed our durability tests with flying colors — no scratches or dents in sight. They were generally easy to maneuver, too, albeit a little more difficult on gravel. Color options are limited, and while most Amazon Basics carriers don’t have TSA locks or smart features, the designs exceeded our expectations.
Price Range: $31-$178
The Details: 30 day return policy | 3 year warranty
This splurge-worthy luggage brand boasts expandable main compartments, ample pockets, impact-resistant exteriors, and smooth spinner wheels.
If you want the crème de la crème of luggage, Tumi is where it’s at. Three of the five bags we tried earned a score above 4, with an average overall rating of 4 out of 5. The suitcases and underseat bags fared better than the duffle we tested, but all in all, we were impressed. There was plenty of space to pack everything on our list, even without the expanders. This brand also stands out for its organizational, smart, and security features. We’re talking ample pockets, removable garment bags, laptop sleeves, USB ports, lockable zippers, and TSA-approved locks.
Whether you go softside or hard, you can count on reliable durability. We observed virtually no scuffs or scratches after whacking the bags with a bat, save for one carry-on that sustained a pretty big dent. Tumi luggage is easy to maneuver, thanks to the spinner wheels, but bear in mind the checked sizes are pretty heavy when empty. If you can swing the steep price, we think the brand is an excellent choice for long trips, frequent fliers, and those who like to stay organized.
Price Range: $595-$3,000
The Details: 30 day return policy | 5 year warranty
Briggs & Riley
The most durable luggage we tested comes from Briggs & Riley. Of the eight we tried, six earned a score over 4, with an average overall rating of 4.1 out of 5. The brand carries softside suitcases with ballistic nylon exteriors that resist premature wear and tear, as well as hardside models with shock-absorbing polycarbonate shells that promise to protect your cargo from getting crushed. We were impressed by how well they stood up to our shoves and bat swings — virtually no dents or scratches to speak of.
Durability aside, Briggs & Riley suitcases roll effortlessly on hard floors and carpet, over bumps, and around tight corners. They also have decent capacities, many with built-in expanders. This is one of the most expensive luggage brands, but it’s backed by a lifetime guarantee. We wouldn’t be surprised if the suitcases last 10 or more years. Not only that, but there are a few options for remedying potential damage, including self-repair kits, authorized repair centers, or shipping back to Briggs & Riley for a tune-up.
Price Range: $219-$1,049
The Details: 30 day return policy | Lifetime warranty
Other Luggage Brands We Liked
Monos: Monos items have a nice, sleek look that are generally easy to maneuver. However, when we tested their large check-in suitcase, we found that it carried less items than some of its competitors.
Arlo Skye: We love this brand’s smooth design and stand-out colors, but considering the higher price-point, these bags don’t include any extra features or ways to keep items secure.
July: While we appreciated the looks of these mid-range bags, we would recommend purchasing darker colored bags that won’t likely scuff as easily.
Our Testing Process
The T+L team tried upwards of 170 pieces of luggage in the lab, our New York City testing facility. We tested several models from many top-rated brands, performing a range of assessments to evaluate the capacity, maneuverability, durability, design, and overall value. Each bag was weighed, then packed with enough clothes and personal items to get through a four-day trip (give or take, depending on the size).
To see how the luggage would perform in a real-life environment, we rolled them on different flooring materials, across gravel, over bumps, and around corners. Then we hoisted the suitcases overhead, slung the duffles and weekenders over our shoulders, and stuffed the carry-ons underneath seats and into makeshift overhead bins.
Each piece was also pushed off a table and whacked a few times with a baseball bat to test for potential wear and tear. Considering standout features, size, and price, the luggage brands with the highest average ratings were ultimately chosen for this roundup.
How We Chose These Brands
The T+L team tested at least five bags per brand on our winners list to ensure a broad sample size. We tested underseat luggage, checked luggage, and carry-on luggage and gave each individual bag a score based on its capacity, design, durability, maneuverability, and overall value.
Next, we created rankings based on the total average scores of all the bags we tested for that brand. We also thoroughly read through all of the tester insights on each luggage item from these three tests to evaluate each bag’s details and features. Finally, we determined whether or not we would recommend a bag and its overall brand.
Tips for Buying Luggage
Get to know the brand
When it comes to researching a new luggage brand, you’re already well on your way. For more information on a specific brand, you can check out their website, read customer reviews on products you like, or even take a peek at the items in person. Buying new luggage (whether a singular piece or luggage set) can be a pricey investment, so be sure you like a brand’s style, warranty options, and overall quality before you make that purchase.
Know your organizational preferences
Material and size are important, but some of the best luggage brands stand out for their organizational features. This may include dual main compartments, various pockets, a shoe separator, zippered sections, a removable laundry bag, a garment bag, a laptop sleeve, and maybe even a USB port with a powerbank pouch. While it’s not a top priority for all travelers, this can make packing and accessing your belongings much easier.
Look for durability
The best luggage stands up to wear and tear for several years to come. Both hardside and softside luggage options can be very durable. It’s really a matter of whether you want to safeguard your packed items from getting crushed or protect the exterior of the suitcase from superficial blemishes (though many softside and hardside models we tested check all the boxes).
Think about mobility
You should also think about maneuverability. When you’re running into the airport to check your bags before heading to security, you’ll want a suitcase that doesn’t hold you back. Four-wheel spinner suitcases tend to be easier to pull and push over different surfaces compared to suitcases with just two wheels and they’re even better if they have a sturdy telescoping handle. Grab handles and padded straps are ideal for other types of luggage, and a lightweight design will make your travel experience much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is hardside or softside luggage better?
You’ll see a range of hardside and softside models when browsing luggage, and many of the best brands offer both. What you purchase really comes down to personal preference. Some people appreciate how crush-resistant hardside suitcases protect their belongings. They’re also easy to wipe clean and have a sleek, modern appearance.
On the other hand, soft-sided suitcases are typically (but not always) lighter-weight and more flexible, so you can often pack more in them. After testing both types, we can tell you they’re often just as durable as hardside options. Although a textile exterior might be trickier to clean, it can be better at concealing scuffs and dirt.
What size should my carry-on luggage be?
Size limits for carry-on luggage vary among airlines. That said, most allow suitcases no larger than 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. Some are a little more strict, with limits set around 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Keep this in mind if your suitcase has an expander, as the additional inch or two could put it over the allowed size limit. We recommend checking the airline’s website if you’re not sure whether your luggage will pass as a carry-on.
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
For this article, commerce writer Theresa Holland pored over our in-house testing insights, checked return policies, read the fine print for warranties, and evaluated price ranges to create a comprehensive roundup of the best luggage brands out there today.
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