Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The 9 Best Lightweight Luggage for Any Type of Travel

Where can you find the best lightweight luggage for all your travel needs? We're here to help you claim your perfect baggage. We understand the importance of suitcases that can handle trans-continental flights, overseas cruises, cross-country train rides, and even the famous family summer road trips. It's important to have luggage that won't flinch when it's go time, yet it also helps to have luggage that will help you stay within the airlines' baggage weight limits.

We've searched high and low for the best lightweight luggage that can go wherever need to you go. Below are our picks for luggage that are easy to lug around when you can really use some help in lightening your load.

Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk
Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk
Jump to details
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight 25" Expandable Spinner
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight 25" Expandable Spinner
Jump to details
Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner
Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner
Jump to details
Delsey x Roland-Garros Chatelet Air International Carry-On
Delsey x Roland-Garros Chatelet Air International Carry-On
Jump to details
Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
Jump to details
Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
Jump to details
Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner
Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner
Jump to details
Away: The Carry-On
Away: The Carry-On
Jump to details
Porsche Design Roadster 27” Spinner Expandable
Porsche Design Roadster 27” Spinner Expandable
Jump to details
A close-up of the Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk suitcase.

Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk

Founded in 1952 by Mario Briccola, Bric's Milano has been hand-crafting some of the world's finest suitcases for seventy years, and the Briccola family continue to own and operate the company today. We're adding their Bellagio Carry-on Trunk suitcase to this list due to its great look and sturdy design. The polycarbonate shell manages to provide ample protection for your precious belongings while also weighing in at a mere 6.3 pounds. Featuring stain-resistant lining, interior dividers, TSA combination locks, a top carry handle wrapped in a trendy hard-shell, corner guards, and four enlarged Hinomoto double spinner wheels, this Bric's suitcase has everything you need and a whole lot more that you always wanted in luggage.

Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk
Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk
A close-up of the Travelpro Maxlite® 5 International Expandable Carry-On Rollaboard® suitcase.

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight 25" Expandable Spinner

Even when you're checking in luggage with your airline, it's nice to have all the help you can get to keep each suitcase under the 50 pound limit. Travelpro is here to help with its Maxlite Lightweight Expandable Spinner. It's an ultra-durable soft-sided spinner suitcase that's expertly designed to not only keep you in your airline's good graces, but also keep you moving with ease thanks to its two-position adjustable PowerScope Lite handle with patented Contour Grip, as well as its four-wheel and 360 degree rotating spinners. Even better, this suitcase's roomy interior, abundance of pockets, and high-tensile-strength expandable zipper ensure that you have plenty of room to pack for all your big summer trips.

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight 25" Expandable Spinner
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight 25" Expandable Spinner
A close-up of the Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner suitcase.

Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner

If you know anything about travel, you've probably heard of Samsonite. This suitcase from Samsonite's Freeform collection shows us why they're still such a trusted name in high-quality luggage. This 24-inch spinner somehow manages to combine strength and agility into one suitcase that might make you some new friends at TSA, thanks to its stylish yet sturdy polypropylene shell, its spinning wheels that allow you 360 degree upright rolling, its spacious interior that's complete with a divider and tie-down straps, and a recessed TSA approved combination lock to keep everything safe without causing a scene at the airport.

Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner
Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner
A close-up of the Delsey x Roland-Garros Chatelet Air International Carry-On suitcase.

Delsey x Roland-Garros Chatelet Air International Carry-On

Delsey Paris has joined forces with Roland Garros - the legendary French Open tennis tournament, and meeting place for sport enthusiasts - for this limited edition suitcase. This suitcase is smartly equipped with Delsey's patented zip SECURITECH® 2 closing system that's three times more resistant to intrusion than a conventional zipper along with a TSA-approved combination lock to keep your items extra safe and secure. This suitcase also has silent-running, double spinner wheels for superior maneuverability and maximum comfort, as well as two full packing compartments inside with tie-down straps, a zippered divider, a removable hanger, and even laundry and shoe bags for extra easy packing.

Delsey x Roland-Garros Chatelet Air International Carry-On
Delsey x Roland-Garros Chatelet Air International Carry-On
A close-up of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack.

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

If you're seeking a suitcase that can do more while weighing less, look no further than Cotopaxi's Allpa 35L. It weighs under five pounds, yet it can function as a convenient carry-on bag for your next flight, an easy-to-carry backpack your big backcountry backpacking adventure, and a handy-dandy overnight bag for whatever comes next. The Allpa 35L’s shell is made from a blend of tough, TPU-coated 1000D polyester, with durable 840D ballistic nylon paneling to provide extra protection for your goods. It has multiple zipper pockets for ample storage - including a special padded sleeve for your notebook or tablet computer, and it utilizes a low-profile harness for even weight distribution to make carrying this bag even easier. If you need a suitcase that can handle more of the great outdoors, then you may want to take a closer look at all that the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L has to offer.

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
A close-up of the Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage.

Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage

If you simply need a sturdy carry-on suitcase, or if you need luggage that you can more easily handle during your next family camping trip, you might like this offering from Kipling. Kipling's Darcey suitcase not only has a water-resistant nylon exterior to protect your belongings from any potentially damaging outside elements, but it also has a nice interior that's fully equipped with a main zip compartment, two mesh zip pockets, and two packing straps. It's simple enough for travelers who want a simple bag to store their stuff, yet it's strong enough to handle almost whatever you end up throwing at it.

Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
A close-up of the Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner suitcase.

Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner

Whether you're preparing for a critical business trip to London, an adventure-filled getaway to Oaxaca, a romantic escape to Tahiti, or simply a survival strategy for your upcoming family reunion trip, this compact yet spacious Briggs & Riley 21-inch suitcase will help. Designed to fit as a carry-on bag for flights, this suitcase doesn't skip in storage: It has a front compartment that's fully loaded with a padded sleeve for large notebook computers, another padded sleeve for tablets, and a RFID-blocking pocket for your wallet and passport, plus the suitcase's interior has a built-in mesh suiter with a removable and adjustable foam roll bar, cinch-down garment panels with a single-strap buckle, and a 70/30 lid opening that allows it to be packed like a traditional suitcase on a luggage rack. The exterior is made of a three-layer Makrolon® polycarbonate material that's high-strength, lightweight, and providing elasticity and resiliency, and the double spinner wheels with metal ball bearings provide effortless 360° navigation and ensure a long rolling life.

Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner
Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner
A close-up of Away: The Carry-On suitcase.

Away: The Carry-On

As the crew at Away explain, "Our lightweight Carry-On is built to last, with a durable polycarbonate hard shell that can withstand any journey." It's specially designed to fit in the overhead storage bin on most commercial passenger airplanes, its 360 degree spinner wheels were developed to ensure a smooth ride, its interior compression system and water-resistant laundry bag make for exceptionally easy packing, and its TSA-approved combination lock adds extra security. If you need your suitcase to do even more, you can add on Away's TSA-approved ejectable USB charger for $20 that can charge your phone up to four times.

Away: The Carry-On
Away: The Carry-On
A close-up of the Porsche Design Roadster 27 ” Spinner Expandable suitcase.

Porsche Design Roadster 27” Spinner Expandable

To finish us off, we have another entry from Bric's: This time, it's from their Porsche Design brand. The exterior features a flexible and lightweight polycarbonate shell, a TSA-approved lock and an ultra-secure zip, silent run ball bearing wheels for added traction and shock absorption, and genuine leather handles for elegantly ergonomic easy carrying. Inside, we find tear-resistant textile and a wide panel that divides the inside into two separate compartments for easy packing. There's even a USB connection for phone charging on the go, yet this suitcase still clocks in at only nine pounds.

Porsche Design Roadster 27” Spinner Expandable
Porsche Design Roadster 27” Spinner Expandable

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do airlines impose and enforce the 50 pound rule for checked luggage?

There's only so much that the airlines' baggage handlers and their equipment can handle. This is why they try to keep each checked item under 50 pounds, and why they charge extra and apply "heavy item" tags to luggage that weigh over 50 pounds each.

Which suitcases are better: hard shell or softside?

It really depends on your own travel needs, which is why we included some of both on this best lightweight luggage list. If you frequently worry about your suitcases getting banged up, you might prefer a hard shell suitcase that's made with high-quality polycarbonate that's both lightweight and strong. If you frequently worry that you may not have enough space for all your stuff, you may prefer a softside suitcase that's made with durable fabrics and has plenty of pockets and zip expansions to store everything you need.

Which luggage brand is the best?

Again, it really depends on your own travel needs. We've personally had good fortune with suitcases from the brands and companies featured above, but we've also tried and used suitcases from not-prominent-name-brands that have worked out well. Make sure to pay close attention to the suitcases' construction, their respective materials, the condition of the handles and wheels, and all the zippered interior spaces as you shop for your new suitcase.

We hope this guide helps you discover your own best lightweight luggage for your next trip. If you need more help in planning future travel, check out our Iceland travel guide, our Jackson Hole (Wyoming) travel guide, our tips for planning the perfect summer road trip, and our tips for packing your bags like a pro. However you decide to do your trip, we hope you enjoy the journey.

Editors' Recommendations