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Check in with the best lightweight luggage for any kind of travel

These suitcases may not be heavyweights, but they're definitely major league travel lifesavers

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 value of suitcases that can handle trans-continental flights, overseas cruises, cross-country train rides, and even the famous family ski 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-inch Carry-On Trunk
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Hybrid Carry-On Plus
Monos Hybrid Carry-on Plus
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Roundtrip® Carry-on Expandable Spinner and Medium Check-in Expandable Spinner - Luggage Set
Travelpro Roundtrip® Luggage Set
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Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner
Samsonite Freeform 24-inch Spinner
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Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack
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Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
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International 21-inch Carry-On Expandable Spinner
Briggs & Riley International 21-inch Carry-On Expandable Spinner
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Away: The Carry-On
Away: The Carry-On
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Porsche Design ROADSTER 27-inch Spinner Expandable
Porsche Design Roadster 27-inch Spinner Expandable
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A close-up of the Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21" Carry-On Trunk suitcase.

Bric's Bellagio 2.0 21-inch 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-inch Carry-On Trunk
A view of the Monos Monos Hybrid Carry-on Plus suitcase.

Monos Hybrid Carry-on Plus

Do you prefer an aluminum or polycarbonate shell? Do you want something light or something sturdy? Do you like simple or stylish? With Monos' Hybrid Carry-on Plus, you don't have to make any of these hard choices! Instead, you get an aerospace-grade polycarbonate for the shell, aluminum reinforcement for extra protection and resiliency, two latches with integrated TSA-approved locks for security inside and out, an adjustable telescopic handle with four height settings, and multiple zippered compartments inside featuring the remarkably soft 350D anti-microbial interior fabric. Even with all of this, the Monos Hybrid Carry-on Plus still weighs under ten pounds, and it's expertly designed to fit in the overhead bins of virtually all large planes from the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 on up.

Hybrid Carry-On Plus
Monos Hybrid Carry-on Plus
The  Roundtrip® Carry-on Expandable Spinner and Medium Check-in Expandable Spinner luggage set.

Travelpro Roundtrip® Luggage Set

If you're having a difficult time choosing one new suitcase, Travelpro has quite the pairing for you. Each spinner suitcase clocks in under ten pounds, and each comes with eight 360-degree rotating wheels and an adjustable PowerScope Lite handle with a patented Contour Grip and rubberized finish for superior comfort and navigability. If you've ever wondered whether it's possible to have lightweight hard shell luggage that actually works well, these suitcases' 100 percent polycarbonate hard shells flex on impact, are designed for maximum durability, and even feature a chic finish that reduces the visibility of scratches and other marks. Meanwhile inside the suitcases, you'll find interior divider panels, accessory pockets, and zippers for an extra two inches of storage to ensure all your stuff can be easily packed and organized.

Roundtrip® Carry-on Expandable Spinner and Medium Check-in Expandable Spinner - Luggage Set
Travelpro Roundtrip® Luggage Set
A close-up of the Samsonite Freeform 24" Spinner suitcase.

Samsonite Freeform 24-inch 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-inch Spinner
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 weekend road trip, an easy-to-carry backpack for 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.

Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
Kipling Darcey Small Carry-On Rolling Luggage
A close-up of the Briggs & Riley International 21-inch Carry-On Expandable Spinner.

Briggs & Riley International 21-inch Carry-On Expandable 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 CX® expansion-compression system that increases packing capacity by 22%, then compresses back to original size to keep contents secure, along with adjustable garment compression panels that come equipped with speed buckles in order keep clothing flat, reduce the risk of wrinkling, and prevent contents from shifting in transit. This Briggs & Riley suitcase is also equipped with a built-in TSA-friendly combination lock that maximizes safety without getting you in trouble with Uncle Sam, YKK® RC zippers for ergonomic ease and strong security, Briggs & Riley's proprietary double spinner wheels for lower center of gravity for easy 360-degree navigation, and a three-layer Makrolon® polycarbonate material for unique lightweight strength.

International 21-inch Carry-On Expandable Spinner
Briggs & Riley International 21-inch Carry-On Expandable 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-inch 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-inch Spinner Expandable
Porsche Design Roadster 27-inch 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 "Unexpected Israel" travel guide, our ultimate psychedelic guide to Amsterdam, some handy tips and tricks for planning better road trips, and the one life hack you need to reunite with your lost luggage. Wherever life takes you next, we wish you safe travels and many wonderful trips ahead.

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