The luggage-buying process used to be a pain in the head. Designer brands were stylish but unreasonably pricey, while “off” brands were inexpensive but bland and fell apart easily after a few trips. Now, though, there are options for every type of traveler that are both reliable and affordable.
When deciding on a particular type of luggage, consider your style of travel. The best luggage is available in hard and soft-sided varieties. Rugged, go-anywhere adventurers who pack light and are constantly on the move might do well with a traditional duffle bag or convertible backpack. Urban explorers who slow-travel mainly in cities might want a hard-sided carry-on bag with zero-weight wheels for easy rolling. Whatever your flavor of luggage — from carry-all backpacks to compact carry-ons to wheeled duffels — here are the best luggage brands for every type of traveler.
For the Contemporary Urbanite
For the cosmopolitan traveler who appreciates contemporary minimalism, Monos luggage is close to perfect. The aesthetic is sleek and streamlined, bordering on space-age — the perfect accompaniment to take aboard the first space tourist flights. Indeed, the brand takes a “less is more” approach and even the name is inspired by the Japanese concept of mono no aware (a deep appreciation of beauty in fleeting moments). The Carry-On Pro Plus, for example, offers the perfect balance of durability, size, premium features, and price. The polycarbonate shell can take a beating, even for frequent travelers, while the spacious interior is designed to hold everything you’ll need for a week away, plus a front pocket to stash your 15-inch laptop. Yet, it still fits neatly in the overhead bins of most major U.S. airlines. Plus, every piece offers a telescoping handle, ultra-quiet wheels, and vegan leather detailing. Pair yours with a set of compressible packing cubes, and you’re organized and ready to go just about anywhere.
For the Heritage Traveler
Monos nails the space-age look, but Zero Halliburton has legit space-age heritage. The legendary American brand first introduced travelers to aluminum cases more than 80 years ago. It’s a design that’s been copied and imitated ever since because, of course, no look makes a bolder, “I have arrived” statement than brushed aluminum luggage. There’s a reason why, when NASA needed to carry moon rocks back to earth in 1969, it relied on Zero Halliburton’s iconic cases. The brand recently redesigned its lineup with all-new colors, styles, and forward-thinking features. Concave Edging, for example, provides a sturdier, more impact-resistant shell than traditional convex-based designs. Plus, it looks great to boot. The proprietary ZH Chassis now ensures better ground clearance and improves the brand’s already great smooth-rolling wheel system. Though pricier than most options on this list, Zero Halliburton still delivers better value for your money than any other premium luggage maker.
For the Gentleman Traveler
We’ve long been fans of Arlo Skye. Every bag in the lineup is deceptively sleek and polished with an aesthetic that’s industrial and contemporary, yet timeless. Under the hood, the luggage features forward-thinking features perfect for the modern traveler. The carry-ons, for example, feature a removable 10,050mAh battery pack with multiple USB ports, while their checked bags are generously sized and cleverly laid out to divide up several weeks’ worth of goods. All are engineered with an antimicrobial liner and wrapped in a near-bulletproof polycarbonate (or aluminum) shell that’s zipper-less and unbreakable. Plus, they all roll effortlessly on ultra-quiet spinner wheels, so no one will ever hear you coming.
For the Urban Explorer
If you’re an expert packer, you’ve experienced the joy of traveling without checking a bag. Tortuga’s line of backpacks allows modern minimalist travelers to pack everything they might need in a single carry-on-friendly bag. Their lineup consists of just three bags and, frankly, there’s hardly a need for any more. Their bestselling Outbreaker and Setout Backpacks are each available in 35L or 45L capacities. The latter is maximum carry-on sized with enough room for a long weekend — or even a full week — away. The interiors are cleverly designed to keep all your gear, including a 17-inch laptop and all your travel essentials, in check. The exterior of every bag is streamlined, but sophisticated — perfect for travelers who prefer stealthy urban exploration with the occasional day hike outside the city.
For the Flashy Sophisticate
At first blush, Away’s luggage lineup bears a striking resemblance to Arlo Skye’s. Both offer carry-on and “bigger carry-on bags” with a streamlined, nearly indestructible outer shell that’s striking and handsome. For pure aesthetic points, however, we tip our cap to Away. Their core lineup is available in 10 colors, but for our money, theis the best way to ensure everyone at the airport knows you’ve arrived. The bold look confidently affirms, “I have many Italian suits, fine scotches, and fancy watches in here.” Even if you don’t, at least you can fake it before you make it, right?
For the Budget-Conscious Minimalist
For decades, “budget” luggage was synonymous with “cheap.” Most sub-$100 bags lacked durability or any semblance of style. In addition to a deep catalog of travel-related products, eBags has quietly made a name for itself with self-branded luggage that’s stylish, affordable, and extremely functional. Thesoft-sided line runs the gamut from ultra-packable weekender backpacks to carry-on-friendly wheeled duffel bags designed for a week or more away. The best part is that most bags in the lineup are priced at $150 or less — lifetime warranty included.
For the Modern Expeditioner
If you’re the adventurous sort who needs to pack heavy, a carry-on isn’t going to cut it. You need a wheeled duffel bag. We’ve long been fans of The North Face bags for their reliability (backed by a lifetime guarantee), versatility, and rugged good looks. The company’s wheeled adventure bags like the aptly namedstow plenty of outdoor gear (whether for hiking, skiing, diving, BASE jumping — whatever you’re into) in a versatile, durable, easy-to-roll form factor. Smart design elements like external zippered dirty clothes compartments, Sherpa straps (for piggybacking your backpack to the duffel’s exterior), and foot pegs to make sure the bag always stands upright, are all welcome touches.
For the Classic Vagabond
Briggs and Riley has mastered the art of understated elegance. Every product in their catalog feels timeless and sophisticated with equal doses of contemporary and classic design. It’s a look that’s infinitely more impressive in person than on the computer screen. We love their clever design features like luggage with an “outside” handle that guarantees a completely flat interior for better packing (something that most other brands fail to get right). The proprietary CX Compression-Expansion system cleverly expands the bag by up to 25%, so you have plenty of room to bring those extra bottles of duty-free cognac home. What’s more: the brand stands firmly behind its travel products with one of the best warranties in the business. They’ll repair any damaged or broken bag free of charge with no proof of purchase necessary.
Founded 75 years ago, American Tourister was established in Providence, Rhode Island in hopes of building a durable suitcase that could be sold for a dollar. It has a wide selection of travel products that you and your family need, starting from high-quality, stylish suitcase items to casual and business bags—perfect for all kinds of trips.
Samsonite is one of the best-known luggage brands and is considered a worldwide leader in superior travel bags, baggage, and accessories. It elevates and enriches the design and style of its products by adapting to the latest technology while never letting the quality and durability decline to create unparalleled products that fulfill the on-the-go lifestyle needs of the business professional. For over a century, it has and still produces the best of the best wide range of products including hardside and softside bags, garment bags, backpacks, travel accessories, and four-wheeled spinners and gliders.
It’s no rocket science that Travelpro is one the most trusted brands of flight crews, knowing that its rise to popularity was due to a pilot recognizing the need for wheeled luggage and inventing it through his innovative spirit, making their professional lives a lot easier. Their popular series, Maxlite series, includes softside and hardside styles in a range of colors, two-wheel rolling luggage, and four-wheel spinners. Meanwhile, their newer luggage collection, Platinum elite, comes with premium fabrics, leather trim, and a “Worry-Free” lifetime warranty.
Eagle Creek ensures its consumers that every product it produces is eco-friendly by using recycled materials and bluesign approved fabrics and choosing responsible manufacturing methods. Not only its rugged luggage line highlights a casual, outdoorsy vibe but also features tough, weather-resistant coated polyester fabrics, heavy-duty wheels, puncture-proof lockable zippers. The best part? It has a lifetime warranty.
This luggage brand is another environment-friendly brand that aims to provide reliable, practical, and elegant travel accessories through innovation, practicality, creativity, and modernity. It particularizes in hardside luggage, producing the first style with one main compartment comparable to a softside luggage configuration. Softside bags, garment bags, and duffels are also highlighted in this product line.
Aside from producing a variety of styles of high-quality, versatile, durable, and functional hardside and softside luggage, Victorinox goes way back to the 19th century when Switzerland was still one of the poorer countries in Europe. Its founder fought against poverty and unemployment in the Schwyz basin, creating jobs and helping stem the flow of emigration. Travel Gear, the company’s one out of five product categories, entered the market in 1999 and managed to become a well-respected brand.
Tumi’s innovative introduction of soft, ultra-functional, black-on-black ballistic nylon travel bags back in the ’90s is what hurtled the company to its current leadership position. However, this wouldn’t be possible without the luxury brand living up to its fivefold principle: superior quality, design excellence, technical innovation, functional superiority, and world-class customer service. The company also offers onsite repairs, lost luggage tracking, and complimentary monogramming.
With classy and luxurious style and design, Hartmann has not only been a well-known brand in the travel goods industry but also a respected leader, proudly crafting ‘the finest quality luggage and leather goods to meet diverse and ever-changing travel needs.’ To this day, Hartmann is still arguably the number one option for travelers, especially with its latest Glider line of rolling bags.
With the brand focusing on quality, artistry, style, function, fashion, and aesthetics, it’s no surprise that Bric’s managed to build a name for itself in the travel goods industry. However, what genuinely sets it apart from the rest is its unique characteristics of using leather for its luggage collection. This brand also uses a variety of innovative materials including fabric, leather, microsuede, nylon, and leather to craft practical, functional, trendy, and fashionable luggage.
Rimowa was able to make a name for itself in the travel goods industry when the founder’s son crafted the first aluminum trunk on the market in 1937. And in 1976, the brand developed a waterproof luggage set called Tropicana to protect the sensitive equipment of film crews, photographers, and reporters from tropical humidity and arctic cold. Since then, the brand has been making stylish and practical luggage for people in the industry.
Established in Germany, the brand’s founder was primarily inspired by the lightweight yet durable nature of vulcanized fiberboard to craft his suitcases, which can withstand a one-ton elephant. In 1947, Queen Elizabeth II was given a Globe-trotter suitcase for her honeymoon which she still uses even to this day. Even the Queen of Britain herself could not resist such a fine suitcase.
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