The 20 Best Luggage Brands for All Your Upcoming Travels
TRAVEL MAY look a little different these days. And whether you’re gearing up for a family road trip, an Airbnb staycation, or finally taking that cross-county tour you’ve been dreaming about, you’ll need the proper luggage to get you through it all.
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But choosing the best luggage is not always as easy as it seems. The variety of options on the market can make shopping for a new large suitcase or carry-on feel like driving through a dark tunnel without a navigation system. But this guide will help shine a light on your trek, aiding you in choosing the right luggage for you and your budget. Whether you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all carry-on or an entire stylish luggage set, these are the best luggage brands on the market that will get you cruising from point A to point B, without the hassle or stress of schlepping that raggedy, old case in the back of your closet. Plus, many of them contain travel accessories and laptop bags to keep you moving and organized during all facets of your trip.
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Ahead, you’ll learn all that the 20 best luggage brands have to offer, all at a variety of price points, highlighting each brand’s star products to help you choose the best suitcase or luggage set that fits your lifestyle, as well as editor-tested favorites.
You must be living under a rock if this is your first time hearing about the magic that is AWAY luggage. The simple-yet-modern design makes you actually love to carry the brand’s bags. AWAY’s claim to fame comes from the brand’s built-in battery packs that can power up your devices. The carry-on sizes come in a traditional option and a bigger carry-on for certain airlines that allow it. The brand also innovated on its hard-sided luggage collection, and now make a full-line of soft-sided durable ballistic nylon and outer pocket additions.
“I’m a big fan of AWAY luggage! The brand’s pieces are thoughtfully designed with great attention to detail for travelers looking to commute with ease. The interior of the suitcase has a streamlined design, which offers ample space to fit all your necessary items in an uncluttered and organized way. Plus, AWAY’s suitcases are extremely lightweight, so you can easily maneuver to and from your destination without pulling your muscles or overexerting unnecessary energy—to me, that kind of ease is invaluable (at a price that’s very fair).” – Ted Stafford, Fashion Director
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Samsonite makes the best affordable suitcases and luggage sets, period. While the brand is in just about every major department store, the best place to buy Samsonite luggage is on Amazon. The retailer carries some of Samsonite’s highest-rated products that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. You can score an entire hard-sided set for under $300 or shop the brand’s durable nylon singles. The items might not be as lightweight and advanced as some of the others, but if you’re a few-times-a-year traveler, you will get enough bang for your buck with Samsonite luggage.
“I have one large Samsonite hard-sided suitcase I refer to as my give-zero-f*cks luggage because no matter how I mistreat it, from accidentally dropping down flights of stairs to slamming the trunk lid on it, the case has the durability to withstand it all. I know a lot of people who are a bit too precious with their suitcases, but I appreciate any luggage that can take a beating due to my clumsy mishaps and protect my pricey valuables inside.” – Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Commerce Editor
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Calpak’s popularity is right up there with AWAY’s. But a major difference is the organizational approach to each brand’s luggage. Almost all of Calpak’s luggage has separate sleeves for shoes, zip pockets for smaller items, compartments for magazines, and straps to hold it all in place. Plus, they make some of the best matching luggage sets around, including a full line of accessories that make packing easier.
As someone who used to frequently sit on her suitcase to close it, I can confidently say that Calpak has turned me into an efficient packing pro. I use the brand’s packing cubes and organizers to categorize my items. The suitcases are deep, roomy, and keep me organized at all times.
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Most people don’t know that Amazon makes an in-house line of basic lifestyle items. Among the mega retailer’s top-rated goods are its luggage (I know what you’re thinking…and we were skeptical at first, too). It turns out, the Amazon Basics carry-on works efficiently for a product under $75. The Amazon Basics carry-on is super lightweight and swivels nicely. It’s smaller than most, but perfect for a weekend getaway or the light packer. For an essential line-up of packing tools, look no further than your favorite destination with two-day shipping. We’ll give this the “best carry-on luggage for under $100” award.
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You’re probably going to be most impressed by Monos on this list. The Canadian brand makes luggage with a cool minimalist aesthetic—and the pieces are extremely efficient. The brand has thoroughly thought of every travel hiccup and created its products to solve those common issues. The Monos carry-on features a fold-out tech pocket that doesn’t compromise the unbreakable aluminum and polycarbonate hybrid shell. The result of all of this: durable aluminum, lightweight polycarbonate, and soft-sided organization features. Plus, the wheels are virtually noiseless, and the brand’s accessories snap perfectly into place among the entire line of luggage. It all looks and feels expensive, probably because it isn’t cheap—but it will make your travel dreams so much better.
Calling all gear heads! If you’re an adventure traveler, YETI has your back (literally, with the brand’s first Crossroads backpack series). In this line of luggage, you’ll find dry bags for white water rafting, carryalls, and classic rolling luggage and duffels that can withstand just about anything without showing much wear and tear. These bags are made for utility and function with a willingness to get tossed around and dirty with an easy clean. Most are water-resistant while some styles are completely waterproof.
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Tumi is for the slick traveler on the move that appreciates design as much as they do function. Tumi is the industry standard when it comes to testing, so you know a piece of Tumi luggage is well worth the investment.
“I’ve had my Tumi 19 Degree carry-on case for a few years now. Whenever I want to feel a bit fancier and pretend like I live that jet-set life, I make sure to carry that silver stunner. But it not only looks sleek and stylish—it can hold a surprising amount of shoes for a fashion editor who can’t seem to ever travel light.” – Adam Mansuroglu, Style & Commerce Editor
Victorinox is known for seamless ergonomics in all of its products. The brand’s luggage category is specifically is made to be handled with utmost ease. The brand makes some of the best carry-ons, messengers, and briefcases, all with a sophisticated look. The hard-sided shell and built-in locks keep your goods secured and protected at all times, while the soft-sided options come at a more affordable price.
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For over 120 years, RIMOWA has been making hard-sided luggage, first starting with wooden suitcases then moving to sturdy aluminum bags. Now, RIMOWA uses ultra-lightweight polycarbonate in its bags. The brand is known for pushing the boundaries of innovation. Though they come in at a luxury price point, these bags will last for well over a decade. The hard-sided shell might look intimidating at first, but once you feel how lightweight and easy this is to wheel, you’ll wonder why you haven’t invested in it sooner.
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Bric‘s best line of luggage to date is the latest Porsche collection (yes, as in the car brand). It mirrors that same level of sexy: a sleek technical design with flashy, fast features. The hard-sided items are made of an extremely lightweight polycarbonate that is flexible, resistant, and their products come with a charging USB connection. Each piece has leather handles that marry the worlds of high-tech innovation and timeless style.
If you’re looking for unique luggage that will stand out in baggage claim, look no further. Not only are Roam‘s designs multi-colored, the brand even offers the option to make it uniquely yours in their own design studio. Roam makes the best checked luggage of 2021 for that reason along with being light in weight, easy to wheel around, and extra secure with a locking system. The carry-on might look small, but it can actually fit more inside it than most others on this list. The only con is that is comes without outer organizational pockets.
Paravel makes some of the best luggage sets in the game. And by set, we mean the entire system. Each size suitcase is made specifically for its packing cubes, so all of your goods can seamlessly sit happily next to one another. Plus, the brand is one of the most sustainable luggage brands on the market, making most of its pieces from recycled polycarbonate. From hard shell carry-ons to backpacks, tote bags, and more, you can outfit your accouterments with custom monogramming in their classic, sophisticated line of travel gear.
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Filson has captured the hearts of travelers who love timeless rugged design. While the Seattle brand doesn’t carry any hard luggage, Filson does make some grade-A soft luggage. Everything from their duffle bags to messenger bags are perfect for short trips and for carry-on duties. The initial investment is a pretty penny, we know, but the quality materials of USA-sourced leather and canvas mean your bags are going to last a long long time (and look better with every new sign of wear and tear).
Travelpro was born from a pilot’s need of maneuvering luggage with ease. The age-old brand was the first to patent a suitcase on wheels. This invention has been innovated time and time again, not only by other brands but in-house at Travelpro as well. In 2021, they create simple luggage sets for the masses, all at an accessible price point. The best place to shop for Travelpro luggage is on Amazon.
Briggs & Riley
Briggs & Riley makes our list as the best luggage for families. Their sets are full of organizational pockets that can keep everyone’s accouterments organized on the road. Their soft-sided suitcases come highly-rated from thousands of customers, especially noting small details, like extra straps for carrying, expandable sections, and multiple inner and outer pockets.
Kipling is one of the only expressive luggage brands that doesn’t compromise its quality You’ll find fun styles and colors that set your bags apart from the rest to channel creativity and personal style. These bags are made for all types of weather and are extra roomy for over-packers.
OGIO can transport a wardrobe quite well, but what the brand is truly exceptional at is transporting gear. Whatever equipment you might want to take with you on your next big trip, an OGIO bag will worked as a checked luggage option to get your prized possessions from point A to point B. This prior notion is especially true when it comes to traveling with golf clubs, as pieces like their ALPHA Travel Cover help you roll your clubs through a terminal without any snagging or other inconveniences.
For over 75 years, Thule has been a leader in gear-specific luggage that comfortably and efficiently houses the most precious goods of any adventure enthusiast. More recently the brand emerged into a greater space of protective luggage that is rugged, versatile, and easy to transport. Thule is all about efficiency—whether it’s a duffle bag on wheels, a carry-on-style travel backpack, or smart organization systems through lightweight and comfortable materials.
“The durable Subterra Wheeled Duffle Bag is a jack of all trades, with separate compartments and a handy zipper system that allows you to choose between one big piece of luggage or two smaller pieces.” -Brett Williams, Fitness Editor
COOLIFE prides itself on constant innovation. The company was started in the ’80s and has evolved to be as modern and relevant as today’s big players, like AWAY and Calpak. The aesthetic is quite similar to such brands, with minimally-hued hardshell cases that protect your precious goods and spin nicely. While you don’t get the popular brand name, you will get a far better price point, (we’re talking under $200 for a two-piece set), making COOLIFE luggage a major bang for the buck you’re spending. Plus, the Amazon reviews on COOLIFE luggage are exceptional. The three-piece set has over 1,000 five-star reviews. Check out some top-rated styles, below including everything from their best-selling hardshell colors to a soft rolling duffle.
The North Face
Another niche luggage brand pick, North Face makes a few pieces of luggage better than anyone. The brand’s best type of luggage? Duffle bags. You’ve probably seen their famous Base Camp duffle bag waiting for flights, as their signature TNF Red and Summit Yellow colors dominate your brain’s focus when gazing upon the sea of neutral-colored suitcases.
How to Find the Right Luggage
The most popular luggage comes in either a hard-sided or soft-sided structured bag. The pros and cons of both depend on what you prioritize when you pack. Soft-sided luggage typically has more room for movement, more organizational pockets, and can compress to fit into tight spaces (like the overhead of an airplane). They open with a top flap zip, placing the bulk of storage at the bottom. This offers more packing room, but it can throw off the balance of your goods when it’s tossed around and stowed away by airline employees. Basically, soft-sided luggage does not provide as much protection as hard-sided bags—but they are roomier.
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Hard-sided bags started gaining popularity in the past few years, due to advances in making polycarbonate more durable and lighter. They feature a 50/50 split opening, making each side an equal stabilizer with an outer shell of hard protection. The polycarbonate shells are typically better for business travel. They stack easily, but are usually rigid with zero room to expand like a soft-sided bag. The latest hard-sided bags look sleeker and are easier to clean and move—but they require you to be more strategic in your packing.
Other features that you’ll want to consider are weight and wheel-ability. The most modern luggage comes in the lightest possible form on four spinner wheels that can swivel 360 degrees to make rolling around the airport, pavement, or hotel floor a breeze.
How We Selected
For the past two years, Men’s Health editors and writers have been trying and testing hundreds of luggage brands. To narrow down our favorites, we evaluated luggage brands based on its durability, style, price point, and overall value. We also considered luggage brands that had high consumer praise on e-commerce sites we trust.
As Men’s Health’s Deputy Editor, Commerce, Christian Gollayan oversees all shopping content on menshealth.com. He relocated back to New York by way of Portland, where he was the Associate Managing Editor at TheManual.com. Christian’s work has also been featured in InStyle, Food & Wine, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia.
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