Best Checked Luggage
Most of us love to travel and one of the most important pieces of gear when traveling is the luggage. The luggage not only fits all your clothes and gear you want to bring with you on your journey but also reflects your sense of style. When you take the time to buy your own luggage, you can ensure that you get something that reflects your personal needs. Getting ready to go on a trip can be chaotic, you are in getting prepared, with a chance that you will forget a necessity. When you don’t have to worry about driving to a friend or family members’ house to borrow luggage, you have more time to ensure that you pack away everything you need. With so many different styles of checked luggage on the market, it can be difficult to decide on which product will be easiest to pack.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
TSA-approved combination lock
- Samsonite Winfield 2 Luggage
- Delsey Helium Aero Spinner Trolley
- Travelpro Maxlite
- AmazonBasics Hardside Luggage
- American Tourister Ilite
- Merax Flieks Luggage
- Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury
- Eagle Creek Load Warrior
- Ricardo Beverly Hills Mar Vista
- Nautica 28 Luggage
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Samsonite Winfield 2 Luggage
TSA-approved combination lock
Polycarbonate exterior is easily scratched
For busy travelers that can’t be slowed down by faulty luggage, this bag checks all the boxes of what you would want in a checked bag. It is lightweight, sleek, and rolls around seamlessly at the airport right alongside you.Read more
The Samsonite Winfield looks as if it was designed after an airplane. The hard shell cover has a glossy finish that is available in many colors such as black, red, blue, purple, orange, charcoal, and green. It has a locking handle and multi-directional spinning wheels that make wheeling your belongings to their destination a snap.
This checked luggage runs around the middle of the road in terms of price. It is not the most expensive product on the market, but it is by no means the least expensive. With the name of Samsonite behind it, it is available at an excellent price point.
Weight and Dimensions
This bag weighs about 14 pounds, which is about the norm for most medium sized suitcases that measure 28 inches.
Even if you have never bought a piece of travel gear in your life, you have most likely heard of the brand Samsonite. They have been making innovative and sharp checked luggage since they were founded in 1910. Since then, the company has generated a long of loyal customers that know that when they buy a Samsonite product that they are buying a product that they can depend upon.
If you are looking for a new piece of travel gear that comes with the guarantee of a company that has been in the business of making luggage for over 100 years, this is a perfect choice. Not to mention it sports a sharp design that will stand out on any carousel, and comes at an affordable price.
2. Delsey Helium Aero Spinner Trolley
Available in various colors
Slightly more interior room
Users claim that the exterior scratches easily
This is a great and stylish option for those that are looking for something a little bit different from the traditional black bag, but still offers all of the same protection and quality as those tough black suitcases. Plus, this suitcase comes from Delsey, who have been making cases for over 70 years.Read more
The outer shell of this bag is made from high-quality polycarbonate- which is resilient against breaking and cracking. It is available in a variety of metallic colors such as blue, pink, purple, silver, and black. It has four wheels that rotate 360 degrees taking all of the weight off of your arm so that you aren’t weighed down while on the way to your destination.
The Delsey Helium is available at a slightly higher price point then the Samsonite Winfield, but not by much. The extra storage space and slightly larger frame make it well worth the slightly padded price tag.
Weight and Dimensions
Weighing in at approximately 16 pounds, this suitcase is slightly heavier than the normal. However, it measures 29 inches and provides users with just a little bit more extra space for travelers that often come home with more than they left with.
Delsey got their start in the early 1900s by making cases for typewriters and record players. In 1946, they expanded their line of products and began to make travel gear such as suitcases. They have been in the business of manufacturing travel gear about as long as Samsonite, and have made generated many satisfied customers in the process.
If you tend to travel a bit heavier and are looking for a suitcase that is slightly larger than some of the others on the market, this is an excellent choice. It does cost a little bit more than the Samsonite, but you receive more color options and a little bit more room.
3. Travelpro Maxlite
Soft outer shell can’t become dented or scratched
Available in many colors
Some users have difficulty with the wheels on the carpet
The TravelPro Maxlite is a great alternative to the polycarbonate shell frame. This model is lightweight, easy to pack, and it able to keep up with you around a busy airport. Plus, it comes from a brand that has years of experience crafting checked luggage that works for the consumer.Read more
The exterior of this suitcase is made from a sturdy polyester that is resistant against scratches and dents. It is available in many fun colors that will be easily recognized from the carousel, such as blue, black, red, green, pink, and purple. The retractable handle sports an innovative design that fits comfortably in the hand, and the addition of the honeycomb frame takes all of the pressure and weight off of your arms.
The price of this checked suitcase runs about in the middle of the road. It is slightly more expensive than the Samsonite Winfield but less expensive than the Delsey Helium.
Weight and Dimensions
The most handsome feature about this checked luggage is that it weighs in at approximately 11 pounds, which is considered to be a few pounds lighter than the average suitcase. It measures 25 inches, which makes it slightly smaller than some of the other items on this list.
TravelPro doesn’t have the same name recognition and impact as brands such as Samsonite, but it has generated a loyal following of satisfied customers that have come to depend on their long time of travel gear and travel bags.
For travelers that wish to travel a bit lighter and don’t like the look of suitcases that sport hard shells (that can be easily scratched when handled by luggage carriers), the TravelPro Maxlite will be a welcome addition on your next adventure.
4. AmazonBasics Hardside Luggage
Some report that the wheels are a little difficult to maneuver
AmazonBasics offers a great option for a hardshell suitcase that is offered at a great value and provides travels with all the features in a bag that they need to be able to navigate airports swiftly and efficiently.Read more
The design if this suitcase is simple, and doesn’t come in any additional colors. It is available in a variety of sizing options, ranging from 20 inches to 28 inches (for the sake of this review, we looked at the 28-inch model). Instead of making the hardshell exterior out of polycarbonate, the shell of this checked luggage is made from heavy-duty ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)- which makes it scratch resistant.
Price is the most handsome feature about this suitcase- it is almost half of the price of many of the other suitcases found on this list.
Weight and Dimensions
This checked luggage is one of the more heavy products to make this list, weighing in at approximately 17 pounds. The weight of this item is slightly heavier than the average weight of luggage that measures 28 inches in height.
Amazon is a company that everyone knows, and everyone trusts. AmazonBasics began making products in-house since 2009, and has brought high quality products to consumers at a significantly lower price point. Past customers have come to rely and depend on AmazonBasics products as offering excellent quality without breaking the bank.
AmazonBasics offers travelers a high quality piece of travel gear that is composed of materials that are improvements upon the traditional materials that other companies use. If you are looking for a great suitcase but aren’t willing to dish out the extra cash, this is a great option.
5. American Tourister Ilite
Available in fun colors
Some users have reported problems with the zippers
American Tourister makes luggage that is fun and colorful to ensure that you will never miss your bag when it arrives on the carousel. The American Tourister Ilite is made high quality materials that is lightweight and easy to maneuver throughout busy airports.Read more
This checked luggage offers a soft exterior rather than a hard shell, and it made from tough polyester. It is available in a myriad of fun colors such as pink, purple, light blue, orange, and black. It has a retractable handle that is extended with the push of a button, and sleek multi-directional wheels that make wheeling this suitcase easy.
The price of this suitcase is one of its best features. It comes in a very low price point, making it one of the most affordable suitcases available on the market today.
Weight and Dimensions
This is one of the lightest suitcases that you will find out there- weighing in at approximately 9.2 pounds. It is slightly smaller than some of the others- measuring in at 25 inches- but its soft exterior makes it easy to really pack it to the max.
American Tourister has been making great quality travel gear since 1993 and has generated a loyal following of customers that love their fun designs that are also sturdy and reliable.
If you are in the market for a new suitcase that is fun and bright and you can recognize from a mile away- this is an excellent choice. Set at a great price point, there is really no reason you have to borrow your parents' luggage when setting off on your next adventure.
6. Merax Flieks Luggage
Comes with a TSA lock
Users report that the aluminum frame can easily become dented
The Merax Flieks is sleek and sharp, and looks like something James Bond would carry when stepping off of an airplane. It has a durable aluminum frame and a rich interior, and additional features to make sure that not only keep your belongings safe, but ensure you arrive to your destination in style.Read more
The design of this suitcase is what really makes it stand out from all of the other cases currently on the market. The aluminum frame is a great material for luggage because it is incredibly durable, but it is also lightweight so it won’t hold you back. The wheels have a German designed spinner wheel with a carbon steel ball bearing which ensures that not only is this easy to pull, but it won’t suffer from squeaky wheel syndrome.
The price of this piece runs about in the middle of the road. It is not the most expensive piece of checked luggage out there, but it is also not the least expensive. It runs about the same price as the Samsonite Winfield.
Weight and Dimensions
For a hard shell suitcase- this model weighs in significantly lighter than most of the other suitcases on this list and may be one of the lightest hard shell models on the market weighing in at just over 10 pounds. The downside is that this item is a little bit smaller than some of the others, measuring in at just 24 inches tall.
Merax was founded in 1995 out of Los Angeles, California. Their company's mission is to provide consumers with excellent travel options that are as functional as they are stylish. Over the years they have cultivated a following of loyal customers that have come to depend on their suitcases.
If the style is important to you, this model has it in spades. But it is also made of premium materials that makes it lightweight and easy to carry through busy airports and is offered at a reasonable price.
7. Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury
Ricardo Beverly Hills makes a great suitcase that is as durable as it is stylish. It comes at a higher price point than some of the other suitcases on this list, but the additional features and innovated design makes it well worth the slightly higher price point.Read more
The sleek and stylish design is what makes this product stand out against all of the others. It is available in two sharp colors: brushed silver and mulberry. Both colors have a unique metallic shimmer to them without making too much of a visual impact. The outer shell is composed of a durable polycarbonate casing to prevent against cracks and breaking. The corners of the suitcase are protected by plastic shields to keep corners from becoming scuffed.
To arrive in style comes at a cost- this suitcase is one of the more expensive items to make this list and is actually one of the more expensive items currently on the market.
Weight and Dimensions
The weight of this item is about the normal weight for checked luggage- weighing in at approximately 15 pounds. What makes this item great is that it measures to be 29 inches tall- making it one of the lightest hardshell 29-inch suitcases on the market.
Ricardo Beverly Hills was founded in 1978, and since their beginning, they have been making sleek and stylish checked luggage inspired by the Californian lifestyle. Since their humble beginning, they have cultivated a brand that has many loyal customers that know that when they buy a piece of luggage from Ricardo Beverly Hills, they are buying the high quality and stylish product.
To some- arriving in style is worth the added price tag. This suitcase checks all of the boxes of the trendy traveler- it is sleek, durable, lightweight, and seamlessly follows you through crowded airports.
8. Eagle Creek Load Warrior
Measures 32 inches tall
Eagle Creek is a brand that is known for making gear that is as tough and rugged as you are, so it comes to no surprise that this suitcase is designed to to do it all without so much as breaking a sweat. It is designed a little bit differently than some of the other suitcases on this list, and comes at a higher price point.Read more
The design of this suitcase is what makes it so different from others on this list. It is basically a giant duffel bag that is affixed to an aluminum frame on wheels. The exterior is loaded with extra straps and buckles so that you can hand addition items to your bag to free up your hands as you run through the airport trying to find your gate. It has a lightweight anodized aluminum retractable handle to make maneuverability a snap. The soft exterior is composed of ripstop nylon that is tough and durable no matter how much the airline luggage carriers throw this suitcase around.
This is the most expensive suitcase to makes this list, but considering the extra features that are bag provides- it is well worth the padded price tag and is an excellent deal.
Weight and Dimensions
Due to the fact that this is technically a mounted duffel bag, this suitcase is incredibly light- weighing a little over 7 pounds. Plus, most of the other bags on this list range from 24 inches to 29 inches, and this item measures in at 32 inches tall- meaning you have more room to bring home souvenirs.
Travelers are well aware of Eagle Creek, and the quality of products that they bring to the market. They were founded in 1975 when the founders opened a small store in California called Mountain People that sold packs for traveling hiking up mountains. Since then, they have grown to be one of the top providers of rugged and tough travel gear and accessories.
If space is something important to you- this suitcase will give you the most bang for your buck. The interior is organized into different compartments (to even separate dirty laundry from clean), and it is incredibly lightweight so that you can be sure that you pack everything that you need and even things that you don’t really need on your next trip.
9. Ricardo Beverly Hills Mar Vista
Some users have reported trouble with the zipper
If you had your heart set on buying a stylish new piece of luggage- like one offered from a company like Ricardo Beverly Hills- but don’t have the money to spend on an expensive item, the Mar Vista is a perfect solution to your problem. It is offered at a significantly lower price point than many of the other bags on this list and is available in fun styles to ensure you will see your checked luggage on the carousel from a mile away.Read more
This softshell suitcase is made from terylene polyester and is incredibly durable and able to take a punch. It is available in a muted black, and for those that are feeling a little bit more adventurous in their luggage- it is also available in purple paisley. It has padded handles on the side, and if you prefer to roll the case behind you it has an ergonomically designed handle on the end of a retractable arm.
Luggage from Ricardo Beverly Hills typically has a slightly padded price tag, but the Mar Vista is offered a very low price, making it one of the more affordable options to make this list.
Weight and Dimensions
The Mar Vista has a soft shell design that makes it lighter than most of the hard shell options. It weighs just over 11 pounds and stands 24 inches tall.
As stated above, Ricardo Beverly Hills has been in the business of making stylish pieces of travel gear that serve two functions- to look good as to be dependable. Since their founding, they have generated a loyal following of customers that will not carry any other brand of checked luggage.
If you are looking to arrive at your destination looking good and not feeling broke- this is a great bag to carry with you on all of your travels all over the world.
10. Nautica 28 Luggage
Interior doesn’t have many compartments
The Nautica 28 is one sharp looking piece of travel gear. It’s hard not to feel like a trendy jet setter when rolling this piece of checked luggage next to you while you make your way to your destination. It comes in a variety of colors and is made from premium materials to prevent scuffing and scratching.Read more
Much like the Merax Flieks, this piece of travel gear looks like something James Bond would take with him to an airport. It is available in a myriad of fun colors such as yellow, brown, white, orange, black, blue, and red. The hard shell exterior is made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (also known as ABS), which is more resilient to scratches and dents when being handled by careless airport handlers.
The price of this suitcase is a little bit more expensive than some of the other products on this list, but only by a tiny bit. Given that is comes for a brand that is synonymous with style, and it is made from premium materials, the price point is quite reasonable.
Weight and Dimensions
This product weighs slightly under the norm- weighing in at approximately 11 pounds when empty. It is also 28 inches tall, which makes this hard shell bag much lighter than some of the others that are on the market.
Many of those reading this have probably purchased a Nautica product in the past- whether is was an article of clothing or an accessory. The company got its start selling apparel in 1983, and branched out to various products such as luggage and travel accessories since then. Buyers know that when they purchase a Nautica product- they are receiving not only quality, but also style.
If you are looking for a piece of travel gear that makes you look sleek like James Bond, but is also tough enough to hold up to airline baggage handlers, the Nautica 28 Luggage is an excellent choice for you.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are certain brands of checked luggage that you grew up with- such as Samsonite. The fact that you are still borrowing your parents Samsonite luggage that they took with them to relax after the Cuban Missile Crisis was over is a testament to how durable that luggage really is. It was important to utilize brands that have been perfecting upon their designs for decades because you know that you are going to get a product that will last. If you spend a little bit more extra money to invest in a Samsonite suitcase, you are ensuring that your children will have a great piece of gear to take with them when they vacation on the moon in 25 years.
No one knows what happens to luggage once it is checked and handed off to the baggage handlers, but based upon the condition of your suitcase as it spins on the carousel at your destination- it’s nothing good. A suitcase that is able to take a real beating was one of the things that we looked at when selecting the best-checked bags. Hard-shell units that were made from polycarbonate or ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, keep all of your belongings safe and secure. The soft shell units that are made from polyesters are lighter, but they don’t offer the same security for your items that a hard shell bag would provide. Brands like Ricardo Beverly Hills and Nautica are the brands that will ensure you are sporting the latest trends in travel gear.
Your suitcase is something that is going to show other people just what kind of traveler you are. If you are pulling an aqua blue 1950’s Samsonite suitcase on wheels by a chain behind you, your fellow travelers will know that you don’t get out much. Many of the suitcases on this list sport a timeless design that will most likely never go out of style. Not only can heavier suitcases slow you down, but they can actually cost you more. When checking a bag at the airport, some airlines will charge you an additional fee for oversize checked luggage that exceeds a certain weight. No one wants to be that person that is frantically moving clothes from their suitcase to their carry on in order to save a significant chunk of change. The average weight of an empty case runs around 15 pounds, so we tried to keep the weight of these items at or around 15 pounds.
Sure, buying luggage is a one-time thing and if you buy a good quality item, you shouldn’t even have to buy another piece again. However, no one likes to pay more than they need to for anything, and the more money that you save on your suitcase means the more money you will have to spend on vacation. It was important for us to keep the prices of these suitcases affordable, but without sacrificing quality, durability, and style. For your next vacation, be sure that you remember your toothbrush, pack enough clothes to accommodate every day that you are there, and leave enough room in your suitcase to bring home souvenirs for all of your friends and family, and something a little extra for the friend that watched your dog while you were gone. A good quality checked bag won’t guarantee that your checked luggage will arrive at your destination, but it will keep all of your belongings safe and secured.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you are looking for a new piece of travel gear that comes with the guarantee of a company that has been in the business of making luggage for over 100 years, these options are a perfect choice. Not to mention their sharp design that will stand out on any carousel, and comes at an affordable price. Now that you have a good understanding what makes great checked luggage and what to consider before making a purchase, you should now know which luggage will best fit your travel style and the gear you will be packing. Remember when you travel your luggage is your main piece of gear as it will be holding and storing all of the rest of your gear to ensure you have a great trip. Take the time to do the research and find the perfect luggage for you.
Other Factors to Consider
As important as it is to make sure that your suitcase has a strong and sturdy exterior, you should also take the time to take a look at what is on the inside. If you are often traveling for work, you will want to make sure that your case as a place to hang garments to keep them for getting too wrinkled. Surprisingly, not all units come with this feature.
Pockets and compartments are things that can come in extremely handy when you are trying to stay organized when you are so far away from home. Some of the hard shell cases do not come with very many compartments or pockets, so it’s really important that you take a look inside before you spend the money. If compartments and pockets are something that you really need out of a suitcase, the Eagle Creek Load Warrior is a perfect suitcase. Not only does it have a lot of pockets to store items, but it also has a special place to sort dirty laundry from clean laundry.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are there things I cannot bring in a checked bag?
The security rules are a little bit leaner on checked bags rather than carry on bags. You can carry all of your soaps, liquids, metal items, and some travels have admitting packing away bottles of wine in their suitcase (some companies even sell specials bags that are specially designed to be used to carry wine in a suitcase).
q: What are TSA locks?
If you are from the states, you probably know all about the added security measures from the TSA. Checked bags are subject to random searched by TSA security officers. If a bag has a lock on it that the TSA cannot access, they will break the lock to your bag is able to access the contents. A way of locking your belongings while not running the risk of having the TSA break your expensive suitcase, you can purchase a product with a special TSA lock that only TSA officers have a special key to access.
q: What’s better: hard shell or soft shell luggage?
It’s all a matter of personal preference because both kinds of suitcases have their advantages and disadvantages. Hard shell bags are sturdier than others, and the ensure that the contents inside will stay completely protected- which is important if you are returning home with breakable souvenirs. Sometimes, however, hard shell bags can easily become scratched or dented which can name your bag look older and weathered after only a few trips. Soft shell bags offer less protection of the items placed inside, but they can’t become dented or scratched. The bad thing about soft shell suitcases is that they can become dirty when being handled by airlines. If you intend on purchasing a suitcase made from polyester, it would be wise to buy a darker color that doesn’t show dirt as much, because a 29 inch suitcase isn’t something you can exactly toss into the washing machine.
q: Does it cost anything to check a bag?
This is all up to the airline that you chose. Some airlines allow you to check one bag up to 50 pounds for free, and then charge an additional fee for each bag after that. Some airlines offer a small fee for the first check bag and a higher price tag for each subsequent bag. As a general rule of thumb, you should ensure that your back does not exceed 50 pounds before heading to the airport. If your bag weighs more than 50 pounds, you may have to pay the heavy cost of paying for two checked bags instead of one.
q: Can I pack food in my suitcase?
If you want to bring your mom back a box of fancy chocolate from your latest adventure, and you don’t want to bring it into your carry on (because you are afraid that you will eat it in the middle of your long flight home) it is perfectly acceptable to pack it away in your bag. The temperatures at 30,000 feet in the belly of the plane is quite cold and will keep your chocolate nice and cool on their ride back home. Soda, on the other hand, may not be such a great idea. Your checked luggage is going to be shaken and thrown around a lot by the people loading it up onto the plane, and a can of soda might explode under those circumstances. It would be a terrible thing to arrive at your destination only to discover that all of your clothes are covered in diet soda.