Every air travel’s staple is handy luggage. Your luggage or suitcase should be sturdy and durable enough to endure external force. And since it will be stacked with other checked luggage on the cargo area, you have to choose a high-performing one. The best-checked luggage for frequent flyers will not sustain dents or cracks easily, even on a very packed cargo area.
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Some travelers can get by with just a backpack during a short and domestic flight. But when it comes to international destinations, you have to pack more essentials to last the duration of your stay. Regardless of its size, the luggage should serve its purpose – to protect and keep your belongings intact.
Choosing the right luggage for your travels can be tricky. Some people we know have tragic stories about heavily damaged luggage upon arrival. As much as handling has a lot to do with it, you should also choose the suitcase with the best quality.
In this post, we will help you find the best luggage together with a comprehensive buying guide. Which suitcase is best for travel? Below, we reviewed five of the best options in the market.
1. Samsonite Stryde Glider Luggage
If you’re looking for rugged and sturdy luggage, you will never go wrong with the Samsonite Stryde Glider. This has individual steel cartridge bearings connected to its wheel system. This improves the mobility of the luggage.
Also, this is made of 100% polycarbonate that can endure impact and repetitive use. It also comes with double cross-straps inside to keep your clothes and essentials intact inside.
The push-button handle of this luggage is also contoured to suit the hands of every traveler. This makes the luggage easier to maneuver without experiencing excessive hand strain.
From the inside, you’ll enjoy multiple storage pockets with zipper enclosures. Aside from being durable, this luggage also makes packing easier.
Moreover, this has a customized and recessed TSA lock that will secure your belongings. Aside from the combination lock, it has a zipper closure for double protection.
Another highlight of this luggage is its 360-degree wheels for convenient mobility. Overall, this luggage is 22.25 inches tall, 24.25 inches wide, and 13 inches thick. This is more than enough to pack a week or two’s worth of clothes.
- Polycarbonate shell
- 360-degree wheels
- TSA combination lock
- A bit hard to push on carpeted floors
2. Tommy Bahama Spinner Luggage
If you’re looking for fabric luggage, you should try the Tommy Bahama Spinner Luggage. This model has basket-weaved false leather trims as well as a durable fabric outer layer. This is a great choice for frequent flyers and those who want sturdy luggage.
Moreover, this has four spinning wheels that will let you pull it easily around the airport. Its multidirectional wheels allow you to move the luggage in 360 degrees.
On the other hand, Tommy Bahama has a telescoping handle with push-button control. You can retract and extend the handle with great ease.
Inside the luggage, there’s a large main compartment where you can stash as many pieces of clothing as possible. The interior is fully lined together with zippered pockets. There are also two straps to keep your belongings intact even as the airport staff stack and transport your luggage.
This luggage is available in 24, 29, and 30-inch tall versions. So if you’re going for a long international travel, the Tommy Bahama luggage might be the perfect choice for you.
- Large main compartment
- 360-degree spinning wheels
- Fully lined interior
- Gets dirty fast
3. Samsonite Winfield3 DLX Luggage
Another Samsonite option that we recommend is the Samsonite Winfield 3. This luggage comes in a three-piece set, including a 20-inch carry-on. Meanwhile, you will also get a 25-inch and 28-inch model. With this, you can pack all your essentials for a grand vacation or long business trips. Moreover, this luggage has a scratch-resistant polycarbonate shell.
This has a self-retracting handle as well as oversized spinning wheels so you can move it around easily during your travel. This re-engineered version of Winfield is lightweight, saving you some weight off the airline limit.
Moreover, Winfield 3 has a side-mounted TSA lock that will deter theft. Also, TSA agents can easily access your luggage with such locks.
Inside the luggage, there is storage mesh reversible pockets and the main compartment with an X-shaped strap. This lets you pack your things in an organized manner.
Most of all, the Samsonite Winfield 3 is backed with a 10-year warranty that covers defective materials and workmanship.
Fun fact: all three luggage in the set will nest in each other, meaning you can put all of it inside one another.
- Set of three
- Oversized spinning wheels
- 10-year warranty
- Other color varieties of this bag don’t have a laptop pocket inside
4. Travelpro Platinum Spinner Luggage
If you’re looking for large luggage to carry for your travel, you can consider the Travelpro Platinum Spinner Luggage. This is made of a durable nylon fabric outer shell as well as Supra zipper heads.
Moreover, this Travelpro luggage has a four-stop PowerSCope handle as well as four Magnatrac spinner wheels for ease of use. It also comes with a TSA lock so you will not encounter any hiccups in the airport during the inspection.
Aside from that, this has a tip-resistant two-inch expansion allowance so you can pack more for your travel. Also, the material has a DuraGuard coating to prevent abrasions and stains since your luggage will be exposed to various elements along the way.
The best part about this Travelpro Platinum luggage is it’s built to last. And since the brand stands by the quality of their products, they offer a limited worry-free warranty.
Overall, this luggage has a 143.5L capacity which is more than enough to pack a week’s worth of clothes. It’s 29.5 inches tall, 20.5 inches wide, and 12.75 inches thick.
- 2-inch expansion allowance
- DuraGuard coating to prevent stains
- Worry-free warranty
- Avoid packing your laptop in this bag
5. American Tourister Luggage
Lastly, we recommend American Tourister Luggage. This one has a book opening case mesh divider as well as cross straps that will keep your clothes in the right place.
Moreover, this has a hard shell that will shield your items from direct force. This is re-engineered with oversized 360-degree wheels. These wheels are also multidirectional for your convenience.
The American Tourister luggage also has a 1.5-inch expansion allowance so you can pack more. This makes the luggage ideal for long trips and ait travel.
Aside from that, this luggage has push-button locking handles to make it easy to use.
This two-piece set also includes a 21-inch carry-on that also nests inside the bigger suitcase. The carry-on piece meets the size restrictions of most airlines.
The bonus part here is that the American Tourister is available in 12 different colors and texture shell styles. You can choose one that suits your taste.
Lastly, your purchase is protected with this luggage. Each of the suitcases is covered with a 10-year warranty on any workmanship or material defects.
- 1.5-inch expansion allowance
- 360-degree wheels
- 2-piece set with a carry-on
- The shell is prone to scratches
Buying Guide for the Best Suitcase for Air Travel
Are you looking for a fitting suitcase to use on your travel? If so, you must consider the following points:
Choose the right type
There are many luggage types in the market nowadays. The following are the most common options.
Duffel luggage has a rectangular duffel construction, but with wheels on one side. This makes the bag a dual-type option. It also has a hidden telescoping handle. Some may even have a backpack strap so you’ll have a versatile bag.
Meanwhile, backpack luggage is common for short-distance travel. Some backpacks may come with retractable wheels and handle so you can convert it into a rolling type. Overall, this type of luggage can be brought as a carry-on as long as it meets the restrictions of the airlines.
Rolling luggage is also known as a suitcase. It usually has two or four wheels as well as a hard outer shell. You can also find it in fabric versions. Inside the rolling luggage, there’s one main luggage as well as small pockets.
Consider the capacity and size
Take note that there are strict size restrictions when it comes to carry-on and checked luggage. Most international carry-ons have a maximum of 18-20 inches. Meanwhile, domestic carry-ons can be around 21 to 22 inches.
Checked luggage usually falls between 23 to 32 inches. This varies widely depending on the specific rules of an airline.
Aside from the size, the capacity of luggage is measured by liters. Also, check the expansion allowance of the luggage, which can range from 1 to 2 inches.
Hardshell vs. softshell
Another consideration when purchasing luggage is either to get hardshell or softshell. Soft-side luggage is very common and not prone to cracking and scratches. Also, it’s more lightweight, though it is less waterproof and a chore to clean.
On the other hand, you can choose hard shell luggage. The outer layer of this bag is made of polycarbonate for easy cleaning and to absorb shock. However, the challenge here is to choose a unit that can endure weight and force. The downside of hard shell luggage is its extra weight.
Check the handles
Next, you should check the quality of the handle. You’ll be holding this part to maneuver the luggage. Opt for a smooth telescoping handle with the push-button operation. Also, check the locking mechanism and stops that the handle allows.
The handle shouldn’t be too wobbly or the luggage would be difficult to maneuver.
Two vs. four wheels
Rolling luggage is available in either two or four wheels. If you want the utmost convenience, we recommend the four-wheel or spinning wheel style. Such a four-wheel design allows you to move the bag in a 360-degree direction. This is easier to move around the airport, especially if you are carrying other things.
Locks and enclosures
The locks and enclosures of a suitcase are very important. You should always opt for one with a built-in TSA lock. This way, you won’t encounter problems once you’re at the airport. Also, look for durable zippers that can endure repetitive travels.
Pockets and compartments
When you pack your valuables, you always want to stay organized. This is why separate pockets are very important. Look for mesh pockets as well as zippered storage where you can stash smaller items. Some luggage models even have a laptop sleeve.
You should also check the main compartment. This part should have valet straps to keep your clothes in place.
Q: What is better for international travel, soft or hard-shelled luggage?
A: In general, hard-shelled luggage gives better protection for long international flights. Still, you should choose one with a heavy-duty outer shell so it can endure external force.
Q: When is the best time to buy a suitcase?
A: If you want to save some bucks, the off-season is always the ideal time. Avoid March to May as these are the months when traveling peaks. The winter and off-travel season will secure you up to 50% off due to low demand.
Q: Are 29-inch luggage allowed as carry-ons?
A: No matter what the design is, all bags larger than 20 to 21 inches are not allowed as carry-ons. This should be checked instead. Even for domestic flights, 29 inches is too large for a carry-on. You should always check the rules of the airline you’re flying with on your travel.
A travel suitcase should be durable enough to endure various elements. Also, it should be suitable for your needs and the number of items you need to pack. Above, we reviewed 5 of the best options from brands like Samsonite, Tommy Bahama, Travelpro, and American Tourister. See which one is the best pick for your needs and budget.