Luggage Reviews for 2021
We are excited to present you with The Luggage List, the luggage review site that offers luggage reviews, comprehensive top lists, and articles to help travelers find the perfect luggage.
What do actual travelers have to say about the luggage they have purchased and used themselves? We carefully analyze luggage reviews from various places, especially Amazon. We conduct extensive product review research for multiple categories and brands of luggage, and we present our findings in an approachable format so you can quickly and easily get the information that matters most to you. If you are in the process of comparing the best luggage brands and want to make sure that you end up with the best travel bag for your money, The Luggage List can help.
We are a luggage information resource and we do not sell anything – our goal is to create a helpful and up-to-date resource to help you make the right choice for you when it comes to finding and buying new luggage.
Best Luggage Reviews Guide
|Best Carry On||Briggs & Riley Baseline||$$$$|
|Best Lightweight Carry On||Lucas Original||$$|
|Best Samsonite Bag||Black Label Cosmolite||$$$$|
|Best Tumi Bag||Tegra-Lite||$$$$|
|Best Leather Duffle||Cenzo Duffle Vecchio Brown Italian Weekender Travel Bag||$$|
|Best Luggage Innovation||TACH Luggage||$$|
Types of Luggage
Luggage comes in different shapes and sizes to serve different purposes, so we categorized the luggage in a way that can help you narrow down the best luggage choice for you.
Luggage sets include at least two pieces consisting of bags that vary in size to accommodate all types of trips and travelers. Generally speaking, luggage sets aren’t really gender specific – however, we did create resources for the best women’s luggage sets, as well as the best men’s luggage sets. These sets can offer options of larger luggage pieces that you can check in, medium-size bags that you can use as carry-ons and smaller bags that can hold personal items. The largest sets we found came with eight pieces consisting of check-in and carry-on sizes and travel organizer pieces. If you have questions about carry on size restrictions, check out our carry on luggage size chart.
Carry-on luggage can be categorized as wheeled luggage, duffel bags, garment bags, messenger bags and backpacks. Wheeled luggage stands upright and can have spinner wheels that are designed to roll in all directions or inline wheels that are designed to move forward or backward. Duffel bags are cylindrical bags made of fabric or leather, and can be rolled or carried. Garment bags protect suits, jackets or general clothes during travel. Messenger bags and backpacks can typically carry smaller personal items during travel.
Luggage Comparison Categories
All trips vary in destination, climate, time frame and prices. As a traveler searching for the best luggage there’s a lot of options, but also, there’s a lot to compare.
Hard-sided luggage vs Soft sided luggage
What is better, hard or soft-sided luggage? The answer really comes down to personal preference. Below is a quick list of the benefits of hard-sided luggage and soft.
Benefits of Hard-sided luggage:
- Waterproof material generally
- Easy to clean
- Extra durability
Benefits of Soft-sided luggage:
- Can expand to hold more
- Outer pocket(s)
- More forgiving of scratches and dings
Whether your preference comes down to style, functionality, or both, you really can’t go wrong with a well-reviewed suitcase like the ones suggested on our site.
Spinner vs Inline luggage wheels
Wheeled luggage comes in 2 different types: 4-wheel spinner, or 2-wheel inline. We typically recommend suitcases with a 4-wheel spinner set vs. inline for several reasons. Spinner luggage is much more mobile thanks to each of the 4 wheels being on an independent caster. Spinner wheels give you a full range of motion whether the suitcase is being pulled at an angle, or standing straight up. This zero degree turning radius of the spinner piece will be helpful when moving your bag through lines at the airport.
There are people who do prefer the simplicity of 2 wheels on their luggage. Folks who prefer 2 wheels tend to enjoy the benefits of durability. Bags with 4 caster wheels tend to get caught in various places since they are so small and not as durable as the 2 wheel versions. Luggage with 2 wheels has a roller blade style setup which allows for easier rolling over difficult terrain when compared to the smaller 4 wheels. Our comprehensive luggage reviews will compare both spinner and inline wheeled luggage
Saving money by avoiding baggage fees
Certain suitcases can get you in trouble if you’re not careful. If you plan on buying carry on luggage, be sure to check out our luggage carry on size requirement guide. Our very popular size chart will show you all the major airlines’ size restrictions when it comes to carry on bag size and weight. In general, sticking to 22″ or under is the best route. International airlines can be even stricter, so if you plan on taking international trips, sticking to something at 20″ is ideal. Carry ons that are under 22″ are referred to as international while “22” and up is referred to as continental.
Most of the time airlines won’t actually check what size your carry on is, and you can get right on the plane and toss it in the overhead. Sometimes though, they can make an announcement at the gate for all passengers to come up and place their carry on inside one of those metal size checking stations. If your bag is bigger than the allotted space, this is where you can get in trouble. At this point the agent will inform you that you will need to check your carry on at the gate, likely for an extra surprise fee. The fee varies from airline to airline but it can be around $50. If you got a cheap $100 ticket, that’s half your ticket price! You are far better off knowing the size restrictions in advance and planning accordingly.
Does your budget allow for a bargain or a luxury luggage brand?
As a luggage shopper, you likely have a set amount in your head that you’re looking to spend on your new luggage. If you are brand conscious you may be worried that wanting to spend less means settling for a lesser-known sub-par luggage brand, however you would be wrong. Sure you may only be able to afford a lesser-known brand, but that does not mean that it is a sub-par brand. We have reviewed tons of luggage brands and our findings show us that you may be surprised at the quality of an ‘off-brand’ bag. Brands like Rockland, Traveler’s Choice, and Olympia make amazing luggage for the relatively low price they cost to buy. Spending more generally will get you a better quality bag, but if you don’t really care or you don’t plan on traveling a lot, definitely don’t be afraid to look into some of the smaller brands.
On the other hand if you do want the best of the best, there are certainly luxury options when luggage shopping. If you are OK with spending $500+ you can get amazing luggage from brands like Tumi and Briggs & Riley. You can even spend over $1,000 on a suitcase if you wish, that’s when you start getting into the well known luxury brands that most people are already familiar with such as Gucci and Louie Vuitton. If you don’t already own an authentic Gucci or Louie product, you likely won’t be forking over the money it would take to buy their luggage either. We found that the best case scenario if you’re operating within the $500-$1,000 price range, is to go with Tumi or Briggs & Riley, both of which have been extensively reviewed on this site. Other luggage reviewers online and verified owners on Amazon have great things to say about these respective brands.
With most products, there are the name brands which you perceive in a certain way and luggage is no different. Odds are you are familiar with Samsonite, but use our site to do your research and read through our reviews to find that there are many other great brands out there no matter how much you’re looking to spend.
What if I don’t have much money to spend on a suitcase?
We completely understand that some travelers don’t have large, or even moderate budgets when it comes to suitcase shopping. The good news is that you can still get a good suitcase no matter what your budget is. There are carry on suitcases that cost less than $60, and average over 4 out of 5 stars online. Brands like IT Luggage, Olympia, Rockland and more are great alternatives to some of the more expensive, well-known luggage brands available. You can read more about these types of suitcases at the ‘bargain’ link above. You should always check the reviews when purchasing any luggage, especially when the luggage appears to be very inexpensive. Stick to the reviews to help you make a more informed decision on which bag is right for you.
If you really are trying not to spend much on luggage there are a number of other options other than buying new in stores or online. You can take all of the information compiled on this site and then go about finding used luggage. Buying used luggage can only cost you a fraction of what it would cost brand new, you just have to make sure it isn’t too beat up.
Places to find used luggage:
- Thrift stores
- Garage sales
- Estate sales
- Family and friends
- Classifieds (Craigslist, newspaper)
- Exchange apps/sites (Letgo, OfferUp, etc.)
How About Some Packing Tips?
You’re not buying luggage just to look at it! You’re going to pack it and go on a fantastic voyage. Packing luggage is all about efficiency and packing luggage to save space is critical for air travel. In the previously linked article we go through our favorite tips for packing.
The best way to pack your luggage is to roll your clothing, which helps to compress each clothing item and save space. Using packing cubes is also a great idea because they help organize clothing and add additional compression.
We’re here to help
The Luggage List was created out of a passion for traveling, and a never-ending quest to find the best luggage and reviewing them. We want to be your main source for luggage reviews and helpful travel information. Luggage may seem boring to most, but we find our passion in helping people find the perfect bag, so they can focus on all the fun trips they will be taking. Traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Unfortunately people can get bogged down and stressed out at the little details of travel, and we want to make sure that finding the right luggage for you is not one of those things. If you have any questions, or even want us to review a specific suitcase, just send us a note in the comment section and we will do our best.