The debate over hard sided luggage vs. soft sided luggage is always ongoing. It really just comes down to personal preference. Those who love hard exteriors know that their luggage of choice is waterproof, easy to clean, and are generally lighter. For those who are bigger fans of hard style luggage, we present to you the top five hard-sided carry on suitcases.
1. Briggs and Riley Torq
14.3” x 9.4” x 21.4” – 8 pounds
This bag may look a little “different” but it stands alone at the top of our list as the best had-sided carryon luggage. Quite possibly our favorite part about this suitcase doesn’t even have to do with the suitcase itself, but rather the warranty provided by Briggs and Riley. This warranty will protect your suitcase for the entire life that you own it and will cover pretty much everything from things breaking to general wear and tear. For more information check out their Lifetime Performance Guarantee on the B&R website.
It’s not just the warranty that makes this our favorite hard sided carry on, this bag won us over for a number of reasons. For more information on this suitcase, check out our article where we wrote a complete review.
2. Tumi Tegra-Lite International Carry On
9.1” x 14” x 21.5” – 6.2 pounds
You’ll recall from our list of the top 10 Tumi carry ons that our number one bag was also a hard-sided carry on. The Tegra is extremely durable and really doesn’t weigh all that much compared to other bags. This bag’s height of 21.5” does qualify it as a standard carry on eligible size, but of course we have to throw our disclaimer in that you should doubl- check with our carry on luggage size chart to be extra safe. Tumi used very high-quality materials when building this bag including a specialty plastic which is found in some body armor, NASCAR vehicles, and NFL safety pads. Multiple colors are offered and the texture of the bag resembles a carbon fiber look and feel. Owners of this bag absolutely love the 4 independent spinner wheels. As if pulling a wheeled suitcase couldn’t get any easier – you can now rotate the bag incredibly easier when in a fully upright position.
You will have enough space inside for a typical weekend trip. If you plan on flying internationally, we highly recommend going with the intercontinental version to be safe, which is a tiny bit smaller which allows for better chances of fitting inside every airplane’s overhead including international. You really can’t go wrong with the Tumi Tegra-Lite series when you’re looking for hard luggage – It also happens to be what we think is the best looking hard case carryon.
3. Samsonite Fiero
19.5” x 14.5” x 9” – 7.5 pounds
The top Samsonite carry on that made our list is the Fiero. The Samsonite Fiero has a fairly basic look and feel and doesn’t look as “cutting-edge” as some of the more expensive carry ons on our list, but it really is an excellent all around bag. You’ll find that this bag has the spinner wheel setup with 4 independent caster wheels allowing for a 360 degree roll. You won’t find a better hard case bag for under $150. If the Tumi or Briggs & Riley are out of your price range, we can’t recommend the Fiero enough. The Fiero made our list of the best Samsonite luggage pieces by category, and won for the best Samsonite hardcase suitcase.
One of our favorite parts of this suitcase is the fact that it has an expandable zipper which you typically don’t find on hard luggage. Normally you are stuck with the size that you have, but the zipper allows for a little extra room that could be the little bit that you need to get that bad boy all zipped up.
4. Delsey Luggage Helium Aero
10” x 20.5” x 14.5” – 8.2 pounds
One brand that you may not have heard of is Delsey. Delsey is a French company that makes wonderful, yet affordable suitcases. We are extra partial to their bestseller, Helium Aero model and so are owners who reviewed this suitcase on Amazon.
Appearance is just the beginning with this item. Available in blue or grey (titanium), Delsey has gone above and beyond with the Helium Aero carryon. Much like the above Samsonite, this Delsey model is under $150, making it perfect for people on a budget. Also like the Fiero, this bag comes equipped with a TSA zipper lock and an expandable section. Delsey is a great brand and one that we consider to be one of the best luggage brands for consumers.
5. Kenneth Cole Reaction
8.5” x 20” x 12.6” – 7 pounds
You’ll find the Keneth Cole Reaction on our homepage list of awesome luggage picks you can’t go wrong with. Most people probably know Kenneth Cole as a designer of fashion. Something you may not know is that the Kenneth Cole brand also makes luggage – and pretty good luggage at that. Currently this is the least expensive hard-sided carryon on our top 5 list. A lot of times you can find this case for less than $75!
Similar to the Delsey – this bag is available only in grey or blue. This case is made from ABS plastic which is a little lower quality than the polycarbonate that you’ll find on the Tumis and other higher-end brands. However if you aren’t looking to drop a lot of money on a carryon suitcase, this is what you want to go with.
If you’re looking for more top picks from Kenneth Cole check out our reviews.