No matter how often or why you’re traveling, you’ll need a suitcase that suits your needs. It has to be spacious enough to hold all your stuff, light enough to carry around, and durable enough to last year after year.
The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Textile Lab tests luggage of all kinds, from carry-ons, to checked bags, and more. We evaluate in them in the Lab by measuring things like abrasion and scratch resistance, water resistance, weight and size, ease of use, and durability in our drop tests. We also perform packing tests to compare compartments and see how much each can hold. Then we bring in consumer testers to use the luggage in an obstacle course and give feedback on aspects like handle comfort, wheel performance, and maneuverability.
One thing we’re always asked: Is soft or hardside luggage better? The answer: It’s a personal preference. For hard shell luggage, we recommend going with polycarbonate because it’s both durable and lightweight. Aluminum is heavier and ABS plastic is less durable. For softer fabric luggage that’s more flexible to stuff into tight spaces (e.g. car trunks or overhead bins), nylon’s your best bet because it’s strong and water resistant.
After combing through the past 10 years of test data and researching new styles, we’ve selected the best luggage brands based on top-performing cases from our tests, our expert favorites that we use when we travel, and newer styles with unique features. Read on to learn more about our top picks, but in summary the best luggage brands to shop in 2020 are:
Best Overall Luggage: AwayBest Value Luggage: Open StoryBest Under-$100 Luggage: AmazonBasics
Best Luggage for Families: Thule
Best Luggage for Long Trips: L.L.Bean
Best Luggage for Frequent Flyers: Hartmann
Best Luggage for Infrequent Flyers: American Tourister
Best Luggage for Business Travel: Samsonite
Best Luggage for Adventure Travel: Eagle Creek
Best Luggage for Flight Crews: TravelPro
Best Luxury Luggage: Bric’s
Best Classic Hardside Luggage: RimowaBest Printed Luggage: Heys
Best Customer Service: TumiBest Overall Luggage: Away Luggage
This direct-to-consumer brand makes suitcase shopping a whole lot easier: It offers a top-quality bag in a variety of sizes and colors. The luggage is made of 100% polycarbonate, so it’s durable yet lightweight — even lighter than some fabric bags we’ve tested. It’s also surprisingly spacious and has an easily removable battery so you can charge your phone or other devices, while still complying with airline regulations. The company offers a 100-day any-reason return policy, so you can send it back for a refund even after you’ve used it.Best Value Luggage: Open Story
Target’s new luggage brand gives you top-quality hardside materials and a lower cost than its competitors. The carry-on size is just $150 and is lightweight, spacious, and has lots of compartments to keep you organized. It even comes with a detachable laundry bag and a USB port in case you want to add a battery to charge on the go. The checked size is $180, and both sizes have polycarbonate shells and come in nine different colors.
Price is also a consideration. One could spend thousands of dollars on a piece of luggage that might be the best on the market, but not everyone’s budget would permit that expenditure on a suitcase. Therefore, our recommendations for best luggage brands are based on value as well as quality and design.
The list includes luggage in various price ranges, ordered from low to high investment, with an emphasis on durability, style, and function.
These are the best luggage brands for every budget:
- American Tourister
- Eagle Creek
- Briggs & Riley
For good quality at lower- to mid-range prices, American Tourister could be considered the best luggage brand for practical vacationers who may not travel frequently enough to demand extremely durable or luxurious luggage. Owned by Samsonite, this widely available and dependable brand includes softside and hardside luggage in a variety of bold colors and finishes, including bags for kids (and adults!) featuring favorite Disney and Marvel Comics characters.
American Tourister luggage is retailed at eBags, Walmart, and Macy’s
One of the best-known luggage brands, Samsonite began more than 100 years ago as a trunk manufacturer. Its wide range of products includes hardside and softside bags, garment bags, backpacks, and travel accessories. Four-wheeled spinners and gliders, with their lower center of gravity, are also included in their product line. Sold in the low-to-middle price range, Samsonite products offer durability, style, and value.
ounded in New York in 2015, Away is one of the highest funded female-backed startups and despite its relative newness, has been making major waves on the international luggage scene. There are two main concepts behind its success, the first being its direct-to-consumer sales approach, which reduces mark-ups to keep costs relatively low. The second is its simplicity: the brand essentially sells one main product – a stylish hardshell suitcase that comes in 10 colors and four sizes.
The sizes range from The Carry-On to The Large and each one is made from lightweight polycarbonate with an interior compression system, a removable laundry bag, a TSA-approved lock, and four spinner wheels. Away also makes a carry-on for kids, a carry-on with a nylon front pocket, and various accessories including a daypack and garment bag. A benefit of buying from this brand is that it actively supports Peace Direct, a charity that helps build peace in global conflict areas.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Samsonite
Respected luggage brand Samsonite was founded in Denver in 1910 and has been at the forefront of the industry ever since. It’s known for delivering durability and style at an affordable price – allowing you to save money without sacrificing quality. Whether you prefer softshell or hardshell suitcases, Samsonite offers both in a full range of sizes, styles, and colors. Most of their carry-on and checked bags feature four spinner wheels for easy maneuverability. Matching luggage sets are also available.
Despite being over 100 years old, the brand remains current with new technology such as built-in USB charger pockets for their carry-on cases. Patented innovations include GeoTrakR (which provides real-time luggage location via your smartphone) and Curv (an extra light, extra strong hardshell material that reduces your overall luggage weight considerably). Softshell suitcases are treated with SamGuard to protect them from oil, dirt, and water, keeping them looking new for longer. The brand also sells backpacks, duffels, and laptop bags.
This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.
Luggage talk can read like foreign language. Try visiting a travel bag specialty shop and chances are, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by terms you’ve never heard of before.
So if you are about to explore or even just browse through travel luggage, be ready to journey into an entirely different universe. Styles are referred to in more than a dozen ways. Same goes for the type of casings. Even details as basic as the handles or the kind of wheels command an entire lexicon of its own.
And while firsthand experience will always be the best measure for discovering which brand, size, and style will suit you most, you can begin your search with this roundup of the best tried-and-tested brands.
e know there are lots of luggage brands…lots of them! But what are the top 10 luggage brands in the world?
A lot of this comes down to styling and what you like. However, there are brands that tick most people’s boxes when you consider build quality, durability and aesthetics as well as style. Other factors also come into consideration like technology, materials and space.
One of the biggest considerations is price. Some pieces of luggage can cost thousands of dollars. Obviously, this is beyond the reach of most people, so the list below only includes brands that have ‘affordable’ ranges.
I have done the legwork for you and narrowed the top 10 luggage brands in the world. As always, it is worth reading actual user reviews on places like Amazon where the real picture emerges rather than marketing spin.
So, what are the best luggage brands? Let’s have a look…
Summary… Top 10 luggage brands in the world
- American Tourister
- Briggs & Riley
- London Fog