Discover the Best Travel Bags for Every Adventure You Need

The Textiles Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute evaluates various types of luggage. In the lab, we put each case through its paces by testing its durability, ease of use, abrasion and scratch resistance, water resistance, weight, and size. In order to compare compartments and determine how much each bag can store, we also pack each one with a typical load. To determine the top suitcases of 2023, we tested more than 80 luggage manufacturers in previous years. Here are some lists of best travel bags.

Samsonite has the best luggage overall

Samsonite achieves our top rank as the finest luggage manufacturer. Because it offers a wide selection for all tastes, from business travellers to vacationers, and has consistently outperformed. It stands out in particular for its functionality and dependability. The cases have been easy to open and close, and packing them has been simple thanks to the useful divisions that make the most of the available space. 

The brand’s hardside and softside models performed admirably in our tests. Each size, including carry-ons, checked bags. Travel on luggage should be easy to carry. Some of our favourite models are the Stryde Glyder checked bag. Which makes the case wide instead of long so it’s less likely to topple over, the Freeform hardside carry-on, the Solyte DLX softside carry-on, and the Stryde Freeform carry-on.

American Tourister has the best value luggage

If you’re on a tight budget or don’t travel frequently. Your luggage doesn’t need to be the most robust or equipped with all the bells and whistles. American Tourister offers reasonable prices and a wide selection. If you prefer vibrant colours and playful motifs, there are many variations available, as well as cases for the entire family, including a Disney collection. 

Just keep in mind that American Tourister frequently uses ABS plastic. Which is more reasonably priced but more prone to scratches, whereas luxury hardside cases are normally constructed of polycarbonate. However, internet reviewers give it good marks and mention how surprise spacious the bags are. 

Best Handbag for Carry-On: Away

One of the most well-known brands of luggage available is Away, and our testing demonstrates that it is indeed price-worthy. Despite the brand’s extensive selection of products, we particularly adore the hardside carry-on. It is built entirely of polycarbonate, which in our tests showed to be strong and lightweight—even lighter than other cloth bags we’ve tried. In our assessment, it also accommodated a full packing load and was surprisingly roomy.

Best Bags for Regular Travellers: Hartmann

Although this luxury brand is pricy, its classic designs, including those in tweed and hardside, never go out of style. In actuality, the brand’s marketing and design greatly emphasise its history. Thanks to its roomy inside, which is simple to pack. Its wheels and handles, which make it easy to move around, it has excelled in our testing.

The Vigour, which is offered in three sizes, is one of our most well-tested Hartmann models. It outperformed even more expensive versions and received top ratings across the board. Particularly distinguishing out for being scratch-resistant, light, and spacious. So you know you’re getting a good value for your money.

Best Carrying Case: Calpak

Since baggage is an accessory, style is undoubtedly important, but you shouldn’t compromise on quality and practicality. The cases created by Calpak are well-built and have original designs. Despite having a smaller selection of models than some of the more well-known companies, Calpak nevertheless offers a wide variety of materials, such as stylish hardside polycarbonate.

In a recent review, consumers praised the Ambeur carry-on from Calpak as one of their favourites, praising the user-friendly telescopic handle in particular. We also liked its metallic colour and found it to be simple to pack. However, compared to other others we examined, it wasn’t as scratch-resistant.

Best Luggage Under $100: Amazon Basics

Although nice baggage under $100 is difficult to come by, Amazon’s selection does not let customers down. There are softside and hardside designs available, in addition to garment bags, duffels, and other items. Although it might not be the exact greatest quality available, Amazon also boasts comprehensive testing to ensure it will hold up, and the price is unbeatable.

The hardside spinner carry-on that we most recently examined was incredibly simple to pack, but the ABS material wasn’t as scratch-resistant as other models in our tests. However, testers praised the wheel performance and manoeuvrability. This case is available in three sizes and as a two- or three-piece set.

Best Bags for Long Journeys: L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean’s duffels are spacious enough to fit everything you need, whether you’re leaving for a long trip or simply have a lot to pack. There are many sizes and variations available, both with and without wheels.

The duffel’s flexible design makes it easy to keep under your bed, making it ideal for college students or anybody with limited storage space. Additionally, it is constructed from a durable, water-resistant nylon fabric that will last wherever your best travel bags take you; in fact, one of our experts claims that it has lasted for years without showing any signs of wear.

Briggs & Riley is the best travel bags brand for international travel

A carry-on Briggs & Riley bag can cost over $600, but the company offers a lifetime warranty that will pay for any repairs needed if the luggage is ever broken or damaged. They also have cutting-edge features, like the compression packing technology that is unique to the brand.

This feature allows bags to expand while you pack and then contract once they are full. In fact, one of our testers reported that she was able to fit a week’s worth of summer clothing for two people into a small carry-on that could fit in the overhead compartment of an aeroplane.

The luggage also has first-rate building techniques and classic styling in a variety of types, including hardside, softside, carry-ons, and checked bags.

Eagle Creek has the best travel bags for adventurous travel

Eagle Creek offers you the comfort and durability you need in a bag, whether you’re travelling abroad or exploring a national park. Some allow you to keep organised by having numerous sections.

For shorter excursions, we especially prefer the Cargo Hauler Duffel because it’s inexpensive, roomy, lightweight, and folds up into a little pouch for convenience. The Migrate Wheeled Duffel is larger, has two wheels, and a telescoping handle for longer excursions. Additionally, the large opening makes it simple to retrieve the contents.For shorter excursions, we especially prefer the Cargo Hauler Duffel because it’s inexpensive, roomy, lightweight, and folds up into a little pouch for convenience. The Migrate Wheeled Duffel is larger, has two wheels, and a telescoping handle for longer excursions. Additionally, the large opening makes it simple to retrieve the contents.

TravelPro has the best luggage for flight crews

This business, which manufactures luggage exclusively for airline employees who fly for a living, was created by a pilot. However, it still serves the same purpose for both business and pleasure travellers. Though it does provide some hardside alternatives, the brand predominantly sells best travel bags. Abrasion-resistant nylon fabric, self-aligning wheels that enable you roll the luggage in any direction, and exceptional attention to detail all contribute to making regular travel easier.

In our lab tests, the Platinum Elite softside baggage in particular stood out. It was not just incredibly strong but also very roomy, holding our whole load with room to spare. The drawback was that it was heavier than other options, but it was a reasonable trade-off for the best features.

Best Hardside Luggage for the Money: Open Story

This Target-exclusive brand sells high-performing polycarbonate luggage for less money than its rivals, despite the fact that 100% polycarbonate hardside cases can cost several hundred dollars. In our assessment, we found the carry-on size to be lightweight, roomy, and equipped with many sections to help you stay organised. It costs only $170.

These luggage received good marks for being simple to use from testers who also enjoyed using them. The telescopic handle’s lack of comfort was the only drawback they pointed up, yet it still outperformed hundreds of models in our performance testing.

Rimowa has the best classic hardside luggage

Since the invention of the first polycarbonate suitcase in 2000, Rimowa has been at the forefront of luggage material innovation. Only hardside luggage is produced, but there are numerous collections to choose from, starting with the Essential Lite, which is the lightest and least expensive, and going all the way up to the Original, which is constructed of sturdy aluminium and features nifty packing compartments.

The brand’s polycarbonate spinner was among the best in our test based on its weight, packing space, durability, and manoeuvrability, despite the fact that the lowest case costs over $600. Prior to purchasing, take careful to inspect the case’s handles to make sure they meet your needs.

Monos has the best minimalist bags

According to Monos, its design ethos is “less is more,” which means the bags are created to be high quality, ageless, and simple in order to avoid passing trends. While some of its hardside bags blend polycarbonate and aluminium for added durability, the majority of them are made entirely of polycarbonate.

GH’s 2023 Family best travel bags Awards recognised The Check-In Large as a winner for its incredibly roomy interior and manoeuvrability. The smooth appearance and ease of rolling were also praised by testers.

The best luggage is Heys

This brand ups the entertainment value and makes it simpler to find your bags amid a sea of solid hues. There are lovely animal luggage sets for children as well as animal patterns for adults. Additionally, there are alternatives for authorised teams and artwork, turning your suitcase into a colourful yet useful accessory.

The majority of Heys luggage is comprised of hardside polycarbonate and ABS composite materials. This indicates that it is mostly made of ABS plastic with a polycarbonate outside coating for enhanced protection. Despite not being the most durable brand in our tests, it received top marks for usability.

How we examine bags

In the Textiles Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute, we test luggage using a combination of our own proprietary test procedures, specialised machinery, and a consumer tester obstacle course. We inspect each piece of luggage for the following things:

Size, weight, and packing convenience

The case is weighed empty (It doesn’t always match the reported weight in the internet description! ), and then we make sure that it complies with standard airline measurement requirements. We also consider the accessibility and practicality of the packing sections as well as how simple it is to open and close the zippers.

Packing power

We rate the cases based on how much they can contain using a usual load, such as clothing, accessories, and toiletries for a three-day, two-night trip with carry-on luggage.

Falls testing

Our specialised machine lowers the luggage from a height of three feet, and analysts inspect it for damage. To simulate actual use, the suitcase is regularly dumped from various angles while being filled with a normal weight.

Additional characteristics

We check the luggage for any additional features that make it noteworthy, such as side handles that make it simple to lower and lift, built-in locks, a telescopic handle with numerous height settings, and more.

Tests for water, scratch, and abrasion resistance

Using lab apparatus, we conduct abrasion tests on softside luggage (seen above) and scratch tests on hardside baggage to evaluate the exterior’s resilience. We then pour water onto the case and measure how much seeps through to the inside while placing blotting paper on the interior of the zipper.

More shopping advice for luggage

In addition to the content, take into account your travel style, duration, and any particular requirements while thinking about these aspects:

Size: Do you need a checked best travel bags that can accommodate more of your load or a carry-on size that you can bring onboard an aeroplane? Even after selecting one of these categories, there can be more than one size offered in each. Even if there is more room within a larger luggage, it will weigh more and require more storage.

Weight: Although extra features like wheels and handles might add weight, hardside luggage isn’t usually heavier than softside luggage. A bigger bag can add to the difficulty of carrying while travelling in addition to airline weight restrictions.

Wheels:  two wheels, or four wheels are your available options. The simplest luggage to handle is four wheels because you can tip it back and use it as a two-wheeler in addition to being able to push, pull, and move it in all directions.

Handles: The telescoping handle should be comfortable to hold and easy to raise and lower, especially for best travel bags carrying a hefty load. Consider side handles if you’ll be lifting and lowering the luggage throughout your journey, especially if it’s carry-on.

Think on if you prefer a vast open area that can hold a lot of stuff or smaller compartments that will help you stay organised. Some bags additionally have outer pockets for convenience, but this may reduce the amount of interior packing room.

Why do you believe Good Housekeeping?

The Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute is directed by Lexie Sachs. She has been testing best travel bags manufacturers during her personal travels for the past ten years.

Emma Seymour, a senior textile analyst, oversaw the most recent luggage trials. She conducted practical assessments and organised customer feedback for both our obstacle course trials and actual travel trials. Along with testing and writing about various travel accessories, Emma also reviews packing cubes, travel dresses, and travel backpacks.

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