With so many choices on the market today, deciding between the best luggage brands can be a challenge. Identifying the best of anything involves personal taste and style, and so it is with luggage.
There are, however, some objective considerations in recommending the best luggage brands, such as design, warranty, and quality of materials, zippers, wheels, and handles. Beyond that, their bags should optimize interior space and offer sizes that meet both traveler needs and airline requirements.
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 permits that expenditure. Therefore, our recommendations for the best luggage brands are based on value as well as quality and design. The list includes luggage in various price ranges, ordered from smallest to greatest 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, Macy's, and Amazon.
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.
Samsonite luggage is retailed at eBags, Zappos, Macy’s and Amazon.
This mid-priced brand, a favorite of flight crews, offers excellent quality, value, and durability. Its claim to fame is that it was invented by an airline pilot who recognized the need for wheeled luggage––and made it work. The popular Maxlite series includes softside and hardside styles in a range of colors, two-wheel rollaboards, and four-wheel spinners. The newer Platinum Elite line, a high-end option, comes with premium fabrics, leather trim, and a “Worry-Free” lifetime warranty.
Travelpro luggage is retailed at Walmart, Amazon, and Zappos.
This rugged luggage line has a casual, outdoorsy vibe with an emphasis on durability and functionality. Tough, weather-resistant coated polyester fabrics, heavy-duty wheels, and puncture-proof lockable zippers make it ready for rough treatment on long trips, and the company backs it up with its “No Matter What” lifetime warranty. Above mid-range in price, the brand also sells practical additions like a key fob with bottle opener and add-a-bag straps.
Eagle Creek luggage is retailed at eBags, Amazon, and Zappos.
Founded in Paris in 1946 as a producer of leather camera cases, Delsey expanded into the luggage business in 1970 with its first hardcase line. It still specializes in hardside bags, creating the first style with one main compartment similar to a softside luggage configuration. The product line also includes stylish and colorful softside bags, garment bags, and duffels. Known for creative innovations, Delsey offers excellent durability and value in the middle price range.
Delsey luggage is retailed at Nordstrom Rack, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s.
Briggs & Riley
Known for its lifetime guarantee, Briggs & Riley has introduced several innovations that make packing easier and more efficient. Outside-mounted hardware provides more interior area, and a flat packing surface ensures fewer wrinkles. Also, the brand’s exclusive CX expansion and compression technology gives you more packing space, and then returns the bag to its original size. Founded in 1993, Briggs & Riley has prices that are a bit higher than mid-range, but the quality and warranty — which applies even in the case of airline wear-and-tear — offer great value.
Briggs & Riley luggage is retailed at Briggs & Riley, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Bloomingdales.
The company that makes the Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox, strives for the same versatility and functionality in its luggage. It offers a variety of styles in hardside and softside luggage at a price point higher than mid-range. Known for quality and durability, the company entered the travel gear market in 1999 and quickly became a popular and respected brand.
Victorinox luggage is retailed at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macy's.
This distinctive luxury brand’s focus is fivefold: quality, durability, style, innovation, and customer service. Above mid-range prices include complimentary monogramming, onsite repairs, lost luggage tracking, and options such as the “add-a-bag” system, which makes it convenient to carry extra items. Tumi’s fashionable luggage and accessories are available in hardside, fine leather, and abrasion-proof ballistic nylon.
Tumi luggage is retailed at Tumi, Nordstrom, and Zappos.
The company’s tagline, “Since 1877,” is a reminder of its history, dating back to the days of brass-trimmed steamship trunks and glamorous railroad travel. Today, Hartmann remains committed to style and quality, along with the latest technology in its Glider line of rolling bags. The Hartmann look is classic and luxe. After all, James Bond carried the Skymate suitcase in 1954’s “Live and Let Die.” Who could be classier than 007?
Hartmann luggage is retailed at eBags, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s.
High-quality materials, reliability, and fashion-forward Italian design make Bric’s a popular brand with frequent fliers. Its luxurious product line uses full-grain leather trim, ultra-light polycarbonate on the hardside pieces, and durable nylon on softside luggage. Prices reflect the expensive materials and design of the products. The high-end Bellagio collection includes decorative and protective leather trim for a classic look.
Bric’s luggage is retailed at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, eBags, and Bloomingdales.
Founded in 1898, Rimowa is recognized for innovation in materials, having created the first aluminum trunk on the market in 1937. The company was also a leader in its use of lightweight and durable polycarbonate materials. Recognizable by its distinctive parallel grooves, premium-class Rimowa luggage is stylish and practical. “Handmade meets high-tech” is the brand’s motto and mission.
Rimowa luggage is retailed at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.
A list of best luggage brands must include this luxury lifestyle brand. After all, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill were past owners of Globe-Trotter luggage, and what endorsement could top that? The company was founded more than 100 years ago in Germany and later moved to the U.K., where it is still located. Handcrafted by skilled artisans, the brand’s impeccable design creates a vintage look with fine leather straps and corner trim. Classic styling and luxurious materials exude wealth and status, with prices to match. If, as they say, money is no object, then Globe-Trotter just might top the list of best luggage brands.
Globe-Trotter luggage is retailed at Matches Fashion
Comparably new to the luggage game, Away has surged in popularity with savvy travelers since its launch in 2015. The brand’s signature polycarbonate luggage comes in an array of colors and sizes — from kids’ carry-on to large checked — and is sold mostly direct-to-consumer in order to offer high-quality materials at an approachable price point. Even the brand’s high-end Aluminum Edition line is priced competitively, with both carry-on sizes under $500. Plus, with a generous no-questions-asked return policy, you can try any suitcase for 100 days. Once you decide to keep it, Away offers a lifetime guarantee to fix or replace damaged bags.
Away luggage is retailed at Away.
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- By Patricia Doherty
- By Rebecca Carhart
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