Best Checked Luggage Review Guide For 2023-2024
Best Checked Luggage Review Guide For 2023-2024 – I love almost everything about traveling — that includes hanging out in the airport. Yep, you read that correctly. Long lines, hectic check-ins, overstuffed airplanes — they don’t really bother me because I’m usually giddy about getting away. But I do dislike packing.
Mostly that’s because I can’t decide what to bring. But sometimes it’s because of my suitcase. I admit that I’ve been embarrassed once or twice at the baggage carousel by stepping up and pulling off that suitcase. I’ve also cursed out a suitcase several times — once when I was zig-zagging through crowds at Heathrow desperately trying to catch my flight home and one wheel snapped right off.
There are, of course, many other things that can go awry with your luggage. Sometimes the airline misplaces it, or the zipper breaks as you are headed out the door, or you arrive home to find that your carefully-wrapped souvenirs have been smashed to smithereens. And who among us hasn’t, at some point, wondered if your non-locking suitcase was rifled through — did I leave that new scarf in the hotel room or did someone take it?
Buying the right piece of luggage can help eliminate, or at least lessen, the chance that you will encounter many of these problems. There are thousands of different brands and styles of luggage to choose from. No one suitcase is right for everybody. It depends on many factors including how frequently you travel, what you are packing, and your budget.
We’ve done all the research to find the best pieces of checked luggage you can buy for long-haul trips where even the best carry-on bag just doesn’t cut it. Keep reading our Best Checked Luggage Review Guide For 2023-2024 to find out even more.
Best Checked Luggage Buyers Guide For 2023-2024
What to look for in a good piece of luggage
These are two factors that are, by far, the most important when buying a suitcase: wheel-ability and durability. With that in mind, here are some of the most important things to consider before purchasing a new piece of luggage:
Two wheels or four wheels?
Many travelers assume that luggage with four wheels that can turn 360-degrees is clearly the best option. After all, you can push and pull your suitcase in virtually any direction. So, what’s the downside? There are a few. First, the luggage can more easily roll away if you find yourself on even a minor incline. In addition, the wheels on four-wheelers are usually externally attached, meaning that they are more liable to break off than their two-wheel counterparts.
Hard or Soft?
Hard luggage has many benefits. First, it clearly protects fragile items better. Hard luggage is also sturdier and more theft-proof because it can’t easily rip or be slashed open with a knife or other tool. It’s often rain-proof, too. ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) is the lightest and cheapest kind of plastic used for the outside of hard suitcases, while polycarbonate is a little more expensive, but much more durable. Aluminum is the most durable shell material, but it is also the heaviest. One downside of hard-shelled suitcases is the fact that they get scuffed up fairly quickly. They’re also unforgiving if you need to squeeze them into a compartment on a plane (or store them in a small apartment, for that matter).
Materials and durability:
If you want to opt for a soft-sided piece of luggage, there are still many materials to choose from. Polyester is the cheapest choice. Ballistic nylon is durable and easy to clean. Cordura nylon is both softer and lighter than ballistic nylon. It also takes dye better, so if you’re looking for a brightly-colored bag this is the ideal choice. If durability is your main concern, make sure to check the denier rating which indicates the fiber thickness of the fabric. The higher the number, the thicker the fabric. Most experts suggest that you buy something in the 500-2,000 denier range for checked luggage that will be used fairly frequently.
Weight and size:
Weight is also a concern when buying a new suitcase. Not only are many travelers concerned about having to wheel a heavy suitcase around the airport, as well as city streets, but most domestic and international airlines have imposed a weight limit of 50 pounds for checked bags.
The best hard case
The Delsey Helium Aero 25-inch Luggage is an affordably-priced, hard-shell standout that’s constructed with high-end materials.
The Delsey Helium Aero 25-inch Luggage is a highly rated suitcase, made by the respected French company Delsey. It is constructed out of 100 percent lightweight polycarbonate with a glossy finish. To be clear: most luggage in this price range is made of a flimsier ABS-polycarbonate blend.
Available in five colors, including black, titanium, and plum; this luggage relies on four twin spinner wheels that roll in all directions and put no weight on your hands. The sturdy, ergonomic comfort grip handle is composed of industrial-grade aluminum and snaps up and down with the push of a button.
The simple interior has two basic compartments: one with straps to secure your clothes, and another with a mesh bag ideal for laundry. A zipper-based expansion system can provide an extra two inches of packing space. Finally, the three-dial combination lock, approved by the TSA, keeps your belongings safe.
- Lightweight and Durable: Made of 100% Polycarbonate, which is a material that is extremely resilient to cracking or breaking, with a deep metallic finish
- 25×17.5 x11.5 inches
- Largest Capacity: This suitcase expands up to 2 inches for additional packing space. This feature is great for packing sovenirs on return journeys.
- Maximum Comfort: This carry on bag has a comfortable handle system that locks into two positions for ease of use.
- Convenient and Secure Packing: Two large fully-lined compartments with multiple pockets allow easy access and organization for all of your items. Web straps and a zippered divider secure clothing and help minimize wrinkles.
- 100% polycarbonate with glossy finish which makes the case extremely lightweight
- Four twin spinner wheels assuring multi-directional rolling and optional stability with zero weight on your hand
- Lightweight, durable, affordable, dent-resistant
- Easily shows dirt/dust, hard-to-read numbers on the wheel locks
The best overall
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Rollaboard 26-inch Luggage is lightweight, affordable, and the top choice for the airline pros.
Travelpro invented rolling luggage when founder and pilot Bob Plath got tired of carrying his bags through busy airports. The company has been well-known for innovation ever since. The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Rollaboard 26-inch Luggage may not be the snazziest piece of luggage on the baggage carousel, but this durable, easy-to-use polyester piece is lightweight at 5.6 pounds and very affordable compared to similar options.
The two high performance, ball-bearing in-line wheels, with protective crash guards last a long time and help you navigate many surfaces. The expandable handle has two stops: 38-inches and an extra-tall 42.5-inches, so you can roll it along at any height. Unzipping hidden compartments expands the storage space to suit your needs.
The Maxlite 5 has a limited lifetime warranty, so you should be covered if anything happens to your bag. The fact that this bag is lightweight and simple, yet sturdy is a major perk.
- A half pound lighter than the maxlite 4 version, this expandable 26 inches Rollaboard suitcase with lightweight yet durable honeycomb frame system lets you pack more with less weight; Polyester fabric with stain resistant, water repellant duraguard coating and ergonomic, high tensile strength zipper pulls provide lasting durability
- High performance ball bearing wheels and lightweight yet sturdy powerScope Lite handle with stops at 38 inches and 42.5 inches reduce wobble and ensure a smooth, easy roll
- Expands upto 2 inches to maximize packing capacity with tapered shape to prevent tipping; Features low profile top, side and bottom carry handles, 2 exterior compartments, full length interior lid pocket, side accessory pocket and adjustable hold down straps for packing convenience and flexibility
- Limited lifetime coverage plus trusted companion promise, which covers the cost of repair for damage from airline or other common carrier for 1 years; H20 Guard protects the interior lining from moisture
- Case Dimensions: 26×18.5×11, Overall dimension: 28 x 19 x 11 inches
- Volume: 100 litre
- Very affordable, lightweight, durable, easy to maneuver
- No interior pockets, only one exterior pocket
The best duffel bag with wheels
The Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 110L/34″ is a sturdy, lightweight duffel on wheels with lots of storage to ensure that all your gear gets to your next adventure spot in great shape.
The Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 32 was our previous pick, but it’s being phased out. Fortunately, we didn’t have to look far for a replacement, since Eagle Creek has the 34-inch version of the Gear Warrior, which offers the same features but with a slightly larger capacity.
The Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 110L/34″ is an oversized, wheeled duffel bag that uses high-strength, ripstop nylon material that is both water and abrasion-resistant, as well as 1000D Cordura and 210D nylon for added robustness. It easily withstands rough weather and rough handling.
The treaded wheels mean you can roll the bag over any type of surface. Multiple handles give you plenty of options for carrying this lightweight bag, while lockable zippers make sure your gear stays safe. The telescoping handle is designed for strength and to resist wobbling.
There are multiple compartments for packing, both inside and out. A tethered zip-away strap on the outside holds gear like helmets.
The Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 110L/34″ is covered by Eagle Creek’s legendary “No Matter What Warranty,” which promises lifetime repair or replacement due to product failure, regardless of the cause.
Another bag we considered is the TLS Mother Lode 29″ Wheeled Duffel from eBags. Having tried other Mother Lode bags, we like the quality and the customer service eBags offers. The two-compartment design lets you sort your gear accordingly, and separate openings allow you to access only what you need. We also like the movable dividers for sorting clothes. The compression-molded bottom keeps the bag rugged, and it can stand upright on its own, but we ultimately stuck with the Eagle Creek for its more durable nylon construction that’s weather-resistant.
- Nylon lining
- GEAR WARRIOR WHEELED DUFFEL – Organized and fully off-road capable, how far you travel should never be restricted by the luggage you choose; Bag Dimensions: 15.5 x 26 x 11 in
- EXPANDABLE SPACE – Since we never know what we might bring home from our adventures, an expansion zipper available when extra capacity is needed. Expended dimensions: 15.5 x 26 x 12.25 in
- DETAILS MATTER – Equipment Keeper holds and secures jackets and readily accessible gear to the top of the bag, and the attached Porter Key bottle opener enables you to enjoy a cold one while on your adventures
- ECO-CONSCIOUS TRAVEL GEAR – Luggage made from sustainable fabrics including 100% recycled PET ripstop & recycled coating on durable back fabric with a laminated exoskeleton to reinforce high-wear areas
- NO MATTER WHAT WARRANTY – Eagle Creek’s Warranty covers the Lifetime Warranty promise plus the added insurance of repair or replacement due to product failure during the product lifetime, regardless of the cause
- Lightweight, highly durable, spacious, many packing features
- NO MATTER WHAT WARRANTY
- Plastic buckles are somewhat flimsy
The best for versatility
The Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel can be a backpack, a rolling suitcase, or a duffel bag to suit your needs.
If you’re the kind of traveler who looks for versatility in a checked bag, look no further than the Timbuk2 Quest Rolling Duffel. It looks like a normal roller bag at first glance, but with its many handles, you can carry it as a duffel bag or wear it as a backpack, too.
The bag’s versatility is perfect for those moments when you have to carry your bag upstairs instead of wheeling it around or you feel like it’s a pain to navigate through a crowded airport with it rolling along behind you.
Conversely, if the Quest starts getting too heavy to carry as a backpack or duffel, it’s super easy to unzip the special pocket that hides the telescoping handle. At first, it may be a bit hard to get the handle to extend all the way. I had some trouble with it initially, but it loosened up after a while. The two wheels are great — they spin like rollerblade wheels and they won’t break easily.
Since it has a duffel bag shape, the Quest is very spacious inside. You can fit enough clothes and gear for a long trip and still have space for an extra pair of shoes. The bag is very well made and the material on the outside is super strong. You won’t rip this bag easily.
Timbuk2 also has a lifetime warranty on its products, so if something should go awry, you’re covered. However, given how sturdy this bag is, I doubt it will.
- THE QUEST ROLLING DUFFEL: A duffel you can wear and roll
- KEEP IT ORGANIZED: Multiple external pockets sized to fit all your travel accessories; Large floating pocket for shoes or toiletries; Internal mesh wall pocket helps keep things in place
- CLEVER EXTRAS: This luggage roller features double-pole handle system; Hidden handle for easy use as roller; Smooth rolling wheels for easy pulling over any surface; Reinforced grab handles on all sides for an easy heave-ho
- MATERIALS & FIT: Reinforced bottom to extend durability; Handle straps to carry as a Duffel; Main body material is rugged 420D Ripstop Nylon
- LIFETIME WARRANTY: Timbuk2 stands behind the legendary quality and craftsmanship of all our products; We also embrace the wild, twisty ways of life; If there is a defect in the materials or workmanship we will repair the bag at our discretion for the lifetime of the product
- Good size, versatile design, sturdy wheels, lots of compartments
- Telescoping pole sticks sometimes
The best splurge
The Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Expandable Spinner Luggage (28 inch) is well crafted, expands to suit your needs, and boasts a lifetime guarantee.
The Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Expandable Spinner Luggage is one of the best checked bags you can have with you on your many trips around the globe. The shell on this sturdy bag has a unique composition of 95 percent nylon, three percent aluminum, and two percent rubber. But it is the ballistic nylon that keeps it moisture and dirt-free.
Four durable double swivel wheels make it easy to navigate the bag anywhere, no matter how much you have packed into it, and you can pack a lot. The huge interior is perfect for long trips. The company’s patented CX expansion-compression technology increases the space inside the luggage up to 26 percent by simply pulling on a lever. One push will compress the suitcase back down to its original size.
Briggs & Riley, a Long Island, New York-based company founded in 1993, is well-known for its “Simple as That” lifetime guarantee. Not only will the company repair your bag free of charge if it is ever broken or damaged, but it will do so even if the problem was caused by an airline. You don’t have to show proof of purchase or even that you are the bag’s original owner.
- EASY PACKING: Patented CX system; Bag expands 2.5 inches for up to 25% more packing space; Pack for an extra day or two and compress down to carry-on size; Includes garment carrier, wide garment compression straps to securing contents, preventing wrinkles
- HIGHEST RATED LUGGAGE W/ LIFETIME WARRANTY: Top rated by Consumer Reports reader survey, top rated premium luggage by WireCutter/New York Times; If your bag is ever broken or damaged, even by an airline, Briggs & Riley will repair it for free
- HIGH PERFORMANCE LUGGAGE: 1680D ballistic nylon outer fabric, high-grade rubber spinner wheels, aircraft-grade aluminum telescoping Outsider handle with 4 stop heights; Strong hybrid fiberglass frame. Reinforced corner guards, self repairing YKK zippers
- FREE TSA LOCK INCLUDED: Lockable double zipper pulls keep contents secure, TSA-friendly lock allows agents to inspect your bag without damage to lock; Large #10 YKK zippers with nylon zipper teeth are tamper resistant; Self-repairable zipper pull tab
- DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY: 28 Inches H x 20 Inches W x 11 Inches D. Expands to 13.5 inches deep. 5100 – 6375 cubic inches capacity. Weighs 11.9 lbs. (dims include wheels and handles)
- Very sturdy, user-friendly and unique features, lifetime warranty
- Expensive, heavy
We hope you found our Best Checked Luggage Review Guide For 2023-2024 helpful.