The 11 Best Affordable Luggage Pieces of 2023

These are our favorite suitcases and bags that aren’t astronomical in price.

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Best Affordable Luggage Pieces of 2023

Amazon, Walmart

Narrowing in on the perfect suitcase can be intimidating with thousands of options on the market. If you're anything like us, you want luggage that's practical, good quality, and not astronomical in price. So, whether you're planning a quick weekend getaway or an extended international trip, we've evaluated various options from hardside to softside and underseat to checked that'll suit all travel requirements. 

Our top pick is the lightweight Travelpro Maxlite Air 21-inch Hardside Carry-on which appears far more costly than it is, and is packed with zippered compartments inside a spacious interior. But, if you’re looking for something smaller, larger, or a full set instead, we assembled a list of the best affordable bags that cater to various preferences and needs from kid-friendly finds to built-in organization galore.

Best Overall

Travelpro Maxlite Air Carry-on Expandable Hardside Spinner

Travelpro Maxlite Air Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner


Why We Love It: Its spacious interior and zippered compartments make organizing clothes and accessories a breeze.

What to Consider: The side handle is tight, making it hard to slip your fingers underneath. 

Baggage that glides smoothly through airports, train stations, and more is a must in our book, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Not only is Travelpro our top tested luggage brand, the Travelpro Maxlite Air is a prime example of quality luggage that will last. Both halves of the suitcase are fully zippered compartments (to keep things sorted and secure), plus there is an additional accessory pocket inside as well. 

Lightweight and spacious, this 21-inch bag will hold a fair amount of clothing and shoes so you can avoid the hassle of checking in luggage and waiting for (what feels like) forever at baggage claim. Its eight spinner wheels roll easily over carpets and bumpy surfaces, making it a safe bet to take anywhere. Pick it up in one of several sleek color options, including orchid, slate, and champagne. 

Price at time of publish: $170

The Details: 23 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches | 6.3 pounds | Expandable | Lifetime limited warranty | Hardside | 8 wheels

Best Hardside

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Carry-on

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Carry-on Spinner


Why We Love It: Its lightweight design is easier to lift into an overhead bin than bags that start off heavy when empty. 

What to Consider: You may want to pull this bag behind you as the slightly smaller wheels can be difficult to maneuver. 

This Samsonite suitcase is made of a micro-diamond polycarbonate material that’s durable and scratch-resistant, so it can handle any bump that comes its way (and we tested that out with baseball bats in our lab, too). Inside the bag, one half features cross straps while the other has a zippered compartment, and the whole thing closes up with built-in TSA locks on the side. We did find it easier to roll on two wheels than four due to its smaller wheels, but don’t worry, it can still get around airports without an issue. 

Price at time of publish: $150

The Details: 22 x 15 x 9.5 inches | 6.81 pounds | Expandable | 10-year limited warranty | Hardside | 4 wheels

Best Softside

SwissTech Executive 29-Inch Softside Luggage

SwissTech Executive 29" 8-Wheel Softside Luggage, Black


Why We Love It: This spacious softside bag is easy to pack full and expands for an additional 2 inches.

What to Consider: It’s very standard looking and doesn’t come in a wide range of color options.

If softside luggage sounds delicate to you, let us introduce you to a bag that’s been tested and proven to withstand frequent travel. This SwissTech carry-on offers ample storage capacity and functional compartments, so you can pack it to the brim. We picked this as our top softside suitcase even after pushing it off a table and hitting it with a bat and are confident that its textile exterior is sturdy enough to withstand travel. Add in the eight spinner wheels and locking telescopic handle, and you’ll get an easy-to-maneuver suitcase you can take it anywhere — with added security of a 15-year warranty, too.

Price at time of publish: $129

The Details: 32 x 19.5 x 12.5 inches | 10.9 pounds | Expandable | Limited 15-year warranty | Softside | 8 wheels

Best Carry-on

Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner

Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner


Why We Love It: For under $100, this carry-on still maneuvers smoothly over bumps and has a durable scratch-resistant shell. 

What to Consider: There are no built in smart features or a combination lock.

Amazon Basics’ carry-on suitcase will quickly become your new favorite piece of luggage when looking for high quality at a lower price. Why you may ask? For starters, its hardside exterior delivers maximum protection for belongings and even easily passed our in-house durability test.

This bag has a helpful expandable feature so you can squeeze souvenirs and gifts inside for a trip back home, and also has three smaller zippered pockets inside as well. In addition, the four spinner wheels maneuver like a charm over carpets, making navigating through airports and hotel lobbies easy-peasy.

Price at time of publish: $90

The Details: 22 x 15 x 10 inches | 6.3 pounds | Expandable | Hardside | 4 spinner wheels

Best Checked

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 28-Inch Hardside Suitcase

Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 28-Inch Hardside Suitcase


Why We Love It: It’s both stylish and spacious, and can fit a week’s worth of clothing.

What to Consider: This suitcase is not scratch-resistant, which may impact its looks after a few trips.

If the looks of this sleek checked bag don't catch your eye, its key features will. We found the interior more than spacious enough to store a week's worth of clothes — and then some. For a price that’s less than many carry-ons, this spacious suitcase includes a zippered side panel, elastic compression straps, and even a separate accessory pocket. 

Regardless of where you take it, the suitcase has a push-button retractable handle for convenience, and we liked how the wheels swiveled over various terrains. But that's not all as it even has four corner guards to keep belongings extra safe, and comes in bold colors like magenta, cobalt, and kelly green. 

Price at time of publish: $130

The Details: 29.8 x 20.5 x 11.75 inches | 9.6 pounds | 10-year limited warranty | Hardside | 4 wheels

Best Set

Coolife Luggage Expandable 3-piece set

Coolife Luggage Expandable 3-piece set


Why We Love It: The three-piece set features a carry-on and two checked bags that cover the bases for traveling. 

What to Consider: Only the large size is expandable, which is worth noting if you prefer all of your luggage to have this option. 

If you're looking for a good luggage set, consider your search complete as this Coolife trio is an excellent find. Made of a lightweight-yet-durable material, the carry-on, medium checked bag, and large checked bag are the perfect sizes for almost every trip. The impact-resistant hardshell and molded corner guards on all three will keep your luggage intact even in the roughest conditions. Plus, the set's TSA-approved locks add an added layer of security, allowing authorized agents to open and inspect your bags (without damaging the lock or bag). Finally, with high-quality double-spinner wheels, this luggage set offers smooth maneuverability for all your adventures.

Price at time of publish: $170 for 3

The Details: 15.4 x 8.7x 22.4 inches (small), 17.3 x 9.8 x 26.4 inches (medium), 20.1 x 11. x 30.3 inches (large) | 6.1 pounds (small), 8.1 pounds (medium), 10.8 pounds (large) | 38 liters (small), 60 liters (medium), 94 liters (large) | Expandable | 2-year warranty | Hardside | 4 wheels

Best Weekender

HYC00 Travel Duffel Bag

Travel Duffel Bag


Why We Love It: It has both a shoulder strap and tote handle for versatility and comfort. 

What to Consider: It’s on the smaller side, making it better suited for a weekend trip.

The HYC00 duffle bag has all the space you need for an overnight or long weekend journey. Open it up, and you’ll find multiple compartments to organize your belongings. In fact, we found its interior to be big enough to hold a few pairs of pants, shoes, shirts, and even a toiletry bag.

In total, this duffle includes three pockets on the inside, as well as a wet bag pocket for traveling with a swimsuit and a front zippered pocket for easy access on the go. It also has two buckles on each end for compressing or extending the bag (which comes in handy depending on how full you want to pack it). Plus, its stylish design definitely doesn’t hurt, nor does the choice of more than 20 colors. 

Price at time of publish: $32

The Details: 21.7 x 10.6 x 7.09 inches | 1.3 pounds | 30 liters | Softside

Best Underseat

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage

Calpak Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage


Why We Love It: This bag might look small, but it’s actually large enough to hold multiple outfits.

What to Consider: It doesn’t have a separate exterior pocket so you’ll need to fully unzip the bag to access your items.

When it comes to the best underseat bag, the Hue Mini Carry-on from Calpak is hard to beat. Its small size hits the sweet spot of convenience and storage, as it can fit under the seat in front of you while still holding a few of your favorite outfits. It even has a dedicated laptop sleeve inside for those who like to work on the go. 

We love its modern silhouette, which comes in multiple color options, but did wish it had an outer pocket for easy access to important documents. But, with four spinner wheels and a TSA-approved lock, the price is more than fair for the quality, features, and durability. 

Price at time of publish: $165

The Details: 16 x 14 x 8 inches | 6 pounds | 29 liters | 2-year limited warranty | Hardside | 4 wheels

Best Organization

TydeCkare 20-inch Carry-on With Front Zipper Pocket

TydeCkare 20-inch Carry-on With Front Zipper Pocket


Why We Love It: It has a front pocket that’s great for holding laptops, tablets, and other electronics.
What to Consider: This suitcase doesn’t open like a clamshell if you like having two equal-sized sections when packing.

If staying organized on the go is your top priority, prepare for this TydeCkare carry-on to become your go-to travel bag. Its front pocket allows easy access to electronics like tablets and laptops, and its mesh dividers, cross straps, and waterproof case give you plenty of multifunctional storage options (like keeping wet items separated from clean, dry clothes). Coming in several colors including wine red and ice blue, its thick PC+ABS (polycarbonate and acrylonitrile butadiene) material is scratch-resistant to help this suitcase stay looking pristine, even after dozens of trips. 

Price at time of publish: $113

The Details: 14.57 x 10.03 x 22.04 inches | 7.93 pounds | 45 liters | 2-year warranty | Hardside | 4 wheels

Most Durable

Coolife ABS+PC Spinner Trolley

Coolife ABS+PC Spinner Trolley


Why We Love It: Its durable and slightly flexible design can withstand bumps and rough handling. 

What to Consider: This carry-on doesn’t handle corners well on two wheels.

The Coolife carry-on is a rugged-yet-lightweight luggage option that proved its worth in our lab with zero visible damage after our various tests, including repeated bat hits and drops off multiple surfaces. We believe its thermoplastic blend of ABS+PC gives it durability that can withstand many impacts and bumps from rough luggage handling and beyond as well.

The double TSA lock adds extra security, so you can rest assured knowing your belongings will stay safe throughout your trip. Featuring a smaller, easy-access front pocket, it’s also rather stylish on the outside — especially in the speckled terrazzo pattern — with zippered compartments inside, too. 

Price at time of publish: $110

The Details: 21 x 14 x 9.5 inches | 6.4 pounds | 38 liters | 2-year warranty | Hardside | 4 wheels

Best for Kids

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Carry-on

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Carry-on


Why We Love It: This carry-on comes in more than 10 color options for children to choose.

What to Consider: Weighing in at 7.5 pounds, the suitcase might be heavy for some kids to lift.

Unlike most children's bags that are patterned or character-themed, this carry-on has a timeless design that sets it apart. Its understated look makes it a versatile option for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, plus it’s made of a durable plastic material that can hold a wide variety of clothing (even before expansion). There are several bold options that make it easy to spot on the luggage belt, including colorblock styles, and it’s proven to be durable even after many, many trips, too.

Price at time of publish: $73

The Details: 20 x 13 x 9 inches | 7.5 pounds | Expandable | Hardside | 4 wheels

Tips for Buying Affordable Luggage

Decide if you want hardside or softside

When it comes to the best luggage material, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Hardside luggage is tough enough to keep fragile items safe, but it's also heavier and (often) pricier than softside luggage. Meanwhile, softside luggage is more flexible (to fit more), but it's not as good at handling water and can get damaged more easily. It all comes down to what you're looking for and where you're headed as both have their pros and cons. 

Prioritize well-made items

No matter where you're going or how long you're staying, you don't want to be lugging around some poorly made suitcase that falls apart on the first leg of your journey. When you're picking out luggage, it's a good idea to look for trusted brands and to read up on reviews from people who've used the same gear. Just remember, you don't have to spend a ton of cash to get something that's sturdy and reliable. The key is knowing what you want and doing your homework beforehand.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is it more economical to buy luggage as a set?

    If you're in the market for new luggage, going for a set can be a smart move. Generally speaking, you'll save money with a bundle versus buying each piece separately. Plus, you'll get a mix of sizes and styles, which is handy for different types of trips. And, let's not forget how easy it is to spot a matching set on the baggage carousel!

    Of course, there are some downsides to consider. You don’t want to buy a set to save money if you only need one of the included bags for most of your trips. Also, there’s less room to customize the exact suitcase sizes you need so you may end up with one bag that’s less useful than the rest, or a size that’s missing from the package deal.

  • Where should I shop for affordable luggage?

    There are quite a few retailers that offer suitcases at competitive prices. For example, Amazon offers hundreds of brands and price points to choose from. But they're not the only ones — JCPenney, Kohl's, and Target all have affordable luggage options, and they're often having sales and discounts, and some stores even have their own in-house brand (like Walmart’s Protege). Whether you need something hard or soft, or a carry-on or checked bag, there's definitely a perfectly priced option out there for you.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, Travel + Leisure contributor Haley Lyndes researched dozens of suitcases, weekenders, and sets to select the best quality pieces at a wallet-friendly price point. 

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