The 10 Best Smart Luggage Pieces with Removable Batteries of 2023

Our top pick is Travelpro’s Platinum Elite Carry-on.

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Best Smart Luggage Pieces


We've all been there: stuck waiting at the airport gate with nary an outlet in sight. With the proliferation of mobile boarding passes, a dead phone battery could pose a serious problem, not to mention the stress of finding alternative methods of entertaining yourself during the flight if there's no USB port at your seat.

That's where smart luggage comes in. Though smart luggage could mean any type of bag with technology that makes your travel experience more convenient, it most often refers to pieces with charging capabilities via a removable battery. There's usually a specific pocket within the suitcase for the battery, plus a port for you to connect your phone to it. The specific configuration varies per bag.

Our favorite piece of luggage with a removable battery is Travelpro’s Platinum Elite Carry-on Expandable Hardside Spinner. It’s lightweight, durable, and easily expands to accommodate more of your belongings. But, whether you're looking for a lightweight hardside suitcase, an expandable softside suitcase, or even a smart backpack, our list has an option for you.

Here’s our breakdown of the best smart luggage with removable batteries:

Best Overall

Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-on Expandable Hardside Spinner

Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-on Expandable Hardside Spinner


Why We Love It: Our testers found this lightweight, hardside bag to be extremely durable. Plus, it expands.

What to Consider: There aren't quite enough zipper compartments inside the suitcase.

Coming in second overall on our list of the best carry-on suitcases, this Travelpro bag is a great luggage pick all around, but it's made this specific list for its charging capabilities. A side pocket houses a portable battery, which connects to a USB port at the back of the suitcase. Simply plug your charger into that spot and you're ready to go! Beyond the charging functions, we love this suitcase for its ease of use — it glides effortlessly over most surfaces, and its grip is quite comfortable. We're also fans of its expansion capabilities and its durable polycarbonate shell. It also comes in at a mid-range price for smart suitcases.

Price at time of publish: $370

Weight: 8.1 pounds | Dimensions: 23 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches | Battery Included: No

Best Hardside

Briggs & Riley Sympatico Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner

Briggs & Riley Sympatico Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner


Why We Love It: It's stylish yet extremely durable.

What to Consider: It's on the more expensive side, and its expander isn't the most intuitive to use.

If you're willing to splurge a little on a suitcase, this sleek piece is the one. Though it's expensive, this Briggs & Riley carry-on is one of the most durable bags our team has ever tested. It didn't dent or scuff at all after several blows from a bat. "I would expect it to last for five to 10 years, even if someone traveled frequently," a tester wrote in their review. As for its charging capabilities, it has a Power Pocket with a pass-through for a USB cable. The only note is that, while this bag expands, it does so from the inside, which is a little counterintuitive. But still, we appreciate the function!

Price at time of publish: $699

Weight: 9.2 pounds | Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches | Battery Included: No

Best Softside

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Expandable Carry-On Spinner

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Expandable Carry-On Spinner


Why We Love It: It's very durable for a softside bag.

What to Consider: When expanded, it might exceed carry-on bag limits.

This is the softside version of our overall pick, and it's been ranked the best softside carry-on by our testers. Even though textiles are usually not as durable as polycarbonate, this suitcase proved that wrong — our testers reported no scuffs or tears during durability trials. On the style side, we love that the main fabric is accented with chrome hardware and leather piping, which add to the luxe look. And, on the smart side, the bag has a USB port that connects to a portable battery. Finally, another highlight is the bag's lifetime warranty, which might not have to worry about given its toughness.

Price at time of publish: $370

Weight: 7.8 pounds | Dimensions: 23.5 x 14.5 x 9 inches | Battery Included: No

Best Duffel

Champs The Weekender Duffle Bag

Champs The Weekender Duffle Bag


Why We Love It: It's lightweight and water-resistant.

What to Consider: It has a more outdoorsy vibe than a polished duffel would.

Wheeled suitcases aren’t the only bags that fall under the smart luggage umbrella. This weekender duffel also has a USB port. The function might even be more useful here than on a suitcase, because you can keep the bag under the seat in front of you and charge your device from there. (That is, if your airplane seat doesn't have its own USB port.) The bag is also great for non-flying purposes, too, especially camping — it's made from durable, water-resistant nylon to handle tougher conditions. It comes with handles, a shoulder strap, and a trolley strap, so you can carry it in whatever manner best suits your travels.

Price at time of publish: $182

Weight: 12 pounds | Dimensions: 21 x 7 x 12 inches | Battery Included: No

Best Backpack

Samsonite Just Right Standard Backpack

Samsonite Just Right Standard Backpack


Why We Love It: It has a wireless charging pocket.

What to Consider: With relatively limited capacity, it's better for day use rather than longer trips.

Backpacks have also gotten in on the smart luggage game. This one has a sleek, professional look that makes it great for commuters heading to the office or on a business trip. It has a dedicated space for everything from tablets to laptops to pens to, yes, a portable battery, which can be accessed via a USB port. But that's not all — it also has a wireless charging pocket, which makes it a leader in the smart luggage field. On top of that, this backpack also has a detachable wristlet, an RFID-lined pocket, and a trolley sleeve to attach it to a suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $360

Weight: 2.43 pounds | Dimensions: 16.5 x 12.25 x 5.5 inches | Battery Included: No

Best International

Away The Carry-On

Away The Carry-On


Why We Love It: It compresses clothes so you can pack more, and it’s equipped with a TSA-approved combination lock.

What to Consider: Only the Away-branded battery can be used with this suitcase.

Away was one of the early adopters of smart luggage technology, building in a battery bank directly into its suitcases. Sadly that battery is no longer included in the price of the bag, but you can add an ejectable battery with two USB ports for just $20 (but note that it is the only battery that can be used with this suitcase). Charging aside, we're here for Away's minimalist look, lifetime warranty, and general ease of use. Regarding international travel, this hardside suitcase is the perfect size to meet most airline requirements, making it the ideal piece of smart luggage for trips abroad.

Price at time of publish: $275

Weight: 7.1 pounds | Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches | Battery Included: Yes (must be added on to the order)

Best Lightweight

Samsonite Outline Pro Carry-on Spinner

Samsonite Outline Pro Carry-on Spinner


Why We Love It: Its compartmentalized design makes it great for organization.

What to Consider: It doesn't turn as sharply as some similar options.

This Samsonite suitcase makes packing a breeze thanks to its many compartments throughout the interior — and it expands if you need extra room. There's also a compression system to help you maximize space to the fullest. One thing we love about this suitcase in particular is that its USB port for charging is built into the TSA lock, which puts all the technical hardware in one easy-to-access spot. The only room for improvement, according to our tester, is the wheels, which felt less durable and didn't turn as sharply compared to the wheels of other suitcases tested. Otherwise, the suitcase glides with ease.

Price at time of publish: $440

Weight: 6.39 pounds | Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 10 inches | Battery Included: No

Best Underseat

Samsonite Unisex Adults Carry-on Spinner with USB Port

Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port, Ocean


Why We Love It: It's rather spacious for such a small bag.

What to Consider: It doesn't necessarily fit underneath all seats.

Underseat rolling suitcases are a favorite of travelers who hate fighting for overhead bin space. If you don't mind giving up a little bit of legroom, it could be the right type of suitcase for you. This model comes with a USB charging port for flights, train trips, bus rides, or really any form of transportation where there's room. The one thing we'll note is that while this bag is super spacious, if you overstuff it, it might be difficult or even impossible to fit underneath a seat.

Price at time of publish: $145

Weight: 5.6 pounds | Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.75 x 9 inches | Battery Included: No

Best Luxury

Tumi Continental Dual Access 4 Wheeled Carry-on

Tumi Continental Dual Access 4 Wheeled Carry-on


Why We Love It: It is one of the smoothest rollers out there.

What to Consider: It's rather heavy.

You thought the Briggs & Riley suitcase was a splurge? Check out this Tumi bag with a nearly four-digit price tag. But we think it’s worth it because, for that price, you get a bag that seemingly glides on air, according to our testers, who gave very high ratings for its maneuverability. It also scored well on organization — there are plenty of compartments for storing your belongings. And it wins some bonus points for the smart luggage factor with a USB port for charging, too. The only downside is that it's pretty heavy.

Price at time of publish: $975

Weight: 11.1 pounds | Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 9 inches | Battery Included: No

Most Stylish

Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 21" Carry-on Spinner

Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 21" Carry-On Spinner


Why We Love It: It's very lightweight.

What to Consider: We recommend using it as a carry-on bag only, as it’s not quite as durable as some other hardside spinners on our list.

This Delsey carry-on suitcase might look like an old-school trunk, but it's definitely a bag of the modern day. For starters, it has double spinner wheels for easy maneuverability through the airport or train station. But it's also made out of ultra-lightweight polycarbonate, which makes this bag far lighter than vintage trunks. Inside the bag, you'll find an antimicrobial lining that helps prevent bacteria and odors from building up. And, of course, it has a USB port for charging. For the blend of nostalgic travel style with the convenience of contemporary inventions, we're all in on this chic lightweight suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $330

Weight: 6.4 pounds | Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 10 inches | Battery Included: No

Tips for Buying Smart Luggage with Removable Batteries

Look at the inputs and outputs

Most smart luggage has a pocket for your battery with a cord in it — that cord threads through the suitcase, connecting your battery to the charging port. The port is where you'll plug in your charging cord for your device. You'll need to make sure your battery and your cord are compatible with the input and outputs on their respective ends of the system, whether that's a USB, USB-C, or something else entirely. Otherwise you'll need to buy an adapter.

Consider the accessibility of the port/battery

Smart luggage is all about making your life easier, so make sure that your charging port is in a convenient spot — one that's accessible when you're carrying or wearing the bag, or when it's sitting next to you on the ground.

Shop for a compatible battery, if not included

Because most pieces of smart luggage do not come with a battery, you'll want to make sure that the one you plan to use with the bag is compatible with it. It needs to be the right size to fit the pocket, and it needs to have the right port (or adapter) as mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is smart luggage?

    Smart luggage is any travel bag that includes some form of technology that makes your life easier. Most commonly, smart luggage includes charging capabilities, often through a USB port that connects to a removable lithium-ion battery. (Those batteries, more often than not, are not sold with the bags). Some smart luggage has additional technology, like built-in GPS trackers.

  • How do I connect the battery to my device?

    This varies per device. Typically, you plug the battery into an internal cord that weaves through the bag. That ends in a port elsewhere in the bag. Then you plug in your charging cable to that port.

  • Can I bring the battery on the plane?

    While you're not allowed to leave a battery in a checked bag, you can usually bring one in your carry-on suitcase throughout the airport process. The reasoning behind this is that lithium-ion batteries have been known to explode if they're damaged. It's far easier to extinguish a fire in the cabin of an aircraft versus its cargo hold. And, on that note, if you think your portable battery is damaged, don't bring it on a plane!

  • When do I need to remove the battery?

    As stated above, you are permitted to bring portable batteries into the cabin on planes but cannot check them into the cargo hold. Some airlines will ask you to take out the portable battery if you plan on putting your bag in the overhead bin as well. In some cases, you may also be asked to remove it during security screening, but this is not very common — it's up to your specific security agent. And, since you are not allowed to check lithium-ion batteries, if you gate-check your bag, you'll have to take it out and carry it with you.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Stefanie Waldek is a freelance travel writer with nearly a decade of experience. For this article, she evaluated her own experience with smart luggage, incorporated T+L tester reviews, and read dozens of customer reviews.

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