The 10 Best Vintage-style Suitcases of 2022

Our top pick is the versatile Urecity Designer Vintage Trunk Set.

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10 Best Vintage-style Suitcases of 2022

Streamline Luggage

So, you didn’t inherit a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk — well, allow us to introduce you to some equally stylish (and more affordable) vintage-inspired alternatives. Whether you’re looking to channel the glamorous days of Pan Am (minus the whole smoking-on-the-plane bit) or just set your luggage apart from the ubiquitous black suitcases circling at baggage claim, a classic suitcase is always a good investment. You may be tempted to seek out real vintage luggage, but we’d encourage frequent flyers to opt for something less delicate and with the added bonus of wheels, which weren’t really a thing until the late 20th century. If this sounds tempting to you already, we’ve rounded up suitcases with the tasteful trappings of yesteryear combined with modern offerings like spinner wheels, compression straps, and retractable handles. 

Our overall favorite is the Urecity Designer Vintage Trunk Set for its fantastic value, its silent four-way spinner wheels, and the range of charming patterns on offer. But in case that doesn’t suit your needs, we’ve rounded up the best styles on the market for every type of traveler, from the British royal family’s go-to trunk to budget-friendly duffel bags. 

Here’s our breakdown of the best vintage-style luggage to shop now:

Best Overall

Urecity Designer Vintage Trunk Set

Urecity Designer Vintage Trunk Set

Amazon

Why We Love It: This stylish set is a great value for the price, and features four-way spinner wheels for easy transport.  

What to Consider: The trunk style fits significantly less than a traditional carry-on. 

If you’re in the market for vintage-inspired luggage, you might as well keep things classic with a two- or three piece set — and one that would fit right in at the TWA lounge at that. These adorable, rose gold-accented pieces are an excellent value for those who travel light, but note that they do sacrifice space for style. As long as you’re committed to minimalist packing (or taking them on a shorter trip), these bags are an excellent way to elevate even the most budget airline experience with a bit of old-world glamor.

We’d recommend the carry-on size, as the material is shockingly durable for regular use but may not stand the test of time if handled too aggressively and tossed around at baggage claim. We love that it comes with a clear waterproof dust cover and that the smaller bag includes a detachable strap for easy carrying. 

Price at time of publish: $209

Dimensions: 12.5 x 5 x 9 inches (cosmetic case), 22 x 8.2 x 13.3 inches (carry-on) | Weight: 2.65 pounds (cosmetic case), 7.36 pounds (carry-on) | Material: PU leather

Best Rolling Carry-on

Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Carry-On

Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Carry-On Luggage

Why We Love It: You can personalize this expandable rolling suitcase.  

What to Consider: The light coloring is more likely to show scratches over time. 

Mark & Graham is known for its luxe leather goods at a mid-range price, and the ability to personalize just about anything with a monogram. Set your luggage apart with the classic Terminal 1 carry-on, which comes in white, navy, or black or olive, all with brown accents. While the white may eventually show more scuffs, it’s a classic color combo and the polycarbonate exterior makes it easy to clean.

For peace of mind, the brand also offers a lifetime limited warranty, although it’s unlikely that you’ll need it given the quality. The genuine leather accents add a retro flair while a one-inch expander, four 360-degree spinning wheels, and a telescopic handle offer modern convenience. 

Price at time of publish: $229

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 22 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Material: Polycarbonate, polyester, leather

Best Top-handle Carry-on

Bric’s Firenze Cargo Duffle Bag

Bric Firenze Cargo Duffle Bag

Bric

Why We Love It: The leather handles can withstand a good deal of wear and tear. 

What to Consider: There’s only one zippered pocket inside.

While Bric’s is less flashy than some other luxury labels, the brand — founded in the 1950s — still offers top-shelf (or, should we say, overhead bin-worthy) luggage. This is a carry-on worthy of a winter getaway spent sipping an Old Fashioned and reading a book by the fire. Available in cream or black, it’s sturdy and easy to clean thanks to the leather-like exterior (made of PVC, or polyvinyl chloride).

It’s the perfect size for a weekend or even an overnight trip, plus features interior and exterior zip pockets to help you stay organized. Plus, while the top handle on this handmade beauty is made to stand the test of time, we appreciate that it also comes with a shoulder strap (and a TSA-approved lock). 

Price at time of publish: $590

Dimensions: 16.9 x 11 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Material: Embossed PVC, polyester, leather

Best Checked

Delsey Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Hardside Luggage

DELSEY Paris

Why We Love It: This rugged hardside suitcase features a unique brake system that prevents the bag from rolling away. 

What to Consider: It’s not expandable.  

The great debate of check-in luggage is whether hardside or softside is more durable. The former can be more prone to scratches and dents while the latter may rip more easily but, either way, investing in higher quality materials will pay off in the long run. This rugged hardshell from iconic French luggage brand Delsey Paris looks far more expensive than it is, and holds up well over time thanks to its polycarbonate exterior that’s designed with temperature and impact resistance in mind.

Our favorite features are the special brake system, which locks the front two wheels with the push of a button so that you can still roll the luggage, but it won’t roll away on its own, plus the removable add-ons including a hanger, a laundry bag, and a shoe bag. While we’d love to recommend the stunning champagne white color, that may be best for a carry-on; a darker shade is more practical for check-in luggage, as it will better hide any scratches or nicks that may appear over time. 

Price at time of publish: $299

Dimensions: 27.5 x 12.5 x 20 inches | Weight: 12.6 pounds | Material: Polycarbonate

Best Trunk

Globe-Trotter Safari 20-inch Carry-On Suitcase

Globe-Trotter Safari 20-inch Leather-trimmed Trolley

Globe-Trotter

Why We Love It: It offers the look of an antique trunk but a subtle telescopic handle and wheels make it easier to transport.  

What to Consider: It’s a major investment. 

Globe Trotter has been the leading name in luxury trunks since 1897, and even counted the late Queen Elizabeth II as a fan. The refined Safari carry-on pairs the timeless design of a classic steamer trunk with the convenience of modern suitcases: there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it telescopic handle and the option to choose two or four spinner wheels, depending on your preference. It’s also personalizable for an added fee.

This stately suitcase is the ideal companion for long weekends or business trips due to its smaller capacity, but it’s a minimalist’s best friend. If you’re looking for a lifelong investment piece, this is it. 

Price at time of publish: $2,195

Dimensions: 22 x 8.27 x 16 inches | Weight: 9.3 pounds | Material: Vulcanized fibreboard, leather

Best Leather

Steamline Luggage The Pioneer Carry-on

Steamline Luggage The Pioneer Carry-on

Steamline Luggage

Why We Love It: It marries an antique luggage look with modern amenities like a telescopic handle, all-terrain wheels, and internal zippered storage compartments. 

What to Consider: You’ll likely want to use the included nylon cover on rainy travel days.

It doesn’t get more luxurious than a leather Steamline suitcase. Nostalgic and new-world all at once, this beauty looks almost too antique to actually use — but, fear not, it’s more rugged than it looks. Equipped with two silent, all-terrain wheels, studded corners, a telescopic handle, TSA-approved locks, a hanging travel kit, and functional leather straps, there’s little left to be desired in this masterpiece of modern luggage (except perhaps the price tag, although it’s reflective of the quality).

The carry-on comes with a stylish ripstop cover made from the same yellow honeycomb print of the lining; of course you might not want to cover up all that gorgeousness, but it’s handy to have for protective purposes. The full-grain leather will age gracefully, developing a patina over time.  

Price at time of publish: $895

Dimensions: 20 x 14.5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Material: Leather

Best Softside

Steve Madden Designer Luggage Collection

Steve Madden Designer Luggage Collection

Why We Love It: There’s a designated space for shoes built-in to the interior mesh compartment. 

What to Consider: The compression straps offer less stretch than normal because they aren’t elastic.

This designer set channels major Murder on the Orient Express vibes. While an overabundance of zippers makes most softside luggage look cheap, the tassel finish on these add retro flair that’s sure to net you some compliments. The wheels (which add about an inch, keeping them within most carry-on guidelines) are designed specifically to provide extra stability and prevent bags from falling forwards.

We love that there’s a built-in shoe slot inside the interior mesh compartment and that the under-seat bag has numerous pockets and slots to keep your belongings organized and in easy reach (plus it’s got its own telescopic handle for easy transport). If you’re counting on the compression straps, note that they aren’t elastic and therefore don’t offer as much give — you may want to consider packing cubes instead if you need to save space, although the two larger pieces are also expandable. 

Price at time of publish: $400

Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 14 inches (under-seat bag), 20 x 14 x 8 inches (carry-on), 28 x 18 x 10.5 inches (check-in) | Weight: 5 pounds (under-seat bag), 7.8 pounds (carry-on), 10.1 pounds (check-in) | Material: Polyester

Best Hat Box

Calpak Trnk Large Hat Box

Calpak Trnk Large Hat Box

Calpak

Why We Love It: This stylish hat box is sturdy enough to check and large enough to fit most wide-brimmed sun hats.

What to Consider: There’s only a trolley sleeve on the smallest size. 

Whether you’re looking to protect your “OOO''-emblazoned sun hat for a beach getaway or pack a bachelorette party’s worth of cowboy hats, Calpak’s hat box is a perfect fit. It’s available in small, medium, and large sizes (and two classic colors: black and almond). Our favorite is the large since it accommodates most wide-brim hats (up to 18.5 inches). We love the croc-inspired pattern and that it’s made from durable polycarbonate instead of actual crocodile, which also means it’s sturdy enough to check. There’s space to layer several hats, depending on how delicate they are, and to tuck some softer items like sweaters or small accessories around them or in the handy interior elastic pockets.

For carrying convenience, there’s a cushioned top handle and a removable, adjustable shoulder strap. And, if you’re as sold on it as we are, you can always build out a matching set with the rest of Calpak’s Trnk collection

Price at time of publish: $205

Dimensions: 19  x 20 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 6.7 pounds | Material: Polycarbonate, polyester

Best Duffel

Baosha Canvas PU Leather Travel Tote

Baosha Canvas PU Leather Travel Tote

Baosha

Why We Love It: It’s larger than your typical gym bag.  

What to Consider: The lining isn’t sewn in.

This bag is a great value for the price. If you’re looking for something larger than a typical gym bag, this oversized canvas carry-on will do the trick for most weekend trips. The material is ultra lightweight yet durable, and PU leather accents add a timeless, sophisticated touch. There’s an exterior pocket as well as two slim interior zippered pockets, plus a compartment to store your phone and cardholder.

Do note that the vibrant interior lining isn’t sewn into the bag which may make this more prone to snags if you don’t treat it carefully. 

Price at time of publish: $38

Dimensions: 21.3 x 9.4 x 13 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Material: Canvas, PU leather

Best Set

Cotrunkage 3 Piece Vintage Luggage Set

Cotrunkage 3 Piece Vintage Luggage Set

Amazon

Why We Love It: From feminine florals to retro stamp prints, this three-piece set is available in fifteen eye-catching patterns.

What to Consider: The luggage straps are necessary to properly secure the suitcases, making it less easy to access your belongings in a pinch. 

Luggage sets typically offer more bang for your buck and are a streamlined way to store all your travel essentials. Plus, they nest inside each other for easy storage when not in use. While that’s handy, it’s likely you’ll find any excuse to break out this three-piece set from vintage-inspired purveyor Cotrunkage, which comes in fifteen envy-inducing patterns — think florals that would make your grandmother’s wallpaper blush and Christmas colors fit for the Polar Express.

Note that these suitcases sacrifice space for design, so if you’re not one to skimp on souvenir shopping, you may want to look for bags with more give. 

Price at time of publish: $399

Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 5.5 inches (cosmetic case), 22 x 13 x 7.5 inches (carry-on), 28 x 15 x 8.5 inches (check-in) | Weight: 2.9 pounds (cosmetic case), 8.5 pounds (carry-on),10.5 pounds (check-in) | Material: Polyurethane leather, polyester

Tips for Buying Vintage-Style Suitcases

Know your capacity requirements

It’s crucial to figure out how much space you need for a typical trip in order to select a suitcase that, well, suits you. Are you looking for a weekend-getaway companion or are you jetting off on weeks-long trips abroad? Do you tend to pack minimally or find yourself sitting atop your suitcase, struggling to close the zipper? If you’re the latter, you’ll want to prioritize expandable or softside luggage over hardside, as the material offers much more flexibility. Many trunk-style vintage pieces run smaller than modern luggage, so you may want to size up if you need more packing space (or invest in compression packing cubes). 

Consider airline size and weight restrictions

While it pays (or rather, saves), to check individual airline baggage requirements, most standard carriers follow the same size and weight guidelines. Typically, you’ll be able to bring one personal item and one carry-on for free, and check other bags for additional fees. Most international flights also include one free checked bag. 

Personal items, which should fit under the seat in front of you, should be under 17 x 10 x 8 inches (but, again, sizing varies per carrier). Backpacks, duffels, or totes are usually accepted — and softside, squishable bags are ideal for tighter spots. 

Carry-ons will need to be stored in the overhead bins and not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches, including handles and wheels. Typical weight limits are 15-25 pounds for economy passengers — be sure to check your airline.

Checked suitcases are great for longer trips, or for bringing back loads of souvenirs for family and friends. They need to be less than 62 linear inches, meaning the height, width, and length can’t add up to more than that. Anything larger will typically be subject to added fees, as will luggage over 50 pounds. (But, as always, check with your carrier before travel for no airport surprises.)

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What makes a suitcase look vintage?

    Aged leather, luggage straps, and steamer-trunk-style handles add vintage flair to modern luggage, which thankfully has evolved over time to include handy amenities like retractable handles and 360-degree spinner wheels. Retro touches like studded corners mimic the steel frames of actual vintage luggage, while vibrant linings and playful patterns like wallpaper florals recall the glamorous heyday of air travel in the 20th century.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, T+L contributor Sophie Dodd researched every aspect of vintage-inspired luggage, from different types of wheels to TSA-approved dimensions and what materials best withstand a bit of jostling at baggage claim. She used her expertise as a travel writer to narrow down a list of the most reliable options for every need and budget.

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