The Essential Suitcases for Travel
Buying luggage can be mystifying business. For every suitcase option out there — hard- or soft-sided, two or four wheels, budget bag or buy-it-for-life investment piece — there’s a group of superfans out there ready to tell you why their preference is the right one.
Here at T+L, we’re firm believers that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all bag, so in lieu of choosing favorites, we pulled our top performers across a few different categories to ensure there’s something here to meet your every travel need.
After choosing the suitcase that’s right for you, check out the full line-up of 2017’s Ultimate Travel Essentials.
Raden A28 Smart Check Spinner
Most tech-centric bags fell short of our expectations, but Raden's delivered on both form and function, with an app-controlled scale and tracker, plus built-in charging ports. We preferred the checked size — the battery compartment takes up space, but it's less intrusive in a bigger bag.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $276 (originally $395)
Rimowa Salsa Air 22” Multiwheel
At just over four pounds, this suitcase makes it easy to meet the strict carry-on weight demands of certain international carriers and budget airlines. And even when stuffed to the gills, the thoughtfully simple spinner zips through the terminal — and over rough terrain — with ease.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $495
Briggs & Riley's Transcend VX Tall Carry-on Expandable Spinner
We love this bag's expansion mechanism, which snaps out and locks in place to make your bag deeper — a must-have when you plan on hauling home souvenirs. Plus Briggs & Riley offers one of the best warranties in the biz: if your suitcase doesn't last a lifetime, they'll repair or replace it at no cost.
To buy: ebags.com, $399
Travelpro Platinum Magna Carry-on
There’s a reason so many airline crew members carry a Travelpro suitcase: the brand's bags are spacious, well-priced, and nearly indestructible.
To buy: ebags.com, $272
Tumi 19 Degree Checked Luggage
The metal exterior of this contoured, clam-shell case can withstand the abuse of baggage handling. Inside, it's just as functional, with compression systems and mesh zipped pockets to keep your belongings organized and compact.
To buy: ebags.com, $1,395
Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Luggage
This aptly named behemoth is the toughest bag we’ve tried. It's weather-resistant, holds a ton, and the red is easy to spot in a sea of black rollerboards.
To buy: patagonia.com, $349