With so many choices on the market today, deciding on the best luggage brands can be a challenge. Identifying the best of anything involves personal taste and style, and so it is with luggage.
There are, however, some objective considerations in recommending the best luggage brands, such as design, warranty, and quality of materials, zippers, wheels, and handles. Beyond that, the best luggage brands should optimize interior space and offer sizes that meet both travelers’ needs and airlines’ requirements.
Price is also a consideration. One could spend thousands of dollars on a piece of luggage that might be the best on the market, but not everyone’s budget would permit that expenditure for a suitcase. Therefore, our recommendations for best luggage brands are based on value as well as quality and design.
The list includes luggage in various price ranges, ordered from low- to high-investment, with an emphasis on durability, style, and function.
For good quality at lower- to mid-range prices, American Tourister could be considered the best luggage brand for practical vacationers who may not travel frequently enough to demand extremely durable or luxurious luggage. Owned by Samsonite, this widely available and dependable brand includes softside and hardside luggage in a variety of bold colors and finishes, including bags for kids (and adults!) featuring favorite Disney and Marvel Comics characters.
One of the best-known luggage brands, Samsonite began more than 100 years ago as a trunk manufacturer. Its wide range of products includes hardside and softside bags, garment bags, backpacks, and travel accessories. Four-wheeled spinners and gliders, with their lower center of gravity, are also included in their product line. Sold in the low-to-middle price range, Samsonite products offer durability, style, and value.
This mid-priced brand, a favorite of flight crews, offers excellent quality, value, and durability. Its claim to fame is having been invented by an airline pilot who recognized the need for wheeled luggage and made it work. The popular-priced Maxlite series includes softside and hardside styles in a range of colors, two-wheel rollaboard or four-wheel spinner. Platinum Magna 2, their high-end line, comes with premium fabrics, leather trim, and a “Worry Free” lifetime warranty.
Founded in Paris in 1946 as a producer of leather camera cases, Delsey expanded into the luggage business in 1970 with its first hardcase line. They still specialize in hardside bags, creating the first style with one main compartment similar to a softside luggage configuration. Their product line also includes stylish and colorful softside bags, garment bags, and duffels. Known for creative innovations, they offer excellent durability and value in the middle price range.
This rugged luggage line has a casual, outdoorsy vibe with emphasis on durability and functionality. Tough, weather-resistant coated polyester fabrics, heavy-duty wheels, and puncture-proof lockable zippers make it ready for rough treatment on long trips, and the company backs it up with its “No Matter What” lifetime warranty. Above mid-range in price, practical additions include a key fob with bottle opener and add-a-bag straps.
Briggs & Riley
Known for its lifetime guarantee, Briggs & Riley has introduced several innovations that make packing easier and more efficient. Outside-mounted hardware provides more interior area and a flat packing surface — fewer wrinkles. Also, the brand’s exclusive CX expansion and compression technology gives you more packing space and then returns the bag to its original size. Founded in 1993, prices are a bit higher than mid-range, but the quality and warranty — which applies even in the case of airline wear-and-tear — offer great value.
This distinctive luxury brand’s focus is fivefold: quality, durability, style, innovation, and customer service. Above mid-range prices include complimentary monogramming, onsite repairs, lost luggage tracing, and options such as the “add-a-bag” system, which makes it convenient to carry extra items. Tumi’s fashionable luggage and accessories are available in hardside, fine leather, and abrasion-proof ballistic nylon.
The company that makes the Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox, strives for the same versatility and functionality in its luggage. They offer a variety of styles in hardside and softside luggage at a price point higher than mid-range. Known for quality and durability, the company entered the travel gear market in 1999 and quickly became a popular and respected brand.
The company’s new tagline, “Since 1877,” is a reminder of its history, dating back to the days of brass-trimmed steamship trunks and glamorous railroad travel. Today, Hartmann remains committed to style and quality, along with the latest technology in its Glider line of rolling bags. The Hartmann look is classic and luxe. After all, James Bond carried the Skymate suitcase in 1954’s “Live and Let Die.” Who could be classier than 007?
Founded in 1898, Rimowa is recognized for innovation in materials, having created the first aluminum trunk on the market in 1937. The company was also a leader in its use of lightweight and durable polycarbonate materials. Recognizable by its distinctive parallel grooves, premium-class Rimowa luggage is stylish and practical. “Handmade meets high-tech” is the brand’s motto and mission.
High-quality materials, reliability, and fashion-forward Italian design make Bric’s a popular brand with frequent fliers. Its luxurious product line uses full-grain leather trim, ultra-light polycarbonate on the hardside pieces, and durable nylon on softside luggage. Prices reflect the expensive materials and design of the products. The high-end Bellagio collection includes decorative and protective leather trim for a classic look.
A list of best luggage brands must include this luxury lifestyle brand. After all, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill were past owners of Globe-Trotter luggage, and what endorsement could top that? The company was founded more than 100 years ago in Germany and moved to the U.K. where it is still located. Handcrafted by skilled artisans, the brand’s impeccable design creates a vintage look with fine leather straps and corner trim. Classic styling and luxurious materials exude wealth and status, with prices to match. If, as they say, money is no object, then Globe-Trotter just might top the list of best luggage brands.
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This article originally appeared on TravelandLeisure.com.