Besides a large mesh pocket, there is a zipped pocket for small items inside.
The wheels are rather small.
It's one of the most durable soft-sided suitcases on the market. It's fairly large and is ideal for long family holidays. It does come in smaller sizes if you don’t need such a capacious bag.
78 x 48 x 31cm (3.1 kg)
Large main compartment with elastic bands, Zipped mesh pocket with elastic bands, Interior small zipped pocket, Exterior zipped pocket
4 spinner wheels
Retractable handle, Soft carry handles on the top and the side
Limited 5-year global warranty
The huge internal capacity of 104 L allows you to pack everything for the longest trip.
The retractable handle is too tight.
The Antler Suitcase boasts innovative super-lightweight construction, Thus, it's an ideal choice for those who prefer to travel light. Less capacious suitcases are also available.
80 x 49 x 30 cm (2.7 kg)
Large main compartment with elastic bands, Zipped mesh pocket, Exterior zipped pocket
4 spinner wheels
Retractable handle, Handles on the top, bottom, and side
The inner zipped divider has elasticated pockets that are great for shoes and similar items.
It emits plastic smell right after unpacking.
This is a mid-sized suitcase that is ideal for personal and business travel. It's made from ABS hard-shell plastic which ensures the maximum protection of your belongings.
69 x 50 x 27 cm (3.85 kg)
Large main compartment with elastic bands, Internal zipped divider with elastic pockets, Exterior zipped pocket
4 spinner wheels
Retractable handle, Handles on the top and the side
It has a zipped divider interior pad with two mesh pockets perfect for toiletries.
The capacity is only 57.5 litres.
The American Tourister Bon Air case is a stellar option for those who frequently travel alone. It can fit your belongings for a 5-7 day trip. Plus, it's available in a trendy colour range to highlight your style best.
66 x 46 x 25.5 cm (3.4 kg)
Large main compartment with elastic bands, Internal zipped divider with elastic pockets, Mesh pockets, Internal zipped pocket
4 spinner wheels
Retractable handle, Handles on the top and the side
Limited 2-year global warranty
The set includes as many as 3 different-sized suitcases. Each case is incredibly lightweight.
No TSA locks.
This Aerolite 3-piece set is a good pick for family trips. No one will fight over whose suitcase looks better and everyone will be able to find a suitable option. If you travel alone, you can choose the bag for every occasion.
55 x 35.5 x 20 cm (1.85 kg)
72 x 42 x 26 cm (2.35 kg)
81 x 48 x30 cm (2.95 kg)
4 spinner wheels
Samsonite Base Boost Spinner
Quality, Protection, Lightness
Samsonite has always been the #1 brand producing top-quality travel bags that can stand up to all the rigours of travelling, and this Base Boost Spinner Suitcase is no exception. It can be described by four words "superior quality, protection, and lightness". It's manufactured from 300 x 900 denier polyester that is extremely strong and can survive a lot of throwing without scratching. You can choose the preferable exterior colour from a wide range of design options including classic black, red, walnut, and 2 shades of blue. Inside, the suitcase is lined with soft, beige polyester that is very pleasant to the touch. However, take note that the lining can't be removed to be washed.
The main interior compartment has a zipped pocket on the side for small items like cosmetics, chargers, phones, and other stuff. And this small pocket provides quick access to all the contents. You'll find two elastic bands with clips in the main compartment for holding your clothes in place neatly. Under the lid, there's one more zipped mesh pocket for toiletries and similar items. And since the other set of elastic bands are attached here, you'll be able to load some delicate garments in the mesh pocket and reliably secure them with bands to prevent creases. As for the exterior, there's a large zipped pocket for stashing documents, newspapers, and magazines. Still, if you can't find room for all your belongings or last-minute inclusions, you can always expand the suitcase (3 cm more) to fit everything you need. Owing to the pretty large size and expandable option, this classy suitcase is an ideal option for long business trips or family holidays.
For Your Comfort
This travel suitcase is fitted with 4 multidirectional casters for easy manoeuvrability. The spinner wheels are rather small yet very sturdy. They allow users to wheel the suitcase upright, which is very handy in a busy environment. On the top, there's an extendable pull handle that locks in place to adjust for your height. When you need to lift the suitcase, you can use a soft carry handle nearby. And if you need to hold the case vertically, there's a thick carry handle on the right side of it. Although the side handle is padded, you might get uncomfortable carrying the suitcase for a long time. Also, take note that there're no plastic stoppers on the sides of the suitcase.
The nice safety touch is that the suitcase can be locked with the 3 TSA locks on the side. The locks use digit combination and all you have to do to secure the contents is place the zips in the slots of the lock and enter the right combination. Easy!
Antler Suitcase 3609114015 Aire
The Antler's Aire 4-wheel spinner is the lightest soft case the company has ever made. At 2.7 kg, it's a clear winner for those who prefer to travel light. Yet, despite such low weight, it's incredibly rigid. The case is made of durable nylon and has a very clever design. It will definitely survive through baggage handling without too noticeable scuffs, scratches, or dents. Unlike hard cases, this one has much less wall padding, but that's a minor sacrifice considering how light it is. Still, you need to pack your belongings with this fact in mind.
Inside, there're elastic straps that fasten to keep all your stuff in place. The lid has a mesh zipped compartment, though the mesh feels a bit flimsy, so you aren't likely to load too many items there. The outside of the lid also has a small zipped compartment that is good for papers. Like many other high-quality suitcases, this one features a zipped expandable section which can give you extra 2 cm. The expandable option is perfect for those who often find themselves overloaded with souvenirs at the end of their trips. And a built-in 3-digit TSA combination lock can keep unwanted hands from them.
When fully loaded, the case may be a bit difficult to take out of an overhead compartment or a car boot, but using easy-grip top, bottom, and side handles, this will be a much easier task. Overall, this large 4-wheel suitcase is a real catch for light travellers. It offers plenty of room for really long trips.
The suitcase is equipped with four 360-degree spinner wheels that are incredibly durable and manoeuvrable. The wheels perform fantastic on smooth surfaces and are fairly good on most other surfaces even when the suitcase is fully loaded. Thus, you'll be able to easily navigate through airports and other overcrowded spaces. Yet, if you need more compact and manoeuvrable option, you can choose smaller bags with 68-L and 33-L capacities. The smallest bag is a cabin-sized model and is suitable for use as carry-on luggage in most airlines.
Aerolite Medium Super Lightweight
Fairly Robust Spinner
If you're looking for an affordable yet good-quality hard shell suitcase, this one can be a solid fit. Aerolite is one of the most well-known hard case luggage brands in the UK for a good reason. They manufacture inexpensive bags that still offer long-lasting durability. And the fact that this Aerolite ABS Hard Shell Luggage is covered by 5-year warranty is a proof. This hard-sided upright suitcase is manufactured from ABS hard shell material which perfectly absorbs shocks and ensures the maximum protection of the contents. Moreover, the suitcase controls all odd odours, doesn't absorb moisture, and, best of all, holds its original shape. This way, you can be sure that none of your things including fragile souvenirs may get scrunched or damaged. Plus, the outer shell looks fantastic and can hide potential scratches really well. In general, this upright case is rigid enough to hold up to the abuse the airlines usually put luggage through.
Like most other suitcases, this one has top and side handles allowing you to lift it from either side. The top handle is retractable and is 1-meter high. It pulls up and down quite smoothly. In addition, the bag has plastic stoppers fitted onto the one side. This design solution ensures that even the full suitcase will stay well-balanced if it's laid down on its side. And thanks to four 360-degree spinners, the bag is very steady in upright position. This upright case is amazing for its price.
This 4-wheel case has a medium size and is excellent for business and personal travel. It offers lots of interior space so that you can fit a week's worth of clothes into it. The case has an 84-L capacity and manufacturer claims that this suitcase can accommodate 7 shirts, 7 trousers, 4 jumpers, 7 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, and even 2 handbags. The interior features elastic straps and a zipped divider with pockets to keep everything well-organized. And to keep your belongings safe, the case comes with a free 3-digit padlock. So, if you need a reliable hard-shell personalised suitcase, the Aerolite Medium Luggage is a sensible option.
American Tourister Bon Air 59423/1041
For Single Travellers
The American Tourister Bon Air 59423/1041 is a solid case that can fit your belongings for a 5-7 day trip and won’t break the bank. Of course, it's not the cheapest hard-shell suitcase but it's definitely worth every penny. Produced from strong 100% polypropylene, it's super tough and light. At 3.4 kg, it feels like a toy suitcase yet it can survive a lot of throwing and bouncing. This suitcase is really well-made and hardy. Everything from the stitching to the zippers screams sturdy.
This upright is equipped with four 360-degree wheels that can easily get around in any direction. And a push-button lock handle makes manoeuvring through tight areas an easy job. It's well-balanced and locks to 3 different positions, thus, it's suitable for travellers of any height. Next to the retractable handle, there's a top carrying handle ensuring a firm grip and comfortable lifting. Yet, it might feel a little flimsy when the case is packed heavily. By the way, the amount of the interior space this suitcase offers is great. It provides ample room for packing all the necessary stuff for a 5-7 day trip. Inside, it has a zipped divider with two mesh pockets for storing toiletries, beauty products, and other items. We would like to point out that both sides are equally deep and have packing straps and a zippy-bit to reliably secure your items and reduce wrinkling. You can neatly pack your clothing on one side and your shoes on the other. Plus, there're two additional pockets on the divider to tuck your undies, charging cables, or other loose items into. And you'll definitely like the fact that the suitcase opens in the middle, thus allowing you to maximise the interior space. Summing up, we can say that this bag deftly balances the roomy interior space, rather light weight, smart organisation, excellent manoeuvrability, and trendy design. Being 66 x 46 x 25.5 cm, it's a decent suitcase for those who frequently travel alone.
The bag is equipped with a 3-digit TSA combination lock and lockable zippers allowing you to lock away your laptop, documents, and other important things and never worry about thefts. And an address label is one more nice security touch. There are more than 5,000 aicrafts in the sky at any moment, and pretty often luggage might somehow get lost. That's where a personalized luggage tag comes in handy. It contains your basic information including your first name, last name, address, mobile number, and e-mail. It can really help you find the suitcase quickly!
Fit For All
By choosing the Aerolite AERO9925 set, you will get 3 different suitcases for the price of one. The set is a reasonable choice for those who often travel with the whole family. Each family member will have an opportunity to own a suitcase of a different size but of the same style. Nevertheless, a single person can also benefit from this variety of sizes. For example, if you're planning a long trip with lots of souvenirs, you can take the largest suitcase with you. In case you're setting off for a week journey, the middle bag is a sensible choice. And if you're going to have a weekend getaway, the smallest suitcase is a way to go. By the way, while many other suitcases would go into the plane luggage compartment, the smallest one matches the requirements for the hand-luggage of British Airways. Thus, it can save you the cost of the baggage fees.
Each piece of the set boasts the same thought-through design: 4 rotatable wheels, a retractable handle, a carrying handle on one side, and plastic feet on the other. On the outside, there are two pockets for small items. The front zip pocket can be used for small accessories. The smaller exterior pocket has a hidden zipper, thus, it can be used for tickets and some of your important papers. Also, there's a special pocket for the ID card and other documents.
As a slight drawback, the 2 zippers of the main compartment form a small hole for a padlock when drawn together. However, as the set comes without the locks, we recommend you to get additional padlocks for these suitcases.
If you need more precise information about each piece of the set, here you are:
- The smallest bag is 55x35x20 cm and has a capacity of 33 L. Being just 1.85kg, it's one of the lightest cabin suitcases on the market.
- The medium model makes 72x42x26 cm, 2.35kg, and has a decent capacity of 68 L.
- The largest suitcase is 81x48x30 cm, 2.95kg, and has an enormous capacity of 105 L.
If you travel alone, you can purchase each piece separately or combine two of them (Small+Medium, Medium+Large, or Small+Large). Naturally, combined options come at a discounted price.
What Is a Suitcase?
Even if you've never travelled before, sooner or later you'll get a chance. At some stage everyone needs a change of the scenery; this is where a vacation should bright up the mood. However, before you set your mind on a journey, we recommend you to purchase a decent suitcase. And even though a suitcase is not exactly cheap, this money investment will do a long service. A variety of suitcases on the market is truly vast, so it's easy to get lost when looking for one. Hopefully, our review of the best suitcases will help you make the right choice. We've compared only the most popular soft-sided and hard-sided suitcases, enabling you to pick the one that will suit your preferences and cost the price you're ready to pay.
For those who often take red-eye flights, we can recommend our picks of sleep masks. And if you aren't the one who tends to fall asleep during your flights, you may want to turn your attention to our selection of MP3 players.
What Features to Compare
Size and Weight
Regardless of the reasons why you've decided to go on a trip, it's essential to choose a suitcase of the right size and weight. Of course, there're many tips on how to choose the most suitable option for you. But here, we'd like to give you some basic recommendations. If most of the time you travel on your own, you're unlikely to need a huge bag, however, if you often travel with your family, the size of the suitcase would matter. Don't let the weight of a bag get out of your sight too. Some suitcases appear to be quite heavy on their own, with no luggage in the compartment. Others are more lightweight and easier to carry. The weight of a suitcase is also important if you plan to get one for your child. It shouldn't strengthen its spine and it shouldn't feel like a burden.
The common materials used to make suitcases are plastic, fabric and leather. The bags made of fabric are the most affordable and lightweight suitcases. More often than not, they've got a waterproof furnishing so that your luggage is not harmed under bad weather conditions. People who like extravagant things and are not on a tight budget, usually opt for leather products. They look much more attractive than suitcases made of fabric. You'll never get unnoticed at the airport with such a cute suitcase in hands.
We'd also like to draw your attention to the construction of each suitcase. It's not only the clothes that you need to have on a vacation, but also some other tiny and fragile accessories. When improperly stored, they can easily get lost in the case and even get damaged. To eliminate the risk of damaging essential and fragile items, most suitcases offer a number of internal pockets and zippered compartments. Also, you may want to check whether the chosen bag is secured with a padlock or a combination lock. You don't want your bag to get ripped up at the customs and lose some valuable things. The TSA locks have become a great solution. Customs officers today have got universal keys for such locks. Therefore, they don't need to shoot down a code combination or ruin the thing completely.
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2. Monica Kim Fit for Flight: How to Choose a Durable Suitcase, CNtraveler. June 27, 2012.
3. Julie Loffredi How to Pick the Perfect Luggage, U.S. News & World Report. September 14, 2015.
4. Caroline Costello Choosing the Right Travel Luggage, IndependentTraveler.com.
5. What to Pack: The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist, Eagle Creek. July 14, 2016.