We've got brand new entrants this year! Luggage is getting a shake up and I've taken Samsonite off the list for the first time. Waging war against the big guys, just like all those new mattress upstarts, Josh Udashkin and his new RADEN luggage and the Bluesmart team represents a new generation of internet driven designs. In addition, I've reviewed your comments from last year's post (Best Rolling Suitcases 2015) and totally refreshed my picks for this years absolutely BEST list of luggage recommendations at all prices. Enjoy!
I love this recommendation! A weekend, carry-on without wheels, the eBags Mother Lode line gives you the lightest bag possible with excellent shoulder straps. Manda99 says: "I love the eBags mother lode line. I bought my first one years ago when I had shoulder issues and needed the lightest carry on possible. It's been love ever since then! My son has had his own since age 4, and my business traveling husband even replaced his tumi with one."
Reader recommended by Lena Doll and also by Drew Barrymore (apparently), I'm listing this well priced, light and stylish looking bag as a good carry-on.
Travelpro got a lot of mentions from our readers, but it was new for me. Check this out: "I was a flight attendant for four years and the two airlines I worked for issued TravelPro luggage as part of the uniform." When I checked it out, they DID seem to excel in luggage for airline personnel and crush it on practicality. No fancy brand here, just great prices and smart bags. This spinner is one of many, but a good representative of their line.
Rave reviews for Delsey and this is their top rated offering, The Helium, a spinner, a carry-on, many pockets and expandable in two colorways! The Helium line is very big and you can look at soft and hard shell designs. From Gorgongirl, "I have the Delsey bag and love it. I've had it for two years and/or about 20 flights and it still looks new."
MEDIUM & SMART
With very subtle urban style, Raden takes the smart luggage concept to a higher level. It incorporates all the good stuff, power charging, phone app for total bag connectivity, self weighing handle, TSA lock, etc. and then pairs it with two sizes of tough, super light hard cases with Japanese reversed zippers and smooth, spinner wheels. Oh, and the bags are all solid color throughout AND they come in eight colors.
Bluesmart is the other new smart connected suitcase brand for the digital age. Complete with a powerful device charging battery, self weighing handle, phone connected bag GPS that gives you alerts when your bag is near and allows you to track it anywhere in the world. This is the geekier of the two new bags with much more blatant digital styling.
Okay, I'm a big fan of Patagonia rolling luggage even though it's on the pricey side and others consider it "heavy". Personally I find it really durable, with a great roll and the kind of shape and style that I want to live with. I don't find it too heavy at all and I really like the strong handle and well placed straps for grabbing the bag from all angles. The Transport was on the list last year, and they've replaced it this year with the Headway, which looks very similar (Their biggest Transport is on sale here).
A design favorite with a very European style, Mandarina loves color and their range is full of it. The Logoduck, above, is one of their many colored offerings. They also have soft sided designs. Nearly everything has wheels and spins!
Victorinox, those famous for their Swiss army knife, get a big shout out from our readers. Made by Werks, the Victorinox range is upscale and more sophisticated inside: "Lightweight U.S. Carry-on contains the intelligent pack more system which consists of five packing solutions including the pack more divider which allows you to pack clothing flat and wrinkle-free." Says Katie White, "@m_j_s ... I second @juliekohler's Victorinox suggestion... This is the brand I've seen pilots and flight attendants carrying most often — they know what they're doing."
Briggs & Riley's Baseline was included in last year's list, but the Transcend line was recommended in the comments and runs with a slightly lower price tag. This is a high quality bag with strong wheels and a light frame. Wirecutter calls this bag a great upgrade, "Briggs & Riley’s reputation for reliability and durability is unmatched, and the bag provides extra features that frequent travelers..will appreciate." Examples? Speed Through pockets on the outside for getting through security quickly and a built-in garment carrier.
This is what readers drool over. From the ever chic Tumi comes a new bag that promises to be strong, stylish, mobile and super light. Made out of a super light material called Tegris, it comes to us highly recommended by a reader who travels ALOT. "Tegra-lite is made from tegris, a revolutionary polypropylene thermoplastic composite material created by milliken for use in lifesaving armor, nascar race cars and protective gear for nfl players, it is exclusive to tumi for travel and accessory products around the world. This lightweight, hard side carry-on is our most compact wheeled carry-on design for those who travel domestically and internationally."
Want the top of the top with that oh so popular hard shell look? Rimova pioneered this end of the market and continue to upsell folks who really need to spend up towards $2k on a suitcase. Above is the current top of the line Topas collection, but you can also pick up their more affordable Salsa Air for $475.