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Best Overall: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner at Bloomingdales
"Is a durable and lightweight option that can handle the airport’s toughest treatment."
Best Cult Favorite: Away The Large at Away
"Staying organized is a cinch thanks to a removable laundry bag and several mesh pockets."
"Offers plenty of packing space, smooth mobility, and a lightweight body at a budget-friendly price point."
Best Midsized: Lipault Paris Original Plume Spinner at Lipault
"A step up in size from standard carry-on luggage."
Best Oversized: Briggs & Riley Baseline Spinner Luggage at Amazon
"At 25 inches high, this large luggage bag is supported by a strong aluminum handle system."
Best Hardside: Delsey Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage at Amazon
"It's made of polycarbonate, meaning this suitcase is resistant to breaking or falling apart"
Best Softshell: Samsonite Eco-Nu Expandable Spinner at Samsonite
"Minimize your carbon footprint with this bag that's made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles."
"This wheeled bag features a central lock with Secure Zip toggles, which keeps the checked bag safe from theft."
Best Backpack: Osprey Farpoint Trek Travel Backpack at Amazon
"This backpack boasts 55 liters of volume, making it great for long-term travel."
Best Lightweight: Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner at Amazon
"The polycarbonate exterior has a micro-diamond texture that is scratch-resistant and lightweight."
When you’re traveling for longer periods of time and carry-on bags won’t cut it, a good quality checked bag is a necessity. Some checked bags offer plenty of pockets to keep wayfarers organized, while others have spacious main compartments to load all your gear—just keep in mind that airlines have varying weight limits. Checked luggage comes in both hard and soft shell cases and many also include TSA-friendly locking systems to keep items safe. To help you in your luggage search, we asked frequent travelers for their top picks.
Read on for our list of the best checked luggage available.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner
Ideal for extended trips, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 is a durable and lightweight option that can handle the airport’s toughest treatment. This 29-inch spinner is made from polyester with Dura Guard coating that's stain- and water-resistant (and, unlike hardshell suitcases, can’t scratch or crack). At 13 x 21 x 31 inches, the Maxlite 5 can expand another two inches for increased capacity. It's so large, our product tester recommended the bag for “someone who travels for long periods of time, multiple times a year.”
It also has an exterior front compartment, full-length interior lid pocket, and side pocket. Four, 360-degree spinner wheels and a retractable PowerScope Lite handle make this suitcase a breeze to transport, and the whole thing is astoundingly light at less than 9 pounds. The checked luggage bag is available in neutral black, brown, and gray, as well as light pink and azure blue.
Best Cult Favorite: Away The Large
If you've been eyeing this checked luggage bag on Instagram for quite some time, but haven't made the leap—we're here to say it lives up to the hype. Away’s largest suitcase is the opposite of clunky. In fact, it’s sleek, lightweight, and carefully designed to last you a lifetime. Plus, with a removable laundry bag, an interior compression system, and several mesh pockets, staying organized is a cinch.
“I love how sturdy and light this one is,” says travel and grooming writer Adam Hurly. “I can stuff it chockfull (and with fragile things tucked away inside), without the body itself claiming half of my allotted weight. And with so many colorful options, you can pick one that is easily recognizable on the turnstile.”
Best Value: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Checked Luggage
Samsonite delivers a great value with the Winfield 2. It offers plenty of packing space, smooth mobility, and a lightweight body—all at a budget-friendly price point. The 28 x 19.75 x 12.5-inch spinner's 100 percent polycarbonate construction not only ensures durability, but it also absorbs any impact by popping back into its original shape. This way, the luggage bag is less likely to encounter any dents or damages. Weighing 11.5 pounds, the case sits on four, 360-degree spinner wheels, with a fully-lined interior and cross-straps for efficient organization. Moreover, the sleek and stylish case is available in colors like navy, burgundy, teal, charcoal, purple, and more.
Best Midsized: Lipault Paris Original Plume Spinner
If you require a second bag that’s larger than a carry-on but don’t want to tote around a gigantic checked bag, the Original Plume 24-Inch Spinner by Lipault Paris may be the best option. Designed in France, the bag is a step up in size from standard carry-on luggage and measures 9.4 x 16 x 23.6 inches. Made from sturdy but lightweight nylon, the bag weighs just 5.8 pounds and its nylon construction also means that unexpected spills can be easily wiped off the material.
Spinner wheels help to coast through the airport and three pockets (two on the inside and one on the outside) will keep items organized. Our product tester even said that “it makes packing (especially for over packers) very easy.”
Best Oversized: Briggs & Riley Baseline Spinner Luggage
For long-term travelers or big families, consider splurging on the Briggs & Riley Spinner. Its hefty price tag is worth the investment, with a CX expansion system for maximum space and compression to keep your items intact. The interior and exterior pockets add even more storage, and its ballistic nylon fabric ensures resistance to wear, moisture, and dirt. An outsider handle guarantees more space and wrinkle-free packing for your clothing. Even if the case is filled to the brim, its hybrid fiberglass frame provides flexibility and durability. At 25 inches high, the large luggage bag is supported by a strong aluminum handle system.
Best Hardside: Delsey Paris Helium Aero Hardside Luggage
The Delsey Paris Helium Aero is made of 100 percent polycarbonate, meaning the suitcase is resistant to breaking or falling apart. As one of the most durable luggage pieces on the market, the 25 x 17.5 x 11.5-inch case is still light and weighs only 10.2 pounds. It's easy to maneuver as well, with double spinner wheels for seamless mobility and less weight on your arm. The checked luggage bag is equipped with two large compartments with pockets for easy access and organizing. With a deep metallic finish, the hard-shell case also comes in vibrant color options including pink, teal, purple, and more.
Best Softshell: Samsonite Eco-Nu Expandable Spinner
“I adore my sustainably made Samsonite Ecu-Nu large expandable spinner,” says travel journalist Lola Méndez. “Prior to the pandemic, I was a full-time traveler, and I could literally fit everything I own into this suitcase. It's easy to transport thanks to the versatile wheels and is super lightweight. Best of all, it allows me to continue to minimize my waste as it's made of Recyclex, a fabric made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET plastic bottles.”
Best Duffel: Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Bag
Consider an alternative from traditional suitcases with this wheeled duffel bag from Eagle Creek. The 16 x 14 x 32-inch bag features Bi-Tech Armor Lite for maximum abrasion resistance, making the duffel less susceptible to wear and tear. Its ten lockable "self-repairing" zippers on the main compartments help keep the bag safe from theft. Additionally, a central lock with Secure Zip toggles provides even more protection for the checked luggage bag. The zip-away middle divider also reveals two large compartments for separating clothing from gear or shoes, while heavy-duty wheels provide support for long trips.
Best Backpack: Osprey Farpoint Trek Travel Backpack
Osprey has made its name on backpacks that are durable, comfortable, and come backed with a generous guarantee in case something goes wrong with them—making it a pretty ideal bag to invest in for years of travel. The Farpoint Trek Travel Backpack is a checked-bag version of the original Farpoint. It can fit 55 liters of volume, making it great for long-term travel; has a U-shaped front entry for easy packing and rummaging; and has a waterproof travel case in case you get caught out in some inclement weather.
Best Lightweight: Samsonite Omni Hardside Spinner
A sturdy and spacious hardshell suitcase with exceptional durability, the Samsonite Omni PC spinner is a great option at an affordable price. The polycarbonate exterior has a micro-diamond texture that is highly scratch-resistant and lightweight, and the interior compartment features a full-zip divider and cross-straps to secure clothing and shoes. Other highlights include sturdy zippers, lightweight spinner wheels, a side-mounted TSA lock for added security, and a retractable handle for easy transport through the airport.
The checked luggage bag measures 28.5 x 20.5 x 13.5 inches (with the ability to expand an additional 1.5 inches) and weighs around just 8 pounds. Choose from 11 different colors in both bold and neutral shades.
Most Durable: Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller
Ideal for frequent travelers, the Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller is lightweight and a breeze to pack with. Its extended handle system and skateboard-style wheels offer a smooth roll, while multiple grab straps make it easy to transport from overhead bins.
Inside, the unique, clamshell-designed luggage bag has a large main compartment with a front zip opening, an expandable top compartment for separating shoes and toiletries, and an internal mesh divider for efficient organizing. Better yet, it's crafted from durable nylon and reinforced tarp fabric for waterproof protection—withstanding all the wear-and-tear that comes with constant traveling.
Best Style: Rimowa Essential Large Check-In Suitcase
This luxury luggage label is known for good-looking luggage that’s worth the price tag. It might not chase an Instagram aesthetic like Away, but the bags are icons of sophisticated good design and come in stylish colorways that’ll catch your eye on the carousel. Designed in Germany as the world’s first polycarbonate suitcase, it’ll roll with the punches of even the klutziest baggage handler.
Best Splurge: Tumi V4 Extended Trip Packing Case
Although on the pricier side, Tumi's V4 Extended Trip Packing Case delivers on features. The bag is crafted from a specialized multi-layer polycarbonate alloy that deems it both lightweight and durable. On top of that the four dual spinner wheels are pretty smooth, with a 360-degree rotation system that ensures you won't get caught up on any terrain.
Inside, there's a spacious main compartment with a zipper expansion, a hanger bracket, four pockets, and tie-down straps. The checked luggage also boasts an integrated TSA lock for additional security purposes. Toting this bag through the airport is a total breeze, due to the three-stage telescoping handle, retractable molded top, and side carry handles. Available in gleaming black or iron, the case is amply sized at 31 x 20 x 11 inches and weighs 11.1 pounds.
Best for Business Travel: Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Duffle
“This Briggs & Riley case is my go-to for those slightly less predictable trips,” says Gordon Smith, editor of Airliner World. “I love the ability to switch from 'waltzing through the lobby' wheels to 'pick it up and run for the train' duffel. While it wasn't cheap, the company offers a fairly comprehensive lifetime guarantee, which soon pays its way for frequent travelers.”
Best for Shoppers: Fortis Pro USB Carry-On Spinner
“After buying too many coffee mugs, popcorn buckets, or Mickey-emblazoned sweatshirts at Disney parks around the world, I’ve come to learn that expandable luggage is a must,” says theme park journalist Megan duBois, who uses this suitcase as both checked baggage and carry-on. ”The suitcase expands an inch and a half, which is usually more than enough to get everything inside. The other great thing about this suitcase is the built-in USB charging port, so there’s no need to search for your portable charger at the rental car line, in an Uber, or at the hotel while you’re unpacking.”
The Travelpro Maxlite Expandable Spinner is our top choice since it's highly durable, spacious, and lightweight. It can expand up to two additional inches and makes the perfect companion for longer trips, due to its stain-resistant material and spacious inside. But if you're in the market for an attractive, trendy suitcase, we recommend the Away The Large Suitcase. This chic bag features a TSA-approved lock, lots of storage space, and a flexible polycarbonate shell to keep your belongings safe.
What to Look for in Checked Luggage
Most bags in this category offer lots of storage, but that’s often where the similarities stop. For gear-centric travelers who carry ski boots or other hard goods, look for a bag that offers lots of unrestricted duffel-like storage so you can basically dump all your stuff inside. If you mostly haul apparel, then packs that offer more compartmentalization make it easy to keep everything separate. And if you plan on carrying expensive or fragile items (like electronics or wine), a hard-shell case offers the best protection you can find, though those are often heavier than soft-sided models.
Naturally, those who carry lots of gear will need more space than others, but if you plan on bringing back more than you originally packed, look for bags with storage expansion, and ones that weigh in a bit lighter than other long-haulers. A cache of external pockets are also welcome features to keep quick-grab items like a rain jacket handy. More minimalist? You can opt for bags with a slimmer profile or those that are a bit heavier, like four-wheel models with more robust telescoping handles and reinforced hard plastic at the corners and bottom.
Bags used by urban/suburban travelers face a different world than those used for visiting developing countries or snow-choked mountains. Durability is important, but ease of movement matters just as much, which is why most rolling suitcases come with four—or eight—spinner wheels. If you frequent the French Riviera or other high-class locales, leather is always a fashion-forward choice. But if you plan on visiting more rugged environments with variable weather, target packs designed with more durability—semi-hard or hard floors, larger roller-style wheels that can conquer cobblestones and dirt paths. Lots of grab handles also make it easier to toss onto a bus.
What size suitcase is considered oversized?
An oversized suitcase is one that’s too large to fit within the bounds of an airline’s stated maximum dimensions. The standard size restrictions for US airlines generally amount to 62 inches (a total of length + width + height). While they can be useful for long stays or for moving internationally, oversized bags usually incur an extra fee at the check-in desk, so it’s not something you want to come with you on every trip. It’s not quite the same as overweight baggage, which is used specifically to refer to the weight of the bag versus its size.
Which items are you not allowed to pack in checked luggage?
Banned items in checked luggage include alcoholic beverages over 140 proof, electronic lighters, bear spray, CO2 cartridges, and cooking spray, among other items. The TSA has a long and searchable list of prohibited items in both carry-on and checked bags on its website for travelers with specific queries.
Should I get a smart suitcase?
The advantage of smart suitcases is that, generally speaking, they have a built-in holder for a battery pack for charging your phone. The upside of this is you can charge your phone comfortably and handily on your suitcase in the terminal. The downside is that it’s usually more expensive to buy a suitcase with this feature than it is just to buy a battery pack, and you have to remove it for the flight anyway.
How much should I spend on a suitcase?
It depends on how much you travel. If you’re a frequent flier with business trips every week, spending a little more on a suitcase can make it an investment that will reward you in wheels that stay on and trouble-free zippers. Those who travel less frequently might consider less-expensive suitcases but be careful of less-than-stellar quality.
Why Trust TripSavvy
TripSavvy writers are experts in their subject areas and remain objective in their assessments. In the course of researching roundups like this, Krystin Arneson spoke with travel experts, sifted through dozens of reviews, analyzed expert blogs, and consider customers’ reported experiences with the product as well.