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For over 30 years, the Kenneth Cole fashion house has been producing high-quality shoes, clothing, accessories and luggage. In 1995, the brand released its Kenneth Cole Reaction line, which focuses on creating well-priced, contemporary products for the more casual consumer. In this article, we take a look at the line’s best luggage for 2017, including stylish soft-sided suitcases, hard-shell carry-ons and backpacks designed with the corporate commuter in mind.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Out of Bounds 28-Inch Suitcase
Made from durable ABS, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds 28-Inch Suitcase has molded corner reinforcements to help it withstand the impacts of international travel. It measures a roomy 29.5” x 20.5” x 11.8”. Amazon reviewers love the fact that despite its size, the suitcase remains easy to maneuver thanks to four 360º spinner wheels. The retractable handle system locks into place, giving you superb control over speed and direction. Use the flexible top and side handles to lift the case onto the scale at check-in, or to load it into the back of your car.
The suitcase can also stand upright on its side-mounted plastic feet. Inside, it is fully lined and well organized. Keep your best shirts and suits separate from the rest of your packing in the zippered lid compartment, then stash your electronics in the zippered side pocket. Garment restraints help to ensure that your clothes arrive looking immaculately wrinkle-free.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Chelsea 24-Inch Luggage
Those that prefer soft-sided suitcases will love the Kenneth Cole Reaction Chelsea 24-Inch Luggage. Crafted from lightweight polyester twill, the bag’s chevron quilting gives it a uniquely sophisticated look enhanced by its gold-colored zippers, handle and Kenneth Cole Reaction tag. Available in Navy or Black, the suitcase measures 27" x 15" x 10" and features a retractable handle and four spinner wheels.
The interior is fully lined and comes with garment restraints and a handy zippered side pocket. Use the full-length mesh pocket built into the lid to separate your laundry from your clean clothes, or to keep documents flat during transit. On the outside of the case, you’ll find two zippered pockets — one small, and one large enough to accommodate your coat during warm airport layovers. At baggage claim, check the ID pocket on the back of the bag before using the top and side carry handles to hoist your belongings off the carousel.
Best Budget: The Journey Continues Expandable Pullman
On Amazon, The Journey Continues Expandable Pullman is listed as one of Kenneth Cole Reaction’s most affordable full-size suitcases. It’s crafted from 1,200-denier polyester, making it both lightweight and long-lasting. The interior features a full lining and garment restraints and expands to accommodate your last minute additions. Use the full-length lid section with its mesh zippered pocket to keep your toiletries or electronics separate.
The bag also boasts two exterior zippered pockets, perfect for keeping your passport or iPad handy at the airport. There’s a business card-sized ID holder on the back of the bag, and carry handles on the top and side. Lock the retractable pull handle to the correct height setting, then use the 360º spinner wheels to navigate smoothly through a range of different terrains. Measuring 24” x 15.5” x 12”, the suitcase is black with distinctive gray accents on the outside pockets.
Best Checked: Get Away 25-Inch Widebody Spinner
The Kenneth Cole Reaction Get Away 25-Inch Widebody Spinner has a scratch-resistant, ribbed ABS shell that keeps it looking good for longer. It measures 27.75” x 21” x 11.5”, and maximizes packing space with its wide shape and handy expansion feature. Pack your belongings into two separate compartments, one protected by a zippered divider and the other equipped with buckled restraints. The case also has four zippered pockets and two slip-in shoe compartments.
Exterior features include four spinner wheels and an aluminum telescopic handle with a push-button release. The top and side carry handles are spring-loaded so that they lie flat against the case during transit, which helps to prevent damage at the hands of careless luggage handlers. Choose stand-out shades such as ocean blue, raspberry or light silver to avoid confusion at baggage claim.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best checked luggage bags.
Best Carry-On: Out of Bounds 20-Inch Suitcase
The little sister of this list’s overall winner, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds 20-Inch Suitcase measures 21.75” x 14.5” x 8.5”. It’s suitable as a carry-on for most major airlines, and according to Amazon reviewers, can accommodate an impressive amount of packing while appearing deceptively small. Made from durable ABS, it boasts molded corner reinforcements and comes in a range of colors (including charcoal, navy and purple).
Its fully lined interior features a set of garment restraints and a side zippered pocket. Keep your laptop or tablet in the sealed lid compartment, ready for easy removal and replacement at security. Best of all, this smart little carry-on is designed for long walks between airport terminals, with four smooth-rolling spinner wheels and a retractable locking handle.
Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best carry-on roller bags can help you find what you're looking for.
Best Backpack: Pack of All Trades Backpack
Made from 1,680-denier polyester, the Pack of All Trades Backpack is a masterpiece of organization. The fully lined main compartment features a padded section for 13” laptops, as well as several zippered pockets. On the front, the backpack features a zip-around pocket for your sunglasses, in addition to two more pockets equipped with a padded iPad sleeve and a built-in organizer respectively.
Two out of four zippered side pockets are big enough to hold a water bottle. Revel in the comfort of the padded ergonomic shoulder straps, and the breathability of the air-mesh back panel. It also has a top handle and a slip-over sleeve for attaching your backpack to your main bag. Available in black or charcoal, it measures 20” x 13.5” x 9”.
Best Luggage Set: Reverb Three-Piece Luggage Set
The Kenneth Cole Reaction Reverb Three-Piece Luggage Set includes a suitcase for every occasion. Use the 20” bag as a carry-on case, and the 25” and 29” uprights as your checked bags for different length trips. All three are expandable, and have a pair of retractable locking handles with four dual spinner wheels. They’re made of sturdy ABS and nest together for storage purposes. The main compartments split into book-style halves - one with restraining wings, and the other sealed by a zippered divider. Use the in-built pockets and shoe compartments to organize your smaller items so that you can find what you need in just a few seconds.
Best Duffel: I Beg to Duff-Er Duffel
At 20” x 12” x 9.5”, the Kenneth Cole Reaction I Beg to Duff-er Duffel is ideally sized for weekend getaways or as a carry-on bag. Made from full-grain cowhide leather, it features a lined interior with two full-length zippered pockets and two open-top pockets. Keep easy access items like your car keys and wallet in the small, exterior slip pocket. You can carry the duffel via its dual top handles or use the removable, adjustable, padded shoulder strap. Available in black or brown, unique color variations, and a distressed texture mean that no two bags are exactly the same.
See more reviews of our favorite duffel bags available for purchase.