The 8 Best Kids’ Luggage of 2021

Perfect gear for the traveling kid

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Sandinrayli Kid Luggage Set at Amazon

"The luggage is lightweight, waterproof, and easy for kids as young as two years old to use and carry."

Best Budget: Crckt 18" Carry On Suitcase at Target

"You don't have to spend a ton on this carry-on that comes in fun designs and can fit several days worth of clothes."

Best Splurge: Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Zip Front Carry-On Luggage at markandgraham.com

"The polycarbonate exterior is durable and the leather accents add a luxe, timeless feel."

Most Versatile: Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Quarry Recycled Backpack at pbteen.com

"Not only does the rolling backpack have a stylish, marble design with tons of pockets, but it's made from recycled materials."

Best for Personalization: Pottery Barn Kids Make It Mine Custom Luggage at potterybarnkids.com

"Choose the color, trim, and even handle of this adorable wheeled luggage that's easy for kids to maneuver. "

Best for Tweens: Fjallraven Classic Kånken Backpack at urbanoutfitters.com

"This looks just as stylish carried as a backpack or via the handle and there's no shortage of color choices to suit every style."

Best Duffle: Lands' End Kids Duffle Bag at landsend.com

"The fun design is great, but there's also the functional aspects of interior pockets and a shoe compartment."

Best Backpack: Herschel Little America Backpack Youth at herschel.com

"The backpack is specifically for kids 8-12 years old and has contoured straps and great interior storage."

The best kids’ luggage should give junior travelers ample space to store their essentials as well as parent-dictated necessities like blankets, jackets, and snacks. But the right suitcase will also get kids excited, whether by letting them customize the graphics, display their love of a particular character, or even ride their suitcase through the terminal.

Finding the right piece of luggage for kids means taking into account price, but also size and features like padded shoulder straps and comfortable grip handles.

Read on for our picks of the best kids' luggage available.

Best Overall: Sandinrayli Kid Luggage Set

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Adjustable, telescoping handle

  • Breathable mesh on the backpack

What We Don't Like
  • Kids can quickly outgrow the cutesy design

It doesn't get any cuter than the Sandinrayli Kid Luggage Set. The set comes with two bags; a rolling suitcase as well as a backpack. The exterior of both pieces features a range of fun prints, from an owl to a giraffe to a magical unicorn. The wheels of the suitcase roll smoothly and the handle is easy for small hands to grip. Also, the backpack can be used for travel or just a day at school.

Size: 18 x 12 x 8.5 in. | Weight: 5 lbs. | Material: ABS | Expandable: No

Best Budget: Crckt 18" Carry On Suitcase

Crckt 18" Carry On Suitcase

Target

What We Like
  • Comes with a removable plush

  • Great exterior organization

  • Easy to spot clean

What We Don't Like
  • Only has two wheels, versus four

For a kid-friendly suitcase that doesn't break the bank, Crckt gets the job done. The 18 inch carry-on has fun prints, including donuts, a space theme, stars, and dinosaurs. The large exterior mesh pocket is perfect for holding a water bottle or even a small book. Open the suitcase up to reveal a large space suitable for several days worth of clothes.

Size: 19 x 11.5 x 6.75 in. | Weight: 4.85 lbs. | Material: Polyester | Expandable: No

Best Splurge: Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Zip Front Carry-On Luggage

Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Zip Front Carry-On Luggage

Mark & Graham

What We Like
  • Can be monogrammed

  • Easy access exterior pocket

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't expand

Mark & Graham's Terminal 1 carry-on is a pretty sophisticated piece of luggage, especially for a kid. However, this is absolutely suited for a child who's a world traveler and parents who want to gift luggage that has a classic feel. The polycarbonate shell has leather trim that adds a level of sophistication, so this is a carry-on your kid can have for years to come. The fold-down front pocket makes it easy to access must have items or to easily remove a laptop when going through security.

Size: 22 x 14 x 10 in. | Weight: 8.8 lbs. | Material: Polycarbonate | Expandable: No

Most Versatile: Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Quarry Recycled Backpack

Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Quarry Recycled Backpack

Pottery Barn Teen

What We Like
  • Made of recycled materials

  • Can be monogrammed

  • Adjustable, padded straps

What We Don't Like
  • Limited interior pockets

The Gear-Up backpack comes in a range of sizes (large and extra large), but the rolling option really provides greater use and is easier on a kid's back. Also, there's an eco-friendly aspect as the bag is made from more than a dozen recycled water bottles. The exterior has a standout, marble-like design and the exterior mesh pockets and straps make it easy to stay organized.

Size: 18 x 12.5 x 7.5 in. | Weight: 2.5 lbs. | Material: Recycled polyester | Expandable: No

Best for Personalization: Pottery Barn Kids Make It Mine Custom Luggage

Pottery Barn Kids Make It Mine Custom Luggage

Pottery Barn

What We Like
  • Range of color options

  • Impact-resistant material

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly expensive

Gifting a piece of personalized luggage will appeal to the creative kids in your crew. The Make It Mine Custom Luggage from Pottery Barn Kids is a great choice because of the range of options available. You can opt for either a small (equivalent to most carry-ons) or larger size and then choose your color. You can even choose the color of the trim, as well as the handle (silver or gold).

Both sizes come with a waterproof and impact-resistance polycarbonate hardshell exterior. The bags all sit on four in-line wheels for easy movement and the interior splits between a central pocket with an X-shaped compression strap and a separate zippered section.

Size: 17.5 x 12.5 x 10 in. | Weight: 5 lbs. | Material: Polycarbonate | Expandable: No

Best for Tweens: Fjallraven Classic Kånken Backpack

Fjallraven Classic Kånken Backpack

Urban Outfitters

What We Like
  • Almost a dozen color options

  • Carry by the handle or straps

What We Don't Like
  • Only one exterior pocket

Tweens will appreciate Fjallraven backpack's range of color options and parents will appreciate the durable design and material which means it can last for a few years. And because the design is pretty simple, no bold prints or patterns, kids won't outgrow the look. The backpack would make a great personal item when flying but is also lightweight enough for daily use. The back panel even has removable foam padding.

Size: 14.9 x 10.6 x 5 in. | Weight: .7 lbs. | Material: Vinylon F | Expandable: No

Best Duffle: Lands' End Kids Duffle Bag

Lands' End Kids Duffle Bag

Lands' End

What We Like
  • Comfortable strap and handles

  • Can be monogrammed

  • Large capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Limited colors

For shorter trips, a good duffle bag can be all kids need. And this is specifically designed with a kids size and frame in mind. While some duffle bags can lack in organization, this one from Lands' End has interior and exterior pockets to keep smaller items contained and organized. There's even a zipper shoe compartment.

Size: 12.5 x 19 x 11 in. | Weight: Not listed | Material: Polyester | Expandable: No

Best Backpack: Herschel Little America Backpack Youth

Herschel Little America Backpack Youth

Herschel

What We Like
  • Mesh pocket for a water bottle

  • Padded straps

What We Don't Like
  • Only fits up to a 13 inch laptop

Backpacks can put a strain on anyone's back, but especially kids. Luckily, this Herschel option is specifically designed for kids ages 8-12. Besides looking great with three different colors and prints, the 18L bag is proportional for the bodies of most kids and has contoured straps and there's even a removable sternum support strap. Stash enough clothes for a weekend trip or supplies for a camping adventure.

Size: 17 x 11 x 5.25 in. | Weight: Not listed | Material: Polyester | Expandable: No

Final Verdict

For kids luggage that's affordable, cute, and functional, Sandinrayli Kid Luggage Set (view at Amazon) is a great option. Kids will love the range of prints available (owls, unicorns, giraffes, and more) and adults will appreciate the wheeled luggage and backpack that can be used for travel or leisure. For gear that's more of an investment, Mark & Graham's Terminal 1 carry-on (view at Mark & Graham) comes with a higher price tag but can be used for years to come and has a classic style.

What to Look for in Kids Luggage

Size

Like all luggage, especially carry-on, it's key to look at the dimensions of a bag. This is really important for kids to make sure they can carry their own luggage without struggling and even have supportive features like a telescoping handle and easy to maneuver wheels. The actual weight of the bag should also be considered.

Material

A great piece of carry-on luggage should be made of durable polycarbonate or nylon. Both can withstand the wear and tear of going from trip to trip and can be wiped down or spot cleaned.

FAQs

How do you clean kids luggage?

Most kids luggage is pretty easy to clean. A polycarbonate hard shell can just be wiped down and a nylon or polyester exterior can be spot cleaned.

How much money should you spend on luggage for kids?

For a trendy piece of luggage that a kid is most likely to outgrow, it's understandable to not spend a lot of money. And with many budget friendly options, you don't have to. However, if your budget allows, there are a few designs that have adjustable handles and a classic feel, so they can be worn and carried for years to come without looking dated.

How long does kids luggage last?

Well designed luggage can last years or even decades. For a piece of kids luggage that has a trendy design, it's reasonable to get a few years worth of use out of it. Opting for a more neutral, classic style, especially from a quality luggage brand, means the gear will have a chance to last a bit longer.

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