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Best Overall: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Spinner at Amazon
"Can absorb impact and then flex back into shape."
Best Backpack: SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack at Amazon
"Its compartment accommodates a 17-inch laptop."
"Works within the bounds of every airline carrier's restrictions."
Best Checked: Kenneth Cole Reaction 28-Inch Upright Luggage at Amazon
"A large suitcase with plenty of space for an extended trip."
Best Duffel: Olympia USA 22-Inch Rolling Duffel Bag at Amazon
"Eight different pockets allow for unparalleled organization."
Best Design: AmazonBasics Hardshell Spinner Suitcase at Amazon
"The interior stands out, thanks to tie-down straps and a zip pocket."
"Lightweight and spacious, making for a great personal item bag."
Best for Storage: Samsonite Omni Expandable Hardside Spinner at Amazon
"The expansion feature comes in handy for trips back home."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Spinner
The ideal companion for shorter trips, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Spinner measures 24 x 16.5 x 11 inches. It’s made from 100 percent polycarbonate, which allows the case to absorb impact and then flex back into shape. With molded design details and a smart brushed pattern that hides scratches and scuffs, you’re guaranteed to turn heads at check-in. Even better, you can rest easy knowing that your belongings are protected by an in-built TSA-approved combination lock.
Use the telescopic locking handle and four multi-directional spinner wheels to navigate airport concourses with ease. Inside, the cleverly designed packing space features cross-straps and a full divider. Keep your electronics and other small goods within easy reach by storing them in the divider’s in-built zippered organization pockets. The suitcase expands by 1.2 inches to accommodate your last-minute purchases and comes in a variety of eye-catching colors including brushed anthracite, burgundy, and deep blue.
Best Backpack: SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
Crafted from weather-resistant polyester, the SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack is the perfect purchase for gadget lovers. The ScanSmart compartment accommodates a 17-inch laptop and unzips to lie flat on the security conveyor belt, allowing your computer to be scanned without removing it from the bag. A floating compartment protects your tablet, and a media pocket with a headphone port lets you listen to music while keeping your iPod inside.
There's also a host of exterior pockets, including an organization section complete with a key fob and pen loops. Revel in the comfort afforded by the contoured shoulder straps, as well as the excellent ventilation of the padded back panel. Measuring 18.5 x 13.5 x 9 inches, the backpack comes in a range of colors, including black and gray heather.
Best Budget: Rockland Melbourne 20-Inch Expandable Carry-On
Whether you're flying internationally or domestically, it's convenient to own a suitcase that works within the bounds of every airline carrier's restrictions. This 20-inch expandable carry-on from Rockland does just that — and still manages to hold up to 10 days’ worth of clothes and a bonus pair of shoes. With spinner wheels that rotate 360 degrees and a sturdy telescoping handle, it’s easy to maneuver the small bag through airport crowds. It’s light, too: the hardshell ABS construction means that the suitcase clocks in at just seven pounds, so you’ll have ways to go before you’re surpassing any weight restrictions an airline might impose. Just know that the outside can get marked up a little easily — though you can clean it with a damp cloth.
Best Checked: Kenneth Cole Reaction 28-Inch Upright Luggage
At 28 x 17.6 x 11.2 inches, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds 28-Inch Upright Luggage is a large suitcase with plenty of space for an extended trip. Despite its size, the suitcase's ABS construction keeps it lightweight and easy to maneuver. Molded corner reinforcements protect your luggage from careless baggage handlers, while the matte coating is scratch-resistant. Use the side-mounted supports to rest the case on its side while waiting in long check-in lines.
The inside of the case is fully lined, with a zippered pocket and garment restraints. Underneath the lid, you’ll find a large U-shaped zippered pocket perfect for keeping your best shirts separate from the rest of your packing. With four 360-degree spinner wheels, the case is supremely easy to control. Lock the retractable handle system to the correct height, then roll through the airport in style. Flexible top and side handles come in handy at baggage claim, while a choice of colors ranging from charcoal to pink allows you to quickly tell which case is yours.
Best Duffel: Olympia USA 22-Inch Rolling Duffel Bag
Measuring 22 x 12 x 12, the Olympia USA Eight-Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag is perfect for weekend trips. It’s made from tough 1,200-denier polyester and comes in a rainbow array of colors ranging from gray/lime to red/ black. Use the velcro-wrapped carry handles to transport the duffel from A to B or make life easy by employing the dual in-line skate wheels and retractable pull handle instead. A U-shaped zipper provides easy access to the main compartment. Eight different pockets allow for unparalleled organization and come complete with self-repairing zippers.
Best Design: AmazonBasics Hardshell Spinner Suitcase
From electronics to bathroom towels and everything in between, AmazonBasics knows how to make solid budget-minded products. The brand's 20-inch hardshell carry-on is no exception, either; the suitcase's interior is what really stands out thanks to interior tie-down straps on one side and a zip pocket for shoes or dirty laundry on the other. You won’t have any issues maneuvering the bag to your gate, either. The spinner wheels and durable telescopic handle make it easy to navigate through terminals and crowded spaces like airport security. It’s durable, too, courtesy of a polycarbonate build that stands the test of time and manages to only weigh nine pounds. If you're traveling with valuables like a laptop or nice jewelry, a recessed TSA lock also offers peace of mind. The suitcase is available in a variety of brushed metallic finishes, including black, gold, graphite, rose gold, and silver.
Best Tote: L.L. Bean Everyday Tri-Color Tote
Despite its low price tag, the Everday Tri-Color Tote from L.L. Bean doesn't sacrifice on quality. It's made of lightweight, nylon fabric and measures 12 x 6 x 13 inches (Medium), making for a great personal item bag. Still, its 15-liter capacity gives you enough space for your traveling necessities, while a double-layer bottom and reinforced handles ensure durability. Other storage features include one pocket on the outside of the bag and a small pocket with a key fob inside. There are three fun color combinations to choose from, as well as two size options: Medium and Large.
Best for Storage: Samsonite Omni Expandable Hardside Spinner
The Samsonite Omni Expandable Hardside Spinner measures 22 x 15 x 9.5 inches, making it suitable as a carry-on for most airlines. Using the expansion feature will push you over the size restrictions for flying, but comes in handy for trips back home. The case is made from durable 100 percent polycarbonate and features scratch-resistant micro-diamond texturing.
Enjoy flawless mobility, thanks to four lightweight spinner wheels paired with a retractable handle. Inside, a full zippered interior divider splits your packing space in two, while cross-straps help to keep your clothes secure during transit. The built-in TSA-approved combination lock is a welcome security feature. With more than 10 different colors to choose from, there’s something for everyone — whether you prefer radiant pink or Caribbean blue.
What to Look for in Luggage Under $100
Price If you’re a frequent traveler—especially if it’s part of your job—spending a little more on luggage isn’t a bad idea. While there are plenty of bags in the lower end of pricing that can do the job for a few flights, use our list to determine how you can get the most bag for your buck. If it hits all the right marks in terms of storage, style, and durability, it’s worth a few extra dollars.
Durability Any suitcase or bag you buy should be able to hold up under the rigors of travel, from loading onto the plane to a trek uphill on cobblestone streets. Make sure that whatever you buy won’t just get your things to their destination safely but will last beyond that one trip. Hardshell cases tend to protect contents a bit better, though they’re more susceptible to dings and scratches.
Design Wheeled luggage is great if you’re not keen on schlepping your suitcase on your shoulder or back. However, some travelers like the ability to keep their belongings close to their body when they’re dashing through the airport or on public transit. Plus, non-wheeled luggage is usually more compact. Decide which style you'll get the most use out of before you purchase.