The 8 Best Luggage Items Under $500 in 2019

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Large Expandable Spinner at Amazon

"At 30.7” x 18.9” x 12.6”, this is the perfect bag for extended trips."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: 28” Hardside Spinner at Amazon

"It is part of Lite-Shock — the brand’s lightest hard shell luggage collection to date."

Best Soft Shell: Large Softside Case at Amazon

"Full of clever design elements including the interior Pack More System."

Best Carry-On: Carry-On Expandable Spinner at Amazon

"Ideally sized to meet the carry-on size restrictions of most major airlines."

Best Duffel: Bric’s Life 22-Inch Cargo Overnight Duffel Bag at Amazon

"Handcrafted from sueded PVC, which is both waterproof and easy to clean."

Best Heavy Duty: Eagle Creek ORV 30-Inch Trunk at Amazon

"Its Bi-Tech Armor material provides ultimate abrasion and weather resistance."

Best Backpack: Business Class Brief Pack at Amazon

"The highlight of this backpack is the padded laptop compartment."

Best Set: Timberland 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage Set at Amazon

"Made from impact-resistant ABS with a polycarbonate film for a stylish, glass-like finish."

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Large Expandable Spinner

Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Large Expandable Spinner

Courtesy of Amazon

The Victorinox Spectra 2.0 Large Expandable Spinner is crafted from 100 percent pure Bayer polycarbonate with a scratch-resistant matte finish. High-wear areas are protected by corner guards and zipper bumpers - keeping your suitcase looking brand new for longer. At 30.7 x 18.9 x 12.6 inches, this is the perfect bag for extended trips. It even expands by an astonishing 4.3 inches, giving you up to 45 percent more packing space. Use the Hypalon exterior compression straps to adjust the suitcase’s size so that your clothes are held in place no matter how full you pack it.

The zippered front door allows for easy top-load packing. Inside, Y-shaped compression straps, a zippered mesh divider wall and a choice of pockets help to organize your belongings while the bag’s four dual-caster spinner wheels offer 360-degree maneuverability. With three height settings and a comfort-grip top, the telescoping handle is also designed to make life easier. Other highlights include a TSA-approved integrated lock, top and side haul handles and access to the Swiss Tracker Bag program. Choose black, red, or navy.

Check out our other reviews of the best Victorinox luggage items available on the market today.

02 of 08

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Samsonite Black Label Lite-Shock 28” Hardside Spinner

Samsonite Black Label Lite-Shock 28” Hardside Spinner

Courtesy of Amazon

Measuring 29.53 x 20.28 x 12.2 inches, this checked bag from Samsonite is also meant for longer trips. It is part of Lite-Shock — the brand’s lightest hard shell luggage collection to date — and made from exclusive Curv material. Curv is created using layers of self-reinforcing, woven polypropylene and is as strong as it is light. Amazon reviewers claim that the case’s innovative technology makes all the difference on the scales at check-in; while the shock-absorbing corrugated shell design reduces the likelihood of dented corners.

The suitcase also offers all the expected benefits of a high-end spinner. Its four wheels move smoothly in any direction so that the case rolls beside you rather than dragging behind. The monotube handle locks to three different heights at the push of a button and the interior is accessed via an integrated, one-slot lock. Inside, the suitcase is relatively simple, with a zippered divider compartment and cross-straps to ensure that your clothes are still folded neatly upon arrival.

03 of 08

Best Soft Shell: Victorinox Werks Traveler 6.0 Large Softside Case

Victorinox Werks Traveler 6.0 Large Softside Case

Courtesy of Amazon

Available in Grey, Blue or Black, the Victorinox Werks Traveler 6.0 Large Softside Case is made from abrasion and water-resistant ballistic nylon. It measures 27.5 x 21.2 x 15.3 inches and expands by up to 1.5 inches. It’s full of clever design elements including the interior Pack More System which incorporates a padded compartment for laptops of up to 15.4 inches. There’s also an integrated USB port for on-the-go charging. Other interior organization features include X-shaped compression straps, a removable tri-fold suiter and two large mesh side pockets.

On the outside, there’s a large U-shaped front pocket and two smaller pockets for keeping easy-access items like your wallet or travel documents. The bezel of the Swiss-engineered handle has a hidden ID tray with an integrated pen and SIM card replacement tool. Choose one of three height settings and enjoy the silent movement of the four dual-caster Hinomoto wheels. The suitcase also has a flush-mounted lock that can be opened and re-locked by TSA agents and soft-grip top and side haul handles.

04 of 08

Best Carry-On: Briggs & Riley Transcend Tall Carry-On Expandable Spinner

Briggs & Riley Transcend Tall Carry-On Expandable Spinner

Courtesy of Amazon

The Briggs & Riley Transcend Tall Carry-On is ideally sized to meet the carry-on size restrictions of most major airlines. Its dimensions (22 x 14 x 9 inches) include its four spinner wheels and telescoping handle, while Transcend VX expansion technology allows for 2.5 inches of extra packing space. The suitcase is made from two-tone nylon twill that looks great and resists wear, abrasion, dirt, and moisture. A hybrid fiberglass frame that’s made to absorb impact and Permasquare reinforcement patches on high-wear areas also help to increase the bag’s lifespan.

Use the sturdy top and side handles to maneuver the suitcase into the overhead locker. At security, the SpeedThru pocket on the front of the bag provides quick storage for your wallet, phone, and passport; while the bright orange lining immediately alerts you if it’s accidentally left open. There’s also a gusseted exterior pocket and multiple zippered compartments on the inside of the suitcase. The latter is integrated into the hold-down straps and fold-out suiter. Choose your carry-on in three smart shades of merlot, rainforest or slate. 

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best Briggs and Riley luggage items article.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best Duffel: Bric’s Life 22-Inch Cargo Overnight Duffel Bag

Bric’s Life 22” Cargo Overnight Duffel Bag

Courtesy of Amazon

Those in the market for a luxury weekend duffel bag should consider the beautiful Bric’s Life 22-Inch Duffel. With measurements of 22 x 13 x 10 inches, it can also be used as a carry-on bag. The duffel is handcrafted from sueded PVC, which is both waterproof and easy to clean. Full-grain Tuscan leather details and rolled top handles add an extra element of sophisticated style. Use the duffel’s metal foot studs to stand it upright at the check-in desk.

The nylon-lined interior is largely unstructured to allow for maximum packing space although there is a zippered pocket that comes in handy for separating toiletries. On the outside of the duffel, there’s a large pocket for storing essentials so that they’re easy to find at a moment’s notice. You can sling the bag across your body using the adjustable, detachable shoulder strap or attach it to your main suitcase using the luggage sleeve on the back. Perfect for men or women, the duffel comes in a variety of colors including black, blue, olive, and more.

Take a peek at some of the other best duffel bags you can buy.

06 of 08

Best Heavy Duty: Eagle Creek ORV 30-Inch Trunk

Eagle Creek ORV 30” Trunk

Courtesy of Amazon

Measuring 30 x 16.5 x 15 inches, the Eagle Creek ORV Trunk is custom-made for off-the-beaten-track adventures. Its Bi-Tech Armor material provides ultimate abrasion and weather resistance, while its oversized, treaded wheels offer a smooth ride over all types of terrain. There’s even an expandable, seam-taped wet/dry compartment to keep your gear separate from the rest of your clothes. Use the included Equipment Keeper or Cargo Net to lash extra kit to the outside of the bag. The Cargo Net comes in handy for interior compression, too, helping your belongings to arrive in one piece.

You’ll also find several padded laptop or tablet sleeves and a series of zippered pockets. Attach your own padlock to the central lock point and enjoy the peace of mind afforded by the bag’s puncture-resistant zippers. All zippers also boast reflective finger-loop pulls that are designed to be operated with gloves on. Choose asphalt black, granite gray or highland green. Whichever color you go for, your suitcase is protected by Eagle Creek’s No Matter What lifetime warranty.

07 of 08

Best Backpack: TUMI Alpha 2 T-Pass Business Class Brief Pack

TUMI Alpha 2 T-Pass Business Class Brief Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

A superb fit for style-conscious business travelers, the TUMI Alpha 2 T-Pass Brief Pack is made from patented FXT ballistic nylon. On the inside, it features an organizer panel with pen loops and a key hook as well as multiple zippered, open and elasticated pockets. An integrated TUMI Tracer helps locate registered backpacks if they get lost. Exterior storage spaces include a roomy U-zip pocket on the front and a dedicated pocket for your travel ticket. The side pocket is fully waterproof, so you can stash your umbrella or water bottle without worrying about spills.

The highlight of this backpack is the padded laptop compartment. Located on the back of the bag, it fits computers of up to 15 inches and is designed to meet TSA requirements for a clear scan. This means that you can pass through security without removing your laptop. Other notable features include an embossed leather top handle and a luggage sleeve that connects the backpack to your main suitcase. It measures 16.5 x 12 x 8 inches and comes in black, navy, or pewter.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best carry-on backpacks.

08 of 08

Best Set: Timberland 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage Set

Timberland 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage Set

Courtesy of Amazon

The Timberland 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage Set includes three perfectly matched suitcases: a 21-inch carry-on, a 25-inch checked bag for shorter trips, and a 29-inch checked bag for extended stays. Each one is made from impact-resistant ABS with a polycarbonate film for a stylish, glass-like finish. Amazon reviewers love the bags’ armor-like molding which makes them easy to identify on the luggage carousel. For added individuality, choose stand-out shades like green, bronze, or burnt orange. The set’s fashion-forward aesthetic is complemented by leather Timberland logos and zipper pulls.

Inside, the suitcases boast a full lining, a zippered curtain separator, and elasticated compression straps to keep everything in place. All three sizes offer an optional two-inch expansion that comes in handy when you need to make space for those last-minute souvenir purchases. Other features include a push-button telescoping handle, four double spinner wheels and durable top and side carry handles. When you’re not using the suitcases they nest inside one another to save space in your wardrobe.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular luggage items under $500 on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different luggage items overall, screened options from 11 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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