The 8 Best Smart Luggage Items of 2021

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

There are very few travel scenarios that are more anxiety-inducing than settling down into a worn leather chair in your designated terminal gate and realizing your phone is about to die…and there are no available outlets. One of the more convenient inventions of this century has been smart luggage. And while "smart luggage" can mean many things, it more often than not signifies that there are device-charging capabilities built right into your suitcase. Aside from USB port access, smart luggage is also designed to better protect your gadgets. From extra-padded laptop pockets to anti-theft construction, the bags feature several exciting 21st-century amenities.

Ahead, we pulled together our favorite pieces of smart luggage, from budget options and backpacks to zipperless bags and even an option for overpackers—all of them have been researched for durability, smart functionalities, and quality.

The Rundown
This is a smart suitcase that keeps the person dragging it around the airport in mind at all times.
It comes with all of the design elements you love in an overhead compartment-size carry-on.
The interior pocket has a zippered divider, making it easier to live out of your suitcase when the situation calls for it.
The integration of the USB port is seamless, hidden underneath the extendable handle.
This suitcase also lacks zippers, which also adds another perk: no broken zips.
Overpacking might be inevitable, but the built-in scale makes avoiding it a bit easier.
The main compartment cannot be opened by anyone while it’s being worn—the ultimate anti-theft protection.
This retro-inspired backpack from Modoker is refreshing in a nostalgic kind of way.
Table of contents

Best Overall: Travelpro Crew 11 21-Inch Slim Hardside Carry-On Spinner

Travelpro Crew 11 21-Inch Slim Hardside Carry-On Spinner
What We Like
  • Magnetic wheels

  • External USB port

  • Interior organization pockets

What We Don't Like
  • Easily dented

This hard-sided suitcase is made of a sturdy polycarbonate material and has all of the qualities that have made Travelpro a beloved brand by travelers and flight attendants alike. A lifetime worry-free guarantee, contour grips, and magnetic wheels that seamlessly glide in all directions—this is a smart suitcase that keeps the person dragging it around the airport in mind at all times. An upgrade from other similar suitcases under the brand’s name, the Crew 11 has an external USB port and a dedicated pocket for charging devices, so you won’t have to dig through your bag to access your phone fuel. The best part: It adheres to most airlines’ carry-on sizing guides.

Capacity: 42.3 liters | Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.5 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds

Best Budget: Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner

Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner
What We Like
  • USB port

  • Multi-directional wheels

What We Don't Like
  • Not much packing space

For a while, smart luggage only came in one size: large carry-on. This smaller underseat spinner from Samsonite was designed with a USB port for easy charging. It’s a true bargain, considering it comes with all of the design elements you love in an overhead compartment-size carry-on: an extendable handle, multi-directional spinner wheels, and a zippered front pocket. And although it’s small in footprint, there are tiny details—like an elastic band to secure laptops larger than the allotted 13 inches in the front pocket—that make you forget you’re traveling with a bag of this stature.

Capacity: Not listed | Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.75 x 9.0 inches | Weight: 5.5 pounds

Best Victorinox: Victorinox Swiss Army Connex Hardside Spinner, 27 inches

Victorinox Swiss Army Luggage
What We Like
  • Compression straps

  • Divider wall

  • USB port

What We Don't Like
  • Easily dented

The Connex Hardspinner has the USB port, but it also has some incredible organizational details that will make packing more efficient than ever. The interior pocket has a zippered divider, making it easier to live out of your suitcase when the situation calls for it. The wheels on this suitcase are also incredible: The 60-millimeter size and thick tires give a silent ride over the toughest of airport terminal floors (and beyond).

Capacity: 83 liters | Dimensions: 18.5 x 27.2 x 13 inches | Weight: 8.9 pounds

Best Away Bag: Away The Bigger Carry-On with Pocket

Away The Bigger Carry-On with Pocket
What We Like
  • Comes with the portable charger

  • Beautiful design

What We Don't Like
  • Easily scratched

Away was one of the first brands to make having a USB port inside your suitcase a trend. The minimalist aesthetic of their luggage and the rich color palettes can be seen on baggage claims across the world, and for good reason. The integration of the USB port is seamless, hidden underneath the extendable handle. This bigger version comes with a nylon pocket that makes accessing your laptop and other devices easier than ever. Plus, this suitcase comes with a portable charger, which isn’t the case with similar designs. It has enough juice to charge an iPhone four times in a single lifespan.

Capacity: 46 liters | Dimensions: 22.7 x 14.7 x 9.6 inches | Weight: 9 pounds

Best Zipperless: Enkloze X1 Self-Weighing Suitcase

Enkloze X1 Self-Weighing Suitcase
What We Like
  • Self-weighing

  • Interior dividers

  • Shock-absorbing wheels

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier than other options

Let’s kick this off by getting one thing clear: This suitcase doesn’t have a USB port. But it does have a pretty nifty detail that makes up for it, especially if you find yourself shelling out extra dough for overweight luggage on the regular: a built-in scale. And if that isn’t smart, we don’t know what is. The scale is easily located on the side of the suitcase and shows the weight of the luggage when it’s standing upright. This suitcase also lacks zippers, which also adds another perk: no broken zips. It closes with a set of heavy-duty locking clasps that will make sure your bag stays closed and secure for the duration of your travels. (The locks are also TSA approved and come with a set of keys.)

Capacity: 71 liters | Dimensions: 28.8 x 18.9 x 12.4 inches | Weight: 9.7 pounds

Best for Overpackers: Planet Traveler Smart Tech Case Hardside 23-Inch Spinner

Planet Traveler Smart Tech Case Hardside 23-Inch Spinner
What We Like
  • Location tracking

  • Self-weighing

What We Don't Like
  • Easily scratches

  • No USB port

This is another self-weighing option, but this time with the traditional zipper design. Overpacking might be inevitable, but the built-in scale makes avoiding it a bit easier. This hardside spinner from Planet Traveler takes it one step further: It comes with access to an app that allows you to track the weight of your suitcase, as well as the location. These details combined make it a great option for those who are constantly wondering if their belongings made it on the plane with them.

Capacity: Not listed | Dimensions: 12.25 x 19.25 x 28.25 inches | Weight: 8.8 pounds

Best Anti-Theft: Kopack Anti-Theft Backpack

Kopack Anti-Theft Backpack
What We Like
  • Waterproof

  • USB port

  • Zipperless front design

  • Shock-proof laptop pocket

What We Don't Like
  • Limited packing space

Tech-focused backpacks aren’t always easy on the eyes. But this design from Kopack not only looks great, but it also goes to extra lengths to make sure everything inside of your bag stays put. The bag was designed so you have to open it as little as possible while still getting a ton of function out of it. The external USB Port has a built-in cable that’s accessible without opening the bag. It is also designed with a flat-open packing space, making it easier to fit more clothing and essentials inside without creating a bulky silhouette. (We all know trying to stuff a lopsided backpack under the seat in front of us is…not fun.) The front of the bag is also zipperless, and the main compartment cannot be opened by anyone while it’s being worn—the ultimate anti-theft protection.

Capacity: Not listed | Dimensions: 11.8 x 17.7 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 1.9 pounds

Best Backpack: Modoker 15.6-Inch Vintage Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port

Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack
What We Like
  • USB port

  • Interesting design

  • Large laptop pocket

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

This retro-inspired backpack from Modoker is refreshing in the nostalgic kind of way. Built with a USB charging port and ergonomic shoulder straps (plus a padded back panel), it also features ripstop canvas, making it a durable choice for withstanding the rough and tumble nature of travel. This backpack also packs eight pockets, which is impressive in itself.

Capacity: Not listed | Dimensions: 11.5 x 4 x 17 inches | Weight: 1.9 pounds

Final Verdict

For a smart suitcase that thinks about every single detail, opt for the Crew 11 21" Slim Hardside Carry-On Spinner from Travelpro (view at Amazon). Aside from the built-in USB port, the magnetic wheels and ergonomic design details make it one of the most comfortable suitcases you’ll pull around the airport. For something with a bit more of a trendy aesthetic, check out The Bigger Carry-On with Pocket from Away (view at Away). The added nylon tech pocket makes accessing your gadgets easy, plus it comes with its own portable charger.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is smart luggage?

    Smart luggage usually refers to suitcases and other bags that have built-in charging capabilities. Often, they don’t come with their own portable chargers—you have to buy that on your own—but they are designed with access points for easy charging. Some of the picks included here don’t have USB ports but were included for other tech-forward design details, like built-in scales and location tracking.

  • Is smart luggage banned from airplanes?


    No, smart luggage is not banned from airplanes. But you do need to keep in mind that airlines do not want lithium-powered portable chargers in the cargo hold of the airplane. Airlines will request that you carry on portable chargers and remove any built-in portable chargers from smart luggage if it’s being gate checked. 

  • Do I have to remove a battery from my smart luggage when I fly?

    If you are checking your smart luggage, yes. You will need to remove any lithium-powered portable chargers and carry them on in your personal item or carry-on bag.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Erika Owen is a frequent traveler…and an avid iPhone user. She’s found herself at the airport with 2 percent phone battery and no available outlet in sight far too many times and depends on her smart luggage to give her a boost on the regular. All of these options were researched for durability, tech adaptability, and more.

Was this page helpful?
Continue to 5 of 8 below.