How To Choose The Best Travel Bags
Getting bit by the travel bug happens too fast – all it takes is one trip and, no matter the age, most people are hooked.
For those of us who are already planning their next holiday (or next five…), this article hits the spot. Focusing on ten of the best travel bag companies, our review will showcase the pros of each brand to help you find the bag best suited for your travel style.
We’ll take a look at the history, material, quality, and stock of these brands and see what really sets them apart. Whether it’s a pack for school and work supplies or a globe-trotting mission, these brands have you covered with a wide range of products and prices.
While the travel industry has been hit hard since Covid-19 spread, the market is kicking back up as the world once again opens to tourism. Don’t waste any time – have your top travel bag ordered and ready to take off on your next trip at a moment’s notice.
10 Best Travel Bag Brands
Ahead, you’ll find our top 10 picks for the Best Travel Bag Brands that we think are worth checking out. We’ve made sure to include a wide variety of brands, so keep an eye out for what makes each one special.
Known widely for their Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox was established in 1884 by Karl Elsener in Switzerland.
This well-established brand launched on the notion of function in compactable form, starting with knives and slowly moving outward into watches, travel gear, and most recently fragrances.
Built with the goal of having “quality, functionality, innovation and iconic design” in all of their products, this brand is built to last through their expansive product line and quality materials.
Victorinox joins our best travel bags list for the range of bags in style, sizing, and prices. Offering 6 different categories for bag styles, these cases are crafted from nylon, polycarbonate, and polyester for hard and soft-shell casing options.
Pricing for cases depends on the style and size you choose, with costs for carry-ons and checked luggage coming in at $200 to $700.
Victorinox offers three different warranty options with 2, 5, and 10-year warranties available for their products to cover damages and defects. We will say the one downside of this brand is the lack of color choices, with most pieces available in only black, gray, blue, or red.
Built around the notion of traveling with ease, Robert Plath created TravelPro’s first piece of luggage in 1989, the Rollaboard. His history of working as a pilot gave him firsthand knowledge of the wear and tear luggage took on with extended travel time.
To save his luggage and his back any more pain and hassle, Plath aimed to create a piece that would smoothly allow him to move through the airport without dragging his luggage behind him.
Now a popular line for pilots, flight attendants, and travelers, TravelPro has extended their stock to over 12 categories and styles of luggage for your convenience.
With prices varying between $100 and $1,000, this brand offers a variety of products and colors with almost 25 different shades and tones available for their bags.
Warranty for TravelPro bags depends entirely on the collection you buy from, with most purchases accompanied by a Limited Lifetime Warranty and their Platinum Magna 2 coming with the Worry-Free Warranty.
Both options cover a variety of damage and defect replacement so we recommend checking out the specific warranty of the bag you’re buying before completing the purchase.
3. Swiss Gear
One of the more affordable choices, Swiss Gear made their way onto our best travel bags list for their prices, products, and their package deals. A subsidiary of the same company that operates Victorinox, this brand’s roots date back to 1893.
This brand’s goal has always been to provide top-quality, design, and security in its pieces. Swiss Gear’s main feature is their low prices, offering quality suitcases for $100-$200 and also selling affordable 3-piece luggage sets for $300-$400.
In one purchase you can own a complete set, preparing you for travel times of any length. Constant deals cut their prices even lower, offering the opportunity to purchase durable travel bags at a great discount.
Their color palette is limited to more neutral tones with four to five options total for their bags, but for these prices, the limited choice is worth it. Offering 3, 5, and 10-year warranties, save your money to enjoy the trip itself, not just for luggage.
4. American Tourister Luggage
Founded in 1933 by Sol Koffler, American Tourister Luggage was built on a dream of top quality for affordable pricing.
Koffler sunk his savings into the company, building “one of the largest luggage brands in the world.” With style, color, and cost all taken into consideration, this brand was crafted to cater to all ages and travel styles.
Both hard and soft-shell pieces make up their inventory, with a wide range of features including Cross Straps, TSA Locks, Expandable models, and Smart Sleeves.
Collaborations with Disney have brought beloved cartoon and franchise characters to available Kids’ cases to make traveling more fun. Their variety of color options for cases also makes it easier to identify your suitcase amongst the endless sea of bags stored on the plane.
With pieces costing $50 – $500, you’re sure to find something that fits your budget and style. American Tourister Luggage comes with a 3 or 10-year warranty plan to keep your cases covered for the worst-case possibility.
Replacing damaged and defective items at any time, this brand assures quality, performance, and durable designs for all products.
Tumi was founded in 1975 by a previous Peace Corps volunteer, originally launching their line with soft-leather bags built to last. Named after a Peruvian icon, founder Charlie Clifford moved this brand forward with a carry-on garment bag that changed the travel game.
Since their creation, the brand has sky-rocketed with the crafting of their ballistic nylon luggage that makes travel light, secure, and simple.
With a fantastic variety of luggage, backpacks, bags, and accessories, this company crafts their bags from a range of materials, with custom colors to make identifying your bag all the easier.
These bags do run more expensive than other options on this list, with some pieces listed as high as $1700. Tumi also offers a 5-year warranty option so you can travel worry-free for at least half a decade.
What makes Samsonite a provider of some of the best travel bags on the market? We’d say it’s their 100 years in the business paired with the wide range of products and prices to fit just about everyone’s budget and needs.
Founded in 1910 by Jesse Shwayder, the brand offers a variety of sizes, styles, and features to make your travel time simple and stylish.
With 14 color options throughout their luggage inventory, this company’s price ranges from $55 to $700 for single pieces, with luggage sets offered for $900.
They’re popular for their 4-wheel pieces and comfortably adjustable handles to direct your luggage with ease in the busiest sections of the airport. Built to be lightweight with space to spare, these pieces and their sleek designs make our list for a reason!
With 3 and 10-year warranty options, any damages and defects will be covered and leave you and your luggage smoothly strutting the streets.
Tracing their travel origins back to 1898, Rimowa’s goal was always to make travel light by creating the best travel bags when it comes to weight and storage space.
Starting with lightweight woods and aluminum casings, this brand’s iconic groove design came into place in 1950 alongside water and weatherproofing capabilities.
Related: Want to learn more? Check out the full Rimowa Luggage Review.
Now working with polycarbonate and 8-wheel designs for light travel and smooth turns, this company’s focus has shifted to style and security since their durable designs have continued to last.
With 12 colors and a range of pricing from $100 to $2,000, these hard-shell pieces promise strength and style for any trip you take.
Every piece comes with a 5-year guarantee, with any repairs featuring a further 2-year warranty. All luggage is made with their aluminum groove design, but smaller backpacks, messenger bags, and tote bags come in a durable fabric.
8. Open Story
Beat away the lesser-known brands with a family favorite – Open Story. You may not know this brand by name, but we’re certain you’re at least somewhat familiar with their founder company, Target.
In 2020, Target launched their own collection of luggage to bring affordable and accessible pieces to a wider audience.
Including over 35 pieces, this brand offers 6 colors for the five styles of bags. From luggage to backpacks to garment bags, they’re bringing costs down to keep travel cheap.
With their limited luggage sets available for $150 and $180, these hard-shell cases provide an easy way to pick up and pack for that last-minute trip.
Backpacks and other soft-shell bags typically come up under the $100 mark with slim options for color and design. As a new brand, Open Story covers a variety of styles, but their luggage does offer fewer additional features, focusing more on an inexpensive and durable design.
Carry-on and checked luggage bags come with a 10-year warranty, though smaller backpacks and garment bags are excluded from this deal.
Founded by Jen Rubio and Steph Korey, Away was built to make the world a better place by combining travel with social causes.
This brand was born from the desire to leave a positive impact on the world and chose to partner with Global Giving, Peace Direct, International Medical Corps, The Trevor Project, and many other causes in need of funds and publicity.
Beginning from simple suitcases, this best travel bag brand has broached out to travel gear including a range of bags and accessories to make your trip as uncomplicated as possible.
By removing the middleman, Away pieces cost less to provide affordable, premium-quality travel equipment.
Related: See our Away Luggage Review for more information.
Available in 10 colors and three material options (nylon, aluminum, and polycarbonate), these bags are designed to simplify even the most complex trip by giving you a secure way to store your worldly possessions as you’re on the move.
With most items costing between $200-$400, Away also offers X-Large Aluminum cases for close to $800 for those cross-country moves. You’ll have the space and security you need to safely package up your items for transit.
Away products are covered by a lifetime warranty, assuring the quality of your product to last well beyond its prime years. Whether it’s a crack in the material or a wheel popping off, you’ll receive repairs free of charge.
Ending our list of the best travel bag brands to buy, Beis was made to combine form and function into one stylish piece fit for any travel destination. Their bags are durable by design and often double up for everyday use rather than storage between journeys.
Get fit by taking your travel duffel to the gym or use your incredibly organized backpack for school and work. These items covered a variety of uses for a great price.
The founder of Beis, Shay Mitchell, created the company in 2017, taking an international journey to play a part in the creation and design of her bags.
Seeking affordable and fashionable styles for Instagram-worthy shots, Mitchell’s brand aimed to inspire beauty, travel, adventure, and fun in their pieces.
Related: View the full Beis Travel Bags Review to learn more.
Offering luggage prices from $40 to $300, this brand is easily one of the most affordable luggage companies on this best travel bags list.
We will say the color palette is limited with only black and beige to choose from, so you’ll need to add some accessories to easily recognize your set at the airport. However, for these prices and quality PVC or nylon material pieces, color is a simple sacrifice to make.
Beis’s warranty, known as the Limited Lifetime Luggage Warranty, covers their 21″ Hardside Rolling Luggage, 26″ Hardside Rolling Luggage, and 29” Hardside Rolling Luggage.
These pieces are covered for cracks, damage, and defects; however, all other pieces fall under different policies. Make sure to check what coverage you’re getting before you buy.
What Are Travel Bags Used For?
Everyone travels – whether you’re commuting to work or flying across the world, we all need a bag for our essentials. Different size and styled bags function for different purposes, but if you’re looking to add some longer trips to your life then you need the best travel bag for the job.
All travel bags, no matter the style, really come down to four key elements:
Your trip length and location will alter how these aspects play into the bag you purchase. For trips to work or school, a simple messenger bag will do the job.
Backpacks and carry-ons are great for weekend trips and short journeys. Beyond that, the bag you choose will suit your travel and packing style, so sit down to figure out just what you’re expecting to get from your bag before you buy.
What Are The Different Types Of Travel Bags?
Searching for the best travel bags can lead you down a rabbit hole. Between brands, styles, features, and prices, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and struggle with your purchase.
We’re here to help, and part of that advice comes from breaking down the different types of travel bags you may come across in your research.
There are five main types of bags you may come across in your search. We’re going to lay out some quick pros and cons to each style to help you understand the use and limits of each style:
- Carry-Ons – Easily one of the most common styles, these join the list of best travel bags for their small stature, alongside their wheels and handle for easy transport.
These bags are often the small-size luggage cases that come in hard- and soft-shell options. Carry-on cases are limited in capacity, but extremely lightweight and durable, making them the perfect choice for light travelers and short trips.
- Duffel Bags – Definitely not one for those with a bad back, duffel bags join this list for weekend or short trips with light luggage.
While most of these bags are made from durable materials, they don’t have the side support or security of carry-ons or checked bags leaving them more susceptible to a split during travel times.
Some duffels come with attached wheels and handles, but for weight-sake, many of them simply come with straps for you to lug the bag and easily toss it in the overhead bin.
Great for short trips, these bags probably aren’t a top choice for any vacations lasting more than a few days.
- Checked Luggage – Alongside Carry-ons, Checked Luggage is one of the best travel bags to buy.
More recently, these bags have come second to Carry-ons due to their larger size, but they’re still frequently purchased and used for moving, travel, and storage.
Available in hard- and soft-shell casing, these bags come with wheels and handles to make your life easier while on the go.
The main advantage of checked luggage is the available space for packing – capacity usually double or sometimes triple the space of carry-ons with zippers often secured by locking mechanisms to keep your items safe.
Unfortunately, that also doubles as a con making these bags heavier and more awkward to travel with. Plus, you have to wait around for your bag to be taken off the plane once you’ve landed rather than grabbing from up top and moving on.
- Backpacks – When it comes to quick movements and simple travel, backpacks lead the way.
They’re simple to travel with, easy to store and tend to be made from durable materials. Backpacks are also crafted to be flexible, allowing you to stuff these bags to their limit.
The issue with backpacks comes in their name. All the weight you pack into this bag is carried entirely on your back, so you may want to put in the money for a well-padded option or even one with wheels.
The other downside with this style of bag comes from organization – it can be hard to find what you need when you need it!
- Briefcases – Briefcases and messenger bags are the most limited bags when it comes to travel. Perfect for laptops, books, and a simple change of clothes, you aren’t getting a good amount of storage space for anything more than a day or so.
These bags tend to be the best travel bags to accompany carry-on or checked luggage, placing your valuables in these personal packs and keeping clothes in a separate space.
Within each style, there are a variety of options with different bags offering anti-theft properties, RFID protection, organization pockets, and more.
These are all added pros for your accessories, but shouldn’t be the priority in your decision. You need to find the size and style that works for you before looking at any added benefits.
Things To Consider When Buying The Best Travel Bags
When you’re looking for the best travel bag to buy, there are a few key considerations to check off the list.
While brand is a big one, function and features reign superior for this purchase. You want to look at the details of the bag, and we’ll lay out a few pivotal pieces you need to look for in your purchase.
1. Material – Travel bags typically come in hard shell or soft shell. There are pros and cons to both designs, but ultimately the choice is one of personal preference.
Hard-shells provide an extra element of weather-proof protection that shields your items, but soft-shell cases typically allow flexibility when packing, allowing you to cram more items inside when you’re struggling to get that last piece to fit.
2. Size – While suitcases typically come in a variety of sizes, you need to plan ahead for your bag’s use.
Big bags can be great for storage and hold a larger capacity, but they’re likely to be bulky and heavy to pull around while traveling making them better for moving than short trips.
Smaller bags severely limit your packing opportunities but are far easier to handle during the standard airport shuffle. Find the size that suits your purpose and travel style.
3. Security – This isn’t as popular an element due to the creation of suitcase locks to step in and save the day, but it is something to consider.
Many suitcases these days are crafted with built-in locking systems to secure your luggage and prevent any splitting zippers and seams during travel. If you don’t want to pay extra for the built-in feature, then normal suitcase locks will easily do the job.
4. Maneuverability – Above all else, suitcases need to move, and that comes down to the wheels and handle style that you choose.
Two and four-wheel cases are most common with four-wheels being the best in terms of movement as they can rotate 360 degrees without issue while standing upright, making travel easier on your back.
Two-wheel cases limit flow as they need to be angled for movement and, due to the angled weight placed on the wheels, require some creative twists to turn yourself around.
Handles are a big consideration, and we’ll tell you now – always look for adjustable ones.
Some handles come with one height option which can affect posture and harm your back if it sits too high or too short for your height. The best handles in the business are aluminum (not plastic), adjustable handles that fit your height.
5. Brand – Accompanying brand comes price and warranty. When shopping around, research your brands before buying. You not only want to consider the quality-history of that brand, but the warranty offered for the price you’re paying.
Longer warranties are always better as the more trips you take, the higher the chance of something happening to your travel bag.
6. Organization – One factor to consider before buying the best travel bag is accessibility and organization.
Does the case have anti-wrinkle features? Laptop protection? RFID protection? Compartments? Is it convenient to open up and slip something inside if you forgot to pack an item?
Some cases are more accessible than others, but it’s something to consider if you don’t want to be that person at the airport who has to open their whole case to find their brush.
7. Style – Our last point somewhat relates to the size matter, but we’re making it its own category. Style links to your travel type. While we’ve talked a lot about suitcases, they aren’t for everyone. Some people prefer backpacks, roller bags, or duffel bags for their travel.
These bags don’t necessarily hold the capacity of suitcases, nor do they provide the back relief of the wheels, but for some these bags make travel more accessible as they’re moving around with less bulk and it’s easier to toss their bags in the overhead bin.
Forget waiting at the carousel for your suitcase, just grab it from overhead and head out on your adventure.
It may seem like a lot of points laid out to consider, but if you keep these categories in mind while buying, you’ll easily find the top travel bag in no time.
The key point is to figure out your travel style and buy what works for you when it comes to size, weight, capacity, and price. Figure out your packing style (too much or too little), and work from there to fill in the rest. Happy travels!
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