It can be a challenge to find luggage that is both enjoyable to use and enjoyable to look at. We get it—things like pockets, locks, zippers, and weight are all important aspects to consider when selecting a new inanimate travel companion. But hey, so is how it will look in that arrival Instagram.
Though they may be slightly more difficult to find, these Holy Grail luggage brands—those that balance durability and design—do exist. You just need to know where to find them. To help you choose your next suitcase, we’ve rounded up our favorite 13 brands, each which is as easy on the eyes as it is on the airport floor.
French luggage and travel accessory brand Delsey truly does it all—carry-ons, garment bags, sets, duffel bags, and much more. It offers 10 separate collections categorized by style and material, ranging from hard titanium to expandable cloth, and from subdued neutrals to bright pinks and blues. Products are sold in retail stores as well as directly online with free standard shipping. Delsey HONORÉ+ Spinner Luggage, $160
In a lot of ways, we can thank Herschel for making functional bags cool again. Its hip design and various patterns have become a favorite with millennials—and have proved that backpacks aren’t just for students and fanny packs aren’t just for tourists, among other things. But Herschel’s luggage products are undeniably among their best. For experiential travelers who are constantly on the go, these pieces are made of durable materials and finished with leather detailing. Herschel Novel Duffle, $85
For those of us wanting a champagne diet on a beer budget, it doesn’t get much better than Embassy Travel Gear. While the brand offers a few wheeled products, its signature bag is the oversized tote, which comes in full faux leather or cloth with accents. The unisex products feature neutral tones and are ideal for short trips or as a carry-on. Embassy Travel Gear 21 Tote Bag, $23
Swedish company Fjallraven embodies the spirit that makes this country one of the happiest on Earth. Seriously, look at these products and try not to smile. But the brand’s merit doesn’t end with its whimsical colors and lightweight material—each bag is also designed for outdoor and active use, with strong fabric, hefty straps, and a variety of pockets. The full line of bags is easily shoppable via the U.S. website, but can also be found in select stores.
Reminiscent of vintage trunks, the Steamline Luggage products make us want to toss on a fancy hat and jump on a train across the Union Pacific Railroad. The brand offers 17 different sets, ranging from two pieces to five pieces each, available together or individually. Products include hat boxes, stowaways, carry-ons, vanity cases, and spinners in a variety of classic colors. Luggage is available for purchase online.
It’s hard to imagine not having a fun trip when you’re accompanied with Lojel luggage. The brand specializes in hard-shell bags in bright hues. The online site helps customers choose which of the three different sizes of luggage is right for them by showing which travel necessities will fit inside. Each of the various collections come in slightly different designs and are geared toward diverse styles of traveling—ensuring that customers will find what they are looking for with Lojel.
You know what they say: If you’re going to buy leather, make it Italian leather. OK, we’re not sure if “they” say that, but it’s true—the buttery leathers from the boot are excellent. Piquadro puts these high-quality materials into its various travel items, including rolling backpacks, trolleys, and duffels, each especially designed for functionality. The company is aware of our technological needs (thank goodness) and offers a variety of bags with specialized computer or tablet compartments.
Reliable, universal, and beloved sum up TUMI, which offers a wide range of luggage, backpacks, and bags in a variety of designs and materials. While it’s always releasing new colors, patterns, and materials, TUMI really sets itself apart with the classics—the soft duffel, garment bag, and wheeled carry-on. Ideal for business travelers, TUMI bags are made with both convenience and longevity in mind.
Calpak accurately brands itself as a line of modern luggage, ideal for the savvy 21st-century traveler and suited for weight restrictions and notorious TSA wear and tear. The brand’s signature products are its lines of hardside suitcases, many in fun colors and patterns (how gorgeous is this marble design?!). Each is remarkably lightweight yet impressively tough—the perfect combination for those who travel frequently.
Travelpro excels in the realm of usability and is clearly designed for travelers, by travelers—the suitcases feature expandable zippers, removable dividers, and resilient fabric. Products range in weight, wheels, color, and size.
With the motto “handmade meets high tech” leading the way, RIMOWA has effectively helped to revolutionize how luggage is designed. Products come in aluminum or polycarbonate hard shells; aluminum lines are reminiscent of futuristic flights, while the polycarbonate models have an additional flair of color and style. Many pieces are also equipped with RIMOWA’s Electronic Tag, a technological component that allows passengers to check in their bag from their smartphone and drop it off at the airport in seconds.
If there’s one luggage brand changing the game, it’s Trunkster. First introduced via Kickstarter, the techy products quickly took off due to their modern features: a built-in scale, USB charging ports, removable power bank, and optional tracker module. Basically, this brand is making it easier—and more fun—to travel. Its bags will help alleviate the stress of running out of phone battery, going over the weight limit, or having TSA lose a suitcase.
With one style in just three sizes and four colors, Away is the picture of simplicity in design-minded luggage. Each bag features a hard polycarbonate shell, four spinner wheels, a removable laundry bag, and a patent-pending compression system on the interior, while the carry-on also offers a battery pack and USB charger. Affordable yet incredibly functional and well-made, Away’s products are ideal for the jet-setter who wants it all: the right price, the right features, and the right look.