Courtesy of Paravel
Courtesy of Roam
Roam luggage is fully customizable down to the color of the zipper.
A bag that reflects your personal style and withstands the rigors of travel makes the journey all the more enjoyable. Start your search with some of our favorite luggage brands.
A good suitcase is a travel essential, but whether you’re headed for a two-day business trip or a two-week road trip, it can be a challenge to find luggage that is both enjoyable to use and enjoyable to look at. We get it—things like high-quality locks, zippers, spinner wheels, pockets, charging ports, and weight are all important aspects to consider when selecting a new inanimate travel companion. But hey, so is how it will look in your travel photos.
The trick is finding the right piece of luggage for you when there are so many options. Do you want a wheeled carry-on suitcase? A weekender? A travel backpack? And what size, shape, and color? Although they may be slightly more difficult to find, Holy Grail luggage brands—those that balance high quality, durability, and design—do exist. You just need to know where to find them. To help you choose your next suitcase, whether it’s a duffel bag or a spinner, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best luggage brands worth investing your money in, whether your budget is $100 or $1,000.
Paravel launched in 2016 with the goal of creating stylish bags that were timeless, long-lasting, affordable, and above all, gentle on the Earth. Since then, the sustainable luggage brand has upcycled 1.7 million plastic bottles into materials for everything from its Negative Nylon foldable bags to its Ecocraft Canvas duffels and weekenders. Its line of Aviator hard-shell spinner suitcases comes in three different sizes and about half a dozen colors. Plus, Paravel offsets all of the carbon emissions generated from manufacturing and shipping these suitcases.
Any trip that involves one of Baboon to the Moon’s vibrant bags is sure to be a fun one. The company’s flagship Go-Bag, a duffel built for adventures, comes in three sizes and features plenty of pockets, adjustable straps that can turn the bag into a backpack, and a waterproof shell. Baboon also offers smaller items (fanny packs and dopp kits), all in its bright, bold colors and funky pop-art prints.
The world’s first fully customizable premium luggage brand, Roam makes bags for those of us who can’t ever seem to find a suitcase that, well, suits our style. The company offers four sizes of polycarbonate-shell bags—all of which have fully integrated TSA-approved locks and are made in the United States—and travelers can browse suggested color combinations or design their own. If you really go all out with the customization, your bag could have different colors for the front shell, back shell, zipper, binding, stitching, wheels—even the handle.
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After struggling to find a travel bag that wasn’t too frumpy, overpriced, or tech-y, Helen Lo founded her own luggage brand in her mid-6os with the help of her two sons. The result is a line of lightweight, yet durable weekend bags, laptop totes, and backpacks with pockets in all the right places to keep your belongings organized so you’re never digging for your iPad in the same compartment as your shoes. Currently, Lo & Sons makes 30 percent of its products with ecofriendly materials like organic cotton canvas and recycled polyester and aims to increase that amount to 75 percent by 2025.
With the motto “handmade meets high tech” leading the way, Rimowa has effectively helped to revolutionize the way high-quality luggage is designed since the company was founded in 1898 in Cologne, Germany. Suitcases 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. In 2018, the brand updated the engineering of its classic cases, making them even more durable and resilient than before.
Patagonia is so much more than a luggage brand. This environmentally conscious outdoor gear company makes everything from fleece vests to snow pants and wetsuits. But its collection of Black Hole duffel bags are iconic for a reason. A durable water-repellent finish protects your equipment, padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, and plenty of pockets keeps everything organized no matter how much you stuff in there. Available in a carry-on friendly 30-liter size up to a massive 100-liter version with wheels, each Black Hole bag is now made with 100 percent recycled polyester body fabric and nylon webbing crafted from repurposed water bottles.
Edward and Judy Kwon founded Calpak in 1989 in Los Angeles with a collection of wallets and handbags. In 2013, their children Jennifer and Roy joined the company and rebranded the family business 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 spinner sets, many in fun colors and patterns. (How gorgeous is this marble design?!) And each suitcase is remarkably lightweight yet impressively tough—the perfect combination for those who travel frequently.
In a lot of ways, we can thank Herschel Supply Co. for making functional bags cool again. With its hip designs and various patterns, the company has become a favorite with millennials—and has proved that backpacks aren’t only for students and fanny packs aren’t just for tourists, among other things. But Herschel’s duffel bags are undeniably among its best. For experiential travelers who are constantly on the go, these travel bags are made of durable materials and come with smart features like separate shoe compartments.
Travelpro excels in the realm of usability and is clearly designed for travelers, by travelers. It’s no wonder you see these bags rolling along flight attendants and pilots at airports around the world. The suitcases feature expandable zippers, removable dividers, and resilient soft-shell fabric. The brand offers a huge selection of products and product lines and its bags range in weight, wheels, color, and size, so it’s easy to find the perfect bag for your next trip.
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Away is the picture of simplicity in design-minded luggage. Each bag features a hard polycarbonate shell, four spinner wheels, a removable laundry bag, TSA-approved locks, and a patent-pending compression system on the interior, while certain models also offer a battery pack and USB charger, which are removable, in compliance with TSA requirements. The brand has also expanded its offerings to include weekenders, soft-sided luggage, and packing cubes—all in an ever-changing rainbow of limited edition colors. 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.
Change is also on the horizon for this fast-growing brand: Following a December 2019 report by the Verge about allegations from former employees of a toxic work environment, cofounder Steph Korey stepped down from her role as CEO in 2020. Currently, cofounder and president Jen Rubio is serving as the interim CEO.
Swedish company Fjällräven embodies the spirit that makes the Scandinavian country one of the happiest on Earth. Seriously, look at these products with their cute little fox logo 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 made from recycled materials, hefty straps and carry handles, and a variety of clever pockets.
French luggage and travel accessory brand Delsey truly does it all—carry-ons, garment bags, sets, duffel bags, and much, much more. It offers a number of separate collections categorized by style and material, ranging from hard polycarbonate to expandable cloth, and from subdued neutrals to shiny pinks and blues.
The words “reliable,” “universal,” and “beloved” sum up Tumi, a company that offers a wide range of luggage, backpacks, and bags in a variety of designs and durable materials like polycarbonate and ballistic nylon. While it is 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.
Reminiscent of vintage trunks, Steamline Luggage products make us want to wear a fancy hat and jump on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The brand offers nearly a dozen different sets, ranging from two pieces to nine pieces each, available together or individually. Products include hat boxes, stowaways, carry-ons, vanity cases, and spinners in a variety of styles and classic colors.
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, spinners, and duffels, each especially designed for functionality and perfect for the stylish business traveler. The company is aware of our technological needs (thank goodness) and offers a variety of bags with specialized computer or tablet compartments.
This article originally appeared online in August 29, 2016; it was updated on October 10, 2019, and again on March 19, 2021, to include current information.
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