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When it comes to buying the best travel suitcase, you gotta be smart about it, my friends. It’s not just a box to lug your stuff around; it’s your trusty travel buddy.
There are so many options out there, it’s overwhelming, and we know first hand how stressful it can selecting the right one. That’s why we prepared this guide, so we can offer you some guidance on the best travel suitcases for international travel based on our own experience and research.
But before you pull the trigger and hit the “buy it now” button, you need to think about what really matters.
How comfy is that handle? Is the material gonna hold up against all the tossin’ and tumblin’? And don’t forget about pockets, organization, and weight limit.
In this guide, we’ve shared our recommendations for the best travel suitcases as checked bacgs, as well as given you some tips for what to look out for when choosing the right luggage for you…
- How To Choose The Best Suitcase For Travel
- What Type Of Travel Will You Use Your Suitcase For?
- What Are The Best Suitcase Sizes?
- What Suitcase Features Should You Consider?
- Do You Look For Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell Suitcases?
- What About Suitcase Handles?
- Should You Get A Warranty?
- What Are The Best Suitcase Colors?
- What Luggage Compartments Do You Need?
- Do You Need Waterproof Luggage?
- Is Suitcase Durability Important?
- What Are Reasonable Luggage Prices?
- The Best Suitcases for Travels
- 1. Best Overall Travel Suitcase – Samsonite Luggage Fiero HS Spinner 28
- 2. Best For Frequent Travelers – Delsey Helium Aero 29" Exp. Spinner Trolley
- 3. Best Softshell Suitcase For International Travel – Travelpro Maxlite 3 Expandable Spinner (25")
- 4. Best Expandable Suitcase For International Travel – Victorinox Spectra 2.0 29 Luggage
- 5. Most Stylish Suitcase For International Travel – Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage Montecito Micro-Light 28 Inch
- 6. Best Non-Black Suitcase For International Travel – Briggs & Riley Luggage 27 Inch Expandable Upright Bag
- 7. Best Hardshell Suitcase For International Travel – Ricardo Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive 29-Inch
- 8. Best Budget Travel Suitcase – Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Hardside Spinner 26
- Luggage Sets
- Final Thoughts
- More Travel Gear Articles
How To Choose The Best Suitcase For Travel
Because we travel in so many different ways – road trips, long-haul flights, weekend getaways, cruises – I wanted a quality luggage brand that’s practical for a family of four for any international trip we plan to take.
We also needed something durable, that would last many adventures, and be good value for money!
Not much to ask for, right?
Well, the good news is that it’s possible to find the perfect travel suitcase for your needs, but in order to find it, you need to know what to look for and what questions you should be asking yourself in the research process…
What Type Of Travel Will You Use Your Suitcase For?
The type of travel you do with be one of the biggest factors in choosing a suitcase.
Is your suitcase is for flying internationally? Then know the weight limits for your airlines of choice. Remember that airlines are strict with their weight limits so you will want one that’s lightweight, but also durable to it can withstand the force of reckless baggage handlers.
Make sure you can handle the size and weight of your luggage getting to and from your home to the airport – lifting it into your car, upstairs, at check-in etc.
Is your luggage for road trips? Make sure your suitcase will fit comfortably into the storage compartment of your vehicle.
Is your suitcase is for cruising? Keep in mind they typically stack your luggage in the boat’s belly before departure so a flat, rigid suitcase may be best. You also need to make sure the size will fit comfortably in your cabin, as there may not be a luggage rack and your suitcase may have to sit on the floor.
What Are The Best Suitcase Sizes?
When you check lugagge into a flight, the size is usually determined by the weight rather than the dimensions of the case. That being said, you should consider getting the case into a vehicle to the airport, and think about manouvering it around on your vacation.
In this guide, we’re focusing on checked luggage suitcases only, but if you would like to read about carry on suitcases, we have a complete guide the best carry-on luggage.
Even though there’s no restriction as such on size, you still want to get a size that’s most suitable for you without going too big.
Experts suggest that an empty wheeled suitcase should not weigh greater than 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms).
We also have young kids, so when choosing a case for them, we want suitcase sizes that they can manage comfortably and grow into over the years.
So what size do you need for your suitcase? For us as adults, 24 inches will be too small for a main suitcase for traveling, so we’ll be looking at a big suitcase in the 27-29 inch range – these sizes are the most popular size of luggage to check-in with a large capacity without breaking our backs and have room for multiple outfits, shoes, and toiletries.
You don’t want to go over 29 inches, which were popular when airlines used to allow 70 LB per bag (32kg), but most airlines restrict to 20kg to 25kg now, which you will be sure to go over if you have a 29 inch bag.
It is probably fine if you’re a rewards traveler flying business or first class internationally.
What Suitcase Features Should You Consider?
After you choose your size, the next things to consider when researching the best suitcases for overseas travel are what specific features are best for your traveling style.
Two-wheels vs. Four-wheel suitcases
Who wants to carry a suitcase these days? Most suitcases come with wheels, but not all of them are the same and have different amounts of wheels and different ways in which they roll.
Because we have young kids, and I’ve had back issues in the past, I’m looking for a four-wheel suitcase that will be easier to manage, for me and them.
If you’re not sure whether to look for a two-wheel or four-wheel suitcase, here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of each.
Pros of Two Wheel Suitcases
- The wheels are recessed into the case which helps prevent from snapping off.
- For getting around town, two wheels are better than four wheels for clearing curbs and rolling on uneven surfaces.
Cons of Two Wheel Suitcases
- Two wheel suitcases utilize wheels like on skateboards meaning they only roll forward and backward, so you either pull or push the suitcase with the extended handle.
Pros of Four Wheel Suitcases
- Spinner suitcases are more ergonomic and don’t put as much stress on your shoulders or back like rollers.
- They’re easier to maneuver in tight spaces such as on trains, down aisles of planes, in lifts etc.
Cons of Four Wheel Suitcases
- Because the wheels are externally mounted they’re more vulnerable to snapping off.
- External wheels steal some of your valuable packing space as the length of the wheels is included in the overall allowable dimensions.
- Your bag won’t remain stationary on an incline without laying it down or bracing it.
Do You Look For Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell Suitcases?
Travel can take its toll on your gear so the make and build or your suitcase is important for longevity.
These days when we think about the best suitcases for travel we have a choice between a hard sided or soft sided suitcase. Thinking about exterior quality these are your two main considerations.
Pros of Soft Shell Suitcases
- Typically lighter in weight and can conform to tight spaces such as the back of your car.
- They enable you to squeeze in just one more item of clothing (a con if you tend to overpack).
- If you love shopping an expanding suitcase could be what you need.
- Can absorb shock better than hard shells.
Cons of Soft Shell Suitcases
- Not as protective as hard-shell.
- Are vulnerable to ripping if the material is not of high quality.
- Not waterproof.
Pros of Hard Shell Suitcases
- Better for protecting your contents from breakage.
- Better security from thieves – can’t be quickly be ripped open with a blade.
- Can act as a seat while you wait.
- Stack easily on top of each other.
- Typically waterproof.
- Not expandable like a soft shell, so if you tend to overpack this can prevent you from stuffing more in.
Cons of Hard Shell Suitcases
- Can’t compress or expand a hard suitcase
- Can scratch easily and cheap hard cases can crack.
- Can’t squeeze into tight storage spaces at home or in your car.
- Few have exterior pockets.
What About Suitcase Handles?
You know those retractable handles that come with wheeled suitcases?
Make sure you consider getting one with an adjustable length, is long enough for your height, is sturdy, and retracts completely inside the bag!
Also, get one with two posts.
Our current suitcase has a two-post handle and we always use it to support either our laptop bag, camera bag, or our kids small day pack when moving through airports.
Two-posts provide more balance and support for this!
And get a suitcase with top and side handles that are durable and can withstand the weight of your belongings which will make lifting your travel suitcase easier.
Should You Get A Warranty?
If I’m going to invest a decent amount of money in one of the best suitcases for travel, I not only want it to last, but I want one with a decent manufacturer’s warranty to repair or replace the bag.
I’ve already talked about what happens in the cargo hold, and kids being kids sometimes things get mishandled.
The top suitcases – the more expensive luggage brands – often have warranties or guarantees versus the cheaper generic brands that typically don’t.
A warranty is definitely a feature you want to look out for.
What Are The Best Suitcase Colors?
I want a suitcase that’s easily recognizable and spotted on the luggage belt and not mistaken for someone else’s bag or vice versa – especially handy if we are rushing between connecting flights!
I’m talking about you BLACK suitcase. It’s time to go alternative to black, and white or cream which can get dirty quick – never buy white furniture or luggage with kids, lol.
I’m not saying go for the jazziest suitcase you can find, but just be sure to find one that has a design where you instantly know it’s yours.
What Luggage Compartments Do You Need?
Different compartments and pockets can be useful for separating your gear, especially any liquids or toiletries. When you’re traveling, so much stress can be lifted off you by knowing exactly where things are.
How many compartments and organization features are something to keep in mind.
We’ve had liquid spills in our luggage before, even red wine spills, because there wasn’t a practical place for it.
This is never fun, especially if it’s over your cherished dress or pants.
Do You Need Waterproof Luggage?
I’ve seen luggage sitting in the rain on the tarmac before getting loaded onto the plane whilst working for Delta.
I’ve seen luggage in the belly of a plane that has had something broken inside and it’s affected other bags underneath it.
I’ve picked up my suitcase from the baggage claim and it’s been covered in a mysterious goo.
And I’ve been caught in rainstorms getting to and from the airport to our accommodation.
So yes, waterproof luggage is a smart idea. You want a bag with material that protects it from the rain and from spills from other bags.
Is Suitcase Durability Important?
I’ve already mentioned what can go on behind the scenes with your luggage being loaded onto a plane.
You don’t need to pay top dollar, but a well-made suitcase that can withstand the test of time should be a consideration.
I’ve been rushing to catch a flight with our kids in the past and had wheels fall off and handles break – not much fun having to lug heavy suitcases (and kids whose legs can’t move fast enough).
The durability of a suitcase is one of the most important factors when looking for a suitcase for international travel.
What Are Reasonable Luggage Prices?
Like everything in life, you get what you pay for.
If you want good suitcases that are durable, you’re going to have to spend more than a few bucks, although the quality of even the top brand products these days seems to be slipping whether we’re talking electronics, cars, whatever.
Designer luggage can be more about fashion and looks than quality construction and can be more of a target for thieves, so we don’t recommend opting for a Luis Vuitton Suitcase for international travel.
But most of us have budget constraints and you should only spend what you can afford.
At the lower end of the price scale, a budget travel suitcase should cost around $100 USD. For a decent bag, you should aim to spend around $150 USD as a minimum.
If you travel a lot like us, then a suitcase becomes a serious part of your lifestyle and you want to invest in something you can count on to transport and protect your belongings, just like you want a trustworthy car transporting you!
If you plan to get a lot of use out of your suitcase, then you may be looking at the $200-$300 USD price range.
The Best Suitcases for Travels
Now you know what to look for, in no particular order, here is my short list of the best travel suitcases for international travel.
1. Best Overall Travel Suitcase – Samsonite Luggage Fiero HS Spinner 28
The Samsonite Luggage Fiero has top-notch construction that can withstand the hustle and bustle of airport handling.
The lightweight design makes navigating through crowded terminals a breeze and will be easy to lug into the back of a car, even once full.
The four smooth-rolling wheels glide effortlessly, allowing you to maneuver with ease.
Plus, it has an expandable feature that offers extra storage space for all those wanting to bring back lots of souvenirs!
With its scratch-resistant exterior and sturdy zippers, this is a great all-round suitcase for frequent jet-setters!
- 100% Polycarbonate
- Micro diamond texture is scratch resistant
- Four light weight wheels for effortless mobility
- Expands for extra capacity
- Hard case suitcase
- Full-zip interior divider and compression straps for increased packing organization
- Side mounted TSA approved lock ensures security while traveling
2. Best For Frequent Travelers – Delsey Helium Aero 29″ Exp. Spinner Trolley
As an avid globetrotter family, we decided on the Delsey Helium Aero 29″ Exp. Spinner Trolley suitcase as our travel suitcase of choice, and years later, it’s still survived multiple trips!
Its sleek design exudes both style and functionality, and it’s lightweight yet durable construction ensures easy maneuverability without compromising on quality.
The expandable feature came in handy when I needed to pack those extra items, and the four spinner wheels glided effortlessly across all terrains.
It also comes with a TSA-approved lock and robust zippers, so I never have to worry about the security of my belongings.
- 100% polycarbonate shell
- lightweight and durable.
- Large front compartment with integrated padded sleeve for up to 15.6 inch laptop
- 2 zippered mesh pockets for travel accessories and toiletries
- Double spinner wheels assure exceptional maneuverability
- Integrated 3 dial TSA combination lock, self-repairing zippers
- Recessed “one-button” locking handle system with industrial grade aluminum tubes
3. Best Softshell Suitcase For International Travel – Travelpro Maxlite 3 Expandable Spinner (25″)
When it comes to international travel, the Travelpro Maxlite 3 Expandable Spinner suitcase is one of the best in the soft shell market.
Its lightweight design makes it easy to move around, plus it has an expandable feature so you can squeeze in last minute essentials.
I also love the outer pockets, allowing you to place last minute items or things you need to grab quickly.
- 100% Polyester
- 4-wheel spinners rotate 360 degrees
- Airline-grade aluminum handle locks in 2 positions
- Honeycomb frame system provides lightweight durability
- Full length interior lid pocket, side accessory pocket, and adjustable hold down straps
- Manufacturer defects warranty
4. Best Expandable Suitcase For International Travel – Victorinox Spectra 2.0 29 Luggage
What I love about this suitcase is its impeccable design, which blends style and functionality seamlessly.
Crafted with durability in mind, this suitcase effortlessly withstands the rigors of travel, and the expandable feature gives you 4 more inches of space.
The spacious interior accommodates all my essentials, and the web straps ensures everything is secure.
- 100% Bayer Polycarbonate
- Global 10-year limited warranty
- TSA approved lock
- Made in Switzerland, where each case undergoes 30 tests to test its durability
- Corner guards
- Quiet roll wheels
5. Most Stylish Suitcase For International Travel – Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage Montecito Micro-Light 28 Inch
When it comes to international travel, you can be sure to roll up in style with the Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage Montecito Micro-Light 28 Inch suitcase.
The lightweight design allows for easy maneuverability, even when packed to the brim. The smooth-motion wheels effortlessly glide over various surfaces, and also roll quietly.
It’s the sturdy polycarbonate exterior and the integrated TSA-lock mean your belongings are safe and secure, offering peace of mind throughout your international adventures.
- 100% Polyester
- Lightweight yet durable and tear-resistant
- Glide rite spinner wheel system
- Expand for additional packing capacity
- Ergonomically designed locking handle system
- Cushioned top and side carry handles
6. Best Non-Black Suitcase For International Travel – Briggs & Riley Luggage 27 Inch Expandable Upright Bag
Crafted with utmost precision to not only ensure durability, but style, this suitcase truly stands out.
What truly sets this suitcase apart is that it has a tilt-resistant front wheel so you’ll never have to worry about your bag rolling over a crack in the pavement.
With outside pockets and an expandable feature, there is plenty of storage space for packing in packing cubes, and oragnizers to keep your belongings tidy.
- Tuff-lite ballistic Nylon fabric/polyester Blend
- Zip expansion increases packing capacity by 26%
- Speed thru pocket allows for quick storage of items at security checkpoints
- Tilt-resistant front feet for optimal stability
7. Best Hardshell Suitcase For International Travel – Ricardo Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive 29-Inch
This exceptional suitcase effortlessly combines style with functionality. Its eye-catching design ensures you’ll always spot it at baggage claim, while providing excellent protection for all your belongings.
The durable construction and lightweight materials make it a breeze to navigate through airports and crowded streets.
With ample storage space and convenient organization features, this suitcase accommodates all your essentials.
- 100% Polycarbonate
- scratch and wear resistant
- Protective polypropylene corner guards at key stress points
- Effortlessly push your spinner upright with the curved handle
- Silent spinner wheels specially engineered to be smooth and silent
8. Best Budget Travel Suitcase – Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Hardside Spinner 26
This suitcase embodies the perfect blend of style and durability, making it an impeccable choice for international travel.
Its unique spherical wheels effortlessly glide through any terrain, ensuring smooth and hassle-free maneuverability.
The hardside construction provides exceptional protection for your belongings, with ample storage space and convenient organizational features, packing will never be easier.
- 100% Polycarbonate
- Push-button locking handle provides a comfortable grip
- Flush-mounted TSA lock
- Ultra sleek, protective rails near the base for extra protection
- Lightweight corrugated tube handle
- Integrated wet-pack pocket.
- Two full zip divider panel
- 360-degree spinner wheels
- 3 large organizational pockets inside and modesty pocket for valuables
9. Best Durable Set For International Travel – Samsonite Fiero 3 Piece Hardside Nested Spinner Set
This set is a game-changer for international travelers looking for a piece of luggage that combines durability and functionality effortlessly.
Crafted from lightweight polycarbonate, it withstands the tests of travel without sacrificing on luxury.
The scratch-resistant texture keeps it looking pristine for years to come, and its spacious interior and efficient organization features makes packing a breeze.
The smooth spinner wheels and telescopic handle makes it easy to roll around.
- 100% Polycarbonate
- Sets contains 1 x 20, 24, 28 inch spinners
- Micro diamond texture is extremely scratch resistant
- Four light weight wheels for effortless mobility
- Expands for extra capacity
- Full-zip interior divider and cross straps for increased packing organization
10. Best Organized Travel Suitcase Set – Traveler’s Choice Tasmania Three-Piece Luggage Set
If you want to keep your belongings safe and organized, then the Traveler’s Choice Tasmania 3-Piece set is for you.
The sleek, scratch-resistant hardshell exterior not only adds a touch of elegance but also provides superior protection for your things.
With its multi-directional spinner wheels, navigating busy airports is easy.
The expandable feature allows you to pack as many souvenirs as your heart desires, and the fully lined interior and multiple pockets mean you are always organized.
- 100% Polycarbonate
- Dual spinner wheels provide smooth and quiet rolling
- Expansion gusset offers 25% more packing capacity
- Two interior zippered mesh pockets and a center zippered pouch for easy organization
- Durable top and side carry handles
- Built-in TSA recognized 3-dial combination lock
- Convenient add-a-bag strap for carrying additional bags
11. Best Warranty On A Travel Suitcase Set – Samsonite Winfield Fashion 2 Piece Luggage Suitcase Set
This luggage set is the epitome of elegance and functionality.
Not only does it look sleek, but this set guarantees durability. Its lightweight yet robust construction ensures hassle-free mobility, while the four multi-directional spinner wheels effortlessly glide through any terrain.
With its spacious interior and convenient organization features, you’ll find packing becomes a simple task.
- 28″ Spinner and 20″ Carry-On Luggage
- 10 year warranty
- Side mounted TSA locks
- Four multi-directional wheels
- Lightweight material
- Features 10 oversized zipper and interior dividers with organization pockets
So there you have it, those are the best travel suitcases and some tips for picking the right one for you.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful in narrowing down your choice and saving you time doing your own research.
More Travel Gear Articles
Need more inspiration for travel gear? Then these other guides may be helpful to you!
- Best Travel Gifts for Women Her
- 50 of the Best Travel Gifts for those going traveling
- 30 Items to Keep Kids Happy and Safe when traveling!
- How to choose the best Travel Backpacks
- 8 of the best carry on suitcases
- Delsey Suitcase Review: Best Travel Luggage
- Tortuga Setout Review
- Standard Luggage Review
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