Choosing luggage is not easy. Do I buy something cheap and practically disposable, or a suitcase that’s built to last like my old standby? Do I really need a huge 30″ suitcase, or can I pack more lightly and avoid the bag check fees with a carry-on? Should I buy hardside or softside?
The choices are very subjective, and there’s really no right or wrong answer. So, here are some recommended choices to help you wade through the luggage jungle. These are some of the lightest carry-ons, checked bags, and luggage sets on the market.
Lightweight Carry-on Luggage
Ah… the security of knowing your bag is nearby so you can scoot off the plane at your destination, bypassing the throngs in the baggage claim area as they wait at the carousel with fingers crossed. The downside can be getting your bag stowed overhead after dragging it down an airplane aisle. A lightweight carry-on bag will make that process easier, weighing up to a pound less than a traditional carry-on.
eBags Fortis Pro Traveler Hardside Spinner Carry-on
This sharp new spinner from eBags has a luxurious raised rib design with mirror finish, expansion gusset, and TSA-recognized combination lock. For convenient packing, the bag has two sections: one large zippered mesh compartment and one divided compartment with built-in packing cubes. There’s even a pouch for you to hook up an external power bank to that makes the USB plug easy to access from the outside of the bag.
Weight: 7 lbs. 12 oz.
To buy: ebags.com, $239
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable International Carry-on Spinner
This lightweight polyester favorite has been updated with four wheels and an adjustable handle for smooth handling. The expansion is tapered, so it won’t tip forward when you use the extra two inches of packing space. An interior mesh pocket is convenient for separating contents, and the large exterior zippered pocket is the perfect place for magazines, newspapers, or a tablet.
Weight: 6.8 lbs.
To buy: ebags.com, from $140
Tumi Latitude International Carry-on
This glistening carry-on from Tumi’s lightest luggage collection is beautiful as well as durable and functional inside and out. Three zippered pockets keep contents organized, and integrated TSA locks keep them secure. There’s a five-year warranty and a retractable, adjustable handle for easy maneuvering.
Weight: 6 lbs. 3 oz.
To buy: ebags.com, $750
Lipault Original Plume 20″ Spinner Carry-on Luggage
The lightest suitcase on our list, this carry-on from Lipault Paris is essentially a duffel bag in the shape of a suitcase. It’s made with durable water-resistant nylon and several color variations.
Weight: 4 lbs. 2 oz.
To buy: ebags.com, $176 (originally $220)
Rimowa Essential Lite Small Cabin
This international spinner is Rimowa’s lightest suitcase to date, and that doesn’t mean they’ve sacrificed on durability. The nearly indestructible polycarbonate exterior is more durable than aluminum, while integrated TSA locks add extra security.
Weight: 4.2 lbs.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $540
Calpak Murphie Underseat Carry-on
If you typically don’t need a lot of packing space, consider going for an underseat bag, which you can also bring as a personal item when you have to pack heavier. It has a pass-through strap for easily securing over the handle of another suitcase.
Weight: 6 lbs.
To buy: ebags.com, $79.99 (originally $100)
Lightweight Checked Luggage
Longer vacations and special occasion trips usually require more wardrobe options than a carry-on bag can handle. This is when a sturdy lightweight bag is at its best. Tough enough for checking in or tossing into the trunk, these lightweight bags will protect all those outfits and make handling your large bag easier and safer.
Victorinox Connex Medium Hardside Checked Spinner Luggage
The newest luggage line from Swiss brand Victorinox is made with 100% pure Makrolon polycarbonate. With self-repairing YKK zippers, high-quality Hinomoto wheels, and Lisof silent tires (that are manufactured by Mitsubishi), this 27-inch spinner is built to join you on the road for many years to come.
Weight: 8 lbs., 14 oz.
To buy: ebags.com, $349
Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Exp. Upright
This practical, convenient two-wheeled bag provides more packing space with its outside handle and large exterior pocket. An interior foam roller and tri-fold system for suits minimizes wrinkles. Its hybrid fiberglass frame and ballistic nylon outer fabric ensure lightweight durability. The bag is guaranteed for life.
Weight: 10 lbs., 14 oz.
To buy: ebags.com, $679
Tumi Latitude Short Trip Packing Case
The metallic finish makes this a great looking bag, and its features make it a practical choice. Roomy and organized, it has two zippered pockets, internal straps, and a hanger bracket to keep contents secure. The three-stage telescoping handle and sturdy wheels enhance maneuverability.
Weight: 8.2 lbs.
To buy: tumi.com, $745
Delsey Luggage Helium Aero 29″ Expandable Spinner
The scratch-resistant, matte finish polycarbonate exterior is durable and attractive. Open-book styling with one zippered compartment and one open section with straps make packing easy. Handling is convenient, with padded side and top grips in addition to the adjustable handle.
Weight: 12 lbs., 8 oz.
To buy: ebags.com, $160 (originally $460)
Lightweight Luggage Sets
Looking stylish and put-together – and keeping track of your belongings – are some advantages of matched lightweight luggage sets. These sets offer convenient choices and versatility. When you’re not using them all at once, just grab the one that meets your travel needs, and you have a familiar friend for your trip.
Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion 3-Piece Hardside Luggage Set
This sleek hardsided luggage set offers fashion and function for all types of brief or extended trips. The Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion HS 3 Pc Set is made from lightweight and durable polycarbonate material and features a set of 3 upright spinner cases that measure 20″, 24″, and 28″ tall. Each case is detailed with a telescoping pull handle, smooth rolling spinner wheels, and a side mounted TSA lock for airport security. The interior of each case is fully lined and detailed with criss-cross tie-down straps, small zipper pockets to hold accessories, and a zip around divider that creates two separate packing compartments.
Weight: 6.7-11.13 lbs.
To buy: ebags.com, from $264 for set of three
Traveler’s Choice Tasmania 3-piece Expandable Hardside Spinner Luggage Set
These polycarbonate hardside bags with stylish geometric lines come in four colors. All have four dual-spinner wheels, carry handles on top and sides, and telescoping handles for ease in handling. Interior straps, zippered pockets, and an expandable gusset provide versatility for packing and protection of contents. A six-year warranty is included.
Weight: 7.9-10.8 lbs.
To buy: ebags.com, $300 for set of three (originally $950)
it luggage Megalite Fascia 3-Piece Expandable Spinner Luggage Set
The high-density polyester exterior is both durable and attractive, with five color choices available. Spacious compartments and expandability provide lots of packing area in these lightweight bags. Spinner wheels and a push-button handle that stows away when not in use make these bags easy to manage.
Weight: 6.3-8.8 lbs.
To buy: ebags.com, from $170 for set of three (originally $775)
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This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in Travel+Leisure.