Travelpro Maxlite 5 21 Carry-On Expandable Spinner Review

Best Luggage Brands We’ve Tested and Loved

Best Luggage Brands We’ve Tested and Loved

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Travelpro Maxlite 5 21 Carry-On Expandable Spinner Review

If you’re looking for new rolling luggage and want to know the best luggage brands to kick off your search, we’re here to help! There are a ton of options out there, and the features vary a lot even within a brand. So, in this post, well show you some companies who make some of the best carry on luggage out there.

Despite being huge advocates of the Digital Nomad lifestyle in the form of traveling with a singular travel backpack, we understand that sometimes you want or need a roller bag. Some of this site’s consistently highly rated gear is from brands like Aer, TOM BIHN, Peak Design, Tortuga, and GORUCK. However, you won’t find any of those on this list. Why? Well, first things first, most of them don’t make rolling luggage (not yet, at least!). Second, just because a brand we love makes rolling luggage doesn’t mean that they’re good at it. All the brands on this list have put a specific focus on rolling luggage, and we think that matters.

Instead of worrying about travel water bottle pockets, shoulder straps, and raised laptop compartments, we want brands to focus on wheels, durable but lightweight materials, innovation in internal organizational features, and making a comfortable handle for rolling. We could continue that list for days, but you get what we mean. The best luggage brands focus on luggage!

For each brand below, we recommend a couple of bags that you might want to check out. This is far from a wholesale list of products; check out our Best Carry On Luggage for Travel post for specific product recommendations! And if you’re looking for a few pointers on where to start, check out our FAQ section.

Travelpro is a budget-friendly brand that makes both hard-sided and soft-sided rolling luggage. Despite looking somewhat generic, Travelpro is one of the best luggage brands because of their durable materials, simple but effective internal organization, and price. They have sizes ranging from personal-item-sized bags to 97-liter four-wheeled spinners that are big enough for you and the family on a week-long trip.

These bags are generally on the no-frills side; however, they’ll get your gear from point A to point B safely and securely. Travelpro is a common choice for airline employees, which speaks for itselfif someone flying upwards of 90 times per month says its a good suitcase, its probably a good suitcase. Having invented a new version of the upright rolling luggage over 50 years ago, the founders of Travelpro have been refining their products ever since. Plus, their logo is a mini Eiffel Tower, which is a fun reminder of travel every time you see it stealing a glance at you from the back corner of your closet!

Travelpro Maxlite 5 21″ Carry-On Expandable Spinner

The Travelpro Maxlite 5 21 Carry-On Expandable Spinner looks like your everyday rolling luggage, and thats because it is. This is one of the top recommended bags by flight attendants, and after our testing, we see why. The handle is comfortable on long trips, the wheels are durable and quiet, and the expansion zipper is handy for fitting more gear inside the bag.

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Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner

Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner

We dig the Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On Hardside Spinner because of the design, internal organization, and comfortable handle. This doesn’t look like other bags from Travelpro, and instead takes a chic, almost expensive-looking approach to its design. However, it retains the same features we love from the brand!

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You probably knew that this was coming. Samsonite has been one of the most popular luggage manufacturers since the early 1900s. Having held their current name since 1941, their bags have been the standard for travelers crossing the world for decades. However, we don’t just like them because they’ve been around the block a few times.

Samsonite bags start at around $100 and range in size from tiny to humongous. They sell both hard and soft-sided luggage and have more luxurious models, too. That said, Samsonite has also owned Tumi, a high-end luggage brand, since 2016.

These aren’t the most unique-looking carry-ons, but they are still stylish. Classic-looking rollers are still available, and they have colorful, sleek, and minimalistic models available in pretty much any size. Samsonite is one of the best luggage brands on the market because of how durable their bags are and because owning one won’t cost you an arm and a leg!

Samsonite Freeform Carry-On Spinner

Samsonite Freeform Carry-On Spinner Review

The Samsonite Freeform Carry-On Spinner can fit larger gear because the main compartment isn’t bogged down with organizational features and is a comfortable carry, thanks to Samsonite’s attention to detail. Plus, it looks quite sleek.

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Samsonite Hyperflex Carry-On Spinner

Samsonite Hyperflex  Carry-On Spinner

The Samsonite Hyperflex Carry-On Spinner will help you live out saturated rolling luggage dreams, as the bag comes in numerous fun colorways and has everything you’d expect from Samsonite. The vibes are a bit vintage, but were here for it!

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Monos is a newer player on this list; however, the company has been pumping out sleek and stylish luggage since 2018. Based in Canada, Monos wants to make your life easier while traveling, and their limited but dynamic line of rolling luggage does just that. There are three lines at the time of writing: their standard models, the Pro line, and the Hybrid model. Each line comes in a Carry-On, Carry-On Plus, Check-In Medium, and Check-In Large size, so you can get the size you need for your next trip. Plus, the standard models come in over a dozen colorways, so you can find one that matches your fit.

Whereas the jury’s still out on whether Monos will transition into the best luggage brand long-term, for now, the company deserves a spot on this list because of their modern take on design. Plus, they’re Climate Neutral Certified and are members of 1% for the Planet, which is excellent from a sustainability perspective.

Monos Carry-On

Monos Carry-On Review

The Monos Carry-On was specifically designed with airplane travel in mind. It will fit in the overhead bin and work as a carry on bag for most major airlines. The laundry and shoe bags that come with are handy, and we dig the compression pad to save space inside.

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Monos Check-In Large

Monos Check-In Large

The Monos Check-In Large is the Carry-On’s biggest siblingseriously, this thing has a 99.2-liter capacity. Thanks to the thoughtful internal organization, it’s easy to pack enough gear for a long-term trip, a move across the globe, or for multiple people sharing one bag. And, you still get the sleek design that we’re used to seeing from Monos.

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Rimowa was founded two years before the new century began. Oh, no, not 1998. 100 years before that! The brand started with wooden trunks, eventually moved onto metal, and has switched to polycarbonate while retaining the brand’s durable materials, sleek designs, and intuitive internal organization. Rimowa only makes hard-sided luggage at the time of writing, which we dig for its durability. Rimowa luggage has a unique look that you’ll love (or, at the least, appreciate) and costs a pretty penny. However, that price is warranted thanks to their over 125-year history and long-term durability.

Right now, you can pick up a piece of Rimowa luggage for roughly between $700 and $3,300. That’s on the higher end of the bags on this list; however, as we mentioned, these bags will last ages and look incredibly sleek.

RIMOWA Essential Lite Cabin U

RIMOWA Cabin U

The Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin U is incredibly lightweight but retains the durability that the brand has been known for over the decades. The vertical lines are polished-looking, and the single-bar handle is comfortable to hang onto.

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RIMOWA Essential Cabin

RIMOWA Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin claims to be the first-ever polycarbonate suitcase. Keeping up modern trends, this bag comes in both gloss and matte colorways, which gives it a little flair on top of its classic Rimowa design.

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Tumi is the luxury arm of Samsonite, but the brand’s history goes deeper than that. Tumi was founded in the 1970s, and their gear has been a business travel staple since. Every Tumi bag has a unique number engraved onto a metal plate and maintains a database of who owns what bag, so if your pack is lost, the person who finds it (or the airline company) can find you and return it to you.

Whether you’re standing on business or taking a vacation with your family, Tumi has a bag that’ll work for you. Depending on the size you need, you’re looking at spending between $650 and $3,500. Not all travelers will love the business-focused look; however, there are a lot of designs to pick from.

TUMI Aerotour International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On

TUMI Aerotour International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On

The TUMI Aerotour International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On comes at a high price tag; however, the bag’s construction is durable, looks sleek, and has intuitive internal organization and a secondary front compartment for stowing quick-use items.

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Away is another newcomer to the rolling luggage game, getting their start in 2015. When they first came on the scene, it seemed like everyone was flocking to their site to order their own. The company’s offerings are limited, but the products they do field are high quality, well thought out, and durable. At the time of writing, all of their rolling luggage is hard-sided. Starting around $275, this is one of the more budget-friendly hard-sided companies on this list.

There are Carry-On, Bigger Carry-On, Medium, and Large sizes available. Plus, all four come in versions that are crafted from aluminum instead of polycarbonate, and flex versions, too, which have a zippered expansion.

We dig the colorways that Away offers and the overall style of the exterior. Similar to other hard-sided luggage options, there isn’t a secondary compartment. However, Away makes packs that integrate with their rolling luggage to cover that. With amply-sized luggage pass-throughs, you’ll have all your bases covered!

Away The Carry-On

Away The Carry-On In Detroit

Away’s The Carry-On has a durable exterior shell that looks stylish and comes in numerous colorways. The handle is comfortable, too, so you won’t have to worry about rolling through a long terminal at the airport or from the train station to your hotel.

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Away Trunk

Away Trunk

Away’s The Trunk maintains the same intuitive internal organization that their other bags have but with a massive size, coming in at 107 liters. If it doesn’t fit in here, you’re bringing too much!

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In a recent Pack Hacker Pro post, a Pro Member said that a surefire way to spot somebody who knew what they were doing was if they were traveling with a Briggs & Riley bag. Considering their reputation, we have to agreepeople using this brand mean business. Briggs & Riley has been around since the 1990s and is known for their quality lifetime warranty that covers damage caused by airlines in transit. Their rolling luggage isn’t the cheapest on this list; however, we think the durable materials utilized and lifetime warranty make the price worth it.

Unlike most entries on this list, Briggs & Riley’s bags are almost all soft-sided luggage. If that’s your thing, this is probably the best luggage brand for you! Generally speaking, soft-sided luggage is less durable than hard-sided. That said, this stuff holds up well over time. Plus, if there is an issue, you can utilize their warranty!

Briggs & Riley is perfect for a business traveler who wants to be taken seriously, a first-time traveler looking for a bag that’ll last, or a family looking to invest in a pack they can use for trips with their partner or kids. Some sizes will fit underneath the seat in front of you, and others can handle all your clothing for weeks-long trips.

Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential 22″ 2-Wheel Expandable Carry-On

Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential 22 2-Wheel Expandable Carry-On

The Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential 22″ 2-wheel Expandable Carry-On has an easy-to-use expansion system that will help you bring more gear home than you brought. When paired with the pack’s durable materials and comfortable rolling system, this pack is a solid solution for travelers looking for a carry on.

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Briggs & Riley ZDX International 21″ Carry-On Expandable Spinner

Briggs & Riley ZDX International 21'' Carry-On Expandable Spinner

What makes the Briggs & Riley ZDX International 21″ Carry-On Expandable Spinner is its multiple external compartments. You’ve got an amply-sized main compartment to work with; however, the three pockets on the front make it easy to get to your gear more quickly without diving into the main compartment.

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You either knew this was coming or are mad at us that this is here. Truth be told, Amazon Basics hasn’t been making bags for very long, and many of their designs are rip-offs of popular brands sold initially on their platform. That said, if you’re on a strict budget and want to get rolling luggage that’ll get you wherever you’re going, you really cant go wrong here.

This is the cheapest brand on this list, but these bags are no slouch. Their hard-sided luggage is durable, and the soft-sided rollers feel rugged enough to survive most trips. However, considering how many of these packs are made, there are bound to be issues. When testing an Amazon Basics carry on recently, the glue holding the lining in place failed within a few minutes of getting the bag out of the box. In our experience, this isn’t the norm, but these things will happen from time to time, and theyre more likely to happen on a budget brand like this.

If you’re looking for a cheaper suitcase but can’t find it in your heart to buy from Amazon Basics, this feels like a solid time to mention buying used. You can browse sites like Facebook Marketplace, often getting like-new gear that want-to-be travelers never got to take on a trip. In the case of Amazon Basics and secondhand gear, just because it was cheap doesn’t mean it won’t last!

Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner

Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner Review

The best part about the Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner is the price. Coming in at under $100, you won’t find a better deal on reliable hard-sided luggage. Plus, the internal organization works well enough to warrant the cheaper price tag.

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Amazon Basics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner Luggage

Amazon Basics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner Luggage

The Amazon Basics Expandable Softside Carry-On Spinner Luggage has external compartments to make accessing gear you use frequently easier. This bag comes at a budget-friendly price tag and will get you from point A to point B without breaking the bank.

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Despite the name, you can use rolling luggage from July year-round! Founded in the 2010s, July has made a name by offering trendy, stylish, and innovative hard-shelled rolling luggage. The brand only offers a few models; however, we think this is good for a newer company. Instead of dropping dozens of bags and spreading themselves too thin, July can focus on making the handful of bags they’ve got on their site the best they can be. Depending on your style, this might be the best luggage brand for you!

Starting just under $250, at least when writing, these are some of the cheaper rolling luggage options on this list. Despite having a lower price tag, the German polycarbonate shell is durable, and the interior organization is versatile. Still, the segmentation doesn’t get in your way, and the wheels feel like they’ll last. There are bags with reinforced corners, integrated power banks, and limited edition colorways.

The July travel system includes travel backpacks and daypacks, too, so you can get a bag to go with your rolling luggage that fits into the July ecosystem. All in, theyve got a solid set of bags for a semi-budget-friendly price!

July Carry On

July Carry On Review

The July Carry-On has numerous colorways, including some limited edition models, and comes in a version that has metal bumpers on the corners to protect the hard plastic shell further. With intuitive internal organization and details you’ll remember, like leather accents, this is a solid option for first-time travelers who want something durable that’ll cover all their bases.

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Despite gaining global popularity recently, Delsey Paris’ reputation goes back over a hundred years. The modern company was formed by merging two businesses in the 1940s, and Delsey Paris has been making stylish luggage ever since. Claiming to be the first company to offer a rigid-shelled bag and retractable wheels, innovation has been the name of the game since day one. Today, their products are reasonably priced (starting at around $140), and there’s a size for every kind of trip.

Their recent popularity seems to have been fueled by their experimentation with funky colorways and sleek styles. From duffle bags to checked trunks, they’ve got you covered from your carry on to month-long trips with the family. Plus, you can purchase bags in a set, making for an excellent holiday gift for your loved ones!

DELSEY Paris Rami Carry-On Plus Expandable Spinner

DELSEY Paris Rami Carry-On Plus Expandable Spinner

The Delsey Paris RAMI Carry-On Plus Expandable Spinner is one of the few hard-sided luggage models on the market that has a secondary compartment, and we’re here for it. You can stow your laptop and other quick-access items here and get to them quickly at the airport, hotel, or coffee shop.

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DELSEY Paris St Tropez Carry-On Plus Expandable Spinner

DELSEY Paris St Tropez Carry-On Plus Expandable Spinner

We love the look of the Delsey Paris St Tropez Carry-On Plus Expandable Spinner. It has intuitive internal organization, a durable but lightweight shell, and wheels that’ll last. Its also got a unique look we havent seen on any other luggage design and gives us Parisian vibes maybe thats just because of the brand name, though.

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There might not be a better-looking rolling bag for the price than those from Calpak. With prices starting under $200, we think that Calpak bags fall in between so budget it’ll break and that’s how much my first car cost.

Another bonus when choosing a Calpak bag is that some have a front pocket, which is rare for hard-sided luggage. This is handy for many reasons. First, you don’t have to over-exert your pockets. You can keep some of your goodies inside the bag instead of on your person, which does a lot for personal comfort. Next, you have quicker access to gear because you don’t have to open the bag to get to it. We love hard-sided rolling luggage; however, there are more intuitive options to open on the go. Some of this pain is alleviated with a secondary compartment (or a sling).

Regarding style, we’re picking up what Calpak is putting down. The vertical lines are sleek, and we’re digging the colorways. Again, for the price, it’s hard to beat Calpak if you’re on a budget!

Calpak Ambeur Carry-On Luggage

Calpak Ambeur Carry-On Luggage

In addition to having a large front pocket for quick-use gear, the Calpak Ambeur Front Pocket Carry-On Luggage has a sleek exterior design and won’t cost you an arm and a leg to bring home. Plus, the colorways are fun, and you can get a bag in every size!

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Calpak Ambeur Medium Luggage

Calpak Ambeur Medium Luggage

The Calpak Ambeur Medium Luggage doesn’t have a front pocket like others from Calpak, but it’s got more than enough room for everything you need for a week-long trip, or longer if you pack smarter with packing cubes, a tech pouch, and other segmentation devices.

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BEIS is another option in the best luggage for international travel argument. Their bags are durable, have good internal organization, and come in at a budget-friendly price. Plus, there are a ton of colorways to choose from!

Whereas we aren’t the biggest fan of how these bags look compared to some other brands on this list, we understand there’s a market for them! They remind us of Pelican hard cases, which isn’t necessarily bad, but you catch our drift. On the other hand, their matte colorways are very on trend, and we like when brands are up-to-date on the trends because it shows theyre paying attention. Ultimately, your luggage is meant to get you and your gear to your destination in one piece, and BIS will do that and more. They’re comfy to wheel around, too, which ranks high on our list of essential factors. If you look good but aren’t comfortable, will you even enjoy your trip?

Beis Carry-On Roller

Beis Carry-On Roller

The telescopic hand on the BEIS Carry-On Roller In Black is easy to use, comfortable, and sturdy. Inside the bag, you’ll find intuitive organizational features that will help you segment your gear without getting in your way. Plus, it’s expandable!

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Beis Medium Check-In Roller

Beis Medium Check-In Roller

The BEIS Medium Check-In Roller In Black has more space to fit all the gear you need for a week-long business trip or vacation. With the same ergonomic handle that we’ve come to expect from BEIS, you won’t have to worry about discomfort while wheeling your bag to the check-in line to send it off its adventure down the carousel.

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Looking at all of these brands may be fun, but how do you narrow down what you need? Here are some things to consider.

What’s the best way to use my rolling luggage?

This might seem silly, but it can have a big impact. Obviously, you’ll be taking your bag traveling. But will you be taking it on more rugged adventures? Are you going to older cities where flat sidewalks aren’t the norm, thanks to ancient cobblestones? Are you someone who takes excellent care of your gear while traveling, or are you a bit careless sometimes? Essentially, it comes down to whether or not you need more durable luggage or not. If you do, the best luggage brands will offer hard-sided materials with durable wheels and a telescopic handle that doesn’t rattle much. If you don’t, you can choose something more stylish. If you plan to check your luggage, go with something more durable, as airlines are notorious for tossing your luggage around. Nobody wants to arrive in Italy to a broken bag!

What’s the difference between hard and soft-sided luggage?

Hardsided luggage is typically more durable, water-resistant, and sometimes more lightweight. However, they rarely have external secondary compartments, so youll have to stow all of your items in the main compartmentthat means it wont be quick and easy to grab an extra layer before a flight. Soft-sided luggage often has more compartments for stowing gear, a wider variety of styles and designs, and is can be less durable because it uses softer textiles instead of hard plastics. Hard-sided luggage doesn’t budge, whereas soft-sided often has some give and can tear. That said, hard-sided luggage can crack, so durability isnt the only thing to consider.

Most of the time, the best brands will offer both, but some will specialize in one or the other. Depending on the trip or what you’ll be carrying, one might be better for you.

Should I get a two-wheeled bag or spinner luggage?

Like most of the questions we’ve answered so far, this comes down to personal preference. Two-wheels are often more durable, as they don’t spin, so they will likely last longer. However, four-wheeled luggage gives you more versatility, as you can glide it while its upright and turn on a dime. For those worried about cobblestone streets, two-wheeled is probably the move because it rolls more efficiently over uneven ground. However, flying through the airport with four-wheeled luggage is a dream because you dont even feel the weight of your bag, and you can technically use it on two wheels, anyway.

Most of the best luggage brands will make both kinds, so you have ample choices. When comparing the two styles, you can think of it like differences in bicycles. With a single-speed bike (or two-wheeled rolling luggage), a lot less can break, so it’s more reliable. However, a bike with gears (or four-wheeled luggage) makes getting from point A to point B easier. However, there’s always a chance the features you purchased it for will malfunction or break, leaving you without a bike (or having to carry your luggage).

What kind of interior organization should I look for?

At this point, we might sound like a broken record. The best luggage brands all have versatile internal organization; what works best for you depends on what kind of gear you’re bringing along for the ride. If you’re going on a fancy-dress vacation, you’ll want some sort of clothing apparatus that enables you to keep your clothing wrinkle-free. If you’re bringing various items, from tech to hiking boots, you might want something with less organization and more open space. That way, you can pack things optimally, like stacking Legos. Before choosing your next suitcase, decide what you’re putting into it first!

So there you have it: some of our favorite brands that make carry on luggage. Hopefully, by this point, you know which brands you’re into and which you aren’t. Happy hunting!

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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.

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