The best suitcases

The five best suitcases in this guide look as great as they perform...

The best suitcases should be strong and durable as a bare minimum. A suitcase quite possibly gets more wear and tear than any other item you’ll own: it gets dropped; it rubs against conveyor belts and other suitcases; it will get rained/snowed on at some point. A suitcase, therefore, has to be tough and long-lasting to make it onto a ‘best of’ list.

And – a modern suitcase has to glide effortlessly across sidewalks and airport floors, without you having to put in any effort. If doesn’t glide across the floor like butter, it’s not good enough in our books. 

Having said all of that, the best suitcase, in our opinion, will deliver on looks as well as practical features. A truly great suitcase will look like a glamorous accessory in keeping with your overall look. The best suitcases in this guide look as great as they perform.

The best suitcases

(Image credit: BÉIS)

1. Beis 21-inch Rolling Spinner Suitcase

Best suitcase you can buy

Specifications
Size:: 21"H x 15"W x 9"- 12"D.
Material:: Polycarbonate/PVC/polyester
Weight:: 8.6lb
Colors:: Beige, Black
Reasons to buy
+36-degree wheels+Telescopic handle +TSA-approved lock+Weight limit indicator+Lots of compartments
Reasons to avoid
-Beige color gets dirty and scuffed

Superior comfort:

The design of this suitcase is so well thought-through: there are so many spacious zip compartments for your various items, you’ll never lose anything again. The handle has a very comfortable grip, and the 360-degree wheels are so smooth that we were literally able to push this suitcase with one finger. 

Additional features: 

The TSA-approved lock will give you additional peace of mind, and the telescopic handle makes it easy and quick to prepare the suitcase for inspection at check-in. What we really like about this suitcase, though, is the weight indicator: you’ll know if you’re going over before leaving the house, which saves a lot of trouble having to pay for extra weight at the airport.

Good to know

While the beige color is very pretty, we’d probably go with black, because the light color inevitably will scuff and get market. 

(Image credit: Calpak)

2. Calpak Ambeur 2-Piece Spinner Luggage Set

Best suitcase set

Specifications
Size:: Small: 21 ½"H x 14"W x 9" - 11"D, Large: 29 ½"H x 19"W x 12 ½ - 14 ½"D.
Material:: ABS plastic/polycarbonate
Weight:: Small: 7.1 lb, large: 10.5 lb.
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous rose gold finish+Interior divider+Expansion sleeve for enhanced capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Will scuff-Wheels aren’t suitable for rough surfaces

Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre 

This sleek set is designed with effortless travel in mind. The multi-directional wheels are super-smooth on this set, and the suitcases themselves are lightweight. The gel-padded handles make it very comfortable to handle. 

Spacious

You’ll be surprised by how much these suitcases fit – especially the larger one, which features an expansion sleeve to fit in even more of your stuff. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s possible to fill the larger suitcase completely and still not exceed 50lbs. 

Can scuff

Like most other light-colored suitcases, this set is prone to scuffing from rough handling at the airport. If you want to preserve the beautiful finish, you may want to purchase clear suitcase covers for the set. 

(Image credit: Kenneth Cole)

3. Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade 28" Suitcase

Best eight-wheel suitcase

Specifications
Size:: 30.0” H x 21.5” L x 13.0” -15.0” D
Material:: ABS
Weight:: 11lbs
Reasons to buy
+Eight multi-directional spinner wheels+Expands an additional two inches+Multi interior pockets+Corner guards
Reasons to avoid
-Struggles to glide when very full

Large capacity, superb quality 

We do like us an expandable suitcase, and this one is of a superior quality. The corner guards on this suitcase a godsend for protecting it against rough handling. They’re not a guarantee against dents and scratches, but they do help prolong the life of the suitcase. And, with the two inches added to the capacity with the expandable section, we were amazed at just how much stuff we were able to fit in there. The large selection of colors is a bonus.

The only downside with this model is that, if overfilled, it will struggle a bit when being pushed – not because of the wheels (which are excellent), but because of the handle, which doesn’t feel sturdy enough for the task. 

(Image credit: BRIC'S)

4. Brics Capri 32-inch expandable rolling suitcase

Best luxury suitcase

Specifications
Size:: 32"H x 22"W x 12 ½"D.
Material:: Makrolon polycarbonate
Weight:: 11 lbs
Reasons to buy
+High-quality construction+Very good-looking+Water- and stain-resistant lining
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

A luxury investment

The suitcase to end them all? Quite possible: it does look spectacular and has some exciting features you won’t find in most suitcases out there. The Japanese Hinomoto swivel casters are one such feature – the gliding is unbelievably smooth with these ones, and they are almost unbelievably silent, which is just so much more pleasant than the rattling sound made by so many suitcase wheels. 

For the very generous 32-inch size, this suitcase is very lightweight. It’s made from Makrolon polycarbonate, which is no ordinary plastic: they make store fronts and train glazing out the stuff, it’s that tough. What we really like, though, is the beautiful quality of the water-resistant lining. Should anything spill inside this suitcase, you can just wipe clean afterwards. Oh, and we almost forgot the Italian calfskin detailing. It is expensive for a suitcase, but it would make an amazing gift.  

(Image credit: DELSEY)

5. DELSEY Paris Chatelet Soft Air Luggage Under-Seater

Best soft suitcase

Specifications
Size:: 14.5x15.5x8 inches
Material:: Polyester
Weight:: 6.1lbs
Reasons to buy
+Designer looks+Handy underseat size +Interior includes laptop and tablet sleeves
Reasons to avoid
-Only two wheels

Travel in style 

This is probably the best-designed suitcase on our list; the attractive cream and camel color combination will go with everything and elevate your business travel look. Look inside, and the textured, ruby-red lining is irresistibly pretty. It’s not style over substance, though: inner zip compartments make sorting through your stuff easy, and the laptop/tablet sleeves are particularly useful if you’re travelling for work.  

Only two wheels

The retro design has only two wheels – we wouldn’t recommend putting anything overly heavy in this suitcase or walking long distances with it, as it won’t cope. 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SUITCASE

Soft of hardshell?

These days, hardshell suitcases are made from durable and lightweight materials, so, unless you’re getting a small cabin-size bag, there’s really no need for a softshell. Hardshells protect your things better, and clothes won’t crease as much in them as in soft bags.

Size

You have to be honest with yourself about how much you tend to pack: if you’re always overstuffing your cabin luggage, just get a large suitcase and check it in. Also bear in mind that carry-on luggage size differs between countries (even for going to Canada), so if you’re a frequent traveler to a particular destination, check that your carry-on bag won’t be too large. 

Extra features

Obviously, the wheels are a huge aspect of suitcase design. Especially with larger suitcases, the wheels need to be top notch, preferably 360-degree rotation, so that the suitcase doesn’t get stuck when turning corners. 

The other important feature to consider is the number of compartments inside the suitcase. The more the better, and the less the likelihood your items will get creased or damaged in transit. Look for high-quality, robust fabric that’s easy to wipe should something spill inside the suitcase.