Although the best suitcases won’t guarantee that your flight will be on time or that there will be sunshine every day, they will make travelling much easier.
No matter if you fly regularly for work or just spend two weeks in the sun each year with your family, you will be able to carry your bag around on planes, trains, and buses. Although it is tempting to buy the cheapest bag, even if you use it only once or twice per year, the best luggage for travel will last you for many years.
You should be able to handle rough handling at airports and have smooth, dependable handles and wheels. It is important to consider the bag’s weight so that you can maximize your luggage allowance and move the suitcase around easily. Brightly colored or patterned suitcases are best for international travel. A lock is an added security feature that can help ensure your belongings remain safe.
To find the best suitcase for each holiday, we tested them all. Each suitcase was packed with the minimum items that we would use for a week of holiday. We also took each suitcase on various trips including train rides across London and long-haul flights. The following criteria were used to evaluate each suitcase:
- Weighing and volume – How much luggage allowance was used by the suitcase and was there enough room for everything?
- Maneuverability – We checked the ease of carrying each suitcase, even full. It was also possible to lift it up and pull it on uneven surfaces and around corners at stations and airports.
- Usability – Did the suitcase offer any features that made it easier to pack and move, such as an expandable zip or a lock?
- Durability – Is the suitcase durable? Is it easily scratched, torn, and does the zipper stay in place even after you add more souvenirs?
THE TOP SUITCASES TO TRAVEL IN 2022
1. ANTLER CLIFTON LARGE
Overall, best suitcase
Antler Clifton is a carry-on suitcase that I have used for many years on numerous flights. It has a beautiful pastel-colored shell and an interior divided into two sections.
If you have a large suitcase, the Large version of the range is the best choice. You can even expand it by 11 liters for those occasions when you need to go on holiday, or if you just have to take your hair and make sure you have all the necessary products. You can easily carry one of these items for a week. This makes it a great value for money. The clever pockets inside ensure that packing is organized. However, it’s possible for the beige interior to become shabby over time. The large clear pocket is especially useful for toiletries that may leak on the journey. It is easy to carry, thanks to its four-wheel design that works well on uneven terrain and the textured rubber handle.
It is stylish and comes in five colors, including the versatile Mineral. Because the case is textured, any scratches will not show through. Although it’s not the most convenient to store, the bag comes with a dustbag to help keep it clean. The cabin and medium-sized versions can also fit inside if you go big. It’s our favorite suitcase for international travel.
2. TRIPP TEAL ESCAPE MEDIUM 4 WHEEL EXPANDABLE SUITCASE
Best budget suitcase
This well-priced bag looks as good as a case twice its price. We tested the cheerful teal color, which is easy to spot on baggage carousels. It also features a TSA-approved lock as well as a top and side grab handles.
The suitcase is made from lightweight, ridged, polypropylene. It didn’t mark during our trip, but it’s very flexible and can bulge if you stuff too much. As there is only one net divider inside, organized packers may prefer additional compartments. However, an extra zip can extend the suitcase by six liters to accommodate designer flats and heels.
Be aware, however, that international suitcases with sturdy double wheels are more popular than those with single spinner wheels. These were still responsive and easy to control when used on smooth floors. However, they felt less sturdy when used on uneven surfaces and cobblestones.
3. AWAY FROM THE LARGE
The best suitcase to store bonus items
This large, stylish suitcase was so beautiful that I could hardly wait to go on holiday with it. We tested the Asphalt grey color, which is smart enough to be used for business travel. However, it also comes in nine other stylish shades such as navy and lavender that can be matched with Away’s best weekend bags. The bag has a TSA approved lock, four swiveling tires that can glide over bumpy pavements and an extended handle. However, this does not have padding so it was uncomfortable to carry around. Although the hard shell is made of double-polycarbonate polycarbonate, it protects valuable possessions well. However, it doesn’t expand so that you can’t splurge on souvenirs. The Antler Clifton Large is a better choice if you need more space.
This is the interior that makes it one of the most popular suitcases for travel. The inside features a compression pad and straps that allow you to squeeze as much in as possible. There’s also a large net pocket and a handy hidden, water-resistant laundry bag. This bag was useful for packing a wet swimsuit after a last-minute swim. Everything else in the bag arrived dry. This suitcase is equipped with a leather luggage tag, a sponge for erasing marks and a thoughtful eraser sponge.
4. QUIKSILVER 100L – LARGE WHEELED SUITCASE
Best soft suitcase
Although a hardshell bag can protect your belongings, it is not the best choice for everyone. They are difficult to store between trips and cannot be squeezed into smaller spaces while traveling. The large Quiksilver bag has two wheels and a zip that is extremely strong. It can also be used as a suitcase.
The bag’s front is made of soft polyester from recycled plastic bottles and feels more like a rucksack. The bag is thick and sturdy so it was not easily damaged. However, we did have to be careful when packing any breakable items. It has two separate compartments for dirty and clean clothes. However, the bag’s best feature is its strong compression straps. This makes it smaller overall. It would work well for coach trips, but we also threw it in an overhead rack on the train to save space. We would not be able to fit a hard-shell bag into this luggage rack. For a similar price, the Lily and Bean Design Your Own Bag – Medium is a good choice if you are looking for a simple fly and flop. We had one complaint about the bag. It was too heavy and unable to turn at speed.
5. LILY AND BEAN DESIGN YOUR OWN LUGGAGE-MEDIUM
Best personalised suitcase
The number of color combinations for this bag is almost limitless, so it’s unlikely you’ll see another one at the airport. You can choose from 17 different colors. However, you can also pick one of 22 colors for the outer, inner, and center stripes. This bag is completely customizable. To make the suitcase truly yours, you can add up to three initials. I received admiring comments each time I used the bag. This suitcase is a decent price considering that personalized suitcases are often more expensive than those purchased off the shelf.
This bag is not about style over substance. There are two pockets inside the net dividers. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we managed to fit in. We were able to squeeze in many more items even though the case appeared full. The polycarbonate shell is lightweight and flexible. The case’s swivel wheels were easy to maneuver on uneven terrain. There were extra handles at the top and sides that made it easier to lift the bag up the stairs or carry it on the baggage carousel. The clear outer shell can scratch easily and ours returned with many marks from its first long-haul flight.
6. SAMSONITE PROXIS SPINNER (4 WHEELS) – MEDIUM
The best lightweight suitcase
A lightweight suitcase is the best option if you are looking to maximize your luggage allowance. A lightweight suitcase is also easier to carry on public transport, without getting wet. Lightweight bags can be fragile and make it difficult to carry when full.
The Samsonite suitcase is the solution to all of these problems. The Roxkin material, which is a multi-layered Samsonite material, is used to make the suitcase. It’s strong, light, and bounces back into its original shape. Its claims were tested by me overpacking the suitcase to make it flat and then sitting on it to close it. The bag looked great. Even the extra-large, 81cm version weighs in at a mere 3.5kg. However, it was still free from scratches after being dragged around on trains.
The case is light but not without its details. The case has a TSA approved lock, an integrated ID tag, responsive wheels, and a double tube handle that makes even the largest loads easy to carry. All of these details come at a high price. If you are looking for a lighter suitcase with less bulk, consider the Tripp Teal Escape Medium 4-Wheel Expandable Suitcase.
It has two compartments, but the zip is not expandable so it isn’t the best option for bulky items. However, it’s one of our favorite travel suitcases. This is a great reason to stay in one of the most luxurious hotels in the world and display it.
7. TED BAKER ALBANY ECO MEDIUM 4 WHEEL TROLLEY SUITCASE
The best suitcase for business travel
Have you ever wondered how to upgrade to business class? You might be able to get into business class if you show up with your luggage in this style. The soft trolley bag isn’t cheap, but it is one of our most striking bags. It is made of recycled plastic bottles and has branded zips in pale golden. There is a quilted front pocket, Ted Baker logo plate, and chic gold hubcaps. To complete the fashionable look, pair it with one of our top-rated designer bags.
The case is very practical and easy to carry. The case has a clever hidden handle at the base that helps with lifting. There is also a large, expandable front pocket in which I stored a last-minute coat and a name and address label. There aren’t any compartments within, but you can stash small items and toiletries in the pockets and on the lid. The wide compression straps, which keep clothes from creasing and moving during travel, were a big hit with us. They would also be great for minimizing ironing while on business trips.
8. BRIC’S BY EXPANDABLE ULISSE MEDIUM TROLLEY
The best expandable suitcase
Extra shopping space is essential if you are planning a weekend trip. Most of the top suitcases we tested have more capacity in the front pockets or flexible outer shells. But this Bric’s bag has an extra zip that creates an additional 4cm depth throughout the bag. Although it doesn’t seem like much, this bag is enough to allow for decent shopping.
The case is compact even at full capacity. We never had any problems pulling it out, even though it was full. The telescopic handle feels stronger than others at this price. There’s also a hidden luggage label, dust bag for storage and removable laundry bag inside. The lock is located at the top of this bag, rather than on the sides like most other bags. This makes it easy to unzip if needed. The double spinner wheels are very smooth but the bag is still quite low to ground, so be careful when walking on uneven or sloped surfaces.
9. HERSCHEL TRADE LUGGAGE MEDIUM
Best medium suitcase
This Herschel suitcase is super durable and will not leave your luggage looking beaten up on the airport carousel. The tough, molded exterior of the bag can withstand any baggage handling. And the large zip won’t burst, even if you add clothes last-minute. You won’t feel sore when you bring the bag with you on holiday. The extra-thick, telescopic handle handles the strain of full packing. We would prefer that the wheels were embedded in the shell, even though they are very strong. This will prevent them from being damaged while traveling.
The striped liner inside adds a unique stylish touch. A mesh divider allows you to separate clean and dirty laundry. We recommend that you pack your toiletries in a separate bag.