What are you LUGGING around?
You have tried everything. But choosing the best luggage is always difficult.
We've all been there.
That's why we’ve written this guide and reviewed the best luggage for 2017 that will make you feel like you have travel superpowers.
So, check out the table below to get your hands on our top luggage recommendations you can buy RIGHT NOW:
Best Luggage 2017:
|1. Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Softside Spinner|
(Best Carry on Luggage - Editor's Choice)
|21" x 15" x 8"||8.5 lbs||Domestic Carry On|
|2. Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable Upright Durable Suitcase|
(Best Checked Luggage)
|28" x 20" x 10.5"||10.9 lbs||Checked "Large"|
|3. Delsey Helium Aero Expandable Spinner Trolley|
(Best Hard sided Luggage)
|29" x 19.5" x 12.5"||12.5 lbs||Checked "Large"|
|4. Merax Travelhouse 3 Piece Spinner Luggage Set|
(Best Luggage Set)
|20": 19'' x 13'' x 9''|
24": 23'' x 16'' x 9''
28": 27'' x 19'' x 11"
|International Carry On|
| 5. Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag|
(Best Travel Duffel Bag)
|22" x 11.5" x 11.5"|
15" strap drop
|13 oz||Domestic Carry On|
Best Luggage Reviews 2017:
Well, now without wasting any further time, let’s jump on to our best luggage reviews from the best carry-on suitcase to the best duffel bag.
Let's start with our top pick for you:
Best Carry On Luggage (2017)
1. Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 Softside 21 Inch Spinner Review:
As a frequent traveler, so as you can imagine, I am always shuffling from one airport to the next. I can't remember the last time I was in one place long enough to get bored. However, I do get nostalgic of the places my feet take me.
In my many years of travel, I have owned more than a dozen luggage. The seemingly futile search for cabin luggage that could stay with me longer than a year ended when I met my beloved Samsonite Silhouette Sphere.
That was just over two years ago, and we are since attached at the hip.
Overall Presentation of My Wonder Luggage:
The Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2 comes in black and does not look big enough from the outside. Keep an open mind; looks can be deceptive.
The handle is sturdy and extends to the level that is comfortable with the carrier. The grip is also just as strong and comfortable on the hand. It has the standard four wheels, but the distance between then and the floor is quite raised than in other luggage I have owned.
My Favorite in the Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2:
- The Handle:
- Multi-directional Spinner wheels:
This luggage has multi-directional wheels that turn easily even on a rugged or uneven ground. It also helps that they are bigger than the wheels on most luggage.
- Sturdy Fabric:
Samsonite Silhouette is made of 100 percent nylon, which makes it the ideal material for me to take on all my adventures. Did I mention water resistance? Well, the material does not let in any moisture.
It depends on what you pack, but it fits my needs for each trip (which lasts at least three days). Inside the luggage is my favorite accessory; a bound compartment in which you can pack your laptop.
This Luggage is Ideal For:
Things I Wish Could Be Changed:
Final Thoughts on Samsonite Silhouette Sphere 2:
My travels are a lot of fun now that I do not have to haul on my shoulder my uncooperative luggage. For that price, everyone I know is getting this carry on luggage for Christmas (whether they like it or not).
Best Checked Luggage (2017)
2. Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Expandable Spinner Trolley Review:
If you are that person who cares more about quality, durability and reputation more than looks, Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable might just be your kind of luggage.
As a corporate giant, Briggs & Riley doesn’t manufacture a line of travel accessories but concentrates only on making premium quality luggage bags – bags that are specifically designed and updated to deliver superior performance, and for serious minded customers.
I’m too excited when I’m booking airline tickets, and happy when I get a window seat, but the happiness fades as I start packing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets a headache from packing – it’s a hideous business.
Briggs and Riley baseline Suitcase has a unique interior design which lets you pack whatever you want (leaving some obvious exceptions, of course) and still meet the airline checked baggage allowances.
The revolutionary CX expansion-compression system increases packing capacity by one-fourth, so you will be able to pack more compared to another bag of the same size. This design uses an expandable handle in the place of the wrap-around zipper which most bags use, to free up way more space than a regular bag pack.
What you do is you expand the handle, pack what you will, and after packing, just reverse the process by collapsing the handle – it will compress itself automatically by minimizing the air bubbles. And don’t worry, your contents will be secure.
The fiberglass frame is lightweight, flexible and able to retain its shape – it weighs a bit less than 11 pounds, which is amazing considering the size of this bag.
The body is made up of ballistic nylon fabric, which makes the bag very durable, and safe for extreme conditions. It will not wear out, or get wet, or dirty, period.
The Outside telescoping aluminum handle, again a specialty of Briggs & Riley, is laid entirely on the outside of the bag, allowing for a flat surface inside for packing, and an easy pulling and pushing experience.
There are outside pockets to store items that need to be easily accessible, and a hidden user tag that conceals your identity when necessary.
These bags come with Briggs & Riley lifetime warranty aptly named ‘simple as that’, so once bought, you don’t have to worry much.
Quality, functionality and minute detailing are coupled with a classy old-school look, and Briggs & Riley is determined to offer you not just a bag, but an all-purpose travel companion.
Best Hardside Luggage (2017)
3. Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Expandable Spinner Trolley Review:
The Delsey trolley is by far the most convenient of all of Delsey’s products. It is neither too expensive nor too cheap, moreover, it is neither too small nor too larger. It is just perfect.
While Delsey has always had a reputation for making durable bags, however with this particular trolley, they outdid themselves.
The exterior of the trolley is made of polycarbonate which is resilient to cracking or breaking. This ensures that the trolley is well protected from any sort of injury inflicted upon it.
The exoskeleton however, does not add much weight to the trolley and it still is surprisingly light.
The spinner wheels are smooth and function very gently. They also ensure that the trolley walks along with you, beside you, without you, having to drag it behind you. The spinner wheels are so designed that while pulling the trolley you do not feel any weight on your arm and can walk long distances with your luggage easily.
The Nylon lining on the inner side of the luggage makes sure that your packing is safely affixed in its place and does not move about. There is also a small zipper lock with a numbering feature that provides additional security.
For all you tourists out there, this is a feature that is going to excite you endlessly. The Delsey Helium Spinner Trolley has this feature where it can expand up to an extra two inches to give more space to fit in goods. Or, as you could possibly interpret, it would mean more space to bring in souvenirs from all those exciting places you visit.
Apart from this, the trolley also has a host of other features like the retractable handle that can be fixed into two positions for a more flexible use, multiple inner pockets to allow easy categorization of articles and a one button locking system that helps in better security.
For all you fashion conscious people, the best news is yet to come. This particular offering from Delsey comes in three shiny colors and you can choose between charcoal, navy blue and silver, etc...
However, this remains one of the best that the iconic Delsey has to offer and it remains a recommended buy as the best hard sided luggage, also as the best checked luggage for a budget price.
Best Luggage Set (2017)
4. Merax Travelhouse Luggage Set 3 Piece with TSA Lock Review:
The Merax Travelhouse is one of the most potent competitors in the luggage set market that you can get today.
The first and most noticeable thing you would like about this luggage set is the fact they come in hard-shell. Now, while that would increase the weight of the luggage as compared to a soft-shell, the advantages are too great to count.
For starters, the luggage set owing to its hard-shell body would easily be impervious to any sort of damages or dumps that you might subject it to during your travels.
There have been numerous occasions when even airport authorities have mishandled bags while loading or unloading them, thus leading to damages or even minor cracks that later affect your luggage. The body is extremely sturdy and at all times, provides a great support if you do decide to use it.
Another fascinating feature that the luggage set has is spinner wheels. Each of the suitcases you get when you buy the luggage set is equipped with spinner wheels that help you push it with relative ease. The wheels are extremely smooth and do not make the grueling sound some wheels tend to make. The Spinner wheels equipped also mean that you don’t need to drag the luggage along with you but can gently pull it along as you walk.
The telescopic handles along with the spinner wheels make up for a great combo that is extremely easy to use and enjoyable at the same time. The best part about the bags is that their telescopic handles are attached on the outer ends and do not take up the space inside the bags itself.
The molding is firm and sturdy and this gives the bags an extra bit of space missing in other counterparts. The material lining inside is of fine quality and also provides extra protection to the luggage.
The bags are an organizer’s paradise. There are numerous compartment and pockets and all of them can be used to store, classify or catalog your belongings. Also, each of the suitcases fit inside each other in size and therefore it’s very easy to transport them if you are taking them somewhere.
The luggage set is extremely affordable for its price and gives you complete value for your money and if you are a believer that what you get is what you pay for theory, then get ready to be wowed by this marvelous piece of luggage.
Apart from this, the luggage set is an absolute delight to use and is highly recommended.
Best Duffel Bag for Travel (2017)
5. Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag Review:
The Vera Bradley Duffel Bag is a bag made for that time of the year when you are all ready to pack up and travel to some exotic location for your holidays.
And every bag needs the perfect bag to pack for such an outing. However, the sad fact of the matter remains that there are not too many bags to choose from.
The Vera Bradley Duffel Bag is the most favorable option that you are ever going to have. With its classic design and unbeatable functionality, it doesn’t ever get any better than this classic bag.
The Vera Bradley duffel bag is extremely versatile and its zipper closure ensures that all your things are stored away safely. Do keep in mind that the Vera duffel bag cannot replace your usual gym or pool bag as it would be a tad too big for the occasion. The capacity of the bag is enough to comfortably store clothes for a 5-day outing.
As a consolation perhaps, the bag has a pocket on the outside. The pocket on the outside can hold things like your tablet, however, I would recommend you not to put in expensive things here as it isn’t really very secure.
Other notable feature of the bag would include the 15" strap that ensures a comfortable experience while carrying it around.
While this may not be the most impressive of features, yet it is good to know that this duffel bag meets the airline's carry-on regulations and so you can carry it as your hand luggage. A must-have for frequent fliers I must say.
There are bags that can be washed by wiping them with a wet cloth and then there’s the Vera Bradley Duffel Bag. The bag can be machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle. However, guidelines do advise you to use non-chlorine bleach. The bag can be line dried or machine dried.
For storing the bag when not in use, the duffel can also be folded up flat so that it can be stored up easily and quickly.
Considering what little option women tend to have when it comes to buying duffle bags, this is highly recommended as it perfectly meshes durability and functionality with fashion.
Before you start looking for a new bag, Read our luggage buyer's guide below to help you make the right choice!
Luggage Buying Guide:
Today, for consumers, concern about choosing a luggage is present due to their diversity offered on the market.
More so, it is flooded with thousands of bags of all types, colors, shapes, brands and that will confuse you when buying the closest one to your needs.
Here it comes, this luggage buying guide reveals to you the aspects that should enlighten you better in choosing this essential item for travel:
How to Buy Luggage: 9 Ways to Evaluate Your Prospective Luggage Before You Buy
Want to know more about what to look for when buying a new luggage?
And... what factors to consider when determining the best luggage for your destination?
Let's get started:
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- Quality luggage should come with a product information tag or a comprehensive description that includes a fabric denier which scientifically measures the outside fabric's resistance to abrasion and tearing. These two factors affect a fabric's long-term durability. Compare deniers before you purchase, but understand sometimes larger deniers do not always equate to better material.
1. Definition: Denier - A unit of fineness for nylon and polyester fibers, based on a standard mass per length of 1 gram per 9,000 meters of yarn. In short, a technical textile term for measuring the bulk of a fiber.
2. Larger denier, polyester luggage is not stronger than a smaller denier, ballistic nylon fabric made with a two-by-two basket weave.
3. Ballistic and Cordura nylon materials are superior to polyester fabrics.
4. American-made Dupont material is superior to ballistic or Cordura nylon bags made overseas. Understand however, luggage made with slightly less quality, foreign-made, ballistic nylon is still a great value and worthy of our endorsement. The truth is Dupont produces the highest quality luggage fabric in the world today.
Also, take note of the following guidelines regarding individual luggage prices and relative luggage fabric quality:
- Top level quality, higher-priced luggage generally $250.00 and up - Dupont ballistic or Cordora nylon material
- Middle level quality, prices generally from $100.00 to $250.00 - Foreign-made ballistic nylon material
- Lower level quality, prices generally under $100.00 - Polyester materials manufactured overseas
The stronger the frame, the more likely your new luggage will survive years of rough handling. Premium luggage utilizes space-age composites that combine lightweight frames with strength and rigidity.
Most quality, lightweight frames are designed with a honeycomb composition to create the flexibility and memory needed for a frame to bounce back into it's original form after enduring an impact.
Example: airline luggage handling.... Honeycomb technology allows for air "pockets" to make for the lighter weight quality.
One of the quickest ways to judge luggage quality is to check the quality of the zipper. Zippers are a component where size does matter and it is best to have a zipper with larger "teeth".
Zippers are rated on a one through ten-scale to indicate the size specification. Zipper teeth which measure a ten are the largest made for luggage. The size of zippers grow smaller and generally less expensive as the size of the teeth are reduced.
Keep in mind, even the best zippers can be installed poorly and placed in the sure-to-wear-out locations. Make sure the zipper is installed with multiple rows of lock-stitch stitching and off the corners of the luggage.
A danger sign is if the zipper is poorly installed on the edge of a bag's corners without additional reinforcement or on top of a hard frame. A zipper such as this is almost guaranteed to be worn out within a shorter time span than a quality bag made with the zippers off the corners.
Here is how to check to determine if your wheels have been engineered properly:
1. Are the wheels manufactured with a durable polyurethane material? Most quality luggage possess in-line skate wheels or wheels which are made of the same high-tech resin. This type of wheel is capable of rolling on pavement for hundreds and hundreds of miles without wearing out.
2. Does the luggage have wheels which are mounted to the case with screws? Screws have a stronger hold-rating than rivets. Not a tremendous difference in their ability to stay intact, but a superior rating nevertheless. Plus, rivets cannot be repaired when screws are obviously capable of replacement.
3. Full-corner protectants are superior to bags which have partial or no corner-wheel protection. The higher quality lines of luggage will be made of high-tech plastics such as thermal plastic rubber or the same plastics comprising car dash boards or the bottom of ski's. No matter what type of hard material is used to make a full-corner protectant, it is best to have a full rather than partial protectant for corner wheel designs.
5. Telescoping and Grab Handles:
You may have to open the interior lining to visually inspect the telescoping handle. A real danger sign is if the manufacturer makes it difficult to open the lining to check this out. Most luggage these days have an interior lining with an access zipper to the handle components.
Quality telescoping handles are generally made with light-weight aluminums and have the length taller travelers need. Please understand, multi-staged handles are more stable than originally meets the eye.
Once the bag is pushed or pulled, the multi-stage telescoping handle is firm and manageable. Locking handles which stow away flush with the suitcase or in it's own zippered pocket, are the most protected and are of higher quality.
Top quality grab handles are screwed into the frame of the bag and also stow relatively flush with the luggage. Handles should be ergonomic and easily accessible to allow for quick, on-the-go handling.
6. Sewing and Thread:
Superior luggage is made with multi-ply, twisted nylon and is made with lock-stitch stitching. Always check how much material is left below the seam line: the more, the better.
Look for seams which are bound with the appropriate material to prevent wear. Bound edges made of vinyl is found in inexpensive luggage and is sure to crack and wear faster than bound seams, made of nylon material.
As an extra precautionary measure against split seams, quality luggage will have edges turned and sewn in to maximize seam durability. You can look into a bag's pockets or main compartment to witness the interior bound edges.
On the outside, look for luggage with added welting on the corners and edges where impact occurs the most. Understand with less expensive luggage, seams are usually made of mono-core polyester.
7. Luggage Accessories:
If your suitcase includes a dress/suit carrier, can it be removed to provide extra packing space for casual vacation trips? Your luggage should offer as much packing flexibility as possible.
Luggage accessories such as suit fixtures, vinyl wet pockets, identification tags, luggage locks, toiletry kits and organizers and other paraphernalia are included in luggage as "added" features relative to the cost of luggage.
Usually the higher the price of the bag, the higher the quality the case will be, but with more accessories included.
Purchase luggage with accessories which make sense to you: If you don't travel on business you probably don't need an elaborate suit fixture. If you already have a toiletry kit or cosmetic bag you like, you obviously don't need the organizer feature.
Beware of gimmicks that come at the expense of durability: Specialized pockets are useful, but anything can be overdone. Do you really need a pocket to pack one pair of socks?
Additional luggage accessories can sometimes add two pounds to your luggage so be sure they can be easily removed and detached.
8. How to put a Price Tag on Quality:
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- Divide the number of trips you expect to make with your new luggage into the price of the bag. For example, a $150.00 wheeled suitcase that can reliably be used for at least 50 trips really only costs $3.00 per trip.
A lower-priced/lesser-quality bag that falls apart the second or third time you use it, will actually cost you much more when you figure "cost-per-use."
9. Luggage Manufacturer's Warranties:
Meaning travelers should always inspect their luggage immediately after retrieving their luggage off the luggage carousel. Once you discover damage you must report it to the airlines immediately and seek compensation from the airline for the damage inflicted upon your luggage. If you report the damage after you have left the airport you cannot seek damages.
General wear and tear can occur over many years of checking baggage on the airlines or perhaps having your baggage tossed on top of rickety old buses in Peru and shaky trains in Mongolia.
However the wear has occurred, the luggage manufacturers (and reasonable people in general) can determine the life of the bag by looking at the model year and the condition of the piece.
If after ten years a suitcase is completely frayed, slashed, wheel-less and not capable of repair, the manufacturer may surmise the bag has had it's best days and is done (irreparable).
Understand that even if you are one of those unlucky few who have purchased a quality piece of luggage which was damaged within the first few trips, (albeit rare), you should have a reputable manufacturer and merchant (either on-line or as a brick and mortar store) who can have that bag either replaced or repaired within the guidelines and duration of the warranty.
Know that lifetime warranties are supported for the "lifetime" of the bag and not our own lifetimes and that the manufacturers have the discretion to ultimately determine the bag in question.
Meaning if one were to travel every day of the year, the life span of the bag they are using has a shorter life span than a bag which only gets used once a month.
Different Types of Bags to Choose From?
It is commercially available; several types of bags and their choice should depend on the type of trip you are considering and your fitness.
Moreover, by plane, train or car, your suitcase has to be "flexible", that is to say, adapted to your needs and trip type.
Practical, carry on luggage will save your time by not waiting to check or claim your bags, in condition it does not exceed the weight and size allowed by the airline.
Ideal for a weekend! It will also allow you to keep your belongings whether valuables or hygiene and health products.
Because they are checked luggage you don't want to pack them very heavily unless you have extra money to pay for the overweight fee.
Note that there are expandable suitcases with a bellows system constrained by a zipper, which release extra volume (up to 2 inches).
This rolling luggage is very convenient to get around in the corridors of the airport and on the dock. By adopting it, you stay away from any muscle pain due to the weight and movement.
That said, it can happen that you are forced to lift the suitcase to overcome obstacles or climb stairs. Regarding the handle, think about to make sure it is resistant, comfortable and secure.
Backpack / Wheeled Backpack:
In terms of the backpack, know that this type of luggage is a good suitable option for hiking for example.
But beware, still think the weight that is to say, the responsibility to wear it over a long period of time, can cause back pain. You need to know that your backpack should not exceed 25% of your body weight.
Luggage Size Restrictions and Weight Limits?
Equipped with wheels and pull handles, suitcases are now one of the inevitable choice suitable for any type of travel.
Thereby, are available on the market, three sizes of bags corresponding to standard formats and can therefore, be bought in forms of luggage sets:
- Small-sized called carry-on luggage measuring from 18 to 22 inches: These formats are suitable for aircraft cabins but it depends on your airline size specifications.
- Medium-sized measuring from 23 to 27 inches.
- Large-sized starts from 28 inches.
...When purchasing your luggage, you need to be aware of size and weight limits of airlines where you will be checking or carrying them on.
To know the permitted sizes for your carry-on luggage, remember to inquire directly with your airline company.
Now, let's check the baggage weight limits:
Authorized weight for checked luggage varies from one airline to another; but in general it is limited to 50 pounds in the U.S and for any extra weight a fee will be applied. This weight rule changes between companies so check with yours before packing.
Also, do not forget to check the baggage fees implied by airlines for each of your bags (1st, 2nd & 3rd bag) if you are carrying that much of luggage. These airline fees varies between domestic and international flights.
If you don't want to pay the overweight fee, check out here the best luggage scales to stay always in the limit allowed by airlines.
Hardside vs Softside Luggage?
The issue is important because of the various treatments to which suitcases go through from check-in to the cargo hold. Given this situation, it would be wise to opt for a suitcase suitable to your priorities (what you want from it). Moreover, you need to pay attention to the differences between the two types other than the looks as it's very obvious to distinguish them by their design.
Let's check some pros and cons for hard sided & soft sided luggage:
1. Soft-Sided Luggage:
They are generally manufactured from ballistic nylon and polyester. Both materials are very durable. Ballistic nylon is an excellent material that resists tearing while remaining very lightweight.
- Allow more space: flexible under pressure and expandable
- A lot of exterior pockets for easy access and storage
- Does not show wear and tear very easily: scuffs and marks
- Typically more lightweight
- Zippers could get broken due to the excessive packing
- Could surpass the weight limit allowed when heavily packing
- Slightly less protection for staff inside the luggage
2. Hard-Sided Luggage:
Contrary to what many people think, hard-sided suitcases do not always weigh more than a soft model. They are generally manufactured based on poly-carbonate or honeycomb plastic. Obviously, if the hull of your suitcase is hard, the interior will be well and better protected!
- More protection on the inside for valuable belongings
- Durable, rigid and weather resistant
- Wide range of models with bright colors, trend prints, photographs...
- Slightly more secure against theft
- Limited space: not flexible although some are expandable
- No exterior pockets
- Could show wear and tear: blemishes and scratches
- Typically more heavy: depends on the material
Luggage Features To Check?
Buying your best suitcase is a process that should not be taken lightly. Here are the characteristics to be checked prior to any purchase decision:
Thickness of Fabric or Shell:
How to Clean a Suitcase?
Cleaning and maintaining your suitcase is an important task and very simple to perform:
- So after a long trip, you will have to think about airing out your suitcase.
- To restore its shine, a damp cloth is sufficient to clean the exterior. For the interior, you should use a vacuum cleaner.
- If you notice in your suitcase unpleasant smells, you will need to wash it with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Then put it to dry out.
Now we have come to the end of this guide:
I hope you have picked a few useful tips from here before heading to choose your best luggage for 2017.
What do you consider when shopping for a new luggage?