Best Luggage: Expand Your Storage Capacity
Travel in style with some of the best luggage
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
A great travel bag can be a lifesaver during long camping trips. It’s convenient when you can pack all your travel gear including food, medicine, survival kits, clothes, and shoes in one bag without having to worry about broken zippers, torn fabric, or shattered roller wheels. Here’s an overview of the best travel luggage for long trips.
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Luggage
- Protection. Having a high-quality piece of luggage to put your belongings in will provide your items with protection and security. Your luggage will keep fragile items safe from the rough and tumble of flying.
- Organization. The right luggage will provide you with plenty of compartments to stay organized. There will be compression straps to hold clothing and other items in place.
- Ease of Travel. When you have the right luggage set, it makes traveling easier. You can grab your bags, pack, and go without having to worry about how you’ll get around.
Types of Luggage
These bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common, they’re small enough to fit in the overhead bin of an airplane. You’ll need to check with specific airlines, but the standard is 45 linear inches. This is the total measurement of the width, height, and depth.
This is the standard rectangle-shaped suitcase style of luggage. These bags fall in a range of 24 to 27 inches wide. They are bigger than carry-on bags so the linear measurement will be bigger than 46 inches. You’ll also find that they commonly have wheels to make transport easier.
Wheeled Business Case
These bags are better suited for the business professional. They have compartments for laptops and other technology. They’ll have wheels, extendable handles, and several interior compartments for organization.
These are large bags with one main compartment to hold all of your belongings. They have soft sides and are perfect for long trips or those active in sports. They will have a long shoulder strap to make carrying them easier. You may even find some duffel bags with a handle and wheels.
These bags are like a combination of a carry-on bag and a duffel bag. They are a large shoulder tote that you can throw in a change of clothes and any essentials. These bags work well when you’re going away for a day or two. They typically have soft sides with a pair of short handles and a longer shoulder strap.
If you have clothing items that need hanging, then a garment bag is perfect. They have soft sides and are meant for vertical storage with a long handle for carrying. Typically, the bag will fold in half for travel, then unfold when you get to your destination. Inside there’s a solid bar from which you can hang your clothes.
Founded in Denver, Colo. in 1910, this international luggage manufacturer and retailer now has an office in Luxembourg and is on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Samsonite is at the top of the travel luggage brands. The company specializes in creating high-quality products that are perfect for the business professional or those with an on-the-lifestyle. It’s wide range of luggage, travel bags, and accessories use the latest designs and innovative technologies. The Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Samsonite Luggage is an ideal bag for someone who travels extensively.
Founded in 1933, the American Tourister brand was acquired by Samsonite in 1993. Today, its luggage is sold in more than 90 countries. Its luggage can be easily recognized thanks to the signature bright colors and patterns. The American Tourister Kids' Nickelodeon Hardside Luggage shows the fun and whimsical designs of American Tourister luggage. But it isn’t just about looks. The American Tourister Tribus Hardside Luggage is a perfect example of the quality contained in each piece.
The Rockland brand was created by Fox Luggage in 1995. The line focuses on creating colorful and patterned luggage that is attractive and affordable. Its goal is to create tough yet affordable luggage for any length of the trip. The company’s offices are located in California, and most of their business is done in the United States. The Rockland Quilt 3 Piece Polycarbonate Upright Set is a perfect example of the company’s unique aesthetic.
Briggs & Riley
Founded in 1993 in Hauppauge, N.Y., Briggs & Riley is a travel ware company that offers a lifetime warranty for any damage caused by an airline. It challenges its designers to consider the unthinkable so that their luggage is ready for anything during travel. There are small touches, such as a pocket to hold your passport. Each bag is also rigorously tested to ensure quality and durability. The Briggs & Riley Transcend Spinner Luggage is the ideal bag for travel.
In the Paris suburbs, Delsey manufacturers luggage and travel accessories. In 2010, Delsey luggage held the honor of being in second place behind Samsonite in the international luggage market. Each piece embodies French elegance, beauty, and style. They also are at the forefront of innovation with more than 70 patents in the company’s name. Experience French quality for yourself with the Delsey Luggage Paris Chatelet Hardside in Champagne White.
For more than three decades, Olympia USA has manufactured a complete line of travel products. It’s cutting designs and commitment to quality have helped it rise to the top of the market. Each piece combines innovative technology and desired functionality. The Olympia Nema 3-Piece Luggage Set is a perfect example of this.
- Below $100: These bags use the cheapest materials, lack desirable features, and focus on value over longevity. If you don’t travel often, you can get away with a bag in this range.
- $100 to $300: You can find a good-quality bag in this price range that uses quality materials, sturdy construction, and desirable features. You’ll be able to get years of use and travel often with your bag.
- Above $300: Luggage in this category can easily cost upwards of a few thousand dollars. This luggage is for the serious traveler. You’ll also find designer luggage in this category. Luggage in this category will have the latest technology, innovation, and highest quality materials.
There are two factors about the size that you need to think about. First, consider how much packing space you need for all of your belongings. You need to find luggage that’s big enough to hold everything. Second, you need to consider airline restrictions. If you want to have a carry-on bag, you’re limited to a size that will fit in the overhead compartment. If you want to check your bag, it’s the weight that will limit you. A smart workaround is to have multiple bags. You could have one personal bag that fits under the seat in front of you, one overhead bag, and one checked bag. You could buy a set of luggage that contains all three of these.
You will see some bags that have the label of “lightweight,” but you shouldn’t believe this blindly. Pay attention to how much a bag weighs before you pack it. A carry-on bag should weigh less than 10 pounds. Remember, it will get significantly heavier once you pack it. Then you’ll have to pull it around an airport and lift it over your head to fit it in the overhead bin. For larger checked luggage, airlines have weight limits on checked bags. While you can go over that weight limit, prepare to pay a penalty.
There are two basic categories for luggage material: soft and hard sides. Both will work well and ultimately, it’s your personal preference. Soft-sided luggage will give you more flexibility and tend to be more common. This is especially true for carry-on luggage. The soft material tends to absorb shock well. It is also lighter and abrasion or scratch-resistant. Most soft-sided luggage uses some form of ballistic nylon for added strength and durability. Hard-sided luggage is better at protecting fragile items and is easier to keep clean. Companies are adding innovations consistently, such as upgrading the outer hard shell to composites that reduce weight and increase durability.
- Handles. Pay attention to the sturdiness of the handles and their shape. You want them to be built into the inner construction of the bag. Make sure extendable handles lock into place when fully closed and extended.
- TSA-Approved Locks. Locks provide your luggage with security, but they’re useless when TSA needs to get into your luggage. This will result in them cutting the lock. TSA-approved locks give you security while also complying with TSA regulations.
- Hardware. The bigger and the sturdier the zipper, the longer it will last. If you tend to overpack your luggage, then the zipper is what feels that stress. Choose metal over plastic. Self-repairing is also helpful for when you snag a tooth.
- Wheels. Whether you pick two or four wheels, it’s more about quality than number when it comes to ease of maneuverability. Two wheels are more protected and easier to roll over uneven surfaces, but you have to drag the bag behind you. Four wheels let you move in any direction but are more likely to suffer damage.
Best Luggage Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Remember to keep your food and drinks well sealed before packing them in the bag. Tip the containers over to confirm that they are airtight.
- Consider putting dirty clothes and clean clothes on the extreme ends of your luggage. That way you won’t have to do the “sniff test” when looking for clean clothes.
- Avoid packing sharp tools and objects in your luggage. They may rip the fabric. If you have to bring them, seal them in a bubble bag or any other cushioned material.
- Make a list of all the necessary items you need for your trip before packing. Cross out most of the luxury items and fancy gadgets that you don’t need for camping. It will help you pack lighter.
- Try to maintain a one-bag-per-person rule for camping. If your children are under 10 years old, they can share a bag. You can bring one extra bag for toiletries or snacks.
- Store your electronics—like your laptop, charger, and phone—at the top of the bag. It will be easier to access them and you won’t have to worry about damaging them with excess weight.
Q: What is the best type of wheels for luggage?
A: The most popular type of wheels are in-line skate wheels, which make it possible for you to tilt your luggage as you drag it behind you. Luggage pieces with four wheels and a flexible carrying handle are also popular for dragging heavy loads with ease. Generally, you should prioritize wheels made of polyurethane; they are more durable.
Q: Are hard suitcases good for camping?
A: Only if you don’t plan on carrying it around during your trip. The hard suitcase can be used for storing your clothes in your RV. You should, however, consider using a soft backpack if you plan on leaving your RV behind and going out to explore nature.
Q: Which type of luggage is allowed on a plane?
A: Most airlines do not limit the type of bags you can bring in-flight as long as you are within the baggage allowance limits. Luggage should be an acceptable size and should not pose a threat to the other passengers and the aircraft. You should check with your airline before your flight on whether your bag fits within the airline’s allowable limits.
Our top pick is the Samsonite Omni Expandable Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels. It allows you to travel in style and has multiple storage components that can carry all the essential items you need for your trip.
If you are looking for an affordable and weather-resistant bag, consider the Rockland Luggage 2 Piece Set.