The best travel suitcase (2021): find the ideal size whatever the trip
Now we can travel once more, these are the suitcases you need.
As seasoned travellers know, the best way to take the stress out of flying, cruising or road trips is to be organised - and the best travel suitcase will help you to that.
With the world they way it is, travel has been the last thing any of us can do but now that flights are restarting and countries are opening up, it's essential you head to your destination of choice with the ultimate travel suitcase for you.
Having the right travel suitcase is essential - especially on shorter trips when maximising space or protecting the contents from emerging creased or damaged is paramount. It can be the difference between a relaxing break and a breakdown.
It pays to choose a case that’s right for the job. Slim and lightweight enough to zip past bag-drop? Or small enough to squeeze into the boot of a compact hire car, while still having space for all your stuff?
Airplane cabin-friendly cases should be high on your wishlist. Well-positioned straps, zipped compartments and pockets can be the difference between packing nightmare and packing nirvana.
The final feature to look for is the wheels – double spinners can make pulling a case along infinitely easier so don’t forget to test-drive your favourite from the below picks to see how well they glide.
Best travel suitcase
1. American Tourister Alumo Spinner
Tired of scuffed and faded ABS shells? Discover American Tourister's first aluminium collection. This nimble number comes in at 4.3kg and combines gorgeous metallic colours such as Rose.
There are zipped pockets galore inside, so you can separate and stash to your heart's content. Add to that double wheels so not even the bumpiest of pavements will phase you, and the only real question is, where will you take it first?
2. Samsonite Darts Spinner
The Darts Spinner is designed for that person who is always stopping to take things in and out of their suitcase. Thanks to this case’s flexible front panel, you can easily get your essentials out of the front compartment without having to fully open the case.
Other features include an integrated 3-digit TSA combi lock, four wheels and weighs only 2.6kg. Available in blue and white.
3. Tripp Cherry Ultra Lite 2 wheel
Tripp Cherry Ultra Lite is light at just 2.2kg, stylish and skinny enough to scoot past the eagle eyes of both Ryanair and Easyjet attendants. This two-wheeled beauty is made for those travelling light.
Sure, there's only 26 litres of space inside but for overnighters that could be plenty. Twin elasticated straps inside mean you can strap down all your things. Dipping in and out of it should be calamity-free, plus as it's so dinky. It makes avoiding padding ankles a cinch.
4. AmazonBasics Hardside
Amazon's Basics Hardside comes in a burnt orange for those who want to spot their stuff in seconds, or black for the more demure. Its hard-shelled style is great for protecting your belongings from bumps and bangs while en-route.
The AmazonBasics Hardside is a smidge too large for carry-on, but makes an ideal checked-in case. Its expandable capabilities are handy when you splurge on souvenirs. Zipped pockets inside also let you separate laundry from the rest of your stuff.
5. Antler Clifton
We are big fans of Antler bags and this one is a Clifton case, with bonus front pocket. This is for easy access, with a padded slip pocket inside to secure a tablet, and another for a 15.6” laptop.
There are packing straps, a D-zip pocket, plus a waterproof and mesh pocketI. It's strong, too, and has wheels!
6. HOF Kevlar Discovery
Kevlar – not just for bulletproof vests, but luggage too. This is the kind of suitcase you could imagine Jason Bourne using – durable, with a high impact resistance, it's a dream for packing.
There's a laptop compartment, the wheels are rubber-coated. And the ergonomic handle is made for smooth rolling, even over thick carpet. At 55cm and 2.9kg, it's perfect for air travel, plus there's a side pocket for quick access to your boarding pass, water or umbrella. With 32 litres of space, you can find a place for everything.
7. North Face Rolling Thunder
It's not just the Vietnam vet-inspired name, camo-style colours or bright red self-cleaning wheels that give Rolling Thunder its charm, but the versatility that comes from its design.
While it's a soft bag on top, underneath it's a hard case, meaning you can both squash in clothes and protect delicate items from knocks. Zipped and inner mesh pockets help to simplify your packing, plus a generous 40 litres of space is a great pay-off given its 3.3kg weight.
8. EastPak Tranzshell S
If you drink almond milk while rocking a pair of canvas shoes, you’d be disappointed to find leather details on your luggage but Eastpak has a solution.
Most of its suitcases are 100% vegan, including this hard-shelled number, which comes with double-decker zipped compartments, a 30-year warranty, padded handle and a choice of eight colours including this botanical design. At around 3kg with 32 litres of capacity, you won't have to compromise on space or weight for a clear conscience.
9. Ted Baker Beau
If it's pretty you're after, Ted Baker has you covered. Its Beau collection features a moulded bow motif as part of its polycarbonate shell, complete with a rose gold bow plate.
Inside this 2.6kg beauty there's no less attention to detail, with a patterned lining, pockets and mesh section that can accommodate up to 37 litres. An aluminium handle in rose gold plus four double wheels (with Ted Baker hubcaps) make for easy steering as you leave all the boring suitcases in your wake.
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