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Best suitcases and travel luggage for 2022

With holidays abroad finally getting the green light and millions of Brits keen to book a break either at home or overseas, suitable luggage is a must. So we’ve been on the case to locate sturdy travel companions that’ll go the distance – whether you’re heading to Bournemouth or the Bahamas this year. 

By Louise Cole | Last updated Mar 23, 2022

Woman standing with suitcase

Now that Britain’s back on the move and post-lockdown breaks are once again a possibility, a robust and reliable suitcase is just the ticket. Yet finding the right one can cause more anxiety than the dreaded packing process. 

Here at Mumsnet we have access to world-class impartial reviewers – unbiased parents just like you, who’ve tested all types and brands of luggage for durability, ease of use, spaciousness and overall performance.

Whether you’re embarking on a business trip, mini break or long-haul holiday with your family in tow, our roundup will take some of the stress out of your next adventure by suggesting suitable suitcases to accompany you on your travels ­– whatever your destination.

From lightweight to luxury and hard cases to holdalls, here are the best suitcases and travel luggage for 2021.

1. Best overall suitcase: Samsonite Neopulse Spinner Suitcase

samsonite suitcase

Price: £198.75 (large) | Buy now from Amazon

“Samsonite – you can pack more, they weigh nothing plus are tough, long-lasting and recommended for frequent flyers.” Tutt

“Bought mine a couple of years ago. I fly six to eight times a year. Still good as new.”  Orangebird69

“Samsonite hard cases. We’ve had ours for 17 years and in that time we’ve used them on multiple holidays and they’re still going strong. I’ve also lent them to family members, so the suitcases have been on more trips than I have.” Crazy8

Mumsnetter favourite Samsonite is ranked sky-high in the suitcase sphere – and for good reason. Consistently receiving reviews as glowing as your skin after a week’s break in Sharm El Sheikh, its luggage is renowned for being dependable and durable, plus it looks good too.

This smart Neopulse offering is more than just a pretty case. Combining lightness and strength, it has an easy-to-wheel design plus lockable zips and a TSA lock that allows airport authorities to inspect your case without damage. With zipped top and bottom compartments, there’ll be no more sitting on your suitcase in order to close it as this one shuts easily. This interior setup could pose a problem if you’re packing anything bulky, however.

With extra-protective corners and available in a range of glossy colours, thousands of customers are content with this stylish, solid case.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 94L
  • Dimensions: 75 x 51 x 28cm
  • Weight: 3.4kg
  • Number of wheels: Four

2. Best budget suitcase: Redcamp Travel Duffel Bag

redcamp duffel bag

Price: From £21.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I go for large, soft holdalls with no wheels or similar useless heavy nonsense. Airports have trolleys and coaches/taxis have boots. Assuming this isn’t a place-to-place backpacking holiday, that’s all you need.” specialsubject 

Anyone who enjoys the simple things won’t be disappointed with this no-nonsense holdall from Redcamp. While it lacks the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts, it’s nevertheless a trusty travel bag that’s firmly at the economy-class end of the luggage spectrum.

Weighing less than a packet of (lockdown favourite) pasta, it’s capable of holding a stockpile-worthy 22.6kg and can fold into a small 22cm square. Having no wheels, this duffel bag will need to be carried and, although it boasts adjustable handles, these may not be the most comfortable to hold due to the absence of padding.

As you’d expect for this price, its water-repellent fabric isn’t the thickest, so it may be a better choice for staycations to avoid any overenthusiastic airport baggage handlers.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 100L
  • Dimensions: 80 x 42 x 30cm
  • Weight: 335g
  • Number of wheels: None

3. Best lightweight suitcase: IT Luggage World’s Lightest Debonair Suitcase

IT debonair suitcase

Price: £49.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“We bought some of the IT World’s Lightest-type cases for our trip to Australia. They fit in loads more than hard-shell cases if weight is an issue. They were easy to wheel around and came back looking brand new.” Onykahonie

“Have a look at IT luggage – relatively cheap, but not bad quality and very lightweight.” LapdanceShoeshine 

“I got an IT World’s Lightest suitcase. Am really pleased with it.” RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie

Those who don’t know the meaning of travelling light, who struggle to stay within their baggage allowance or who simply loathe lugging heavy bags will appreciate this wieldy fabric suitcase from IT Luggage, which weighs significantly less than many similar alternatives.

At just 2.3kg, the payoff for being ultra-light is that it lacks any fancy embellishments to weigh it down and its wide telescopic handle feels flimsier than that of other products featured in our roundup, such as Samsonite’s Neopulse model. Potential buyers can lighten up, however, as this simple suitcase comes with a 10-year warranty for their peace of mind.

This brand is blazing a trail for simple, no-frills luggage that’s more manageable than most –­ and its prices won’t weigh you down, either.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 56L
  • Dimensions: 70 x 41 x 23cm
  • Weight: 2.3kg
  • Number of wheels: Four

4. Best carry-on suitcase: Tripp Slate Holiday 6 Cabin Suitcase

tripp suitcase

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have hold-size and cabin-size Tripp suitcases. I would really recommend them.” YukonGold

“I have Tripp suitcases – love them.” ladyirish

“We’ve got Tripp luggage – large cases, bags and cabin cases. 14 years old and still in good condition.” bellsbuss

Searching for cabin baggage needn’t be a carry-on when you choose this compact case. From popular brand Tripp, it’s the ideal travel buddy when jetting off on weekend getaways, short city stays and business trips or for storing essentials to keep with you on the plane on longer jaunts.

Accepted as hand luggage by most major airlines, this hard-shell case is made from the same material used to make car bumpers – polypropylene – which is not only uber-strong, it’s recyclable too. While there’s no external pocket for stashing a trashy holiday read, it does have a mesh divider and packing straps inside.

Featuring four wheels, an integrated lock, and top and pull handles, the suitcase comes with a five-year guarantee. Larger matching options are also available in brighter colours that have vacay-vibe names such as Ocean and Watermelon.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 37L
  • Dimensions: 55 x 40 x 20cm
  • Weight: 2.7kg
  • Number of wheels: Four

5. Best hard-shell suitcase: Delsey Paris Turenne Suitcase

delsey suitcase

Price: From £152.86 | Buy now from Amazon

“I’m airline crew, so mine get hammered. I would choose Delsey.” honeyroar

“We’re very pleased with our Delsey cases, which we bought for a trip to the Antipodes and which have been all over the place since.” paap1975

Choosing a decent rigid suitcase can be hard, but you need venture no further than this chic one from Delsey Paris. Despite being the lightest option from the French brand’s hard-shell range, the elegant Turenne doesn’t compromise on toughness and protects your belongings on journeys from whatever knocks it gets along the way.

This luggage offers extra security thanks to a TSA combi-lock and an anti-theft closure that’s three times stronger than a regular zip. Equipped with four double, multidirectional wheels, this stylish suitcase has a hard-wearing grained texture.

The high-quality storage space inside comprises dual zipped sections plus shoe and laundry bags, with this 70cm version designed to be big enough for a week away. Coming in a selection of timeless colours, four alternative sizes are also available.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 81L
  • Dimensions: 70 x 47 x 29.5cm
  • Weight: 3.3kg
  • Number of wheels: Four

6. Best soft-shell suitcase: Eastpak Tranverz M Suitcase

Eastpak silver suitcase

Price: From £69.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Regular traveller here. I much prefer soft shell as they are less likely to get broken. I am a huge fan of Eastpak (I have nine of them!) because the value for money/quality is excellent.” feesh

“We have two Eastpak cases, which are brilliant. We have a medium and large – they are easy to pull along and have loads of room in them. We tend to use the smaller one for children’s things (ages five and three) and the larger for ours.” BoysRule

“They’re incredibly light and strong, and come in a variety of sizes and colours.” Stopyourhavering64

One name that crops up repeatedly on the Mumsnet forums is Eastpak, with countless parents impressed by the durability and practicality of their minimalist suitcases. This deceptively spacious Tranverz suitcase has two internal zipped compartments, with external compression straps to minimise bulkiness.

Lightweight yet sturdy, its soft exterior allows last-minute souvenir purchases or forgotten bits and bobs to be easily squeezed in, though made from polyester it offers limited protection from the elements. It packs away flat though – ideal for storing under a bed or atop a wardrobe – and features padded top and side handles for easy placement on a rack or conveyor belt.

This roomy case also boasts a TSA three-digit code lock and large front pocket, plus it wheels along smoothly and is available in an array of colours, from black and burgundy to grey and green.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 78L
  • Dimensions: 67 x 35.5 x 30cm
  • Weight: 3.2kg
  • Number of wheels: Two

7. Most durable suitcase: Briggs & Riley Medium Expandable Spinner Suitcase

briggs riley suitcase

Price: From £406.08 | Buy now from Amazon

“People here swear by Briggs & Riley as the hardest-wearing travel luggage around. Lifetime warranty.” alipiggie

“I have a Briggs & Riley wheeled bag. They are excellent and DH uses it also. However, not cheap! But if you are using it regularly it’s definitely worth it.” Artandco

For a robust suitcase that’s in it for the long haul, travellers regularly turn to Briggs & Riley. The manufacturer is so confident of its products’ durability that they’re guaranteed for life, meaning that if yours is ever broken or damaged – even by an airline – it’ll be repaired free of charge.

With all the accessories you’d expect of quality luggage, plus a built-in garment carrier for wrinkle-free clothing, this fibreglass-framed suitcase also deserves the accolade of best expandable suitcase. Designed for a three- to six-day trip, it expands by 6cm for up to 25% more space, plus its outsider handle means no space-reducing bars inside.

This first-class luggage unsurprisingly has a price tag (and weight) to match. While this won’t faze high-fliers and those accustomed to turning left when they board an aircraft, it may be pie in the sky for some. That said, a Briggs & Riley case is a long-term investment that’ll stand the test of time – and many miles – ultimately providing value in terms of cost per use.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 83L
  • Dimensions: 63.5 x 45.5 x 28cm
  • Weight: 5kg
  • Number of wheels: Four

8. Best wheeled suitcase: American Tourister Bon Air Spinner Suitcase

american tourister suitcase

Price: From £68.64 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have American Tourister Bon Air spinners – they get fab reviews, look good and aren’t too expensive.” fredabear

“We recently bought two American Tourister hard suitcases. They are fab.” Paddingtonthebear

There’s no need to get in a spin over wheeled luggage when you pick an American Tourister Bon Air suitcase to come along for the ride. It’ll glide effortlessly – and silently ­– beside you on 360-degree swivel wheels that provide superb manoeuvrability, whether you’re navigating a crowded airport, an unfamiliar city or busy streets.

While its shell is thinner than some cases and it may lack the quality of pricier options, this zipped luggage is more rugged than it looks and thousands of satisfied travellers believe it’s worth every penny of its reasonable price tag.

Equipped with an intelligent locking system and ID tag, plus comfortable top, side and pull handles, inside is a zipped divider with handy mesh pockets ideal for storing essential sun cream or mozzie repellent. With three size choices, it comes in a multitude of vibrant colours that’ll make your case easily identifiable on the airport baggage carousel.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 73L
  • Dimensions: 66 x 45 x 27cm
  • Weight: 3.5kg
  • Number of wheels: Four

9. Best luggage set: Antler Clifton Suitcase Set

antler suitcase set of three

Price: £474.30 | Buy now from Amazon

“We got a set of three Antler ones.” Zed1707

“We have Antler hard suitcases. Bought about five years ago. Really impressed – they look smart, hold lots. Have been on many flights and they don’t look marked at all.” madasamarchhare

“Antler. Travelling is my job and it looks almost new after around 10 years of international travel. Also very lightweight. Hard shell.” EUnamechange

Luggage sets are uncharted territory for many travellers, yet they’re certainly worth considering, being both cost-effective and highly practical. Fitting inside each other like nesting dolls, they’re easy to store plus you’ll always have the right-size suitcase whether you’re destined for a weekend in Weston-super-Mare or a fortnight in Fuerteventura.

We adore this tasteful yet tough trio from Antler that comprises carry-on, medium and large cases to fulfil all your luggage needs. The two larger cases are expandable, making the set’s total capacity a massive 252 litres.

In a classic design that won’t fall out of fashion, there are several gorgeous pastel shades to choose from, as well as other more traditional luggage colours. And those thinking that these suitcases are too beautiful to be subjected to the jostles of journeys needn’t worry – they’re colour-fast, meaning that any inevitable scuffs and scratches will stay true to the shade of the shell.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 37L (cabin), 75L (medium), 121L (large)
  • Dimensions: 55 x 40 x 20cm (cabin), 67 x 45 x 29cm (medium), 80 x 51 x 34cm (large)
  • Weight: 2.8kg (cabin), 3.9kg (medium), 5kg (large)
  • Number of wheels: Four

10. Best suitcase for kids: MiniMAX Children’s Carry-On Trolley Suitcase

minimax kids' suitcase

Price: From £21.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“It has a backpack plus wheels so you can choose which one you prefer. My kids love theirs.” wizzywig

This pint-sized suitcase-cum-backpack is ideal for those kiddywinks who simply cannot bear to leave their favourite toy behind when they head off on holiday. Available with or without the teddy pictured, the pouch adjusts to fit dolls or action figures too.

Kids love wearing or wheeling along this clever suitcase, which features a retractable handle and unzips at the back to reveal rucksack straps. Handy front mesh and zip pockets allow easy access to necessities to keep your little one entertained on the journey, such as colouring books or snacks.

While it may have a tendency to topple over when full, this suitcase takes up little storage space when empty, plus it’s affordable for many parents. It also comes in pink or green.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 45 x 35 x 20cm
  • Weight: 1.4kg
  • Number of wheels: Two

Is hard or soft luggage better?

Whether you pick hard or soft luggage is ultimately down to personal preference, yet both have their pros and cons.

Hard-sided suitcases are generally more durable than soft-shelled luggage but they can also be heavier, which should be considered if your journey involves flying as it’ll eat into your luggage weight allowance. There’s also the risk of hard suitcases cracking in transit.

Nevertheless, this style of luggage will mostly protect your belongings better than its soft counterparts, and many hard-shell cases are capable of withstanding a fair bit of a battering. Remember that all will inevitably become scratched after use, with some faring better than others.

Lightweight and flexible, soft luggage is easier to fit into tight spaces than hard luggage (including the boot of a hire car or a bus luggage rack) and store either at home or away. These stretchable cases often have handy exterior pockets and are typically made from polyester or nylon, making it possible for travellers to squeeze more into them than hard versions – a lifesaver for those needing to fit in extra items. Fabric cases are susceptible to dirt, stains and smells, however.

How do I choose a suitcase?

There are certain considerations to take in account when choosing the perfect suitcase.

  1. Capacity: How big a suitcase you’ll need depends on how long you’ll be away and the kind of trip you’re taking. You may need a smaller case for a hot holiday, for example, with bikinis taking up less space than ski salopettes. If you’re an avid shopper who tends to return home with more than they left with, an expandable model is a good choice to ensure there’s room for any purchases you make. When buying a carry-on case, be sure of relevant airline size restrictions before parting with your cash. 
  2. Weight: Heavy cases can be a pain to haul around. Not only that, but they’ll use up valuable luggage allowance if you’re flying. Lightweight doesn’t necessarily mean flimsy, so it’s understandable why less-heavy models are increasing in popularity. 
  3. Durability: Without buying a case and testing it out for yourself, the next best way to establish a suitcase’s durability is to read its reviews – and as many as possible. They’ll give you an idea of what to expect, but recommendations from friends and family members are even better. 
  4. Protection: Do electronic and fragile items need protecting? If so, a hard-shell  suitcase is your best bet. These models are more water-resistant than soft-shell versions too. 
  5. Wheels: There’s no denying that cases with wheels are easier to manage than those without, and those equipped with four swivel wheels are the most manoeuvrable. If you plump for a case without wheels, ensure it’s comfortable to carry. Also bear in mind that you may not be able to find a trolley at the airport, railway station or bus terminal. This is especially pertinent when looking to buy kids’ luggage – little ones are unlikely to want to carry a heavy bag, so go for a wheeled one if you don’t want to end up holding it. 
  6. Colour: Choosing a suitcase in a standout colour isn’t just for the aesthetics, it’ll make it easy to spot among countless similar-looking cases on the conveyor belt. 
  7. Warranty: Some suitcases come with a warranty, which is often a sure sign of a quality product and at the very least will allow you to buy with confidence.

How much should you pay for a suitcase?

With luggage prices ranging from as low as £20 to as high as a cruising 747, suitcase shopping can be overwhelming. It’s worth working out the rough cost per trip, with a lower-priced option likely to suffice for occasional travellers. Frequent globetrotters would be wise to splash out a bit, however, to increase the likelihood of their luggage lasting. Suitcase sets are an economical buy, costing less than buying several models individually.

What is the best suitcase to buy?

The best suitcase to buy is Samsonite’s Neopulse Spinner Suitcase. Strong, clever, practical and good-looking, it has all the traits of a great travel partner that’s unlikely to let you down – nor leave your credit card maxed out. No dragging is necessary thanks to its four multidirectional wheels and if you opt for one of the brighter colours available it’ll stand out on any luggage carousel. There’s plenty of room, it’s fairly priced and it comes with a five-year global warranty.

How we chose our recommendations

We first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which suitcases and travel luggage discerning Mumsnetters recommended and had bought themselves, noting their feedback about these brands. We then drew up a shortlist of those that were repeatedly mentioned.

From there, we did some research across the wider web, consulting independent review sites and taking into account what customer reviews said about the products featured. Having collated all that information, we picked the suitcases and travel luggage we thought were worthy of taking the titles in an array of interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.