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Things to consider before buying a suitcase
We know you know that every airline has different restrictions but, depending on how often you fly, you probably don't have the specifics committed to memory. Cue your friendly reminder to check your airline's website before you start spending – they can be pretty picky, particularly when it comes to the size and dimensions of your carry-on bags.
How long are you going for? What kind of trip is it? If you’re planning a beach holiday, hard shell suitcases are your best friend. They have spacious compartments and not too many zips so you can easily pack bulky towels and sun hats without having to sit on the case to close it (also ideal for last-minute packers – just throw 'n' go!).
Maybe your trip is an action-packed one? Or maybe you have the children to think about too? In this case, double-decker suitcases with plenty of zipped compartments will really work hard for you. A pouch or three for them. Two pouches for you. Half of one for your other half. Done!
Again, this sounds obvious, but durability is often overlooked in favour of a cheap deal. While there are a lot of high-quality affordable luggage options available, just bear in mind that your suitcase will be getting manhandled and thrown around a lot between airport A and airport B. If a zip breaks at the beginning of your trip, you can wave goodbye to the security of your belongings (and say hello to undies everywhere).
If you travel a lot, it is much better to invest in one great suitcase than risk having to buy one every month or two.
Tripp Holiday four-wheel suitcase, £42
This large suitcase from Tripp is another firm favourite among Mumsnetters. It has four wheels, a TSA lock, it comes in different colours, and is crying out to be used on big getaways – it even has 102L capacity. That’s roomy.
The best thing about these is that they’re tough and durable since they’re made from polypropylene. Coming in at just under £60, it’s great from a value-for-money perspective. Tripp suitcases originate from Debenhams, but you can buy them from Amazon now too, meaning you don’t even have to leave the house to get your hands on one. Which colour does it for you?
Capacity: 102L Dimensions: 76 × 50 × 32cm
“We bought the extra light four-wheeled Tripp cases from Debenhams. They're so easy to use and hold loads, as they are all expandable.”
“I have ditched the hard shells for Tripp duffle-on-wheel types. I now have four of the same size and they pack into each other. Brilliant both for storage and shopping expeditions.”
IT Luggage LITE four-wheel soft cabin suitcase, £29.99
This four-wheel IT cabin-size suitcase holds a practical 34L and is super lightweight to handle. If you’re after something basic but smart to use as a hand luggage suitcase, this one ticks all the right boxes. At only £29.99, your bank balance will remain nicely intact – a definite bonus.
Mumsnetters rarely opt for value over quality, so luckily this suitcase has both. Real care has been taken over the design to ensure extra durability and stability. The panel pocket at the front makes it easy to grab something quickly before that ‘fasten seatbelt’ announcement kicks in.
Here’s another unexpected perk – it comes with a 10-year warranty. As far as we can tell, the sole downside to this little number that it only comes in black. The perfect no-frills option for spend-savvy shoppers.
Capacity: 34L Dimensions: 55 × 36 × 20cm
“We bought some of the IT 'world's lightest' 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.”
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Delsey Paris Belfort Plus Suitcase, from £100
Keeping your belongings secure can be a worry, particularly if you have connecting flights to catch. This Belfort Plus suitcase from Delsey is designed to wipe those worries away. Its solid frame and three-point locking system is something every traveller will come to appreciate.
According to Mumsnetters, its intelligent locking system, high-quality storage space, and exceptionally easy-to-wheel design make for the ideal blend (especially if you plan on doing some souvenir shopping). It also comes with five years' international warranty and is available in five different sizes. What’s not to like?
Capacity: 86L Dimensions: 70 × 28 × 47cm
“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.”
Antler Urbanite Evolve 2-Wheel Suitcase, £129
Designed to be super stylish yet super practical, this Antler Urbanite Evolve suitcase replaces a previous double-decker design many Mumsnetters love. If you appreciate true craftsmanship and want luggage that will see you through any trip, this is it. This two-wheel khaki Antler suitcase (also comes in navy) is all about quality and technical innovation. Did we mention it’s fashionable too? With multi-zip closures, high durability and an easy-to-handle lightweight design, you would be hard pushed to find another case this useful. If you love neatness and organisation, this one's for you.
Dimensions: 71 × 37 × 35cm
“I highly, highly recommend Antler double-decker 'holdall' bags. They are not cheap but are robust. Best of all, they have two layers and loads of pockets so you can put half of your luggage in one bag and half in the other. Which is good if the airline loses one bag! The layers are great for storing your washing away from other cleaner items. They are the best you can get, and you won't need to buy anything else for a long time.”
Looking for stylish, affordable or comfortable footwear? Mumsnet shares the best summer sandals for your holidays this year.
Karabar XL Wheeled Travel Holdall, £29.99
This Karabar extra-large holdall can handle anything you throw at it. With two zip side pockets and a convenient trolley pull handle, for when it gets too heavy to carry, this sleek holdall is great for adventuring. The surprising part? It can hold a massive 140L – that’s a lot of bag for just £29.99.
Its three-wheel design will make pulling it along and racing to the check-in desk much more enjoyable, while the robust fabric ensures everything stays exactly where it needs to. We don’t see a downside.
Capacity: 140L Dimensions: 43 × 86 × 38cm
“They fit all our stuff for DH, me and two DC for a week's skiing. They're cheap (£15 each), and weigh nothing when empty. They're also surprisingly durable – for that price I expected them to fall apart after one trip, but they haven't so far!”
MiniMAX Children’s Luggage, Carry On Trolley Suitcase, £20.99
This MiniMAX suitcase is a cheaper kids' luggage alternative, coming in at just over £20. While its design isn’t as child-friendly as the Playaway cases, it does cater very much to the parent with multiple compartments (it even has a doll pouch), a backpack, and mesh pockets. A clever packing solution Mumsnetters love. Available in pink and blue.
Capacity: 30L Dimensions: 45 × 35 × 20cm
“It has a backpack plus wheels so you can choose which one you prefer. My kids love theirs.”
Samsonite Cosmolite, £291.96
One brand that dominates our travel Talk boards is Samsonite. Their suitcases have a reputation for being extremely hard-wearing yet amazingly lightweight. This model comes with a limited 10-year global warranty – a sure sign of a quality product. This Samsonite Cosmolite suitcase is also cabin-approved for Ryanair, Easyjet and British Airways so you don’t have to worry about it getting flagged at the gate.
With plenty of colour-way options and a stylish design upgrade, you’ll be the envy of the airport. A top-end product with a price tag to boot. While this is the most expensive suitcase on our hit-list, think of it as an investment piece that will truly pay off.
Capacity: 36L Dimensions: 56 × 45 × 25cm
“The best cases are Samsonite Cosmolite – they aren't cheap, but they last for years. I've had mine more than 10 – still brilliant and get lots of use.”
“I've had mine for over 20 years. They have been back for a couple of repairs, but still going strong after some serious abuse.”
The North Face Unisex Base Camp Duffel Bag, from £75.07
Typically, when people think North Face, they think of the outdoors, but that’s exactly what makes these bags so good for families. Even though this brand doesn’t come top of mind to a lot of our users, it should. Simply because all their designs are hardworking, multi-functional, and durable. This yellow unisex number is a bag that doesn’t discriminate. If your family like camping or exploring, take this with you.
Capacity: 71L Dimensions: 35.5 × 64.5 × 35.5cm
“As someone who travels to jungles and deserts for a living and requires only extremely robust luggage, I can tell you that North Face luggage is worth every single penny.”
Playaway Case, £49.99
Need a little something for the kids? Travelling with children can be stressful. Getting your child their own suitcase will give them that ‘all grown-up’ feeling. They’ll probably want to wheel it and even pack it themselves – that means they’re more likely to behave themselves at the airport, giving you a much better experience. Enter Playaway. This cute kids’ suitcase has a fun wolf design but is also practical, being spacious enough for all their hand luggage and toys. Great news for parents, these suitcases even come with a separate laundry compartment to keep things smelling fresh.
Now for the best part. Playaway cases include a set of 12 crayons, an activity pad, and a passport for the character on the case. Forget what you pack, the suitcase itself will provide enough entertainment!
Dimensions: 20 × 50.5 × 34.5cm
“Have a look at Playaway cases for your eight-year-old. They have a bit on the front that you can put entertainment for the plane, so you're not scrabbling around in your case at the start of the flight. We just upgraded to this from a Trunki (Playaway can fit in slightly more clothes) and was a great success with DD. Only thing is we did need to buy a luggage strap to hold the front bit on the case, as if you tried to overpack in the slightest the suction hold becomes less reliable.”
Eastpak Tranverz Suitcase, £86.60
Another Mumsnetter favourite is Eastpak. This design comes with a comfortable double compartment, front zipped pocket, and an array of colours to choose from. It’s mid-range in terms of price so is the perfect happy-medium bag. This is the kind of black suitcase you tend to see at every airport – and with good reason. It’s roomy, durable and won’t let you down.
Capacity: 78L Dimensions: 67 × 35.5 × 30cm
“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.”
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