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Best suitcases and luggage brands for 2023 holidays, tried and tested by families

Whether you’re heading to Bournemouth or the Bahamas this year, you'll need a sturdy suitcase that'll go the distance. We've rounded up top luggage recommendations from Mumsnet's community of frequent family travellers to highlight the best bags to buy.

By Louise Cole | Last updated Jun 23, 2023

Best suitcases

Sun cream? Check. Beach towels? Check. Family passports? Check.

Now you've figured out exactly what you need to take on your much-anticipated family holiday, you need a suitcase that's up to the job. If yours has seen better days, then it may be worth investing in some new travel luggage.

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 city break or a long-haul holiday or a beach escape with your family in tow, our roundup will take some of the stress out of your next adventure by highlighting suitable suitcases to accompany you on your travels ­– whatever your destination.

To keep you organised on the go, we've got handy guides to the best cabin bags, the best kids' luggage, the best packing cubes, the best toiletry bags, the best beach bags, the best tote bags, and the best bum bags, all featuring top product recommendations from Mumsnetters.

From lightweight to luxury, here are the best suitcases and travel luggage to buy in 2023.

Best suitcases at a glance

  • Best overall: Samsonite Neopulse Spinner Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best budget: Slazenger Trolley Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best lightweight: it Luggage World's Lightest Medium | Buy now 

  • Best carry-on case: Tripp Slate Holiday 6 Cabin Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best hard-shell: Delsey Paris Turenne Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best soft-shell: Eastpak Tranverz M Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best durable: Briggs & Riley Medium Spinner Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best wheeled: American Tourister Bon Air Spinner Suitcase | Buy now 

  • Best luggage set: Antler Clifton Suitcase Set | Buy now 

  • Best kids' suitcase: MiniMAX Children’s Carry-On Trolley | Buy now 

1. Best overall suitcase: Samsonite Neopulse Spinner Suitcase

samsonite suitcase

Price: RRP £266 (large) | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • A hard, durable suitcase that will be by your side for many years of happy travelling

  • Has both style and substance

What we don't like

  • It's a bit on the pricey side, but its many fans would argue that this is a suitcase worth investing in

What Mumsnet users say

"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

Our verdict

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.

Read next: How to keep your kids entertained on a flight, according to parents

2. Best budget suitcase: Slazenger Trolley Suitcase

Slazenger Trolley Suitcase

Price: RRP £20 | Buy now from Sports Direct

Key specs

Capacity: 29.5L | Dimensions: 55 x 35.5 x 25cm | Weight: 2.47kg | Number of wheels: Two

What we like

  • Small and unfussy - perfect for solo trips

  • Lightweight

What we don't like

  • If you travel frequently, it may be worth investing in something a little more hard-wearing

What Mumsnet users say

"Check out Sports Direct, they had some cheap Slazenger ones in store near me." Recommended by Mumsnetter almondflake

Our verdict

If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful option to get you from A to B, then it's worth considering the lightweight Slazenger Trolley Suitcase.

The case has a mesh lining, complete with a zipper to keep all your bits and pieces organised, two zipper pockets on the front, expander zips to give an extra 30% capacity, and a sliding handle for easy manoeuvrability. Although this is a great little case, it's worth noting the reviews say it isn't as robust as other cases on the market, therefore it doesn't necessarily have the same longevity. If you're a frequent traveller, or want a suitcase that's built to last, then you may be better off investing in something a little sturdier.

3. Best lightweight suitcase: it Luggage World's Lightest Medium 8 Wheel Soft Suitcase

IT debonair suitcase

Price: RRP £60 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Capacity: 58L | Dimensions: 70.5 x 41.5 x 23.5cm | Weight: 2.3kg | Number of wheels: Eight

What we like

  • Very lightweight

  • Budget-friendly price

What we don't like

  • No frills luggage - but this is reflected in the price

What Mumsnet users say

“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

Our verdict

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.

Read next: Can you pack for a family holiday using only hand luggage?

Best suitcases and travel luggage: Editor's picks

samsonite suitcase
Best overall

Samsonite Neopulse Spinner Suitcase

Buy now
Slazenger Trolley Suitcase
Best budget

Slazenger trolley suitcase
Sports Direct

Buy now
tripp suitcase
Best carry-on

Tripp Slate Holiday 6 Cabin Suitcase

Buy now

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

tripp suitcase

Price: RRP £50 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • Durable shell

  • Made from recyclable materials

What we don't like

  • No external pockets for easy access to the mid-flight essesntials

What Mumsnet users say

“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.” Highly recommended by Mumsnet user bellsbuss

Our verdict

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.

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

delsey suitcase

Price: RRP: £348 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • Very hard-wearing

  • Extra security features

What we don't like

  • It is pricey, but may be worth the money for a seasoned traveller

Our verdict

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.

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

Eastpak silver suitcase

Price: RRP £132 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • Lightweight but strong

  • Available in a range of colours to suit all tastes

What we don't like

  • Offers limited protection from the elements

What Mumsnet users say

“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.” Tried and tested by Mumsnetter feesh

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

Our verdict

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.

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

briggs riley suitcase

Price: RRP £550 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • Built to last

  • Comes with a life-time guarantee

What we don't like

  • Expensive - best for those who travel frequently for business or pleasure

Our verdict

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. But 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.

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

american tourister suitcase

Price: RRP £108 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • Great colour choice

  • Comes with good security features

What we don't like

  • Not as hardy as some other hard-shelled suitcases - but it does the job well

What Mumsnet users say

“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

Our verdict

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.

9. Best luggage set: Antler Clifton Suitcase Set

antler suitcase set of three

Price: RRP £499 | Buy now from Amazon

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

What we like

  • Offers a range of size options

  • Colour-fast and tough

What we don't like

  • Pricey - but you may feel it is worth the investment

What Mumsnet users say

“We got a set of three Antler ones.” Tried and tested by Mumsnetter 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.” Highly recommended by Mumsnetter madasamarchhare

Our verdict

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.

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

minimax kids' suitcase

Price: RRP from £35 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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

What we like

  • Great for kids' independence

  • Easy to manoeuvre

What we don't like

  • Has a tendency to topple over it you overstuff it

What Mumsnet users say

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

Our verdict

This pint-sized kids' suitcase 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.

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 swimsuits 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’ve thoroughly researched the best suitcases and travel luggage you can buy this season including tried-and-tested experiences from a wide range of honest, trusted sources. Here’s how we narrowed it down to our top picks.

Mumsnet community    

When it comes to stylish, yet durable, suitcases and travel luggage, Mumsnetters know a trusty carrier when they see (and use) one.

We first assessed all the recommendations from the Mumsnet community, getting feedback on the best suitcases and travel luggage they have personally used, reviewed and rated, including their favourite models, and must-have additional features such as security locks and retractable handles. We also considered the reasons why Mumsnetters would avoid certain suitcases.

Expert opinions

We know that choosing the right suitcase and travel luggage takes a lot of thought and consideration, so we made sure our recommendations were well received within the bags and luggage industry, rated or recommended by travel experts and industry leaders.

Trusted consumer reviews

Finally, we scrutinised honest customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis to get wider consumer opinions on the products on our shortlist. Through this research, we were able to weigh up the top suitcases and travel luggage for a variety of needs, from solo business trips to family holidays, and gain a greater understanding of the pros and cons of each.

About the author

Louise Cole is a writer and editor who has worked for several daily newspapers and as editor of a glossy lifestyle magazine. She has written articles on topics from travel to lifestyle, and parenting to pets, her work featuring in national publications including On the Couch and Edition Dog magazines. Wanderlust runs through her veins and she has travelled extensively to dozens of countries and has visited all habitable continents.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products in a wide variety of categories.

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is important to us and that's why we're always upfront about the research we do, and where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family and strive to offer impartial advice across the board.