Finding the Right Hardside Carry-On Luggage
Updated: Jan 13, 2021
I researched the top 7 hardside carry-on luggage companies. I am out to find the right one for myself, and I wanted to do all of the research for when you are looking for a new carry-on as well!
I have always had a softside luggage, and I love it! But, I also want to invest in getting a nice hardside luggage that I can rely on for hopefully a long time. Luggage can be a big investment for how much they cost. Just like in all things, I had to do an immense about of research to find the best, ha! The following seven luggage companies had the best hardcase luggage options (of course, in my opinion). There are things I love about each of them, and I lay out the pros and cons about each of them below :)
*They have been listed in alpahbetical order to show no bias towards any one in particular :)*
Amazon Basics - $56.48
Suitcase Details: 21 inches, 7.34 lbs, and 39 liter interior capacity
I have to admit, Amazon Basics luggage seems pretty awesome for how cheap it is, like $56.48 for a luggage that has 17,432 reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon? That is pretty great! According to the reviews, it is a reliable, no frills type of luggage. Also people love that it is expandable up to 15% more (for all those souvenirs you may get on your trip :D) However, doing some more research and reading through some reviews on other web sources, it seems that the product may not be the best quality. Some sites mention that it claims to be scratch resistant, but dents easily. Also, the wheels don’t last as long as wheels of some of the other brands. One thing about this luggage is that if it lasts you a year or two, you can just replace it more frequently since the price is so low. However, if you are about sustainability, this luggage may not be for you and you should look for a luggage you can depend on for more years to come!
- Low cost, simple luggage
- Claims scratch resistant exterior
- May easily dent and may not last long
- No fancy features
American Tourister - $120
Suitcase Details: 20 inches, 5.73 lbs, and 20” x 14’ x 9” interior capacity
Before researching for this blog, I hadn’t really heard of American Tourister. A few people mentioned to me that it is their luggage of choice so I knew it must be a pretty good brand. They seem to have deals going all the time, and right now their luggage is 50% off. This is a good deal for a luggage company that seems to be raved about by people who own it! One positive about this luggage is that it is the lightest luggage out off all seven, but in turn, it is also the smallest interior. It will be easier for you to carry, but you might need to bring another bag if you aren’t able to fit everything in it! Another positive about American Tourister is that it is owned by Samsonite and they offer the same great warranty that Samsonite offers. Just like Amazon Basics, the online reviews mention it may be as durable as some of the other brands. It may be good for someone who only travels every so often, but won’t last long for a frequent traveler.
- Lightest luggage option
- Owned by Samsonite (Same warranty)
- Not for a frequent travelers
- No fancy features
Away - $325
Suitcase Details: 22 inches, 8.38 lbs, and 47.9 liter interior capacity
Away is a luggage brand that is starting to become a household name, and for great reason. They make a high-quality luggage. There are similar luggage brands that charge a lot more for their luggage, but Away skips the middleman and sell directly to the consumer to keep prices lower. The luggage is still $325, however! An item that can both be a positive and a negative of the luggage is the battery option. There is a port for a chargeable battery, which is awesome if you can’t find a place to charge your phone at an airport. However, there has been a lot of skepticism behind these batteries. One, because sometimes people are getting stopped by TSA for them. And two, because they don’t last long and may end up in landfills. The other thing I don’t totally like about Away is that they use leather in their luggage. What I do like about the luggage (From one of my followers on insta :D), is that the luggage has so much space for the size. It can hold a lot, and this gets more use out of your luggage. Also, for how durable the luggage is, you can keep it for a really long time. It also comes with a dust bag for storage (to help the luggage last longer), and they offer a life-time warranty covering cracks and broken parts, but not cosmetic damage). How awesome!
- Removable battery to charge phone
- Large interior capacity & lifetime warranty
- A higher price for luggage
- Made with leather :(
Chester - $123.75
Suitcase Details: 21.8 inches, 7 lbs, and 38 liter interior capacity
Chester is another brand of luggage that I hadn’t heard of before doing research for this blog. Also, I honestly don’t know if it is really well known to a whole lot of people. The reason I am including it is because I think it is a really great brand of luggage, and can compete with the Aways of the luggage world. The luggage looks similar to Away and Monos, but for a lot lower of a price. Just like Away, they say they can keep their prices low because they skip the middleman. Another positive about the luggage is that it it is light weight, but still has a good interior capacity. Chester claims their exterior is “unbreakable”, but I am not sure about the quality of it. I am not sure if it easily dented, scuffed, etc. My last negative about this luggage brand, is the fact that a whole lot of people don’t know about it. This means there aren’t a whole lot of reviews out there to truly know if the luggage is good. So, its a little bit of risk getting the luggage, but the price isn’t bad if you are willing to take that risk.
- Looks like expensive brands, but low cost
- Easy to clean & “unbreakable“ exterior If
- Smaller interior capacity
- Not enough public reviews to know the quality
Monos - $255
Suitcase Details: 23 inches, 7.38 lbs, and 49 liter interior capacity
Monos is a luggage brand that has really impressed me over the past few months. I came across it through an add on my Instagram and thought it was a really beautiful piece of luggage. It seems they are trying to compete with Away, and if they can become more of a household name, I think they can really take some of Away‘s space in the market. They seem to put the best quality materials into their luggage, including the best wheels on the market (quiet and easily glide). Just like Away, this allows for long-term use of the luggage and has a life-time warranty covering cracks and broken parts, but not cosmetic damage. . However, one thing I read online in a review is that the scuffs are hard to get out of the luggage. Reading about Monos, they also seem to have sustainability in mind and they are fully vegan and do not use any animal products in their luggage. Lastly, I really like that this luggage has the biggest internal capacity, because I am the girl that overpacks for all trips :D One other thing that may be a negative is that it doesn’t have a battery port and isn’t a super high-tech luggage.
- Largest interior capacity
- Vegan, not made with animal products
- May be easily scuffed
- No built in battery, not high-tech
ROAM - $495
Suitcase Details: 22 inches, 6.6 lbs, and 40 liter interior capacity
ROAM is another luggage company I stumbled upon through an add on my Instagram, and I was really attracted to it for the unique product it offers. Roam is a luggage company that allows its customers to fully customize their luggage. From the front cover, to the zipper color, everything is completely customizable and helps you express individuality. When a bunch of black luggage is coming out of the luggage carousel, Roam wants their luggage to stand out. When reading reviews online, people feel so much more connected with their luggage, because it was something they made. The biggest negative about their luggage is how dang expensive it is. Being the highest price of all the luggages, it really has to knock your socks of in quality. Their website claims to have ultra-smooth, ultra-quiet wheels and a well made design. However, reading about the luggage online, it doesn’t seem well known enough yet to know how good of quality it truly is. For such a hefty price, I just wish I knew more about the quality.
- Every part is fully customizable & easy to spot
- Claims high-end materials
- So expensive
- Not a high-tech luggage option
Samsonite - $390 (Currently on Sale - $195)
Suitcase Details: 21.5 inches, 7.2 lbs, and 19.75‘ x 14.75“ x 9” interior capacity
Last, but certainly not least, we have Samsonite. Samsonite is a brand that has been around forever, and is something many of my followers said they really love. They say they love it for the durability, style, and value. Along with the durability comes a higher price for the item, however, you may be able to find a good deal on it, like right now the above is half off. There isn’t a whole lot of bad about Samonsite, because they have been around so long. The online reviews rave about how great Samsonite is for families. Samsonite offers styles for the whole family, and since they are so durable, parents trust this product for their kids! Lastly, as mentioned before with American Tourister, people seem to really love the warranty the offer. However, a few reviews online said the handle, zipper, and wheels may not last the longest. The only other negative I read about Samsonite is that they luggage may be difficult to clean. In their cleaning instructions it recomends after cleaning to wax it, and this may be difficult for some people to do.
- Durable, long lasting luggage
- Great for families
- On the more expensive end
- Smaller internal capacity
Picking out luggage can be so overwhelming and tiresome. I was going to try and rate the luggage’s from the one that I think is the best to not as great, however, I think all seven of these brands are really great. There is a luggage brand out there for you, no matter what your travel habits look like. The price range is a big factor too, so find what you can afford and go with it. There isn’t a bad option on this list. I will keep you updated on what I pick and what I love about it :)
FYI: If you are looking for questions you should be asking yourself when researching luggage to buy, find everything you should ask here! (At the bottom of the home page)