Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, you want a piece of luggage that’s going to hold up. After all, luggage is an investment, and its main job is to get all of your belongings from Point A to Point B.
While malleable, fabric luggage (like a weekender bag) may be your best bet for journeys that require maximizing trunk space, jet setters typically opt for that extra layer of protection with a durable piece of hardside luggage. Hard shells are made of high-tech and waterproof plastics like ABS, polycarbonate or aluminum, and are lightweight, stylish and meant to last. Most models also zip open in the middle so you can pack both sides easily, and many feature 360-degree rotational wheels, TSA-approved locks and telescopic handles for brisk trips through the airport.
Not sure which hardside luggage is for you? Read on to learn more about some our favorite makes and models.
1. The Large From Away Travel
Away Travel has quickly become a social media favorite and we can see why. This supersized but lightweight bag is meant to stand up to all kinds of travel with its polycarbonate shell, plus it comes in seven different colors. The luggage itself checks all of our boxes: it has a TSA-approved lock, 360-degree spinner wheels, a telescopic handle and an interior compression system that ensures you’re maximizing your space. It also comes with a hidden laundry bag and swanky leather details (including a luggage tag), and we’re huge fans of the 100-day, money-back guarantee. Essentially, Away Travel promises you can purchase one of its pieces ahead of your next trip and if you don’t love it, they’ll take it back.
Specs: 29 x 20.5 x 12.5 inches | 11.6 pounds | 99.2 L capacity
- Interior compression system
- Spinner wheels
- TSA-approved combination lock
2. Amazon Basics 26-Inch Hardside Spinner
This hardside spinner comes in four different colors and three sizes, including a carry-on, a 30-inch, and this mid-size 26-inch model. It also happens to be one of the most beloved sets online (more than 28,000 reviewers have given it a 4.5-star rating on Amazon). We’re fans of the expandable design, the spinner wheels and the telescopic handle, which helps for maneuvering around busy airports or train stations. However, the interior organizer is also a bonus. We do wish the ABS shell was slightly more dent-resistant, but given the low cost, this piece definitely still comes in at a bargain.
Specs: 11.4 x 18.3 x 26.7 inches | 9.63 pounds
- 360-degree wheels
- Scratch-resistant finish
- Telescopic handle
- Dents easily
- Doesn’t lock
3. Samsonite Stryde 111 Large Glider
If you’re on the road a lot then you’re probably going to need a piece of luggage that can keep up. In that case, this splurge is well worth it. The glider features top-notch design elements that make it easy to stay organized while on the go, such as the included packing cubes, toiletries kit and detachable garment carrier. It’s also made with the environment in mind since the interior is fabricated from recycled plastic bottles. The shell itself is sturdy and swanky, with a built-in magnetic ID tag and a TSA-approved lock. Meanwhile, the telescopic handle features LED lights so you can always see where you’re going. This piece is also designed with a low center of gravity and a horizontal layout so you can stack your carry-on or other items on top for the smoothest and stablest journey.
Specs: 26.3 × 24.5 × 13 inches | 14.3 pounds
- High-tech handle
- Spinner wheels
- 10-year warranty
- Horizontal frame might not suit all needs
- Non-expandable design
4. Paravel Aviator Grand
If you know you can’t avoid that flight but you still want to do something good for the environment, Paravel offers an entire line made of sustainable and recycled products. The Aviator Grand, which is the largest size the company offers, is estimated to save approximately 177 liters of water, nearly 34 kg of CO2 emissions and roughly 113 kWh of energy per bag, compared to similar products. That doesn’t mean this bag skimps on quality, though. The Aviator offers a 360-degree rotation via its advanced dual-wheel design, a TSA-approved lock and a modern overall design. It comes in several colors to match your personality plus the company offers a five-year warranty, making this one of the best hardside luggage picks of the bunch.
Specs: 19.7 x 28.1 x 11.7 inches | 11.8 pounds | 1-5.9 L capacity
- Environmentally friendly
- Modern design
- Spinner wheels and lock
- The largest size is still smaller than many competitors
- Lighter colors scuff easily
5. Rimowa Trunk Plus
If you’ve got some serious traveling ahead of you (or just a lot of stuff to lug along), this super-sized yet super lightweight trunk has you covered. The luggage is meant for those who plan to be away for two or more weeks, but it also works well if you’re trekking with the family. It comes with a flex-divider to keep all of your items neat and organized, plus the trunk features a multi-wheel travel system, telescopic handle and a TSA-approved lock to make the actual travel part a breeze. We also love that it comes in nine gloss and two matte colors and that it includes a complimentary leather luggage tag and sticker set.
Specs: 31 x 14.6 x 16.1 inches | 11.9 pounds | 26.7 gallon capacity
- Super lightweight
- Flex divider
- Large capacity
- High price point
- Accessories sold separately
6. Open Story Carry On Spinner Suitcase
If you’re the type who takes quick overnight trips or you just really, really hate the thought of parting with your luggage during a flight and then dealing with the dreaded baggage area afterward, this carry-on bag from Open Story is a budget-friendly and sturdy pick. The piece comes in several colors and features plenty of handy features, such as the expandable exterior, telescoping handle, TSA-approved lock and spinner wheels. However, the interior also has handy mesh compartments and a laundry bag, plus there’s a built-in USB port that’s meant for use with a power bank or battery charger. (The battery is not included.) In short, it’s got all of the conveniences you’ll want for those quick jaunts, without ever having to worry about lost baggage again.
Specs: 14 x 21.5 x 9.75 inches | 7.9 pounds | 40 pound capacity
- 365-day happiness guarantee and 10-year limited warranty
- USB port
- No built-in luggage tag
- Battery for USB port not included
7. American Tourister Moonlight Spinner
If you need decent luggage but you just don’t want to lug around an oversized model, American Tourister offers this polished, 24-inch piece that covers all of your basics. It’s lightweight and easy to move around thanks to the spinner wheels and locking handle, plus the unit expands by 1.5 inches so you can pack a little extra in during those busier trips. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with a lock, but its 10-year warranty coupled with the lightweight design and reasonable price tag have garnered a 4.5-star rating on Amazon from more than 8,200 reviews.
Specs: 27 × 17.5 × 11.8 inches | 9.5 pounds
- Spinning wheels
- 10-year limited warranty
- No built-in lock
- Scuffs easily
8. Samsonite Pivot 3-Piece Set
If you need a complete hardside luggage set, this three-piece kit covers all of your basic travel needs. The carry-on comes with a handy USB port so you never have to search for an outlet while waiting to board your flight again, and the medium and large pieces feature TSA-approved locks. The trio comes in two colors and is light to lug around thanks to the polycarbonate material. Some users have reported problems with dents and cracks after prolonged use, however, it’s good to know the set also comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
Carry-on: 22.0 x 14.0 x 9.0 inches | 8.55 pounds
Medium: 28.0 x 18.25 x 12.0 inches | 10.78 pounds
Large: 32.0 x 21.5 x 13.5 inches | 13.18 pounds
- Discounted three-in-one set
- Locks on medium and large units
- USB port
- 10-year warranty
- Surface scratches and dents easily
- Zipper pulls apart if overpacked
9. LEVEL8 Grace Carry-On Expandable Luggage
BEST FOR WORK
If you’ve got a job that requires a fair amount of red-eyes and quick meetings, you’ll need a carry-on that can pull its weight. We think this piece of hardside luggage is a great pick thanks to the expandable design and front laptop pocket, which allows you to easily access your device before and after boarding that flight. The solid, micro-diamond textured surface is scratch-resistant and comes with 360-degree spinners and a telescoping handle, getting you in and out of the airport as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Specs: 21.8 x 14.5 x 9.8 inches | 10.34 pounds | 36 to 42 litre capacity
- Combination lock
- Easy-access laptop compartment
- Front compartment doesn’t fit laptops larger than 15 inches
- Zippers will break if bag is stuffed too tightly
10. Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade Spinner
Want to travel in style? This 28-inch Kenneth Cole hardside luggage can help you do that. The piece comes in multiple colors and features a slew of extras, like interior zipper and mesh pockets, shoe-holders, tear-resistant material and a garment restraint panel. We love that it expands by two full inches when needed to give you that extra bit of space, and the 41-inch telescoping handle is ergo-friendly. This luggage is also meant to last thanks to details like the reinforced corners, the self-repairing coil zippers and the overall lightweight construction. Who knew fashionable could be so functional?
Specs: 30 x 21 x 15 inches | 11 pounds
- Corner guards to prevent damage
- Expandable by 2 inches
- Eight-wheel, multi-directional spinners
- No built-in lock
- Built-in compartments can be a bit restricting
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