The 10 Best Hard Luggage Sets

Updated September 20, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Hard Luggage Sets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Hard luggage sets can certainly offer more protection to your belongings than soft-sided suitcases, but you may have steered away from them in the past because of their additional weight. However, today's models are manufactured using advanced materials that are super light and, even if they do weigh a touch more, their wheel systems make them easy to move around. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hard luggage set on Amazon.

10. Traveler's Choice Sedona

The Traveler's Choice Sedona have a highly visible colored exterior and a quiet dual airplane spinner wheel system that allows you to maneuver in tight spaces. The carry-on case is one inch longer than most airline restrictions, though, but most won't notice either.
  • efficient clamshell openings
  • easy to lift with multiple handles
  • bulky but they can hold a lot
Brand Traveler's Choice
Model TC8000N
Weight 31.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Nautica Tide Beach

The handsomely designed Nautica Tide Beach is a set built to carry a lot. Each piece features a ribbed hard shell, providing an added measure of security against damage. Though the corners are prone to denting, they are generally easy to push back into place.
  • interiors are fully lined
  • choose from four color combos
  • handles feel flimsy when extended
Brand Nautica
Model 6150P05
Weight 28.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Kenneth Cole Reaction Reverb

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Reverb compilation is ideal if your travel plans include multiple stops. With eight wheels on each suitcase and specific pockets for shoes, and accessories, they not only help you maintain organization, but can handle wear and tear, too.
  • exteriors easy to wipe clean
  • zippered compartments under lids
  • carry-on may be oversized
Brand Anne Klein
Model 2779P02
Weight 30.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Hauptstadtkoffer Alex

If interior protection is a main concern, consider the Hauptstadtkoffer Alex trio. In addition to their polycarbonate exteriors, each piece has protected corner bumpers, making them less likely to flex under extreme handling. Stack them within one another for easy storage.
  • long-lasting high quality wheels
  • gloss exteriors scuff easily
  • heavier than most competitors
Brand Hauptstadtkoffer
Model 54853531-T979899TSA_gra
Weight 31.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Samsonite Omni

When it comes to the Samsonite Omni collection, less is more. They may not have any organizational pockets for various knickknacks, but their micro-diamond surface texture holds up well against scratches, and the interiors are roomy enough to accommodate the entire family.
  • casters make maneuvering simple
  • 10-year manufacturer's warranty
  • large piece easy to overpack
Brand Samsonite
Model 68311-1041
Weight 30.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Diane Von Furstenberg Saluti

Stand out from the crowd with the fashion forward Diane Von Furstenberg Saluti. The vintage-influenced trunk design may remind you of travel times of old, but they feature all the modern conveniences of today, like recessed telescoping handles and spinning wheels.
  • exteriors do not mark easily
  • attractive 2-tone design
  • compartments are not expandable
Brand Diane von Furstenberg
Model 7128P01
Weight 31.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. TravelCross Columbia

Whether you're a traveling professional or a worldwide jet setter, the TravelCross Columbia are designed with a combination of elegance, durability, and practicality. Each piece has a unique serial number that can be easily traced if ever misplaced or lost.
  • adjustable height handles
  • well-balanced and don't tip over
  • small case meets carry-on specs
Brand TravelCross
Model TC031
Weight 25.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Traveler's Choice Tasmania

The Traveler's Choice Tasmania may hold up against a Tasmanian devil. Their durable, yet flexible, exteriors allow for up to 25% of expansion space, and they have interior tie-tapes to secure your belongings, so you can stock up on souvenirs without worrying they'll break.
  • reinforced handles
  • mesh zipper pockets for valuables
  • diamond cut surfaces resist marring
Brand Traveler's Choice
Model TC5000N
Weight 33 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Merax Travelhouse

The Merax Travelhouse is a functional 3-piece set that comes with a great price without surrendering style. Their metal handle clamps are positioned outside the bags so as to not waste any interior space, and their multidirectional wheels roll silently with minimal effort.
  • three-digit combination locks
  • interior pockets for organization
  • easy to maneuver on any surface
Brand Merax
Model pending
Weight 11.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Samsonite Winfield 2

If you live out of your suitcases, the Samsonite Winfield 2 makes a great choice. Each piece has durable cross-straps plus a cool privacy curtain with its own zippered organizational pockets for specific accessories. Their brushed exteriors help camouflage any scratches.
  • easy to smooth out unwanted dents
  • two larger pieces are expandable
  • come with tsa approved locks
Brand Samsonite
Model 56847
Weight 30.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Go Hard Or Go Home

If you’ve spent any time at all shopping for baggage, you’ve probably noticed a raging debate between proponents of hard and soft luggage. Both camps feel strongly about their positions, and in truth, both types of bags offer both pros and cons. Although you’ll ultimately need to consider the context of travel before you decide, pieces of hard luggage do have a few added benefits that just might tip you their way.

To begin with, hard luggage offers better protection for your valuable belongings. Of course, if you’re taking a trip to Tahiti and only need a swimsuit and towel, this won’t matter as much. But if you’re going anywhere for serious sightseeing and souvenirs, then a hard bag is the better choice. It’ll keep your camera equipment, electronics, framed prints, tchotchkes, statuettes, and anything else you choose to pack safe from overzealous baggage handlers.

To further keep your valuables safe, you might next consider security. A hard shell is usually more difficult to break into than a soft one, since a nefarious character can quickly slash open the latter. Many pieces of hard luggage feature integrated locking systems, as well as openings for you to add your own locks, so a thief won’t be able to open them the more traditional way, either.

Then, hard luggage is usually easier to clean than soft. All you’ll need is a damp cloth or a light cleanser, whereas a soft piece might require stain removal or laundering — and do you really want to attempt to launder a big suitcase?

Don’t forget about ease of movement, as well. Most soft suitcases and bags, thanks to their construction, have only two wheels; hard pieces, on the other hand, often have four. Instead of having to drag a piece of hard luggage behind you, you can glide it along in front of you. Look for a bag with swiveling wheels for the most stress-free movement.

Finally, hard luggage is no longer the heavier choice. Most pieces are currently made from either ABS or polycarbonate, which are durable, lightweight plastics. In weight, pieces made from these materials are nothing like the old-school aluminum pieces. Even the younger members of your family should be able to handle a piece from today’s hard luggage sets.

But Why A Set?

Whether you’re looking at luggage for your family or just for yourself, you might be trying to decide between buying a set or single pieces. Spending money on a set with multiple bags might be daunting, since it’ll probably require a larger initial outlay. One thing to keep in mind is that good luggage is an investment. You should plan to use it for years, even though it’ll probably receive some rough treatment along the way. Choosing a high-quality set ensures that you have tough, matching luggage for each trip, long into the future.

In fact, a set gives you the luxury of having the right piece for each trip. This year, you might take a short jaunt to see the fjords in Norway; next year, you might go on a long cruise. When you have only one piece of luggage, you won’t have the flexibility offered by a set, which usually includes several sizes. Ultimately, then, a set will give you long-lasting use along with convenience. Having the right size of bag on hand helps you avoid the dreaded airline baggage fees, too.

Beyond practicality and lifelong use, style is one of the most popular reasons that people select luggage sets over single pieces. Business travelers who want to look professional and put together, for instance, choose a set instead of relying on a hodgepodge of random pieces. Fashionistas love these, too, especially since hard luggage sets come in just about every style you can imagine, from sleek and urban to bright and tropical. You’ll probably need to find a separate purse or briefcase, but luggage companies produce such a wide variety of these nowadays that you’re almost certain to find one that complements your set.

And, of course, if you travel with family, it’s likely that you need more than one piece of luggage. Whether you share belongings between bags or let each person have their own, a hard luggage set gives the whole family ample room for their stuff. When you arrive at your destination, you’ll only have to remember what the set looks like, not each individual bag — another bonus.

Before The Hard Suitcase

These convenient, sleek, durable hard suitcases weren’t always popular. When luxury travel was still in its budding stages, suitcases as we know them weren’t a choice at all. Those very few who could afford to travel did so with steamer trunks, since these elite also had the means for servants or porters to deal with their possessions for them. Because steamer trunks were so heavy, it’s a good thing these travelers had help; anyone who needed to carry a trunk around by him or herself would probably have given up and gone home before long.

Steamer trunks had to be heavy, though, because they needed to withstand rough treatment during travel. For instance, a trunk in the hold of a ship might get tossed on its end or doused in water from leaks. These trunks often had a heavy iron base and protective metal banding; many had canvas or leather coverings. Fortunately, these types of protections are no longer necessary, thanks to breakthroughs in plastics and design. A piece of hard luggage can stand up to much of the same treatment at a fraction of the weight.

One thing travelers did lose along with the weight of the steamer trunk was its unique style. A vintage trunk calls up images of both daring voyages and finely dressed ladies sipping tea in an elegant stateroom. Thankfully, collectors help preserve this legacy by spending large amounts of money on trunks in order to lovingly restore them and proudly display them. While there’s no way to tell if hard luggage will ever reach such an echelon of antique style and value, you might hold on to your pieces in case the world ever becomes infatuated with “cool, vintage hard luggage style.”

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Last updated on September 20, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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