The 10 Best Hardside Luggage

Updated December 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Hardside Luggage
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
When you're embarking on a long trip and are transporting valuable or fragile belongings with you, it helps to have something sturdy in which to carry your load without the worry of anything breaking. These hardside luggage options will give your stuff some decent protection without forcing you to sacrifice your own personal style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hardside luggage on Amazon.

10. Skyway Nimbus 2.0

The budget-friendly Skyway Nimbus 2.0 is a good, lightweight option for either a short overnighter or a long, extended trip. It features slip-resistant top and side handles for easy portability, though the telescoping handle feels a little flimsy.
  • zipper pulls for quick access
  • tough mesh compartment
  • plastic wheels aren't super durable
Brand Skyway
Model 483-20-367-4WB
Weight 8.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds

The Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds was designed with the stylish jet setter in mind. It boasts a heavy-duty exterior construction, and features molded corners for added reinforcement against the normal bumps and dings it is sure to incur while traveling.
  • very professional looking
  • available in ten colors
  • a bit heavier than other models
Brand Kenneth Cole REACTION
Model 5705068
Weight 12.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Nautica Ahoy

The Nautica Ahoy is an ideal choice for your everyday travels. It is detailed with a tonal embossed Nautica logo on the front, and includes a fully lined interior with crisscross tie-down straps that hold your garments in place.
  • fashionable two-tone exterior
  • zip-around divider panel
  • exterior is easy to wipe clean
Brand Nautica
Model 2694C13
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. AmazonBasics N989

The AmazonBasics N989 is loaded with features that rival higher end brands, but at a fraction of the price. It comes in a 20", 24" or 28" size and sports a neatly organized interior with a convenient divider to keep small and large items separated.
  • telescoping handle locks securely
  • top and side carrying handles
  • also comes in a 2- or 3-piece set
Brand AmazonBasics
Model N989
Weight 13.5 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Briggs & Riley Sympatico

Enjoy effortless 360-degree navigation as you breeze through airplane aisles using the Briggs & Riley Sympatico, which features four double swivel wheels and a polycarbonate case that is guaranteed to keep your belongings protected on bumpy rides.
  • warranty also covers airline damage
  • absorbs impacts well
  • integrated suit compartment
Brand Briggs & Riley
Model SU121SP-4
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. American Tourister Star Wars

The American Tourister Star Wars comes in five beloved characters that any fan would go nuts over. Its fully-lined, printed interior is also a nice feature, and it is the perfect size to fit in the overhead compartment for quick getaways.
  • sturdy side carrying handle
  • durable smooth-rolling wheels
  • super easy to spot on carousels
Brand American Tourister
Model 72594-4837
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Rockland F151

With multiple patterns to choose from, ranging from subtle to exotic, the Rockland F151 lets you express your individuality wherever you go. Its large capacity allows you enough space to pack for an entire weekend, while still avoiding excess weight charges.
  • simple to maneuver around obstacles
  • comes with a three-year warranty
  • interior pocket for valuables
Brand Rockland
Model F151
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Delsey Helium Aero

The Delsey Helium Aero is the perfect companion to take along on your next journey abroad. It features two deep compartments with pockets for optimal organization, plus it can expand up to two inches, allowing for additional packing space if needed.
  • easy to set the lock combination
  • elastic straps help secure clothes
  • attractive glossy finish
Brand DELSEY Paris
Model 07647BD
Weight 12.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Rockland 3-Piece F236

The Rockland 3-Piece F236 sports a sleek, polished finish that exhibits your sense of style while you're on the go. It comes in five colors options and features an attractive, internal chrome push-button handle that telescopes up and down for easy portability.
  • fully-lined interior
  • wheels spin 360 degrees
  • strong abs exterior
Brand Rockland
Model F236-BLACK
Weight 27.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Samsonite Inova

The Samsonite Inova is a world class traveler's dream with its lightweight, yet durable, build. It is made with a Makrolon polycarbonate that provides maximum protection against weather and abuse, plus the textured finish hides scratches well.
  • built-in tsa-approved lock
  • durable zipper closure
  • handle recesses flush
Brand Samsonite
Model 48249-1439
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

What To Consider When Buying Luggage

Buying a piece of luggage is like buying a pair of shoes. No one piece will be right for every application, but the right one can make a world of difference. A budget traveler who often hoofs it for miles between hotels will have very different needs than a luxury traveler who always has a taxi or hotel car waiting for them at the airport. Careful consideration of your needs will ensure you get luggage best suited for your travels.

Size is one of the first, and most important factors that must be taken into account. For those who prefer carry-on to checking bags, it is vital that a bag's dimensions are checked before purchase to ensure it meets the average airline's carry-on requirements.

The weight of the luggage being considered should be factored into the decision making process. If your luggage will always be rolled from place to place, weight won't matter. For those who will be carrying their luggage for brief periods or loading it into cars, an extra couple of pounds can make things significantly more difficult.

Color can be another important feature. It is not uncommon for people to have trouble recognizing a black suitcase when it is on the luggage carousel sandwiched between a dozen others. Consider choosing a brightly colored or patterned option to overcome this.

Finally consider organization and accessibility. It can be helpful to have one or two exterior pockets to keep certain items where there can be accessed quickly. For those who travel often on business, luggage that has space for a suit or a separate area for shoes or documents can be handy.

Benefits Of Hardside Luggage Over Softside Luggage

Hardside luggage is more effective at protecting your belongings than softsided luggage, which can easily be compressed. If you will be transporting fragile items like electronics, bottles of liquids, or glass and wood souvenirs, hardsided luggage offers you a better chance of getting your items to their destination in one piece. Many of them feature cushioned interiors and have additional pockets for dirty items like shoes or worn cloths. Some may even include an interior garment bag or sleeve, making them more suitable for business travelers who need to arrive with wrinkle-free clothing.

Since hardside luggage is made from synthetic impact and tear-resistant plastics, as opposed to a woven fabric of some kind, they will generally last longer than comparably-priced softside luggage. It is not uncommon for a frequent traveler to use the same set of hardside luggage for nearly a decade of travel, whereas softside luggage can become worn or get ripped within just three or four years.

Hardside luggage also offers a higher level of security than softside luggage. Most come with an integrated TSA-approved lock, which will keep the contents safe, even if accidentally grabbed off the luggage carousel by another traveler. Many people don't bother buying a TSA-approved lock for their softsided luggage, and even if they do, the luggage can easily be cut open by a nefarious person looking to loot your belongings.

Types Of Materials Used In Hardside Luggage

Hardside luggage is most often made out of four types of material: acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polypropylene, polycarbonate, or Curv.

ABS is an opaque thermoplastic and amorphous polymer that has many qualities beneficial to luggage applications, such as its light weight and reasonable impact-resistance. It also holds its color well, so you won't have to worry about your luggage fading over time. ABS is extremely easy to manufacturer and mold, which makes it a cost-effective material, but it doesn't have the sleek look of some other materials. For this reason, it is often found in luggage where price is more important than style.

Polypropylene is an oil-based plastic that is extremely tough. It has a higher chemical resistance than ABS and is more impact-resistant. It is a good choice for those who will be packing fragile items and are worried about rough handling from airline employees. Polypropylene also deals with drastic temperature changes well and there is very little chance of it cracking. Although somewhat more flexible than ABS, polypropylene is significantly heavier and wouldn't be suitable for those who will be carrying their luggage around often. It is a good choice for those who prefer a classy look and plan on rolling their luggage.

Polycarbonate also has a high impact strength, but unlike polypropylene, its chemical resistance is poor. Polycarbonate hardsided luggage is extremely rigid and lightweight, so it will do a good job of protecting your belongings without compromising portability. Also unlike polypropylene, polycarbonate luggage is not flexible and cannot be compressed to fit into overhead bins or stretched to accommodate large souvenirs. It also scratches easily and will show wear after just a few uses.

Hardsided luggage made from Curv, while generally costing more than other types, has an ideal mix of properties for the average consumer. Curv is a thermoplastic composite that combines the impact-resistance of fiber-reinforced composites with the flexibility of thermoplastic. It is lightweight, highly shock absorbent to protect fragile belongings, resists scratches, and has a fashionable sheen.



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Last updated on December 29, 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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