The Best Luggage Brands of 2020 – Our 5 Top Choices
Travelling and luggage are big business and, consequently, there are a lot of manufacturers who want to have a piece of the cake. We have looked at 5 of them to help you choose the best luggage brands for you.
We have also included a few honorable mentions making a splash in 2020 as well.
Some of them are old in the game and have a long-lasting reputation of maintaining high quality.
Some are quite new but have managed to build a name for themselves through showing they deliver premium quality.
Others have been around for quite some time as well and are frequently bought. Sadly, though, they don’t always live up to the buyer’s expectations when they invest in new luggage for vacation and business travelers.
Let us help you sort them out! You can read this all the way from start to finish or choose what to read in the table of contents.
Tip! You may also enjoy reading our review of World Nomads travel insurance. Never travel without insurance!
So How Do You Know Which Luggage Brand Is The Best, Or At Least Good?
In 2015, Consumer Reports conducted a survey among more than 3,400 of their subscribers. They were asked about their views on and experiences from luggage quality and brands. The outcome was both surprising and interesting.
Many of the respondents owned suitcases and other luggage from well-known manufacturers. Some of those are the ones that often come to mind first when people get asked about luggage brands. But those same brands fell near the bottom of the list when the participants of the survey were asked to rate them.
We have, of course, taken part in the survey and will include the results in our evaluation here. However, we will not base our judgements entirely on it, but also from ratings around the web, and when possible from our own experiences.
So, What Are The Top Luggage Brands?
We start by listing the best brands at the top and then go on from high to low. When it comes to prices, the general conclusion is that ”you get what you pay for.” But that’s (almost) all we will say about prices, we leave it up to you to decide what is costly and what is not.
We do believe, however, that investing in top quality can prove to be very economical. You’ll see what we mean when you read about the warranties some of the companies employ!
Alright then, let’s do this!
This brand wins it all, almost. Eagle Creek started out in 1975, in the mountains in California. Since then, the company is devoted to manufacturing packing equipment focused on durability, usability, and longevity. And they do that very well.
In reviews and ratings everywhere we look, Eagle Creek luggage and accessories, like organizers, typically get top scores. There are, of course, some that talk about how a zipper has broken or the suitcase wasn’t what the buyer anticipated, but they are few and far between.
The brand makes and sells all kinds of luggage and travel accessories. This includes large duffels, suitcases, travel packs, carry-ons and then all the way down to wallets and eyeshades.
One of their products, in particular, makes us very happy. Ever started your journey with all your stuff neatly packed and in order in your bag, only to end it with everything in a jumble and your dirties all mixed up with the cleanies? (We think we just invented a new word… 🙂 )
Eagle Creek’s packing cubes and folders will make this problem a distant memory, as well as keeping your shirts and skirts sharp. There are many to choose from, and they hold the same high standard in materials and design as the luggage itself. Whatever kind of luggage you have, there is a packing set that will turn the insides into a wet dream for the fiercest of organisers.
Eagle Creek applies two kinds of warranty, a Lifetime warranty and No Matter What. The Lifetime Warranty covers all defects in workmanship and material for the lifetime of the product. Depending on the problem, you will get your bag repaired or replaced.
No Matter What includes that, with the extraordinary addition that the cause of the product failure is of no relevance. No, we’re not joking! It doesn’t apply to all product series, though. But all the others are Lifetime Warranty, which tells you that the company themselves have faith in the quality of their products. They claim that their return rate is under 1%.
So, what’s up with the almost then? Well, as durable, usable, and totally great this company’s bags are, if your main focus is for stylish and beautiful things, this is not the place to go. That being said, we don’t mean they are badly designed or not good looking; they are just not – handsome.
Apart from that, we are very happy and could not wish for more!
Briggs & Riley
If you think that the warranty of Eagle Creek is marvellous (and we do), this is gonna knock you out:
Briggs & Riley’s warranty is called “simple as that”. They repair or replace your bag if any of its functional properties are lost, like a broken zipper, detached handle, torn corner or broken wheels.
And it doesn’t matter if it happened in transit or due to material defects. And it applies for the lifetime of the bag, for all of their bags. Now that is confidence in their own products like we’ve never seen it!
If there was a contest for Best Luggage Warranty, they’d win big time.
In many ways, Eagle Creek and Briggs & Riley companies are much alike. They claim to have committed to functionality and trust and speak to the customer with a serious and reliable tone of voice. As Briggs & Riley put it: Engineered for reality.
However, there are, of course, differences. B & R do not have any packing sets to help organise your packing. We miss that a lot.
A feature we totally appreciate, however, is the so-called CX expansion-compression system that you find in the Baseline collection. It’s awesome! This is how it works:
Inside the bag is a mechanism that allows you to expand the bag with one simple maneuver. Now the bag’s packing space has increased by about 30%. So? What’s the big deal? There are a lot of expandables on the market.
True, but the extra feature of this system is unique: when you’re done packing, and the bag is all zipped up and closed, you just push the top of the bag down again, and it will compress and snap back into the original size. Neat!
As with the reviews for Eagle Creek, we find very few critical ones here. One we did notice, and that occurred a few times, was about carry-on sizes for the wide-body bags.
As always, our recommendation is to check with the airline your flying with to make sure what size restrictions they currently employ. You may also want to check the dimensions to see what can comfortably fit into the overhead compartment. There is no standard, and the airlines may change their regulations without warning.
Cons? Well, they do have a thing for austere colors. And no patterns in sight. But admittedly, we are perhaps a little too fond of colors and patterns. Briggs & Riley delivers outstanding quality luggage. There is no getting around that.
It has to be said, Tumi’s warranty aren’t anywhere as good as the companies above. For the first year after you’ve bought your bag, the warranty covers all kinds of damage to it. They repair or replace it, and it doesn’t matter if it got smashed when handled by the airline personnel or if a wheel fell off because of bad workmanship.
After the first year and up until year five, there is a limited warranty that covers manufactural defects as well as wear and tear on your Tumi Luggage. After that, you’re on your own. It feels harsh when compared with the generous warranties above.
This being said, Tumi Luggage has got an excellent reputation for providing quality luggage. Customers are generally very satisfied with their bag in reviews and surveys. On their website, they describe the 30-step testing process they put their products through.
We like the opportunity to have your bag monogrammed or customized with color accents, like ID-tags, zipper pullers, and other details on the bag, to make it easier to identify on the belt. Tumi also sells high-quality outerwear, like puffer jackets and blazers. An innovative addition to the puffer jackets is that you can pack it into a bag the shape of a neck pillow.
We also like that Tumi has dared to have some color and patterning on their bags. We think it cheers up the gate line or the belt 😉
Our experience is that Tumi luggage is good. But, we’re kind of thrown off by the fact that their warranty only sticks for 5 years. If the products are supposed to be of the high quality they claim they are, why go cheap on the warranty and not offer a lifetime guarantee?
Did you know that Travelpro Luggage started with the invention of the first Rollaboard back in 1987? The pilot Robert Plath simply turned the bag from horizontal to vertical, put wheels at the bottom and a telescoping handle at the top, and voila, the wheeled airline carry-on was born!
The rest is history, but since then, the company has grown and gained a worldwide reputation among flight crews and pilots as well as among passengers.
We are somewhat torn when it comes to this brand. They have indeed enjoyed a good reputation among airline personnel for quite some time, but from our experience, that reputation has been somewhat chipped away at in recent years. A pilot we know has actually switched brand because he thinks that Travelpro Luggage “are not what they used to be”.
However, the brand has a wide range of products, and among them are most certainly pieces of good quality and durability, especially in their Platinum collection.
Their Basic Warranty is lifetime limited. As usual, this means they will repair or replace your bag if you have a problem with it that is due to defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the bag.
Be aware, though. You may have to be persistent in your claims. One reviewer we encountered in our research was told that wheels were not covered by the warranty, even though it had simply broken and fallen off while the wheeled luggage was being pulled on a smooth surface.
The Platinum Elite collection has a warranty of its own, called the Worry-Free Warranty. This means they will repair or replace your bag if it is damaged in transit. We think that this also tells something about the quality of that collection.
For quality, we believe that the Platinum Elite collection should be your first choice from this brand. If you’re on a budget, as many of us undoubtedly are, Travelpro has many cheaper alternatives as well. Make sure you pick a bag with many reviews, though, so you get as clear a picture as possible of it before you purchase.
If you have kids at home who love their Disney characters, this is the brand for you! American Tourister is the only brand to sell the official luggage of Walt Disney World, resort, and Disneyland.
If this is what your kid desires, go for it. This collection is a good value for the money, as we see it. The added value of your kid’s happiness and pride going through the airport with his or her sweet Disney carry-on is hard to beat 🙂
American Tourister has been around for a long time. They started out in 1933, and 60 years later, Samsonite acquired the company.
Our main pro for American Tourister is the variety of colors and patterns. We have a soft spot for that! And it makes your bag easily spotted on the belt too.
The warranty is limited and valid for 2 to 5 years; this is the shortest warranty time ranges among the brands we review here.
As for the quality, we have read more than a few reviews about torn fabric, seems fraying, metal corners protruding out of the fabric and zippers separating from the bag because of frayed fabric. So, the fabric, at least of the cheaper bags, seems to be somewhat of a problem.
Again, we think that you get what you pay for. Depending on your needs and your budget, you might find what you search for with this brand.
To ensure a much more well-rounded article discussing all the best for 2020, we absolutely have to throw in a couple of honorable mentions we feel deserve a bit of attention – especially if you are looking for the right combination of quality and value.
This is being touted as the best value luggage you can purchase in 2020. Many times, you will be hard-pressed to find quality luggage that comes in under a $100 price tag, but Amazon Basics is making this possible.
You can choose from both hard-sided luggage and soft side options, travel backpacks, duffel bags, and so much more. Need some great under seat luggage? Amazon has it. They have also put this luggage through extensive testing to ensure that they are providing us with the best quality possible with a price tag we will fall in love with.
While this luggage may appear basic at a quick glance and doesn’t carry the top brand luggage names as the others on this list, it is still a viable option if you are on a budget. Some of the pricier suitcases are made from a polycarbonate material or something very similar.
This luggage, however, is made from a more affordable material called ABS. This material is much lighter in weight; however, it may also be prone to cracking upon impact. It doesn’t have the same flexibility the other luggage on our list has.
We again go back to the whole you get what you pay for argument. If you are looking for lightweight luggage that will last you for years and years, this is definitely not for you.
However, if you need something at the moment for a quick trip and you are on a budget, then Amazon Basics Luggage is a good, right here, right now luggage that will fair well on your trip.
Now, if you are more of a frequent flyer, then Hartmann Luggage is going to be more suited for your trip. Hartmann is actually part of the Luggage test program at Consumer Reports. This means that this luggage is reviewed and rated according to different criteria.
This brand was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1877 and has since been a manufacturer of luggage and leather goods. It is recognized as luggage that is of fine quality. They have a hard-sided Vigor case that has received the highest performance scores in recent tests.
It is a spacious suitcase that is easy to pack, and the handles and wheels make it easy to tow around. It has even been known to outperform even some of the pricier styles, so if you are also looking for high value with that high quality for frequent travel, you can get it with Hartmann Luggage and at an affordable price.
This luggage brand was founded in 1946 in Paris as a producer of leather camera cases originally. They chose to expand their business in 1970 when they introduced their hard-sided luggage line.
While they specialize in hardside suitcases, they also have a style with one main compartment that is similar to the softside luggage configuration.
The Delsey Luggage product line includes a variety of luggage options from softside bags and garment bags to the hardside suitcases they are well-known for as well as duffle bags.
Delsey Luggage is made from virgin polycarbonate that has been formulated to achieve the highest standards when it comes to extreme temperature and impact resistance.
It is also equipped with an award-winning brake system on their rolling suitcases that can be activated with a button. The brakes lock the two front wheels, which prevent the bag from rolling away.
You can get this luggage in a middle price range while purchasing quality and durability.
So Many Brands…
We are well aware that we have only covered a selection of the available luggage brands here. If we had included them all, you would have grown tired of our tirades 🙂
Hopefully, though, we have covered some of the more common and mostly bought ones. The rest of them might be a topic for a future post here at Travel Gear Depot! Thank you for reading 🙂