The Best Hardside Luggage In 2017!
One of the major and unavoidable decisions you have to make when looking for a new piece of luggage is whether you should buy a hardside or a softside. What the best choice is depends on your personal preferences and what qualities you are looking for in a bag.
Have you decided on buying a new hardside suitcase, but don’t know which one to choose? Well, congratulations my friend, you’ve come to the right place We have, as we have promised to do, searched the market for you and picked the ones we believe to be the best hardside luggage out there in 2017.
We have picked 2 pieces of hard case carry on luggage, and 3 of the best hard suitcases. Most of the items we review are part of a line, and can be bought in more that one size. This means that if you find a carry on that you like, chances are that you can also find a piece of checked luggage in the same collection.
Read all the way, or use the table of contents below to go directly to the most interesting heading!
- Quick Comparison Table Hardside Luggage - Top 7 Favorites
- Best Hardside Carry On Luggage
- Best Hard Suitcase - Choose Your Favorite!
Quick Comparison Table Hardside Luggage - Top 7 Favorites
|Bag (Click on name for price and availability on Amazon)||Carry-On or Check-In Suitcase||Size||Weight||Warranty||Spinner or Inliner|
|Samsonite Neopulse Hardside with Spinner Wheels 20||Carry-On||22.6" x 14.75" x 8.0"||4.9 lbs.||Limited 10 Year Global Warranty||Spinner|
|Delsey Luggage Chatelet Hard+ 21 Inch Spinner Suiter Carry-on||Carry-On||21.6" x 13.8" x 9.8"||7.9 lbs.||Limited 10 Year International Warranty||Spinner|
|Enkloze X1 Carbon Fiber Carry-On 21" - 4 Wheel Spinner||Carry-On||21.3" x 14.6" x 9.5"||8.2 lbs.||5 Year Limited Warranty||Spinner|
|Samsonite Tru-Frame Hardside Spinner 20||Carry-On||22.64" x 15.35" x 9.65"||7.5 lbs.||5 Year Limited Warranty||Spinner|
|Samsonite S'Cure Spinner 28"||Suitcase||29.75" x 20.0" x 12.0"||11.2 lbs.||Limited 10 Year Global Warranty||Spinner|
|Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage Rodeo Drive 29-Inch 4-Wheel Expandable Upright||Suitcase||30" x 21" x 12"||11.5 lbs.||RBH 3 Year Performance Guarantee and 10 Year Limited Warranty||Spinner|
|Briggs & Riley Sympatico Medium Cx Spinner Suitcase||Suitcase||27″ x 18.5″ x 11.5″||11.6 lbs.||“Simple As That” Lifetime Warranty||Spinner|
|American Tourister Metallic Disco Spinner 28||Suitcase||30" x 20" x 12.25"||11 lbs.||10 Year Limited Warranty||Spinner|
Best Hardside Carry On Luggage
Samsonite Neopulse Hardside with Spinner Wheels 20
- Overall size: 22.6" x 14.75" x 8.0"
- Weight: 4.9 lbs.
- Warranty: Limited 10 Year Global Warranty
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This Samsonite Neopulse Hardside with Spinner Wheels is a fairly new addition to the company's line of light hardside carry-ons. Well, do we like it? Let's find out.
The shell is made from 100% Makrolon® Polycarbonate. This is a so called high-tech plastic intended for tough use and providing resistance to high impact incidents. The corners of the bag are self-reinforced (we are not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds good).
Samsonite seems to have surrendered to the by travellers well-known fact that hardside cases tend to get scratched. Instead, they have turned it around to make a great feature out of it. Here is what they write on their own site. "The ribbed-shell finish reduces the visibility of scratches caused by challenging trips." Thumbs up Samsonite!
The bag has a boxy shape to give the most packing space, and the inside is fully lined. There are divider panels on both sides, and cross divider straps. No smaller compartments, which we perhaps would have wished for. That's easily solved though by using packing cubes or just zippered plastic bags.
Other neat features are soft and flat top and side carry handles, double-tube retractable pull handle and integrated TSA-approved combination lock. A couple of users have been irritated that they have had to go to Youtube to find instructions for the lock. We kind of understand the irritation, so here is the video for you 🙂
We are sooo happy with the colors on the Neopulse bags, they come in 4 gorgeous metallic ones. Choose if you want to be sophisticated black or happy red 🙂
This is a spinner, so there are four double wheels. The quality of spinner wheels are improving, and as far as we can deduce from reviews they're doing fine and are easy to manoeuvre.
Any cons or bad user experiences then? We've encountered one broken zipper, which is always bad, but that should definitely be covered by the warranty. And yes, it does get scratched if treated roughly. But as stated above, that's to be expected.
Other than that, users seem to be happy with the Samsonite Neopulse, it's lightweight and holds up well.
The warranty covers manufactural defects for 10 years, not the best but acceptable.
We believe this to be a good buy, but perhaps not top quality. It's a piece of lightweight hardside luggage (it would fit in fine in our reviews on lightweight carry-ons) that is easy to manoeuvre. It comes with great design and good packing volume.
Delsey Luggage Chatelet Hard+ 21 Inch Spinner Suiter Carry-on
- Overall size: 21.6" x 13.8" x 9.8"
- Weight: 7.9 lbs.
- Warranty: Limited 10 Year International Warranty
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Looking for a classy and robust carry-on that will fit most overhead bins on international flights? Then look no further my friend, this vintage looking piece is all you can ask for!
We have to admit, this is on the heavier side, but we forgive it for that because it's so lovely in other respects. It does not come in bright colors, but even we with our soft spot for colors think the black, brown and champagne are just right for this bag.
This Delsey hardside carry-on luggage is built from Makrolon® Polycarbonate. This is a sturdy type of plastic that is impact resistant and tolerates extreme temperatures. It's equipped with Japanese Hinomoto® spinner wheels, providing a smooth and pleasant rolling experience.
And you know what? You can actually put a brake on the front wheels to prevent it from rolling away from you! And it's really clever too, because you can still roll it along on the back wheels like a inliner. We're in awe...
Ok, then, back to business. There is a dual-trolley handle with non-slip coating, a recessed integrated TSA-approved combination lock, and top and side carry handles.
On the back is an identification code, unique for every bag. You register your bag via the Delsey site, and then you and your bag can connect again if it gets lost. It doesn't matter if your luggage tag has been ripped off.
The interior of the bag gives quite a luxurious feeling. Fully lined of course, with two separate compartments, one with a zippered and the other with tie-down straps. Now this sounds average, right? But you also get two interior bags for your smaller stuff and a travel garment hanger.
Actually, we have nothing bad to say about this Delsey Chatelet carry-on. It is not ultra-light, so if that is your top priority this is perhaps not your best choice. But we have no doubts that this is a top quality piece of luggage.
Enkloze X1 Carbon Fiber Carry-On 21" - 4 Wheel Spinner
- Overall size: 21.3" x 14.6" x 9.5"
- Weight: 8.2 lbs.
- Warranty: 5 Year Limited Warranty
We are thrilled to present this hard case carry on luggage! It has so many fabulous features, and you know what? Despite the lack of colors or patterns we actually adore the look and design of it. Strict and no-nonsense appearance. We think it looks a little like tweed actually!
But hey, let's slow down. We haven't even began to describe it or look at its qualities, and we're already raising it to the stars. Facts then:
- Made from 100% polycarbonate with an aluminium frame and corner reinforcements.
- Height adjustable aluminium pull rod.
- Zippered and lockable front compartment for laptop, with several smaller pockets.
- Two (yes, 2!) TSA-approved locks, for front and main compartments.
- Japanese Hinamoto spinner wheels.
- Clam shell main compartment with dividers and x-shaped tie down bands on both sides along with zippered mesh pockets on the divider panels.
- Available in black (with grey stripes) and white (with light grey stripes).
On the front pocket, that is zippered, there is a 3-digit combination lock, so you can quickly access you passport and other important documents. One reviewer actually says that "I even dropped the need for my backpack since I can put everything in the front loading accessory compartment".
Users have reported that you can fit "a 13" Macbook and an ipad" or "a 14" Razer Blade, and a Dell XPS 15" " in the front. Plus pens, passport, ticket, and other small stuff!
The main compartment is not zippered. To close it you slide the lock into place after making sure that the aluminium frames are lined up evenly. No risk of zipper breaking or someone cutting into the bag through the zipper.
The main compartment is then locked with a key. Good or bad? Well, if you lose the key you're out of luck of course. You get two keys though, so there is the possibility of keeping the extra key in your inner pocket or some place else where it's safe. But we can't help wondering why Enkloze chose to use a lock with a key instead of a combination lock?
The inside is quite clean and simple but well organised. With the two sides each having a divider panel with mesh pockets on them, and adjustable straps on both sides as well, it's easy to pack and have your clothes staying in place. The inside fabric is light enough to make your stuff easy to spot, but colored enough for stains not showing easily.
You have most likely already understood that we are rather enchanted by this hardsided carry on. The brand Enkloze was created by a group of ex-consultants, that used to travel the world in their jobs. The bags are therefore created with the frequent business traveler in mind. However, we would not hesitate to use it on a vacation or weekend getaway. If it's good, it's good. Right? 😉
We are also not alone to endorse this bag, users are nothing less than enthusiastic! (Except for one who stated it to be "cheap plastic junk". Go figure!)
Samsonite Tru-Frame Hardside Spinner 20
- Overall size: 22.64" x 15.35" x 9.65"
- Weight: 7.5 lbs.
- Warranty: 5 Year Limited Warranty
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Although we always strive to only present the luggage we truly believe to be worth your time to read about, some bags are more fun and satisfying to present than others. The Samsonite Tru-Frame hardside carry-on is definitely one of those. The quality of Samsonite luggage does not always live up to the popularity of the brand, but this bag delivers, big time.
Right then, to what do we owe the pleasure of featuring this piece of Samsonite carry on luggage?
The Tru-Frame was originally released in Matte Graphite and Matte Silver, both stylish yet strict. But we have to admit, we are soooo happy that is now also available in a glorious Aqua Blue. We know, we are suckers for color!
With its 7.5 lbs this is not the most lightweight carry-on, but definetily within the good-enough range, as are the Chatelet and Enkloze bags above.
We are very happy with the robust appearance and structure of this hard cabin luggage. It invokes security and reliability.
The inside does not disappoint us either. Like the Enkloze it has cross straps AND divider panels on each side, and enough inside pockets to make any organizational addict happy!
We have read nothing but happy and content user reviews for this bag. 'Stylish', 'perfect', 'very good', 'cool', 'only choice for frequent flyers', 'amazing piece of luggage'.
But actually, we are not being honest here. There was one user who was NOT happy with the level of organization inside the bag and suggested that Samsonite should 'take a cue from backpacking gear & just offer open space. Too many dividers, zipper sections, etc.' Well, we can't help but wonder, why not buy a backpack?
If it is not altogether clear: YES, we totally endorse the Samsonite Tru-frame!
Best Hard Suitcase - Choose Your Favorite!
Samsonite S'Cure Spinner 28"
- Overall size: 29.75" x 20.0" x 12.0"
- Weight: 11.2 lbs.
- Warranty: Limited 10 Year Global Warranty
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With the S'Cure spinner Samsonite has abandoned the zippered suitcase concept. Instead, there is a three-point lock with clips. Is this better than the zipper? Honestly, we don't know. Zippers can break or jam, but so can clips.
The pro for this kind of lock lies perhaps more in the opening- and closing experience. It's quick! And it cannot be opened by manipulating a zipper with a pen or something like that, so that's another pro of course.
This is a polypropylene suitcase. The material is called Flowlite™ Polypropylene, another durable plastic apart from polycarbonate. The surface of the bag is textured, and seems to withstand scratches rather well actually.
There are top and side handles, as well as a bottom grip. The dual trolley handle can be locked in several positions.
There are four double spinner wheels.The interior is not lined at all, but there is a zippered divider and cross-straps. One reviewer actually loved the interior not being lined as it made it so easy to clean. Well that's something we haven't considered before, but it does make sense!
On the back is an integrated ID tag, behind a little plastic window. The window can be a little difficult to take off, but you just have to pull hard at the top of it. It will pivot at the bottom.
So, cons to this bag then? Well, most reviewers (we've read about 400 of them) are very satisfied with their buy. Among the few complaints we've seen there are a couple about wheels getting knocked off during airline handling. A couple more concerns the lock or clips faltering, and some people experienced dents. But that's about all.
The bag comes in black, dark blue and crimson red. Guess which color we prefer? 😉
So, what's our final verdict on the Samsonite S'Cure suitcase? Well, we definitely believe it's a good quality buy, but you've got to like a "naked" interior and clip locks (which we do). If you're also fine with that, go for it!
Ricardo Beverly Hills Luggage Rodeo Drive 29-Inch 4-Wheel Expandable Upright
- Overall size: 30" x 21" x 12"
- Weight: 11.5 lbs.
- Warranty: RBH 3 Year Performance Guarantee and 10 Year Limited Warranty
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We could not resist picking out this wonderful hardside suitcase... We believe it to be very stylish and the v-shaped grooves makes it stand out on the belt. But we have not turned a blind eye to the aspects of quality and usability!
(Pssst! If you're more into sophisticated grey than this lovely black cherry, it comes in anthracite and charcoal as well. And burgundy!)
Fun facts: Did you know that Ricardo Beverly Hills has been named in National Geographic's "10 Best of Everything" book? We didn't!
Before we go any further, we need to explain about the warranty. This is what the RBH 3 Year Performance Guarantee means: "The Warranty covers defects due to faulty material or workmanship as well as damages caused by normal wear and tear (i.e. defective handles, zippers, locks), and transportation damage (i.e. by airline, hotels, etc)." Awesome, right?
After the initial three years the 10 Year Limited Warranty takes over. As usual, this means that you're covered for any defects in material and workmanship, given normal use.
This Ricardo Beverly Hills large hardside suitcase appears to be of the same excellent quality as their luggage usually is. The shell is made from MAKROLON® polycarbonate layered with a textured film. This extra protection makes the shell resistant to both scratches and wear and tear.
The corners also have an extra protection with polypropylene corner guards that adds to the durability of the bag.
The suitcase has an expandable zipper that allows 2 more inches of packing space. For your vacation shopping findings perhaps 🙂
The multi-stage trolley handle stops in the hight that is best for you, and is curved to create a smooth grip that makes it comfortable to hold for a period of time. Your hands will thank you! There are of course both top and side handles as well for easy handling. The lock is an integrated 3-digit TSA-approved combination kind.
One very neat feature in our opinion is the the add-a-bag-strap, that makes it possible to attach another bag for easy transport. Don't need it? Then just forget about it, as it retracts fully and is completely out of the way.
The spinner wheels are high-quality Japanese dual Hinomoto. They roll smoothly and silently. No reviewers have complained in any way about them.
So, what's inside the pretty case? Well, it's fully lined with a nicely patterned fabric. There are several mesh pockets, elastic pouches, a hanger loop and tie down straps. This is what one reviewer has to say about the interior features:
"Loved the pockets for shoes and the zippers, everything I added felt like it had a spot and fit perfectly". Or put differently by another reviewer: "There are more interior pockets and dividers than found in many suitcases which helps keep your items in place".
So, are there no cons to be found? Well, not really. Or, if we have to produce one, one reviewer mentioned that after 6 flights and one cruise ship the suitcase had "scratches and scuffs here and there. Maybe some will clean up".
We believe this to be a high quality piece of luggage. The manufacturer obviously has a lot of confidence in their product, given the excellent warranty conditions. Go buy!
Briggs & Riley Sympatico Medium Cx Spinner Suitcase
- Overall size: 27″ x 18.5″ x 11.5″
- Weight: 11.6 lbs.
- Warranty: “Simple As That” Lifetime Warranty
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Briggs & Riley are top everything. Top scored in Consumer Reports' luggage rating, top warranty, and a top smart expansion system. What else is there to wish for?
Oh, well, since you ask, how about some lovely colors and patterns? But we won't be petty-minded, they have some nice austere colors in their collections 🙂
The Briggs & Riley Sympatico Medium Spinner Suitcase is no exception to the top rule. This is, as far as we understand, the only hardside luggage with a warranty that covers repair of damage caused by rough handling for the lifetime of the bag.
You can't go wrong when buying a hard suitcase with that kind of back-up.
The Sympatico bag features the CX™ expansion-compression system. This increases the packing capacity with up to 17%, and then compresses it back to it's reported measurements.
There is one feature we want to highlight a little extra. Being a hardside, the Sympatico does not have any external pockets. But, this line has coordinated the hard side with 3 different soft bags. There is a tote, a weekender and a backpack that all can be slid over the telescopic Outsider® handle.
Some other tech specs then:
- 3 layer Makrolon® polycarbonate providing elasticity and resilience.
- Built-in TSA-approved combination lock.
- Aircraft grade aluminium 3 stop trolley handle with ergonomic grip, that goes on the outside. This means more space inside and also a flat packing surface.
- Soft-touch top and side carry handles.
- SmartLink™ system strap to transport another bag piggy-back style.
- Double spinner wheels.
Besides being flat inside due to the Outsider® handle, the interior has some other nice features. There are garment compression panels with speed buckles and a large mesh pocket. Behind the pocket, there is a hanger that can hold one suit or 2-3 shirts. Fully lined? Of course. According to Briggs & Riley themselves, the "soft-touch interior lining gently cradles clothing" 🙂
It seems almost redundant to state that we are extremely pleased (well, apart from the color thing then) with this Briggs & Riley hardside. Full stop. 😉
American Tourister Metallic Disco Spinner 28
- Overall size: 30" x 20" x 12.25"
- Weight: 11 lbs.
- Warranty: 10 Year Limited Warranty
Love at first sight... if that exists when it comes to luggage, it definitely applies for when we first laid eyes on this beauty. Colorful yet dignified. If you look at it from the side, you see that the frames and the zipper becomes a rainbow when the bag is closed. And for us, rainbows stand for dreams, hope, magic and love.
But, the burning question is, does this beauty also deliver in terms of quality and usability? Let's find out.
The shell is made from a blend of polycarbonate and ABS plastic, covered with metallic paint and a layer of clear coat. This and the fact that it's textured (in a kind of checked pattern) should make it scratch resistant enough. User experiences point in the same direction.
The bag is equipped with dual spinner wheels. As far as we can deduce from the reviews around the web, they hold up fine. The pull rod, or trolley handle, is metallic and operated with a push button. It retracts completely when not in use.
The top and side handles are, according to a reviewer "Perfect handles with cushions that don't hurt you when you pick it up". Sounds good to us. They are also retractable.
The color of the bumpers and the rubber "feet" are color matched to sustain the rainbow impression, cerise red on one side and purple on the other.
The bag opens in clam shell manner. On one side is a divider panel with a zippered mesh pocket, on the other cross straps with a speed buckle. Not extraordinary but good enough.
The one possible con we have detected is the fact that there is no integrated lock for the zipper pulls. This means you have to buy a padlock for it.
Is this bag for everyone?
In terms of quality we think it is. But maybe it's not for the average business traveler, since the bag does make kind of a different impression and perhaps even a statement. The decision is yours to make!
Psst, it's soon that time of the year!! Time, what time? You know, Black Friday time! We will keep track of the best luggage deals for you, so stay tuned!