The best suitcase for travelling

Arguably the most important aspect of any trip is a good travel companion.

A Samsonite suitcase store

Whether you only travel on the odd occasion or consider yourself quite the international jetsetter, one of the most important aspects of your trip is your luggage. 

Good luggage makes travelling as easy and stress-free as it can be and will have you gliding through airports, train stations, boarding buses or strolling around cities barely breaking a sweat. A bad bag, on the other hand, is enough to leave you in tears and will have you working hard to transport your belongings all trip long – trust me, I speak from experience. 

I can, hand on heart say, that in all my many travels, I haven’t come across a better bag than the Samsonite B’Lite range. I’ve road tested, quite literally, countless suitcases and baggage alternatives in my time exploring the world, including other Samsonite models. If I had to pick one to recommend or be stuck with for the rest of my travels, it would be the B’Lite model. 

What’s so good about it? While it probably doesn’t comes as much as a surprise, it’s a Samsonite and the company seems to be taking over the world, one suitcase at a time, It’s the quality that makes it stand out so much. 

I have the B’Lite 55cm Spinner which is small enough that it passes as cabin approved carry-on baggage for every airline I’ve ever been travelled. I’m sure if Mary Poppins were to upgrade her bag to this, she would have been blown away by how much you can actually pack in it. The four wheels hold their own, even on cobblestones, and the handle doesn’t feel at all flimsy. Even the zip and lock are surprisingly sturdy for a small bag. Having taken me everywhere from Sydney to Spain, and despite being no doubt thrown around by countless airline baggage staff, it still looks almost as good as the day it was bought. 

You know what they say about being onto a good thing, well, based on my experience with the smaller size, I recently added the 78cm B’Lite to my collection for my longer haul trips. I’ll be honest, I had my doubts it could be as good as its smaller version but I’m happy to have been proven wrong. With all the same qualities I love about my original B’Lite bag, it is literally the exact same with a larger capacity. Super sturdy wheels, a strong zip and lock and super lightweight, it has the added ability of being expandable so you can fit more in should you go shopping whilst away (which, as Stylewatch writer is a given!) 

While obviously everyone has different needs when it comes to luggage, the inside of the bag is fairly sparse, which works for me but you may not like if you prefer lots of compartments. I can thoroughly recommend the B’Lite series of Samsonite bags. If you’re anything like me, they’ll become your new favourite travel companion in no time.

RRP: from $69 - $449 at Samsonite

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Which luggage is right for you?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Jan 2016
    Strange you miss so much Sue and sounds like an outright advertisement.
    The reality is that you need light luggage and the right size bag for the route you are flying. Trips to the US allow a 25 kg bag. Trips to Europe only permit a 20 kg bag. And then dimensions need to be strictly adhered to.
    Not sure if your Samsonite luggage makes the cut as being bulletproof is less important than the empty weight of the bag.
    The above has come from 6 years of international travel. And by the way....don't forget the electronic scales to weigh your bags. A must!
    Polly Esther
    23rd Jan 2016
    The case for you is the one that suits, and why shoot the messenger?
    23rd Jan 2016
    Fair comment. Just trying to put into perspective, not shoot the messenger.
    fish head
    23rd Jan 2016
    Congratulations ,Mick. You can lift 20/25 kg bag in one hand to weigh it? I do recommend the B'Lite Spinners which I had to purchase on the return leg of my last UK trip owing to the reduced internal aisle width on Emirates. They take most surfaces in their stride and NO wrist fatigue.
    23rd Jan 2016
    Fair enough as well. Horses for courses. But remember that you can get staff to lift for you if you are not capable.
    The issue with the heavier bags is that one often needs to take a fair bit of clobber on extended trips. My wife and I always have 'discussions' around what not to take. In the end we have bags partly loaded on the way out and chockers on the way home.
    Our next bag is going to have 4 wheels instead of 2 on it. A great invention.
    24th Jan 2016
    If you can't lift your bag in one hand it is obviously overweight.
    5th Nov 2016
    Gra, not nececcarily so. I have difficulty lifting a small packed case which is well underweight because I'm unlucky to have shoulders and one arm injury. Some small regional airlines weight limit is much lower than that.
    23rd Jan 2016
    I spent months looking for the perfect suitcase to take on a 3 week European tour last year and finally bought a red 71cm Samsonite B-Lite 3 spinner. I took advice from seasoned travellers and tried not to take too any clothes but had enough for variety & comfort without hacing to expand it the suitcase. I hardly did any shopping but even with the few items I bought iI still didn't need to expand it. It was very easy to move around, including in the London Underground. It had the right amount of compartments for me and the only complaint I have is that the zip on the inside compartment opens at the bottom instead of the top so that things tend to fall out. In the end I just used it for dirty laundry which worked out better anyway. It weighed 18 kilos on departure and was fairly easy to lift with two hands using the little hand scales. On the way back it weighed just under 20 kilos and I could still lift it with two hands briefly.
    23rd Jan 2016
    I don't like luggage that has 4 wheels sticking out. Very awkward to use and takes up extra space. All my luggage has 2 wheels semi recessed and very easy to use. That's why I give sampsonite a miss.
    23rd Jan 2016
    I like the 4 wheels because, as a female, I find pulling a suitcase with 2 wheels is too heavy and I feel as though my arm is being pulled out of it's socket. I don't have carry on luggage with wheels & make do with just a handbag or larger soft bag with a wide shoulder strap that can be pushed under the seat. I admit I was worried about the stick out wheels being knocked off in transit until I watched a video of the vigorous testing Samsonite do on their products. They continually dropped the suitcases on their wheels from a height without breaking. Lol, just thought of one disadvantage though......tripping or knocking your ankles on the on the wheels in the middle of the night when sharing a hotel room. It really hurts.
    23rd Jan 2016
    I've been travelling for many years, and the best suitcases are the lightest frame ones. I have bought some really nice luggage from Strandbags and Myers, and found that the frames are quite heavy:if it's too heavy to pick up when empty, then it would be worse when full.
    Funny, too , that I bought a black and white spotted medium suitcase fro Go Lo more than 10 years ago for $25.00 which is none the worse for wear, but I only take it when travelling around Australia,and the Samsonite one I bough for my daughter fell apart after 3 years, but it wasn't guaranteed for being "misused" (thrown by luggage handlers).
    5th Nov 2016
    Some of the baggage handlers are very rough. It nothing unusual for them to be thrown from up high straight down onto the floor or tarmac surface. There is a few coach tour staff that are rough with luggage too.
    fish head
    21st May 2016
    For many years I wrestled with the two-wheel variety (cabin sized) which perched comfortably onto of my in-the-hold piece. My medication is welded to me in transit. However last trip I used Emirates and got a nasty shock with their aisle width. For my homeward trip I abandoned 2 wheels (sob!) and invested in a small 4 wheel spinner. Bliss! No more forearm cramps. Next trip I shall be investing in a larger spinner and will smile all the way.
    double j
    5th Nov 2016
    We have done a lot of travel all around the world and because of where we go ,how we get there we find a good size back pack is the answer. Where do you store your empty luggage when you are on a 40 ft yacht with limited cabin space,with a back pack it can be folded up or flat packed out of the way. Our current luggage is a 60 litre duffle bag with,metal light weight frame,, telescopic handle ,2 wheel and when we pick up our mobile home for a 2 or 3 months trip the luggage can be flat packed and stored under the bed
    Its horses for courses but the above works for us and 2017 will be our 7th year of mobile home travel in europe
    2nd Nov 2017
    Has anyone tested and compared the new Bugaboo suitcase system? Unbelievably expensive, but I dream about owning one. Just worry about how handlers etc might wreck the basic wheeled component, because it requires knowledge to open and retract the wheels.
    4th Nov 2017
    I used to always have the fabric zip expandable luggage with 2 wheels and a metal pull out frame to stabilise the case when you're standing in line, etc.

    Now I've found the ones for me - they're hard shelled, yet still light enough, with a lined zipped section in the top of the bag and the bottom section with a zipped lining as per usual. I purchased 2 sets of them as a set of 2 - 1 large and one cabin sized on e-Bay. My set is very similar to the right hand set in the photo above, but I bet it's sooo much cheaper.

    The beauty of this luggage is that they have the pulls of the zipper lock into a 3-wheeled TSA approved lock on the top of the bag. Once locked, it prevents the ever present luggage thieves from moving the zip pulls and inserting a pen and opening the bag and rifling through your goods and then re-zipping the bag without anybody noticing the theft until the bag is opened when you arrive at your hotel. Therefore you're kidding yourself that just because you have any lock in the zip pulls you're safe from potentially being robbed of your goodies. Another reason that you don't have your sensitive electronics, jewellery or any other precious item in your checked luggage.

    As for digital scales, The Reject Shop sells them. They have both ones with a strap which goes around the handle then buckles together; and one with a metal hook which is awkward to use with the varying size of the handles on luggage.

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