The best luggage to suit every budget

stack of suitcases

When it comes to choosing luggage, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The best option for you depends on your budget, travel habits and personal preferences.

The right luggage for a do-it-yourself overland trip through Europe is different from the right luggage for a luxury trip to Fiji.

With such a wide range of prices available, it can be tricky to know which type of luggage to buy. There are an awful lot of luggage brands out there, but here are a few to suit different budgets and travellers.

Best luggage for range: Samsonite
Perhaps one of the world’s most well-known and trusted luggage brands, Samsonite has an extensive range of hard and soft cases, backpacks and travel bags.

Samsonite came out on top with the best overall suitcase and best carry-on suitcase when comparison site Finder assessed the best suitcases of 2022.

Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels was named the best overall suitcase, with an RRP of $205. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 800 customer reviews on Amazon and weighs only 3.1kg. It comes in various sizes, ranging from the standard carry-on size to large and the two-sided panel that hosts four pockets maximises luggage organisation without adding bulk.

Read: Surprising carry-on luggage rules

The best carry-on suitcase of this year was identified as the Samsonite Underseat Spinner II with USB Port, with an RRP of $145. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 1000 customer reviews on Amazon and weighs only 2.5kg.

It sits easily under the seat and overhead on planes and its main storage has a padded compartment for a laptop up to 13.3″, while the exterior pockets let you pack smaller items easily.

Best luggage for value: American Tourister
American Tourister’s line-up features hard-sided and soft-sided luggage, backpacks and suitcases suitable for business trips. It’s also more affordable than its parent brand Samsonite.

The Curio is the flagship model and is available in 55cm, 69cm, or 80cm sizes. They typically retail for $129 to $279, depending on the size you go for.

The expert product testers at CHOICE recently ranked the American Tourister High Rock 55cm Spinner as the best suitcase on the market based on performance and ease of use.

It’s also among the highest-ranking luggage brands on Amazon, with the brand’s top case awarded 4.9 stars from thousands of reviewers.

Read: How to holiday without luggage

Best for backpacking: Kathmandu
Outdoor equipment retailer Kathmandu stocks hybrid luggage backpacks as well as travel bags and classic backpacks for those answering the call of the outdoors or hopping on a plane to a faraway destination.

A standout model is the Split Level 100L Wheeled Luggage Trolley, which retails for $449.

It comes with a durable trolley system, zip locking docks and six external grab handles to make it easy to grab and go. It can fit up to 100L and weighs 4.1kg.

Best for durability: Antler
Antler suitcases received five stars for overall customer satisfaction in a survey of 600 Australians by comparison site Canstar Blue.

It was awarded top marks for durability, style, versatility, storage compartments and value for money.

The standout Clifton case is everything you could possibly want from a suitcase. The polycarbonate shell is strong, light on its feet and wheels like a dream. The price ranges from $249 for the cabin, $299 for the medium and $349 for the large.

The large has a packing capacity of up to 121L with an expanded capacity of 132L and weighs 5kg.

Best for style: July
Australian luggage company July has been making waves in the travel industry with their chic and sophisticated suitcase designs that are also durable, functional and stylish.

The Carry On, priced at $295, is designed to provide maximum capacity while being allowed as cabin baggage on all major airlines. It has an unbreakable shell, smooth, easy-to-manoeuvre wheels, comes in a choice of funky colours and, perhaps most excitingly, comes with a removable battery pack for charging your devices on the go.

It weighs just 3.4kg and holds up to 46L.

July luggage also comes with a limited lifetime warranty that covers any defect on wheels, zips, handles, nylon compression strap breakages and specific cracks or breaks in the polycarbonate shell or aluminium bumpers.

Read: What happens to lost luggage?

Best for budget travel: Flylite
Flylite may be light on weight, but it does not compromise on durability. The brand outclassed most of its more expensive rivals to rank second among luggage brands in a survey of 600 Australian travellers by comparison site Canstar Blue, scoring a solid four stars for all criteria including overall satisfaction and value for money.

Flylite offers a huge selection of suitcases. The medium-sized Horizon 55cm suitcase is priced at $189 and weighs just 3.1kg, it can fit up to 53L and has a 15-year warranty.

The brand’s range of soft and hard suitcases and wheeled backpacks appeals to budget-savvy travellers.

Are you in need of a new suitcase? Do you stick with a certain brand or like to shop around? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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