This week we’re taking a look at the popular and affordable American Tourister luggage. You may have seen them in Macy’s, Target, Sports direct, and other affordable stores. Yet, the question remains – Are they safe to purchase? Should you go for a more expensive brand instead? In this American Tourister luggage review, we will take a look at their quality, customer feedback, features, warranty, and other aspects. All, to determine if they’re a solid choice or not.
Although American Tourister is slightly more expensive than Rockland or U.S. traveler, they’re still considered affordable. We’re particularly impressed by American Touristers warranty, and how durable they are when compared to other alternatives in the affordable price range.
In this range, they’re a clear winner. However, we still wouldn’t recommend their bags for serious travelers or cabin crews, because they lack the durability that other brands have. (For instance, the durable Travelpro, which scored 90 out of 100 points, is a better choice for frequent travelers) Nevertheless, American Tourister is by no means of bad quality and is perfectly suitable for people who travel 3-10 times per year.
American Tourister’s main strengths
- Affordable prices. If you’re looking for a carry-on, expect to pay 50-100$. For a fabric luggage set, 60-150$.
- Excellent warranty. Everyone knows that Samsonite has a dependable warranty. But most people don’t know that Samsonite owns American Tourister and both warranties are nearly identical.
American Tourister’s main weaknesses
- Lack of features. With the low prices comes a lack of smart features. Most cases are pretty limited and don’t offer many extras, like TSA locks, expansion zippers, USB chargers, or smart packing features.
- Not made for frequent travelers. If you’re traveling 3-10 times per year, American Tourister bags should hold up for at least five to ten years. When you start using them more often, the life expectancy of their bags starts to decline.
Founded in 1933
Polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, ABS
Limited 3-year warranty, limited 10-year warranty, limited global warranty
Leisure, for kids, semi-frequent travel
Our top-rated American Tourister suitcases
The Curio 20-inch hardside is a really solid choice, especially given its affordable price. It’s lightweight, durable, and has some nice features.
Belle Voyage 21-inch
For a softside carry-on, the Belle Voyage is the best choice. It has received amazing customer reviews, looks amazing, and is priced affordably.
AT Pop Plus 3-piece
If you’re looking for a full set, we suggest going with the AT Pop 3-piece. It’s just a little above 100$ and is pretty durable for the price that it’s retailing at.
Some background information about American Tourister
American Tourister was first created in 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. The idea was to make tough and fun suitcases for a dollar.
In 1993, Samsonite believed in their idea and acquired the company. Since then, American Tourister is still owned by Samsonite, and in many ways is very similar to Samsonite. For instance, their warranty policies are nearly identical. (Which is a good thing, because everyone knows how dependable is Samsonite’s warranty)
According to Statista, in 2017 American Touristed made 573M $ in sales. For instance, the same source states that Samsonite made 1654M $ in 2017, and Tumi did 678M $. Samsonite International SA owns all three. You can get a rough estimate of how popular American Tourister is compared to Samsonite or Tumi.
Basically, American Tourister is just a label for affordable Samsonite luggage. Same goes for Tumi, which is a label for more high-end luggage made by Samsonite.
To find out how satisfied are American Tourister’s customers after their purchases, we looked at several online platforms for real and helpful reviews. To find genuine reviews, we looked at Amazon, Target, Macy’s, and consumeraffairs.com, and filtered out all the fake ones.
Overall, the reviews were not too bad. Much better than on other affordable luggage brands, like U.S. Traveler, Rockland, and others.
However, as you would expect with these prices, there were a lot of customers concerned with quality issues. We found out that often their hard cases are too flexible in real life and get cracks reasonably easy, and their fabric cases can get tears near the seams.
Another thing that we noticed is that often the specified dimensions don’t match the real dimensions. We’ve seen that to be true for most luggage brands. Most state the dimensions without wheels and handles in bold, and the actual dimensions in small letters buried in the specifications. We reviewed some American Tourister’s cases down below, and the sizes listed here are correct with wheels & handles included.
Another trend that we noticed is that their medium-priced fabric suitcases get much better reviews than super cheap fabric sets and hardcase alternatives. Especially, the American Tourister Belle Voyage which has some impressive reviews.
As you would expect with affordable luggage, there are some quality issues. Same goes for American Tourister. Samsonite is smart by distancing themselves from American Tourister because their more affordable labels can’t be associated with quality issues.
However, when comparing to other affordable brands, American Tourister bags are more durable.
To save some production costs, American Tourister doesn’t use too many durable materials, like polycarbonate or Nylon. Instead, they mostly use ABS for their hardside bags, and polyester for their fabric bags, which costs way cheaper.
Here are the most common issues with their suitcases:
- Cracks in hardcase suitcases;
- Tears near seams in their fabric suitcases;
- Broken off top and side handles;
- Hardside bags can get scratches easily.
Overall, we’ve rated their quality at 14 out of 20. The rating is fairly high because the quality issues don’t appear to be too common. Most of their customers who don’t use their bags frequently are satisfied with their purchases. In the affordable price range, American Tourister is a clear winner in durability.
In features, American Tourister isn’t too far ahead when compared to other competitors, like Ricardo Beverly Hills, Travelpro, or even Samsonite. However, you do get the most basic features on some of their models, like expandable width, TSA locks, compression straps, and interior pockets for organizing.
Nowadays, we feel like spinner wheels are a must-have for any suitcase. If you haven’t tried them before, next time you go inside a luggage store, try rolling the bag around for a little bit. You’ll feel how easy it rolls compared to regular skate wheels.
We didn’t see any issues with broken-off spinner wheels, as you do with most suitcases with spinner wheels. It’s a good thing and probably a sign that they’re well-made. On the Curio hardside, the spinner wheels are branded and made especially durable.
Although not all of their suitcases are equipped with expandable zippers, some have this feature included. For instance, the expandable zippers come with the Mickey Mouse softside, Fieldbrook 2, AT Pops plus, Moonlight, Belle Voyage, and others.
TSA approved combination locks
Again, not all of their suitcases have this option included. You’ll find TSA locks only on American Tourister’s hardside bags, which is pretty standard for most luggage manufacturers. (Note, that some fabric alternatives at Samsonite come with TSA locks)
If your bag isn’t equipped with integrated TSA combination locks, you’re left with purchasing separate TSA locks. We’re not big fans of that, because often they can get lost and we don’t want any additional costs.
Basic packing options
If you’re looking for a bag with smart packing options, American Tourister bags won’t be of much interest to you. We saw pretty similar packing options in Samsonite suitcases, and we believe that they’re doing a poor job when compared to other brands.
Basically, all you get in the main compartment is compression straps and one zippered pocket for smaller items. Nothing fancy, but it does the job. No suiters, TSA-approved liquid bags, no specific compartments (for shoes, luggage trackers), no hanger compartments.
The setup is pretty basic but is sufficient enough for today’s standards. We’ve rated their features at 10 out of 15.
In their About us page, American Tourister states that they’re taking pride in making luggage that’s stylish, well-made, and fun. We agree with all three points, especially on the fun part.
American Tourister offers many cool-looking suitcases for kids with Mickey mouse, star-wars, spiderman, and avenger prints. They’ve actually received pretty good reviews among the parents and don’t cost too much, so we’d suggest checking them out. (We’ve reviewed some of them down below)
Other than suitcases for children, they also offer some stylish hardside suitcases. For instance, the Moonlight spinner in rose gold, or the Curio spinner in black. Also, we love the way that Belle Voyage fabric suitcase in the floral indigo sand print looks.
Most of their cheaper models don’t look too amazing and offer pretty basic looks. That’s why we’ve rated their design only at 11 out of 15 points. For instance, the Mia Toro Italy suitcases got 15 out of 15 points in the design.
Everyone knows how dependable Samsonite’s warranty is. But what most people don’t know is that American Tourister offers almost identical warranty terms to Samsonite, because they’re owned by Samsonite.
American Tourister’s warranty can be divided into three groups:
- Limited global warranty;
- Limited 10-year warranty;
- Limited 3-year warranty.
All warranty terms are identical, except for the lifespan of the warranty, which is either a lifetime, ten years, or three years.
These warranties don’t cover normal wear and tear, improper use, or airline damage. That’s the case with most luggage manufacturers. For instance, if your suitcase comes out on the luggage carousel with cracks, you wouldn’t be covered, because it’s classified as airline damage.
Pro tip. If your suitcase gets broken by the baggage handlers, immediately file a claim before leaving the airport. Airlines usually are responsible for broken luggage. However, sometimes they don’t cover wheels and handles, but each airline has a different policy.
If you ever need to ship your suitcase for a warranty repair, you have two options:
- Ship the bag yourself.
- Take your bag to the nearest American Tourister dealer and let them send the bag for you for 10$-15$.
The second option is handy, because the 10-15$ fee isn’t too huge, and American Tourister dealers / Samsonite stores are pretty standard in most large cities worldwide.
Additionally, if the warranty doesn’t cover the bag, you can purchase repair parts separately by contacting their customer support. Often, this is the cheapest solution.
First of all, we noticed that the prices listed on American Tourister’s official online store are higher than on Amazon or some local dealers. Before purchasing, we’d advise checking several sources and comparing prices.
Generally, their suitcases are priced relatively affordable. Although they’re slightly more expensive than Rockland or U.S. traveler, they’re cheaper than Samsonite, Travelpro or Delsey.
For instance, if you’re looking for a single suitcase, both hardside and softside, expect to pay around 60-100$. To compare, for Samsonite, you would spend around 100-180$.
Their luggage sets are less expensive and overall offer a pretty good deal. For a 3-piece luggage set, expect to pay around 50$ – 140$.
Given their durability and warranty, we rated their prices at 10 out of 10. Finding anything better at these prices is hard.
American Tourister luggage review: Our final verdict (74/100)
Overall, American Tourister offers some really solid options in the affordable price range. We’d go so far as to say that they make the best affordable suitcases in the market.
However, we wouldn’t recommend getting American Tourister if you’re planning on traveling frequently or for business mainly, because they lack the durability that other brands offer. We’d say that American Tourister is safe to purchase for kids, infrequent travelers and people who travel 3-10 times per year.
If you stick within these guidelines, you can expect their bags to last anywhere from five to ten years, which isn’t too bad. Also, you get a safe and dependable warranty, which is uncommon for affordable luggage brands.
That’s why we’ve rated their suitcases at 74 out of 100 points, which is the highest rating among affordable luggage brands so far.
|22 x 14.6 x 9.4 inches|
|5.73 lbs (2.59 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.3 / 5|
If you’re looking for a hardside carry-on from American Tourister, the Curio 20-inch is the best overall choice. It’s cheap, stylish, rigid, and comes with some nice features.
From the exterior, the bag looks pretty stylish and somewhat unusual. You shouldn’t have any problems spotting it on the luggage carousel, that’s for sure. It’s available in black, pink, purple, and white. In real life, the Curio felt somewhat flexible and looked matte, instead of the glossy finish that you see in the pictures.
Upon picking it up, I was a bit shocked how lightweight it is, weighing only at 5.73 lbs. It’s so lightweight because it’s made out of polypropylene, which is not that common for luggage. Usually, all hardsides are made from ABS or Polycarbonate. Both are heavier than polypropylene, but ABS is cheaper and less durable, and Polycarbonate is more expensive and more durable than polypropylene.
The Curio is fitted with four double spinner wheels, which are much more rigid than any other spinner wheels on American Tourister’s suitcases. You’ll find a regular handle and a retractable handle on top, however, you won’t find any handles on the sides. Some of their customers are not happy about the missing side handles, as it’s necessary for some situations.
The main compartment is fitted with a TSA approved combination lock, which is not that common for American Tourister suitcases. In fact, at these prices, most bags don’t come with TSA locks. Inside, the main compartment is made in a split-book style, where a fabric sheet separates both sides. Also, you’ll find compression straps and two inner pockets for storing smaller items. It’s a shame though that the case isn’t expandable.
For the price that it’s retailing at, the Curio 20-inch is a solid choice, aside from the missing side handles and no expansion zippers.
|23.5 x 14.5 x 10.2 inches|
|7.8 lbs (3.53 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
For the best fabric suitcase by American Tourister, we’ve chosen the Belle Voyage 21-inch carry-on. And it’s easy to understand why, given its price and amazing customer ratings.
The bag is available in two colors, Floral indigo sand, and blue denim. We think that the floral indigo sand is a clear winner, although the blue denim doesn’t look too bad either. In combination with the rose gold handle, logo, and zippers, the bag looks pretty sleek.
The Belle voyage is made from polyester, which is a fabric that’s used in cheaper bags. It’s the main reason why we haven’t rated this bag higher than 4.2. Aside from that, the bag is equipped with four spinner wheels, a retractable handle, and top, side, and bottom handles, which is nice.
Now when it comes to packing features, the Belle Voyage is pretty decent. First of all, the main compartment expands by 1.5 inches if you ever run low on space. Second, the main compartment is fitted with dedicated shoe pockets, a zippered compartment, and x-shaped compression straps. Lastly, you’ll find another front pocket where you can store your documents, passports, e.t.c. Not too bad, especially when compared with the packing options for other American Tourister bags.
Overall, It’s a cute looking fabric suitcase, that has all the features that you would expect to have on a 100$ bag, but costs way less. Combine that with fantastic customer feedback, and you can easily understand why it’s so popular.
|21, 25, and 29 inches|
|31.3 lbs (14.06 kg)|
|Editors rating: 3.9 / 5|
If you’re looking for an affordable 3-piece luggage set, the American Tourister AT Pop Plus 3-piece is a solid choice. Although this set is pretty basic, the durability is there, and the bags come with spinner wheels, which is not common for cheap luggage sets.
This set comes with a 21-inch, a 25-inch, and a 29-inch suitcase, and all three bags can be stored inside one another to save some space. The actual dimensions with wheels are as follows: 24 x 14 x 8 inches, 28 x 18 x 8.5 inches, and 32 x 20 x 9.5 inches. Note that the smallest bag is slightly too large to be used as a carry-on, but you might slip by in a few cases.
Overall, these bags aren’t too lightweight by today’s standards. However, they are pretty rigid. This set is made from polyester, but the actual material is pretty thick.
The packing features are pretty limited. The main compartment is fitted with one zippered mesh pocket and two compression straps. Outside, you’ll find two smaller pockets for storing smaller items. These bags are pretty spacious, but if you do manage to run out of space, the main compartment is fitted with expansion zippers, that add another two inches in width.
For an affordable luggage set, we’d suggest going with the AT Pop Plus instead of the cheaper Fieldbrook 2.
|22 x 15 x 9.5 inches|
|8 lbs (3.62 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4 / 5|
The American Tourister Moonlight 21-inch carry-on is another solid choice for a hardside carry-on. Especially if you’re specifically looking for a rose-gold suitcase, as these are not too common.
It’s priced similarly to the Curio hardside and has pretty similar features. The main difference is that this one is made out of ABS instead of polypropylene, which is slightly less durable and heavier. It’s the main reason why we’ve rated this bag only at 4/5, despite the excellent consumer ratings. We must say though, that this bag is much more rigid than the Curio because ABS isn’t as flexible and polypropylene.
From outside, the bag is fitted with top and side handles, a retractable handle, and four spinner wheels. Unfortunately, the bag doesn’t have any TSA locks. The Moonlight spinner is available in various patterns and colors, with our favorite being rose gold.
The main compartment is fitted with expansion zippers, which is nice because the Curio didn’t have any. The main compartment is split into two equal parts and divided by a zippered mesh sheet. Inside, you’ll find x-shaped compression straps and one smaller pocket for smaller items.
Overall, a solid choice for an affordable hardside carry-on. We’d say though, that the main reason why you would want to get is its looks, instead of features or durability.
|23 x 14.2 x 11 inches|
|7.1 lbs (3.22 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4 / 5|
If you thought that the Belle Voyage was too expensive, the American Tourister 4 Kix 21-inch is even cheaper. And to be frank, it’s not that different from the Belle Voyage.
Both are made from polyester, but the 4 Kix is slightly lighter than the Belle Voyage, which is a good thing. It’s also more sleek-looking and more professional than the Belle Voyage. It’s available in teal, purple, and black.
In features, it’s pretty similar as well. You get top, side, and bottom handles, a retractable handle on top, and four spinner wheels. Both bags are also equipped with expandable zippers to get an additional 1.5 inches in width. What we like about the 4 Kix more is that the handles are inlined with the bag, which is good for fitting the bag inside the airline measuring stations.
The packing features are also very similar. You get two outer pockets, and the main compartment is fitted with compression straps and one inner pocket for smaller items. The only difference is that you don’t get dedicated shoe pockets which the Belle Voyage has.
Overall, the bag is a solid choice between affordable fabric carry-ons. However, we don’t recommend getting it if you’re planning on traveling frequently. It’s made from cheap materials and should be used no more than 3-5 times per year.
|21.5 x 15 x 9 inches|
|6.88 lbs (3.12 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.1 / 5|
Although the American Tourister Star Wars 21-inch hardside carry-on doesn’t light up or make a buzzing sound when it opens up, it’s pretty cool nevertheless. Your first instinct would be to get one for your child, but maybe get one for your husband/wife as well, because most of its user base is actually adults.
It’s available in several cool-looking star wars graphics, like the Darth Vader, R2D2, C3Po, Chewbacca, and others. The graphics are pretty well designed and will attract attention wherever you go.
Aside from the good looks, the bag is pretty decently made as well. The shell is made from ABS. Although it’s slightly less durable than Polycarbonate, the frame felt sturdy when picked up in the Samsonite store.
In terms of features, it has the most basic ones: top and side handles, a retractable handle on top, four spinner wheels (Which actually rolled pretty smoothly), and expandable width. In packing features, it’s also pretty limited. The main compartment is split into two equal parts and is fitted with compression straps and a pocket for smaller items.
Although the Star wars hardside isn’t the best when it comes to durability or features, it’s decent enough. Combine that with the low price, epic designs, excellent customer reviews, and you get a suitcase that’s perfect for your kids or hardcore star wars fans.
|24 x 14.5 x 8 inches|
|6.8 lbs (3.08 kg)|
|Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
If you’re planning a trip to Disney Land, why not get a matching suitcase? The American Tourister Minnie mouse is another great option for your kids and has received amazing customer reviews.
It’s available in several Mickey Mouse designs, but we think that the Minnie Mouse Polka Dot looks the cutest. The outer frame is made from polyester, which isn’t too durable but does the job. Note that it’s slightly too large to be used as a carry-on, so you might be asked to check it in.
As you would expect from an affordable carry-on, it doesn’t come with advanced features. You’ll get four spinner wheels, expandable zippers, top, side, and bottom handles, and a retractable handle on top. The inner compartment is fitted with one large zippered mesh compartment and two shoe pockets. On the outside, you’ll also find two front pockets, which are useful for storing smaller items.
Overall, the bag is pretty limited, but it has received stellar reviews, is affordable and looks cute. If you get one for your daughter, we’re sure she’ll love it.