On Clever Journey, we’ve reviewed the most popular luggage brands and rated them on a 100 point scale.
No other site has gone into so much depth as we have.
Most people think that all luggage brands are basically identical. However, they really aren’t. Some are made for business travelers, some make affordable suitcases that are perfect for leisure, and some you should simply avoid altogether because they’ll break within months.
In this article, we’ll be comparing the best luggage brands in 2019, and letting you know the winners. If you want to know more about a particular brand, we’ve written in-depth reviews for each one.
Best in the business class: Briggs & Riley (92 out of 100 points | $400-$700)
Best in the affordable class: American Tourister (74 out of 100 points | $50-$150)
1. Briggs & Riley (92/100)
Briggs & Riley’s luggage is one of the most expensive options out there ($400 – $700.) That said, in the long run, they’ll be a smarter choice for frequent travelers because they’re expected to at last 10-20 years. Their luggage is incredibly well made and is backed up by a lifetime warranty against all physical defects.
Out of all the high-end brands (Tumi, Rimowa, Hartmann), they’re the best choice because of the lifetime warranty, rigid build quality, and exceptional customer reviews.
2. Chester (91/100)
Chester is a newer and less-popular luggage brand, that makes high-quality hardside suitcases at moderate prices ($200-$280). In the middle class, they’re hands-down the best choice for hardside luggage.
We got our hands on their Minima carry-on and performed several durability tests, which revealed that they’re very well-made. Not only that, but they also come with a 10-year warranty, and their products are reviewed exceptionally well.
3. Travelpro (90/100)
Between all the middle-class luggage brands, Travelpro comes out in second place at 90 points. If you’re looking for a middle-class fabric suitcase, Travelpro will be the best choice. Their most popular models are available in the $100-$300 price range.
Travelpro’s quality, customer reviews, and warranty terms are comparable to brands that cost twice as much. They’ll be especially useful for luggage crews, business travelers, and frequent travelers because their suitcases will easily last a decade.
4. Tumi (88/100)
Tumi is a high-end luggage brand that you can get for $400-$1200 a piece. They’re one of the most expensive brands out there, and we believe that they’re slightly overpriced. $100-$200 is just paid for the brand.
Their suitcases are very durable, good looking, and take the first place in features. But unfortunately, Tumi doesn’t offer a lifetime warranty, as opposed to the similarly priced Briggs & Riley, which is the main reason why they don’t take the first place.
5. Samsonite (85/100)
In the middle-class, Samsonite is the third-best choice, right after Travlepro and Chester. Although they aren’t as durable as Travelpro, Samsonite’s suitcases are very well made nevertheless. Their warranty is one of the best ones out there, and they have dealers and repair centers just about everywhere.
If you’re looking for a well-built, versatile, and somewhat cheap ($100-$250) suitcase for frequent travel or leisure, Samsonite is a solid choice.
6. Delsey Paris (83/100)
In quality, customer reviews, and features Delsey is very similar to Samsonite. The key difference is that Delsey is better-looking and offers more selection than Samsonite or Travlepro. However, because of their slightly-worse warranty terms and sometimes unjustified prices, they’re slightly behind on our rating scale at 83 points.
Delsey is a solid choice for frequent travel and leisure because they’re not too expensive ($100-$300,) very well made, and are backed up by a decent warranty.
7. Ricardo Beverly Hills (82/100)
Ricardo Beverly Hills is another medium class luggage manufacturer from the U.S. Their suitcases are very well made, come with smart packing features, and are somewhat affordable ($90-$200.) However, in reviews, quality, and warranty, they’re slightly behind Samsonite, Delsey, Chester, and Travelpro.
That said, they’re still a solid choice for frequent travel or leisure.
8. American Tourister (74/100)
In the affordable class, American Tourister ($50-$150) is the best choice. Their warranty is almost identical to Samsonite (because they’re owned by Samsonite), their quality and reviews are quite decent, and they’re really affordable.
That said, we wouldn’t recommend American Tourister’s suitcases for frequent travelers. They’ll be great for people who travel once or twice per year, and at that rate will last at least five to ten years.
9. Swiss Gear (70/100)
Swiss Gear is a somewhat popular affordable luggage brand from Switzerland ($60-$150.) They’re best known for making durable travel backpacks, which are pretty popular in the backpacking community. However, their suitcases aren’t as durable as their backpacks.
Compared to American Tourister, Swiss Gear’s suitcases are similarly durable, but are slightly more expensive, and have worse warranty terms.
10. Mia Toro ITALY (68/100)
Mia Toro is a lesser-known luggage brand from Italy. They’re best known for their artistic and vivid looks. In fact, on our rating scale, they take the first place in the design category.
However, we do believe they’re somewhat overpriced ($100-$300.) They present themselves as a luxury Italian brand, but their suitcases lack the durability and warranty that you would get from other brands in the medium class, like Samsonite, Delsey, Travelpro, or Ricardo Beverly Hills.
11. Rockland (63/100)
Rockland is the most popular affordable luggage brand in online retail stores. They make colorful and fun suitcases in really affordable prices (a single suitcase available for $40-$100, or a luggage set for $50-$120.)
That said, don’t expect them to last a long time. They’re great as a cheap short-term alternative, but their reliability and warranty aren’t particularly stunning.
How We Determined the Scores
Each luggage brand was rated on a 100-point scale. The total sum of points consisted of six categories: customer reviews, quality, features, design, warranty, and price. Each category had a different amount of points, based on how important it was.
Reviews (Max 30 Points)
Reviews and customer satisfaction scores should be the #1 thing to look at when you’re buying anything. It’s the best way to find out if the product really is as good as advertised.
To determine the score, we researched the customer reviews on various websites: Amazon.com, Sears.com, luggagepros.com, ebags.com, Kohl’s.com, travel forums, answers on quora.com, and other relevant sites. At least ten of their most popular luggage models were researched.
When we finished going through the reviews, we tried to find common similarities, their most popular flaws, e.t.c., and based our points off of that.
Quality (Max 20 Points)
Unfortunately, we couldn’t buy every brand’s products and test the quality for ourselves (but we’re planning to do that in the future.)
So we based our quality scores off everything that we could find online. While we researched 100’s of customer reviews, we got a good grip on how durable their products really are.
Additionally, we researched what materials the brand is using for their suitcases. And when we could, we tested some of the models for ourselves either by buying them or testing them physically at a local dealer.
Our final quality score was calculated by weighing all the factors mentioned above: Customer reviews, materials used, and when we could – tests performed at a dealer or home.
Features (Max 15 Points)
The features category represents how useful or innovative the brand’s products are.
First, we looked at what innovations they’re bringing to the table – innovative packing solutions, new materials, tracking systems, e.t.c.
After that, we looked at their most popular models and compared their features to the competition.
And finally, we determined how easy they are to pack into. For instance, positive features would be a large main compartment, expandable width, integrated TSA bags for liquids, laptop pockets, organizers, shoe pockets, compression straps, suiter compartments with hangers, TSA locks, e.t.c.
The final features score was determined based on all three points mentioned above.
Design (Max 15 Points)
For the design, we evaluated two factors and determined the final score off of that.
First, we rated how consistent they are with their style. We looked at their products and determined whether they’re known for a specific look (minimalistic, outdoors, professional, colorful, e.t.c.), or are they indistinguishable from others.
Second, we rated what’s their selection like. That is, are their products available in many colors and sizes, are they suitable for men and women, and is their style unique.
Warranty (Max 10 Points)
To determine the score in warranty, we evaluated two factors.
First, we evaluated the warranty itself. We read all the fine-print and compared that to other brands. It’s pretty common for luggage brands only to provide warranty for manufacturing defects, and nothing else, or do extensive repairs only in the first year.
Next, we researched other customers experience. While reading all the reviews, we paid attention to all the cases where the bags were damaged and had to be sent back. Some brands are really deceitful about their warranties, and while on paper their warranty is good, in reality, it isn’t.
Price (Max 10 Points)
To determine the price, we didn’t just look at the average prices. The final score was also based on the actual value that you get.
For instance, we rated Briggs & Riley’s price at 8 points (even though they cost $400-$700) because they offer a lifetime warranty against all physical defects. Their customers are using their bags for 10, 20, or more years, and in the long run, it pays off, compared to getting a new bag every three years.
At the moment, the luggage market is still saturated with a lot of old brands that are rarely innovating and improving.
But lately, a few new brands have joined in on the race, by making smart luggage or claiming to be better than everyone else.
It’s necessary for someone to step in and make a useful resource that compares all the main brands so that you, as the buyer, can make an educated purchase. (We’re trying to become that resource)
Although we haven’t covered all brands just yet, we’ll include more as we go. If you’d like for us to research any other luggage manufacturers, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best.