Sleek, smart, and durable, the suitcases made by Travelpro are some of the toughest ones that we’ve tested. We’re especially impressed with their build quality, features, and warranty. The affordable Maxlite 5 carry-on that we’ve been testing has already lasted five months of heavy use without any defects.
So what’s all the fuss about? In this Travelpro luggage review, we’ll find out exactly why they’re so popular among frequent flyers.
I’ve been testing the Travelpro Maxlite 5 international carry-on for a while now, and I must say that I’m impressed by the results. Before purchasing, I already read up that they’re almost indestructible, and so far I can confirm that this statement is pretty accurate.
So far, no other luggage brand has gained a higher rating on Clever Journey than Travelpro. The only thing that’s keeping them from having a 95+ review is their simple and down-to-earth design and their prices. Although the Maxlite 5 is comparably cheap, the other models can get petty costly.
Table of Contents
Travelpro’s Main Strengths
- Quality. Fortunately, Travelpro has realized that durability is one of the most valued factors by consumers when it comes to luggage. They have an in-ground testing facility where every product is hardcore tested before going public.
- Lifetime warranty. All of Travelpro’s suitcases come with either a limited lifetime warranty or a worry-free lifetime warranty. Rarely do luggage manufacturers dare to offer a warranty that’s longer than five years. Travelpro blows their competitors out of their shoes by providing a lifetime warranty.
Travelpro’s Main Weaknesses
- Design. Although It’s not a huge issue, I’d like to see more variety in how their suitcases are presented. Yes, they’re perfect for business and flight crews, but some models with patterns or brighter colors would be appreciated.
- Price. Although the Maxlite 5 is available for around one hundred dollars, expect to pay double for their more-advanced brothers.
Founded in 1987.
Aluminum handles, leather elements, polycarbonate, polyester fabric, ballistic nynon, high-density nylon
80 day return policy
Our Top-Rated Travelpro Suitcases
Maxlite 5 19-inch
Lightweight, affordable, spacious, and packed with smart features. The Maxlite 5 international carry-on is close to being the best affordable carry-on of all-time.
Platium Elite 21-inch
If you can afford to pay extra, get the Platinum Elite instead. It will literally last a lifetime due to the worry-free lifetime warranty.
Maxlite 5 21-inch
A hardside alternative to the maxlite 5 19-inch fabric carry-on. For a few dollars extra, you’ll get a durable hardside case and a TSA-approved combination lock.
Some background information about Travelpro
The story of Travelpro begins three decades ago, in 1987. It all started with Bob Plath, a Northwest Airlines pilot. While flying almost every day for several years, he knew that most popular suitcases could be improved (At the time, there were no wheels on any bags). He created the first luggage with wheels and a vertical handle, which quickly became the standard for all other brands.
Nowadays, their luggage is widely used by the airline staff of over ninety airlines. Above all, their luggage is made for professionals and frequent flyers, with quality being the number one priority. To achieve such durability, their cases are rigorously tested in their test lab to find any possible defects.
To find out what other people have to say, we researched all reviews that we could find on Travelpro, including the ones from Amazon, travelpro.com, Ebags, Macy’s, Kohls and others.
To be honest, it was hard finding any bad ones between all of the five-star reviews. This eventually evolved into an exciting game. I felt like I was on the hunt for finding anything even remotely close to a bad review. And I actually did manage to find a few bad reviews and pull some similarities out of them.
Between the few bad ones, I noticed that they’re all about these topics:
- Broken zippers or lost zipper heads;
- Tear in the fabric;
- Broken-off spinner wheels or damaged outer parts of the spinner wheels.
The average rating across all platforms was around 4.4-4.8 stars out of 5. All of the problems listed above happen rarely and most people are satisfied with their purchase. Even if a does occur, the case comes with a lifetime warranty, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Another thing that I noticed is that Travelpro has an almost cult-like following. A lot of people reported that they’d had the previous versions of their models for five to ten years and bought new ones just because they’re amazed at how long they’ve lasted. Also, it looks like Travelpro’s fame spreads through word of mouth like a virus because in a lot of instances people mention they’ve heard how durable Travelpro was and decided to give it a go.
To sum up, we rate their reviews at 28/30, just because sometimes (But rarely) some problems may occur.
Above all Travelpro values quality and durability. All of their luggage is thoroughly tested in their test labs before launching. For instance, they have a special machine for jerking a fully packed case for hours to test its durability. Or a machine that tests the spinner wheels by simulating a rolling movement on rocky terrains for several hours. (You can see more in the video below.) I believe that this testing facility is the main reason why their quality is top-notch.
Now for my own suitcase, the Travelpro Maxlite 5 carry-on. When I first received it, I was kind of amazed at how solid everything was. The seams and corners are well-protected with a plastic coating or thicker materials. The wheels and handles are attached with screws, so they can be easily swapped if anything goes wrong. The main retractable handle is firm and made of solid aluminum. And finally, the zippers look way thicker than what I’ve seen on other suitcases. It looks like they’ve listened to their customers because the zipper heads look pretty thick and should be hard to break off.
I went on a few trips using the Maxlite 5 and was intentionally hard on it. Although I didn’t check it in, I especially used brick roads, dirt roads and threw it around carelessly to see if anything would break off. After dragging through miles of dirt roads, the wheels are still looking as new. Not only that, there don’t seem to be any tears in the fabric or any other defects. Well done, Travelpro!
To sum up, I give their quality a maximum rating of 20 out of 20 because I haven’t seen any better alternatives at these prices.
When it comes to features, Travelpro isn’t lacking behind the most recent smart suitcases. Some more expensive options even include padded pockets for laptops, suiters, and USB chargers for all of your gadgets. I’ll go more into detail down below.
Their fabric cases are made out of high-density nylon or polyester fabric, that’s usually finished with a water-repellent finish. Also, the handles are made from airline-grade aluminum with increased strength. All of the corners, seams and other elements that are prone to most damage are protected with extra plastics or thicker fabric parts.
Various types of wheels are offered: single spinner wheels, skate wheels, double spinner wheels, and magnetic self-aligning wheels. Nevertheless, all of them are well-tested for miles before implemented.
My suitcase came with single spinner wheels, instead of double spinner wheels. After several uses on dirt and brick roads, the wheels look just as new. Another thing that should be mentioned is how smooth they’re rolling. If the floor is even, but not in level, the suitcase will start to roll by itself, and I’m not even kidding.
Smart packing options
Some intelligent packing options include zippered pockets, straps, mesh dividers, and waterproof pockets. Also, the Crew 11 and Platinum Magna 2 offers a full-width suitcase packer, so your suits are wrinkle-free.
Even the cheapest option that I own (Maxlite 5) comes with two outer pockets, two zippered mesh pockets inside and compression straps to keep your belongings in place.
Water and stain resistant fabric
Their fabric cases are usually coated with a water-repellant finish, so nothing gets wet after a light rain. Although it doesn’t mean that they’re waterproof, they’re resistant to small amounts of water.
It should be noted that the Maxlite 5 is made from Polyester, while the more advanced options, like Crew 11 and Platinum Elite are made from nylon, which is more durable.
Expandable width and TSA locks
Even the cheapest options include expandable width that allows the suitcase to expand in width for 25% additional packing space. However, the TSA-approved combination locks only come with hardside cases. (The same principle is used for almost all luggage brands)
Other smart features
- Removable TSA-compliant organizers for your liquids;
- Self-aligning magnetic spinner wheels;
- USB charging port for power-banks.
To sum up, their suitcases offer almost the perfect amount of features that you would ever need. We’ve rated their features a whopping 14 out of 15.
The suitcases are usually available in two, three or five colors. That is, black, grey, dark grey, blue, or purple. The only suitcases that come in some color variations are the ones that are offered in a combination of two colors. (For instance, the Travelpro Bold Rollaboard carry-on that comes in either black/blue or black/gray)
I’d like to see more colors offered, and possibly some patterns. Unique and colorful suitcases are much easier to spot on the conveyer belt, so it’s not only a preference of style but of real practical use as well.
Keeping that in mind, The luggage made by Travelpro gets only 10 out of 15 when it comes to design.
Travelpro offers two kinds of warranties for their carry-ons, checked bags, and garment bags: Travelpro limited warranty and Travelpro Worry-free warranty.
Travelpro limited lifetime warranty
- Crew 11
- Maxlite 5
- Bold by Travelpro
This warranty protects from defects in materials and manufacturing defects for the lifetime of your suitcase. The key difference from the worry-free warranty is that this one doesn’t protect from airline damage, accidents, or wear. That is, you won’t get a wheel replaced if it’s missing after you’ve received your checked bag. You will though if you notice a crack in the frame of the wheel, that’s there because of a manufacturing defect or improper materials used in the manufacturing process.
Pro Tip: If you notice your suitcase is damaged by the airline, report to the airports’ luggage center immediately. It’s the airlines’ responsibility to cover the fees for the damage that they’ve caused!
Travelpro worry-free warranty
- Platinum Elite
This warranty comes solely with the most expensive model that Travelpro offers. The key difference is that this warranty protects against airline damage and mishandling. In this case, you would receive a spare wheel if it was broken off while you’ve checked your bag. Just be sure to contact the company immediately after you’ve noticed the problems. (Also, some pictures won’t hurt.)
You can get a carry-on or a checked bag from Travelpro starting from 100$ and going up to 300$. When you manage to catch a sale, I’ve seen the cheapest model Maxlite 5 going as low as 79 $. In general, expect to pay a bit more than 100$ for Maxlite 5, a bit more than 200$ for Crew 11, and close to 300$ for the Platinum Elite.
Generally speaking, the Maxlite 5 is meant for casual travelers, the crew 11 for occasional business travelers, and the Platinum Elite for frequent flyers.
Now are the more expensive options like Crew 11 or Platinum Elite worth it? Both of them are made from stronger materials, come with suiters, and the Platinum Elite has some other cool features included. If you’re frequently flying, I’d say to go for the Crew 11 or Platinum Elite.
Though, what we’re most fanatic about is the Maxlite 5. It provides the perfect value-to-features ratio. We bought it because it’s their most popular one, and we wanted to see what all the hype was about. If I’d have to rate the Maxlite solely, it would receive 10/10 in price. However, when taking the more expensive options in mind, we give a total rating of 8 out of 10 for the price.
Travelpro luggage review: Our final verdict (90/100)
If you’re fine with having a down-to-earth suitcase that’s not flashy, Travelpro is simply the perfect choice. Although Samsonite or Delsey aren’t bad choices either, the luggage by Travelpro is just simply more durable while providing the same features.
Here are the key reasons why we think that they’re the best choice:
- A good price point for every traveler – Frequent, business or casual;
- A lifetime warranty;
- Top-notch durability;
- Almost perfect reviews;
- Impressive features.
Overall, we’ve rated them at 90 out of 100, which is the highest rating that any luggage manufacturer has gotten so far.
| 21.75 x 15.75 x 7.75 inches|
|5.3 lbs (2.4kg) weight|
|39 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.6 / 5|
So what’s new in the Travelpro Maxlite 5 carry-on? Well, it’s even lighter than the previous version Maxlite 4 (Around 1/2 lbs lighter). Aside from that, I couldn’t find any other noticeable improvements. But while we’re at it, I’m really impressed with how lightweight it is. It weighs only at 5.3 lbs, which is just ridiculous for a near-maxed out carry-on.
So yes, it’s pretty maxed out in size. Actually, when taking into account the wheels and handles, it measures at 21.75 x 15.75 x 7.75 inches, which is above the most common carry-on restriction of 22 x 14 x 9. Up to this point, I haven’t had any issues with it being slightly too wide, because the side handle is actually made from fabric and you can (with effort) squeeze it into the test-fitter, that all airlines usually have.
This carry-on comes with spinner wheels, which I must say, roll as smooth as warm butter. I already said this before, but on a flat marble ground which is not in perfect level, the Maxlite 5 would start rolling away by itself, because of it’s smooth spinner wheels. After fair use on rocky roads, the wheels still look as new, and I’m pretty impressed with how well they’re made.
Next, comes the aluminum handle. They say that it’s made from a military grade aluminum, that’s shaped in a way to improve its rigidness. It’s retractable and fixes in three various heights. For me personally, the highest one was just perfect. (I’m six foot one)
Some other features include expandable width, two front pockets, two inside zippered mesh pockets, compression straps for your belongings, a placeholder for the luggage tags, and additional top and side handles. If you’d ask me, that’s pretty advanced for a suitcase that costs only a hundred bucks.
| 23.5 x 14.5 x 9 inches|
|7.8 lbs (3.53kg) weight|
|46 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.8 / 5|
If you’re looking for the best first-class luggage that Travelpro has to offer, it’s the Travelpro Platinum Platinum Elite. Basically, it’s an upgraded Crew 11, with just a slightly higher price tag. With the main upgrade being the “Worry-free lifetime warranty” which is basically a warranty that covers more damage than their standard “Limited lifetime warranty.”
It’s available in four different business-like colors, and overall looks down-to-earth. That is until you open it up. Inside it’s packed with many different straps, waterproof pockets, full-length pocket for suits and other smaller pockets.
The outer fabric is made from high-density nylon with Duraguard coating. That, combined with the reinforced corners does improve the overall durability drastically. Other features include Dual Magnetic self-aligning spinner wheels, expandable zipper for additional 25% packing space, water-repellent coating, and a USB port for charging all of your devices. (Power bank not included)
In my opinion, this is a better option than the Crew 11. Mainly, because it’s just a few bucks more and in return, you get an improved lifetime warranty and a stronger build-quality. In the long run, any damages that may arise are more expensive to fix than a free warranty repair, so paying a few bucks extra is a no-brainer.
| 23 x 14.75 x 9 inches|
|6.1 lbs (2.76kg) weight|
|56 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.4 / 5|
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 hardside carry-on is much sleeker than the regular fabric Maxlite 4 carry-on. But expect to pay a few bucks extra, as it’s about 10-30 $ more than the fabric Maxlite 5 carry-on. I love the textured diamond-like finish that it has, available in five color options. Supposedly, the textured finish hides all of the smaller scratches that come naturally with years of use.
If you’re often flying with fragile items, like small musical instruments, glassware or wine bottles, It might bet a better idea to get the Maxlite 5 in hardside, as your items will be much better protected. The only downside is that it’s about one pound heavier than its fabric alternative.
Another improvement is the TSA approved combination lock. Aside from that, this suitcase comes with four durable spinner wheels, expandable width for 25% additional packing capacity, and a lifetime warranty. That’s pretty impressive given its low price point.
A key difference from the fabric Maxlite hides inside the main compartment. When you open up the Maxlite 5 hardside, it divides into two parts, the left one separated by compression straps and the right one completely isolated with a zippered mesh layer. With the fabric Maxlite, the main compartment isn’t divided into two parts, so it’s harder to reach items that are stored at the bottom of the case.
| 26 x 16.5 x 10.5 inches|
|8.2 lbs (3.71kg) weight|
|69 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.5 / 5|
If you value design over practicality, this case probably isn’t for you. Personally, I’m not a fan of how the Bold rollaboard looks, but it’s worth to take a look at, just because of its popularity, price, and quality. The Travelpro Bold Rollaboard has been around for a while now and has received the best Travelpro luggage reviews. (The best of any Travelpro bag)
This bag is perfect for 2-3 week trips with many layovers. Also, it offers many useful packing options — for instance, a water-resistant inner compartment to secure your valuables, various inner pockets and packing straps. If you run out of space, the Bold Rollaboard expands extra two inches for an additional 25% packing space.
Above all, it’s made to last. For instance, the wheels have additional guards, the aluminum handle is super durable, and it’s made from a stiff polyester fabric with a water-repellant coating. Most importantly, all of it is backed up by a lifetime warranty. If you’re traveling to third world regions, like Asia or India, the Bold Rollaboard will be a perfect choice. (Especially at its low price).
| 23.5 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches|
|7.2 lbs (3.26kg) weight|
|46 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.7 / 5|
The Travelpro Crew 11 carry-on is made for frequent business travelers that don’t want to overspend. Basically, it’s an economic version of the slightly more expensive Platinum Elite.
Right off the bat, this case also has double spinner wheels with a self-aligning feature, just like the Platinum Elite. Furthermore, it also comes with an expandable zipper that expands in width for an additional 25% packing capacity. Like the Platinum Elite, the Crew 11 also has a built-in suiter to keep your suits wrinkle-free, and a built-in USB port for charging your devices (Powerbank isn’t included).
Now let’s discuss the differences. The Crew 11 is made from ballistic nylon, instead of high-density nylon, and all around offers less protection than the first-class alternative. Next, the packing options are not quite as advanced as in the Platinum. The Crew 11 has fewer pockets and doesn’t feature a TSA approved bag for liquids. Finally, the key difference is in warranty. While both offer a lifetime warranty, the Platinum also covers airline damage, which is a serious advantage.
If you’re flying frequently, but don’t want to spend your whole bank on a single suitcase, you can shave off some dollars by purchasing the Crew 11 instead of Platinum Elite.
| 17.5 x 14.5 x 8.5 inches|
|5.5 lbs (2.49kg) weight|
|26 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.3 / 5|
The Maxlite 5 rolling underseat carry-on is perfect for shorter trips that take up no more than a few days. It has room to fill up a pair of shoes, a few days spare clothing, your gadgets, and other items. The best thing about it is that it fits under most airline seats, even in the smaller domestic flights. Because of this, all of your items will be easily accessible during the whole flight.
This bag also has some cool features included. In it, you’ll find a removable TSA transparent bag for storing your liquids. (Although some have said that it’s not that easy to remove if required during TSA screening.) In the main compartment, there’s also a padded sleeve for your tablet, e-reader, or a smaller laptop. You can store all of your smaller gadgets in the front pocket, because it has lot’s of compartments and sleeves for smaller items, like your phone, headphones, a pen, a power bank, e.t.c. If the front pocket isn’t enough, there are also two side pockets to store a water bottle or your glasses.
From the exterior, it’s made from a durable polyester fabric coated with Duraguard coating, that repels moisture. The bag comes with two inline skate wheels, a retractable power scope handle, and a rear strap. (The rear strap fits around the handle of a larger suitcase, securing the smaller rollaboard on top. If you’re using a checked bag in combination with the Maxlite underseat rollaboard, you will have to pull only one bag, instead of two.)
Although the bag supports only 26L of items, it’s lightweight and is available to purchase pretty cheaply, making it a good choice for a smaller in-flight bag.
| 17 x 13 x 8 inches|
|3.8 lbs (1.72kg) weight|
|29 L volume|
|Editors rating: 4.2 / 5|
If you’re a frequent flyer, you might find a backpack that fits under most airplane seats more useful than a carry-on. With the Crew Executive Choice backpack Travelpro tries to fill this need for business travelers and frequent flyers, and I must say that they’re doing a darn good job. Although the bag is pretty expensive, it will last a long time and has all the features and smart packing options that you would want when flying several times per week.
Right off the bat, It offers the most common features that a decent business travel backpack should have, like an RFID pocket (Credit cards and passports protected against identity theft), a padded pocket for your tablet or laptop (it actually has two pockets, one for a 15.6 inch laptop and one for your tablet), and several smaller pockets and compartments for convenient packing.
It’s made from ballistic nylon coated with Duraguard coating, which protects against stains, abrasions, and liquids. To further make the bag look more professional, it has some leather exterior elements, like a leather handle and two leather straps on the front. Lastly, I like that this bag has a rear strap that you can use to secure your bag on top of a suitcase. If you’re checking a suitcase and using this bag as a carry-on, I’m sure this feature will come in handy when your back hurts from a long flight.
Another cool feature is the “Checkpoint friendliness.” Basically, you can open up your bag and let the TSA screening agents inspect your laptop. Because of this feature, there is no need to remove your laptop every time you go through security. Finally, this bag also has a USB charging port. (No power bank included) Overall, a pretty advanced bag that’s perfect for frequent travelers.