Whether it's getting tossed around on airport turnstiles or dragged to various remote locations, your luggage really takes a beating while you travel. If you want the most durable luggage, you need to make sure the materials are tough and the construction is built to last.
Generally speaking, hardshell luggage is more durable than soft-shell, although there are some exceptions. If you go with hardshell, polycarbonate is usually the best choice for material (and, conveniently, the most lightweight). If you prefer soft-shell, look for rugged fabrics, like nylon with a high denier.
Aside from materials, you'll also want to look at the wheels. If your luggage doesn't roll smoothly, it will really slow you down. Spinner wheels rotate a full 360 degrees and typically offer more agility compared to roller wheels. But they aren't as smooth on uneven surfaces, like sidewalks or cobblestone, and they're more vulnerable to breakage. For that reason, some people prefer roller wheels — it really comes down to personal preference.
Lastly, look for extras features like sturdy handles (aluminum telescoping styles are the most reliable), as well as organizational pouches and pockets. Below, I've gathered a list of the most durable luggage, according to lots of research and reviews. Take a look, and get ready for your next vacation.
1. The Best Carry-On
Samsonite Luggage Inova Spinner
Dimensions: 22 by 16 by 8.5 inches
Weight: 6.61 pounds
What's great about it: Constructed with 100-percent polycarbonate, this extra tough carry-on luggage is built to withstand heavy wear and tear. In addition to its rugged exterior, the sleek hardshell suitcase features easy-glide double wheels that offer plenty of pivot. Inside, it has cross-straps to secure your belongings, while the exterior boasts flat, space-saving handles and a TSA-approved security lock.
2. The Best Mid-Sized Luggage
Delsey Helium Aero Spinner Trolley
Dimensions: 24.75 by 15.25 by 10.25 inches
Weight: 8.1 pounds
What's great about it: With almost 500 reviews, this popular mid-sized suitcase is a fan favorite, largely due to its extreme durability. It's made from 100-percent polycarbonate, and it withstood impressive testing by Skyscanner (including getting hit with a sledgehammer and crushed by a car). Amazon reviewers agree about the toughness, calling it "high quality" and "quite durable." In addition to being sturdy, it features smooth, 360-degree spinner wheels and organizational components like lined pockets, web straps, and a zippered divider.
3. The Best Full-Sized Luggage
Flieks Aluminum Frame HardShell Luggage
Dimensions: 32.1 by 20.9 by 12.2 inches
Weight: 13.4 pounds
What's great about it: This full-sized hardshell luggage is built with a blend of high-quality polycarbonate and ABS plastic, making it durable and long-lasting. The wheels are 360-degree spinners that, according to reviewers, handle smoothly without making a lot of noise. It has a sturdy aluminum handle, a secure TSA lock, a regular lock, and multiple organizational pockets and pouches. As a bonus, the suitcase is also available in 20- and 24-inch sizes. The only drawback is that it's slightly heavier than some of the other options on this list.
4. The Most Waterproof
Pelican Elite Luggage BA22
Dimensions: 21.64 by 13.87 by 9 inches
Weight: 9.96 pounds
What's great about it: If you're looking for something that's 100-percent waterproof (a fairly rare thing for luggage), this durable Pelican suitcase is fully submersible up to 1 meter underwater. The exterior is built with double-wall polypropylene construction, and it can withstand up to 1,500 pounds of weight, making it exceptionally tough and sturdy. The suitcase also features sturdy spinner wheels and a watertight O-ring seal to help keep your valuables dry. Available in three sizes, it's perfect for cruises, boating trips, or other wet climate adventures.
5. Also Great: This Convertible Luggage
Big Agnes Stagecoach Waterproof Rolling Duffel Bag
Dimensions: 21 by 13.8 by 9.5 inches
Weight: 15.8 pounds
What's great about it: I personally own this rolling duffel bag, and not only is it extremely tough and durable, but it's super convenient, too. That's largely due to the innovative design that allows it to be a rolling suitcase, a duffle bag, and a backpack all in one, depending on how you configure the padded straps. Waterproof and highly resistant to punctures and abrasion, it features rugged 420-denier nylon on the outside, while the bottom is built with compression-molded EVA and 1,200-denier polyester, making every element strong and durable. Available in two different sizes, the only real drawback is that it's the heaviest option on this list.
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