Whether you're planning a specific trip or preparing for a lifetime of wanderlust, the best luggage for 2020 ensures that you're well-packed and ready to go. That said, especially when you're shopping online, you can't just pick a color and punch in your credit card information. A little research is in order to ensure that you're buying the best suitcase for you.
The first thing you'll want to consider is size. If you're flying, the dimensions of your luggage will dictate whether or not you have to check your bag, which could result in added wait time when you reach your destination. For most American flights, the accepted carry-on luggage size is roughly 9 by 14 by 22 inches or smaller. If you're not flying, dimensions are less important, but larger suitcases are typically preferred for longer trips — especially if you won't have access to a washing machine.
Then there's the matter of hard-shell versus soft-sided luggage. Both come with their pros and cons, but essentially, hard-shell luggage is better-suited to protect valuable items, while soft-sided luggage is usually lightweight and flexible, so it can adjust to fit various compartments and contents.
Finally, if you're going to invest in the best luggage, you'll probably want something that includes the coolest, most advanced features. Most high-end bags now include built-in locks that protect your belongings against thieves and pick-pockets. (Keep in mind that if you're flying, all locks need to be TSA-approved; this means that if security has to check your bag for any reason, they can open the lock using a special device.) Other high-tech features include compression pockets that maximize your packing space and built-in power banks so you can charge your phone on the go.
With all that in mind, here are the absolute best suitcases and luggage sets for 2020.
The Overall Best Carry-On: Away's The Bigger Carry-On
The Bigger Carry-On from Away offers all the durability and advanced convenience of their universally-sized carry-on — just with more room for your clothing and travel essentials. This hard-shell suitcase is made from durable polycarbonate and has whisper-quiet spinner wheels, an interior compression system, and a telescopic handle.
That said, unlike other brands, it has two additional brilliant features: combination-locking zippers and an ejectable external battery that charges two devices at once. (And don't worry — everything is TSA-approved, compliant with all airline policies, and comes with a lifetime warranty.) You can get this carry-on in 16 different colors and even personalize the case or the included luggage tag with your initials.
Away The Bigger Carry-On, $245, Away
The Best Checked Luggage: Tumi Latitude Extended Trip Packing Case
The unspoken slogan for Tumi's Latitude extended trip packing case? Go big or go home. After all, if you plan on checking your luggage anyway, you might as well take advantage of the extra packing room. This suitcase measures a whopping 30 by 20 by 12 inches to provide ample space for all of your travel essentials.
The interior offers two packing compartments, various zipper pockets, a hanger bracket, and compression straps, all of which are lined with a durable, water-resistant fabric. On the outside, you'll find a three-stage telescopic handle, a TSA-approved combination lock, and four easy-glide wheels that can handle the weight. One reviewer wrote, "This is an excellent piece of luggage in that it is lightweight yet substantial," and judging from the many five-star reviews, others tend to agree.
Tumi Latitude Extended Trip Packing Case, $895, Tumi
The Most Affordable Luggage Set: American Tourister 4-Piece Set
If you're searching for budget-friendly luggage, look no further than this four-piece Fieldbrook set from American Tourister. For $140 or less (depending on the color), you receive an upright checked bag, an upright carry-on, a duffel with wheels, and a boarding bag. All of the aforementioned pieces are made from soft-sided polyester and have multiple pockets — both interior and exterior — to keep you organized while you're on the go. Finally, push-button handles and in-line skate wheels ensure effortless movement from point A to point B.
American Tourister 4-Piece Fieldbrook Set, $140, Amazon
The Most Secure, Durable Luggage: Rimowa Original Cabin Suitcase
Looking for an investment that'll last? Rimowa's original Cabin suitcase combines craftsmanship and innovation for a piece that'll stand up to each and every adventure.
This German-engineered luggage is made from quality-tested, anodized aluminum for a sturdy shell that's both abrasion-resistant and lightweight. It also features well-made, TSA-approved security locks, ball-bearing wheels, a flex divider to prevent your belongings from shifting during transit, and a handle that adjusts to any height, so you're not limited by specific stages.
Purchase this one in black, titanium, silver, scarlet, or marine.
Rimowa Original Cabin Suitcase, $1,150, Rimowa
The Best Rolling Duffle Bag: Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Duffle
Luggage doesn't have to be rectangular and hard-shelled in order to be useful. In fact, reviewers call the Briggs & Riley upright duffle "perfect for long weekend getaways." It has a roomy interior, a garment-securing panel, and a wide selection of compartments, all accessible via a U-shaped zippered top — but unlike your average duffel, this one moves like a suitcase.
The aluminum telescopic handle and low-profile wheels mean it rolls along with minimal effort on your part. Finally, thanks to the self-repairing zippers and reinforced corner guards, reviewers "know [they] will use it for many years" to come.
Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Duffle, $499, Briggs & Riley
The Best Overall Value: Samsonite Omni Expandable Luggage Set
This set from Samsonite packs quite a punch in terms of value. It comes with three pieces of luggage, all expandable and made from hard-shell polycarbonate — and all for less than $350 in any color. That said, don't be fooled by the reasonable price tag. Reviewers say, "I'm writing this several years after my purchase and I'm still thrilled with the quality and durability of this luggage set."
Buyers also write that it's a great buy for the "whole family" or an "avid traveler." That's because you receive a 20-inch suitcase, a 24-inch suitcase, and a 28-inch suitcase, all with spinner wheels and push-button handles. Each one has TSA-approved locking zippers and comes with a 10-year warranty, too. In short, it's a smart and practical purchase for your next holiday vacation.
Samsonite Omni Expandable Luggage Set, $300, Amazon
The Best Backpack: Upland Up For Anything Backpack
Combine style and sensibility with Upland's Up For Anything backpack. Available in Domino Black and Scout Tan, this dual-shoulder bag is perfect for your next overnight stay or as a carry-on item on a flight. In fact, it's so sophisticated, you could even use it as an accessory for your work commute.
It's made from lightweight canvas, but the leather detailing gives it an elevated look and added durability. It also has a magnetic-closure front pocket, three interior compartments, and a drawstring closure that opens up wide for accessibility. Last but definitely not least, padded, adjustable shoulder straps ensure comfort no matter who you are.
Upland Up For Anything Backpack, $325, Paravel
The Most Stylish Luggage: Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen
It may meet the dimension requirements for the standard carry-on, but don't be fooled — this is not your average suitcase. The X Dusen Dusen was created by Brooklyn-based designer Ellen Van Dusen and manufactured by Arlo Skye, and the collaboration resulted in one of the most fashionable pieces of luggage ever made.
Its sunflower-yellow, impact-resistant exterior pairs with a colorful, anti-microbial lining for bold style and practicality simultaneously. It also offers an accordion front pocket where you can stash your hoodie, passport, or headphones, so you can grab them in a snap. Lastly, you get a blazing-fast USB charger, a TSA-approved combination lock, and whisper-quiet wheels.
Basically, if you're looking for an Instagram-friendly color scheme that takes you a split-second to find on the conveyor belt, this one's it.
Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen, $375, Arlo Skye
We hope you found the perfect luggage for your next trip! So you know, Lonny may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.