The best luxury luggage is more than just a functional item designed to haul around clothing. Not only is it a straight up fashion statement unto itself, but it will last you many years of frequent travel.
Whether you are traversing the globe for work or play, a stylish functional suitcase should factor high up in your list of essentials.
Thing is, though, scouring the market for the best luxury luggage that jives with both your individual travel needs and personal style is not always easy.
You have to ask yourself some difficult questions like:
What luggage size is most ideal for the type of travelling I do?
Which material do I want the luggage to be?
What features are a must-have, and which ones are optional?
What colour should I opt for?
Which luxury brand should I choose?
With an endless stream of designer brands now infiltrating the luxury luggage market, the decision continues to become even more flummoxing.
Remember, no matter how expensive it is, luggage is not created equal. And if you are planning to shell out a significant sum on a luxury suitcase, then it best be worth it.
Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Luxury Luggage
There are several things you need to keep in mind when purchasing designer travel bags. Dimensions, weight and looks are all important; as are extra features that set the luggage apart.
The type of suitcase also matters, and your decision here will involve deciding between a hard-side case and soft-sided luggage.
It’s a good idea to buy a carry-on that meets both domestic and international requirements.
While regulation size depends on the airline you are flying, the maximum inches allowed by majority of airlines is 22 x 18 x 10 (length x width x height (in inches)).
Some European airlines have smaller carry-on size restrictions, as do many budget airlines, so if you can, aim for anything not exceeding 21 x 13 x 9. You can also check requirements from your favourite options to see how much is allowed.
Keep in mind that the outer dimensions of your luggage won’t always reflect the interior capacity.
Features like four wheels and a telescopic handle will eat some of your luggage’s interior space.
As you too well know, weight is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a travel suitcase.
The very last thing you want is to waste a huge portion of your luggage allowance with the weight of your bag. While some heavy luxury cases may look chic, they can rob you of the opportunity to fit in as many items as you would ideally need.
This can also prove costly for you in the long run as not only will you have to spend lavishly on the suitcase, but you will also incur extra expenses in luggage when you travel. The alternative is to leave some items behind, and that can be a bummer.
Made from fabric, soft-side luggage is usually lighter than its hard-side equivalent, although some hard-side offerings from the likes of Samsonite could be an exception as they make use of the brand’s patented Curv® technology.
- Looks and Style
Looks do matter for suitcases, and perhaps even more in the case of luxury bags. Generally, though, most designer luggage doesn’t look as blah as the industrial-looking designs of the past, although there will always be some that go against the grain.
You will find all sorts of styles among suitcases in the high end of the price spectrum, from vibrant floral patterns to geometric designs, flashy designs to subtler looks.
The best choice is entirely dependent on your personality and personal preferences. However, darker tones tend to be more practical, more so in relation to soft-shell luggage.
Unique designs, on the other hand, stand out, making it easy to spot them on the carousel. This saves you time and helps avoid mix-ups without having you go out of your way to ensure your bag stands out.
- Hard Shell or Soft Side?
The choice of material is a personal preference.
If you are considering hard shell luggage, polycarbonate is a good option because it is both lightweight and durable (it’s scratch-resistant). Alternatives include aluminium (heavier) and ABS plastic (less durable).
For softer fabric cases, nylon is never a bad material especially if water resistance and durability factor high for you.
Don’t underestimate the importance of good wheels on a suitcase.
Four wheels are better than two wheels, unless the item you are eyeing isn’t available in four wheels.
Better yet, insist on wheels that can do a 360-degree spin. After all, you are spending a lot of money on a luxury suitcase, so some of these things should be bare minimum requirements.
The best luxury luggage is one that does not compromise on security. Of course, that’s what everyone claims, but you know secure luggage when you use it.
Insist on TSA-approved locks as these tend to be more secure than most others.
- Waterproof Capabilities
A suitcase with waterproof capabilities will always be a plus. You never know when it might come in handy.
Characteristics of Luxury Luggage
Comparisons between luxury suitcases and other cheaper versions will always be made. The million-dollar question is, why would you consider digging deeper in your wallet for a luxury bag?
The answer to this question can be summed up in a few characteristics that constitute all the difference.
Excellence: The one true thing about luxury is that there is no compromise on quality. You will pay through the nose for it because there are no concessions with regard to the craftsmanship, material used, or general standards.
Rarity: These days, there seems to be a proliferation of luxury goods as people’s spending power around the world increases. Still, with luxury baggage, as with most top-end products, there is a limitation to their availability. They are not as ubiquitous as other run-of-the-mine luggage.
Authenticity: The quality of luxury goods speaks for itself, and travel bags are no different. There is no reproduction of the material involved, and whilst at times flashy, the construction is simple as opposed to screaming for your attention.
Price tag: High cost does not automatically translate to luxury. More often than not, though, luxury goods come with a steep price, and this is something you will most likely encounter in luxury luggage. You have to pay for that quality, you know – not to mention, the prestige of the brand.
The Best Luxury Luggage Worth your Investment
When shopping for the best luxury luggage to take along on your travels, there are so many options to choose from that it can confusing if it’s not clear what you are in the market for.
To make your decision easier, we put together some nice options that weave style and functionality.
Here are our top picks.
This is almost always the first name that most people think about when you talk about quality, reliable and durable luggage.
Founded in Denver, Colorado, Samsonite has been a mainstay in the luggage industry since 1910, a period during which it has consistently charted the way forward in the travel industry with a slew of many firsts.
These include new materials for cases, new shapes and locking systems, among a host of other innovations.
The brand’s more recent releases come fitted with four-wheel spinners and the company’s patented Curv Woven technology. This is a reinforced but ultra-lightweight design that enhances the experience of travelling light without fretting about wear and tear.
Curv allows Samsonite suitcases to literally withstand anything you throw at them, including running a tractor over them.
The Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage gives you all these. And then some.
This is a four-wheeler luggage that is a cinch to move around with at the airport. It rolls around easily so much so that people suffering from arthritis have found it an ideal carry. That’s due to its modern 4 spinner wheels which are smooth and designed to last a lifetime.
Not only that, this bag is so stable and robust that younger children can hop on and ride along.
That’s not to mean the Samsonite Winfield 2 is a cumbersome bag.
The biggest (28-inch spinner) weighs 5.2kg (11.5 pounds), while the medium size (24-inch spinner) comes in at 4.2kg (9.3 pounds). The smaller one (20-inch spinner) weighs a paltry 3kg (6.7 lbs).
Yes, that’s three size options to choose from, depending on your needs.
The Samsonite Winfield 2 can be purchased individually or you could opt for a set. The three-piece set, for instance, gives you all three at a fraction of the cost of acquiring each individually.
Not only is this ideal for families, but single travellers do not have to spend again on luggage in their lifetime by investing in the complete set.
With a nylon interior, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage is constructed from polycarbonate, as with many Samsonite offerings, which makes it strong as to protect sensitive items like a stack of wine bottles.
At the same time, polycarbonate is very lightweight, which makes it possible to pack more stuff without exceeding airline weight restrictions.
What’s more, the hardside set has this timeless look achieved through its clamshell design and impressive brush stroke colouration. It is water-resistant and comes in a selection of colours ranging from eye-catching hues to more subdued accents.
There is a built-in TSA code lock, so you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing your keys while on travel.
The Samsonite Winfield 2 is as good a luxury luggage investment as they come. While a little pricey, it’s one those decisions you are always happy you made. And you can be sure it will earn you plenty of compliments on every trip you make.
- Strong build that will provide effective protection for your valuables, including fragile items
- Incredibly light suitcase
- 4-wheel spinner wheels make it easy to whisk around
- Unique design and colour schemes make it easy to spot
- Water resistant suitcase
- Lock system works great
- 3-piece set gives you a chance to save money
- Highly durable
- The shell is not impervious to scratches
The Samsonite Cosmolite collection was the first to debut the luggage giant’s revolutionary Curv technology.
Think of the Samsonite Cosmolite as you would a Mustang GT350. While it has been around for a while, it still remains a coveted product and is more than capable of holding its own against the most recent top releases of the day.
To put it simply, if you are planning to buy luxury luggage, you can never go wrong with the Samsonite Cosmolite.
The suitcase comes in an elegant design you can be sure will earn you some envious glances everywhere you go. It features defined lines flowing northward from the bottom while curving outwards.
The Samsonite Cosmolite comes with a telescopic handle and 4 smooth-rolling silent wheels that can do a full 360, making even the largest size extremely easy to push around without making too much of a fuss.
It is available in 5 different sizes, ranging from the humongous Spinner XXL (86 cm – 144L) to the smallest Spinner S (55 cm – 36L).
Amazingly, despite the ample capacity, the Cosmolite weighs extremely light, with the largest coming in at a paltry 3.4 kg (7.5 lbs) making this suitcase the perfect travel companion. Mind you, this is an aspect that has earned the Cosmolite rave reviews.
Security should be a non-issue with the German-manufactured luggage, thanks to its TSA combination lock.
It is available in a range of five fashionable colours, complete with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Sleek design
- Easy to push spinner wheels
- Great capacity, with five size options to choose from
- Double compartments make for easier packing and enhance accessibility
- Built-in combination lock that is TSA-compliant
- 10-year warranty
- Multiple stand-out colour options
- Only downside we could think about is the cost. But it is certainly worth it
If you are looking for a suitcase that screams class and sophistication, you will love the Unitravel Vintage Luggage Set.
The classy two-piece luggage set commands attention with its retro vibes and gives off the feeling that you are probably some esteemed personality from somewhere.
Indeed, the Unitravel Vintage Luggage resembles the Globe Trotter down to the t, the suitcase that’s been used by prominent persons like the Queen of England herself and Sir Winston Churchill.
Only in this case, you will be sporting the look at a fraction of the price. But that’s not to mean the Unitravel is some luxury knock-off.
Fetching north of £200 for a set of two (one large, one small) the shell is made from micro-fibre PU leather paired with a lightweight vulcanised fibreboard. The end result is not only a sophisticated look, but also a truly strong travelling trunk that promises years of service.
It is light, waterproof and you will love the fact that the shell is scratch-resistant.
What else you will love about the Unitravel Vintage Luggage is that it does not come in a single fixed size, bar the smaller-sized 30-cm bag which is paired with all four available size options. There is XL (71 cm – 55L); L (66 cm – 44L); M (58 cm – 36L) and S (55 cm – 31L).
This makes it ideal for people of different heights and needs.
The Unitravel Vintage 2-PC luggage comes in different colours. It has a 3-step telescopic handle, magnetic buckle and combination lock.
Its durable and silent 360 spinner wheels make for effortless and quiet wheeling even on rough pavements.
This is as much a fashion accessory as it is a practical item.
- Regal looks
- Durable material that is waterproof and scratch-resistant
- Amazingly light for such a solid build
- 360-degree dual mute wheels
- High quality polyester lining
- TSA locks
- 4 size options with a smaller bag thrown in for good measure
- Some buyers have complained about the wheels being of a poorer quality than expected
Delsey has over the years endeared itself to many travellers for its elegant suitcases that are offered at very attractive price points. Well, they do fetch a tidy sum, but they often strike the perfect balance between style and value for dosh.
The Delsey Paris Chatelet is no different.
The faux leather accent used through the suitcase gives it not just a luxurious feel, but also makes it timeless and classic – just what you need when you are investing in a designer suitcase you plan to use for years to come.
The Chatelet collection gives you a choice of hard-shelled and soft-side pieces (all spinners) and the former, under which the subject of our discussion falls, is made of 100% Virgin Polycarbonate.
It is fitted with top and side carry handles, which is one of the many practical aspects of this bag. Anyone who has used luggage from the French brand can attest that practicality is something their products are synonymous for.
Just look at these other aspects…
The luggage is fitted with four wheels, with the front two lockable through a brake function that you activate such that you can roll the bag on its two rear wheels whenever it suits you.
The double spinner wheels themselves are good quality. They run silently and boast great manoeuvrability.
Weighing only 3 kilos (6.6 lbs), that is not only light for a bag of this quality, but also means the luggage won’t eat up much in the way of your allowed cargo limit.
The Delsey Paris Chatelet measures 21 inches, so it will have no issue fitting in the overhead bin as that is the size most airlines regard as a carry-on.
What’s more, a lavish red lining covers the interior, with a pair of packing compartments that keep your items in place, with the help of a zippered mesh divider and tie-down straps. TSA locks on the side of the luggage help keep everything secure.
As proof of the quality of the product, Delsey offers an astounding 10-year limited warranty on the luggage, and we have to say, it doesn’t get any better than that.
A beautiful design, functionality, and good warranty. The Delsey Paris Chatelet is well worth your money.
- Extremely well built
- Classy design with vintage colour selections
- Braking system for front wheels is thoughtful
- TSA lock and identification plate
- Worldwide limited 10-year warranty
- Exterior prone to stains
If you are on a budget, the Delsey Helium Aero is another great offering from Delsey you may want to consider.
Regarded as one of the best brands in the luggage business, Victorinox has carved a name for themselves as makers of luggage that surpasses industry standards.
Which really comes as no surprise for a brand famous the world over for its Swiss army knives and luxury watches…
One of their signature releases is the Victorinox Spectra 2.0, a hardshell with an easily accessible front compartment that is ideal for stashing items you would need in easy reach – laptop, jacket, water bottle and such.
At quick glance, the Spectra 2.0 does not seem to veer off from most of the offerings from the Swiss brand. It is not every day that you come across a black suitcase that truly captivates you, but the Victorinox Spectra 2.0 will just take your breath away.
It looks elegant to a fault, with a stylish matte finish draping the 100% pure Bayer polycarbonate shell, down to the four dual-caster wheels.
It has a versatile range of motion which gives you the option to either push it on all four or pull on two wheels.
This sleek, minimalist exterior is not only arresting, but also extremely tough and resistant to scratches – that was even more important for this particular suitcase, and credit to Victorinox for keeping it so.
The Spectra 2.0 comes in additional colour choices, including Red and Navy. The luggage is also available in different sizes (XL, L, M, Carry-on, and Compact Carry-on), so customers have a deep pool to choose from depending on need.
The largest bag weighs just under 6 kg, with the compact carry-on coming in at a little less than 3kg. The bags have a measure of expendability, so they are more versatile than most other options on this list.
Did we mention it has a TSA lock system?
It does, but that’s not all. Victorinox have gone a step further and have both a lock combination recovery program and bag tracking program known as Swiss Tracker. Both can only be a big bonus.
The Victorinox Spectra 2.0 is not only one of the most useful and reliable bags you will ever buy, but owning this mean fella means you will be picking up probably the best looking trunk in baggage claim.
You will get a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Ultra-tough polycarbonate shell
- One of the best hardshell designs on the market
- Quartet of unidirectional wheels
- Water resistant
- Integrated TSA lock and lock combination recovery program
- Swiss Tracker luggage tracking program is a plus
- 10-year worldwide limited warranty
- Wheels are some of the best in the market but have been faulted for rattling when using on sidewalks and bumpy surfaces. They are silent on the smooth floors of the airport terminal, however
Other Notable Mentions
It is rare that you get to hear a bad thing about Briggs & Riley, and that’s a track record the New York-based luggage maker has painstakingly built with quality release after quality release since its inception in 1993.
If we could choose one soft-sided luggage, it would be hard to leave out the unisex Expandable Cabin Bag.
This is one of the chicest bags anyone can invest in and still look classy even after 20 years – male, female, young, old; doesn’t really matter.
Speaking of years, Briggs & Riley has a lifetime guarantee on their luggage they call ‘Simple as that’ that covers all kinds of damage, even those caused by the airline!
Matter of fact, this is the only luggage manufacturer that offers its customers unconditional lifetime guarantee, and we need say no more.
This is a warranty you will enjoy on all their products, including one of their top hard shells in the Sympatico, a sleek range they offer in an array of sizes and more than 6 colour options.
It costs a pretty penny, like most luggage from Briggs & Riley, but you can be sure you are covered on the quality and durability (not to mention looks) department.
For many of us, that’s all we really need in a travel suitcase.
Founded in 1975 by Charlie Clifford, TUMI as a brand name is derived from the Peruvian ceremonial knife used for sacrifices.
Frequent fliers of the 80’s and 90’s will be familiar with the brand, as would many hippies from the 70’s era who swore by the company’s products at the time.
The Jersey-based company is always au courant with the industry’s latest trends, and that’s how they have managed to stay at the top without ever losing their appeal.
This is clearly evident in the TUMI Latitude Hard-Sided Luggage, a suitcase with a wealth of internal pouches and recognisable for two things in particular: an extremely high quality polycarbonate construction and a unique water-inspired ripple look.
It is one of the most versatile bags in the market as far as available sizes go (there are a staggering 17 different varieties), each coming in three separate colours.
Costly yes, but the TUMI Latitude Hardside is hard to match, quality-wise.
The best luxury luggage will no doubt have you digging deeper in your back pocket. Ultimately, though, if you are a frequent traveller, you can take solace in the fact that this will be one of the most savvy decisions you ever made.