Some people like to fly by the seat of their pants and pack their suitcase hours before take-off. Other people (like me!) make a list and begin packing days in advance. No matter what type of traveler you are, you need a good suitcase (or duffel bag, or backpack…) to store your stuff.
If you travel frequently for work then you might need to invest in the best luggage that’s on the market. But if the main reason you travel is to enjoy yourself on vacation and to explore new places, then you’ll need a suitcase that’s all about you.
You might like suitcases that are patterned in fun prints or that come in bright colors because they’re easy to spot in the airport or in a crowd. Or, you may prefer more subtle colors that don’t attract a lot of attention and match your outfit.
No matter what your preferences are, there’s plenty of options to choose from. These four specific suitcases are all great options, and the four different brands are a great place to start your search for the perfect suitcase.
Away: The Carry-On Flex
Away began as an online direct-to-consumer company, but now has stores all over the U.S.A., from NYC to San Francisco. The company works to make a positive impact on the planet and works with several different global nonprofits.
The Away Carry-On Flex is a fantastic option for travelers who like to have access to their belongings in-flight. Most of the exterior shell is a durable polycarbonate hard shell, but there’s a zippered expansion pocket that extends 2.25”, which gives you more room along with the interior compression system.
The Carry-On Flex meets the airline requirements for most major airlines as carry-on luggage – when the flex feature is not in use. So make sure you zip that pocket up before boarding, but otherwise, it’s a great feature and a great suitcase!
Samsonite: 2 Piece Carry-On and Large Suitcase Set
This classic American brand offers many different options for travelers. It’s safe to say that if you want a specific suitcase feature, you can find it at Samsonite. The company prides itself on using the latest design technology, and recently they’ve started including antimicrobial handles on their luggage!
While there is a wide range of options to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the basics. The Samsonite 2 Piece Carry-On and Large Suitcase Set costs less than the Away Carry-On Flex – and you get two suitcases for the price of one. The spinner wheels and polycarbonate shell make it easy to use and durable, and the interior contains both elastic cross-straps to hold your belongings in place and a split case design with a mesh divider. It comes in both charcoal and deep teal.
L.L. Bean: Hardside Spinner
Originally and still primarily an outdoor brand, L.L. Bean has a lot to offer in the luggage department as well. Like Away, they care about their social impact and, with their outdoor focus, promote sustainability efforts and outdoors organizations.
You can find all the hiking backpacks you’d ever want, but L.L. Bean’s durable suitcases are made to last and will serve you well. The L.L. Bean Hardside Spinner features two interior compartments that are each covered with a mesh layer you can zip, which ensures that everything stays on the side where it’s supposed to be. The shell is polycarbonate, but it’s also lightweight. At 30”, you’ll also have plenty of room!
Open Story: Hardside Checked Suitcase
Here’s an option for those travelers who like to fly by the seat of their pants. Almost every city has a Target, which is where you’ll find their exclusive Open Story brand luggage. The convenience of buying your luggage at a major store has a trade-off: this luggage most likely won’t last as long as what you’d get from L.L. Bean or Samsonite. However, if you’re in a rush, it’s a good option.
The Open Story Hardside Checked Suitcase offers plenty of pockets for extra organization. Like the L.L. Bean Hardside Spinner, each side has its own zippered mesh layer, ensuring everything will stay in its place. The Open Story suitcase has more pockets, however, which keeps your shoes separate from your underwear, for example, without needing to buy packing cubes. If you’re looking for convenience, you can’t go wrong with Target!
There’s a lot to think about before you purchase your next suitcase. Both style and practical matters should have an impact on your decision. Do you want a fun print? Are you looking for a hardside or softside option? How important are spinner wheels?
Take the time to explore these four brands and their many different options. If you don’t like what they have to offer, check out American Tourister, Thule, TravelPro, and Tumi. You’ll find something you like, and you’ll stay organized on your next trip!