In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the benefits of affordable hardside luggage, key features to look for, and some of the best hardside luggage options on the market.
Top Picks for the Best Budget Hardshell Luggage
- Best Overall Hardside Luggage: Samsonite Omni PC (20-Inch ~$100)
- Best Durability Hardside Luggage: American Tourister Stratum XLT (21-Inch ~$75)
- Best Stylish Hardshell Luggage: DELSEY Paris Helium Aero (21-Inch ~$85)
- Best Value for Money Hard Case: Samsonite Freeform (21-Inch ~$135)
- Best Classic Hardshell Luggage: Amazon Basics (21-Inch ~$75)
- Best Budget and Lightweight Hardside Luggage: Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds (20-Inch ~$65)
- Best Functional Hardside Luggage: Coolife Luggage Expandable (20-Inch ~$75)
- Best Budget Hard Case: Ben Sherman Nottingham (20-Inch ~$70)
Top-3 Best Affordable Hard Case on 2023
#3 Best ChoiceDELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Blue Cobalt, Checked-Large 29 Inch
- Best for style-conscious travelers!
- This hardside luggage stands out with its stylish design and lightweight yet durable construction.
- It offers double-spinner wheels for easy maneuverability and a spacious interior with expandable capacity.
Key decision-making factors for the best hardside luggage:
- Protection of items
- Ease of use
- Size and weight
- Overall Value
In terms of durability, the luggage should be able to withstand the rigors of travel, such as being tossed around by baggage handlers and stacked with other heavy bags. Hardside luggage is known for its durability and ability to protect items, but it’s important to choose a model with high-quality materials and construction.
The protection of items is another crucial factor. Hardside luggage typically offers more protection than softside luggage, but the interior should also have features that protect items from shifting or getting damaged during transit. This may include interior dividers, compression straps, and pockets.
Ease of use is important, as travelers want luggage that is easy to pack, lift, and maneuver. The size and weight of the luggage also play a role in ease of use, as travelers must be able to lift and carry the luggage comfortably.
Finally, the overall value is a key decision-making factor, as travelers want to get the most for their money. Luggage should provide a good balance of quality and affordability, and the features should match the needs of the traveler.
Best Hardshell Luggage Carry-On Comparison
Best Budget Hardside Luggage Comparison Chart
The Best Affordable Hardside Luggage
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 20-Inch, Caribbean Blue
- I cannot emphasize enough how much I love the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Luggage. The Caribbean Blue color is not only stylish but also easy to spot on the luggage carousel. Let me share my experience with this exceptional luggage set.
- Price at Time of Publication: $100
- Weight: 6.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 20-Inch Carry-On: 19" x 14.5" x 9.5",
- Capacity: 10/10
- Design: 9/10
- Maneuverability: 10/10
- Durability: 10/10
- Value: 9/10
- Sturdy Build: The suitcase is made of durable polycarbonate material, providing excellent protection for my belongings during travels.
- Easy to Maneuver: The spinner wheels glide smoothly, making it effortless to move the luggage through crowded airports and busy streets.
- Expandable Capacity: The expandable feature allows me to pack more items when needed, making it ideal for longer trips.
- Eye-catching Design: The Caribbean Blue color stands out among other suitcases, making it easy to spot on the baggage carousel.
- TSA-Compatible Lock: The built-in combination lock adds an extra layer of security, providing peace of mind while traveling.
- Spacious Interior: The 3-piece set offers ample storage space, and the interior straps and net closure help keep items organized.
- Lightweight: Despite its solid construction, the suitcases are surprisingly lightweight, reducing overall travel weight.
- Suitable for Carry-On: The 20-inch carry-on size meets most airlines' carry-on requirements, eliminating the need to check luggage in certain situations.
- Scratch-resistant Finish: The exterior has proven to be resistant to scratches and scuffs, maintaining a clean and new appearance.
- Trusted Brand: Samsonite's reputation for quality and reliability instills confidence in the product's durability.
- Lack of Side Handle: One drawback I noticed is the absence of a side handle, which makes it slightly challenging to lift the suitcase when retrieving it from overhead compartments.
- Limited Exterior Pockets: The suitcase has only one narrow exterior pocket, which can be inconvenient when wanting quick access to small items like travel documents.
The Best Durability Hardside Luggage
American Tourister Stratum XLT Expandable Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Power Plum, Carry-On 21-Inch
- The American Tourister Stratum XLT Expandable Hardside Luggage in Carry-On 21-Inch size is a travel companion that combines style, durability, and practicality. Its thoughtfully designed interior, expandable feature, and smooth mobility make it a must-have for travelers seeking both convenience and elegance. While there are minor drawbacks, the overall value and quality of this luggage make it a top choice for jet-setters like me.
- Price at Time of Publication: $75
- Weight: 6.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 21-Inch Carry-On: 8.6 x 13.4 x 19.5,
- Capacity: 8/10
- Design: 9/10
- Maneuverability: 9/10
- Durability: 10/10
- Value: 9/10
- Durable Exterior: The rugged and durable ABS shell ensures that my belongings are well-protected throughout my journeys.
- Smooth Mobility: The single spinner wheels provide a smooth and hassle-free rolling experience, making it easy to navigate various terrains.
- Expandable Design: The expansion feature is a game-changer. It offers an additional packing capacity that comes in handy, especially for longer trips or when bringing back souvenirs.
- Thoughtful Interior Organization: The book opening case design with mesh dividers and cross straps keeps my belongings organized and secure. The zipped modesty pocket adds an extra layer of convenience.
- Stylish Color Options: The Power Plum color option not only stands out but also adds a touch of elegance to my travel gear.
- Multi-Stage Trolley Handle: The ergonomic trolley handle can be adjusted to different heights, making it comfortable for travelers of various sizes.
- TSA-Approved Lock: The built-in combination lock provides an added layer of security, ensuring the safety of my belongings.
- Excellent Capacity: Despite its compact size, the carry-on offers a packing volume of 42 liters, allowing me to fit in more than I anticipated.
- Manufacturer's Warranty: The luggage comes with a 10-year limited warranty, giving me peace of mind that it's built to last.
- Easy to Spot: The luggage's distinctive color and design make it easy to spot on the baggage carousel.
- Susceptible to Scratches: The rubber trim around the zipper is susceptible to damage, and I've noticed some scuffs after rough handling by airlines.
- Limited Availability: At times, the product might be unavailable due to high demand.
The Best Stylish Hardshell Luggage
DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Brick Red, Carry-On 21 Inch
- I've gone through my fair share of luggage options. However, the DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Checked-Large 21 Inch suitcase has proven to be my ultimate travel companion for extended trips. Its stylish design, impressive durability, and thoughtful features make it stand out among the competition.
- Price at Time of Publish: $135.38
- Capacity — 10/10
- Design — 9/10
- Maneuverability — 9/10
- Durability — 10/10
- Value — 9/10
- Ample Storage: The spacious interior offers plenty of room to pack for longer journeys without worrying about leaving essential items behind.
- Sturdy Build: Constructed from 100% polycarbonate with a glossy finish, this case is remarkably lightweight while providing outstanding protection for my belongings.
- Effortless Mobility: The four twin spinner wheels glide smoothly in all directions, allowing me to navigate busy airports and city streets with ease.
- Secure Packing: The two large fully-lined compartments, web straps, and a zippered divider keep my clothes organized and secure, minimizing wrinkles during transit.
- Expandable Capacity: With the suitcase's ability to expand up to 2 inches, I have extra packing space for souvenirs collected during my travels.
- Comfortable Handle: The handle system locks into two positions, providing comfortable options for maneuvering the suitcase through various terrains.
- TSA-Accepted Lock: The built-in TSA-accepted lock ensures my belongings remain safe and secure, granting only TSA agents access for inspections.
- Scratch-Resistant Exterior: The scratch-resistant twill texture with a deep metallic finish not only adds a touch of style but also ensures the suitcase looks good even after extensive use.
- Worldwide Limited 10 Year Warranty: The Delsey Helium Aero collection is backed by an excellent 10-year warranty, providing peace of mind and confidence in its quality.
- The only downside to the Delsey Helium Aero is its durability. While the polycarbonate shell is lightweight and protective, it is not as durable as other materials and may crack or scratch easily if not handled carefully.
The Best Value for Money Hard Case
Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable with Double Spinner Wheels, Carry-On 21-Inch, Mint Green
- As a frequent traveler with regular flights, I can confidently say that the Samsonite Freeform Hardside Carry-On in Mint Green has been my ultimate travel companion. This sleek and stylish suitcase not only caught my eye with its cool design but also impressed me with its practical features and durability.
- Price at the Time of Publish: $144.47
- Capacity 9/10;
- Design 10/10;
- Maneuverability 10/10 ;
- Durability 9/10;
- Value 8/10.
- Secure TSA Combination Lock: The recessed TSA combination lock provides peace of mind for my checked belongings during travel.
- Expandable Packing Capacity: The suitcase expands, offering additional packing space for souvenirs or extra belongings acquired during my trips.
- Easy Packing and Organization: The cross ribbon and divider inside the suitcase make packing and organizing my belongings a breeze.
- Lightweight and Sturdy: The suitcase is lightweight, making it easy to carry and lift into overhead compartments, while still feeling sturdy and durable.
- Smooth Spinner Wheels: The four double spinner wheels allow 360-degree upright rolling, eliminating the strain on my arm and shoulder during extended walks.
- Built-in ID Tag: The built-in ID tag provides a convenient and secure way to identify my suitcase.
- 10-Year Limited Warranty: Samsonite's 10-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship ensures peace of mind and confidence in the product's quality.
- Suitable for Domestic and International Travel: Meeting most carry-on size restrictions, it has been my reliable companion on both domestic and international flights.
- Limited Color Options: While I love the mint green color, it would be nice to have more color choices to suit different preferences.
- No Smart Features: Although it excels in practicality, it lacks smart features like GPS tracking or built-in charging ports.
The Best Classic Hardshell Luggage
Amazon Basics 20-Inch Hardside Spinner, Orange
- I've seen my fair share of suitcases, and the Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner in Orange has certainly caught my eye. This carry-on is a reliable companion for both work trips and vacations, offering ample space and smart design features.
- Price at the Time of Publication: $74.33
- Weight: 7.34 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.76 x 9.45 x 21.46 inches
- Capacity: 9/10 – With a capacity of 39 liters, this carry-on has plenty of room for my travel essentials.
- Design: 8/10 – The bright orange color is eye-catching, but I wish it came in more color options for variety.
- Maneuverability: 9/10 – The 4 double spinner wheels and telescoping handle make gliding through airports a breeze.
- Durability: 8/10 – The extra-thick ABS hard shell is tough and scratch-resistant, but a fewscuffs may show after extensive use.
- Value: 10/10 – At this price point, the Amazon Basics Spinner is a steal, especially considering its quality.
- Spacious and expandable interior for extra packing space.
- Sturdy and durable construction with a scratch-resistant finish.
- Smooth gliding experience on both hard flooring and carpet.
- Interior organizer with divider and multiple zippered pockets keep items well-organized.
- Lightweight design allows for easy lifting and handling during travels.
- Fully lined 150D-polyester interior protects your belongings.
- Easy-to-use 4 double spinner wheels ensure effortless mobility.
- Telescoping handle with an ergonomic grip provides comfortable maneuvering.
- Amazon's Choice label ensures high customer satisfaction and reliability.
- Unisex-adult design appeals to a wide range of travelers.
- Limited color options – would have loved to see more variety.
- The bright orange color may not be everyone's preference.
- Exterior may show some scuffs over time due to heavy use.
- Lacks smart features such as a built-in TSA loc
The Best Budget and Lightweight Hardside Luggage
KENNETH COLE Out of Bounds, Rose Gold, 24-Inch Checked
- Looking at other reviews, it's clear that many travelers share my positive experience with the Kenneth Cole Out of Bounds 20-Inch Carry On. Users praise its durability, ease of use, and spaciousness. Some have even mentioned its ability to fit a suit comfortably, making it versatile for business trips.
- Price at Time of Publication: $63
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 20-Inch Carry-On: 14.5 x 8.5 x 21.75,
- Capacity: 9/10
- Design: 8/10
- Maneuverability: 8/10
- Durability: 9/10
- Value: 10/10
- Stylish Design: The suitcase's sleek and modern design, coupled with the Kelly Green color, sets it apart from other mundane options.
- Durable Exterior: The hard ABS exterior and reinforced corner guards provide excellent protection against impacts and mishandling during travel.
- Effortless Maneuverability: The 4-wheel multi-directional spinners allow for smooth and easy movement in any direction, making navigation through busy airports a breeze.
- Spacious Interior: The fully lined interior features double-sided packing, a zippered organization pocket, and garment restraint straps, offering ample space for organized packing.
- Easy Handling: The retractable trolley handle extends to a comfortable 41 inches, ensuring easy control even for taller travelers.
- Lightweight: Despite its sturdy build, the lightweight construction helps adhere to airline weight restrictions and reduces the risk of excess baggage fees.
- Sturdy Zippers: The long-lasting zippers provide peace of mind, ensuring that your belongings remain secure throughout your journey.
- Stand-Upright Design: The molded side feet allow the suitcase to stand upright on its side, making storage and retrieval effortless.
- Limited Stock: At the time of my purchase, there were only three left in stock, which could be a concern if more travelers are looking to purchase the same model.
- Handle Wobbling: While the retractable handle is convenient, it can feel a bit wobbly when fully extended.
The Best Budget Functional Hardside Luggage
Coolife Luggage 20 in Carry on
- The Coolife Luggage Expandable 20-Inch Carry On. This sleek and stylish luggage piece caught my eye on Amazon, and since purchasing, I've had the opportunity to test it out on multiple trips.
- Price at Time of Publication: $74
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Dimensions: 20-Inch Carry-On: 21 x 15 x 8.5 ,
- Capacity: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Maneuverability: 9/10
- Durability: 10/10
- Value: 9/10
The Best Budget Hard Case in 2023
Ben Sherman Nottingham Lightweight Hardside 4-Wheel Spinner Travel Luggage, Navy, 20-inch Carry On
- I've been truly satisfied with the Ben Sherman Nottingham 20-Inch Carry On. Its stylish design, durable construction, and user-friendly features make it a top contender for anyone seeking a reliable travel companion. While it has a few minor drawbacks, the benefits far outweigh them. If you're looking for a lightweight, stylish, and functional carry on, this one is definitely worth considering!
- Price at Time of Publication: $57
- Weight: 6.65 pounds
- Dimensions: 20-Inch Carry-On: 14.5 x 10 x 22 ,
- Capacity: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Maneuverability: 9/10
- Durability: 10/10
- Value: 10/10
- Stylish Design: The navy color and sleek exterior design make this suitcase stand out in a sea of luggage.
- Smooth Handling: The multi-directional 4-wheel spinners glide effortlessly, making it easy to navigate through airports.
- Durable Construction: The hardside ABS exterior with molded corner guard reinforcements ensures your belongings stay safe during travel.
- Spacious Interior: The fully lined interior boasts several zippered organization pockets, including a large U-shaped pocket for efficient packing.
- Convenient Handles: The flexible top, bottom, and side grab handles make lifting and maneuvering a breeze.
- Telescoping Trolley Handle: The retractable telescoping trolley handle extends up to 41 inches, offering comfortable and smooth control.
- Garment Restraint Panel: Keep your clothes wrinkle-free with the integrated garment restraint panel.
- Lightweight Yet Strong: Despite its light weight, the ABS exterior provides excellent impact resistance.
- Small Business Brand: Supporting small businesses is always a plus, and this product comes from a small business brand.
- Affordable: For the quality and features it offers, the price is quite budget-friendly.
- Wheel Resistance: The wheels occasionally felt a bit resistant on rough surfaces, which could be improved.
- Limited Color Options: While the navy color is stylish, some might prefer more color choices.
Best Budget Hardside Luggage for Short-Term Travel
Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Purple, Carry-On 20 inches
- As a travel guide with frequent flights and experience in handling various types of luggage, I've seen my share of hits and misses. I recently tried out the Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage on a few short business trips, and I have some thoughts to share.
- For starters, this carry-on was incredibly affordable. I snagged it for around $60 on sale, which is pretty unbeatable. It boasts a hardshell exterior that's no different from some pricier competitors, and the expandable design is perfect when you need to stash those extra souvenirs.
- What I genuinely appreciate about this suitcase are the compartments. There's a large cell with straps for keeping clothes secure and a zipping cell that could be used on its own or unzipped to merge with the large compartment. And let's not forget the small pouch for toiletries or other knick-knacks.
- Another significant upside is its weight, or lack thereof. This suitcase is light, making it easy to maneuver through busy airports and crowded streets. Though I didn't have a chance to check its fit across multiple airlines, other reviews suggest it generally meets carry-on requirements, especially without expansion.
- However, it's not without its drawbacks. I noticed the lining material didn't seem like it would withstand long-term abuse. And while the wheels worked adequately, they didn't have the same smooth maneuverability that I've enjoyed in higher-end models.
- Price at the time of publish: $60
- Weight: 7.5 pounds – Dimensions: 22"X13. 5"x9"
- My Ratings: Capacity — 8/10, Design — 7/10, Maneuverability — 6/10, Durability — 5/10, Value — 9/10
- Affordable: The suitcase is priced affordably, especially when on sale.
- Lightweight: The suitcase is light, making it easy to carry around.
- Sufficient Storage Space: Reviews indicate that it has roomy compartments, enough for a long weekend or more.
- Fits as Carry-On: It is designed to be a carry-on suitcase and has generally been accepted by airlines like Delta without any problems.
- Expandable: The suitcase is expandable, providing flexibility in terms of storage space.
- Multiple Compartments: The suitcase has a large cell with straps and a separate zipping cell, along with a small pouch for small items.
- Fast Delivery: Most users received their suitcases within a couple of days of ordering.
- Functional Wheels: The spinner wheel feature generally provides good maneuverability, according to most users.
- Durability Concerns: There are concerns about the long-term durability of the suitcase, specifically about the quality of the material used for the liner, straps, and handle.
- Zippers Issue: Some users faced difficulties with the zippers, either with them catching or not working properly.
- Stability: The suitcase can be a little wobbly, especially when empty, according to some reviews.
Quantitative measurements and comparisons of the Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner, Travelpro Hardside Spinner, and Delsey Helium Aero
Starting with weight, the Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner is the lightest option, weighing only 6.5 lbs. The Travelpro Hardside Spinner weighs 7.2 lbs, while the Delsey Helium Aero weighs 8.2 lbs.
In terms of durability, the Travelpro Hardside Spinner and Delsey Helium Aero both have a polycarbonate shell, which is known for its strength and resistance to impact. The Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner has a hardshell made of a durable, high-strength polymer.
When it comes to storage capacity, the Delsey Helium Aero has the largest packing capacity, with 39 liters of space. The Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner has a packing capacity of 28.5 liters, while the Travelpro Hardside Spinner has a packing capacity of 30.4 liters.
Regarding maneuverability, all three options have four spinner wheels, which make it easy to navigate through airports and other tight spaces.
Based on these measurements, the Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner is a great lightweight option for those who want a durable and easy-to-maneuver suitcase. The Travelpro Hardside Spinner offers a good balance of weight and durability, making it a great option for those who want a high-quality suitcase that is still relatively lightweight. The Delsey Helium Aero offers the largest packing capacity and is a great option for those who want plenty of storage space.
Overall, the best luggage option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you prioritize lightweight and maneuverability, the Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner is a great choice. If you want a balance of weight and durability, the Travelpro Hardside Spinner is a solid option. And if you need plenty of storage space, the Delsey Helium Aero is a great choice.
Hardside luggage is a popular choice for travelers who seek durability, security, and protection for their belongings. Based on my experience and research, here are three manufacturers that I recommend for high-quality hardside luggage, along with my personal opinions about their products:
- Samsonite – https://samsonite.com/ Samsonite is a renowned brand that offers an extensive range of hardside luggage options.
- Delsey – https://delsey.com/ Delsey is a respected luggage manufacturer known for their stylish and functional hardside luggage options.
- Away – https://awaytravel.com/ Away is a popular luggage brand that offers a variety of high-quality hardside luggage options.
Useful equipment to work with the best hardside luggage for ultimate travel item protection:
|Luggage Lock||A small, durable lock that can be used to secure the zippers on your hardside luggage. Look for a lock that is TSA-approved, which means that airport security personnel can open it without damaging your luggage.|
|Compression Bags||Compression bags are similar to packing cubes, but they have a valve that allows you to remove excess air, making them more compact. These can be especially useful for bulky items like jackets or sweaters. Look for bags that are made from strong, tear-resistant materials.|
|Luggage Straps||Luggage straps can be used to secure your hardside luggage and prevent it from accidentally opening during transit. Look for straps that are adjustable and made from durable materials like nylon or polyester.|
|Waterproof Pouches||Waterproof pouches can be used to protect your phone, passport, or other small items from water damage. Look for pouches that are made from waterproof materials like PVC or nylon and have a secure seal.|
|Electronics Organizer Case||An electronics organizer case can be used to store your laptop, tablet, and other electronics safely inside your hardside luggage. Look for a case that is padded and has plenty of pockets to keep your cords and accessories organized.|
|Portable Charger||A portable charger can be a lifesaver when you’re traveling, especially if you’re using your phone or other devices to navigate or communicate. Look for a charger that has a high capacity and multiple charging ports, so you can charge all your devices at once.|
|Travel Adapter||A travel adapter is essential if you’re traveling to a country with different electrical outlets than your own. Look for an adapter that is compatible with the outlets in your destination country and has multiple ports to accommodate all your devices.|
|Travel Pillow||A travel pillow can help you get some much-needed rest during a long flight or train ride. Look for a pillow that is lightweight, compact, and offers good neck support.|
Frequently Asked Questions for Best Hardside Luggage for Ultimate Travel Item Protection
Are hardside luggage pieces heavier than softside ones?
Are hardside suitcases more durable than softside ones?
Are hardside suitcases allowed as carry-on luggage?
Can hardside luggage be expanded for more storage space?
Do hardside suitcases provide better protection for fragile items?
About Post Author
Last update on 2023-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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