In this blog post, I’m embarked on a quest to find the best lightweight luggage for international travel – luggage that strikes the perfect balance between weight, durability, capacity, maneuverability, and security.
Top Picks for the Best Lightweight Luggage for International Travel
- Best Overall Luggage: Samsonite Omni 2 Hardside (20-Inch 7.5 lbs.~$84)
- Best Softside Carry-On Luggage: SwissGear Sion Softside (21-Inch 5 lbs.~$104)
- Best Affordable Carry-On Luggage: Rockland Melbourne Hardside (20-Inch 7.5 lbs.~$45)
- Best Hardside Luggage: Samsonite Omni PC Hardside (24-Inch 6 lbs., 56 inches ~$129)
- Best Luggage Softside: Travelpro Maxlite 5 (25-Inch, 7.3 lbs. 57 inches ~$173)
- Best Stylish Hardside Luggage: Delsey Luggage Helium Aero (25-Inch, 8.1 lbs. 54 inches ~$114)
Carry-On Luggage for International Travel
- Dimensions: Most international airlines have a carry-on size limit of approximately 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches (height x width x depth). However, these dimensions can vary among airlines.
- Linear Inches: Some airlines might state a total linear inch limit, which is the sum of the height, width, and depth of the bag. A typical limit is 45 linear inches.
- Weight Limit: Generally, the weight limit for international carry-on luggage ranges between 15 to 22 pounds (7 to 10 kg), but this can vary based on the airline and class of service.
- Some Asian carriers, like AirAsia or Cebu Pacific, might have stricter weight limits, sometimes as low as 7 kg (15.4 lbs) for carry-on luggage.
- Premium classes (like Business or First Class) might have higher weight allowances.
TOP-3 Best Carry-On Luggage for International Travel
Checked Luggage for International Travel:
- Dimensions: The total combined linear dimensions (height + width + depth) of a checked bag typically should not exceed 62 inches (157 cm). However, this figure can vary among airlines.
- Exceptions: Some airlines might allow larger sizes, especially for first or business-class tickets, but extra charges are likely if your luggage exceeds the airline’s standard limit.
- Weight Limit:
- Economy Class: Most airlines set a weight limit of 50 pounds (23 kg) for each checked bag for passengers traveling in economy class.
- Business/First Class: Passengers traveling in business or first class might be allowed checked baggage that weighs up to 70 pounds (32 kg).
- Airlines based in the U.S. and Canada typically operate on the “Piece Concept” for international flights, often allowing passengers 2 pieces of checked luggage, each with a weight limit depending on the ticket class.
- Most other international airlines operate on the “Weight Concept,” wherein passengers are given a total weight allowance (like 20 kg, 30 kg, or 40 kg) and can divide this among as many pieces of luggage as they desire.
Top-3 Best Checked Luggage for International Travel up to 62 Linear
#2 Best ChoiceTravelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage with 4 Spinner Wheels, Lightweight Suitcase, Men and Women, Black, Checked-Medium 25-Inch
- Best for Business!
- Perfect for professionals seeking a lightweight, well-organized, and easy-to-maneuver suitcase.
- 11.5 x 18.5 x 27 inches = 57 inches
Fees and Overweight Luggage:
- Overweight or oversized luggage can incur significant fees. It’s often cheaper to check an additional bag rather than pay an overweight fee.
- Some airlines offer pre-travel discounts if you know you’ll be over the weight limit and pay in advance.
Tips and Considerations:
- Check Airline Restrictions: Always check the baggage policy of the specific airline you’re flying with. This information is usually available on the airline’s official website.
- Durable Luggage: Opt for durable luggage that can withstand the wear and tear of international travel. Ensure locks are TSA-approved.
- Luggage Scale: Invest in a luggage scale to weigh your bags before heading to the airport. This will help you avoid unexpected overweight baggage fees.
- Valuables: Always keep valuables, essential documents, and medications in your carry-on. Checked luggage can sometimes get lost or delayed.
- Bag Tags: Ensure your luggage has a clear, durable luggage tag with your contact information.
- Insurance: Consider travel insurance that covers lost or damaged luggage, especially if traveling with valuable items in your checked baggage.
The size and weight allowances for checked luggage on international flights can vary widely depending on the airline, the destination, and the class of service. To avoid any issues or unexpected fees, travelers should always check the specific baggage policies of the airlines they’re flying with before departure.
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing the best lightweight luggage for international travel:
The weight of the luggage is perhaps the most important factor to consider when looking for lightweight luggage. Ideally, the suitcase should weigh no more than 5-6 pounds. Products such as the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage and the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner Luggage are designed with lightweight materials, making them easy to carry and maneuver.
Luggage needs to withstand the wear and tear of travel, especially during international journeys. Therefore, durability is another key factor to consider when choosing lightweight luggage. Products such as the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage and the Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Expandable Spinner Trolley are designed with durable materials and are scratch-resistant, making them ideal for frequent travelers.
While lightweight luggage is designed to be compact and easy to carry, it should still have enough capacity to carry all of your essential items. The size and capacity of the suitcase should be tailored to the length of your trip and your travel needs. Products such as the IT Luggage World’s Lightest Los Angeles Softside Spinner and the American Tourister Elite Max Softside Spinner 25 are designed with ample capacity and compartments to help you pack efficiently.
Lightweight luggage should be easy to maneuver, especially during airport transfers and other travel arrangements. The suitcase should have smooth-rolling wheels, telescoping handles, and ergonomic grips that allow you to pull or push the suitcase with ease. Products such as the Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Spinner Luggage and the Victorinox Werks Traveler 6.0 Softside Spinner Luggage are designed with easy-to-use wheels and handles that make travel a breeze.
Finally, security is a key factor to consider when choosing lightweight luggage. The suitcase should have a sturdy lock or combination system to keep your belongings safe and secure. Products such as the Samsonite S’Cure Hardside Luggage and the Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Expandable Spinner are designed with TSA-approved locks and other security features to keep your belongings safe and secure during travel.
So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a long-term adventure, read on to discover the best lightweight luggage options that will make your travels a breeze. Say goodbye to sore arms and hello to hassle-free journeys!
Best Lightweight Luggage for International Travel Comparison Chart
The Best Lightweight Hardside Luggage for International Travel
Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Checked-Medium 24-Inch, Black
- My travels recently led me to purchase the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage, and my wanderlust heart couldn't be happier. I've jaunted through bustling airports, trudged across hotel lobbies, and navigated busy streets, and this suitcase has been my faithful companion through it all.
- Price at time of publication: $117
- Weight: 8.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.75 x 17.75 x 26.5 inches
- My Ratings: Durability — 9/10, Design — 8/10, Maneuverability — 8/10, Storage — 9/10, Security — 10/10
- Color Pop: The suitcase is a showstopper! Its radiant shade ensures it stands out on any baggage carousel, making it easy to spot and hard to miss.
- Durability: The hard-shell exterior is impressively robust, handling the rigors of airport baggage services without a scratch.
- Efficient Space: The space inside this suitcase is like Mary Poppins' bag. It holds a surprising amount, making it perfect for long vacations.
- Smooth Spinner Wheels: Navigating through airports is a breeze with the suitcase's spinner wheels. Their smoothness is truly unparalleled.
- Expandability: Perfect for those who can't resist holiday shopping. The expandable feature means you can always fit in that extra souvenir.
- Locking Mechanism: The side-mounted TSA locks are both a security feature and a convenience, ensuring your belongings are safe yet accessible.
- Texture: The micro-diamond polycarbonate texture not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but ensures it remains scratch-free.
- Warranty: A 10-year warranty speaks volumes about the trust Samsonite has in its product.
- Lightweight: Despite its hard exterior, the suitcase is lightweight, making it easy to handle.
- Ergonomic Design: The pull handle and the overall design make it comfortable to maneuver, even when it's packed to the brim.
- Expandability Limit: While it expands, there's a limit to how much. Packing too much might make it hard to close.
- Size Constraints: It's perfect for longer trips, but might be a tad big for weekend getaways.
Best Versatile and Lightweight Luggage for International Travel
SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Luggage, Merlot, Carry-On 21-Inch
- As someone who spends a good chunk of my life in airports and hotels, luggage is more than just a bag for me—it's a constant travel companion. In this role, the SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Luggage has surprised me pleasantly.
- First off, this luggage boasts a well-thought-out design. Made from quality materials that users have attested to, it offers a robust but flexible carrying solution. Its wheels roll smoothly for the most part, over multiple terrains, and that's something I truly value when I'm running to catch a connecting flight or navigating the cobblestone streets of a European city.
- The space offered is ample for a week-long or even month-long journey, and while I agree with some users that more compartments would be ideal, it hasn't been a deal-breaker for me. The multiple handles on different sides have been a lifesaver more than once, especially when I've had to hastily stow it overhead or pull it off a luggage carousel.
- However, not everything is perfect. The retractable handle had a few hiccups, being a bit jerky at times. This could be a significant inconvenience if it were to get stuck entirely. And while the bag's overall durability is commendable, there have been reports of some components like wheels breaking off, which does raise some questions on longevity if you're a frequent traveler like me.
- Price at the time of publish: Around $100
- Weight: 4.99 pounds : Dimensions: 21 x 12.75 x 10.25 inches
- My Ratings: Capacity: 9/10; Design: 8/10; Maneuverability: 9/10; Durability: 7/10; Value: 9/10
- Well-Constructed Material: Users report that the materials used in the construction of the bag are of good quality.
- Smooth-Rolling Wheels: While not perfect, the wheels generally roll smoothly and handle various terrains well, including cobblestone streets.
- Ample Storage Space: The bag is spacious and offers several pockets for organization, although some users wish for more compartments.
- Good for Carry-On: The bag's size is well-suited for carry-on requirements, fitting easily into overhead compartments on airplanes and trains.
- Multiple Carry Handles: There are handles on multiple sides of the luggage, making it easier to move it around in various situations.
- Cost-Effective: Many reviewers believe the bag offers good value for the price.
- Versatility in Travel: The luggage has been used in various travel situations, such as train travel and air travel, and has generally performed well.
- Color Options: Some reviewers appreciated that the bag comes in colors other than black, making it easier to identify at baggage claim.
- Generally Durable: Some users report that the bag has withstood years of use and various types of abuse, such as being used on ferries, cars, and airplanes.
- Good for Extended Trips: Some users found the bag more than adequate for week-long trips, even up to a month.
- Inconsistent Durability: While some find the bag durable, others report issues like broken wheels or retractable handles that get stuck, especially after multiple uses.
- Stability Concerns: There are reports that the bag might be a bit tippy, especially when loaded and with an accessory bag on top.
- Interior Organization: Some users believe the bag could benefit from more compartments or better straps for holding garments securely.
- Retractable Handle Issues: Multiple users reported that the retractable handle can sometimes be jerky or get stuck, leading to inconvenience during travel.
The Best Lightweight Softside Luggage
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage with 4 Spinner Wheels, Lightweight Suitcase, Men and Women, Black, Checked-Medium 25-Inch
- As someone who travels frequently for business, I need a suitcase that is lightweight, durable, and easy to maneuver. That's why I chose the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner Luggage, and it has exceeded my expectations.
- Despite its light weight, the suitcase is incredibly durable, and the high-tensile-strength exterior is able to withstand some bumps and scratches without showing any signs of damage.
- The four multi-directional spinner wheels make maneuvering the suitcase a breeze, even in crowded areas, and the telescoping handle is comfortable and easy to grip. The suitcase's spacious interior and multiple compartments allowed me to easily organize my business attire and other essentials.
- Weight: 7.3 pounds
- Dimensions of 11.5 x 18.5 x 27
- Price at time of publishing: $170
- My Ratings: Capacity 8/10, Design 8/10, Maneuverability 10/10, Durability 9/10, Value 9/10
- Compact Design: The size, as measured, is exactly as stated, which assures you of meeting airline requirements, especially for airlines like Hawaiian Airlines.
- Lightweight: One of the standout features is how light it feels, making it easy to maneuver around the airport.
- Exterior Pockets: Unlike hard side bags, this one comes with external pockets, which are super handy for accessing things on the go.
- Sturdy Zippers: I really appreciated the durability of the zippers, which appear built to last.
- Maneuverability: The spinner wheels rotate 360 degrees, making it glide smoothly through crowded places.
- Expandability: Even if it's a bit limited, the expandable feature does provide that extra bit of space when needed.
- Elegant Appearance: The blue color is both distinctive and aesthetically pleasing, making it easier to spot on a luggage carousel.
- Durable Handle: The PowerScope handle felt sturdy and was easy to adjust to my preferred height.
- Softside Benefit: Unlike hard side bags, this soft side bag has a bit of "give", allowing you to squeeze in that last-minute item.
- Durability: Based on the initial feel and past experiences with TravelPro, I expect this bag to hold up for many trips to come.
- Size Limitations: For trips longer than 5 days, packing might be a challenge due to its compact nature.
- Expandability Concerns: While it's advertised as expandable, the actual expandable space felt somewhat limited.
- Comparative Size: When compared to my old 21-inch Kensington, London fog bag, it seemed a bit smaller. Adjusting to this difference took a bit of time.
- External Material: I had some concerns about the material picking up dirt or scuffs easily, especially when checked in.
The Best Stylish and Lightweight Luggage (Checked-Large 29 Inch)
DELSEY Paris Helium Aero Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, Brushed Charcoal, Checked-Large 29 Inch
- As someone who travels frequently and values both style and durability, I highly recommend the Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Hardside Spinner Luggage. This suitcase looks sleek and modern, with a hard polycarbonate shell that comes in a variety of vibrant colors.
- The suitcase also comes with a TSA-approved combination lock, which adds an extra level of security when traveling.
- The four double-spinner wheels make maneuvering the suitcase easy and smooth, even in crowded areas or uneven surfaces. The telescoping handle is also comfortable to grip, which is important when navigating through a busy airport.
- Weight: 12.3 pounds – Dimensions of 19.5 x 12.5 x 29 inches
- Price at time of publishing: $139
- My Ratings: Capacity 8/10, Design 10/10, Maneuverability 9/10, Durability 10/10, Value 8/10
- Compact Design: Despite its size, I'm amazed at how much I can fit inside. It's designed to work with most overhead compartments.
- Durable: The build quality seems top-notch. From the sturdy handles to the robust zippers, everything about this suitcase screams longevity.
- Spacious: It's deceptively large. While it's built to fit into overhead compartments, I was still able to pack for longer trips.
- Two Handle Settings: I appreciate the versatility of having two settings for the telescopic handle. It ensures comfort and convenience.
- Quality Material: The polycarbonate hard shell is a significant advantage. It promises resilience against impacts and is a material I trust.
- Warranty and Brand Reputation: Having known about Delsey's reputation and a friend's personal experience with their products, I'm confident in the durability and the warranty coverage.
- Divided Compartments: The clamshell design is practical, especially when I want to separate clean and dirty clothes. The internal compartments also keep my clothes neatly packed.
- Aesthetics: It's not just about function; this suitcase looks elegant. I believe it's a design that won't go out of style quickly.
- Ease of Cleaning: With its hard-sided exterior, cleaning is a breeze. A quick wipe, and it looks as good as new.
- Weather Resistant: Given I travel to places with varying weather conditions, from snow to rain, having a suitcase that can withstand the elements is crucial.
- Size Limitations on Smaller Planes: On certain aircraft, like the CRJ200, I had to gate check the suitcase. It's not a major inconvenience, but it's worth noting.
- Scuffing: While hard to see, I did notice some scuffing at the bottom after it was handled by baggage attendants. It's a minor cosmetic issue, but hard-sided luggage is prone to this.
- Interior Ridges: The internal ridges, resulting from the handle mechanism, can interfere with packing. It's a design compromise I wish wasn't there.
- Weight: Though not exceptionally heavy, there are lighter options in the market. For those sensitive to weight, this might be a factor.
Best Lightweight Luggage for International Travel and Quick Getaways
Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage, Black, Carry-On 20-Inch
- If you're a travel enthusiast like me, particularly for short trips or weekend getaways, the Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage is a game-changer. First, let's talk dimensions. This carry-on measures 20 inches, which means it's accepted on almost all airlines, taking the guesswork out of whether you’ll need to check it or not.
- From the first touch, I could tell this case is well-crafted. It's made of durable ABS material that gives it a hard shell; this is a luggage piece built to withstand the abuses of travel. I love the sleek, black look; it gives off a professional vibe while still being stylish.
- Now, storage—always a priority for me. The Rockland Melbourne is compact but don't let that fool you. The interior compartments are well-thought-out, with zippered sections and elastic pockets. I was able to pack for a long weekend, including an extra pair of shoes and my travel gadgets, without any hassle.
- The spinner wheels are perhaps the most impressive part. They glide so smoothly that it felt like the luggage was floating beside me rather than being dragged along. As someone who's rushed through airports more times than I can count, this is a massive plus.
- But it's not all sunshine and rainbows. One downside is that the handle feels a bit wobbly when fully extended. And, while I love the hard shell for its durability, it doesn’t offer much give if you're an over-packer.
- Price at the time of publish: $75
- Weight: 7.5 pounds – Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 9 inches
- My Ratings: Capacity: 8/10; Design: 9/10; Maneuverability: 10/10; Durability: 8/10; Value: 9/10
- Affordable: Many reviewers mentioned the product is budget-friendly.
- Expandable: The luggage can expand to accommodate more items, which is great for travelers who end up buying souvenirs or need that extra space.
- Easy to Maneuver: The wheels roll smoothly and work well on different terrains, including rugged streets and cobblestones.
- Good for Carry-On: The luggage size is appropriate for overhead racks, making it convenient for airline travel.
- Lightweight: No reviewer specifically mentioned it as heavy, and it was easy for people to hoist onto overhead racks.
- Generic Look: The nondescript appearance makes it less likely to be stolen, although marking it for identification is advised.
- Durable (for some users): Some reviewers found it durable even after heavy usage, including being sat on, rolled over cobblestones, and being subjected to extensive walking and running.
- Good for Multiple Types of Trips: Users found the luggage trustworthy for both flights and road trips.
- Positive Overall Experience: Despite minor issues, many customers mentioned that they would buy it again.
- Easy to Store: Being a carry-on size means it's also likely easy to store when not in use.
- Inconsistent Durability: While some users found the luggage durable, others experienced problems like ripped wheels and cracks even after a short period of use.
- Potential for Damage: Several reviewers mentioned that the material dents or cracks easily, suggesting it's not the most robust choice for checked luggage.
- Lack of Warranty: Given its low price point, it likely does not come with a robust warranty to protect against damage or defects.
- Quality Control Issues: Mistakes like labels being put on upside down indicate that the manufacturing process may lack strict quality control.
Based on my experience and research, here are three manufacturers that I recommend for high-quality lightweight luggage, along with my personal opinions about their products:
- IT Luggage – https://www.itluggage.com IT Luggage is a brand that specializes in lightweight luggage options, and their World’s Lightest collection is truly impressive. I’ve found their bags to be durable, easy to maneuver, and surprisingly spacious, given the light weight. The IT Luggage website offers detailed product information, images, and customer reviews, making it easy to find the perfect lightweight luggage for your needs.
- American Tourister – https://www.americantourister.com American Tourister is a well-known brand that offers a variety of lightweight luggage options. Their Moonlight Hardside Spinner series is a personal favorite of mine, as it combines a stylish design with lightweight construction and smooth-rolling spinner wheels. The American Tourister website provides comprehensive product descriptions, dimensions, and user reviews, helping you make an informed decision when choosing your lightweight luggage.
- Travelpro – https://travelpro.com Travelpro is a reputable brand that focuses on luggage designed for frequent travelers. Their Maxlite series stands out as an excellent lightweight option, offering durable materials, practical features, and a design that is both stylish and functional. The Travelpro website offers detailed product specifications, images, and customer reviews, making it simple to find the right lightweight luggage for your needs.
These are my top three recommendations for manufacturers of lightweight luggage. I hope my personal experiences and opinions will help guide you in making the right choice for a practical and stylish accessory for your travels. Enjoy your new lightweight luggage!
A table of equipment that would be useful to have when traveling with the best lightweight luggage for international travel and seamless journeys:
|Travel Packing Cubes||These are small, lightweight bags that help organize your luggage and keep your clothes and accessories in order. They come in different sizes and colors and make packing and unpacking easy and hassle-free. They are great for keeping clothes wrinkle-free and make it easy to find what you need quickly.|
|Luggage Scale||A luggage scale is a handy tool to have when traveling with lightweight luggage, as it helps you weigh your bags before you get to the airport to avoid excess baggage fees. It’s small and lightweight, so it won’t take up much space in your luggage.|
|Compression Bags||Compression bags are another way to save space in your luggage. They help compress clothes, towels, and other soft items to take up less space. This allows you to pack more efficiently and travel lighter.|
|Portable Charger||A portable charger is an essential item to have when traveling, especially if you’re going to be using your phone or other electronic devices a lot. It will keep your devices charged and ready to use, even when you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.|
|Travel Adapter||If you’re traveling internationally, a travel adapter is a must-have item. It will allow you to plug in your electronic devices and charge them, no matter where you are in the world. It’s lightweight and small, so it won’t take up much space in your luggage.|
These items are all lightweight and compact, making them perfect for travel. They will help you organize your luggage, save space, and keep your devices charged and ready to use.
FAQs for the Best Lightweight Luggage for International Travel and Seamless Journeys:
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Last update on 2023-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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