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The Best Suitcases of 2024

The best suitcases are durable, easy to carry, and keep your gear safe. Here are our favorites.
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The best suitcases can help transform the quirks of travel to a more enjoyable experience. Without a relaible suitcase, your clothes get wrinkled, your gear gets scrambled, and more and more time goes down the drain as you pack and repack endlessly. The best vacations, weekend getaways, or day trips only seem to go so well with the best luggage on hand. 

But selecting the best luggage can amount to taking on the internet itself. There is a huge array of options, from wheeled suitcases to weekender bags, travel duffels, and backpacks. To choose one is to untangle this knot, relating characteristics of a suitcase to your travel needs and guesstimating durability, comfort, and more. 

GearJunkie’s suitcase testers brought 30+ combined years of experience in travel-oriented lifestyles to this roundup. Interests and focuses vary widely among the team: CrossFit, water sports, running, adventure racing, rock climbing, tradeshows and conferences, and general pleasure travel have all caused us to act on airline app alerts. 

You can head straight to our comprehensive buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom of the article. Our comparison chart can also help you make a decision. Otherwise, read our complete gear guide below.

The Best Suitcases of 2024


Best Overall Suitcase

Eagle Creek Gear Warrior XE 2-Wheel 30”

Specs

  • Dimensions 29” x 16” x 12”
  • Weight 8 lbs., 11 oz.
  • Sizes Carry-on, Carry-on (convertible), Medium checked, Large checked (30”)
  • Material 600D polyester
  • Features Offroad wheels, reinforced corners and seams, skid plate, removable inner divider
Product Badge The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Dimensions: 29” x 16” x 12”
  • Weight: 8 lbs., 11 oz.
  • Sizes: Carry-on, Carry-on (convertible), Medium checked, Large checked (30”)
  • Material: 600D polyester
  • Features: Offroad wheels, Reinforced corners and seams, Skid plate, Removable inner divider

Cons

  • Pricey
Best Budget Suitcase

NEMO Vantage 30 Adventure Backpack

Specs

  • Dimensions 19” x 11” x 11”
  • Weight 3 lbs., 1 oz.
  • Sizes 30L
  • Material Proprietary PET, EVA
  • Features Shoe compartment, tech pocket, duffel zip
The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Ideal for city or off-road travel
  • Very durable
  • Made from recycled material
  • Excellent price for what you get

Cons

  • Water bottle pockets are too small
Best Wheeled Duffel

5.11 Tactical Mission Ready 3.0 90L

Specs

  • Dimensions 28.75” x 16” x 13”
  • Weight 14 lbs.
  • Sizes 90L
  • Material 1050D nylon, 1680D ballistic nylon
  • Features 150 lb. capacity, interior frame rails, rollaway top divider, Velcro patch attachments
The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Huge
  • Durable
  • Plenty of external pockets

Cons

  • Heavy
Best Weekender Bag

Peak Design Travel Duffel 35

Specs

  • Dimensions 22" x 14" x 10"
  • Weight 2 lbs.
  • Sizes 35L, 65L
  • Material 600D nylon canvas shell, 900D bottom liner
  • Features Configurable backpack/hand/duffel carry, main compartment frame, water-resistant zippers, companion packing cube/camera bag inserts
The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Excellent organization
  • Plenty of camera-specific features
  • Durable
  • Multiple carry options

Cons

  • Main compartment wants to close on its own
Best Travel Duffel

Jack Wolfskin Traveltopia 45 Liter Duffel Bag

Specs

  • Dimensions 22.5” x 12.5” x 12”
  • Weight 1 lb., 12 oz.
  • Sizes 45L
  • Material 600D poly
  • Features Removable straps, exterior compression, Inner mesh pockets
The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Easy to load/stuff
  • Tough zippers

Cons

  • Awkward to carry when heavy
  • Backpack carry created pressure points
Best Travel Backpack

Rab Depot 28L Daypack

Specs

  • Dimensions 21.5” x 12.5” x 9”
  • Weight 2 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Sizes 28L, 22L, 18L
  • Material 50% recycled ballistic nylon
  • Features Top drop-in pocket, pleated front panel, exterior compression, water-resistant laptop pocket
The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Easy to organize
  • Comfortable all-day carry
  • Tough shell

Cons

  • No side carry or roller bag handle
  • Can become top-heavy
Best Commuter Backpack

Thule Subterra 2 27L Backpack

Specs

  • Dimensions 20” x 13” x 9.5”
  • Weight 2 lbs., 13 oz.
  • Sizes 26L
  • Material Nylon, polyester
  • Features Clamshell or top load, included packing cube
The Best Suitcases of 2024

Pros

  • Plenty of storage options
  • Comes with integrated packing cube
  • Durable
  • Expandable

Cons

  • Thin shoulder straps get uncomfortable when fully loaded

Best Suitcases Comparison Chart

SuitcaseDimensionsWeightSizesMaterialFeatures
 Eagle Creek Gear Warrior XE 2-Wheel 30”29” x 16” x 12”8 lbs., 11 oz.
Carry-on, Carry-on (convertible), Medium checked, Large checked (30”)600D polyesterOffroad wheels, reinforced corners and seams, skid plate, removable inner divider
NEMO Vantage 30 Adventure Backpack19” x 11” x 11”3 lbs., 1 oz.
30LProprietary PET, EVAShoe compartment, tech pocket, duffel zip
5.11 Tactical Mission Ready 3.0 90L28.75” x 16” x 13”14 lbs.90L1050D nylon, 1680D ballistic nylon
150 lb. capacity, interior frame rails, rollaway top divider, Velcro patch attachments
Peak Design Travel Duffel 3522″ x 14″ x 10″
2 lbs.35L, 65L35L, 65LConfigurable backpack/hand/duffel carry, main compartment frame, water-resistant zippers, companion packing cube/camera bag inserts
Jack Wolfskin Traveltopia 45 Liter Duffel Bag22.5” x 12.5” x 12”
1 lb., 12 oz.45L600D polyRemovable straps, exterior compression, inner mesh pockets
Rab Depot 28L Daypack21.5” x 12.5” x 9”
2 lbs., 8 oz.28L, 22L, 18L50% recycled ballistic nylonTop drop-in pocket, pleated front panel, exterior compression, water-resistant laptop pocket
Thule Subterra 2 27L Backpack20” x 13” x 9.5”
2 lbs., 13 oz.
26LNylon, polyester
Clamshell or top load, included packing cube
GJBG Suitcases Rab pack in Singapore
The author giving his test bag a rest on a trip to Singapore; (photo/Sam Anderson)

How We Tested the Best Suitcases

Travel amounts to a second full-time job for most gear testers, and GearJunkie’s team is no different. Our frequent fliers packed their suitcases for everything from day commutes to weekend junkets to weeks-long international adventures. Needs came from a wide variety of travel tasks: remote work at beachside bars, multi-stop airport connections, rock climbing, road trips, and casual city outings.

Key factors were capacity and comfort, versatility of use, and the suitcase’s ability to help the tester stay organized. Our testers made notes on style but paid the most attention to what each suitcase most helped them accomplish. Bulky, heavy-duty suitcases work best for cramming with mounds of gear and clothing in a race against check-out time; low-profile suitcases with plenty of pockets and compartments can make for smooth day trips. 

Our testers paid special attention to how each suitcase performed in differentiated environments. The best wheeled carry-on luggage might still roll if we took it between international airports and sandy beach towns. A duffel bag can make a great high-volume gear bag, but cramp your style (and shoulders) if you’re facing a long walk.  

We mostly used suitcases for their intended purpose, but did allow for some crossover use. The Jack Wolfskin Traveltopia 45 duffel, for instance, did duty as a general gear cache, a carry-on for weekend getaways, and even a crag pack.

Why You Should Trust Us

Each tester involved in this article travels frequently for professional and recreational reasons. Since the mid-2000s, testers have crisscrossed the United States and the planet to pursue stories, sporting events, trade shows and conventions, lifestyles, and adventures. 

Lead tester Sam Anderson has lived out of suitcases for months of his life — between extensive rock climbing travel, long-distance relationships, and friends and family scattered across the U.S. Sam has learned on the job, stuffing bags with equipment as varied as burly trad racks, cameras and laptops, and dress clothes for weddings. 

His packing lists need to be precise and complete — and so does the way he configures his bags. Choosing the right bag is also key. Sam has pitted his suitcases against desert dust at Red Bull Rampage, torrential rain in Yosemite National Park, and too many delayed flights to count. 

Our testers and writers at GearJunkie have also tested and reviewed all sorts of travel luggage, from the best duffel bags and travel backpacks to the best carry-on luggage.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Suitcase

Suitcase Size

To size a suitcase, you should start with what you know you need to bring with you. Try concentrating your needs and wants in the gear department, then consider the suitcase when you’re done. 

For most people, volume doesn’t mean anything — if you know what 35 L worth of clothing looks like, you (like us) may need help. Instead, focus on dimensions. 

Carry-on luggage size limits, generally, are the following:

  • U.S.: 22” x 14” x 9”
  • International: 21.5” x 15.5” x 9” (though it varies more).

Most roller bags like the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior XE 2-Wheel 30” are designed specifically for air travel, so they follow these general guidelines. But not all luggage does. 

If you’re not traveling on an airline and you don’t have to care, we recommend focusing on weight and details like handles and reinforcement. You might frequently find yourself yanking, shoving, and carrying your luggage from here to there. You don’t want it to be any more awkward than it has to be. 

GJBG Suitcases Eagle Creek Gear Warrior
We’re fans of the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior’s burly zippers; (photo/Billy Brown)

Fully loaded, the biggest bag on this list, the 5.11 Tactical Mission Ready 3.0 90L, weighed more than some of our testers. You don’t want to have to shoulder one of those bad boys in a busy foreign bus station or boat ramp.

Roller Bag or No? 

There’s no denying it, roller bags have become the international standard. Trying to calculate the number of roller bags sold each year would take precious years off the life of anyone trying to count. 

And they’re great for some things — and awful for others. 

GJBG 5.11 Tactical Mission Ready 90L
The 5.11 Tactical Mission Ready’s heavy-duty wheels and castors are ideal for carrying heavy loads; (photo/Billy Brown)

Conventional roller bags with cheap plastic casters do just fine on light duty from the jetway to the rideshare trunk. But if you take one on a potholed rural street, a beach, or a hiking trail, you’re risking a busted wheel and a very uncomfortable carry. 

If you tend to get into the nitty-gritty while traveling, try roller bags like the 5.11 Tactical Mission Ready 3.0 90L, with its lugged wheels that support 150 pounds.

Handles/Carry

More and more, luggage designers appear to be asking one worthy and overdue question: why not put a handle on every surface of this thing? And even: why not make it a sturdy one?

Gone are the days when a suitcase or backpack should only have one handle on the top. Most suitcase builders now include a side carry handle attached to otherwise unused space. Some even put a carry handle on the top, bottom, left, and right side of the rig — like the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior XE 2-Wheel 30”.

Suitcase Materials

If you’re worried about airlines damaging your luggage, stop now: SITA reported as recently as 2019 that baggage handlers damage less than 1/1,000th of bags. 

That doesn’t mean it’s not important to consider what your suitcase is made of. A lot depends on what you will do with the luggage. Hard-sided suitcases don’t suffer snags or rips like soft-sided units do, but they can also crack if they end up at the bottom of a heavy pile. 

GJBG Suitcases Jack Wolfskin duffel
The Jack Wolfskin Duffel is simple, durable, and gets the job done; (photo/Sam Anderson)

The best soft bags are made with durable external materials like Cordura or nylon. The NEMO Vantage 30 Adventure Backpack is made with durable recycled PET, and the Peak Design Travel Duffel 35 is made with 600-denier nylon. Both have held up very well to rough travel. But even if they don’t abrade, soft bags can be crushed. So don’t keep your Fabergé eggs in there.

Durability

Durability in a suitcase often comes down to choosing the right unit for the use cases involved. For suitcases that will live a rough-and-tumble life, pay attention to areas that absorb a lot of abuse: corners and bottom panels. A kick plate, between the wheels on a roller bag, usually isn’t a bad thing. And reinforced corners and stitching can also help. 

There’s also no getting around the fact that any suitcase, duffel, or backpack is only as good as its zipper. Try to reduce the strain on your bags’ zippers by avoiding overloading.

Compartments

How organized do you need to be? Entries in this article range from techy backpacks with dedicated shoe compartments to straight-up duffels with a few pockets, like the Jack Wolfskin Traveltopia 45 Liter Duffel Bag

GJBG Suitcases Thule Subterra 2
The Thule Subterra 2 is a backpack with a roller-style clamshell-style opening; (photo/Billy Brown)

The reality of the matter is, sometimes you don’t need to keep it all that tight. In those instances, a main compartment and a pocket or two is plenty to stay happy. For the most businesslike travelers, highly compartmentalized units like the Thule Subterra 2 27L Backpack can feel more appropriate. 

FAQ

Which is more durable: hard-sided or soft-sided suitcases?

As we mentioned in the previous section, hard-sided and soft-sided suitcases resist different types of damage better. Insofar as durability requires retention of quality over time, it’s important to consider what kind of hazards your suitcase will face. 

Hard-sided cases can slip past snarls and snags easily. And they can, arguably, protect what’s inside better. Hard-sided cases can’t give way and squeeze a tube of hair gel or lotion until it pops open. But they can also crack, and when that happens, you’re left in a predicament. 

Soft-sided suitcases can stretch and flex more easily among other bags and gear. But you could also get a nasty tear on a sharp corner, exposed nail, etc. Also note that hard cases can resist water better than soft cases, depending on the zipper.

What is the carry-on size limit for suitcases?

Carry-on size limits actually vary by airline, so there’s no real standard. A good starting place is to go by general TSA standards:

  • U.S.: 22” x 14” x 9”
  • International: 21.5” x 15.5” x 9” (though it varies more)
Do suitcase locks work?

First we should answer, do suitcase locks work against what? Lost or delayed luggage amounted to about six bags out of 1,000 in 2022. The San Francisco Standard attributed these losses to luggage theft, but suggested plenty of ways to protect yourself from luggage loss. 

While you can purchase TSA-approved suitcase locks, you can take plenty of other steps to protect your gear. First of all, the Standard suggested, place a smart tracker like a Tractive GPS tracker in your bag. Developed to help locate lost dogs, Tractive links to a satellite array and thus has no range limit (unlike Apple Airtag). Open your app and, bingo!

Also consider keeping all your valuables in your carry-on or personal item. In this case, the importance of any lock diminishes.

Travel

The Best Carry-On Luggage of 2024

Carry-on luggage comes in a variety of styles, from the hardshell classics to soft-sided, duffel bags. Whether you value features like external pockets or 360-spinner wheels, internal compression, or TSA-approved locks, we’ve got you covered with our wide selection of the best carry-on luggage of 2023.

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