Best Checked-Luggage Brands

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CR members reported on more than 25,000 suitcases they own. Here are the five luggage brands that stand out from the crowd.

By Tobie Stanger

Planning to check a piece of luggage on your next vacation? It may be time to upgrade your bag to something more sturdy.

You need luggage that’s tough enough to withstand being thrown onto conveyor belts. And you’ll also want it to be easy to wheel around whether you’re cruising a city sidewalk or strolling up a dirt driveway. Consumer Reports’ ratings of checked luggage brands offer a carousel of great suitcase names to consider for your next midsized or large bag.

CR members told us about their experiences with 25,551 pieces of luggage that they check when flying. In our survey, they reported on 32 brands in total, including American Tourister, Delsey, Ricardo Beverly Hills, Samsonite, and Travelpro.

Members told us about the features they care about the most, with the top two being a suitcase’s wheelability (cited by 64 percent of respondents), and its durability (cited by 58 percent). Durability—how well zippers, handles, fabric, and other features hold up—had the strongest correlation to members’ overall satisfaction with their checked bags.

“It’s no surprise these features are key to our respondents, most of whom have a fair bit of travel experience,” said Karen Jaffe, who was associate director of CR’s survey research department when our survey was conducted. Our seasoned travelers also told us how easy their luggage is to pack and carry.

CR also recently tested hard-shell carry-on luggage from major brands and has published survey-based ratings of carry-on luggage brands. (The Overall Score of a rated piece of luggage may not be identical to that of its brand because the two scores are based on different attributes and methodologies, among other factors. Brand ratings also reflect judgments on soft-sided luggage.)

Taking all of this into account, below are the five checked luggage brands that garner the highest overall satisfaction ratings in our survey. You’ll find price ranges for medium-sized and large bags from each brand. To see how these compare with other luggage brands rated in our survey, take a look at our full ratings for checked-luggage brands. In the market for a carry-on? Check out our best carry-on luggage brands. And if a hard-shell bag is what you’re after, consult our full ratings of hard-shell carry-ons. For more guidance on choosing the right luggage for you—whether hard- or soft-sided, two wheels or four—read our luggage buying guide.

Checked Luggage Brands That CR Members Love

Briggs & Riley
Price: $359 to $1,049
Warranty: "Simple as That" lifetime guarantee for functional, not cosmetic, aspects of the bags.
CR’s take: Briggs & Riley receives top marks in CR’s member survey. It excels in all aspects of our ratings for checked luggage, receiving Excellent scores for ease of carrying and packing, wheelability, and durability. The company offers several ways for customers to get free repairs: mail-ordered self-repair kits, walk-in repairs at authorized locations, and the option to mail the bag back to the manufacturer. If you need to send your bag in, though, you’ll have to pay for the shipping. But the company pays for return shipping.

Price: $740 to $1,775
Warranty: Five-year guarantee if you register online; otherwise, you get a 2-year guarantee. Exclusions include damage by liquids as well as—in the manufacturer’s words—“improper use, faulty operation, or externally occurring forces” such as cracks from flight or transport damage. For repair or replacement, Rimowa will cover the cost of shipping. The company also offers repairs at select hotels and Rimowa store locations.
CR’s take: Like Briggs & Riley, Rimowa is a repeat top-scorer in our survey. The brand aces all of our ratings, with Excellent marks for ease of carrying and packing, wheelability, and durability. The company’s suitcases and trunks are all hard-sided—aluminum or polycarbonate—and have Rimowa’s signature ribbed surface. Every model has integrated combination locks. If the steep price for a Rimowa sends you packing, though, check out the less costly brands here.

Eagle Creek
Price: $149 to $469
Warranty: “No Matter What” lifetime warranty on workmanship and materials.
CR’s take: Eagle Creek checked luggage soars in wheelability, ease of packing, and durability. It scores slightly lower for ease of carrying but still earns high marks. The company offers a variety of checked suitcases, including wheeled duffels, traditional suitcases, and a large trunk. Most are soft-sided, though one line, Tarmac, features luggage with a hard back.

Price: $70 to $330
Warranty: Full refund within a year of purchase if you’re not 100 percent satisfied. After one year, L.L.Bean will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.
CR’s take: L.L.Bean is a dependable workhorse in our ratings, excelling in durability and earning high scores for wheelability and ease of carrying and packing. The company sells soft-sided and hard-sided versions of its own luggage brand, which includes traditional suitcases and rolling duffels.

Price: $190 to $645
Warranty: "Built for a Lifetime" limited warranty, offered on most Travelpro luggage, covers defects in workmanship and major components such as wheels, zippers, extension handles, and carry handles. Customers who register their luggage with the company within 120 days of purchase get free shipping for repairs, plus additional coverage for damage caused by airlines, buses, cruise ships, and trains.
CR’s take: Travelpro performs admirably across the board in ease of carrying and packing, wheelability, and durability. The company, which pioneered the rolling, long-handled suitcase, offers hard- and soft-sided checked suitcases, as well as wheeled garment bags and duffels. Several styles include an external USB port and slot for a battery pack, but you’ll have to purchase the battery pack yourself.

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.

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