About a decade ago, I purchased my first “real” luggage for weekend trips and school breaks. I did approximately zero research before impulsively picking out a cheap, hardside checked bag and matching carry-on suitcase.
I couldn’t wait to use them. Finally, I could shed my ratty backpack and walk confidently through the airport, roller wheels gliding behind me.
Then, tragedy struck.
The very next trip I went on after picking out my luggage, one of the wheels broke off the checked bag when I tried to yank it over the curb outside of the terminal. I was devastated.
Since that day, I’ve used, tested, broken and otherwise beat the heck out of a veritable collection of trendy, timeless, and terrible luggage.
Some have been winners, and some have been disasters, but all of them contributed to teaching me exactly what to look out for when parsing out the best baggage from the worst. I ran the gamut so that you didn’t have to.
Now, I’m passing on what I’ve learned to help you avoid dragging a lopsided piece of luggage through the airport as I did ten years ago.
From simple to sophisticated, here are my top picks for the best checked luggage.
I could wax poetic all day about July luggage. From the aesthetics to the construction, every product they offer makes my traveler’s heart pitter-patter.
It should come as no surprise, then, how obsessed I am with the 28” July Checked Trunk. Their “Aussie approach” shines through in every rough-and-ready inch of this trunk-style hardside luggage, ensuring that my frequent treks through bustling airports are as effortless as they are head-turning.
The first thing I fell in love with was the stunning Glazed Poly gloss finish on the nigh-on-unbreakable German polycarbonate shell. While the shape of the trunk is very classic, the modern touch of metallic detailing combined with sleek shine makes for a truly timeless piece.
That extra tough shell does pack on a couple of pounds, with the 28.25″ Checked Trunk coming in at a hefty 13.2 lbs for 95L of space. That said, the four spinner wheels are gloriously smooth and perfectly silent, regardless of how much you’ve overpacked.
Another thing I admire about July’s Checked Trunk is the optimized packing space, as demonstrated by their 80/20 split. By giving one side of the trunk some extra room, I can pack my favorite booties or hats without worrying they’ll get crumpled by the lid.
They also include many little “extras,” like odor-proof,…
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