Best Checked-Luggage Brands

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

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A busted suitcase could ruin a vacation.

You need luggage that’s tough enough to withstand being thrown onto conveyor belts. And it should be easy to wheel around whether you’re in town or country. Consumer Reports’ ratings of checked suitcase brands offers a carousel of great options in midsized and large bags.

CR members told us about their experiences with 25,551 suitcases that they check when flying. In total, 32 brands were covered, 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 suitcases.

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“It’s no surprise these features are key to our respondents, most of whom have a fair bit of travel experience,” says Karen Jaffe, associate director of CR’s Survey Research department, which conducted the survey. Seven in 10 members have traveled three or more times in the past 12 months, for at least two days at a time. And most of them—77 percent—flew.

Our seasoned travelers also told us how easy their luggage is to pack and carry. 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, check our full checked luggage ratings. In the market for a carry-on? Check out best carry-on luggage brands. And for more on choosing the right luggage for you—hard- or soft-sided, two wheels or four—read our luggage buying guide.

Checked Suitcase Brands That CR Members Love

Briggs & Riley
Price: $549 to $659
Warranty: "Simple as That" lifetime guarantee for functional, not cosmetic, aspects of the bags.
CR’s take: As in years past, Briggs & Riley receives top marks in our current member survey. It excels in all aspects of our ratings for checked luggage: 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: $540 to $1,920
Warranty: Five-year guarantee if you register online; otherwise, you get a two-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. In some store locations, Rimowa will offer loaner suitcases while your bag is being repaired.
CR’s take: Like Briggs & Riley, Rimowa is a repeat top-scorer in our survey. The brand does well in all our ratings categories: 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: $199 to $489
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 $400
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. It sells only soft-sided versions of its own luggage brand, which includes traditional suitcases and rolling duffels. The company says it's planning to introduce a hard-sided line in the fall of 2020.

Price: $180 to $400
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.

Tobie Stanger

I cover the money side of home-related purchases and improvements: avoiding scams, making sense of warranties and insurance, finding the best financing, and getting the most value for your dollar. For CR, I've also written about digital payments, credit and debit, taxes, supermarkets, financial planners, airlines, retirement and estate planning, shopping for electronics and hearing aids—even how to throw a knockout wedding on a shoestring. I am never bored. Find me on Twitter: @TobieStanger