The 10 Best Luggage Pieces for International Travel of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Whether you’re going on a long-haul flight or a weekend getaway, picking the best suitcase for your trip will help take the stress out of travelling.

We’ve tested every suitcase on this roundup, packing them full and subjecting them to car boots, train stations and airports to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here you’ll find the suitcases that excelled in testing, including hard-shell and soft-sided cases, travel bags and kid-friendly options.

Best suitcase for international travel - thebestsuitcase. Co. Uk - thebestsuitcase. Co. Uk

The best suitcase for most people

PRO

  • Triple-locking system
  • Waterproof seal
  • Good protection
  • Plenty of pockets and compartments

CON

  • Combination lock can be a bit fiddly

If you’re going away for a long international trip and want to bring along all the comforts of home, this spacious suitcase is large enough to hold two weeks worth of your favorite outfits and plenty of shoe options, too. The largest bag in July’s entire range of luggage, this suitcase has a built-in compression feature that is durable enough to keep clothes from falling out regardless of which side you open it from. It also has many zippered pockets that are great for keeping smaller items organized, a laundry bag, and a water-resistant and stain-proof nylon lining. Just keep in mind that the bag may go over your airlines’ weight limit if you pack it full since it’s pretty large.

The best suitcase for summer holidays

PRO

  • TSA-coded zip lock
  • Excellent mobility
  • Small size qualifies as carry-on
  • Spacious

CON

  • Doesn’t come in XL

Sunshine comes in luggage form with the Golden Yellow edition of this hard-shell suitcase from industry veteran American Tourister. I’m a big fan of the colourways, with its bright hues and bold design, it won’t be hard to spot this handsome piece of luggage as it comes around the baggage carousel. Of course, if you would rather not go for bright yellow, red, green or blue, then it’s also available in the more sombre and sober Midnight Navy and Bass Black.

Made from very durable polypropylene, this unit has a TSA-coded zip lock for extra security, and a handy four-wheel setup for hypermobility as you traverse airport terminals and concourses. The small size is dinky enough to qualify as carry-on luggage, while the large size is capacious enough to accommodate all the sundresses and swimwear you could possibly need, particularly since it’s also expandable.

Key specs 
Wheels4
Colours6
ShellHard-shell
Size and dimensions (WDH)

 

 

S – 40 x 20 x 55 cm
M – 46.5 x 29 x 67 cm
L – 51.5 x 29.5 x 77 cm
Capacity41l, 81l, 110l
Weight2.6kg, 3.7kg, 4.2kg

The best suitcase with 10-year warranty

PRO

  • TSA lock
  • 10-year warranty
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Available in cabin size

CON

  • Pricey

Having used both the Clifton and Camber hard-shell suitcases on a recent week-long getaway, I found it hard to find fault with either of them. Both suitcases were extremely spacious and very rugged, and they barely had any scratches or colour marks on their gorgeous pastels after their trip. Both the Camber and Clifton collections have multiple storage pockets and a handy expanded zip for extra room, and they also come with a secure TSA lock, which is ideal for peace of mind when you’re travelling.

For peace of mind, all of Antler’s suitcases are put through rigorous tests (alongside our own, of course) and come with a ten-year international warranty. In my mind, this definitely helps justify the premium price tag.

Key specs 
Wheels4
Colours10
ShellHard-shell
Size and dimensions (WDH)

 

 

Cabin – 40 x 20 x 55 cm
M – 45 x 29 x 67 cm
L – 51 x 34 x 80 cm
Capacity37l, 75l, 121l
Weight2.8kg, 3.9kg, 5kg
 

PRO

  • Cheap
  • 5-year warranty
  • TSA lock
  • Lightweight

CON

  • 102l capacity isn’t as roomy as other brands

Suitcases can often cost up to £200, but if you want something sturdy for an affordable price, look no further than the Tripp Chic suitcase.

In terms of features, it’s got four wheels for easy manoeuvring, an integrated TSA lock and it’s expandable – which I always find handy on my travels. The polypropylene case is durable but also lightweight, so it won’t eat into that precious luggage weight limit. It comes in four colours (black, navy blue, sky blue and rose) and it’s available in three sizes (cabin, medium and large), all of which are absolute bargains.

Just be aware that the large isn’t especially roomy – its 102-litre capacity doesn’t really match up to other brands’ large suitcases.

Key specs 
Wheels4
Colours10
ShellHard-shell
Size and dimensions (WDH)

 

Cabin – 39 x 20 x 55 cm
M – 45 x 28 x 67 cm
L – 52 x 32 x 77 cm
Capacity37l, 75l, 121l
Weight2.8kg, 3.9kg, 5kg

The best lightweight suitcase

PRO

  • Extremely lightweight
  • 10-year warranty
  • Various designs
  • Excellent value

CON

  • Not as sturdy as hard-shell cases

If you’re worried about your weight allowance – or just dislike humping heavy luggage around – this is the suitcase for you. You get a decent amount of room for all your belongings, and it has one of the most comfortable and practical handles thanks to its full-width cushioned design, so you won’t mind pulling it around for any length of time.

As you would expect, being a soft-shell, it isn’t quite as sturdy as weightier hard-shell cases, and you might wonder whether such a lightweight suitcase is durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of travelling. However, you needn’t worry too much as it comes with a very reassuring 10-year warranty.

I tested the 4-wheel version, which came in a lovely blue, but it Luggage offers many more options, combining different sizes, different numbers of wheels and various colours and finishes – even a 3D unicorn pink shell for kids. Given all these potential combinations, it’s a shame Argos doesn’t let you filter the options from the same page, but you can click the Find Similar widget next to the product photo, as a shortcut.

Key specs 
Wheels4
ColoursAssorted
ShellSoft-shell
Size and dimensions (WDH)

 

 

S – 35 x 20 x 55 cm
M – 43.5 x 23.5 x 73.5 cm
L – 48.5 x 26.5 x 83 cm
Capacity31l, 63l, 90l
Weight1.8kg, 2.1kg, 2.5kg



The best rugged suitcase

PRO

  • Versatile
  • Tough, water-resistant material
  • Extendable handle
  • Lightweight

CON

  • Price can be high for some

Designed as essentially a duffel bag on wheels, Osprey’s Rolling Transporter is one of the most versatile travel bags you can buy and ideal for those who don’t have room to stash a full-sized suitcase when they’re not travelling.

Available in 40, 60, 90 and 120-litre sizes, the Rolling Transporter is all about maximising the amount you can carry. You can still access all your stuff quickly and easily thanks to the large flap that unzips around the top of the whole single-compartment bag, and, with stash pockets at the top and under the flap, it’s surprisingly flexible.

It’s also constructed out of a tough, water-resistant fabric made from recycled materials, but the best bit about the Rolling Transporter is how easy the extending handle and wheels make it to get your stuff from A to B. The rigid base means it will stand up without falling over, and the wide grab handles on the sides and top will give you plenty of purchase when getting it off the luggage belt, as well as in and out of taxis. Overall, it’s a five-star, lightweight bag for any kind of traveller.

Key specs 
Wheels2
Colours3
ShellSoft-shell
Size and dimensions (WDH)

 

40l – 36 x 28 x 60 cm
60l – 41 x 43 x 70 cm
90l – 44 x 35 x 80 cm
120l- 75 x 38 x 96.5 cm
Capacity40l, 60l, 90l, 120l
Weight2.7kg, 2.9kg, 3.4kg, 3.7kg



The best suitcase for kids

PRO

  • Lightweight
  • Ride-on, perfect for tired legs
  • Wide range of designs
  • Detachable shoulder strap

CON

  • Not overly spacious

Navigating airports and train stations with tots in tow can be a stressful experience. However, this ride-on suitcase from child-friendly brand Trunki offers kids plenty of entertainment and can be pulled along on its wheels by parents – perfect for traversing the bigger terminals not designed with little legs in mind. The bags are compact enough to fit in most cabins – though always check your airline’s policy – and boast four wheels and one surprisingly roomy internal compartment.

Given that it doubles as a vehicular toy, the Trunki Ride-On is surprisingly light, weighing in at just 1.6kg, and I like that it features a detachable shoulder strap so it can be slung across your back if required.

The wide range of designs to choose from can give your little ones a chance to express their own budding identities: Frank the Fire Truck makes a good pick for plucky youngsters, and Dudley the Dinosaur is a great shout – what kid doesn’t love dinosaurs? – while the classic Terrence is a distinctive bold blue, and you’ll never lose sight of your child riding on Trixie’s bright pink chassis.

Key specs 
Wheels4
Colours14
ShellHard-shell
Size and dimensions (WDH)

 

One size – 20.3 x 44.5 x 30.9 cm
Capacity18l
Weight1.6kg
Ages3-6



Choose a size that’s right for your travels

It’s crucial to consider what kind of journey you’re most apt to take when searching for the ideal international luggage. After all, three months of continent-hopping calls for a very different set up from a week-long trip to a cosmopolitan capital. If you’re prone to shorter jaunts or know yourself to be a light packer, consider a classic carry-on or something even more compact, like a weekender bag. If you’ll be traveling longer term or have a hard time paring down your outfit options, opt for a larger carry-on or a checked bag.

 

Look for lightweight construction


No one wants to waste their baggage weight limit on a hefty piece of luggage. For softside suitcases, polyester and nylon materials are often the most lightweight, while hardside shells made of polycarbonate, polypropylene, and ABS are great options as well. Standard carry-ons weigh in around seven pounds, with the lightest-weight options ranging from 4.5 to 6.5 pounds when empty. Checked suitcases are slightly heavier, typically ranging from eight to 11 pounds. If you’re looking for something seriously lightweight, consider alternative options to a classic suitcase — think duffels, weekenders, or backpacks, which can weigh as little as two or three pounds.

Typically, the weight limit for carry-on luggage is around 35 pounds domestically, although carry-on weight limits are often only enforced on budget airlines. International flights may have stricter restrictions, so be sure to check your airline. When it comes to checked luggage, the rule of thumb is 50 pounds — but you can usually pack up to 70 pounds for an added cost.

 

Decide what organizational features you need


Suitcases are evolving to make packing easier than ever, boasting everything from designated laundry bags to zippered pockets for your tiniest trinkets. Some add-ons may be more relevant to your travel style — compression boards and packing cubes could be non-negotiables for overpackers, while tech lovers may have easy-access exterior pockets and charging ports at the top of the list. And remember, if you fall in love with a suitcase that doesn’t have everything you need — say, compression compartments or built-in security — you can always buy packing cubes or a combination lock separately.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we cover some of the most common queries about pink cabin suitcases, from their size and maintenance to packing tips.

Oftentimes, yes! While most domestic carry-ons can weigh up to 40 pounds (and may never be weighed), many international airlines only allow carry-on bags of up to 22 pounds (10 kilograms) and could strictly enforce this. You can often purchase more capacity ahead of time for a discounted price, but be sure to keep the restrictions in mind if you’ll be puddle jumping frequently, as the baggage costs can add up quickly. Checked luggage typically has the same weight limit internationally, offering up to 50 pounds before added fees kick in.


There’s a whole bunch of stuff you can’t bring in your suitcase — just take a peek at TSA’s Instagram account for a glimpse (and a good laugh). Other than the obvious ones, like weapons or explosives, there are some specific items that are prohibited in carry-ons and checked luggage alike when traveling internationally, from certain amounts of liquids to alcoholic beverages, e-cigarettes, meats, dairy products, drones, and more. If you’re not sure about a certain item, be sure to check your airline’s (and destination’s) guidelines before packing.


International airlines each have their own size and weight limits for baggage, so your best bet is to always look up your specific carrier’s requirements. But, generally speaking, a 21-inch carry-on (considered an “international” carry-on, as opposed to the standard, “domestic” 22-inch size) is a safe bet for most airlines both domestic and abroad.

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